Indonesia President Jokowi still battling cost of living as elections loom

Rubber tapper Samsih Ruslan, from South Sumatra's Ogan Ilir regency, has seen her fortnightly pay halved to about 500,000 rupiah (S$47.50) now since 2014, as the price of natural rubber has fallen. The single mother in her early 50s says the fate of
Rubber tapper Samsih Ruslan, from South Sumatra's Ogan Ilir regency, has seen her fortnightly pay halved to about 500,000 rupiah (S$47.50) now since 2014, as the price of natural rubber has fallen. The single mother in her early 50s says the fate of the poor is in the hands of the government.ST PHOTO: WAHYUDI SOERIAATMADJA

Indonesia will hold its presidential and legislative elections on April 17. With more than 192 million people eligible to vote, it will be the country's largest polls since direct elections were first held 15 years ago. The Straits Times reports from key election battlegrounds across the vast archipelagic nation to bring you stories of how the campaign is unfolding. Today, we look at South Sumatra province.

The price of natural rubber is now half of what it used to be two years ago.

Even though the slide is because of a global oversupply and a fall in demand, some farmers in South Sumatra province have blamed it on Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who is seeking his second and final term in office next month in the presidential election.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2019, with the headline 'Jokowi still battling cost of living as elections loom'. Print Edition | Subscribe