Indonesia ATL: The Presidency of Try Sutrisno (1997-)

Any plan for Trans Java/Sumatra toll road?
Trans Java almost certainly. Trans-Sumatra, I'm thinking how it will fall in place.

The consequence of ITTL's better handling of and recovery from the Asian Financial Crisis is that a lot of infrastructure projects are either still going on and/or not delayed for so long. It's truly a testament of how bad Indonesia did in OTL Asian Financial Crisis that a lot of the infrastructure projects completed by Jokowi are of the "Originated in the Soeharto era, had to be stopped because of the crisis, and are only being continued now" variety. Bakaheuni-Terbanggi Toll Road for example was inaugurated in 2019 but it was on the list of projects which Soeharto suspended and delayed in September 1997 because Indonesia was starting to feel the effects of the crisis.
109: Towards A Reshuffle And Beyond
13th January 2001:
With Cabinet Reshuffle rumors swirling around in the background, the members of the Pancasila Coalition came to the Presidential Palace. Chairman of DPR Harmoko, Wahono, BJ Habibie, Chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama Abdurrahman Wahid, Chairman of Muhammadiyah Amien Rais, and Chairman of PPP Matori Abdul Djalil came one by one to the palace where President Try Sutrisno sat down with them.

These were how their days turned out.

BJ Habibie:

Habibie came to the Palace knowing that his close friend Wardiman Djojonegoro was going to lose the Minister of Education’s position. His was not a long meeting with the President. He came out saying that the President laid down the aim of the reshuffle and that was to have a “strong two remaining years in the term”. When asked how his “guys” went, Habibie said that the reshuffle has not been finalized but said that he was no longer Chairman of ICMI so he had nowhere the influence that he had before.

When he got home, he was surprised to find none other than Prabowo Subianto waiting for him. Prabowo told Habibie not to sell himself short and that he was certain that if Soeharto had lived and gotten re-elected at the 1998 MPR Session, Habibie would have been elected as vice president. Habibie said he doesn’t live in “what ifs”. When Prabowo said that he will make sure that Habibie has a place in “My sister-in-law’s Government”, Habibie cut him off.

“I don’t appreciate that someone from your end convinced Gen. Feisal, a good friend of mine, to conduct that interview; I don’t appreciate that there was a movement on your end to unseat me as Chairman of ICMI”, said Habibie “Given the choice between the President and Tutut, I know who I can trust more.”

Amien Rais:
The conversation began well enough with Amien Rais agreeing profusely that the Government had to have a strong final 2 years. Amien proposed that Muhammadiyah, being an educational institution, should get the Minister of Education’s position. Amien even went as far as nominating Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Malik Fadjar as Minister of Education. The President countered with some names that he was considering with Amien for Minister of Education though not committing to any.

Amien Rais too was visited by Prabowo. Prabowo said that he was trying to “make mischief” by trying to cause a distraction and get the President to either do a bad or a half-assed reshuffle. Amien chuckled at that but said that at this point in time, he’s not interested in leaving the President’s coalition. Amien said that he’s against the Soeharto family and right now the only one strong enough to take on the Soeharto family is President Try.

“I’m part of that family too, Mas Amien”, said Prabowo “But I too think that their business activities can be excessive and ought to be curbed.”

“I know that, Mas Bowo”, replied Amien “Which is why my condition for joining your side is the same as it was in 1998 and 1999 when you approached me: have someone more credible that you intend to pur forward as a presidential candidate.”

“We both know that’s not possible”, said Prabowo “My sister-in-law must have her opportunity.”

“She already has nearly 3 years ago and she lost”, replied Amien.

“From a standing start, Mas Amien, and with nowhere the power and support she has now and she will continue to build”, countered Prabowo.

Amien and Habibie refused to budge in the face of Prabowo’s offer. The difference between Amien and Habibie was that Amien took the effort to step outside his house and see Prabowo off. With cameras on him, Amien said that he was just observing courtesy by seeing off. Deep inside, however, Amien hoped he could be successful in pressuring the President into appointing a Minister of Education who was to Amien’s liking.

Abdurrahman Wahid:
Wahid’s nose twitched mischievously and he had a wry smile on his face when the President told him about the meeting with Amien, commenting only that Amien loves his “intrigues”. He said NU members will be happy wherever the President places them though he advised that he thinks State Minister of Female Empowerment and Childrens’ Welfare Khofifah Indar Parawansa should get a full term in her present position.

“I wanted Megawati to be in our coalition, Mr. President, I really did. But I was wrong. People might say that she didn’t because you didn’t approve of her withdrawing her minister from your cabinet but I look at it differently. But I didn’t get a sense that if things were different, if she had a choice,that she would’ve joined our coalition.

Mbak Mega’s path was always set. It was why Soeharto was afraid of her and had to remove her. Her path was always set. That Soeharto died does not matter. Whether it is you or Habibie or Harmoko or Tutut, she was always going to come for the presidency.

Tutut’s path is unfinished. Her father prepared it for her and now she’s trying her hardest to finish laying down that path in time so that she can take the chair you’re sitting now. Soeharto’s death came at a crucial time. Financial Crisis aside, if he was alive, he would have picked Habibie as Vice President and installed Tutut as Chairwoman of Golkar. And then he would unseat Habibie as Vice President, make Tutut his Vice President and that’s it…that’s the succession as Soeharto would have wanted it set in stone.

But your path…yours is the path that I want to know. Do you merely want to have a strong “two remaining years” in the term or do you want to go beyond that? This nation does not need the second coming of Soekarno or Soeharto.”

Wahono, whose supporters held the Minister of Legal Affairs, Minister of Information, Post, and Telecommunications, and Minister of Public Works’ positions, was predictably content with what he had though he had some words other members of the Pancasila Coalition.

*Harmoko is expecting his “guys” to do well in he reshuffle. He believes that since Habibie’s not the Chairman of ICMI anymore and because ICMI’s withdrawn from the coalition, all of Habibie’s supporters in the cabinet ought to be removed.

*Habibie’s power is waning and while Harmoko is right that his supporters should lose ministerial seats, the President should show appreciation to Habibie in one way shape or form.

*NU and Muhammadiyah will keep an eye out for how much each other’s getting so giving one a ministerial seat means the other has to get one as well.

*Don’t add to the amount of PPP seats in the cabinet in case they do well in the next election and ask for more.

*Sudharmono’s supporters don’t deserve an additional seat owing to the neutral stance that Sudharmono has taken since late last year.

Matori Abdul Djalil:
Matori opened the meeting by letting the President know that Prabowo has been meeting with Habibie and meeting with Amien Rais. The President’s eyes narrowed at that. Matori told the President that he tended to follow Abdurrahman Wahid’s lead that there be no changes to existing arrangements as far as the NU, Muhammadiyah, and the PPP were concerned. The President agreed with him.

When he came out, Matori said that everything was the prerogative of the President and, when asked about how much the NU and Muhammadiyah are getting, announced that the President envisions no additional ministerial positions for NU and Muhammadiyah.

Though their conversation began pleasantly enough, Wahono’s information proved correct. Harmoko wanted all of Habibie’s supporters to be removed from the cabinet because Habibie “does not have anything to contribute” to the Coalition anymore. Harmoko said he wanted another supporter in the cabinet. To the Chairman of DPR’s surprise, the President revealed that he wanted to remove one of Harmoko’s supporters because this supporter is underperforming. Harmoko said that he wanted “compensation” in the form of another Harmoko supporter.

Over Harmoko’s protests, the President said that he can’t guarantee “compensation” but that if there is space to accommodate another Harmoko supporter, he would give it. Harmoko nodded though he still looked dissatisfied though he calmed himself down. The meeting did not last long after that.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Harmoko was escorted by State Secretary Edi Sudrajat to his car. On the walk there, Harmoko told Edi about his discussion with the President.

“If there is a longer term purpose to what the President is doing now, I’ll be happy with whatever arrangements he has for me and my supporters in the reshuffle”, said Harmoko.

“What do you mean by that, Mr. Chairman?” asked Edi.

“A longer term purpose”, said Harmoko “I intend to run in the 2002 Legislative Elections next year, I intend to get re-elected to a DPR seat, and I intend to get re-elected as Chairman of DPR. What about the President’s longer term purpose? He needs to know that and then make his final choice for the reshuffle.”

As Harmoko disappeared into his car, Edi said to himself that hell must have frozen over because he just found himself strongly agreeing with Harmoko.

The final guest of the day was Basofi Sudirman. Basofi brought with him polling data. Though it contained numbers about how the PKPI would fare against the PKPB, PPP, and PDI, Try was most interested in the PKPI’s head-to-head figures with the PKPB across the province.

Basofi reported that the PKPB was strong in Kalimantan, owing to Secretary of Golkar turned Secretary of PKPB ZA Maulani’s influence. Try nodded even as one figure that caught his eye.

“Why is the PKPI and PKPB neck and neck at Yogyakarta?” asked Try “I can understand Central Java, but the Sultan’s one of our own.”

“He is, Mr. President”, replied Basofi “But Yogyakarta is also President Soeharto’s home province and the man still has some popularity despite the fact that he’s deceased.”

14th January 2001:
That Sunday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ginandjar Kartasasmita got some face time with the President who was accompanied by Edi Sudrajat. Ginandjar reported that President Yevgeny Primakov will visit Beijing this upcoming week and sign the Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship with President of China Jiang Zemin. Yet Ginandjar knew that the President had something more local in mind. From the Presidential Palace, Ginandjar went immediately to his patron, former Vice President Sudharmono.

“He’s not going to replace me or Kuntoro”, said Ginandjar mentioning the Minister of Civil Service Reform Kuntoro Mangkusubroto “But he’s not going to add anymore of our group either because you’ve decided to be neutral in what’s going on between him and Tutut.”

“That’s fine, knowing that he can’t move against you is good enough for me and you both are doing a good job anyway”, said Sudharmono “We’ll do what Habibie can’t and be a neutral party. I’ll commit the two of you to being his ministers but I won’t be seen as attacking Tutut. We’ll stick to this course until and when the time is right, we’ll have everyone asking us for their support.”

The Four Horsemen gathered at Edi Sudrajat’s house. Their minds and their discussions fixed on their friend who lives in the Presidential Palace.

“Has he made up his mind yet?” asked Minister of Home Affairs Harsudiono Hartas.

“The First Lady has told me that the President’s spending more time going over ministerial candidates’ CVs than with her”, said Edi.

“Who sits in the reshuffled cabinet won’t matter if he can’t make up his mind on the bigger question here”, countered Harsudiono.

“Be patient, I’m sure he’s thinking hard about things”, said OCDS Sugeng Subroto.

“In a way, the need to have this reshuffle is fortunate”, added Chief of BAKIN Ari Sudewo “He’s been forced to think about his future. Who he chooses will reveal not only what he would do next but also how he thinks about his prospects.”

Mas Try, are you playing with your grandchildren or are you thinking about who’s going to be Minister of Education again?” asked First Lady Tuti Setiawati.

