Indonesia's President-elect Prabowo Subianto wants to give school children free meals, but the plan and his pledge to be "daring" on spending have the country's debt and currency markets on edge.

Prabowo and his team have tried to distance themselves from any suggestions of fiscal profligacy, and to assure market participants the incoming government respects the legal debt limits that cap its budget deficit at 3% of economic output.

But for a market just getting accustomed to stability and recognition for fiscal prudence under current Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, the mere suggestion of heavy spending has been unsettling.