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The Forum > Article Comments > Indonesia's extended pre-adolescence > Comments

Indonesia's extended pre-adolescence : Comments

By Duncan Graham, published 11/6/2008

Indonesia's apologists urge us to overlook the protests, the outrageous statements by Muslim preachers and the governmentís inability to cope with natural disasters.

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Spot on Duncan. Well said and well written.Now if only The West Australian, The Australian, The SMH, the ABC, universities and the public service could accept what you have written and use it as their intellectual framework for analysing, reporting and commenting on Indonesia.
Bruce Haigh
Posted by Bruce Haigh, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 12:22:22 PM
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<<Letís retain the mystery and magic of Indonesia while deleting the suspicion and fear that affects so many Australians and aggravates relationships.>>

yes..lets... 'delete' the suspicion and fear.(or even put our heads in the sand)

Or.. we could aim to more clearly define it... identify on what it is grounded, and in the way that any good businessman worth his salt will do.. a SWOT analysis of how this could impact us in future if not contained.

<<In the vacuum rampant nationalism is breeding fast. No problem if itís kept to culture but a real issue when opposing foreign investment and aid, demanding state controls, subsidies and other simplistic solutions to complex economic issues.

Xenophobia is on the rise and a challenge to Indonesiaís relations with the West. Religious intolerance is destroying places of worship and putting dissidents in jail. For most pluralism is a myth.>>

COMMENT.. and.. I wonder which groups will seek to capitalize on such conditions?

S.W.O.T.

STRENGTHS:
-An alliance with a strong ally...the USA.
-A strong economy, stable political/social situation.
-a tolerant and patient society.

WEAKNESSES:
-Blindness to real trouble brewing under the surface.
-tolerant of intolerance.
-Failure to properly assess future threats in embryo form.
-Too politically correct for our own good.
-Economy over dependant on 'digging stuff out of the ground'

OPPORTUNITIES:
-Shift our economy from 'digging stuff up' to "digging and value adding"
-Develop policies which aim at having a ready citizenry in the face of any attack.
-Reassess our cultural and social values in the light of an increasingly intolerant world.

THREATS:
-Allowing ourselves to be duped into complacency by political correctness.
-Rising anti Western nationalism in countries with large populations.
-Increasing vulnerability to the power of Saudi/Oil rich money.
-Loss of manufacturing skills due to overseas outsourcing.
Posted by BOAZ_David, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 1:58:46 PM
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A highly original post from an expert on Indonesia.

I agree that the Indonesian armed forces should not be seen as a professional, non-political, outward looking force overnight.

With millions in Australian aid money being donated to the Indonesian military it must be kept in mind that the military:

- mainly rules on side businesses and "commissions" to function
- it is highly political and visible
- is an integral part of provincial administration (hence still inward looking)
- all Indonesia Presidents from independence had a military background, generals or relatives of generals.
- is gradually rearming with modern weapons (Flanker jets and Kilo Class subs) basically paid for by a low interest Russian loan. A kind of tied military aid not necessarily in Australia interests.

Hence it is still obvious that Indonesia's political leadership is based on the Javanese general caste (SBY's origin) with some emerging democracy.

The possible collapse of Indonesia subsidised oil system may also cause significant social, economic and then political disruption in the next election.

Pete
Posted by plantagenet, Saturday, 14 June 2008 5:09:35 PM
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