Presumed presidential candidate and former Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan. Photo by Syaiful Hakim for Antara.

Reformasi is a word that many associate with Indonesia’s democratic uprising in 1998. But 1998 was just the beginning – reformation in Indonesia is an ongoing process, especially when the democratic practices and institutions that exist in Indonesia are still young and under constant pressure from multiple angles.

Talking Indonesia’s guest this week, Kevin O’Rourke, has been watching Indonesia closely for many years. He dodged tanks in his Toyota Kijang during the May 1998 riots, started the Reformasi Weekly newsletter in 2003, and launched the podcast Reformasi Dispatch with journalist Jeff Hutton in 2021.

Podcasting is becoming an important medium in Indonesia, and we like to think Talking Indonesia and Reformasi Dispatch are both pioneering podcasts about Indonesia. In February this year, Jeff and Kevin kindly invited Talking Indonesia co-host Tito Ambyo to join Reformasi Dispatch. In this episode Tito introduces Kevin to our Talking Indonesia listeners.

In this chat, we speak about many issues: the fragility of Indonesian democracy, Indonesia as a country of two systems, politics and football, Anies Baswedan’s presidential electability and the super coalitions that Indonesian political parties are currently forming.

In 2023, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Tito Ambyo from RMIT, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, and Dr Jacqui Baker from Murdoch University.

Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via Apple Podcasts or listen via your favourite podcasting app.


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