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Bank Indonesia seeks to restore its reputation

New governor Boediono has to put the central bank back on track as a corruption trial looms over a previous incumbent.

In and out of love with Bank Indonesia

The central bank is in turmoil as corruption investigations get under way. The hope is that newly appointed governor Boediono will be able to put the bank back on track. Eric Ellis reports from Jakarta.

"Here I am, the one that you love
Askin’ for another day
Understand the one that you love
Loves you in so many ways"

THE SOUNDTRACK WAS unlikely – a saccharine love song from Australian crooners Air Supply circa 1981.

And the occasion to serenade? The official inauguration of Indonesia’s new central bank governor in May.

In most countries, such a pairing wouldn’t normally be encountered. But Indonesia, still struggling to secure economic and political reformasi a decade after the ousting of dictator Suharto, remains some way from normal.

Although the sprawling archipelago nation has come a long way since emerging from 32 years of military dictatorship in 1998, not least becoming southeast Asia’s most robust democracy as it rebuilds capacity in weakened state institutions, it finds it hard to shake off a reputation as one of the world’s most corrupt countries.

Now the central bank has found itself at the centre of the latest of a long line of scandals that have plagued Indonesia’s re-emergence as a regional power.

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