New Ash Center report lauds successes, proposes reforms for Indonesia

first_img Read Full Story Formerly an authoritarian state, Indonesia has made impressive gains over the last 10 years as the world’s first majority Muslim, multi-party democracy. The country’s successes and challenges as a new democracy are the subject of the new report titled “From Reformasi to Institutional Transformation: A Strategic Assessment of Indonesia’s Prospects for Growth, Equity, and Democratic Governance.” The report, authored by the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, offers an assessment of Indonesia’s governance and socioeconomic climate, and concludes that the country must move beyond current reforms to effect a dramatic institutional transformation in order to compete successfully in the global economy.Indonesia’s current economic and social conditions are described in the beginning of the report. It documents the nation’s struggles with inequality, corruption, and institutional failure, and outlines the many economic challenges that it faces, including a growing trade deficit with China, the continued exporting of its natural resources and the importing of many finished goods which could be produced domestically. According to the report, slow job growth coupled with inadequate infrastructure and public health services impede Indonesia from achieving its full potential.Recommendations for ReformThe report’s authors contend that the following short- and medium-term measures could set Indonesia back on the right course toward a path of prosperity:Electoral Reform: Indonesia’s current election processes vary across the country and are often plagued by corruption. Solutions like creating a single-member district (SMD) system and semi-closed list voting processes, or adopting Germany’s mixed SMD and closed-list system, could reduce the complexities and thus curb some corruption, incentivizing politicians to act more in the public interest. Reforming Decentralization: While decentralization has increased avenues for democratic participation, its speed and lack of coherent functions threaten to undermine its civic benefits. The report calls for inter-governmental review bodies, such as the Council for Deliberation on Regional Autonomy, to improve efforts in overseeing and coordinating decentralization. Creating a clear set of standards and criteria for the establishment of new administrative entities could provide much needed consistency and accountability of functions.center_img Adopting International Standards: China has had much success attracting foreign business by adopting international standards of accountability and transparency while involving international executives and board members. By following China’s example, Indonesia could make a stronger commitment to international rules and halt business-as-usual practices influenced solely by domestic interests.last_img read more

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Long Island’s Pathetic Utility Preparation Always Leaves Us Powerless for the Next Bad Storm