The President seemed to snap out of his trance and began to play badminton with his grandchildren again. Tuti watched with a smile though a lot of things also floated through her mind.

“You’ve been President for just over 3 years. I know both the good things that you can do for this nation but also the burden that comes with your responsibilities. I couldn’t be more proud of you and yet, I couldn’t be more aware that your work is far from over…

It’s all right, Mas Try. I give you my permission. I give you my permission to continue your work. I give you my permission to prepare for your re-election.

That one was more of a character development chapter than anything though I have some notes to give.

Amien Rais has for lack of better word, a strong opportunist streak in him. OTL, He was for Reformasi in 1998 but was willing to consider a coalition with Habibie for the latter’s re-election in 1999 before finally throwing his support behind Abdurrahman Wahid for the presidency and then ending up standing against and hitting the gavel on Wahid’s dismissal from office in 2001. So I’m basing him trying to pressure Try to give one of his guys the Minister of Education’s position and considering an anti-Try coalition if the conditions are right on his OTL characteristics.

Wahid's prediction on how Soeharto plans to eventually hand over the presidency to Tutut is based on sobary&f=false (3rd paragraph down)

ITTL Harmoko is doing better than his OTL counterpart. First because he’s still the Chairman of DPR (OTL, it ended in October 1999) and second because his OTL abandonment of Soeharto (he asked for Soeharto’s resignation in May 1998 after pushing for his nomination in January 1998) has been butterflied away. Try and his inner circle has come to accept him as a reliable ally in their struggles against Tutut.

Up next is the Reshuffle.
110: The January 2001 Cabinet Reshuffle
15th January 2001:
President Try Sutrisno had a breakfast meeting with Vice President JB Sumarlin that morning. Almost immediately he pulled out a list of ministers’ name from his pocket. Sumarlin looked through them and said that everything was in order. Try said the only thing left to do now is to get through the day.

The first item on the agenda was a four-way meeting between the President, the Vice President, Minister of Economics and National Development Planning Soedradjad Djiwandono, Minister of Trade Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti. After the meeting, Sumarlin, Soedradjad, and Dorodjatun held a joint press conference where the 3 of them talked about the importance of continuity in economic policy. Soedradjad said simply that his time was ending and that he was glad to be handing over to good hands while Dorodjatun said that it’s important for Indonesia to build on the strong economic performance of 2000. All said that who the next Minister of Economics and National Development Planning will be was a matter for the President to announce though Dorodjatun’s smile made it clear who that new minister will be.

The effect of this exercise Jakarta Stock Exchange remained stable and operated as usual instead of speculating who the new Minister of Economics and National Development Planning would be and worrying about the direction of economic policy.

The next meeting was Minister of Defense and Security Wismoyo Arismunandar who brought him the Department of Defense and Security’s top officials. When he came out, Wismoyo was asked by the press about his fate.

“I’m ready to be retained but I’m also ready if the President has found a worthy replacement”, said Wismoyo before getting in his car.

“He’s not on his way out, right?” asked DPR Member Hartono at the PKPB National Headquarters where Chairwoman of PKPB Tutut Soeharto watched developments “Though after Soedradjad’s resignation, he might as well go after Pak Harto’s brother-in-law. Get rid of any links with the former First Family.”

“It doesn’t make sense”, said Treasurer of PKPB Akbar Tandjung “He needs Wismoyo. It gives him the sense that some part of the Soeharto Family supports his presidency.”

With the news buzzing about who the new Minister of Economics and National Development Planning likely was and Wismoyo’s diplomatic answer fuelling rumors that the President was moving against his predecessor’s brother-in-law, the President could work under cover.

Meanwhile, some trucks arrived at the Department of Home Affairs to pick up what looked like personal items. Minister of Home Affairs Harsudiono Hartas when arriving at his office only smiled mysteriously when asked what this was leading to speculation that he was on his way out. At the Presidential Palace’s more discreet entrances, ministerial candidates were welcomed by Presidential Secretary Ismet Herdi.

In the meantime, present ministers were coming in through the front door. One of these was Minister of Education Wardiman Djojonegoro. He came out not long after to announce that the President had approved of changing the nation’s Teaching and Pedagogic Sciences Institutes (IKIP) to universities. IKIP had functioned as teachers’ colleges but this status change to universities will allow IKIP institutes around Indonesia to hold courses for degrees other than teaching.

“I hope that all ministers serving under President Try both in the present and the future would hold themselves and their subordinates to the highest standards because I truly regret the circumstances of my departure. I wish my successor as the Minister of Education, my colleagues above all else President Try and Vice President Sumarlin all the best for the future”, said Wardiman.

After lunch, Minister of Industry Siswono Yudohusodo arrived at the Presidential Palace. He was immediately summoned by the President with State Secretary Edi Sudrajat sitting in. Siswono had heard the news about the new Minister of Economics and National Development Planning and that this meant a new Minister of Trade was required. Siswono was about to try to persuade the President against moving him to the Minister of Trade position when…

“You’re staying put as Minister of Industry”, said the President “The one who’s going to be Minister of Trade has already been decided. I will need you to provide political cover for him.”

“If I may ask, who is the new Minister of Trade?” asked Siswono.

The President said the name and Siswono immediately knew what was being asked of him.

“He will be responsible for increasing the nation’s exports just as the world economy is showing signs of slowing down, if he’s successful it’ll be to the benefit of the nation”, said the President “Under no circumstances is he to be attacked in the business community for his race. I hope I can rely on you and your network in the Indonesian Young Businessmen Association (HIPMI) for this.”

Siswono could not reject the request. The President after all had allowed the Department of Industry to absorb Habibie’s BPIS and made him more powerful.

There was a meeting with Minister of Civil Service Reform Kuntoro Mangkusubroto. Kuntoro announced that the President will be creating an additional State Ministry. When asked if it will be an additional burden to the National Budget, Kuntoro said that it’s a State Ministry and not a new Governmental Department with offices in the regions.

In mid-afternoon, Commander of ABRI Wiranto arrived at the Presidential Palace. He came out of his meeting saying that ABRI will support the President regardless of the results of the reshuffle and that the President remains the constitutional Supreme Commander of ABRI.

It was after Maghrib prayers that the President emerged accompanied by the Vice President to announce the Cabinet Reshuffle.

Memo to Security and Intelligence Division Director in Singapore

Brief Profiles of Those Leaving and Joining the Cabinet in the Reshuffle

President Try Sutrisno has this evening announced a Cabinet Reshuffle to replace the outgoing ministers of economics and national development planning, transmigration, and education as well as to take the opportunity to “position the Government to carry on the task of economic development by building upon the nation’s great economic year in 2000.” The reshuffle is as follows:

Leaving the Cabinet:
Minister of Economics and National Development Planning Soedradjad Djiwandono: Resigning for personal reasons. Officially because Soedradjad claimed he accepted his appointment on the condition that he could resign once the economy had recovered; unofficially because it has become difficult for his wife (who is Prabowo Subianto’s sister) and himself to be on “different sides” of a political rivalry.

Minister of Transmigration Hendropriyono: Resigning to focus in his new role as Chairman of the PKPI’s 2002 Legislative Election campaign.

Minister of Education Wardiman Djojonegoro: Resigning officially to take responsibility of his non-awareness of the junior high school textbook procurement embezzlement. On the surface, it is a first instance in Indonesia of a minister having had to resign due to a corruption case in his department. Our sources at the Presidential Palace suggests that Wardiman being a Habibie supporter (and that Habibie is no longer Chairman of ICMI) “made it easier” for the President to ask for his resignation. Performance-wise, the President said that Wardiman has been “been good but not great”.

State Minister of Rural Development Agung Laksono: The removal that reportedly had the President and Harmoko arguing with each other when they met on Saturday. Harmoko wanted to retain someone who was a supporter but the President though Agung’s performance as minister had been sub-par. Agung’s removal also served a symbolic purpose. The President had appointed Agung because the latter, despite being a Harmoko supporter, had gotten along well with Tutut and because the President wanted to broaden his appeal among those in Golkar who found themselves “stuck in the middle” between Tutut and himself. As far as the President was concerned, now was the time to stop being “stuck in the middle” and pick a side.

Junior Minister of Housing Enggartiasto Lukita: Not the best but not the worst in terms of his performance. It was just the case that the President had to remove him for “ethnic balance”

Junior Minister of Cooperatives Muslimin Nasution: Appointed in the 1999 Cabinet Reshuffle with Agung Laksono, Muslimin has had a mediocre time as minister. His removal was partly a move against Habibie’s supporters and partly to please Harmoko after Agung Laksono’s removal. Only State Minister of Urban Development Giri Suseno can now be grouped as a Habibie supporter in the President's Cabinet. He has been spared as a result of both his good performance and the President wanting to acknowledge that Habibie has been loyal.

Promoted and/or New Ministers:

Minister of Economics and National Development Planning: Prof. Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti

Dorodjatun’s appointment as Minister of Economic and National Development Planning had been hinted since the morning and received a positive reaction. A familiar face by the President’s side as he inspected markets and went overseas to promote Indonesian exports as Minister of Trade (1998-now), Dorodjatun has built good profile for himself. He is seen not only a capable figure but is also seen as a person who was respected by markets, businesses, and organizations both domestically and internationally.

Minister of Trade: Anthony Salim BA
In all the excitement in response to Dorodjatun’s appointment was the question of who would succeed him as Minister of Trade. There were audible gasps when the President announced Anthony Salim’s name. The son of Liem Sioe Liong, Anthony had guided Salim Group through the Asian Financial Crisis as its CEO. He favors a more professional rather than a relationship-based approach to business and if he wasn’t an open Try Sutrisno supporter, he was at the very least trying to distance Salim Group from the Soeharto Family with the IPO of Salim Group’s BCA diluting the shares that Tutut and Sigit Soeharto has in the bank. From a policy standpoint, the President will be hoping that Anthony will be able to enlarge Indonesia’s export market the way he had done for Indomie in such markets as Nigeria and Papua New Guinea. From a political standpoint, it was a symbol that the President enjoyed support amongst the nation’s Chinese business community. Anthony had resigned from all his business positions prior to the President’s announcement but his resignation was too late for the nation was already gearing up for coverage of the President’s announcement.

Minister of Transmigration: Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Rusmadi Sidik
The boisterous figure of Hendropriyono was replaced by the low-key figure of Rusmadi Sidik. A graduate of the AMN’s class of 1961, Rusmadi was an officer known to the President; Rusmadi having served as Assistant of Territorial Affairs to Gen. Try when the latter was Army Chief of Staff. The President however was interested in Rusmadi’s tenures as Commander of the Sulawesi Military Region (1988-1991) and Commander of the Kalimantan Military Region (1991-1992) which gave him familiarity with two islands where he would now be sending transmigrants. After these 2 tenures, Rusmadi served as Assistant of Personnel to Army Chief of Staff Edi Sudrajat (1992-1993) and is presently Director General of Personnel, Manpower, and Veterans at the Department of Defense and Security (1993-2001) where between 1993 to 1998 he also served under Edi Sudrajat as Minister of Defense and Security. Rusmadi is of Banjarese ethnicity and Kalimantan origin, he is expected to provide geographical balance to the cabinet and broaden the President’s appeal in Kalimantan where Secretary of PKPB ZA Maulani enjoys strong support.

