3 June 2016

Each week on the Policy File we round-up some essential weekend policy reading from around the web. This week we look at Malaysia’s 1MBD scandal, corruption in China, and Indonesia’s new penalties for sex offenders. 

This week, Malaysia’s finance ministry announced a new board of directors for the scandal-hit 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), after the previous board was dissolved following a parliamentary inquiry into the state fund. On The Wall Street Journal Tom Wright and Bradley Hope say the investigation into the scandal was flawed due to political pressure and a lack of transparency.

On Asia Sentinel, John Berthelsen takes a look at how the 1MDB scandal has impacted other banks and financial institutions in the region, while The Economist examines how the scandal began and how far it has reached.

China has announced it will push anti-corruption cooperation when it hosts the G20 summit in September this year. On Policy Forum, Macabe Keliher and Hsinchao Wu look at corruption in the country and ask whether Xi’s anti-corruption measures are enough to tackle an increasingly deviant bureaucracy.

On GB Times, Andras Csuka looks back at China’s long history of corruption, while Robert Potter on Policy Forum examines China’s move towards a consumer economy.

Indonesian judges can now force men who commit sexual offences against children to be chemically castrated, after President Joko Widodo issued an emergency decree in response to a crisis of sexual violence against children in the country.

In The Jakarta Post, Elly Burhaini Faizal asks what has happened to Indonesia’s morals, while on New Mandala, Prischa Listiningrum and Rizqi Bachtiar question whether Indonesia’s new castration policy goes against modern ethical and human rights concerns.

On Policy Forum, Saskia Wieringa says the cause of violence against women in Indonesia is rooted in the country’s history and culture. Wahyu Susilo and Indriaswati Dyah Saptaningrum, meanwhile, look at how Jokowi’s harsher penalties on crime could be a setback in the country’s commitment to human rights protection.

With less than a month to go before Australia heads to the polls, things are heating up in the world of politics and policy. On Policy Forum, Maria Racionero digs into the pockets of the government and reveals whether tax cuts can really boost ‘jobs and growth’. On The Guardian, former Treasurer Wayne Swan says cutting corporate tax is not a sensible policy response, and won’t create jobs, while former Federal Opposition Leader, John Hewson says inequality deserves greater prominence in Australia’s election campaign.

Thanks to everyone who has come along to or downloaded the podcasts from one of our Australian election events. This week’s terrific event tackled all things tax and economy. You can listen to the podcast of that or watch the recorded event on ANU TV. Next week a panel of experts will look at social policy – from welfare to childcare and all points in-between. Register for that free event on Tuesday 7 June here.

Don’t forget you can debate key public policy issues by joining the Asia and the Pacific Policy Society’s LinkedIn group – a closed group exclusive to Society members.  Be part of the conversation – we’ll see you there.

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Hayward, K. (2016). The Policy File - Policy Forum. [online] Policy Forum. Available at: http://www.policyforum.net/policy-file-3-june-2016/