That one has to be careful with regard to accusations of impropriety is a given. Yesterday's posting has, again, stirred some debate although all I was highlighting was what is currently being said among expat businessmen.
That there could be local provocateurs behind the actions focussed on major American interests is credible.Yesterday
, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) - which was chaired by Aburizal Bakrie until he became a government minister - warned the political elite against stirring up protests directed at foreign companies' mining operations, with jittery investors watching from the sidelines.
Kadin's deputy chairman for international cooperation John Prasetyo said many foreign executives also believed the unrest stemmed from conflicts among the country's political elite.
National Intelligence Agency head Syamsir Siregar indicated there were political moves behind the allegedly orchestrated protests, but he did not elaborate.
It was not my intention to malign any specific figure. After all, Bakrie, in the guise of Minister of Social Welfare
, is proposing a charter on human development
which would require central and regional governments, NGOs and businesspeople to carry out and support welfare programs
, especially in Kalimantan where his family business empire has recently invested US$3.2 billion in the local coal reserves.
Isn't it good that a pribumi
businessman owns the nation's resources rather than an American or Australian company?An article
by B. Herry-Priyono Ph.D in today's Jakarta Post also picks up on the theme of provocateurs.Given that modern business has increasingly become the principal source of revenue for the existing political economy, the habit of blaming provocateurs is a recipe for bringing the country into authoritarianism. The old dictum that "trade maketh peace" has a ring of truth if, and only if, relations between trading partners are based on symmetry. Otherwise, the situation is perpetually haunted by a specter of conflicts.
This is what I conjectured yesterday and it doesn't need anyone with a Ph.D to work that out. So my disclaimer is that Jakartass does not strive for originality but prefers the truth as it is recognised by most of my peers.