What's happening at the
Sunday 20 Aug 2017 | 22:07 | SYDNEY
Sunday 20 Aug 2017 | 22:07 | SYDNEY

Indonesia: Media should lift its game

By


This post is part of the Australian journalism in Southeast Asia debate thread. To read other posts in this debate, click here.

COMMENTS

9 March 2010 08:04


This post is part of the Australian journalism in Southeast Asia debate thread. To read other posts in this debate, click here.

Fergus notes the luke-warm feelings Australians have for Indonesia (reciprocated by Indonesians). One of the explanations of this attitude is the carping, condescending and critical tone of Australian journalistic commentary on Indonesia.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's problems with parliament have been consistently reported here as being about corruption in the rescue of the mid-tier Bank Century while Indonesia was caught up in the backwash of the Global Financial Crisis in late 2008.

In fact, the story is one of pure politics. One parliamentary faction wants to unseat the reformist Vice-President so that they can have his job. Another faction wants to roll the Minister of Finance, because her success in reforming corporate taxation and governance is threatening their commercial interests.

After four months of pernickety inquiry, parliament has found nothing more than a couple of minor administrative peccadilloes in the rescue of Bank Century. No hint of corruption on the part of the Vice-President or the Minister has been found. Nevertheless, for purely political reasons, the parliament (where the President's party has nowhere near a majority) has called (subscription required) for their dismissal 'over a corruption scandal that has tarnished the President's reformist image'.

If this were happening in the Australian parliament, it would be reported for what it is: pure politics. Not pretty, very distracting for the President, but part of the messy process of democracy. The Australian press, however, either doesn't know or finds the corruption story fits its prejudices better.

Photo by Flickr user patrikmloeff, used under a Creative Commons license.

You may also be interested in...