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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story

Week of October 20, 1995

ALARM OVER AIDS

The number of Indonesians infected with the AIDS virus could reach 2.5 million by the end of the century, a government member warned. Azwar Anas, coordinating minister for people's welfare, told an AIDS seminar that official figures seriously under-estimated the problem. According to those figures, 346 people have been confirmed as HIV-positive.

Other news from Indonesia this week:


Week of October 6, 1995

FOLLOW THE LEADER

Government officials are free to vote for any of Indonesia's three political groups, says State Secretary Murdiono. That's news to many civil servants, who are used to following the leader and voting for ruling group Golkar, whether they liked it or not. It's also news to some Golkar officials, who say that if civil servants don't support the group, they should quit their jobs.


Week of September 29, 1995

CLIMB DOWN

Indonesian Home Affairs Minister Yogie S. Memed backed down after calling minority party chief Ismail Hasan Metareum sakit (sick). The minister had reacted heatedly to Metareum's suggestion that ruling group Golkar had sidelined the two other parties in the Indonesian political system. "I never meant to insult him and [he] never felt insulted," Yogie said after his outburst.


Week of September 22, 1995

RUNNING RIOT

Rioting spread across East Timor for nearly a week after an Indonesian Justice Ministry official made a derogatory remark about Catholicism. Mobs destroyed shops and vehicles owned by mainly Muslim immigrants in the capital Dili, Viqueque and Bobonaro. Police from Bali and Java used teargas to end the riots. Army commander Adang Ruchiatna blamed clandestine groups.


Week of September 15, 1995

HANGING ON THE LINE

The same day mobile phone firm PT Telkomsel unveiled a test plan to install GSM phones in public places, Indonesian police cracked an illegal phone racket operating in the capital. The syndicate had copied legal handphone numbers into sets they sold below the market price. Jakarta recently opened telecoms to competition to remedy nationwide phone line shortages.


Week of September 8, 1995

FREE TO MEET

Indonesia scrapped its controversial regulation requiring a police permit for any meeting of more than five people. Police must still be notified of gatherings of a political bent, but meetings of a social or cultural nature can go ahead without any consultation. So far this year, five permits have been denied and at least 26 unregistered events have been broken up.


Week of September 1, 1995

DUTCH TREAT

Queen Beatrix be gan an 11-day visit to Indonesia on Aug. 21 - the first by a Dutch monarch in 14 years. Though she fell short of apologizing for her country's 300-year rule, she acknowledged the pain colonization inflicted and says Holland failed to recognize the nation's desire for independence 50 years ago. The Hague officially gave up the islands in 1949.

Other news from Indonesia this week


Week of August 25, 1995

TAKEOFF

Indonesia is feeling tall - 3 km tall. That was the cruising altitude the country's first locally made aircraft, the N-250, reached during its Aug. 12 test flight from Bandung, before President Suharto and his ministers. The country plans to push ahead with a $2 billion commuter jet project, funded by the sale of $1,000 shares to the public. That bird is set to fly by 2003.


Week of August 18, 1995

SOUTH VS. SOUTH

Relations between Indonesia and Australia are getting tenser. Jakarta's foreign ministry summoned Canberra's envoy to protest its flag's alleged burning at a Melbourne demonstration. Indonesia remains incensed at having to recall its ambassador-presumptive last month after Australian protests over his reported comments on the 1991 massacre in Dili, East Timor.


Week of August 11, 1995

NOT IN MY BACKYARD

Indonesia has begun returning toxic waste sent to the country in 1993 and never unloaded from containers. When Jakarta banned imports of such waste in November 1993, 75 containers from the Netherlands already had arrived. Last year, officials said their nation had become a toxic dumping ground for several countries including the U.S., Germany, Japan and Hong Kong.

Other news from Indonesia this week


Week of July 28, 1995

TAKING WING

Indonesia's first domestically designed aircraft, the N-250, which is the subject of much criticism because of the huge amounts of money poured into its development, is scheduled to make its inaugural flight Aug. 10. President Suharto, who has strongly supported the program to build a local aircraft industry, plans to witness the special flight.


Week of July 21, 1995

NO FOOD

President Suharto of Indonesia warned that his country is lagging behind in the race to develop agriculture, since the main rice-growing island of Java has become increasingly industrialized. The country became self-sufficient in 1984, but recent harvests have fallen. The government plans to convert up to 1.5 million ha. of swamps in Kalimantan into rice fields.

Other news from Indonesia this week


Week of July 14, 1995

BON VOYAGE

In what has become almost a tradition for departing American envoys, Amb. Robert Barry rapped Indonesia on its human rights record. Barry said Jakarta had to accept that taking on a greater international role will inevitably increase the intensity ot the spotlight on its internal affairs. He stressed the need for press freedom and a more open economic system.

Other news from Indonesia this week


Week of July 07, 1995

CLEANER POWER

Financing for a huge project expected to supply 10% of Java's power needs is being cobbled together with a variety of government loan guarantees and private lending. When it's all completed, the $2.5 billion plant will be Indonesia's first privately funded power project and its first to use scrubbers to meet World Bank emissions guidelines.

Other news from Indonesia this week


Week of June 30, 1995

PAPER PUSHERS

Indonesia's bureaucrats may not be paid much, but they sure can shuffle paper. That was the finding of a poll asking Japanese companies what they thought about doing business in Asia. About 40% of 931 companies surveyed said customs procedures and bureaucracy were major obstacles in Indonesia, highest percentage for ASEAN countries. The nation scored well on wage costs.

Other news from Indonesia this week


Week of June 23, 1995

REFORM DELAY

Previously announced plans to reduce the military's presence in Indonesia's parliament beginning in 1997 may be put on hold. Lowering of the number of unelected military appointees to parliament from 100 to 75 had been hailed as a positive move toward democracy. Officials say the reduction is still planned, but perhaps not until after the 1997 elections.

Other news from Indonesia this week

  • Cover: A cultural war is being fought over sexual openness throughout Asia
  • Numbers: Sex surveys from around the region
  • Gays: Common front for Indonesia's homosexuals

Week of June 16, 1995

OWNERSHIP ISSUE

The apparently successful corporate raid on one of Indonesia's top banks, which specializes in low-interest loans for cheap housing, has prompted calls for the nation to restrict such moves. Bank Papan Sejahtera (BPS) recently had 51% of its stock purchased by a group of 14 companies. The group is led by Jopie Widjaja, who owns 23% and is believed to control the rest.

Other news from Indonesia this week

Business


Week of June 9, 1995

MUSLIM PROTEST

A U.S. veto of U.N. sanctions against Israel prompted a large Muslim protest at the U.S. embassy in Jakarta. More than 1,000 Muslim Indonesians criticized the U.S. for blocking U.N. Security Council condemnation of Israeli actions in East Jerusalem. Demonstrations in support of Muslim causes aren't unusual in Jakarta, but this was the biggest in at least five years.


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