Robertus Robet

Dr Robertus Robet (@Republik_Baru) is the head of sociology at the State University of Jakarta (UNJ).

Anti-Chinese sentiment has deep roots in Indonesian society but there is a widespread perception that it has become worse over recent years, along with the rise of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, or Ahok. Dr Robertus Robet writes that as Ahok’s opponents have struggled to formulate effective criticism against him, they have resorted to unsophisticated appeals to primordial concerns.

During his first year in power, President Joko Widodo and several of his officials have invoked the spectre of foreigners seeking to interfere in Indonesian affairs. As Dr Robertus Robet writes, history shows that this is a strategy that bears considerable risks.