Category: Politics

For more than a year, the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) has been tracking the so-called Muslim Cyber Army (MCA), which stands accused of spreading hoax news and hate speech online. SAFEnet Regional Coordinator Damar Juniarto presents a detailed examination of the shadowy network.

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.

On 8 February, the Constitutional Court issued a decision that paves the way for the national legislature (DPR) to compel the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to attend questioning, using its so-called hak angket powers. Professor Simon Butt presents a legal analysis of the decision.

Indonesia at Melbourne will again be taking a short break over Christmas and New Year. In this final post for 2017, we look back at the analysis and commentary featured on the blog and podcast throughout the year. Thanks again for your loyal readership and support, and we look forward to seeing you again mid-January.

Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab is Indonesia’s most prominent ‘Habib’ – an honorific title given to Islamic scholars who are descendants of Prophet Muhammad. Ahmad Syarif Syechbubakr traces the origins of the Habib in Indonesia and examines their influence over contemporary Jakarta politics.

October 2017 marked three years since President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo came to power. How does the Indonesian public view his presidency? What issues matter to them when determining who to vote for in the next presidential election? Dr Charlotte Setijadi discusses these issues and more with Dr Djayadi Hanan in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

The government recently announced that from 2018, state funding for political parties will increase 10 fold, from Rp 108 to Rp 1,000 per valid vote per year. Rezza Velayati Deviansyah writes that although there are reasons to be cautious, the government has made the right move.

How does support for political Islam correlate with other political attitudes in Indonesia, such as support for decentralisation, choice of a political party, or anti-Chinese sentiment? What are the implications of these correlations for upcoming regional and national elections? Dr Dave McRae explores these issues with Dr Diego Fossati in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

Is Indonesia seeing the emergence of a ‘Neo-New Order’? Is democracy really in peril? Following his interview on Talking Indonesia last week, Professor Todung Mulya Lubis writes that although many aspects of Indonesian democracy are functioning well, there is serious cause for concern.

What does the recent attack on the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) mean for human rights and civil society in Indonesia? What are the challenges facing the government as it heads toward the 2019 election? Is Indonesia’s democracy in peril? Dr Jemma Purdey explores these questions and more with pre-eminent human rights lawyer Professor Todung Mulya Lubis.

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.