President Joko Widodo and VP Jusuf Kalla - Photo by President Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – It has been four years since Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla vowed as President and Vice President. Indonesia has both progresses and setbacks.

Both leaders celebrated their four year in charge as the highest executive power in Indonesia, highlighting some of key achievements particularly physical infrastructure development and economic stability.

However, despite there are some marked progress during Widodo’s tenure, one remained as his biggest failings, that is economic growth. The President had pledged to achieve 7 percent economic growth by 2019, which is highly unlikely due to present dynamics.

However, the economic growth has experienced a slowdown in the last four years. Based on the Four Years of Government of Joko Widodo – Jusuf Kalla report, the country’s economic growth respectively recorded by 5.02 percent, 4.79 percent, 5.02 percent, and 5.07 percent in 2014-2017. All below the ruling government targets.

Even so, unemployment rate decreased to 5.13 percent in February 2018. And in the first quarter, poverty rate hit single digit for the first time, at 9.82 percent, and gini ratio fell to 0.389 percent. The government was able to maintained inflation at around 3 percent, more than half cut from 8.36 percent in 2014.

on the investment side, in the first semester of 2018, Indonesia received 47.2 percent of this year target’s of Rp765 trillion (US$52.76 billion). The under expected-realization caused by the decreasing of foreign investment due to global financial turmoil.
Even though, three rating agencies, Moody’s Rating Investor, Fitch and S&P Rating already labeled Indonesia as investment grade. Indonesia’s Ease of Doing Business index also increased to rank 72 last year. And according to World Economic Forum, Indonesia’s global competitiveness stepped up to number 45 in 2018.
Financial Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati’s program to increase tax revenue, seen by its increasing trend. The country’s tax revenue sustainably reached more than one thousand trillion Rupiah annually. Until September 2018, Rp1,024 trillion collected from tax.
But government debt hiked as State expenditure increased. Government held Rp4,426.37 trillion debt, added by Rp1,814.66 trillion since Widodo’s ruling the country. The debt is considered normal by government with 30.47 percent ratio to gross domestic product (GDP).
In accordance with the state expenditure increase, government poured a lot of money to infrastructure projects. Roads, bridges, railways, ports, and airports development are boosted.
There are 10 new airports built, mostly in east Indonesia. Three airports in Kalimantan, two in Sulawesi, two in Papua, and one in Maluku. While the other two are in Sumatera and Java each.
Widodo’s plan to develop Papua—to uphold Indonesia’s position in the eastern-most area—did by constructed Trans Papua, roads connecting regencies in the highlands area. During 2015-2018, 908.9 kilometers road, 761.57 km in Papua and 147.23 km in West Papua, has been built. Still less than quarter of its whole plan.
Indonesia also met agreement to take over 51.23 percent shares of PT Freeport Indonesia, targetted to be grasped by the end of this year.
On the other hand, Widodo-Kalla gets critics over human rights issue. Amnesty International stated that Indonesia has a setback in human rights enforcement. “President Jokowi (his nickname) considers economic development above other agendas. Human rights agenda is considered not important so it’s ruled out,” the institution’s Executive Director Usman Hamid said.
He added, human rights and democracy index in Indonesia dwindled, caused by bad pluralism trait and electoral process. Statistic bureau noted, Indonesia’s democracy score decreased from 72 to 70 last year.
Amnesty International also researched that in the last eight years, there are 69 murder cases in Papua, with 95 people killed. None of these cases brought to court.


The opposition camp, as expected, challenged the government’s claims. Sandiaga Uno, a millionaire who runs as the opposition’s Vice President Candidate, said most of the economic progress claimed by the government was not felt by most of Indonesians.

Furthermore, Uno cast doubts on the government’s statistics, saying he met many people who felt economic conditions such as food prices and employment are getting worse.The opposition camp also criticized the government’s plan to allocate special funds for sub-district level, saying the scheme is aimed at courting voter.

President Widodo, who is looking good in his chance to be re-elected, made a rare attack against the opposition camp. He has pretty much stayed on the sideline as political battle intensifies.

In a speech during the 54th anniversary of Golkar Party, one of the strongest faction in the ruling coalition, Widodo made a call for a halt to the politics of lies, saying critics should present data and facts in their arguments against the government.

Written by TIS Intelligence Team