Tim Mann

Tim Mann is the editor of Indonesia at Melbourne

In our final post for 2016, we send off this rather depressing year by taking a look back at some of the expert commentary and analysis published on Indonesia at Melbourne. Thanks again for your loyal readership and support, and we look forward to seeing you again in mid-January.

Police declared Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, or Ahok, a suspect for blasphemy last week, following major protests from hard-line religious groups. How has the 1965 Blasphemy Law been used in democratic Indonesia? What type of behaviour is typically deemed blasphemous? Is Ahok likely to receive a fair trial? We spoke to Dr Melissa Crouch, who has published widely on the Blasphemy Law, about these questions and more.

Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration to the United States made him a deeply unpopular figure in Indonesia. In the days since his surprise election victory, Indonesians have been struggling to come to terms with what a Trump presidency might mean for their country and the region. We take a look at how the Indonesian media greeted Trump’s win.

Last week, Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to former Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mahfud MD during a visit to Melbourne Law School. In this Q&A, Mahfud reflects on a number of the controversial cases that came before the court during his tenure, as well as prospects for anti-corruption and bureaucratic reform under President Joko Widodo.

Last week marked one year since we launched Indonesia at Melbourne on 1 July 2015. Today we present a brief look back at our first year, highlighting the 10 most viewed blog posts and five most popular podcasts. We hope you have enjoyed the blog as much as we have enjoyed producing it.

Founded 16 years ago, Indonesia’s National Ombudsman has often been dismissed as an ineffectual body. But the institution has recently received an injection of budget funds and its new members are widely seen as competent and committed individuals. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to the new chair of the Ombudsman, Amzulian Rifai, about problems in public service delivery and how the Ombudsman is working to address them.

Nearly 2 million Australians watched Indonesian-born sisters Tasia and Gracia Seger take out the final of My Kitchen Rules on 26 April. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to the girls about their approach to cooking and their views on the Australia-Indonesia relationship.

The Sun, the Moon and the Hurricane, the debut feature from emerging Indonesian director Andri Cung, has won acclaim for the raw and beautiful performances of its young cast. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to Andri before his arrival in Melbourne, where the film is screening at the Indonesian Film Festival 2016.

The Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) has made headlines recently over its controversial fatwa against the Gafatar movement and the LGBT community. Tim Mann takes a look at the council, and the extent to which its fatwa are able to influence policy and legal decisions in Indonesia.

Indonesia has seen a sustained attack on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community over the past two months, triggered by comments made by the minister of higher education, research and technology, Muhammad Nasir. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to the godfather of gay activism in Indonesia, Dede Oetomo, about the moral panic gripping the nation.

Indonesia at Melbourne is taking a break until 12 January. In this final post for 2015, we look back at the first six months of the blog, and revisit some of the posts that captured our readers’ attention. Thanks for your support, and we look forward to seeing you again in the New Year!

Malcolm Turnbull’s replacement of Tony Abbott as prime minister of Australia did not make the front pages of any of Indonesia’s main papers last week. But as Agus Salim and Tim Mann write, it was clear that Indonesians will not be shedding any tears over Abbott’s downfall.