Category: Analysis

Last month, a photo circulated on social media showing a very uncomfortable Papua Governor Lukas Enembe meeting with senior security officials in Jakarta. Dr Richard Chauvel unpacks the meeting and looks at the tensions between Jakarta and Papua approaching the 2018 regional head and 2019 presidential elections.

Blogger and provocateur Jonru has finally been called to account, arrested for hate speech on 29 September.
Muninggar Sri Saraswati takes a look at the controversial social media star, examining how he became such an influential figure and what his arrest might mean ahead of the 2019 elections.

Hopes are high for Indonesia to play a greater role in responding to the crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. But Diah Tricesaria and Randy Nandyatama write that if Indonesia is to be seen as a legitimate actor in brokering peace in Myanmar, it must show leadership in the management of refugees at the domestic and regional levels.

President Joko Widodo has offered little support to the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) since the shocking attack on its offices two weeks ago. Professor Tim Lindsey writes that civil society should not expect much from Jokowi, who is in the unenviable position of having to keep the oligarchs happy and Islamist agitators at bay.

Given the partisan nature of most mainstream media, many Indonesians are now turning to alternative online sources, many of which encourage sectarianism. Dr Ross Tapsell writes that Indonesia is in dire need of a strong, independent public media that could provide an alternative to privately owned conglomerates and the spread of hoax news and disinformation.

The past two days have seen unprecedented attacks on one of Indonesia’s oldest civil society organisations, the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH). Former LBH Jakarta director Nurkholis Hidayat says the weekend’s events represent a deeply troubling new low for freedom of expression.

The government has ambitious plans to hand over 12.7 million hectares of forest to community management by 2019. Dr Abidah Setyowati writes that while the social forestry initiative could increase communities’ access to, and ability to obtain benefits from, forest resources, several major challenges remain.

What role did the internet play in the divisive Jakarta gubernatorial campaign? To what extent can the bitterness of the campaign be explained by Indonesia’s conservative turn more generally? Dr Jemma Purdey explores these questions and more with Associate Professor Merlyna Lim in the Talking Indonesia podcast.

One person was killed and 16 others injured when police opened fire on a group of Papuan protesters last month. Hipolitus Yolisandry Ringgi Wangge writes that the shooting highlights the Joko Widodo government’s misguided and poorly coordinated approach to issues in Papua.

President Joko Widodo stunned many observers recently when he appeared to give the go-ahead for police to shoot drug dealers who resist arrest. Dr Dave McRae has examined media reports of police shootings and has found that the government’s tough on drugs rhetoric may be affecting how police deal with these cases.

President Joko Widodo recently issued an interim emergency law (or perppu) partly intended to allow the government to ban Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI). Professor Tim Lindsey writes that the regulation has ended up forcing civil society groups that are usually threatened by hard-liners into their camp.

The government recently announced it was blocking messaging application Telegram for providing a forum for extremist propaganda. But Nava Nuraniyah writes that the real reason for the ban may have been to force the tech company to comply with government regulations.