Tue, 21 Jan 2003

Present coalition still going strong

In the political scene, it is virtually impossible for the solid coalition of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-Perjuangan), the faction of the Functional Group (Golkar) behind Akbar Tandjung and the United Development Party (PPP) to lose the 2004 elections. The mafia have only moved from one political vehicle (Golkar) to a new one (PDI-Perjuangan).

The latest decisions such as the increases in fuel prices, electricity and telephone charges and the controversial and unnecessary sale of Indosat (TVRI) are all an insult to the people of Indonesia who have to keep paying the many bills of incompetent politicians and leaders.

And, lately, if you dare to complain and demonstrate in the streets, then it must be because you have been bought to demonstrate or it is because you are politically frustrated (which is the case for the other Golkar camp that I wouldn't trust for a single minute). And, of course, now you can go to jail for your opinions, like under the leadership of Soeharto.

There is virtually no positive choice offered among the current political parties in the People's Consultative Assembly and the House of Representatives (MPR/DPR), so how will it be possible for the people of Indonesia to vote in the 2004 elections? The streets are the last place where their voice can be heard (not necessarily listened to).

I would like to throw my support particularly behind the middle class, because they are the key to a future success of Indonesian demonstrations all over the country against the current government. And the day Indonesian intellectuals and journalists really have the courage to speak out as I do now, people like the advisors of Megawati would find it more difficult to play around with the usual and abused rhetoric.

YVAN MAGAIN Tubize, Belgium