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York With a thunderclap, Syosset residents awoke long before dawn to witness what looked like a strobe light outside as flashes of lightning illuminated the darkness. In East Northport, thunder rattled the windows—and the storm was just getting started. The weather system strengthened rapidly in its steady march across the North Shore, slamming into Stony Brook, St. James and the Three Village area.On Tuesday morning, Long Islanders saw scenes reminiscent of Superstorm Sandy. Large, old-growth trees blocked the streets, utility poles were snapped, Long Island Rail Road service was disrupted, and around 68,000 Long Islanders found themselves without power. By 5 p.m. the following day, an estimated 21,000 remained without power in the hardest hit areas as restoration efforts lasted well into the night.The Town of Brookhaven was slammed so badly—and the restoration effort handled so ineffectively—that Town Supervisor Ed Romaine issued a press release excoriating PSEG Long Island. He said the utility had promised to provide six repair crews but as of 4 p.m. he said that only two crews had been dispatched to the town.“Our residents deserve a quick response to this local disaster,” Romaine said.The powerful predawn thunderstorm exposed the glaring weakness of our region’s aging infrastructure. Once again, LI had a rude awakening. Our antiquated overhead wires, those pregnable pole-mounted transformers and a utility not up to the task of adequately serving the needs of our region.“The amount of damage and the widespread nature of such is not too common, and doesn’t happen too often,” said Michael Leona, a professional freelance meteorologist. “I believe this is the most widespread damage on Long Island since Sandy.”Prior to Tuesday’s destruction, he said that the most recent non-tropical storm damage was from a powerful nor’easter in March 2010 that affected southern Nassau County.Leona observed that severe thunderstorms packing what are called straight-line winds of 70-90 mph are not common here. He declined to suggest whether this system represented the “new normal” weather pattern but said that Long Islanders are certainly more attuned to what’s occurring in the air and on the ground thanks to social media and smartphones.“I don’t know if stronger storms are happening more often,” Leona told me, “but the public will know about it extensively and very quickly.”Leona touches upon an interesting trend. It seems that Long Islanders have more awareness of the weather, and thanks to bursts of severe occurrences—be they blizzards, nor’easters, thunderstorms or large-scale extreme events like hurricanes and tornadoes—more attention is being given to the impacts these storms have. On the regional level, storm preparation has spurred fortification of coastal areas, elevation of houses on the South Shore and even condemnation of properties on Fire Island to make way for protective dunes. Yet, despite these measures, our infrastructure, especially our power lines, remain vulnerable.For Long Islanders, it is an all-too-familiar scenario. A storm hits, trees topple and the lights go off, but it is too easy to place blame solely on PSEG Long Island, mainly because the Island’s storm vulnerability long predates their oversight of the grid. By continuing to expand and rebuild out antiquated method of power delivery, we shall continue to ensure that whenever the strong winds blow, darkness will result.Unfortunately, the solution to our electricity woes is both complex and very costly.According to News 12 Long Island, “An independent study commissioned by LIPA in 2005 found that burying wires on Long Island could cost $25 to $30 billion. The study says it would raise electricity rates by 150 percent over 25 years.”Long Islanders know all too well how utilities in the region handle large-scale projects and debt management, so the political will to move forward will be weak at best. But that doesn’t mean burying the lines isn’t necessary.A small, yet effective step easy to implement would be for local governments to mandate that new residential subdivisions place their power lines underground. While most of Nassau and western Suffolk counties is predominately built up, this requirement would at least ensure some resiliency from eastern Brookhaven to points eastward.This thunderstorm was rare, but it wreaked havoc on North Shore communities. Policymakers should look at the big picture. As devastating as Superstorm Sandy was for LI, it barely classified as a Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The September 1938 hurricane dubbed “The Long Island Express,” which carved out the Shinnecock Inlet and shattered the East End, was a Category 3.Yes, Sandy was weak by comparison, yet we’re still feeling its impacts. The recent thunderstorm was even weaker, and thousands of Long Islanders remained without power for two days afterwards.We need to start seriously exploring where, and why, our electrical grid is vulnerable against storms—and enact workable solutions. Additional tree-trimming and maintenance efforts, paired with new requirements for buried power lines, are a good place to start. Once the grid is adequately assessed, we can address the weakest points in the grid and ensure that when the next bad storm comes, the lights will stay on.What will it take for Long Island to be ready? Let’s not wait another day to find out.Rich Murdocco writes about Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran master planner. Murdocco is a regular contributor to the Long Island Press. More of his views can be found on www.TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.last_img read more

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GAA NEWS: GLENSWILLY U10s DO CLUB PROUD AT FINGALLIANS FOOTBALL FESTIVAL

first_imgGlenswilly notesUnder 10s the pride of the Glen!It’s not often that the club’s Under 10 team make the headlines.But nobody could deny the boys and girls and their coaches their moment of glory after such a brilliant showing at the Fingallians Festival of Football in Dublin last weekend.The club were once again very thankful of the invitation from the Swords-based club and were delighted to be able to travel.The players, coaches and helpers left Glenswilly before 7am on Saturday morning last and did not arrive home until 1am the following morning.But in between all players wore the Glen jersey with pride and passion and were a credit to their club – not least of all with the behaviour.A huge congratulations goes to all the boys and girls and hopefully we will be there again next year. Best of luck JohnUnder 12 player John Lapsley’s name was picked out of the hat for a very special day in Croke Park next Wednesday.The Bomany lad will join players from across the country at a very special skills day at GAA headquarters.John will also enjoy a tour of Croke Park before returning home.The club would like to wish John and dad Paul a safe and enjoyable journey.Trips like the don’t come around too often.Thanks for the memoriesThe club would like to thank Neil, Michael and the two Garys for yet another superb championship run which unfortunately ended at Croke Park last Saturday.We are proud to have such ambassadors at the club and we would again like to thank the lads for all the super memories they have given us this year.Here’s to going even further again next year! U13s getting ready for new seasonThe U13 squad will be assembling shortly to begin training for the new season. Players will be sent a text about training times in the coming days.BingoThe bingo takes place in the hall as usual every Wednesday night starting at 9pm. People are asked to arrive a little earlier. Anybody who may be in a position to help should contact Paul Lapsley or any member of the bingo committee.Notes Anybody who has anything of the club notes should email them to [email protected] before Tuesday at midday. Many thanks.GAA NEWS: GLENSWILLY U10s DO CLUB PROUD AT FINGALLIANS FOOTBALL FESTIVAL was last modified: August 12th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalGlenswilly GAA noteslast_img read more

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