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.

Demonstrations on International Labour Day have recently featured somewhat surprising calls for the dissolution of the Industrial Relations Court. Dr Herlambang P Wiratraman looks at why the court – originally intended to provide greater protection for workers’ rights – has failed to live up to its promise.

Ignoring protests from the public, and some of its own members, the House of Representatives (DPR) recently launched a special inquiry into the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Rifqi Assegaf explains the significance and likely impact of the contentious inquiry.

What triggered the House of Representatives (DPR) inquiry into the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK)? What are the implications for the KPK and its role in the fight against corruption? Dr Jemma Purdey explores these questions and more with Dr Deasy Simandjuntak in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

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.

The extractive industries sector is notorious for rent-seeking, opaque licensing rules and assertive resource nationalism. In this episode of Talking Indonesia, new host Dr Dirk Tomas speaks to Dr Poppy Sulistyaning Winanti about civil society efforts to improve transparency and accountability in the sector.

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.

During the New Order period, the middle class was routinely depicted as small (less than 10 per cent of the population) and uninterested in democracy. According to Dr Gerry van Klinken, that picture now needs a serious overhaul. They are interested in democracy, he writes, and even more in decentralisation, and play a crucial role in holding the country together.

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.

Professor Todung Mulya Lubis is one of Indonesia’s most respected lawyers and a champion of human rights and judicial reform. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to Pak Mulya about the future of reform in the justice sector and the controversial Jakarta International School cases.

President Joko Widodo could lose civil society support over his failure to defend the Corruption Eradication Commission from attacks from the police, write Professor Tim Lindsey and Associate Professor Simon Butt.

With the official naming of the next President still six days away, Indonesian “netizens” concerned about election honesty have taken activism to a new level, uploading raw “real count” data and tallying it themselves. Lily Yulianti Farid explains.