SBY Criticizes Investors for
Camelia Pasandaran. The Jakarta Globe, Bogor - 21/02/2011
While acknowledging the government's shortcomings in carrying out development plans, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday also criticized investors for failing to follow through on commitments.
"We grant them permits but nothing happens,” he said before a meeting to draft a master plan on economic development at the Bogor palace.
He then singled out investment plans for Jakarta's transportation system.
"I have heard so many commitments [by investors] to develop Jakarta transportation, they are extraordinary in number over the past decade," he said.
"All of them are just empty talk because they did not push through. It may also be happening in many other regions."
He did not elaborate on which investors or projects he was referring to.
In 2004, the original monorail project was halted because of difficulties in finding investors. The Dubai Islamic Bank initially showed interest in the project, but sought guarantees in case the monorail fell short of its goal of 160,000 passengers per day, which some observers saw as too ambitious.
Later, the plan was scrapped because, at the time, Indonesia lacked the legal tools needed to arrange investments that complied with Shariah law.
Jakarta took over the project from PT Jakarta Monorail after the firm failed to secure financing, but left unresolved a dispute with the company over compensation for investments it had already made.
Aside from investors' shortcomings, Yudhoyono blamed slow bureaucracy, disharmony between the central and regional governments, flawed regulations and unhealthy political interests as reasons for weak development.