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The Government Defends Direct Election

Dear readers,

We have good news. The government of SBY defends direct election. We should be proud of having direct elections of president, governors, and other heads of government. We are ahead of many countries in the process of democratization. Please read…….

Congratulation to President SBY.

Best regards,

Aris Ananta


Filed under: English, , ,




 Indonesia today is a different Indonesia compared to when it first proclaimed its independence in 1945, when it started a new economic paradigm in 1966, and even when it began its democratic reform in 1998.  Today, Indonesia exists in a vastly different social, economical, and political environments. This book, Indonesian Economy: Entereing a New Era, has been prepared with this “new era” in mind.

     Indonesia and the rest of the world have entered a new era of challenges and approaches. The new global and local eras necessitate different approaches as economic policies are not made in social and political vacuum.  This book aims to examine what happened during the current Indonesia, in the new era. It focuses on the events during the reform period, while also discussing the events since the beginning of the New Order.  It also presents some policy recommendations for the current government of Indonesia, in the context of a search for a new world development paradigm.

    The book  is expected to be very useful for both beginners and experts on Indonesian economy.  However,  the book does not  cover all economic issues in Indonesia during the new era.  It focuses on  three macro issues examined in three parts, apart from the introduction. Part I introduces the book and provides  a brief history of Indonesian economy since the beginning of the New Order (1966-1998).  Part II, consisting of four chapters, covers the   monetary and fiscal issues, which are the core tools in macro-economic policies that have been important sources of boom and bust in the economies. Recognizing the importance of Indonesia’s large population with the rising income and aspiration, Part III, consisting of three chapters, examines the domestic market. Focusing on the domestic market is a recognition that Indonesia should be less dependent on export promotion and financial liberalization. Had Indonesia been very successful in its drive for export promotion and financial liberalization, the impact of the 2008-2009 global crisis on Indonesian economy would have been much greater. Part III also  indicates the need for  a change of development paradigm in Indonesia’s economic development, by providing more weights to domestic economy.

   The search for new  development paradigms have also been going on in  all over the world. The main focus of the Part  IV, which comprises three chapters, is to further discuss new world development paradigms from an Indonesian perspective. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Demography, economy, English, poverty, statistics, , , , , , , , , ,

Reviews on Indonesia’s Population Ethnicity and Religion in a Changing Political Landscape

Indonesia’s Population: Ethnicity and Religion in a Changing Political Landscape was published in 2003, by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.

Graeme Hugo, PhD.,  Professor of Geography, Director, The National Centre for Social Applications of Geographic Information Systems, The University of Adelaide, said:

  • “This is a most interesting book to all students of Indonesian society. It presents data on religion and ethnicity collected in the 2000 Indonesian census in an accessible way. The 2000 census was the first since the colonial Volkstelling of 1930 to collect information on ethnicity. Although Indonesia is one of the worlds most ethnically heterogeneous nations  both the Orde Lama of President Sukarno and Orde Baru of President Suharto eschewed recognition of ethnic groups in the interest of developing national unity. Hence the data examined in this book have been long awaited by many Indonesianists. ” His full review is here.

Sharon Siddique, a partner in a Singapore-based regional consulting firm, mentioned that  the book is “New Light on Indonesia’s Ethnic Makeup”. She further  said

“…This book lays out a feast of data for the thoughtful. It is particularly timely as businessmen, scholars and journalists grapple with the implications of Indonesia’s decentralization policies on provincial-level politics and development dynamics. Certainly ethnicity and religion are issues that require careful consideration. This book is an invaluable reference.” Her full review is here.

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Population: Indonesia’s Key Asset

Aris Ananta and Evi Nurvidya Arifin

Indonesia’s Vice President, Prof. Boediono, expressed his optimism in a forum on opportunities and challenges for the future of Indonesian economy on 9 December 2009 at Bank Indonesia as the economy records a 4.2 percent annual growth in the third quarter of 2009. In his keynote speech, Prof. Boediono believes that Indonesia’s huge population is an important asset, in addition to three others namely, fiscal security, strong political mandate and democracy. Prof. Boediono however was quick to mention that these four assets can become liabilities for Indonesian economic development if it is not utilized effectively.

This positive outlook on Indonesia’s population as an opportunity for growth is a change from previous attitudes. Over thirty years ago, a large population was seen as an impediment to economic development for Indonesia. An aggressive national family planning program was then implemented resulting in a relatively fast fertility decline in Indonesia, accompanied by a corresponding improvement in income level and human development. Despite declining fertility rates, however, the number of younger person still far exceeds the number of older persons. Prof Boediono regards this aspect as an important asset for economic development.

Our own calculation, based on data collected by the Indonesian Statistical Agency (BPS), shows that the potential economic power of this giant archipelagic country is currently 151.0 million strong in 2009. This is the number of people between the ages of 15 and 59 years old, deemed as productive persons. With only 18.0 million aged 60 years old and above assumed as no longer productive, Indonesia has a surplus of 133 million productive persons. This number is roughly 40 percent of the total US population.

Not only is this a huge number, these productive persons come from relatively smaller families thanks to the success of family planning. They are better educated, healthier, more mobile and have higher aspirations than their previous cohorts. Altogether, this surplus of 133 million productive younger persons should be quickly utilized to facilitate economic development.

Speed is the emphasis here. Further calculation shows that the surplus will rise until 2025 and will decline shortly after. Population as an asset can turn into a liability in the future if Indonesians do not catch this opportunity now. Indonesia can maximize the benefit of this huge population before 2025.

Not only does the large surplus indicate the availability of a large pool of factor of production, it also indicates a large and lucrative market. They have the potential to work and earn income. Utilizing them to produce goods and services provides them with money, creating a large base of consumers. The lower and middle income groups that makes up the majority continue to have rising education, income, and aspiration. It is this demographic window of opportunity that provides a quick leap in prosperity for Indonesia

What is the cost of missing this demographic window? As people live longer, the proportion of older persons increases as this bulge in the population ages. The surplus of younger persons dwindles. Indonesia will eventually face the problems of financing a burgeoning population of older persons. If Indonesia does not use the demographic window of opportunity wisely now, supporting these older persons who are supposedly considered no longer productive creates undue financial burden. The huge population will then become a liability.

Nevertheless, the timing of demographic window of opportunity varies from one region to another as Indonesia sprawls from Aceh to Papua. For example the percentage of older persons in the regency of Pacitan had been very high, at 14.2 per cent, even higher than that in Singapore. Every year it suffers from an exodus of younger persons, migrating in search of better economic opportunities elsewhere. Therefore, the demographic window of opportunity in this regency will reach the peak much earlier than 2025.

With this heterogeneity on the span of the demographic window of opportunity and the period of the remaining years before the peak of the opportunity, the government of Indonesia should not make a homogenous policy in exploiting this demographic window of opportunity. Instead, it should be matched to the region’s demographic condition.

If Indonesia continues having fiscal security, strong political mandate, and maturing democracy, the huge population can help bringing Indonesia into one of the emerging world economic giants. This will surely have beneficial ramifications for other countries.

(Aris Ananta is senior research fellow at the Institutes of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. Evi Nurvidya Arifin is visiting research fellow at the same institute.)

Filed under: economy, English, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This site contains the writings of Aris Ananta & Evi Nurvidya Arifin. Click here to find out more about them.

We are researchers in the field of demography, social and economic statistics, and economics, focusing on Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Click here to find out more about OUR PUBLICATION .<br

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