Students are revolting
So what's new? Loads of folk are a pain in the neck but it's usually best to ignore them or tell them to piss off. In Indonesia one immediately thinks of politicians with personal agendas and the 25 million Indonesians who constitute ten percent of the middle class who, according to Defence Minister Juwono Sudarsono
, are the only ones with "the capacity, the ability to enjoy the trappings of political democracy because they've had their social economic, basic needs met
The problem is that these middle classes, who can afford to send their children to the universities, and politicians are causing massive traffic jams in major conurbations throughout the country in protest against a hike in fuel prices.
Indonesia, once a major oil exporter able to subsidise fuel for domestic use, is faced with major budgetary constraints due to those subsidies and needs to reduce them in order to attempt the nigh on impossible feat of staving off national bankruptcy. Therefore, yesterday saw a 28.7% rise in the price of subsidised fuel.
Given that the last fuel price rise took place in October 2005 and that the global price of a barrel of oil is now around $135, it does make a lot of sense to withstand the self-centred criticism. The government has initiated a social welfare programme whereby registered poor families are to receive Rp.100,000 (c.$11) in cash and 15 kg of rice per month for the rest of the year.
All seemingly sensible and fair, except .....
This is Indonesia where a government's writ is not large. It appears that there are regents and mayors who have refused to comply with the government's scheme; they generally belong to PDI-P, the party of former President Megashopper, and Golkar, formerly Suharto's manufactured source of power and headed by Vice President Jusuf Kalla. He has warned local authorities who have said that they won't distribute the cash that they face administrative sanctions.
I can't see anything in the news about extreme sanctions being enacted against those elected officials and bureaucrats who enrich themselves from the funds.
There's a Presidential election next year.
Politics needs blood,
Politics needs crisis,
Politics needs human beings,
Politics needs votes.
That's why, my friend, it's evidence,
Politics needs violence -
Politics is violence.