Megawati is in,
July 23, 2001 7:31 PM   Subscribe

Megawati is in, but Abdurrahman Wahid is not out...yet. News from the world's fourth most populous nation.

With two bombs planted in churches in Jakarta this week injuring 60 people and Wahid likening his struggle with parliament to a "jihad"...I have to confess that my, er, decison to take the family to Bali next month is looking a tad iffy at the moment.
posted by lagado (11 comments total)
Dude, just go. Indonesia is a big place, and the Balinese couldn't care less about what's going on in Jakarta - same country, sure, but a whole other world away. The Balinese are predominately Hindu, not Moslems like the rest of the archipelago, and it's pretty unlikely that they even know what a 'jihad' is. It's like saying you won't take your family to Europe because there's fighting in the Balkans.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:10 PM on July 23, 2001

Megawati. I just love powerful women.
posted by pracowity at 11:42 PM on July 23, 2001

Megawati. She sounds like the evil monster from a Godzilla film.
posted by astro38 at 1:39 AM on July 24, 2001

pracowity: I've been waiting for someone (else other than me) to do the power joke ;-j

I've watched Megawati with some interest over the years. She seems to be an enormously popular politician who gets away with saying virtually nothing.

From another BBC article:
She has a reputation of being reluctant to speak, giving rise to the joke amongst Indonesians that she was the dumb aide leading the nearly blind Wahid.

obiwanwasabi, your probably right except about Indonesian politics being a world away. You may not have followed the Denpasar rioting when she was denied the leadership after the election. Bali a strong base of support for Megawati, her grandmother (i.e. the mother of Sukarno) was Balinese and this is probably a good thing for stability in Bali.

More significantly the military are backing her and this is really what makes or breaks governments in Indonesia. Watch for a slow return of military influence in the cabinet under Megawati.
posted by lagado at 5:00 AM on July 24, 2001

Is Megawati going to be able to stave off possible Islamic secessionists? I thought one of the most interesting things about Wahid was that he was an Islamic cleric; at this point, I don't that Indonesia is going to be around in its present form as a single entity ten years from now, but it's difficult judging where the fragmentation is going to come from.

All bets are off if the military starts running the country; I'm sure they're still upset about East Timor.
posted by snarkout at 8:58 AM on July 24, 2001

Indonesia has a few trouble spots:

Secessionists in Aceh
Secessionists in Irian Jaya
Religious strife in Ambon / Moluccas
Disorder in West Timor
Ethnic unrest in Kalimantan (Borneo)
Civil and religious unrest throughout Indonesia.

The only one serious enough to challenge the military is Aceh.

Irian Jaya's resistance movement is currently very weak. It's mines are a vital foreign currency earner for Indonesia so the stakes are very high there.

There is evidence that much of the unrest in other parts has been actually encouraged by the military in order to destabilize the civilian government and to strengthen their own hand politically. With Megawati "in charge" I believe it will be back to business as usual.

So in terms of disintegration in ten years, I'd be only giving Aceh greater than zero odds.
posted by lagado at 5:46 PM on July 24, 2001
You could get a Holiday in Hell.
posted by flowerdale at 6:40 PM on July 24, 2001

lagado: as obiwanwasabi put it, "Dude, just go" -- I've been to Indonesia a few times and Bali and Jakarta really are worlds apart.
posted by lia at 4:14 AM on July 25, 2001

posted by ParisParamus at 6:54 AM on July 25, 2001


Enough power to fry an elephant.

lagado: as obiwanwasabi put it, "Dude, just go"

Thanks for the advice, folks. I'm not really worried, let's just say that I'm monitoring the situation.
posted by lagado at 4:02 PM on July 25, 2001

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