Yesterday saw a typical collection of news stories from Indonesia; none of them startling but all of them illustrating why outsiders are so deeply worried about the country's future. Violence continued in Aceh province despite an official extension of a ceasefire. At least eight people were killed on Borneo in fighting between indigenous tribes and settlers from other islands. Efforts to try the eldest daughter of former president Suharto on corruption charges were denounced. Economics Minister Rizal Ramli flew to Washington, hoping to get US$400 million (HK$3.1 billion) from International Monetary Fund officials who have lost faith in his policies. And, just to top it off, a volcano in eastern Java spewed lava for the ninth consecutive day. The Jakarta Government cannot do much about volcanoes. But the other items are all examples of its continued inability to deal with man-made problems. President Abdurrahman Wahid provides faltering leadership at best and may not survive long in office. Parliament threatens to oust him for reasons ranging from corruption to incompetence. But his likely successor, Vice-President Megawati Sukarnoputri, keeps her sphinx-like stance, and it is not clear if she wants him to go. She has criticised Mr Wahid obliquely but has not committed herself to anything in particular. Confusion and squabbling continue, there is speculation about the army's intentions and the economy sags even more. Indonesia needs clear policies and firm leadership to reform the economy and maintain stability. But Mr Wahid apparently cannot provide them and there is no great confidence in Ms Megawati. The outlook continues to be bleak.