As the year draws to a close, we should take a moment to reflect on what has happened in 2015, one of the most eventful years for Indonesia in the past decade.
By far, the biggest issue to hit the news in 2015 is the massive fires that burned for a long time in several areas, mostly in Sumatera and Kalimantan. These fires were lit by plantation companies seeking to clear out land for Palm Oil plantations. While the government had arrested several people deemed to be responsible for the fires, and even revoked the licenses of those companies responsible, many in the country still feels that the deep roots of corruption behind these fires mean that the real culprits remain free and in power.
The year also ended with one of the biggest graft scandals to hit the news in Indonesia: House Chairperson Setya Novanto was recorded to have demanded shares from American mining company Freeport McMorran. Novanto faced grilling from the House Ethical Court, but the case was dismissed after he resigned his position. He was not fired from the House, and is still a member of the Golkar fraction of the House.
The slowing economy is also a news focus, with manufacturing, the export industry, and many other sectors affected. The ever strengthening dollar continues to be a burden for the nation, while many local industrial players having to close shop due to diminishing demands.
All this and more will be featured in our blog in the next several days, so watch this space for updates!