1. (S/NF) Notes on Yudhoyono's
inner circle... Notional uranium sale to Iran dead... Ba'asyir lawyer tied to State
seen by politicians as figures with good access to Yudhoyono
Names we have heard recently which are not widely seen as close to Yudhoyono
include Yasin, associated with the
These political figures assumed that Yudhoyono and his team must have used a network
of Megawati as his Vice President if Yudhoyono
were forced from office by mass protests, and Kalla
were to become
End Note.) In a parenthetical remark, T.B. noted that President Yudhoyono shared the most sensitive
to President Yudhoyono, protecting Yudhoyono from the potential liabilities that could arise if Yudhoyono were to deal with Tomy directly. (Comment: Dave Laksono did not provide a specific time frame for this information.
Jusuf Kalla selected Soemarsono as Golkar Secretary General on the recommendation of President Yudhoyono.
Lately, however, our contacts have questioned Soemarsono's loyalty to Yudhoyono; one member of Golkar's Central Board told us Soemarsono is trying to play Kalla off against Golkar Deputy General Chairman Agung Laksono, and to create his own faction within Golkar.
The Indonesian government has rejected corruption allegations made against president Yudhoyono in US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
The claims have caused friction between Indonesia and the United States.
remarks left the public critical of his
leadership and provided no clear end to these continuing issues," the paper quoted one cable as saying.
In one cable sent in November of 2009, Yudhoyono
was criticized as failing to quell the growing and soon to be major crisis involving alleged attempts to bring down the nation's respected Corruption Eradication Commission
(KPK) in the infamous cicak (gecko) versus buaya (alligator) scandal.
The cable said Yudhoyono
, in response to the scandal and another involving the Bank Century case, had only provided authorities with "vague guidance" for the police and Attorney General's Office.
remarks left the public critical of his
leadership and provided no clear end to these continuing issues."
The cable also noted that the "controversies have sidetracked Yudhoyono's
plans to use his
first 100 days to develop an action orientated program for the next years."
has previously been forced to deny allegations contained in US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks
of improper conduct, including that his
family had received money from banking and construction tycoon Tomy Winata.
It was also alleged that the president used Indonesian intelligence
to spy on his
This time it's not about abusing power by Yudhoyono
, but the ministers under his
Coordinating Minister of economy Hatta Raja mentioned as a strong ally of Yudhoyono
although not considered to have a track record of economic reform.
Not yet clear is, unlike the case of "abusing power" that was published in the Sydney Morning Herald
that reportedly could make first lady Ani Yudhoyono
moved to tears.
Mr and Mrs Yudhoyono
did not meet President and Mrs. Obama upon
The Ambassador would not comment publicly on the leaked cables but praised Mr Yudhoyono's
record in office.
They have been vehemently denied by Dr Yudhoyono
and people cited in the cables as sources.
Mr Obama was to have telephoned Dr Yudhoyono
on Friday but ''when the WikiLeaks thing broke, it didn't happen'', said one source, adding the purpose of the call was to discuss the approaching East Asia Summit in Indonesia.
It is believed the US
cancelled the call after discussions with officials from Dr Yudhoyono's
Last night, speaking for the first time about the WikiLeaks cables, Dr Yudhoyono
labelled the allegations untrue and a character assassination. ''Believe me, I am accountable for what I do.
I, God willing, will continue to maintain the integrity because that is my duty as leader of this country,'' he
But US-Indonesian relations have been strained by the cables and their reports Dr Yudhoyono
blocked a corruption probe into political powerbroker Taufik Kiemas, used intelligence services to spy on rivals and received funding from businessman Tomy Winata through a middleman.
An analyst with the political consultancy LSI Burhanudin Muhtadi
said Dr Yudhoyono
was angry about the cables. ''SBY sees himself as an international darling,'' he
said. ''He is very upset that the US embassy
in Indonesia was spying on him and reporting in such an improper and unhappy manner.''
Instead of enjoying what should be a triumphant second term after winning re-election in 2009, President Yudhoyono is mired in political scandal and parliamentary intrigue.
Rumors that a potential shake-up in the governing coalition could bring Prabowo Subianto into government have caused alarm among Indonesian
Gen. Prabowo was head of the Indonesian army's special forces unit during the Suharto era, during which they were implicated in human rights abuses.
The image of the popular Mr. Yudhoyono
negotiating with such a figure has his
political opponents licking their chops.
Meanwhile, human rights advocates are alarmed by the Yudhoyono government's tepid responses to videotaped evidence of horrific human rights abuses committed by Indonesian security forces in Papua last year.
American policy makers are also privately grousing about the difficulty of cooperation with their Indonesian counterparts.
On issues from promotion of democracy in Burma to security cooperation, the U.S. has found Indonesian responses disappointing and the authorities difficult to deal with.
also has responded weakly to resurgent Islamists, who seem intent on setting the agenda in the absence of his
After a gruesome video surfaced in February of three members of the Muslim religious minority Ahmadiyah sect being attacked during prayers and beaten to death, the president issued a faint condemnation and call for an investigation, but has done little to protect the group.
He finally spoke out after a series of letter bombs sent to moderate political and religious figures in recent weeks targeted a member of his own party.
The bombs, which police have linked to a splinter group of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorist organization, seem to have shaken Mr. Yudhoyono
, but whether this will lead to more aggressive political leadership against Indonesia's
Islamists remains an open question.
Rather than a triumphant second term, Mr. Yudhoyono, who has been president since October 2004, seems to be encountering a phenomenon well known to American politicians: the "seven-year itch.
himself seems at a loss as to how to regain his
is now seen preoccupied with shuffling seats in the legislature and playing to his
voter galleries, including dangerous groups such as the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).
Unfortunately, Mr. Yudhoyono's
crisis of confidence comes at a time when Indonesia is hitting a tricky passage in its democratization.
is facing a vicious cycle: The more he
is seen getting his
hands dirty with retail politics and legislative horse-trading, the further he
brand as a clean and forceful leader.
That in turn only reduces his
To regain momentum in the final years of his
presidency, Mr. Yudhoyono
should draw lessons from successful two-term American presidents.
needs to delegate more of the nitty-gritty of politics to trusted deputies, and devote his
effort to public leadership on over-arching policy responses that address Indonesia's domestic economic, social and security issues in ways that reinforce liberalizing trends.
Indonesians voted for Mr. Yudhoyono
because they wanted a leader who could take their democracy to the next level.
has three years left, which is enough time to make an indelible mark on Indonesia and put the country on a positive trajectory, but only if he
has the requisite political will to forge ahead.
The group says it is unhappy about The Age article headlined "Yudhoyono `abused power'", alleging it accuses the president of behaving inappropriately
The US cables - leaked exclusively to Fairfax Media and published on Friday in the Herald and The Age - allegedly accused Yuhoyono of trying to influence judges and prosecutors to protect his
corrupt political allies.
The published cables also said he
used the country's intelligence service to spy on his
rivals and that his
family were trying to use his
political connections for their own financial gains.
"The cables did not say Yudhoyono
had abused power so their h