Author Archives: Duncan Graham
Indonesian President Joko Widodo wants to snare foreign investors. They’re a wary lot. Though excited by big markets and the chance of bigger returns, they’re fearful of losing fortunes, and with good reason: Risk.
Did Gough Whitlam greenlight Indonesia’s violent seizure of East Timor in 1975? The invasion and 24-year occupation took the lives of up to 300,000 people in a population of 650,000 living on a wretchedly poor leftover from European colonisation.
Champions of Donald Trump’s style of politics will warm to Prabowo Subianto. They’ll understand why Washington is forgetting Indonesia’s Defence Minister was once banned from the US and Australia for alleged human rights abuses, and get onside with another tough.
It’s that time of the year again when Indonesians look sideways at the neighbours, whisper about family histories, question loyalties.
Widodo’s lacklustre leadership – compounded by going soft on corruption and nuzzling up to the army – is opening space to big business, the military and faith fanatics with no interest in reform. This is worrying indeed and should be … Continue reading
Indonesia’s foreign policy seems divorced from reality. It’s called bebas-aktif (free and active) and supposed to mean no siding with world powers.
If airline pilots grounded by Covid-19 can retrain as header drivers to reap this year’s harvest, sacked political journalists can keep supplying readers’ needs through a little retraining.
It’s one of journalism’s nastier cynicisms: When judging news values 100 distant deaths equals ten closer to home and one in the suburb where the paper circulates. If public contempt for the media is to be cured then The West Australian … Continue reading
It isn’t accidental irony but a deliberate insult from Big Baccy – two fingers to the government, medicos and public health pros. Just above the small government warning on the ad banner’s bottom corner showing a tracheotomy is the latest … Continue reading
PM Scott Morrison wants the right to cancel agreements (there are reported to be 130) between foreign governments and authorities outside Canberra if deemed ‘contrary to Australia’s national interests’.The prime target is said to be Victoria jogging down China’s One … Continue reading
Last Monday was going to be the most spectacular splash of all, a grand semi sesquicentennial commemoration of Indonesia’s independence. Then came Covid19. While the Jakarta government promised a vaccine, others were relying on ritual.
Akhirnya! At last! Just in time for the 75th anniversary of the declaration of Indonesia’s independence next week (17 August) we’re starting to examine our big neighbour with some honesty.
WARNING: This article contains observations which some may find disturbing.
He’s one of China’s most high-ranking and experienced diplomats yet he was caught on TV squirming when confronted by video showing manacled men shunted onto trains. The prisoners were alleged to be Chinese Uyghur, a Muslim ethnic group.
Thou woldest han oure labour al for noght. The hye god, that al this world hath wrough Seith that the workman worthy is his hyre. Geoffrey Chaucer: The Summoner’s Tale.
It’s a curious cluster – Jamaica, Luxemburg, Costa Rica and Jordan. Squashed in the middle at 73 is Indonesia. It’s a lousy rank on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Register because it shouts at potential investors: Beware! Yet … Continue reading
Was Indonesia alerted ahead of the PM’s 2020 Defence Strategic Update and Force Structure Plan announcement? The presumption is that key people were tipped off, largely because there’s been no blow-back.
Indonesia’s founding president Soekarno was a dazzling demagogue, feared and loathed by the West and admired by the East. Apart from Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur), his successors’ performances at the podium have been pedestrian, but suddenly Joko Widodo, the epitome … Continue reading
This continues yesterday’s feature on ABC Australia, our underfunded and neglected TV presentation to the Asia Pacific. Look on, ye neighbours, and despair.
The slashing and burning of ABC workers, their goodies and services seems to have missed the overseas TV service ABC Australia. That’s no reason to whoop. Further cuts will kill.
Beijing has warned citizens against travel to Australia claiming ‘a significant increase’ in racial discrimination and violence against Chinese and Asians blamed for the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cities can snap-back from the Corona-19 crisis – though not necessarily to a New Normal. Jakarta shows how.
It’s become a ritual for every Australian leader for the past half-century.
When is a pandemic suppression order not a lockdown? When it’s in Indonesia.
It’s warming to see Australians helping jobless Balinese felled by Covid-19 with tuckerbags as hotels shut and tourists flee. One donor called it her ‘moral obligation’, a commendable motive.
Indonesia’s second president General Soeharto had a fix-all to calm restless citizens demanding improvements. He’d pronounce a numbered plan.
Most days the ABC website publishes graphs showing the trajectory of Covid-19 cases. The charts feature nine countries including Taiwan, Japan and Australia. Though not Indonesia.
The Australian has become very liberal with their use of the word ‘EXCLUSIVE’.
Australia and Indonesia are not the neighbours we ought to be. Many button lips for fear of arousing wrath, but here’s the truth: The neighbours aren’t part of the Anglosphere. They don’t understand or trust us, nor we them.
Some foreign correspondents in Jakarta have done a bunk, leaving their Indonesian fixers and colleagues to confront the catastrophes they fear to face.