In July 2009, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono won a strong mandate to pursue his reformist policy agenda. A year on, however, his reforms are encountering resistance from vested interests. Meanwhile, economic growth is better than expected, due to strong consumer demand and rising investment. Indonesia's role in geopolitics and the global economy is evolving due to its membership in the G20 and the increasing importance of ASEAN-centric institutions (East Asia Summit, US-ASEAN Summit).
What are the main political, economic and social challenges facing Indonesia? How is Indonesia's relationship towards ASEAN, Asia, and the world continuing to evolve, and what does it mean for the region? How should it navigate its relationships with the US and with China? Where is Indonesia heading, and can we expect the relative political stability and economic prosperity to continue for the foreseeable future?
In this dialogue, Endy Bayuni, former Chief Editor of the Jakarta Post, and Rizal Sukma, Executive Director at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Indonesia.
Endy M. Bayuni currently serves as senior editor of The Jakarta Post, writing editorials, commentaries, analyses and opinions on wide-ranging issues including national politics, Indonesia's foreign policy, interfaith relations, the global economy, climate change and the media scene. He was the paper editor-in-chief until July 31, 2010, when he stepped down after six years, in order to concentrate on his writing, including working on his book projects. His professional career as journalist spans over 27 years, mostly with The Jakarta Post, but also includes stints as the Indonesian correspondent for Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP). Endy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Kingston University in the UK, graduating in 1981. He went to Harvard University under the Nieman Fellowship Program in 2003-2004 and to Hawaii University under the Jefferson Fellowship Program in 1999. He is an alumnus of the 2008-2009 class of the Innovative Dynamic Education for Action and Sustainability (IDEAS), which is jointly organized by the Sloan School of Business of the Massachusetts Technology Institute (MIT) and the United in Diversity Forum (UID).
Rizal Sukma, is Currently Executive Director at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS),Jakarta. He received Ph.D. degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London, in 1997, and has worked extensively on Southeast Asia’s Security issues, ASEAN, Indonesia’s Defence and Foreign Policy, Military Reform, Islam and Politics, and Domestic Political Changes in Indonesia. He is also Chairman of International Relations, Muhammadiyah Central Executive Board; and a member of Board of Governor of the implementing agency for the Bali Democracy Forum (BDF), the Institute for Peace and Democracy (IPD).
He has served as a member of National Committee on Strategic Defense Review at the Ministry of Defence, the Republic of Indonesia, and a member of National Drafting Committee for National Defence Bill (2000-2001) and the Armed Forces Bill (2002–2003). During March-April2007, He was a Fullbright Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, New York. He is the first Indonesian to receive the Nakasone Award in July 2005. He was named as one of 100 Global Thinkers 2009 by Foreign Policy magazine (US). DR. Sukma also sits as a member of regional editorial board for Global Change,Peace and Security (a peer reviewed journal published by Routledge,London, and based in La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia); and a member of International editorial board for Studies in Asian Security, Stanford University Press and East West Center.
His Publication includes Security Operations in Aceh: Goals, Consequences, and Lessons (Washington, DC: East-West Centre, 2004); Islam in Indonesia’s Foreign Policy (London: Routledge, 2003), and Indonesia and China: The Politics of A Troubled Relationship (London: Routledge, 1999). His latest article,”Indonesia-China Relations:The Politics of Re-engagement,” appears in Asian Survey, Vol.49, Issue No.4, July/August 2009.