Welcome to the first edition of Asian Insider, a daily newsletter that brings you insights into a fast-changing region from our network of overseas correspondents. Today in Asia, the mastermind of the Bali Bombing Abu Bakar Bashir may not be released after all, economies brace themselves for the fallout from China’s slowdown, and all eyes turn to a Davos meeting missing some major names. U-turn on release of radical cleric? It would be an understatement to say that Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s decision to release radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir early has not gone down well. The move was deemed a political play to distract from the imminent release of the former Jakarta governor jailed for blasphemy against Islam, and panned by critics at home and abroad. Now, the president appears to be backtracking. At a hastily called press-conference late Monday, Indonesia’s Coordinating Political Legal and Security Minister Wiranto announced that the president has ordered a more in depth review of the planned release of the man once considered at the apex of terror groups in the region. Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla meanwhile stressed that the review has nothing to do with foreign criticisms of the decision. Further reading: No guarantees radical cleric won’t… Read full this story
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