Sat, 13 May 2000

Government blames politicians, media on rupiah's slide

JAKARTA (JP): Acting Coordinating Minister for Security and Political Affairs Surjadi Soedirja blasted certain political leaders and the media on Friday for creating a tense political atmosphere; one that has, in his opinion, contributed to the slump of the rupiah.

"Leaders shouldn't be so loquacious. Talking without thinking only causes people to doubt. Don't exploit the small mistakes of others," Surjadi said without mentioning names.

He called on senior political figures not to blow their differences out of proportion, saying that the current political instability has sunk the rupiah even further.

"Let's all of us improve the political situation. But let's also focus on urgent matters which should be settled, such as employment," he remarked.

Besides chiding bombastic political leaders, Surjadi also accused the media of promulgating confusing information.

He criticized the press which tends to exaggerate issues.

"You're just waiting for me to make a false statement. But if I say the correct things you won't publish it," Surjadi told reporters after signing a cooperation agreement between Indonesia and Belarus.

He said that the media could create feuds between political leaders very easily.

He accused them of exploiting mistakes, no matter how small, rather than helping to create a harmonious, productive atmosphere.

"You, reporters, play a big role in creating stability. It's our country, not only mine but also yours. You too will suffer if the country sinks," Surjadi said.(dja/jun)