Minister of Education: Prof. Dr. Mohammad Fakkry Gaffar M.Ed
Ignoring Amien Rais’ pressure and after going through various candidates, the President’s pick for Minister of Education fell on Fakkry Gaffar. Fakkry has been serving as the Rector of IKIP Bandung (1995-now) and is presently in his second term. His background is in educational administration and has been consulted on for advice in the past by the Department which his now leads. His only condition for assuming the office of Minister of Education is the immediate change in status for IKIP across the country from institute to university (the preparation had gone on for years and only waited Wardiman’s final approval) because he did not want to be seen as using his new position to effect this change.

State Minister of Rural Development: Dr. H. Feisal Tamin SSEP
Part of why Agung Laksono had to go was also because he was not doing well enough in a policy area the PKPB identified as a weakness of the Government. The man the President now turned to for this position was none other than Feisal Tamin. A bureaucrat, Feisal had been with the Department of Home Affairs in 1968 and had worked his way up the ranks. Most recently, Feisal is Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs (1998-now) and doubles as Chairman of KORPRI (1998-now) making him one of, if not the, the most senior civil servant in Indonesia right now. His ability to get things done and seniority as civil servant, not to mention Minister of Home Affairs Harsudiono Hartas’ recommendation, now got him this appointment as minister.

Junior Minister of Cooperatives: Ir. Cacuk Sudarijanto
Stepping into the vacancy left behind by Muslimin Nasution will be Cacuk Sudarijanto. A professional whose career had taken him to IBM Indonesia and Indosat, Cacuk reached the peak of his career, or so he thought at the time, when he became CEO of Telkom (1988-1992). His time in this role ended prematurely when he was removed for failing to approve a tender submitted by Soeharto’s son Bambang Trihatmodjo. Cacuk was the CEO of Chairul Tanjung’s Bank Mega when he was appointed as an Inspector General of Development (1998-now), a position which he now has to vacate.

Junior Minister of Housing: Bobby Suhardiman
Anthony Salim’s appointment as Minister of Trade meant that Enggartiasto Lukita had to go so that the Indonesian-Chinese are not “overrepresented” in the cabinet. The President used the vacancy to gather support for his Government. The man he has now turned to is Bobby Suhardiman. The son of Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Suhardiman, a contemporary of Soeharto who was critical enough to call for Soeharto to prepare his succession, Bobby is presently serving his third term as a DPR member and has had a stint as Chair of Golkar’s Arts and Culture Department when Harmoko was Chairman (1993-1998). Bobby is a friend of Tutut’s, voting for her in the first two rounds of the Presidential Vote at the 1998 MPR Session before switching to the President after Tutut’s elimination. Bobby shared his father’s belief that the question of who Soeharto’s successor was had been settled with the President’s election to a full term in 1998. When Golkar broke into two, Bobby chose to side with the PKPI. Bobby’s appointment is seen as the President’s appeal for wavering Tutut supporters to side with him as well as compensation for Harmoko for Agung Laksono’s removal.

The President also announced the creation of the position of State Minister of Poverty Alleviation. The position will be responsible for working across the various Government Departments and Agencies for the purposes of formulating and implementing the government’s poverty alleviation policies as well as implementing the Government’s commitments to the Millenium Development Goals.

State Minister of Poverty Alleviation: GKR Hemas
The second audible gasps of the night as the President announced the reshuffle belonged to GKR Hemas. Born Tatiek Drajad Supriastuti, she married the then Crown Prince of Yogyakarta and when the latter took up the Yogyakarta throne as Hamengkubuwono X, she became the Queen of Yogyakarta. Hamengkubuwono had been a quiet but persistent supporter of the President since the days of the 1998 MPR Session and informally had functioned as the spokesperson of the nation’s governors. The target here for the President is to improve the PKPI’s prospects in Yogyakarta at the 2002 Legislative Elections, a province where he could count on the support of the Sultan but which has a sizeable pro-Soeharto vote which Tutut will be looking to exploit considering that it was Soeharto’s home province.

“Final question…let’s give it to a foreign correspondent, they always ask the most interesting questions”, said Try “Yes, Al Jazeera.”

“Mr. President”, began Step Vaessen “You’ve named 8 very different people here: an economist, the CEO and heir of the nation’s largest conglomerate, an ABRI officer, an education administrator, the nation’s most senior bureaucrat, a professional executive, a member of the political elite, and the Queen of Yogyakarta. What does that say towards what you’re aiming for in the 2002 Legislative Elections and for that matter the 2003 MPR General Session? After all you have Siti Hardijanti Rukmana and Megawati Soekarnoputri aiming for your spot. They’re probably hoping to have a chance to announce a cabinet of their own some time in the future.

“Well it means that I want the best people to achieve the best possible outcome in the remaining 26 months that’s left in this term”, replied Try “And I need the best people because the present is the only thing I’m concerned with. I’m the son of an ambulance driver. My father didn’t proclaim independence or save the nation from communism. My father doesn’t have a past achievement that I can constantly go around reminding people about. So the only thing I can do is to make the most of the present and throw everything I have into the next 26 months.”

Chairman of NU Abdurrahman Wahid chuckled when he heard the President’s “My father didn’t…” comments.

Tutut…Mega…you may think that it’s your spot he’s standing in and that’s up to you. But I hope you realize that this guy won’t give up your “spot” without a fight.
I am curious on how those 2 gals would respond to the statement...
With BPIS surviving (and i hope the N-2130 along with other projects too), does Indonesia will try to do some state capitalism?
I am curious on how those 2 gals would respond to the statement...
With BPIS surviving (and i hope the N-2130 along with other projects too), does Indonesia will try to do some state capitalism?
The N-130 definitely survives as has the BPIS' other projects and it's a big factor in why Habibie wants to join Try's coalition. ITTL, it's Pindad (Army weaponry), INKA (Railway carriages) and to a lesser extent PT PAL (Ships) that are doing well. Pindad is doing the best, all of the Army's Infantry Battalions are now equipped with Pindad Rifles. As of August 2000, BPIS has been absorbed by the Department of Industry.

How do you define state capitalism? Is it role of BUMNs? the strategic industries, or is it more just the general role of the Government in the economy?
General role of the government. But nowhere as strict as command economy
I think I would say that it has liberal tendencies (pro-investment, pro-competition) but that Government still has a big role to play (building infrastructure, the State-Owned Enterprises, the continuing presence of the strategic industries). It's difficult to really classify it which is why ITTL Indonesia is a pain in the ass for ITTL IMF to deal with. It does just enough to keep the IMF and the international financial community happy (Revoke Tommy Soeharto's National Car and Clove Marketing privileges, get those who borrow money from the BLBI to pay up) but it's still far from what the IMF is used to (Bulog still holding monopoly of rice imports).
111: Against The Extreme Right Part I
16th January 2001:
President Try Sutrisno swore in the 4 ministers, 2 state ministers, and 2 junior ministers which he named the previous day in the Cabinet Reshuffle.

Appearing at Liputan 6 Siang on SCTV, Chairwoman of PKPB Tutut gave her response to the reshuffle.

“It’s not about what my father has or has not done, it’s about the fact that we are not self-sufficient in food and still importing rice; it’s about the fact that we’re stagnating in our progress regarding Family Planning and it’s about the fact that our cities are progressing faster than our villages”, said Tutut.

17th January 2001:
At Beijing today, President of China Jiang Zemin and President of Russia Yevgeny Primakov signed a Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation. The President immediately convened a meeting attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs Ginandjar Kartasasmita, State Minister of National Security Soerjadi, Ambassador to ASEAN I Gede Awet Sara, and State Secretary Edi Sudrajat. All agreed that this was China and Russia’s way of “welcoming” the new US Administration. The President then asked what this would mean for Indonesia.

Ginandjar said that if McCain was not considering Southeast Asia to be a priority before this treaty was signed, Southeast Asia would be even less of a priority now. Soerjadi agreed and said that Indonesia must use the opportunity to strengthen its hold on Southeast Asia while McCain is busy elsewhere.

When the discussion turned to how they should react, Soerjadi put forward the idea that Indonesia should not respond to the treaty and let others in Southeast Asia formulate their own responses to gauge what the mood is like in the region. The President approved of this.

“In the mean time, we’ll work on negotiations with Thailand and make preparations to secure our Eastern and Southern Flanks”, said Try “It’s just as well that we got those trips set in stone at the end of last year.”

Later in the day, the President met with Minister of Mining and Energy Djiteng Marsudi. The latter brought a letter from CEO of PT Freeport Indonesia Adrianto Machrabie saying that Freeport is under no obligation to disburse of its shares in its Timika Mine to the Indonesian Government. The President told Edi Sudrajat to conduct a study of whether or not this was true.

18th January 2001:
State Minister of Rural Development Feisal Tamin emerged out of a meeting with the President saying that the President has instructed for rural electrification to be accelerated for the rest of the term. He also informed the press that he had stepped down from his position as Chairman of KORPRI to focus on his ministerial responsibilities.

Megawati Soekarnoputri, accompanied by her followers, paid a visit to the PDI National Headquarters. The occasion was her handing back of her PDI member since the PDI will “die” soon. She did not have anything to say about the President’s “My father never…” comments. She only said that she would leave the “squabbling to the President and Mbak Tutut.”

19th January 2001:
The President landed in the morning at Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan. Governor of South Kalimantan Syamsul Mu’arif, Governor of Central Kalimantan Zainuri Hasyim and Commander of the Kalimantan Regional Military Command Sumarsono greeted the President and his delegation.

The President took a helicopter ride to Asam Asam Steam Electricity Generator. There, accompanied by Djiteng, Syamsul, and Zainuri the President inaugurated Units 1 and 2 of the Asam Asam Steam Electricity Generator which will generate electricity for both South and Central Kalimantan. The President toured the electricity generator, instructing the generator manager to employ local people.

After Friday prayer at the electricity generator’s Mosque, the President joined Minister of Education Fakry Gaffar at a local primary school. The two talked to teachers, parents, and students alike. The President then hopped in his car and went by land to the city of Banjarbaru, a journey of some 3 hours. The President visited a vocational school and toured its facilities, asking questions about its electrician program. He frowned when the principal said that he had asked the management at Electricity Generator at Asam Asam if he could send students for work experience but had not received an answer. Djiteng and Fakry said they’ll follow this up. The local officials said that there was another vocational school being constructed to which the President said that he would like it finished the next time he visited Banjarbaru.

From Banjarbaru, the President returned to Banjarmasin and immediately headed back to Jakarta.

