Indonesia's strike economy

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He has been compared to Barack Obama. Lean, suave and confident, the new governor of Jakarta Joko Widodo (nicknamed Jokowi) has proved not only "yes we can", but "yes he will".

Sending shockwaves across Indonesia, Jokowi recently raised the minimum wage by 44 percent. Such a move would be controversial anywhere, but Jakarta is the most populous city in south East Asia. It is not just a testing ground for Indonesia, but for the whole region.

New Left Challenge in Indonesia


Almost ten years ago the brutal Suharto regime in Indonesia was swept away by a tide of social and political unrest following the economic crisis of 1998.

Four presidents and several corruption scandals later, life is still a struggle for the majority of Indonesians in a country where the majority live on less than $1 a day.

Suharto signed a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1997. Every president since has continued to adhere to the IMF's dictates, bringing misery to most Indonesians. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia's latest president, is no exception. Last October his government increased retail prices for fuel by over 100 percent, and for kerosene - the fuel used by most poor families - by 300 percent.

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