ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION Social justice issues continued to feature prominently in the debates on economic development strategy in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They were, however, increasingly taken up by actors who were more clearly outside the state apparatus than such ‘society-first’ critics of Chapter 2 as Sarbini Sumawinata and Soedjatmoko. In part, this had to do with the resilience of the student movement in the face of state repression and the burgeoning of non-government organisations (NGOs), usually established by individuals formerly associated with the student movement. Despite its economic achievements, the New Order government continued to be unable to deflect criticism that, while pursuing rapid growth, it paid insufficient attention to efforts to alleviate social inequities and the eradication of poverty. Such criticism had considerable political ramifications. This is because it touched upon such politically sensitive subjects as ethnic Chinese dominance of the private sector and the accumulation of wealth by well-connected individuals. As we shall see in further chapters, these issues remain controversial to this day.