Asia Shipping Correspondent
Randolph's Feed
May 24, 2015

Indonesia’s military creeps back into civilian affairs

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Nearly two decades after Indonesia’s military was squeezed out of civilian affairs with the downfall of strongman leader Suharto, President Joko Widodo is drawing the army more closely into his wars on drugs, terrorism, and corruption.

Palace and military officials say Widodo’s move is partly designed to counterbalance senior police officers who have crossed swords with him and who, critics say, are trying to undermine the agency leading the campaign against graft.

May 18, 2015

Staffing firm Manpower to expand into Indonesia amid skilled-labour shortage

JAKARTA, May 18 (Reuters) – ManpowerGroup Inc, one
of the world’s biggest staffing firms, plans to expand into
Indonesia as early as September, seeing an opportunity to tap
companies that are struggling to find skilled labour in the
Southeast Asian nation.

Strong growth in Indonesia’s foreign direct investment has
been a rare bright spot for President Joko Widodo, but could
just as easily falter if firms can’t find the engineers,
accountants, and executives to run their businesses.

May 6, 2015

Indonesia to speed up spending, tweak monetary policies to revive growth

JAKARTA, May 6 (Reuters) – Indonesia is taking coordinated
steps to revive the worst domestic slowdown since 2009, with the
finance ministry promising to speed up infrastructure spending
and the central bank preparing a mixture of monetary policy
changes.

The economic offensive comes a day after data showed
Southeast Asia’s largest economy grew at a slower-than-expected
pace of 4.71 percent in the January-March quarter from a year
earlier. The slowdown was mainly due to a collapse in
commodities and weak government spending.

Apr 29, 2015

Deal to target drug network, not the mule, saved Filipina’s life

MANILA/JAKARTA (Reuters) – As the clocked ticked on Tuesday toward midnight, the hour when nine drug traffickers were expected to be executed on a high-security prison island in Indonesia, mandarins in the Philippines waited nervously for some word from Jakarta.

There never was a response to a last-ditch appeal their government had made to spare Filipina Mary Jane Veloso. But when news came that only eight of the convicts had in the end gone before the firing squad, there was jubilation in Manila.

Apr 27, 2015

Australia pleads for stay in executions, demands Jakarta probe

SYDNEY/JAKARTA (Reuters) – Australia made a last-minute plea on Monday for a stay in the imminent execution of two Australian drug traffickers in Indonesia, saying reports that their trial had been tainted by corruption needed to be investigated.

The call from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop almost immediately deepened a diplomatic row with Jakarta.

Apr 27, 2015

Corruption allegations over Bali Nine trial sets Australia-Indonesia row

SYDNEY/JAKARTA (Reuters) – Australia made a last-minute plea on Monday for a stay in the imminent execution of two Australian drug traffickers in Indonesia, saying that reports their trial had been tainted by corruption needed to be investigated.

The call from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop almost immediately deepened a diplomatic row with Jakarta.

Apr 24, 2015

Countdown appears to start for execution of foreigners in Indonesia

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia has asked foreign embassies to send representatives to a maximum security prison ahead of the expected execution of 10 drug convicts, although an official 72-hour notice of execution has not been given yet, diplomats said on Friday.

Among the convicted drug offenders set to face the firing squad are nationals from Australia, Brazil, France and Nigeria and the case has strained relations between the governments of those nations and Indonesia.

Apr 24, 2015

Countdown appears to start for execution of foreigners in Indonesia

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia has asked foreign embassies to send representatives to a maximum security prison for the expected execution of 10 drug convicts, although an official 72-hour notice of execution has not been given yet, diplomats said on Friday.

Among the convicted drug offenders set to face the firing squad are nationals from Australia, Brazil, France, Nigeria, and the Philippines, and the case has strained relations between the governments of those nations and Indonesia.

Apr 23, 2015

Philippine VP open to exploring for oil with China in disputed sea

JAKARTA, April 23 (Reuters) – Philippine Vice President
Jejomar Binay, considered a front-runner for the presidency in
2016, said on Thursday he would welcome a joint venture with
China to explore for oil and gas in disputed areas of the South
China Sea.

Binay’s stance is in contrast to President Benigno Aquino,
who has opposed business partnerships with China in territory
claimed by both countries.

Apr 22, 2015

Japan says PM Abe will meet China’s Xi in Indonesia

TOKYO/JAKARTA (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of an Asia-Africa summit in Indonesia on Wednesday, a Japanese government official said, the latest sign of a thaw in relations between the Asian rivals.

Sino-Japanese ties have chilled in recent years due to feuds over the two neighbors’ wartime past as well as territorial rows and regional rivalry. A meeting on Wednesday between the two leaders could promote a cautious rapprochement that began when Abe and Xi met at a summit in Beijing late last year.