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Indonesia: President's inauguration marked by anti-neoliberal protests


Street Parliament Alliance protest, Jakarta, October 20. Photos by Ulfa Ilyas.Made with Slideshow Embed Tool

By Ulfa Ilyas, Surabaya

October 20, 2009 -- Berdikari -- Thousands of people protested at the national parliament building in Jakarta today, during the inauguration of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as Indonesia's new president and Boediono as vice-president. Protesters demanded that the president put an end to neoliberal policies during his second term, because they have been proven to be a failure and have brought suffering to the people of the world, including Indonesia.

Spokeperson for the Street Parliament Alliance (APJ), Lalu Hilman Afriandi, stated: ``In the last five years, the government has been busy seeking foreign loans. Up to August 2009, our debt had reached US$160.64 billion and each year it has added hundreds of trillion rupiah into the state budget. This policy is not only a burden to the state budget, but also an opening for foreign interests that seek the implementation of neoliberal policies, such as [privatisation], trade liberalisation, bank deregulation, liberalisation of education."

Lalu Hilman explained that what has been happening is that debt is being used to pay debt, creating a vicious circle where debt feeds on itself.

Dominggus Oktavianus, chairperson of the Indonesian National Front for Labour Struggles (FNPBI) said that neoliberal policies cause deindustrialisation and bankrupts national industry that is supposed to be able to provide jobs and produce goods for people's needs. Currently, the informal workers' sector has reached 70% of the total labour force. Some of them are laid-off workers and young workers who have not been employed by industry.

"It means that besides intensifying lay-offs, neoliberalism from the outset has shrunken the labour market. This is exacerbated by the spread of the contract system, outsourcing and low wages",  Dominggus Oktavianus said.

Chairperson of the Poor People's Union (SRMI), Marlo Sitompul, hopes that the new president will address the rights of the poor. "Especially as his second term was marked by the Bank Century case that caused the loss of 6.7 trillion rupiah (US$718.96 million) of public money. The new government should not be too confident, because this case has clearly hurt its credibility among the people, even among their own voters", explained Marlo.

The Jakarta protest was filled with posters and banners titled "Put and end to it" (hentikan) to counter Yudhoyono's campaign slogan ``Keep it going'' (lanjutkan), referring to a second mandate, went peacefully despite a heavy police presence.

Similar demonstrations occurred in dozens of other places in Indonesia. In Makassar, South Sulawesi province, more than 1000 people gathered at the Liberation West Irian memorial monument to declare ``Stop the neoliberal regime''. Demonstrations also occurred in the capital cities of other provinces, including East Java, Central Java, West Java, Jambi, Riau, North Sumatra, Aceh, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara. The simultaneous countrywide actions were coordinated by the People's Democratic Party (PRD).

Aksi “Hentikan” Neoliberalisme Juga Digelar di Surabaya

Selasa, 20 Oktober 2009

Surabaya (Berdikari Online) - Aksi untuk merespon pelantikan SBY-Budiono sebagai Presiden dan Wakil Presiden juga berlangsung di Surabaya. Sebanyak 150 orang massa Front Rakyat Anti Neoliberalisme menggelar aksinya di depan Gedung Negara Grahadi, Jalan Gubernur Suryo, Surabaya, siang tadi (20/10).

Dalam aksinya, massa Front Rakyat Anti Neoliberalis merangkai huruf berukuran besar bertuliskan; "HENTIKAN". Selain itu, massa membawa sejumlah poster berisikan penolakan terhadap dilanjutkannya sistim neoliberal diIndonesia.

Menurut juru bicara aksi ini, HendravenSaragih, pemerintahan SBY terbukti gagal dalam menjalankan mandat rakyat saat berkuasa lima tahun sebelum ini. Ini tercermin dengan meningkatnya angka kemiskinan, pengangguran, dan PHK massal.

Sebagai contoh, menurut dia, kebijakan neoliberal SBY di bidang ekonomi mendorong proses de-industrialisasi secara berkelanjutan. Akibatnya, jumlah orangyang tercatat sebagai penganggur ataupun pekerja sektor informal terus meningkat, yang mengutip penelitian OPSI, sudah mencapai 70% dari angkatan kerja.

Hendraven menjelaskan, SBY juga tidakpunya prestasi lebih baik dalam hal pemberantasan korupsi. Terbukti, SBY membiarkan sejumlah pejabatnya terlibat dalam skandal bank century, dan malah dilantik lagi hari ini.

Padahal, menurut Hendraven, Budiono sebagai pihak yang diduga terlibat skandal century seharusnya diperiksa secara hukum, baru dilantik setelah mendapatkan rekomendasi tidak terlibat.

Pada kenyataannya, dua tokoh utama pemerintahan neoliberal SBY yang diduga terkait kasus century ini, yaitu Budiono dan Sri Mulyani, justru mendapat tempat khusus dalam pemerintahan SBY jilid II ini. Untuk itu, pemerintahan ini bukan pemerintahan bersih.

Dalam tuntannya, Front Rakyat Anti-Neoliberal menuntut pihak berwajib memeriksa seluruh pejabat yang terlibat dalam kasus Bank Century. Mereka juga meminta seluruh proyek neoliberal di Indonesia dihentikan, dan dicabutnya semua undang-undang yang berbau neoliberal, seperti UU Minyak dan Gas, UU Penanaman Modal, dan UU Kawasan Ekonomi Khusus.

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