The biggest global scandal finally hit Indonesia this week.
The latest series of leaks by Edward Snowden revealed the United States spied on Indonesian citizens and public officials. By using antennas on the roofs of different Australian compounds in Indonesia, the United States intercepted phone calls and emails of Indonesians. Even more alarming, the officials were spied on during pivotal talks at the United Nations and other global gatherings.
For anyone who has followed the news the past few weeks, this should come as no surprise. After Snowden revealed the U.S. spied on their European allies, the possibility of the U.S. spying on their Asian counterparts – and especially those with large Muslim populations – became extremely high. Indonesian public officials, like Europeans, have made a public outcry against the findings and have talked about a newly strained relationship. But, again similar to the Europeans, there is yet to be any definitive action made because of the leaks.
With that said, the leaks come at an interesting time economically for the country. Indonesia’s GDP grew less than 6% in the last quarter. And many workers in Jakarta are protesting for a higher minimum wage, calling Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s 11% wage hike an economic injustice.
Many developing countries grapple with the following question – do you sacrifice salary minimums in order to increase the amount of jobs? Indonesia now adds the following question: can we trust these foreign investments?
Indonesian Politics & Business
“Indonesia GDP Grows Less Than 6%” by Novrida Manurung & Widya Utami, Bloomberg; http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-06/indonesia-gdp-grows-less-than-6-.html
“Workers protest 11% wage hike” by Corry Elyda, The Jakarta Post; http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/11/02/workers-protest-11-wage-hike.html
“Indonesia trying to end masked monkey shows”, Associated Press; http://www.emirates247.com/news/indonesia-trying-to-end-masked-monkey-shows-2013-10-29-1.526151
Indonesia and the United States
“Snowden chills Indonesia relationship” by Greg Sherdian, The Australian; http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/snowden-chills-indonesia-relationship/story-e6frg76f-1226754505321#
“Indonesia – torn apart, but glorified by Washington” by Andre Vltchek, Russia Today; http://rt.com/op-edge/indonesia-facist-state-glorified-256/
“Indonesia ‘Blowing Smoke’ Over Tobacco Control” by Aditya L. Djono, Jaarta Globe; http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/indonesia-blowing-smoke-over-tobacco-control/
So, what do you think?
Do you think Edward Snowden’s revelations actually cause any shift in policy towards Australia or the United States? Do you think Governor Jokowi will increase the minimum wage even further, especially considering the Presidential election next year? Do you think Indonesia’s economy will rebound for a stronger showing in the last quarter? Do you think Indonesia will finally attempt to curb their tobacco use?
Newsful, published every Friday, is a weekly round-up of breaking news, trends and developing stories across Indonesia. Got a tip? Send it to Indonesiaful@gmail.com.