Liem Sioe Liong's Salim Group: The Business Pillar of Suharto's Indonesia

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Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, May 23, 2014 - Biography & Autobiography - 574 pages

After Suharto gained power in Indonesia in the mid-1960s, he stayed as the country’s president for more than three decades, helped by the powerful military, hefty foreign aid and support from a coterie of cronies. A pivotal business backer for his New Order government was Liem Sioe Liong, a migrant from China, who arrived in Java in 1938. A combination of the Suharto connection, serendipity and personal charm propelled him to become the wealthiest tycoon in Southeast Asia. This is the story of how Liem built the Salim Group, a conglomerate that in its heyday controlled Indonesia’s largest non-state bank, the country’s dominant cement producer and flour mill, as well as the world’s biggest maker of instant noodles.  

The book features exclusive input from Liem, who died in 2012, and his youngest son, Anthony Salim. It traces the founder’s life and the group’s symbiosis with Suharto, his generals and family. After the tumultuous 1997–98 Asian financial crisis sparked Suharto’s fall and a backlash against the strongman’s cronies, Anthony staved off the crushing of the debt-laden group. Told in a journalistic style, the story of the Salim Group provides insights into Suharto’s New Order. For business executives, students and anyone with an interest in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, the volume makes a valuable contribution towards understanding the country’s modern history.  

 

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Contents

1 A Javanese King and His Cukong
1
2 Roots
21
3 Establishing a Foothold
41
4 Crucial Links
61
5 The Scent of Money
84
6 Gang of Four
98
7 A New Life
130
8 Flour Power
164
15 Dark Clouds
319
16 The Sky Starts to Fall
336
17 Götterdämmerung of the New Order
377
18 Surviving
397
Lost and Found
426
20 Moving Ahead
449
21 Twilight
489
22 End of an Era
503

9 Cement Buildup and Bailout
184
10 A Banking Behemoth
209
11 Broadening the Home Base
237
12 Going International
260
13 Helping Hands
282
14 Noodle King
292
Glossary and Abbreviations
523
Selected Bibliography
529
Index
557
About the Authors
574
Photo plates
575
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

• Richard Borsuk is a journalist based in Singapore. He lived in Jakarta from 1987 to 1998.

• Nancy Chng is a journalist based in Singapore. She lived in Jakarta from 1987 to 1998.

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