Report: Indonesian Leader Says IMF Playing into His Enemies Hands
Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid has claimed that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is bolstering his enemies by delaying its latest aid tranche, according to local media.
The IMF was playing into his adversaries' hands by criticizing his administration, Wahid told the Bangkok Post in comments reported Sunday.
"The IMF must learn the art of compromise ... The IMF must understand me," he said.
The organization, for example, should realize that it is politically prudent for the Indonesian government to continue subsidizing farmers for at least three years, Wahid said.
It must also appreciate that certain political factors will take time for Jakarta to control, Wahid said, alluding to recent separatist activity throughout the archipelago, such as in Aceh.
For its part, Indonesia will try to "meet the IMF stipulations," the president said.
IMF officials are reported to be frustrated with and critical of the current political instability and Wahid's handling of the economy.
Earlier this week Indonesia's coordinating minister for the economy confirmed that the IMF had delayed the scheduled December disbursement of a 400 million-dollar loan to Jakarta.
According to Jakarta media reports, Indonesia has failed to fulfil a number of key reform commitments on deadline, prompting the fund to postpone this month's loan disbursement, part of a five billion dollar loan package, until February or March.
But Indonesian officials have stressed that the delay is for purely technical reasons related to "scheduling" and is not Jakarta's fault.
The IMF came to Indonesia's rescue when the regional financial crisis hit the country in 1997. However, the bailout is subject to Indonesia's economic reform.
Wahid visited Bangkok on December 14 and 15 to receive an honorary doctorate in philosophy from the Asian Institute of Technology, a university in the Thai capital -- BANGKOK (AFP)
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