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Founded in 1965, Kompas is a leading Indonesian daily published in Jakarta. It is the most widely read newspaper in Southeast Asia, and holds a neutral stance.
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Signs Of A Serious Startup Boom In Indonesia

JAKARTA — A deal between Indonesia's leading lender and an Uber-like moto-taxi application is the latest in a string of partnerhips that are making Indonesia a veritable hotspot for startup ventures in Asia.

The initiative, between Bank Mandiri and the Jakarta-based company Go-Jek, will allow customers to store credit on the app by handling payments through the motorcycle drivers, the English-language daily Jakarta Post reports. Mandiri will also expand access to financial services for drivers and customers.

Local technology firms like Go-Jek have achieved rapid success and contributed to a competitive local market, with international rivals like Uber and Malaysia-based Grab Taxi unable to dominate. They are increasingly gaining government support and private investment. Mandiri's venture capital unit, for one, has committed to spending $37.5 million on developing financial technology services.

Other national banks such as CIMB Niaga are also planning to work with Go-Jek and expand involvement in local startups, according to the Jakarta-based newspaper Kompas. While Go-Jek competes with larger firms like Uber, Grab, and Blue Bird (the leading Indonesian taxi company), smaller competitors are also shaking up the ride-hailing industry.

TeknoJek is a motorcycle taxi ride-hailing app similar to Go-Jek. The Jakarta Post writes that its success comes in part from employing innovative tools such as multi-level marketing, with the company providing additional income to drivers who refer customers and other drivers to the company.

Other Indonesian startups such as Tokopedia, an online marketplace, and Traveloka, a travel booking site, are gaining popularity as well and contributing to the country's increasing reputation as a startup hub.

Go-Jek received $500 million in funding this week from investors, and with Indonesian banks also ramping up investment in local tech firms, other startups will look to benefit and expand. If their success continues, Jakarta may well be on its way to becoming the Silicon Valley of Southeast Asia.


Corruption In Indonesia, Parliament Bites Back

JAKARTA — When Indonesian President Joko Widodo was elected last year on a platform to clean up rampant corruption in the nation of 250 million, no one thought it would be easy. Well, it's proving to be even harder than that.

The country's powerful Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK) has targeted members of the Indonesian parliament, with more than 100 members winding up with prison sentences in recent years. Now, as the Jakarta-based newspaper Kompas reports, Parliament is ready to fight back, with a recently proposed bill that aims to sharply reduce the KPK's powers.

Most of the parties in the governing coalition — including Widodo's PDI-P party — have signed off on the proposed law, which would abolish the KPK in 12 years time and set limits on what kind of graft cases it could pursue. If signed into law, this would leave high-profile investigations in the hands of the Attorney General's Office and the notoriously corrupt National Police.

The English daily Jakarta Globe writes that Widodo, who was elected in July 2014 as a political outsider promising to transform Indonesian public life, has blocked similar bills in the past. But his party is fiercely pushing the legislation as being necessary to rein in the KPK.

In a recent poll, President Jokowi, as he is commonly known, has seen his public approval rating fall below 50% for the first time in his administration. He has been notably mum on the debate over the KPK's powers.