Thursday, February 23, 2017 10:31 am
Indonesia’s four richest men own more wealth than the country’s poorest 100 million citizens, international charity Oxfam said in a report released on Thursday.
Oxfam said its study showed Indonesia is in the sixth place on the list of the most unequal countries, faring only better than Thailand in south-east Asia.
“The four richest Indonesians control 25 billion dollars of assets, roughly the same as the poorest 40 per cent of Indonesia’s 250 million people.
“A year’s worth of income made by the Hartono brothers, who own the world’s third-largest clove cigarette company, could lift 20 million people out of extreme poverty.
“The widening of the gap between the rich and the rest is a serious threat to Indonesia’s future prosperity.
“If inequality is not tackled, then reducing poverty will be much more difficult, and social instability could increase,’’ the group said.
The number of billionaires in Indonesia increased from one in 2002 to 20 in 2016, with all of them being male.
The collective wealth of the richest four billionaires was 25 billion dollars.
However, President Joko Widodo has vowed to address economic inequality.
“The economy must not be concentrated on Java only, but must be distributed equally to the entire country,’’ he said earlier this month. (dpa/NAN)