Preliminary investigations into the events at Kanjuruhan Stadium on 1 October, which claimed the lives of 135 people, have found that the use of tear gas by police was the primary cause of the tragedy. This and other recent high-profile scandals involving the Indonesian National Police (Polri) have led to a renewed focus on the failures of police reform.
It is two decades since the police separated from the Indonesian armed forces, following the fall of the New Order. How have the Indonesian police now become synonymous with scandal, violence and corruption? How have police responded to the Kanjuruhan tragedy and could this present a tipping point for lasting structural change? Or is it too late and instead the answer lies in more radical reform of the criminal justice system as a whole? What does a failing police force mean for democratic process and political competition as Indonesia heads towards national legislative and presidential elections in 2024?
In the latest episode of Talking Indonesia, Dr Jemma Purdey chats to Dr Jacqui Baker, lecturer in Southeast Asian politics at Murdoch University and a co-host of Talking Indonesia. Jacqui’s research interests include the politics of law, policing and crime, with a focus on Indonesia, Southeast Asia and Australia. She can be followed on Twitter @indobaker.
In 2022, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Dave McRae from Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society (CILIS), Dr Jacqui Baker from Murdoch University, and Tito Ambyo from RMIT.