Friday, September 30, 2005



In Indonesia, fuel prices have risen by an average of 120% overnight.

1 litre unleaded petrol rises from 2,450 Rupiah (24 US cents) to 4,500 (44 US cents)

1 litre kerosene climbs from 700 Rp (7 cents) to 2,000 (20 cents)

The Government has been spending a third of its budget on fuel subsidies, due to a weak currency and high global prices

Some 15m poorer families will each get 300,000 Rp ($30) in compensation

A litre of kerosene, used by millions of Indonesians for cooking, will now cost 20 US cents - an increase of 186%. The price of petrol will also shoot up by 87.5%.

Editorial in Jakarta's Suara Karya
The fuel price hike has made the government unpopular. It seems the government has paid less attention to society's burden... This proves that the government's information management has been really terrible. The government should treat the fuel price hike as information which must be cautiously handled so that it will not cause panic amongst the public.

Editorial in Surabaya's Jawa Pos
In this case, the government's stand and statements regarding the plans to raise the fuel price have sparked social panic... Tragically, the House of Representatives itself has also created uncertainties in society.

Editorial in Jakarta's Media Indonesia
The irrationality of consumers [queuing for fuel] which verges on panic stems from uncertainties and distrust... Consumers do not trust the government, Pertamina [state-owned oil company] or the fuel stations.

Editorial in Semarang's Suara Merdeka
The utterly bleak situation ahead of the fuel price hike has made us continue to wonder: Why must this condition occur? Aren't there better ways, better management or more strategic and tactical measures amidst the endless hardships which society continues facing? Hasn't this government learned from its predecessors?

Editorial in Medan's Waspada
If we hold the general elections next month, it is clear that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono [SBY], Vice-President Jusuf Kalla and Hidayat Nurwahid [speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly] will not be elected by the people, who face a more bitter life as a result of their decision to increase the fuel price... The government may claim that it has prepared its security apparatus to counter the movement of protesters, but if the number of angry people continues to rise day by day, then SBY/Kalla will only have two choices: To hang on to power with the risk of heavy casualties or to resign as president and vice-president as a consequence of the distrust of the people.

Indonesia has more than doubled the average price of fuel.

The price hike, which is significantly higher than expected, is designed to cut Indonesia's massive fuel subsidy bill and help balance its budget.

Protests have taken place in at least 10 cities.

Police reportedly fired tear gas at about 200 students in Jakarta who were throwing stones and burning tyres.

The increases will have a knock-on effect on the price of everything from rice to cigarettes.

Police outside a university campus in the capital fired warning shots at protesters that appeared to be blanks, El Shinta radio reported on Friday, and hit some of the demonstrators with sticks, according to the Associated Press.

The protests followed widespread demonstrations in at least eight cities on Thursday.

A 1998 hike in fuel prices helped topple former dictator Suharto.

Story from BBC NEWS:



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