Category: Analysis

Amnesty International recently released its 2016 report on the death penalty, finding that while executions decreased in Indonesia, at least 60 new death sentences were handed down. Ricky Gunawan and Raynov Tumorang Pamintori write that while there is plenty to be concerned about, there are some encouraging signs of change.

Many observers have suggested that the win of Anies Baswedan in the Jakarta gubernatorial election last week has set the stage for the ongoing exploitation of religious and ethnic sentiment in Indonesian politics. According to Dr Dina Afrianty, however, most post-election analyses have failed to consider what the election result means for Indonesian women.

Anies Baswedan will be the next governor of Jakarta, following a bitterly fought campaign against Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama. Make no mistake, Professor Tim Lindsey writes, it was the mobilisation of racial and religious hatred achieved by his enemies that led to Ahok’s defeat in this election.

Following the shocking acid attack on Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) senior investigator Novel Baswedan, Professor Denny Indrayana looks at previous attempts to weaken the institution and its staff, and what must be done to ensure that it remains strong.

Incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama and his running mate, Djarot Saiful Hidayat, have stirred controversy with the release of a pro-diversity campaign video that opponents have accused of being ‘anti-Islam’. Dr Helen Pausacker takes a close look at the video that has Ahok’s detractors so annoyed.

Legal observers have welcomed President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s decision to select Saldi Isra to replace corruption suspect Patrialis Akbar on the Constitutional Court. Muhammad Tanziel Aziezi writes that the transparent and participatory selection process was crucial for improving public faith in the institution.

President Donald Trump has taken anti-Muslim prejudice to new levels in the United States. But opposition to Trump in Muslim-majority Indonesia has been strangely muted, especially compared to the criticism directed at his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush. Andrew Mantong explores the reasons why.

Over the past week, Indonesians have again been gripped by a massive corruption scandal. Kanti Pertiwi writes that too often anti-corruption efforts focus on the individuals involved and do not pay sufficient attention to the social, political and cultural context in which they are situated.

The expansion of the middle class in Indonesia has been accompanied by a rise in Islamic consumerism. Dr Inaya Rakhmani examines dominant narratives in Islamic-themed television programs, writing that the commercialisation of Islam has encouraged ideas and beliefs that aggravate rather than moderate social divisions.

When he assumed the presidency, Joko Widodo made a commitment to strengthen the rights of local communities over land and forests. Dr Rachael Diprose writes that despite recent advancements in the legal and institutional recognition of land rights, many challenges remain.

The fiercely contested Jakarta gubernatorial election has given rise to a cycle of charges and counter-charges between the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and its opponents. Abdil Mughis Mudhoffir and Rafiqa Qurrata Ayun write that this politicisation of criminal justice is doing serious damage to the rule of law.

Early in the term of President Joko Widodo it seemed unlikely that Australia and Indonesia would continue to enjoy the amicable relations they experienced under Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. On the eve of Jokowi’s first bilateral visit to Australia, Dr Dave McRae writes that despite frequent tension, both countries share a strong belief that good relations must be maintained.