The great and the not-so-bad 2
Vice President Josef Kalla has been in the news this past week for various things he's said, as quoted in Friday's Jakarta Post
.1. "Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., which runs the world's biggest gold mine in Indonesia, should almost triple the revenue it shares with the government because the company is benefiting from rising metal prices," Vice President Jusuf Kalla said."With rising gold, copper prices, Indonesia should get double or triple the current revenue sharing. This is for the sake of Papuan people, because 70% of profit sharing from Freeport-McMoRan's operations will be given to the Papuan people," he said.
This seems, on the surface, to be eminently good. However, could this be camouflage to disguise the circling of Indonesian vultures
, including Aburizal Bakrie, owner of Bakrie Group and currently Coordinating Minister for People's Affairs, seeking to acquire a slice of the business?2. Establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to probe and resolve past human rights abuses here is unnecessary, Vice President Jusuf Kalla says.In a statement on Thursday, which is likely to provoke a strong reaction from rights activists, Kalla said he could not think of any human rights cases that needed to be resolved through reconciliation.
Kalla's statement beggars belief.Gestapu
in 1965?Tanjung Priok
in September 1984?Student killings at Trisakti
in 2004?East Timor
throughout its occupation by Indonesia?
The list of unresolved atrocities is endless.The 2004 law on the establishment of commission requires it to investigate past human rights violations between 1945 and 2000. One of the commission's main objectives is to reexamine past conflicts and reconcile victims of abuse with the perpetrators.The government, specifically SBY, has been procrastinating and has yet to establish the commission because of what his aides say is his "tight schedule". Critics have slammed the government for dragging its feet on the issue, and suggested the President is giving into political pressure.
Yudhoyono is a retired general from the Army - one of the institutions at the center of many alleged human rights abuses during the authoritarian Soeharto era.
(It should be noted that in Military Cohesion and Regime Change, a fascinating and scholarly paper by Terence Lee of the University of Washington, SBY, then a Major General and assistant chief of the Department of Social Affairs was quoted as saying, "We communicated to Suharto that the people want change, that the situation is critical, and to consider the possibility of handing over power.")
Kalla, meanwhile, leads Soeharto's old Golkar Party, which is still the home of many former New Order loyalists.
Quite. Same old, same old.
3. The Golkar Party wants to create a simplified two-tier election system, a move it says would cut costs and improve efficiencies. "The public will have less headaches and the government will spend less money on concurrent elections and thus things are expected to be more efficient," Kalla said at his office.
A sensible proposal. However, given Golkar's entrenched political and business interests throughout Indonesia and its links with the military, one must wonder if there is a hidden agenda.
4. Kalla played a key role on behalf of the government in achieving a peace deal with GAM, the Acehnese separatist movement. Before that, he engineered a peace deal in Central Sulawesi; unfortunately malevolent forces continue to stir up strife between Muslims and Christians
Given point 2 and Kalla's connections to the old forces Jakartass reserves judgement on Kalla. In my view, he is not a great man in the same league as Emil Salim.
What I do find somewhat strange is the paucity of material, in English, online about Kalla, in particular his business interests. Can any readers enlighten me?