Robertus Robet

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

Going by the first presidential debate on 20 January, neither candidate feels that the electorate cares much about human rights. Dr Robertus Robet and Dr Alfindra Primaldhi present survey results suggesting that Indonesians do believe human rights are important – but acceptance of rights has its limits.

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.

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.