Category: Analysis

Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil has big plans for Bandung. But these plans are coming up against the informality that has shaped the city’s development over many years. Anna Rowe and Amy Wu suggest an alternative approach that values informality and will ensure that all citizens – not just the middle class – can benefit from development.

Indonesians were stunned earlier this month after a photo emerged of Bogor Mayor Bima Arya opening the new office of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), an organisation that openly rejects democracy and the Indonesian state. Burhanuddin Muhtadi looks at the movement and its strategy to revive a transnational Islamic caliphate.

Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), is promoting Islam Nusantara — its vision of an inclusive and peaceful Islam — as a counterweight to violent extremism. What exactly is meant by the concept? And what can Islam Nusantara offer the broader Muslim world? Dr Nadirsyah Hosen examines the movement.

Previous attempts by the Indonesian left to move into politics have not met with much success. Iqra Anugrah looks at the Confederation of Indonesian People’s Movements (KPRI), an emerging alliance that is now making preparations to participate in elections in 2017 and 2019. Will it be able to make an impact where others have struggled?

Many were shocked on 6 February when Unicef reported that an estimated 60 million Indonesian women and girls have undergone genital cutting. Dr Dina Afrianty writes that although some Indonesians believe female circumcision is an important expression of religious identity, theological justification for the practice is weak.

On Indonesia at Melbourne last week, Bhatara Ibnu Reza warned against revising anti-terror legislation to provide police or intelligence officials with greater powers. Christian Donny Putranto writes that the proposal to strip the citizenship of individuals suspected of fighting with terrorist groups is just as dangerous.

In January, President Joko Widodo twice instructed senior officials to resolve past violations of human rights by the end of the year. Yati Andriyani and Nurkholis Hidayat write that unless major changes are made to the reconciliation process, prospects for meaningful resolution do not look good.

Al Makin writes that as long as Indonesians remain a pious people oriented toward religion, new religious movements like Gafatar will continue to emerge. Both the government and Indonesian citizens need to accept this fact. Photo by Jessica Helena Wuysang for Antara.

After the deadly terrorist attack in Jakarta on 14 January, a range of senior officials have agreed on the need to strengthen Indonesia’s counter-terrorism laws. But as Bhatara Ibnu Reza writes, the history of security sector reform in the country shows that reform should be approached with extreme caution.

Last weekend, the minister of higher education, research and technology stated that he would ban LGBT Indonesians from all universities in the country. Although he has attempted to qualify this statement, Hendri Yulius describes how the incident is part of a trend of increasing restrictions on the discussion of LGBT issues in Indonesian universities.

After a difficult year for the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), what are the prospects for corruption eradication in 2016? The coordinator of Indonesia Corruption Watch, Adnan Topan Husodo, writes that although it still has a lot of homework to do, the public should not give up on the KPK just yet.

National health laws and health promotion discourse in Indonesia are heavily geared toward the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life. But as Belinda Raintung explains, maternity leave provisions have not kept pace, placing significant burdens on mothers.