The Indonesian rupiah is still in the midst of a weeks-long slide against the US dollar, with the exchange rate nearing IDR14,500 today — its worst performance since October 2015. As expected, this has become political fodder for the opposition to attack President Joko Widodo’s government.
One may remember the time from 2009-2012 when the rupiah traded around or below IDR10K to the US dollar, and Gerindra, the government’s main opposition party, believes they can bring about a return to those days if Indonesia elects their chairman, Prabowo Subianto, in next year’s presidential election.
Gerindra Vice Chairman Arief Poyuono today blamed the rupiah’s condition on the government’s failure to predict global economic trends, as economists say the decrease in the value of the rupiah (as well as many other world currencies) was caused by a global emerging market sell-off triggered by higher US interest rates.
Arief also said that Bank Indonesia’s preemptive measures to stabilize the rupiah, such as by repeatedly raising interest rates in the past few weeks, have proven to be ineffective.
“It’s all guess work without any deep analysis and consideration of President Donald Trump’s economic policies, which are very aggressive and American-minded,” he said, as quoted by JPNN.
Arief then said that Gerindra has an effective solution, but will only reveal it to the public under one condition.
“We know how to return the rupiah to around IDR10,000 per US dollar. If Prabowo is elected president, we’ll make it happen. Unlike Joko Widodo who previously said the dollar will be under IDR10,000 but instead it’s rocketing towards IDR15,000,” he said.
Although Gerindra has nominated Prabowo as their candidate for next year election (setting up a rematch of his 2014 presidential race against Jokowi), his candidacy hasn’t been made official yet as Gerindra still needs to secure a coalition with other political parties to surpass the presidential threshold requirement.
The next Indonesian presidential election and general election will take place on April 17, 2019.