There is a joke circulating around Jakarta these days. It goes like this: Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno, represented the Old Order; the next president, Suharto, named his government the New Order; post-crisis president Habibie’s government had No Order; and current president Wahid’s government is Out of Order. When one looks around the Indonesia, it is not difficult to understand the joke. Riots plague Jakarta; President Wahid, his cabinet, and the national parliament are too busy engaging in political machinations to focus on creating a sensible policy agenda; the economy shows few signs of resurrection; the currency lost nearly 10% of its value last week alone; and a religious battle seems to be looming in the eastern Moluccan Islands where at least 2,000 members of the radical Muslim organization, Lashkar Jihad, have made their way in recent weeks.
PacNet #22 – Strides in Aceh, Strides in Indonesia
June 2, 2000