Breakfast Briefing – Money & Power in Indonesia

Indonesia has undergone remarkable change since the downfall of Suharto in 1998. But one thing that has not changed is that money remains pivotal in politics. While that is true in many countries, it is more the case in Indonesia – a country that despite having made strides towards democracy, is still mired in endemic corruption, which some say, has actually gotten worse.

Indonesian conglomerates owned by ethnic Chinese – the milch cows of Suharto – have not been decimated by the 1997 financial crisis and the strongman’s subsequent fall. Many still are on the list of the wealthiest Indonesians. For the current presidential election, it is likely they would be hedging their bets and quietly contributing to both campaigns.

Richard Borsuk and Nancy Chng will deliver an overview of the role of money in sustaining power in Indonesian politics. They are authors of a newly-published book: Liem Sioe Liong’s Salim Group: The Business Pillar of Suharto’s Indonesia.