21st January 2001:
It was Sunday evening as the President held a meeting with Chief of BAKIN Ari Sudewo accompanied Edi Sudrajat. Ari gave him a report:

*His investigation in Central Sulawesi revealed the existence of a militia by the name of Laskar Penegak Sharia (Sharia Enforcement Militia), a paramilitary of about 100 or so looking to “Establish Sharia Law in Indonesia and overthrow secular-Christian Government of Try Sutrisno”. Its founder is Agus Dwikarna, a member of the Indonesian Islamic Proselytization Council (DDII). Agus is not a member of Jemaah Islamiyah though has an affiliation with Abu Bakar Bashir. What is more certain is his links to Al Qaeda.

*Agus is linked to Al Qaeda to a man named Parlindungan Siregar who is in turn linked to Al Qaeda’s operatives in Spain. Siregar is trying to get Abu Dahdah, the leader of the Al Qaeda cell in Spain to come and visit Indonesia to look at the situation “on the ground”.

“What’s their game?” asked Try.

“BAKIN agents on the ground have reported that they’re intention is to try to get money from Al Qaeda to build a terrorist training camp in Poso”, said Ari Sudewo “They want to try to recruit from those who aren’t happy with the steps we’ve taken at Poso and also at Ambon.”

Try expressed his desire to move against Agus and Parlindungan. Edi said what would be better if they moved against Agus and Parlindungan but also catch Abu Dahdah. Ari agreed with this and said that he could create the impression that BAKIN is loosening up its operations to catch them unawares. The President did not seem to be satisfied with Edi and Ari’s advice but asked Ari to keep up with intelligence from abroad to see what else Al Qaeda might be planning for Indonesia.

“So much for Al Qaeda for now, what about Jemaah Islamiyah?” asked Try.

“Well, they’re paying lip service about how proud they are of Amrozi for assassinating Soegiarto but they’re not too happy about the fact that they’re now showing up on our radar. They’re keeping real low but we’ve got some leads on them and following them up”, replied Ari.

Ari concluded by reporting about Jafar Umar Thalib. Thalib fought with the mujahedeen against the Soviet Union in 1987 and had met with Osama Bin Laden but disagreed with his violent means. Thalib has an Islamic school in Yogyakarta which teaches a Salafist approach to Islam. He also has a publication called the Salafi Magazine in which he is critical of the Government’s policies in Ambon and Poso and saying that the Government is not friendly towards Muslims.

23rd January 2001:
Tutut Soeharto and Chairman of PDI Soerjadi today signed an agreement which will see the PDI formally merge as of 1st March 2001. Attending on behalf of the Government were Minister of Home Affairs Harsudiono Hartas and Minister of Legal Affairs Marzuki Darusman.

All ASEAN Nations but Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines have issued statements on China and Russia’s treaty. Today Ginandjar released a statement on behalf of the Indonesian Government saying that Indonesia’s only wish is that the treaty would not effect Southeast Asia negatively. Later in the day, Thailand and Philippines’ Foreign Ministries also issued statements which echoed Indonesia’s sentiments.

24th January 2001:
Minister of Religion Quraish Shihab signed an official letter to the Indonesian Confucianism High Council (Matakin) wishing them a Happy Chinese New Year. Quraish had been instructed by the President to write this letter and could only see this as the President still being confused on where the Government should stand on Chinese New Year though Quraish remembered that the President had visited the house of the Head of BKPM in 1999.

It was not that Quraish did not know the President’s predicament. A change of policy on Chinese New Year meant a change of policy on Confucianism which meant a change of policy on the Chinese-Indonesians. Each is linked to the other.

Minister of Civil Service Reform Kuntoro Mangkusubroto and Cabinet Secretary Hayono Isman came out of a meeting with the President to announce that the Department of Civil Service Reform’s Head Office and Cabinet Secretariat will be trying out an integrated salary system at the start of the next financial year in April. Kuntoro said this will change the present salary system of having a basic salary and multiple types of allowances at least two departments involved.

25th January 2001:
The President and his entourage touched down at Lhokseumawe, Aceh where Governor of Aceh Syamsuddin Mahmud welcomed him on the tarmac. Immediately upon arrival, he was off to the recently completed Lhokseumawe Multi-Purpose Terminal where he inaugurated 3 projects, 2 of which were located in Lhokseumawe and 1 in Banda Aceh with Minister of Transportation Soerjadi Soedirja and Minister of Industry Siswono Yudohusodo beside him. These were:

*The Lhokseumawe Multi-Purpose Terminal
*The 2nd Unit of the Iskandar Muda Cement Factory
*The lengthening of the Runway and the Construction of a New Terminal Building at Banda Aceh’s Iskandar Muda Airport

In his speech, the President took special care to mention that the new terminal building was funded largely by the Provincial Government, taking advantage of the increased shares in LNG revenues that the province now has.

“Aceh takes part in economic development, Aceh benefits from economic development. Let those who still have doubts about the Government’s commitment to Aceh or still want to separate themselves from our country see this and make up their mind about it”, said the President almost triumphantly.

Having made the speech, the President was in a good mood. He had a broad grin as he toured the Iskandar Muda Cement Factory and waved to the workers. His mood was dampened when he had lunch with Syamsuddin Mahmud. Among all the things Syamsuddin talked about, he told the President that there was still “sentiment asking for amendments to the present Aceh Special Region Law to accommodate Sharia Law as the legal system in Aceh amongst cultural elders”.

“If I accommodate them on Sharia Law can they guarantee that other provinces would not request the same, Mr. Governor?” asked the President before going on to give his answer “Muslims adhere to Sharia Law that much I agree with but Sharia Law is part of the private sphere. Beyond the private sphere, as far as I’m concerned, everyone has to adhere to Pancasila.”

Edi Sudrajat, sitting besides Try, tried to change the topic about how GAM has gone dormant and can only become more dormant if more economic development was brought to Aceh. The President’s expression remained grim.

By mid-afternoon, Try and his entourage was back on the Presidential Plane to Jakarta. He still looked grim and Edi picked up on this. He was about to speak when Try beat him to the punch.

“So we’ve got terrorists and people still clamoring for Sharia Law”, muttered Try “Whatever their purposes they’re all people using religion as a shield.”

“What do you intend to do, Mr. President?” asked Edi.

“A show of force just to show them that I’m not going to stand idly by”, replied Try.

Information on Agus Dwikarna and Parlindungan Siregar as well as their Al Qaeda and JI links are from Joseph H. Daves’ The Indonesian Army From Revolusi to Reformasi Volume 3: Soeharto’s Fall and the Reformasi Era. This is a book written by the US Embassy in Jakarta’s military attaché which I have. I highly recommend it.

The lack of an economic and social crisis of the scale of May 1998 has removed the impetus for Try to move decisively on Chinese-Indonesians. No Chinese-Indonesians being targeted and suffering to such an extent (read: raped and killed) for the Government to think “OK maybe this ethnicity deserves not to be discriminated against” as the Habibie, Wahid, and Megawati Governments did in OTL.

The choice of Lhokseumawe for Try to inaugurate the Acehnese projects mentioned is significant. Lhokseumawe is the largest city in the part of Aceh where the Free Aceh Movement is strongest.

Try’s comments re: Sharia Law and Pancasila is based on OTL comments he made last year.

Try’s itch to act against radicals and those in favor of Sharia Law is not without precedent. Though everybody remembers Soeharto’s regime for its anti-communism, they tend to forget that second on their list of public enemies are those using religion (Read: Islam) for political purposes. Try, together with Benny Moerdani, infamously cracked down on Islamist demonstrators in North Jakarta in 1984 with bloody results (No spoilers on how this incident will impact on Try ITTL).

China and Russia's treaty comes 6 months earlier than OTL and also under different circumstances (they're more confrontational towards the US)
Tidbits of Try's Indonesia: Television, Media, and Press
Tidbits of Try’s Indonesia: Television, Media, and Press

Television Networks:
By November 2000, Indonesians have access to 8 free-to-air television networks: TVRI, RCTI, SCTV, TPI, Anteve, Indosiar, Metro TV, and Republika TV.

As a continuation of a practice put in place since the days of President Soeharto, all privately owned television networks are required to relay the TVRI’s Dunia Dalam Berita 9 PM news. Despite this however, it has been admitted by those in the media industry that in the 3 years of Try Sutrisno’s presidency that restrictions has been somewhat loosened to the point where it was possible to determine the editorial stances of the news of the various television networks. The most critical of the television networks were the TPI (owned by Tutut Soeharto) and SCTV (in which Soeharto cousin Sudwikatmono and Soeharto daughter Titiek had shares). The SCTV’s Liputan 6 news was the news channel to go to for those who wish to watch the Government’s “shortcomings” being exposed.

A favorite of the Indonesian populace, as far as news coverage was concerned, was Indosiar’s Fokus which not only provided news updates throughout the day but also live coverage of unfolding events. Indosiar’s coming out party as far live news coverage goes came during the 1999 Cabinet Reshuffle when it covered all the day’s events from ministers and officials coming in to be summoned by the President right up to the Cabinet Reshuffle announcement itself. All this occurred while the TVRI meekly waited for “official word” to begin covering the news.

The coverage of the 1999 Cabinet Reshuffle was only surpassed by the coverage of the Golkar Crisis in 2000. Such was the extent of Indosiar’s success in covering such events that when President Try issued his statement in Tokyo, Japan as he was about to fly back to Jakarta, the microphone immediately in front of him was an Indosiar rather than a TVRI microphone. Credit for Indosiar’s success in covering news items belonged to its production manager Wishnutama Kusubadio who said that though it was not perfect, “the present regime in its own way has given fresh air to the media industry”. Wishnutama scored a big win for Indosiar when it managed to contract Wimar Witoelar and his current affairs talkshow host Perspektif.

This was not to say that the TVRI was not trying to improve itself. Minister of Information, Post, and Telecommunication Ginandjar Kartasasmita’s decision to reverse the Soeharto Administration’s decision of banning commercials on TVRI served to provide TVRI with much needed revenue. CEO of TVRI Roni Sikap Sinuraya is presently using this to make investments to improve TVRI, including plans for TVRI’s 2nd Channel’s broadcasting hours to be expanded.

In the short time that it has been in existence, Metro TV had quickly established a reputation as the “Rich People’s Channel”. The documentaries which it sought to broadcast to supplement its news programs were in practice English-language programs about news, life, culture, and even fashion in western countries. Those who aspire to such sometimes luxurious lifestyles to not say anything about Indonesia’s expatriate community became Metro TV’s demography. The flipside of this is that Metro has regular run-ins with the Department of Information, Post, and Telecommunications about the amount of foreign programming they put on their television.

Republika TV, affiliated with ICMI, tended to have programs focusing on religion, religious life as well as technology, engineering, and the like. Though Habibie was no longer Chairman of ICMI, new Chairman of ICMI Nurcholish Madjid has signaled that he would not tinker around with the formula of the television channel though he asked the network to tone down on its pro-government stance.

