Money & Power during Suharto

HIGHLIGHT on Southeast Asia: Money and Power in Suharto’s Indonesia – Richard Borsuk and Nancy Chng (Authors of Liem Sioe Liong’s Salim Group: the Business Pillar of Suharto’s Indonesia).

Suharto’s New Order is a period when collusion between government and big business flourished. When Suharto in effect pushed out Sukarno, the welcome mat was rolled out for Western investors. But he also needed domestic capital, including Chinese sources. His main local fundraiser was Liem Sioe Liong, a migrant from China’s Fujian province, who arrived in Java in 1938 and went on to found the Salim Group, which in the mid-1990s was the largest conglomerate in Southeast Asia.

When: March 24 at 7 p.m.
Venue: Erasmus Huis

Suharto and Liem had a mutually beneficial relationship until the dramatic fall of the president in May 1998.  Liem fled to Singapore during the May 1998 riots, when a mob burned his Jakarta home. Liem never lived in Jakarta again and died in Singapore in 2012.


His business empire was at risk of being dismantled, but his tenacious youngest son, Anthony Salim, took on the challenging task of settling massive debts, and salvaged parts of the business and made the Group flourish once again. Mr. Borsuk and Ms. Chng, journalists who lived in Jakarta from 1987 to 1998, will talk about Liem’s life and the role of conglomerates under Suharto.

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Related article: Indonesian Heritage Society is a non-profit organization offering participants the opportunity to learn more about the rich cultural heritage of Indonesia |  http://indonesia-now.com/culture/discovering-jakarta-and-indonesians-culture-2/