On 9 June 2018, both Prabowo Subianto and Joko Widodo, the two presidential candidates for the 2019 Election announced their running mates. Prabowo would run alongside Sandiaga Uno, who was until recently the Vice-Governor of Jakarta; while Widodo would run with Ma’aruf Amin, the leader of the Indonesian Ulema Council.
Time and time again, Indonesia has seen many political outbursts due to the inflated fear of the Red Spectre of Communism. The most recent outburst occurred at a Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (Legal Aid Institute) in Jakarta following a seminar discussing the 1965 Communist massacre. The office was surrounded by protestors, entrapping the participants inside the walls. Most of those participants were the elderly – survivors and witnesses to the bloody pogrom that marked an important watershed in Indonesian politics. It was not until the following day that participants were allowed to leave, but the damage had already been done.
Involved in this incident were anti-Communist groups and a number of right-wing organisations, such as Front Pembela Islam. This incident indicates the continued stigma of Communism in Indonesia, a result of decades of indoctrination during the New Order.
The LBH office suffered some physical damage; however, I believe we can agree that the damage to Indonesia’s budding democracy should take centre stage.
A specter is haunting Indonesia – the specter of communism. Everyone’s freaking out about it, despite the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) having been banned for almost 50 years now.
This article was originally published in The Jakarta Post, 1 November 2016.
The more expert analyses I read on the issue of naval and defense modernization in Indonesia, the more I realize that there are many challenges ahead. Though Jokowi does have a grand maritime vision for the country, there are a lot of challenges ahead before Indonesia can become a global maritime fulcrum in Southeast Asia.
A video (above) has spread overnight of an Indonesian representative to the United Nations General Assembly using their right of reply to a statement made by seven Pacific islands. The countries in question are Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Tongo, Palau, Nauru, and the Marshall Islands. The issue was regarding human rights violations in Papua. They are referring to the continued repression by the Indonesian armed forces against the Papuan separatists (or perhaps, dissidents).