ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
January 13, 2008
INDONESIA/ INVESTMENT POLICY
Next president urged to renegotiate work contracts with foreign investors
Indonesia’s noted national politician, H Amien Rais, said whoever is elected president of Indonesia should have the courage to renegotiate all work contracts with foreign companies unfavorable to Indonesia, especially those in the mining sector.
The head of state should be brave enough to hold renegotiations with foreign investors on all work contracts unfavorable to Indonesia. "If he or she does not have the courage to do this, it is no use for her or him to run for president," Amien said in Padang on Friday.
He made the remark in a political address to executives and sympathizers of a political party.
Amen took as example the work contract with PT Freeport in Papua which, he said, was robbing the country`s wealth.
"Every hour, from morning till afternoon, the American mining company is taking out tons of gold, tin and copper concentrate without supervision from the central or provincial governments," he said.
He said what was happening at Freeport in Papua was no longer "a state within a state but a state over a state" and this was "beyond the limits" of what could be tolerated.
Therefore, Amien said, he was trying to forward a new paradigm in the sense that the 2009 national leadership should have the courage to say `good bye` to the present style of government.
The new paradigm was badly needed because Indonesia was currently heading to a ravine where it would become subordinate to international capitalism, he added.
Amien also noted that many state companies would be privatized in 2008 starting with state plantations and industrial estates. "Imagine a 51-percent stake in a state-owned company like Garuda Indonesia airlines being offered for sale to Lion Air," Amien said.
According to Amien, this government style should be stopped because Indonesia could not possibly be managed as a subordinate or agent of international capitalists.
"If we let this happen, the Indonesian nation will never be able to gain prosperity and welfare in the future," he said.
According to Amien, the most difficult problem facing Indonesia nowadays was a tendency to make this country a subordinate organ in the structure of international capitalistism.