Mon, 18 Jan 2010
From: Reuters
JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, a top reformer in President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's cabinet, may be replaced by February, the Jakarta Post reported, quoting anonymous sources from a political party.

Indrawati and Vice President Boediono are considered the main drivers of reform in Southeast Asia's biggest economy and play a critical role in attracting foreign investment for infrastructure and other projects.

The loss of one or other from the cabinet would severely dent investor confidence in Indonesia's commitment to reform and would hit the rupiah currency, bonds and stocks.

Both technocrats have been questioned in recent weeks by a parliamentary committee over their decision to bail out Bank Century, a small bank, at the height of the 2008 financial crisis in order to avert a wider financial panic.

Officials from the Golkar Party, the political party headed by tycoon Aburizal Bakrie who has long resisted Indrawati's reforms, were quoted by the Jakarta Post saying that the finance minister would probably be replaced by Anggito Abimanyu, head of the fiscal policy agency.

President Yudhoyono was re-elected in July thanks to his government's economic policies, reforms, and efforts to tackle corruption.

Indrawati and Boediono, who was governor of the central bank at the time, both approved the 6.7 trillion rupiah ($729.4 million) government rescue of Bank Century late in 2008 as Indonesia started to feel the impact of the global financial crisis.


Wed, 20 Jan 2010
From: JakChat
Comment by Piss Salon
Jakarta Globe's version

Yudhoyono Slams Report as ‘Fiction’

Sri Mulyani Indrawati’s job seemed more secure on Tuesday after an angry President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono lashed out against a newspaper article reporting a supposed deal that would see the Finance Minister replaced by the end of next month.

President Yudhoyono accused the report, based on anonymous sources, of pitting him against political parties.

“Something that is not happening has been created out of nothing. This could have the potential to disturb the markets and hurt the rupiah. It also creates a strange political condition and fuels slander, fiction, political intrigue and something that is outside of the Constitution,” Yudhoyono said following a meeting in Madiun, East Java.

His statement came a day after an article in the Jakarta Post quoted anonymous sources from the Golkar Party saying the finance minister would be forced out. The story was picked up by a number of domestic and international news agencies.

It added that she would be replaced by Anggito Abimanyu, the head of the Fiscal Policy Agency, in February.

The story was denied by the president’s office and Golkar.

“The sources stated that the finance minister would be replaced by a person with the initials AA. Who is AA? I don’t even know. They say the source is from Golkar,” Yudhoyono said. “This is pitting me against Golkar and Pak Ical [Golkar Chairman Aburizal Bakrie.] It is creative but creative in a bad way.”

Considered icons of reform, both Vice President Boediono and Sri Mulyani have in recent days faced the House of Representatives special committee investigating the 2008 bail-out of PT Bank Century.

Sri Mulyani’s rocky relationship with Aburizal has been widely reported. She told the Wall Street Journal last month that the House inquiry was aimed at ousting her because Golkar officials did not agree with the reforms she was trying to usher in.

Numerous calls to the Jakarta Post were not returned on Tuesday.

Political expert Andrinof Chaniago said the supposed plot to remove Sri Mulyani could no longer even be considered so much as a rumor.

“It is hardly a rumor. What might have happened is that a single political party wants to create a condition in order to gain power by putting its own party member or appointee in the post vacated by Sri Mulyani,” he told the Jakarta Globe, adding that the same party could be trying to destabilize Yudhoyono’s coalition.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives welcomed the Finance Minister with a round of applause at a House plenary session on Tuesday and praised her for providing them with a near-perfect accountability report on the 2008 State Budget.

“This, by far, is the best budget accountability report in the past 10 years, as the deficit nears zero,” Sri Mulyani said. In her report to the audience of lawmakers - many of whom also questioned her over the bailout as members of the House special committee - she underlined the significance of the global financial meltdown in 2008.

Sri Mulyani also dismissed talk that there was a cabinet reshuffle in the offing.

“The President himself has said there is no reshuffle,” Sri Mulyani said.

Democratic Party leader Anas Urbaningrum reiterated that message, saying the president’s party would focus instead on conducting a thorough cabinet evaluation.


Wed, 20 Jan 2010
From: JakChat
Comment by Piss Salon
Jakarta Post version


Yudhoyono fumes over political deal speculation

Erwida Maulia , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Tue, 01/19/2010 10:26 PM | National

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Tuesday angrily struck out at media reports of his alleged plan to replace Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati in an attempt to end the prolonged Bank Century bailout saga.

According to the President’s official website (http://www.presiden-ri.go.id), the President told a forum in Madiun, East Java, that the alleged deal between him and Golkar Party chairman Aburizal Bakrie to replace Mulyani was “poor fiction”.

“This is exceptionally creative, but awful fiction. This [speculation] won’t benefit the people. This is the politics of fiction; they made up what’s not there,” he said.

“This is dirty politics, maybe they’re trying to play off the finance minister and the President. It was said I would replace her with someone with the initials AA. I don’t know who AA is,” he added.

Speculation is widespread AA refers to the head of the Fiscal Policy Agency, Anggito Abimanyu.

Yudhoyono also expressed concern the speculation could destabilize the Rupiah and disrupt the economy.


Wed, 20 Jan 2010
From: JakChat
Comment by KuKuKaChu
well, i guess the jakarta post figured it was no longer a story. despite the fact that the issue spread worldwide in nearly every major media outlet and news service on the basis of the story that was planted in their own paper.

it seems the pages of the jakarta post are increasingly up for sale to the highest bidder. you wanna run a story? you know who to call ...


Thu, 21 Jan 2010
From: JakChat
Comment by Om Pong
...me.



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