Indonesia: Jokowi’s rating hits six-year low as prices rise

  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s approval rating has hit a six-year low amid dissatisfaction over soaring cooking oil prices and the perceived failure of an export ban to swiftly reduce the rising cost of goods, a new poll showed.
  • Figures released by pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia showed that satisfaction with the nation’s president, widely known by as Jokowi, fell to 58.1% in May 22.
  • The figures are the lowest rating since Dec 15 when the president’s approval slumped to 53%. The decline, which follows a 12-point drop from Jan 22 to Apr 22, comes as Southeast Asia’s largest economy has struggled to reign in domestic cooking oil prices and after a shock decision to ban palm oil exports in late-Apr 22.
  • Conducted from 5-10 May 22, the Indikator survey said the decline in Jokowi’s approval was largely related to the rising cost of cooking oil and flow-on inflationary effect, and the gap between policy expectations and realities on the ground, after the export ban failed to see prices drop significantly after the decision.
  • The poll, which surveyed 1,200 people, found that while almost 90% supported the export ban, more than 72% said cooking oil prices remained less affordable, or not affordable at all.
  • Chief Economics Minister Airlangga Hartarto has said the export ban would stay in place until bulk cooking oil prices drop to IDR14,000 per litre across the country. As of 12 May 22, trade ministry data showed bulk cooking oil was being sold at IDR16,600 per litre.

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