Talking Indonesia: young politicians

Indonesia is a young nation. The median age of the population is just 28 years. In the 2019 elections, 45 per cent of eligible voters will be between 17 and 36 years of age. More than ever, Indonesia’s young people are playing a key role in the country’s politics.


In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Jemma Purdey talks to Rian Ernest, a member of the management team of the Indonesia Solidarity Party (Partai Solidaritas Indonesia, PSI).  Ernest (31) is a first time candidate for the party in the 2019 legislative elections, competing in the East Jakarta electoral district. He is a lawyer and former adviser to former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama and a Lee Kuan Yew Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (NUS).


What motivated Rian to enter politics at this moment in Indonesian history? As a young Indonesian, what does he see as the most pressing issues for the future? What role will Indonesia’s youth play in that future? Will it be a politically active one?


In 2018, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Charlotte Setijadi from Singapore Management University and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.


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


Photo by Rian Ernest on Instagram.


Dr Jemma Purdey is a Fellow at the Australia Indonesia Centre and Adjunct Fellow, Deakin University. She is the author of Anti-Chinese Violence in Indonesia 1996-1999, published by NUS Press.