Sinetron (Soap Operas):
One television series that became popular as the Asian Financial Crisis made its impact in Indonesia was the Keluarga Cemara (Pinetree Family). The show tells the story of a well-off family who falls into poverty because their life-savings was borrowed by a relative who blew the money all away in a bad business venture and in their bitter experience realized that “the most precious treasure is family”. Culture observers said that the show helped Indonesians cope with the Asian Financial Crisis with the notion that if the worst happened, they still had their families. Though as most observers noted, as bad as the crisis got, for most Indonesians things never got quite as bad as the Pinetree Family.

The Pinetree Family began to lose popularity just as the nation got out of the crisis in early 2000. It was once again time to spend spend spend on various household goods and electrical appliances. The most precious treasure is family but for most Indonesians, by the end of 2000, the best way to appreciate family was to give them a material gift rather than love and companionship. Consumerism, it was said, became this Sinetron’s downfall.

Another favorite with Indonesian TV watchers was Si Doel Anak Sekolahan (Doel the Schoolboy) which tells the story of Doel, an engineer graduate who overcame his low social circumstances to become an engineer but is still struggling to find employment. The series provided the nation with an example of art imitating life. In addition to his various struggles, Doel found himself becoming the head of the family after his father, a personality with a dominating presence in the family, had died. Whether coincidentally or not, just as Try Sutrisno grew into his role as president and became the pre-eminent figure in Indonesian politics, Doel too became a decisive and authoritative head of the family, as dominant as his father but in his own unique way.

One Sinetron which the Government became interested in, in a negative way was Tersanjung (Flattered), which began broadcasting in April 1998 on Indosiar. It was not long before Tersanjung’s storyline in which the female protagonist is seduced and becomes pregnant, earned it a warning from the Department of Information, Post, and Telecommunications for going against “family values”.

Tersanjung however was broadly popular and many wrote to newspapers and magazines asking for the Department of Information, Post, and Telecommunications not to intervene with “Crisis-time entertainment”. Wanting to pick its battles, the Department compromised by agreeing not to take any action but getting its producers to agree to move its broadcast time from 19.30 to 21.30 so that children won't be awake to watch such "inappropriate programming".

Freedom of the Press:
Much as with television, there has been a loosening of restrictions in terms of how critical one could get of the Government in print media. As Minister of Information, Post, and Telecommunications, Ginandjar Kartasasmita (1998-1999) was keen to show that the Government was taking a fresh stance. His successor, Oka Mahendra, was even less inclined to take tough action against media critical of the Government.

Still this did not mean that Indonesia has become a “Freedom of the Press Heaven”. The Indonesian press has found themselves adjusting from self-censoring on topics that would be displeasing to Soeharto to topics that would be displeasing to Try. No print media would dare talk about the Tanjung Priok Incident in 1984, a crackdown on demonstrators which involved the then Commander of the Jakarta Regional Military Command Try Sutrisno.

Soeharto was also off-limits. In May 1999, Time Magazine published “Suharto Inc” an article about the wealth of the Soeharto children. As much of a stir that this caused, it was said that the original draft of the article included mentions of Soeharto and Mrs. Tien Soeharto but that there was a request to remove mentions of them as a condition for publication. Still, the article was still controversial enough for the two Indonesian journalists who took part in the investigations to move and live in Hong Kong to avoid retribution from Soeharto’s supporters.

The basic rule of thumb when it comes to criticism of the Government seems to be that criticisms of policies were most acceptable. The Government, for example, did not try to curb news about the Junior High School Textbooks Embezzlement Case which led to Minister of Education Wardiman Djojonegoro’s removal from the Cabinet.

Political maneuverings were acceptable provided there are quotes from both sides of the story. Sensitive political matters on the other hand were another story. When Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER) published an article in February 1999 about the budding rivalry between Try Sutrisno and Tutut Soeharto, the Government banned the publication for a week in Indonesia. It was not until the very public split between Try and Tutut in June 2000 and the destruction of Golkar as a result that Try and Tutut’s rivalry became something that was openly covered and something which the press could not get enough of covering.

The only time the Government has had a real problem with something put out in print media has been in November 1998 when a mysterious brochure doing the rounds in Jakarta claimed that that President Try Sutrisno and State Secretary Edi Sudrajat had once fought over a widow. This has been chalked off by the Indonesian press as something that was understandable rather than censorship. The Government’s response was to allow the press to cover the news until such time as an official statement was released, at which time coverage has ceased.

Though Try’s Government has not gone on a large crackdown on the press nor has it closed down newspapers and magazines the way Soeharto’s did in 1974, 1978, and 1994, no one’s taking anything for granted. While the likes of Jakob Oetama (Kompas) and Surya Paloh (Media Indonesia) try to play it safe and settle for less press restrictions under the President, the more activist-minded of the nation’s journalists are wary of the Government’s stance. Andreas Harsono of the Independent Journalists Association (AJI) an organization of journalists unrecognized by the Government, had this to say:

“Ginandjar and the current Minister of Information, Post, and Telecommunications Oka Mahendra are fond of saying that the Government has not closed down or and that this is prove that the Government is in favor of the Freedom of the Press. But if they want to be consistent, why don’t they reverse the ban on the print editions of Tempo and Detik. Don’t mistake the Try Regime’s not adding anything to the Soeharto Regime’s policy towards the press for them loosening controls of it. And we should also remember that a prominent member of the President’s coalition is none other than Harmoko, who is definitely not a friend of Freedom of the Press”.

I've had this in the pipeline for a while and have a few more editions of "Tidbits" in production just to freshen things up.
112: Against The Extreme Right Part II
26th January 2001:
Minister of Agriculture Sarwono Kusumaatmadja and Head of Bulog Adang Ruchiatna reported to President Try today that rice imports have decreased from 1.8 million tons in 1999 to 870,,000 tons in 2000.

The President met with Minister of Home Affairs Harsudiono Hartas, Minister of Defense and Security Wismoyo Arismunandar, Minister of Religion Quraish Shihab, State Secretary Edi Sudrajat, Commander of ABRI Wiranto, Chief of BAKIN Ari Sudewo, Chairman of BP-7 Agus Widjojo, Attorney General Soedjono C. Atmonegoro, Army Chief of Staff Luhut Panjaitan, and Chief of Police Yun Mulyana. All the participants were led into the Presidential Palace in a way that they would not be seen by the press.

27th January 2001:
The President had lunch with Vice President JB Sumarlin. Sumarlin reported that Indonesia’s treaty with Thailand is ready to be signed. The President said the he will come to Bangkok next month to sign the treaty.

29th January 2001:
Minister of Trade Anthony Salim, Minister of Industry Siswono Yudohusodo, Minister of Mining and Energy Djiteng Marsudi, Minister of Transportation Soerjadi Soedirja, and Head of BKPM Mari Pangestu held a joint press conference. The ministers announced a Retail Sector Policy Package which covered the following:

*Department Stores are now open for foreign investors with the condition that foreign department stores can only operate within a shopping mall.
*Department stores may not expand into having a supermarket within its premises; supermarkets still closed to foreign investment.
*Gas stations will no longer be the monopoly of Pertamina. Domestic, foreign, or joint ventures investments are welcome.
*Application procedures to be a retailer in airports, ports, and railway stations to be simplied. Domestic and joint venture investments prioritized for domestic airport terminals, ports, and railway stations. Small business prioritized for railway stations.

30th January 2001:
It was 4 AM and reporters and cameramen alike were called to assemble, some still looking sleepy. In front of them, looking sleepy but grim were Wiranto, Ari Sudewo, and Soedjono C. Atmonegoro. Ari Sudewo began by going through the intelligence that he had (“We have reason to believe that there are persons living in Indonesia who are linked with international terrorists organizations and are seeking to form their own organizations here”).

Wiranto spoke next saying that the President has authorized him to initiate Operation Sledgehammer. This operation was conducted and concentrated in South and Central Sulawesi with the Army Chief of Staff and the Chief of Police conducting direct supervision of the operations. Wiranto reported that during the operation, Agus Dwikarna and Parlindungan Siregar, two men with links to JI and Al Qaeda have been arrested. Operations were also conducted to apprehend members of the Sharia Enforcement Militia in Ujung Pandang. Most of the members of this organization has been arrested though some made escape. Wiranto further announced that Jafar Umar Thalib, the Head of a Salafist Islamic School in Yogyakarta has also been arrested and taken into Government custody.

Last to speak was the Attorney General. Soedjono C. Atmonegoro said that the Government’s ground for taking this action is Presidential Resolution 11 of 1963 on Subversion. The people taken into custody, explained Soedjono, are those which are aiming to “overturn, undermine or abuse the state ideology of Pancasila…” and can thus be deemed to have committed the crime of subversion.

As the nation woke up to this news, the Government deployed two spokespersons in the form of Quraish Shihab and Agus Widjojo. Throughout the day, the two appeared on various channels with Quraish allaying fears that this “had something to do with religion” while Agus said that this was a “an ideological as much as a security measure”.

31st January 2001:
Chairwoman of PKPB Tutut Soeharto held a press conference in which she said that while she agrees in principle with what the Government was doing against the “extreme right”, she believes that people were within reason to worry that this “had something to do with religion and the religion being persecuted.”

The President met with Chairman of DPR Harmoko and then held a joint press conference afterwards. Harmoko declared the DPR’s support for the steps taken by the Government but all the attention was on the President who were asked various questions. He repeated Quraish’s assurance that operation had nothing to do with religion. Instead it had more to do with 3 dimensions.

“There’s the economic dimension because the process of economic development can’t progress properly if there are those wishing to do damage to this nation still running about, there’s a security dimension because these people are for all intents and purposes terrorists and there’s an ideological dimension as well because these people are part of the Extreme Right”, explained the President.

1st February 2001:
The President met with JB Sumarlin, Minister of Economics and National Development Planning Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti, Minister of Finance Mar’ie Muhammad, Governor of BI Boediono, State Secretary Edi Sudrajat, and Cabinet Secretary Hayono Isman.

Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti reported about the US economic slowdown and the fact that the US Federal Reserve had cut its rate twice in January to cope with this, the last rate cut being yeserday. Dorodjatun also noted Prime Minister of Japan Koichi Kato’s policies of wanting to cut back on spending having the short-term effect of further slowing down Japan’s economy in the short term. The President asked what would be the impact of this, Sumarlin said that it could mean less demand for Indonesian exports from these two countries and less tourists from these two countries.

Boediono reported that in terms of inflation and interest rates, he prefers to see how the US economy will do in the next few months. There is strong aggregate demand as can only be generated by an economy growing at 11.4% but the risk here is that if interest rates are raised to keep inflation under control, the situation in the US and Japan being what it is, the economy risks becoming too slow.

After discussions, the President said that the main aim for 2001 economically is to build on last year’s economic growth and not have last year being a fluke. He instructed for an economic policy package to be prepared.

