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Major changes are coming for the certification and marketing of halal products in Indonesia. Dr Stewart Fenwick examines the new halal regime, which he warns could see the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) gain influence over most areas of commercial and industrial activity in the country.

What prompted President Joko Widodo to declare a drug emergency in Indonesia? Have his hard-line policies achieved their intended results? And what is the future for drug policy in the country? Dr Dirk Tomsa discusses these issues with Ricky Gunawan, director of LBH Masyarakat, in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

Former State Secretary and Islamic scholar Djohan Effendi died in Geelong, Victoria, on 17 November after a long illness. His former student Ihsan Ali-Fauzi remembers a quietly principled man who was committed to challenging religious exclusivism.

Given that Australian leaders often describe the relationship with Indonesia as the country’s most important bilateral relationship, the newly released Foreign Policy White Paper is noticeably light on detail about Indonesia. The problem for Australia, writes Professor Tim Lindsey, is that Indonesia probably doesn’t care.

Indonesian universities now have far greater institutional autonomy than they did under the New Order regime. But Diatyka Widya Permata Yasih and Abdil Mughis Mudhoffir write that real autonomy involves the freedom to take a critical stance against the interests of the state and market. And this is where Indonesian universities are struggling.

October 2017 marked three years since President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo came to power. How does the Indonesian public view his presidency? What issues matter to them when determining who to vote for in the next presidential election? Dr Charlotte Setijadi discusses these issues and more with Dr Djayadi Hanan in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

The government recently announced that from 2018, state funding for political parties will increase 10 fold, from Rp 108 to Rp 1,000 per valid vote per year. Rezza Velayati Deviansyah writes that although there are reasons to be cautious, the government has made the right move.

Demonstrations on International Labour Day have recently featured somewhat surprising calls for the dissolution of the Industrial Relations Court. Dr Herlambang P Wiratraman looks at why the court – originally intended to provide greater protection for workers’ rights – has failed to live up to its promise.

How does support for political Islam correlate with other political attitudes in Indonesia, such as support for decentralisation, choice of a political party, or anti-Chinese sentiment? What are the implications of these correlations for upcoming regional and national elections? Dr Dave McRae explores these issues with Dr Diego Fossati in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

West Papuan independence activists surprised many in September when they delivered a petition to the UN signed by 1.8 million Papuans and Indonesian settlers. Dr Richard Chauvel writes that while this petition may not get far, so long as Indonesia fails to address rights abuses by the security forces, the issue will continue to be raised at the international level.

Is Indonesia seeing the emergence of a ‘Neo-New Order’? Is democracy really in peril? Following his interview on Talking Indonesia last week, Professor Todung Mulya Lubis writes that although many aspects of Indonesian democracy are functioning well, there is serious cause for concern.

Indonesia’s massive population is comprised of hundreds of ethnicities. The ethnic Chinese are one of the largest but their numbers are much smaller than is commonly believed. Charles A. Coppel takes a look at recent census data to provide a more accurate picture of this often stigmatised group.

What does the recent attack on the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) mean for human rights and civil society in Indonesia? What are the challenges facing the government as it heads toward the 2019 election? Is Indonesia’s democracy in peril? Dr Jemma Purdey explores these questions and more with pre-eminent human rights lawyer Professor Todung Mulya Lubis.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has been ripped to shreds for saying that it was time for pribumi (‘native or indigenous Indonesians’) to be masters in their own land. Professor Denny Indrayana looks at the history of the term and questions whether there is any such thing as a true pribumi.

On 17 October, dozens of declassified files confirmed that the United States had detailed knowledge of and actively supported Indonesian military efforts to destroy the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and its alleged sympathisers. Dr Jess Melvin, who was involved in the declassification project, looks at the most significant revelations.

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