Jakarta Ministers Mincing Words on Oz Visas!

Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Indroyono Soesilo initially refused point-blank to explain the decision to drop Australia from the list of countries whose citizens will be able to enjoy visa-free vacations in Indonesia.

Japan, Russia and South Korea are on this ‘most-favoured-nation’ category, it seems, but  Australia has evidently irked somebody high up.


Astonishingly, this same man was rabbiting on about ‘transparency being the key’ just a couple of months ago, speaking about one of the many ‘mafias’ which afflict the Indonesian body politic.  http://news.detik.com/read/2014/11/06/140654/2740939/159/menko-maritim-indroyono-soesilo-transparansi-kunci-berantas-mafia

But, when asked a straightforward  question, on the sudden flip-flop that will discriminate against Australia,  a country which contributes millions of dollars to Bali’s economy every year, all Minister Indroyono felt free to say in reply was  – “For Australians, the visa on arrival is enough!


  • tedjo Tedjo
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  • Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno also pointedly refused to say why, when asked by the JP reporter.  


So much for the fresh face of government that President Jokowi promised in last year’s election.

Of course Jakarta has the right to make any policy decisions it pleases. But this one is either

A a mean move based on a desire to screw as much money out of Aussie tourists as possible, or  

B a needless act of escalation perhaps provoked by all those shrills in Canberra who are seeking to interfere in Indonesia’s internal affairs.

And the JP article indicates the latter is likely. A high-ranking ministry official said that political reasons were behind the decision to exclude Australia from the new visa policy. 

But then it looks like somebody reminded Indriyono of his once-loud declaration in support of transparency.

In a text message sent to The Jakarta Post late on Thursday, Indroyono denied any political reason behind the decision to exclude Australia from the visa-free policy. “It’s simply because Australia does not implement a similar policy to almost all countries,” he said.

Oh yeah?

So why wouldn’t either minister just say so when the question was put to them. 

All in all, puzzling.

And sad, too, that normal Australians are being punished when most of them have no beef with Indonesia’s death penalty.

It’s the political and media elite in Oz that’s uptight about drug-smugglers getting put down.