Weekly Briefing: Opposition Camp Losing Fight for Public Space

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JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Good Morning. Political tension escalates as attempts from the opposition camp to take control of public spaces met with outright, sometimes violent, rejection.

The opposition’s #2019GantiPresiden campaign started from the social media, riding on the momentum of large Muslim demonstrations against the then Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahjaha Purnama last year, but now entered physical space through public gathering.

In Riau, a scheduled event of the #2019GantiPresiden was canceled by the Police due to security reason. A similar event in Surabaya was also canceled.

This rejection could affect the opposition’s strategy which relies on public gathering to counter the low polling numbers.

From the ruling coalition, a pollster showed that Joko Widodo may find difficulties to attract votes from Sulawesi. The chief reason is the current Vice President, who will not participate in the 2019 Presidential Election and seen as the most popular figure in Sulawesi.

Moving to the economy, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced last week that banks’ credit grew 10.8 percent on year in June, accelerating from 10.3 percent on year. Higher credit growth is one of the indicators that show economic activities are gaining momentum.

However, there’s still limited impact on credit growth from Bank Indonesia’s policy that allows zero per cent down payment for first-time home buyers. Bankers said the application of the zero down payment depends on the risk appetite of respective banks.

FSA also released a norm which obliges all new financial technology (FinTech) companies to conduct a one-year trial operation before obtaining a full license. The norm is very much within the ‘sandbox’ approach, which gives FinTech companies flexibility while emphasizing on prudential principles.

Furthermore, the government and Bank Indonesia ended the meeting of the inflation management team with a conclusion that keeping the volatile food inflation at 4-5 per cent was key in achieving inflation aim of 2.5-4.5 per cent until 2019. One of the concrete measure is by raising the national rice stocks from its current level.

The policy recommendation partly explains why the government gives state procurement agency a license to import rice for another 1 million tons this year.

Moving to overseas, the meeting of the world’s top central bankers at Jackson Hole concluded with the right note. The main event was a speech from the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) Chair Jerome Powell, who delivered remarks that observers say reflected a clear, transparent and predictable process in the Fed’s monetary policy path, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The meeting was at first affected by a statement by President Donald Trump who displayed his displeasure over the Fed’s gradual rate hike and its impact on the economy. Fed officials, however, said the right things with regards to Trump’s statement, highlighting on its mandate and long-run views on the economy.

Hope you have a profitable day.

TIS Intelligence Team, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com