Top Stories

For more than a year, the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) has been tracking the so-called Muslim Cyber Army (MCA), which stands accused of spreading hoax news and hate speech online. SAFEnet Regional Coordinator Damar Juniarto presents a detailed examination of the shadowy network.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull appears to have developed a strong rapport with President Joko Widodo. But Professor Tim Lindsey and Dr Dave McRae write that this may not be enough to overcome the mutual misunderstandings and suspicions, and tensions over human rights issues, that complicate the bilateral relationship.

What deficits in criminal law is the draft revised criminal code seeking to address and how have controversial regressive articles emerged? What will the implications be for Indonesian democracy if the current draft passes? Dr Dave McRae discusses these issues and more with Anugerah Rizki Akbari in the latest episode of Talking Indonesia.

In contrast with many other countries around the world, in Indonesia, social media has yet to play a significant part in the recruitment of new terrorists. It does, however, appear to affect the speed of radicalisation. Terrorism scholar Solahudin presents new research and looks at the reasons why.

On 3 March, hundreds of Indonesian feminists took to the streets in the second Jakarta Women’s March, demanding that the government promote gender equality in law making and public policy and take action to eradicate violence against women. Like similar marches across the globe, the event featured many powerful and humorous signs.

What prompts violent Islamist extremists to turn their backs on violence? What can governments and activists learn from patterns of disengagement? Dr Dirk Tomsa discusses these issues and more with Associate Professor Julie Chernov Hwang in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

While most of Indonesian civil society was preoccupied with proposed changes to the Criminal Code, the House of Representatives (DPR) last week passed a revised version of the 2014 Law on Legislative Bodies. Dr Robertus Robet looks at the controversial changes, which he says will result in a DPR that is resistant to criticism and immune from prosecution.

On 8 February, the Constitutional Court issued a decision that paves the way for the national legislature (DPR) to compel the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to attend questioning, using its so-called hak angket powers. Professor Simon Butt presents a legal analysis of the decision.

More than half of Indonesia’s population is under the age of 30 but little research has been done into the attitudes of the country’s youth. Do they care about social inequality and environmental degradation? How do their consumption patterns reflect their values and aspirations? Dr Charlotte Setijadi discusses these issues and more with Dr Meghan Downes in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein last week issued a stern warning about Indonesia’s plans to revise its Criminal Code. Tim Mann looks at Hussein’s recent visit to Indonesia and questions whether the country’s engagement in the UN rights process is just window dressing.

Who are Indonesia’s ethnic Chinese Muslims? Is there a Chinese way of being Muslim? What can their story tell us about religious tolerance and cultural diversity in Indonesia today? Dr Jemma Purdey explores these issues and more with Dr Hew Wai Weng in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast. 

The past two weeks have seen politicians accelerate efforts to pass long discussed reforms to the Criminal Code (KUHP) to criminalise same-sex relations. Naila Rizqi Zakiah writes that while the focus has been on homosexuality, proposed revisions are much broader, and seek to criminalise all extramarital sex, regardless of gender.

Indonesia’s growing middle class are travelling overseas in record numbers but the numbers holidaying in Australia are disappointing. Ross B. Taylor writes that unless something is done about the expensive and onerous visa process faced by Indonesians, Australia will continue to miss out.

How does Indonesia regulate pornography, how have its anti-pornography laws been applied? How do debates over pornography reflect broader questions of morality and Islam in Indonesian society? Dr Dave McRae explores these questions and more with Dr Helen Pausacker in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

Many Indonesians are concerned about the damage that hoaxes and so-called “fake news” are doing to social cohesion. Professor Ariel Heryanto writes that it is difficult to find a more powerful hoax than the story of the 30 September Movement, which has provided the basis for numerous other nonsensical and dangerous hoaxes.