Wimar hosts talk show featuring Paul Wolfowitz, Bambang Harymurti, Mari Pangestu, Yenny Wahid, Din Samsudin, Erry Riyana, Abdul Azis (NU)

Perspektif Online
11 April 2006
Had he come here two years ago, public reaction to Wolfowitz would have been vastly different. Billed as one of the architects of the US Iraq policy, he would have been beleaguered on the issue of Bush unilateralism. His aggressive policies on Afghanistan and Iraq would have made any discussion too  noisy to make any sense. In a quiet discussion after the tsunami, Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz was able to  make a coherent - if not accepted - explanation of the Iraq aggression in a dinner discussion at the Dapur Baba restaurant in Jakarta. But any open discussion was impossible.
It was different last night. Now appearing as President of the World Bank, he is nothing less than 'Indonesia's First Friend in Wahington', as Tempo chief Bambang Harymurti described him. Twenty years ago Paul Wolfowitz was a young diplomat, probably the most popular Ambassador the US ever had in Indonesia. Many Indonesians are in his circle of close personal friends. Abdullah Balbed, a local staff member of the Indonesian Embassy in Washington DC, wrote in the Jakarta Post: 'Every high Indonesian official visiting Washington worth his or her salt made sure to ask for an appointment to see Paul D. Wolfowitz, whether in his present capacity as the president of the World Bank or in his former roles in the U.S. government'
In a statement to Reiters during his visit to Indonesia, Wolfowitz has issued some strong statements, announcing corruption fighting measures that will change the way the bank designs and approves development projects for poor countries. Previously Wolfowitz said graft was a major impediment to development and the bank would step up transparency and anti-corruption efforts on three fronts.

In countries with serious problems, he said the bank will take such steps as investing in anti-corruption expertise and governance specialists, and will increase its investments in such key areas as judicial reform, civil service reform, the media and freedom of information.
As for the evening at the Intercon in Jakarta, 90m minutes was filled by a lively but civilized discussion on Paul's talking points, which were singled out by the moderator as follows:
  • In the last 20 years Indonesia has made tremendous progress.
  • Democratic development has been remarkable resulting in two general elections of very high quality.
  • There have been positive changes in parliament, civil society and the religious institutions.
  • The World Bank supports change but does not force it.
  • Corruption is the root of all problems.
Charting A Path For Indonesia
Reactions were given by a panel consisting of Bambang Harymurti, Mari Pangestu, Yenny Wahid, Din Samsudin, Erry Riyana, Abdul Azis (Vice Chairman of NU), moderated by Wimar. The audience of 200 members of the Jakarta elite - including expatriates - gave a sparkle of this soon-to-be-televised event. Watch out for it on SCTV.
Wolfowitz Yenni Wahid Mari Pangestu etc
Paul Wolfowitz (World Bank), Yenni Wahid (Wahid Institute) , Mari Pangestu (Minister fo Trade), Douglas Ramage (The Asia Foundation), Manpalagupta Sitorus (InterMatrix), Andrew Steer (World Bank Indonesia Country Director) and John Aglionby (The Guardian). For more pictures click here.

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  1. From Arga on 13 April 2006 20:08:34 WIB
    Why the hype about the visit of this man.To me he is the same Paul Wolvowitz who endorsed the killing of some 35,000 innocent Iraqi civilians. An extremist hawkish, now become president of World Bank. Are we selling our national pride for money, and pretend that nothing happen in Iraq, and allow ourselves trapped in the web of greedy capitalist.
  2. From tavip budi hudoyono on 13 April 2006 22:20:22 WIB
    OK juga, dibanding BI ndak punya pettycash, ya silakan deh tambahin petty cash kita.
    semoga uangnnya turun ke masyarakat kecil, ndak nalangin utang Menteri yang jadi pengusaha ... Tambang emas dan pelayaran... juga perminyakan (JOB yang baru ).


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