A Bad Report Card for Jokowi and Ma’ruf
CIVIL society groups are saying that freedom of speech and expression are getting worse during the second term of President Joko Widodo and Vice President Ma’ruf Amin’s administration.
Arrests against those who are critical toward the government is one indication of the increasingly repressive government.
Law Faculty Dean of Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Sigit Riyanto, believes that democracy in Indonesia has gone backwards to the authoritarian era. Moreover, state authorities are allegedly involved in exercising repression. Pressure also comes from pro-government ‘buzzers’—or social media influencers. However, Sigit said that the government is regarded as turning a blind eye to the attacks launched by buzzers against critics. “The state, which should be protecting its citizens from threats, is not fulfilling its role,” said Sigit on Monday, October 19.
Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) researcher, Rivanlee Anandan, said that the culture of violence is becoming more prevalent in Jokowi’s second term in office. Kontras recorded at least 157 violations of democracy during the past year. Among others, these include the intimidation against a number of anti-corruption activists and academicians who rejected the revision toward the Law on Corruption Eradication Commission, and hacking on their phone numbers and social media accounts. Similar attacks were repeated when many elements in the society moved to protest the Job Creation Law passed by the House of Representatives on October 5.
Result of a survey by Kompas Research and Development Department on October 14 to 16 reflects public’s disappointment in Jokowi-Ma’ruf government. Out of 529 respondents, 52.5 percent are dissatisfied with the performance shown by Jokowi and Ma’ruf. Some 6.2 percent even declared that they are very dissatisfied.
Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko dismissed the notion suggesting that democracy in Indonesia is going downhill. He claimed that the government is trying to maintain the balance between political stability and democracy. “There is this art of making sure that stability is maintained, while also keeping democracy. If we ignore stability, there will be a tendency towards anarchy,” he said on Wednesday, October 21.
No Room for Free Speech
The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence recorded multiple instances of violation of democracy during the first year of Joko Widodo and Ma’ruf Amin’s second term. Civil organizations and campuses were also involved.
SOURCE: COMMISSION FOR MISSING PERSONS AND VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE
Murderer of Pastor Yeremias Remains a Mystery
Intan Jaya Joint Facts-Finding Team (TGPF) fails to discover who is responsible for the murder of Pastor Yeremias Zanambani. The team’s report, which was delivered to the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud Md. only contains lines of interview of Yeremias’ family members and witnesses around the crime scene.
Yeremias was shot dead in Intan Jaya, Papua, on September 19. “So far, there has been no firsthand witness,” said Intan Jaya TGPF Chief, Benny Mamoto, on October 21. Meanwhile, Mahfud Md. suspects the involvement of members of state authorities. “Although, there is also the possibility of a third party,” said Mahfud.
The Coalition of Justice for Pastor Yeremias Zanambani believes that the TGPF has found indication of state authority involvement. Imparsial Director Al Araf urges the government to reveal the identity and motive of the alleged perpetrator to settle the case. “The disclosure is neither finished nor final,” he said.