Indonesia has seen a sustained attack on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community over the past two months, triggered by comments made by the minister of higher education, research and technology, Muhammad Nasir. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to the godfather of gay activism in Indonesia, Dede Oetomo, about the moral panic gripping the nation.
Indonesia at Melbourne is taking a break until 12 January. In this final post for 2015, we look back at the first six months of the blog, and revisit some of the posts that captured our readers’ attention. Thanks for your support, and we look forward to seeing you again in the New Year!
Malcolm Turnbull’s replacement of Tony Abbott as prime minister of Australia did not make the front pages of any of Indonesia’s main papers last week. But as Agus Salim and Tim Mann write, it was clear that Indonesians will not be shedding any tears over Abbott’s downfall.
Beauty Is a Wound, the just-released English translation of Eka Kurniawan’s 2002 epic novel, Cantik Itu Luka, is receiving glowing reviews, and has prompted comparisons with Salman Rushdie and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Indonesia at Melbourne had a fascinating chat with Eka before his appearance at the Melbourne Writers Festival on 28 August.
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.
Former Constitutional Court Chief Justice Professor Jimly Asshiddiqie has been a longstanding advocate for the abolition of the death penalty. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to Jimly about the future of the death penalty ahead of his lecture at Melbourne Law School.
Pat Walsh AM spent 12 months travelling across Indonesia to examine the impact of the Chega! and Per Memoriam truth commission reports on Indonesian understandings of East Timor. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to Pat about the project and prospects for meaningful reconciliation. Photo by Pat Walsh.
Tim Mann writes that much of the discussion of the recent aid cuts to Indonesia has overlooked their potential impact on one of the key elements in the consolidation of democracy in the country: civil society.