2nd February 2001:
The President had his Friday prayers and lunch with Chairman of NU Abdurrahman Wahid and Chairman of Muhammadiyah Amien Rais. The two men publicly came out in strong support of the President. Privately they expressed strong support as well but cautioned the President against “repeatedly using such powers, excessively using such powers, or using such powers against those against who were not ideological extremists.” The President agreed.

“He holds in his hands the same fearsome power that Soekarno and Soeharto once had”, said Amien as he held Wahid’s arm as they both waited for their respective cars.

“Fearsome to those who might think of blindsiding him one day maybe”, said Wahid wrily “I’m just praying that he will be a better man than those two gentlemen.”

4th February 2001:
The Presidential Airplane landed at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea around noon and the President was welcomed by Papua New Guinea Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Somare. Immediately going into the Presidential car, President Try and First Lady Tuti Setiawati then went to Government House where they were welcomed by Governor-General of Papua New Guineas Silas Atopare. There were handshakes and then the playing of the two nations’ national anthems. There was a welcome lunch as well.

After Atopare, it was Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Mekere Morauta’s turn to meet with the President. Try and Morauta greeted each other warmly. There was a preliminary meeting before the two was seen taking a walk through one of Port Moresby’s supermarkets. With Morauta beaming beside him, Try posed for pictures holding packets of Indomie noodles. From there, he went to the Indonesian Embassy to Papua New Guinea where he had a meet and greet session with the Indonesian community in Papua New Guinea and answered questions from them.

5th February 2001:
Try, accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Ginandjar Kartasasmita, Minister of Trade Anthony Salim, Minister of Transportation Soerjadi Soedirja, Edi Sudrajat, and Governor of Irian Jaya Jacob Pattipi had a breakfast meeting which turned into a long morning conference about cooperation in various areas. Across the table were Morauta, Minister of Finance Michael Ogjo, Michael Somare, and Minister of Industry and Trade Tukape Masani.

At the joint press conference afterwards, Try and Morauta announced the various agreements the two Governments came to agreement to which included:

*Increasing the frequency of Garuda Indonesia flights from Jayapura to Port Moresby from once a week to 3 times a week.
*Papua New Guinea to rehabilitate its roads so that it can link Jayapura with the tourist town of Vanimo.
*Papua New Guinea to set up tourism promotion offices in Jayapura and Tembagapura to attract foreigners residing in the province to visit Papua New Guinea. The Department of Tourism will similarly set up tourism promotion offices in Port Moresby and Lae to encourage tourism to Irian Jaya.

On political matters, during the press conference, Morauta said that the way Indonesia has given special region status to East Timor and Irian Jaya has provided a model which Papua New Guinea could learn from in terms of its relationship to the Bougainville Province. When asked for his thoughts on the Papua New Guinea’s situation with Bougainville, the President just said “I’m not into the business of commenting on nation’s internal affairs.”

The last engagement to the day for the President was a tour of the National Museum of Papua New Guinea where he was accompanied by Ginandjar and Edi Sudrajat while Morauta was accompanied by Somare. The museum was closed off so the small group had all the exhibits to themselves and all the opportunity to discuss the big issues.

Morauta began by laying his cards on the table and expressed his desire that Papua New Guinea be accorded a membership or at least an associate membership in ASEAN because Papua New Guinea had been an observer long before Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar became members. Try said that he will consider this. Morauta added however that failing this, he would be all right having good bilateral relations with Indonesia where Papua New Guinea would utilize Indonesia as a “gateway” to Southeast Asia. Try welcomed this but joked that he hopes Australia, which provides most of Papua New Guinea’s aid, would not take closer relations with Indonesia the wrong way.

It was then Try’s turn to lay his cards on the table. He said he would like Papua New Guinea to be Indonesia’s gateway for closer relations with Melaenesian nations. Morauta said that the likes of Vanuatu and Solomon Islands had sympathies for the Free Papua Movement (OPM) and he wondered if Indonesia would be welcome there. Speaking frankly, Morauta asks what were Indonesia’s strategic ambitions towards Melanesian nations. Try said that Indonesia’s ambitions were only for economic and cultural links to nations immediately to its east and that its “real ambitions” were in Southeast Asia.

“Failing to have economic and cultural links towards the Melanesian nations, I’d settle for good bilateral relations with Papua New Guinea”, joked Try to which Morauta laughed.

6th February 2001:
The morning was spent making farewell calls to Atopare and Morauta. When he shook hands with Morauta, the latter said said that he believes what Try is saying about “Indonesia’s ambitions” is true and that he will “watch Indonesia’s back” as far as the Melanesian nations and the remnants of the OPM were concerned. He only asks for continued Indonesian investment and economic cooperation with Papua New Guinea though progress on Papua New Guinea being a member of ASEAN would be “good”. Try shook hands with Morauta and thanked him before departing and heading for the Jacksons International Airport.

The President was just starting to relax and settle for a flight when Edi returned to his side and informed him that Prime Minister of Malaysia Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has announced at the UMNO General Assembly that he will be resigning the prime ministership with the formal handover subject to an UMNO Presidential Election being held within the week. Try massaged his temples.

Some 7 hours later, at 4 PM local time, the Presidential Airplane touched down at Canberra Airport in Australia. He was welcomed at a ceremony at Government House where he stood next to Governor-General William Deane as the Indonesian and Australian National Anthems played. He shook hands with Prime Minister of Australia Peter Costello and Opposition Leader Kim Beazley and engaged with small talk with them. Costello congratulated him and told him that he was the first Indonesian President to visit Australia since Soeharto in 1975.

2001 is going to be busy ladies and gents. Both domestically and in foreign affairs.

The legal grounds the Government used for taking action against the radicals was Presidential Resolution 11 of 1963 on Subversion which was formulated by Soekarno and ratified by Soeharto. Its infamous because it’s very prone to abuse. It says that undermining the State Ideology is considered to be subversion but it doesn’t specify what undermining the State Ideology is. This Presidential Resolution can be found here (

So the Government got the guys linked with Al Qaeda and Jafar Umar Thalib who OTL formed Laskar Jihad. Abu Bakar Bashir is in hiding in Malaysia (He went back into Indonesia with Soeharto’s fall). The guys involved with the OTL Bali Bombings are in hiding ITTL after Amrozi assassinated Chairman of BP7 Soegiarto on 9th February 2000. I’m going to explore the “There were no terrorists in Soeharto’s time” that gets put forward about by OTL Soeharto Nostalgics in this TL.

The developments in the US Economy at this stage is as OTL.

ITTL Malaysia in case anyone hasn’t noticed is going through something similar to OTL Indonesia though not as bad. It officially hasn’t recovered yet from the economic crisis, it’s been hit by a terrorist attack (Sipadan Hostage Situation), and its leadership is unstable with Mahathir being replaced in 1998 and now Badawi resigning.
113: The Religion Card
7th February 2001:
President Try Sutrisno, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ginandjar Kartasasmita, Minister of Defense and Security Wismoyo Arismunandar, State Minister of National Security Soerjadi, and State Secretary Edi Sudrajat sat across the table from Australia’s Prime Minister Peter Costello, Deputy Prime Minister Minister for Foreign Affairs Philip Ruddock, Minister for Defense Peter Reith, and Attorney General Daryl Williams. The following were discussed and agreed upon:

*Regarding the general international situation: Try and Costello agreed that regardless of what happens between the United States and China/Russia, the best thing for Indonesia and Australia is to keep channels of open communication. To that end, the President and Prime Minister agreed to have annual consultations between both nations’ ministers of foreign affairs and defense.

*The topic of Indonesia increasing its defense spending was broached. The conversation turned a bit testy with Reith saying that this could make some elements in Australia nervous. Wismoyo retorted by asking whether Indonesia should be worried about Australia as well since it just produced a Defense White Paper the previous year. Try explained that defense spending had been neglected in the past 3 decades under Soeharto and he would like to make a shift on this. Try also said that the defense spending was so that Indonesia’s military capabilities would not fall behind “others in the region”. Ruddock immediately understood this to mean China.

*On China itself, Costello said that politically Australia remains aligned with the United States but says that increasingly Australia’s economic future will depend on its ties to China so that was Australia’s dilemma. Try said that his concern with China is that it is throwing its weight around in Southeast Asia and says that it effectively has two seats in ASEAN if it manages to consolidate its ties with Cambodia and now potentially Malaysia.

The two’s joint press conference at the Prime Minister’s courtyard at the New Parliament House went well but for a protester carrying a sign saying “Free East Timor and Irian Jaya!”.

After midday, Try gave an address to the Australian Parliament. His speech, which included him saying that was in Indonesia’s interest to have a close and productive relationship with Australia was very well-received. One member of the Australian Parliament, Laurie Brereton, boycotted the speech due to his pro-East Timor independence sentiments.

Together with Chief of Australian Defence Force Chris Barrie, the President visited the Royal Military College Duntroon. He ended the day with an official dinner at the Parliament House.

8th February 2001:
Breakfast was with Opposition Leader Kim Beazley and Opposition Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Lindsay Tanner. The President and Ginandjar discussed largely similar issues. Beazley, a former Minister for Defense in the Hawke Prime Ministership sent his regards to Benny Moerdani.

After a meet and greet at the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra, the President and his delegation hopped on the Presidential Airplane and arrived at Sydney. The first item on the agenda was lunch with the Australia Indonesia Business Council where the President delivered a speech where he expressed his desire that Indonesia’s “Great economic year in 2000 does not become a one time thing”. Minister of Economics and National Development Planning Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti, Minister of Trade Anthony Salim, Head of BKPM Mari Pangestu joined him for this leg of the trip, mingling, promoting, and receiving investments in business prospects in Indonesia. The evening and night saw the President visiting the Sydney Opera House and climbing the Centrepoint tower.

Back in Jakarta, Minister of Home Affairs Harsudiono Hartas and Minister of Legal Affairs Marzuki Darusman announced that the PNI’s application to become a political party has been accepted.

9th February 2001:
After a breakfast meet and greet with the Indonesian community in Sydney at the Sydney Consulate-General, the President stopped by the residence of former Prime Minister Paul Keating. In the small press conference afterwards, Try said that he came to thank Keating for his contributions in Indonesia-Australia relations. Keating said that Indonesia was in good hands with Try at its helm.

After Friday Prayer, the President and First Lady Tuti Setiawati headed to the Prime Minister’s Sydney residence at Kirribilli House where they had lunch with Costello and Prime Ministerial Spouse Tanya Costello. Lunch was served and afterwards, while the ladies toured the place, the President and the Prime Minister chatted with the spectacular views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House as their background. Costello broached the topic of Indonesia’s policy towards Southeast Asia in recent times.

“During the Cold War there were 5, later 6 with Brunei, nations in Southeast Asia and we moved as a bloc. When the Cold War was over, 6 became 10 and now we’re back in what looks to be another Cold War so we need to be sure that we move as a bloc again, Mr. Prime Minister”, said Try “Going from a first among equals to leader status in Southeast Asia is a happy byproduct. I'm more concerned about borrowing the other 9 nations in Southeast Asia's combined strengths to stand up to China. I know we can't do this by ourselves.”

