Weekly Briefing: Second Debate Not Bring New Horizon for Voters

The Second Debate for 2019 Presidential Election in Jakarta - Photo: Special

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Good morning! The second debate between Joko Widodo and his contender Prabowo Subianto not bring new horizon for the voters. The debate concept prepared by the General Election Commission has not been able to explore the program of the two presidential candidates.

The debate zoomed through the five topics of energy, food, natural resources, the environment and infrastructure in just two hours, failing to give the candidates enough time to address each in depth. The incumbent defended his signature infrastructure spending as Subianto accused it of not bringing material benefits to the country and criticized its lack of efficiency.

Subianto repeated the criticism again, saying that he sees that “we have a lot of commercial debt to build infrastructure” and that “paying back the debt is a burden on our economy.”

The first debate focused on topics humanitarian, corruption and terrorism issues with much of the subsequent commentary focused on a subdued performance from Widodo’ running mate Ma’ruf Amin.

During the debate, Indonesian police said a suspected explosion near to the venue of a live presidential debate. The huge blast caused thousands of supporters of Widodo and Subianto gathered in the area to run helter-skelter.

Metro Jaya Police chief Gatot Eddy Pramono said in a statement today (02/18) that no fatalities or injuries were reported in the incident.

The presidential debate will have five rounds, with the first round held on Jan 17, yesterday, March 17 and the fourth on March 30. The date for the fifth round has yet to be fixed. More than 190 million voters are expected to cast their ballots for either Widodo or Subianto in the general election on April 17.

While, United States (US) and China seem to intensify their trade talks, despite the 60-day deadline extension. This week, both superpowers officials will have another meeting in Washington. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and China’s Vice Premier Liu He will lead the next round talks.

US and China have made progress over the tariff war negotiation. American President Donald Trump described trade talks between US and Chinese officials as very productive. This should give a good sentiment for global market, as the US-China trade tension seemed calming.

“Trade negotiators have just returned from China where the meetings on Trade were very productive. In the meantime, Billions of Dollars are being paid to the United States by China in the form of Trade Tariffs!” Trump tweeted.

On the last day of trade last week, Indonesian Rupiah declined by 0.16 percent to 14,094 over the greenback. Meanwhile, the Jakarta Composite Index fell by 0.48 percent to 6,389.08 with Rp286.76 billion ($20.48 million) foreign net sells.

Then, a state-owned energy enterprise, PT Pertamina decreased aviation fuel price, starting on Feb. 16, followed Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry regulation. The price adjustment was calculated based on average world’s oil price, Rupiah currency, and other factors, according to official.

By this, the aviation fuel price published rate in Soekarno-Hatta airport decreased by 3.04 percent from Rp8,210 per litre to Rp7,960 per litre. The price is 26 percent cheaper compared to the rate Changi airport which is around Rp10,769 per litre.

Pertamina provides fuel in 67 airports across Indonesia. And the aviation fuel price is different in each airport.

Furthermore, aims to compete with Singapore’ hub, Indonesian government planned to upgrade seven ports to be international hubs. Those ports are Tanjung Priok in Jakarta province, Tanjung Perak in East Java, Kuala Tanjung or Belawan in North Sumatera province, Kijing in West Kalimantan province, Bitung in North Sulawesi, Makassar in South Sulawesi, and Sorong in West Papua province. Not only upgrading, these ports are planned to be integrated with industrial areas.

National Development Plan Ministry is now finalizing the studies. Indonesian government also prepared the incentives, so the distribution tariff can be cheaper than Singapore.

Ahead of this week, Bank of Indonesia will announce the 7-Day Reverse Repo rate and US Federal Open Market Committee will have meeting minutes, which give detailed insights of the monetary policy stance. Some of the Federal Reserves officials will also speak their views on the economy and its policy impact. Other than that, European Central Bank will publish account of the monetary policy meeting.

Others to released this week, Purchase Manufacturing Index surveys to provide early clues to economic performance in first quarter, trade data from Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Singapore. 

US$1: Rp14,000

May you have a profitable day!

Written by Linda Silaen and TIS Intelligence Team, Please Read Our Insight to Get More information about Indonesia