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Cablegate: Mission's Engagement of Indonesian Parliament

VZCZCXRO3766
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #2195/01 3371055
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 021055Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0869
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5686
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 3358
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 1483
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 1465
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 2474
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY 4114
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 5186
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2796
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 3305
RUEHPT/AMCONSUL PERTH 1314
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 3142
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 002195

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP
NSC FOR E.PHU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM ID
SUBJECT: MISSION'S ENGAGEMENT OF INDONESIAN PARLIAMENT
YIELDS RESULTS

REF: A. JAKARTA 00544
B. JAKARTA 02137

JAKARTA 00002195 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Mission has successfully stepped up
engagement with the Indonesian House of Representatives
(DPR). Parliamentary exchanges funded by the House Democracy
Assistance Commission (HDAC), USAID, PAS and other sources
have been instrumental in encouraging DPR to engage
productively with the Mission and U.S. Congress. The DPR
sent a Parliamentary Reform team to Washington December 2-5.
The DCM hosted a working lunch for the DPR Indonesia-U.S.
Caucus which the Ambassador attended. Members committed to
exploring ways of strengthening people-to-people contacts and
agreed to start meeting with Embassy officials monthly.

2. SUMMARY (cont.) Parliamentarians also discussed expanding
foreign investment and deepening bilateral relations, in a
meeting with Senator Lugar's Senior Staffer, Keith Luse. The
DPR also is looking forward to the December opening of the
Library of Congress' Global Legal Information Network (GLIN)
center in Indonesia. This increased engagement will help
promote USG democracy goals as Indonesia approaches 2009
elections.

DPR'S PARLIAMENTARY REFORM TEAM VISITS WASHINGTON

3. (SBU) Parliamentary exchange and training programs have
had tangible results. Senior DPR members told us they were
inspired by the success of the House Democracy Assistance
Commission (HDAC) and USAID training of staff and members
aimed at legislative reform and capacity building. As a
result, nine Members of Parliament and two staffers left for
Washington for a December 2-5 visit to learn about
parliamentary reform from U.S. Congressional Staff. The
visit is an encouraging sign that the DPR is proactively
reaching out to us, as the team is self-funded and at the
initiative of the Speaker of the House, Agung Laksono.

4. (SBU) Speaker Laksono (ref B) personally wrote to Speaker
Pelosi to request her assistance with the visit. Reform and
anti-corruption promise to be key issues in the 2009
legislative and presidential election campaigns. This trip
is an indication that the DPR is also taking these seriously.

DPR INDONESIA-US CAUCUS WORKING LUNCH WITH DCM

5.(U) DCM hosted a working lunch for DPR members of the
US-Indo caucus, attended by the Ambassador. The Ambassador
urged the members to actively forge a relationship with the
U.S. based on shared U.S.-Indonesian interests. The group
took that on board and agreed to start meeting monthly with
Embassy officials to expand the relationship.

6. (U) Encouraged by the Ambassador's message, members
touched on several areas for cooperation during the working
lunch. Parliamentarians asked for help creating closer links
with their counterpart caucus in the U.S. Congress, headed by
Representatives Wexler and Burton. They also wanted to know
how to raise awareness in U.S. Congress on issues of interest
to Indonesia.

7. (SBU) People-to-people exchanges were foremost in their
minds. Abdillah Toha, head of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,
runs an Islamic publishing company, Mizan. Mizan has
published the book, Rainbow Warriors, recently produced as a
popular film. His colleague, Ade Nasution, co-chair of the
Caucus, has also produced a film, called "Golden Goal." Both
parliamentarians were interested in participating in a
U.S.-Indonesian film festival and working together to protect
intellectual property rights. They were also keen to
establish a film museum in Jakarta. MP Cecep Syarifuddin,
founder of Galuth University in West Java, wanted to learn

JAKARTA 00002195 002.2 OF 002


how to set up exchanges with American professors and
speakers.

8. (SBU) Golkar Secretary Syamsul Bachri, member of Energy
and Environment Commission (Commission VII), expressed an
interest in discussing geothermal and other energy-related
partnerships. Bachri also noted his interest in the upcoming
Embassy-supported Wallacea Conference, which highlights the
Indonesian scientific community's international
contributions. The conference will be hosted in Makassar,
Bachri's district.

CONTINUED ENGAGEMENT WITH THE DPR

9. (SBU) Members of Parliament met in Jakarta with Senator
Lugar's Senior Staffer, Keith Luse. The meeting gave the
Indonesian MPs an opportunity to articulate what they want
from the bilateral relationship. The four Parliamentarians,
Theo Sambuaga of Golkar, Abdillah Toha of National Mandate
Party (PAN), Ramson Siagian of Indonesian Democratic Party of
Struggle (PDI-P) and Zulkifliemansyah of Prosperous Justice
Party (PKS), asked the U.S. to help:

-- Develop technological systems which have been successful
in the U.S.;
-- Strengthen Indonesia's industrial competitiveness; and
-- Increase people-to-people exchanges (of journalists,
teachers, youth, unions, and military).

10. (SBU) They expressed concern about the global financial
crisis and said that Indonesian needs increased foreign
investment in manufacturing (rather than extracting
Indonesia's natural resources) in order to alleviate poverty.
They acknowledged, however, that Indonesia needs to be
responsible for providing sound infrastructure and a strong
legal basis to attract investment. DCM and Luse noted that
Indonesia is still giving mixed messages to the foreign
investment community. While Indonesia now promotes a more
open trade environment, there are still concerns, such as the
monopoly on importing U.S. beef.

11. (SBU) Luse expressed the U.S. desire for an equal
partnership with Indonesia which would be mutually
beneficial. He also stressed growing appreciation of
Indonesia in the U.S. When asked why the U.S. wants to
promote ties with Indonesia, Luse pointed out that the U.S.
is engaged for the long-term, not just in terms of security
but in education, business and other fields. Most
importantly, Indonesia's democracy stabilizes the region and
provides a good example for other countries.

12. (SBU) Finally, the DPR is eagerly anticipating the
mid-December visit of a Library of Congress team to help
establish a Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) Center in
Jakarta.

13. (SBU) Closer relations with Congress and better
communication with the Indonesian legislature will enable us
to facilitate discussion of key policy issues. It also allows
us to support Indonesian efforts to reform and shape their
Parliament into an effective and strongly democratic
institution. We welcome future Congressional Member and Staff
visits to Indonesia.
HUME

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