“So you are standing up to China?” asked Costello.

“It’s a geographical accident that Indonesia’s seen as standing up to China”, replied Try “They just happen to be the ones trying to expand their influence into Southeast Asia and we’re trying to prevent that.”

“I suppose I could ask you to drift closer to the United States”, said Costello “But I know you probably still remember the fact that they made you choose between immediate exit from the IMF program and tilting the balance of the IMF Managing Directors’ Vote.”

Try just smiled. After some more discussions, Try bid farewell to Costello. He called on Governor-General Deane next door to farewell him as well. At Kingsford Smith International Airport, he was joined by his ministers.

As the plane took off, the President asked Soerjadi for an analysis of the visits to Papua New Guinea and Australia.

“Papua New Guinea should be okay so long as we keep strengthening our economic ties with them. Australia doesn’t want to jeopardize its economic relationship with China by being too overtly pro-US so it will allow us to do the dirty work of putting a check on China's growing power”, said Soerjadi “I’d say you’re good to go in Southeast Asia, Mr. President.”

10th February 2001:
The President, now back in Jakarta, placed a phonecall of congratulations to newly sworn in Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak. Najib thanked the President and said that he will see him at the D-8 Summit.

12th February 2001:
State Minister of Poverty Alleviation Hemas emerged from a meeting at the Presidential Palace. She announced that President Try has approved of a new poverty alleviation program to replace the Left Behind Vilages Inpres. Hemas explained that this will involve upgrading the District Development Program within the Department of Home Affairs into a cross-departmental cross-ministerial integrated program. Details will follow in the coming months.

Minister of Information, Post, and Telecommunications Oka Mahendra issued a letter announcing that the magazine Salafi which was run by the now arrested Jafar Umar Thalib is now banned. A similar ban will now be applied to As-Sunnah magazine operating out of Solo. Printing and distributing of the magazine will cease immediately. Oka Mahendra also said in the letter that the Department of Information, Post, and Telecommunications will be working together with ABRI to ensure the ban was in place.

13th February 2001:
The President and State Secretary Edi Sudrajat today joined Chairman of BP-7 Agus Widjojo and a P4 Training Batch to pay their respects at the tomb of former Chairman of BP-7 Soegiarto at the Heroes Cemetery in Kalibata, Jakarta. Soegiarto was assassinated by Jemaah Islamiyah operative Amrozi last year. Fronting the cameras, Edi Sudrajat and Agus Widjojo both said that the ideological struggle against Pancasila’s opponents is a very much a real and ongoing one.

At a conference at Megawati Soekarnoputri’s private residence, the provincial leaders of the PNI agreed on the following leadership composition to lead the PNI to the 2002 Elections.

*Chairwoman: Megawati Soekarnoputri
*Secretary: Alex Litaay
*Treasurer: Laksamana Sukardi

In her first act as Chairwoman of the PNI, Megawati appointed Sutjipto as the PNI’s Chairman of the Election Campaign.

14th February 2001:
With Minister of Employment and Small Business Fahmi Idris and Governor of Jakarta Sutiyoso by his side, the President opened the Small Business Expo at the Jakarta Convention Center. It was an exhibition where some of the the nation’s successful small businesses were selected to have a stand so that they can show off their products and network with each other. After delivering a speech extolling small businesses, the President toured the stands at hand.

Try walked and asked questions, hearing stories about how people set up their businesses. Invariably it begins with an office worker being laid off or a university graduate not being able to find work. They use family members or friends or friend of friends as business partners and they find themselves with a new business. These businesses started off being smalltime operations but as they became good at what they did and the economy recovered, these businesses grew and became their permanent source of income. As these businesses grew, its owners began to make real investments, and many businesses which in 1998 started out as something they ran from their bedroom or living room or kitchen were now cake shops and cafes, language courses, printing shops, clothing stores, tutoring centers and many others being run out of the nation’s shop-houses.

“They rode the wave of economic recovery to become real businesses, Mr. President”, said Fahmi Idris “And they’re inspiring many others around the nation to become entrepreneurs.”

Try shook hands and had his photo taken with many of these small businesspeople; the more politically vocal among them telling him not to “lose to Tutut.”

15th February 2001:
The President met with Chief of BAKIN Ari Sudewo. Ari Sudewo reported that the move against Agus Dwikarna, Parlindungan Siregar, the Sharia Enforcement Militia, and Jafar Umar Thalib and its Islamic school has caused shockwaves. It has shown Al Qaeda and JI that Indonesia is not ripe for its world view and to be on the receiving end of an attack though vigilance will still be required.

Based on intelligence chatter, Al Qaeda Second-in-Command Ayman Zawalhiri has been in contact with Hambali telling him that unless the situation in Indonesia “suitable” and unless there is a clear “opportunity”, then Al Qaeda would have to leave JI to its own devices. The President asked what was Al Qaeda going to do now, Ari said that Al Qaeda was just going to focus “its existing operations”.

“This is all good but do keep your eyes on what JI is doing or isn’t doing”, said Try “Keep track as well on what Al Qaeda’s doing especially the guy you said has been in Indonesia, attended the terrorist summit in Kuala Lumpur and is now in the United States.”

“The guy taking the flying lessons, Mr. President?” asked Ari.

“Yeah, that guy”, replied Try “Keep a watch on him.”

16th February 2001:
It was a good day for the DPR as Chairman of DPR Harmoko presided over the passing of the President’s 2001/2002 Budget. There was a loud applause from the PKPI members when Harmoko declared that the Budget had been passed.

The final say that day belonged to the PKPB. Leader of PKPB Hartono held a press conference. With all of PKPB’s members standing with him, Leader of the PKPB in the DPR Hartono announced that the PKPB members in the DPR will be using their constitutional right proposing the following bills:

*The Zakat Bill which will seek to give legal acknowledgement, protection, and management of Zakat.

*The Wakaf Bill which will seek to give legal acknowledgement, protection, and management of a Wakaf endowment.

At the State Secretariat, Edi Sudrajat watched this unfold on the television. He buzzed into the President’s office but the President’s Aide-De-Camp Col. Budiman said the President’s going through paperwork and doesn’t want to be disturbed. Edi told Budiman not to bother the President.

“Well these bills don’t have anything to do with anything except for the fact it concerns the majority of Indonesians”, said Hartono to the press “And as we said in our statement, it should be no problem at all to pass these bills.”

“The religion card...”, muttered Edi.

I’ve got Australia here borrowing Indonesia’s “hand” to put a check on China because it doesn’t want to be seen to be standing up to China and lose their economic relationship.

As-Sunnah magazine' being in the same boat as Salafy magazine is as found at Sunnah salafy&f=false

Note that while Jafar Umar Thalib is not in favor of violence, the point that is being made ITTL is that ITTL Indonesian Government is not distinguishing between groups. What it considers the Extreme Right, it will go after.

Megawati's Secretary and Treasurer for the PNI here are her OTL Secretary and Treasurer when she was Chairwoman of PDI from 1993-1996. It's supposed to show that Mega sees her being Chairwoman of the PNI as a continuation of being Chairwoman of the PDI.

Just wanted to show a glimpse of how people are doing ITTL. Essentially people who have become unemployed as a result of the crisis turn to running businesses from home and then when the economy recovered, it became real businesses because they have a good economic condition with which to expand.

The religion card…as popular ITTL as it is OTL in Indonesia.
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Hmm the religion card... and Tanjung Priok is still fresh on public memory...
This is only going to get worse after TTL's 9/11...
Keep tuning in. Busy year 2001.

In any case the following is the President’s Summit Calendar 2001:
25th February 2001: D-8 Summit in Cairo, Egypt

30th-31st May 2001: G-15 Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia

20th-21st October 2001: APEC Summit in Shanghai, China

5th-6th November 2001; ASEAN Summit in Bandar Sri Begawan, Brunei
Tidbits of Try's Indonesia: Film and Books
Kuldesak (Cul-De-Sac):
While Daun Di Atas Bantal (Leaf On A Pillow) became the Government’s darling and promoted by its embassies overseas, Kuldesak was seen as rain on an otherwise sunny day. In July 1998, the Government was made aware of the movie Kuldesak, a movie taking an anthology format with 4 joint directors; Riri Riza, Nan Achnas, Mira Lesmana and Riza Mantovani. It was finished, it was looking for distribution, and then it was found that its production had not been registered with the Department of Information, Post, and Telecommunications. The 4 directors had decided to disclose in part because they wanted to see whether or not “Try was the same as Soeharto”. The Department frowned that the movie had not been registered with it before it was being made but Ginandjar allowed the movie to be released but only as a direct-to-VCD release where it gained a cult following through watch parties held by university students.

Film Industry:
The film industry was going through a process of struggle and stagnation during the first few years of the Try presidency. In part this was due to a barrier of entry in the shape of a requirement for aspiring directors to serve as assistant directors in 5 movies before they could become directors. It was also in part because of an inefficient distribution system which was pretty much a monopoly and tended to favor imported over national films in the nation’s cinemas. While established studios and actors, to not say anything about studios which produced what was essentially softcore porn, were able to steer their way through the industrial maze, aspiring directors struggled.

First-time director Rudi Sudjarwo blazed a trail when he made an unlikely partner out of CEO of TVRI Roni Sikap Sinuraya. The former wanted a channel to distribute his film and the latter wanted to freshen up TVRI in the face of competition from the other channels. Thus it was that Rudi’s first movie Bintang Jatuh broadcasted on TVRI in February 2000 on TVRI’s Saturday Night timeslot with 7 more repeat broadcasts of the movie all of which were responses to the audience’s demand. The movie was shown uninterrupted by advertising with the advertising itself being run on tickers at the bottom of the screen.

It was an arrangement that got other aspiring directors and moviemakers knocking on TVRI’s door. To the point where by the middle of 2000, the TVRI had formed a selection committee to decide which aspiring directors can have their movies broadcasted in what became TVRI’s Filmmakers’ Cinema; the term “filmmakers” being used in this case so that TVRI could get around regulations because the regulations only referred to directors rather “filmmakers”.

Despite the cozy arrangements, the Indonesian film industry knew that its arrangements with the TVRI were temporary. The aim was always for Indonesian films to flourish and be shown to audiences on the big rather than the small screen otherwise it was thought that the industry would never grow.

Though she received critical acclaim for her starring role in Bintang Jatuh, the state of the film industry was such that Dian Sastrowardoyo thought that she was better of concentrating on her Management Degree at the University of Indonesia so she could become a journalist and maybe getting into business to help pay for her education.

For the first 18 months or so of Try’s Presidency, the film industry was confused over who had responsibility over it. Regulation of the film industry was under the Department of Information, Post, and Telecommunication but its promotion fell under the Department of Tourism. The President rectified this somewhat by creating a Junior Ministry of Arts and Culture and appointing Subrata to the position of junior minister.

Subrata’s first real exposure to the film industry since becoming minister came at the Bandung Film Festival in April 2000. There he was able to gauge the opinions of those within the film industry be they producers, directors, and actors as they reported the problems they faced. These problems were underlined when the Film Festival failed to name a Best Indonesian Movie. When asked they told Subrata that they had not named a best movie since 1992.

Through patient lobbying, Subrata was able to gain approval from the President to hold the first Indonesian Film Festival since 1993 and successfully asked the President to attend. Gaining the appreciation of the film industry, Subrata told his stakeholders to make their case about the film industry to the President at the Indonesian Film Festival in March 2001.

The Buru Tetralogy by Pramoedya Ananta Toer remained banned by Attorney General’s Office, which is in charge of banning literature. In May 1998, Pramoedya’s publishers Hasta Mitra wrote a letter to the Attorney General’s Office asking if there was going to be a change of policy on the Buru Tetralogy. A letter came back stating that there was no plan on the part of the Government to change the policy anytime soon on the Buru Tetralogy or on any works of Pramoedya’s deemed to be spreading Marxism-Leninism. Pramoedya himself only muttered cynically that he “Expected nothing less from Soeharto’s Successor”.

One book that is widely available was President Soeharto: The Final Years by former Vice Chairman of the DPR Abdul Gafur. It was released in 1999 and acted as a sequel to Soeharto’s 1989 Autobiography. The book advanced the thesis, widely accepted among Tutut supporters, that Soeharto laid down the foundations for Indonesia’s economic recovery and that President Try “merely” built upon what Soeharto had begun. Though it was a book which tried to highlight Soeharto at the expense of Try, there was not much the Government could do if it wanted to because the foreword was written by the President himself during his period of “fake peace” with Tutut.

One reader who was not satisfied with the thesis the book put forward was Soedradjad Djiwandono. Recently resigned as Minister of Economics and National Development Planning, Soedradjad finally got around to reading it and decided that he was going to write a book to counter the arguments countered in Gafur’s book.

Some more tidbits this time focusing on film and books. I'm intending for some of the information placed here to be a backstory for some of the things that happen in the main timeline.
IOTL kuldesak managed to get into theatres iirc

bintang jatuh was a bit different.. think it was on RCTI? Never did watched that. Rudi sujarwo‘s dad was a former head ofPOLRI btw, made it believable for him cutting a deal with TVRI

Have you talked about which channels support who? Think tutut owns TPI and bambang has Global or was it RCTI?
IOTL kuldesak managed to get into theatres iirc

bintang jatuh was a bit different.. think it was on RCTI? Never did watched that. Rudi sujarwo‘s dad was a former head ofPOLRI btw, made it believable for him cutting a deal with TVRI

Have you talked about which channels support who? Think tutut owns TPI and bambang has Global or was it RCTI?
The last tidbit update talked about the press, including TV station's stances.
IOTL kuldesak managed to get into theatres iirc

bintang jatuh was a bit different.. think it was on RCTI? Never did watched that. Rudi sujarwo‘s dad was a former head ofPOLRI btw, made it believable for him cutting a deal with TVRI
OTL, Kuldesak was in cinemas. Ditto Bintang Jatuh before Rudi Sudjarwo saw that 21 Cinemas did not seem serious about his movie and took it to be shown on universities.

The difference between OTL and ITTL here is that there was no loosening of restrictions by the Department of Information that happened OTL including in movie making.
114: A Lot On His Plate
17th February 2001:
“The President’s just taken a strong stance on the Extreme Right and they come up with this?!” asked State Secretary Edi Sudrajat “It can’t be a coincidence.”

“It’s not. It’s designed to put him in a tricky situation”, said Minister of Home Affairs Harsudiono Hartas “Pass these bills into law and it can be taken that there is a chink in the President’s stance towards the Extreme Right.”

“It’s not the first time they’ve done this”, interjected Chief of BAKIN Ari Sudewo “2 years ago when the Banking Law was being amended, they made a fight out of getting Sharia Banking to be recognized in the law though it ended up not being recognized.”

“The Banking Law was crucial for economic recovery, we had to work through that regardless of the obstacles they placed”, explained President Try “But these 2 bills they’ve just proposed…”

“It doesn’t have to become law, make it tough for them in the DPR. It has to line up behind more high priority bills, right, Mr. President?” asked OCDS Sugeng Subroto.

“Sure, Sugeng”, said the President “But that’ll just play into the hands of our opponents. It’ll give them ammunition to try and get the support of those who think I’m leading an anti-Islam government, including those who have a grievance with that incident involving the two of us at Tanjung Priok.”

“Gentlemen, you’re really being party poopers here”, interrupted First Lady Tuti Setiawati as she appeared from behind Try.

Trying to forget his job for the moment, the President stood up and mingled with the guests at the event he was attending, shaking hands and having his photo taken.

Though her birthday was last week, it was Susi Susanti’s 30th birthday party and the female badminton gold medal winner had invited the President and the First Lady as well. When the President was about to leave she and her husband, fellow badminton gold medal winner Alan Budikusuma, saw him off. Try had a special bond with the pair; between 1985 and 1993, as the Chairman of the All-Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI), Try oversaw the preparations that led to the pair’s famous runs at the 1992 Olympic Games.

On the way back to the Presidential Palace, the First Lady showed the President some giftbags. In addition to being Susi’s birthday party, the party Try attended was also Susi and Alan’s 4th Wedding Anniversary. Tuti reminisced about how she and Try, who were then still Second Lady and Vice President, attended the reception.

As much as he tried, the President remembered at the time of their wedding, in spite of the fact that they had won gold medals for the nation, Susi and Alan had suffered administrative difficulties on account of them being of Chinese ethnicity. Susi was unable to produce a Proof of Indonesian Citizenship Letter (SBKRI), a letter which Chinese-Indonesians had to have and for which it was complicated (ie. bribes were requirred) to obtain. It took Susi publicly complaining about bureaucratic hurdles for her to finally be able to obtain her SBKRI.

Try thought deeply about this situation.

19th February 2001:
The President’s mood did not improve. His first meeting for the week was with Edi Sudrajat and Deputy State Secretary Soedibyo Rahardjo. The 3 sat down to discuss the matter of the divestment of Freeport shares to Indonesia which the President ordered the State Secretariat to study into the previous month. Soedibyo explained everything on the table about the contract.

The Contract of Work signed between the Indonesian Government and Freeport in 1991 stipulated that Freeport will divest 9.36% of its shares to an Indonesian entity (be it Government, state-owned enterprises, or private enterprise) within 10 years of signing of the contract. Considering the Indonesian Government began with 9.36% in 1967, this will double Indonesia’s share in Freeport. Then starting from 2001, Freeport was to divest 2% of its shares in the mine each year to the Government until Government stake in the mine reaches 51%.

Things went awry in its implementation. In 1992, the second 9.36% of Freeport which was Indonesia’s share was purchased by Aburizal Bakrie’s PT. Indocopper. But then Bakrie sold 49% of his shares in Indocopper to Freeport. In 1997, Bakrie followed this up by selling his remaining shares to Bob Hasan, a close associate of Soeharto’s. Bob Hasan in turn is still in the process of selling his shares to Freeport, a process which will be completed in 2002.

“So we’re back at 9.36% shares in Freeport”, said Edi “What about the annual divestment of 2% of shares they’re suppose to begin this year?”

Soedibyo explained Contract of Work signed between the Indonesian Government and Freeport in 1991 stipulated that in the event of the Government enacting a divestment policy that was more “lenient” than the one in the contract, it can choose to adhere to the more lenient policy.

“Does this more lenient policy exist that Freeport could say that they feel they don’t have to divest anything?” asked the President.

“It does Mr. President”, explained Soedibyo “They cite a regulation from 1994 signed by President Soeharto allowing foreign investors to hold 100% shares in their companies. The rules apply to mining companies as well.

"So they actually do have grounds for not divesting their shares", said Try.

"Correct, Mr. President", replied Soedibyo.

20th February 2001:
Minister of Religion Quraish Shihab was overseeing some of the final departees for the Hajj Pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia when he received questions about the Zakat and Wakaf Bills. Quraish said that such bills must be studied carefully.

Head of BSN Ardiansyah Parman came out of a meeting with the President saying that it will be compulsory for toys made for children under 14 years old to adhere to the Indonesian National Standards (SNI). Toys were widely produced, sold, and bought for both domestic consumption and exports the previous year. But some incidents of lead poisoning amongst children in 2000 led to the Government deciding to take action.

21st February 2001:
Cabinet Secretary Hayono Isman announced today that the President had issued a Presidential Instruction regarding General Strategy of Obtaining and Utilizing Foreign Currency Reserves For The Sake of Economic Development. It contained the following instructions:

*The Minister of Economics and National Development Planning to conduct overall supervision and coordination as to the obtainment and utilization of foreign currency.
*The Minister of Finance to place barriers on non-essential goods coming into the country.
*The Minister of Trade to identify new markets for Indonesia’s exports.
*The Minister of Industry to, without sacrificing quality and, identify cheaper sources of imports for the purposes of increasing Indonesia’s industrial production. Imports does not lessen the necessity for Indonesia to increase industrial production.
*The Minister of Agriculture to increase agricultural production so Indonesia can redirect its foreign currency as well. At the same time, the agricultural sector must be directed to add value so that agricultural exports can be increased.
*The Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries to direct the fisheries sector to fully utilize the nation’s fisheries sector and direct the fisheries sector to add value so that fisheries exports can be increased.
*The Minister of Tourism to identify new tourist markets and establish new tourism place.
*The Head of the BNP2TKI to conduct an “internal clean up” to ensure returning migrant workers could hold on to the money earned overseas.

“The goal is to build upon economic growth from last year, make sure economic growth is sustainable, and continue to be on our way to prosperity”, said Hayono when explaining the goals of the Presidential Instruction.

22nd February 2001:
The President today swore in the following at a ceremony at the Presidential Palace:

-Maj. Gen. Slamet Kirbiantoro as Governor of Central Sulawesi
-Prof. Juwono Sudarsono B.A., M.S., M.A., Ph.D as Ambassador to the United Nations
-Prof. Dr. Bambang Sudibyo M.A as an Inspector General of Development to fill the slot left behind by the now Junior Minister of Cooperatives Cacuk Sudarijanto.

After the ceremony, the President accompanied by Vice President JB Sumarlin, fronted the press which had gathered to record the event.

“The Government is studying the Zakat and Wakaf Bills. I'm certain an answer after I get back from my trip”, said the President.

Try's comments to Sugeng Subroto refer to Sugeng being Try's second in command at the Jakarta Regional Military Command during the Tanjung Priok Incident.

Susi Susanti’s birthday is 11th February 1971. Her wedding anniversary is 9th February 1997. There’s a movie recently about her in Indonesia in which Try Sutrisno is played by the actor Farhan.

Freeport has landed on Try’s plate. Information given here is drawn from CNBC Indonesia’s website

The Presidential Instruction is fictional and represents Indonesia’s economic target for 2001 which is not wanting the strong economic performance of 2000 to be a one-time thing.