Civil society is usually seen as a force for liberal reforms, but uncivil society merits more scrutiny. It represents the dark side of the 3rd sector, is subject to elite capture, and can be an advocate for an agenda conducive to authoritarianism. We examine religious organisations in four of Asia’s plural societies– Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
The people of West Papua have suffered decades of oppression and discrimination at the hands of the Indonesian state. Now they’ve drawn inspiration from the Black Lives Matter protests to mount popular resistance to yet another authoritarian clampdown.
With name-calling and scapegoating over the polluted haze, governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore engage in a rhetorical exercise. In reality, all parties are skating around the real issues.
It’s surprising that while demand hits have caused factory closures, falling coal consumption and less auto traffic, leading to blue skies the world over, the palm oil industry continues its environmentally damaging practices unabatedly.
The Criminal Code may yet be revised so that human rights like freedom of expression and association are better protected. But this requires the mobilisation of civil society in a way that has not been seen since General Suharto was ousted in 1998. It seems more likely that the pace of Islamization of the country has only faced a temporary...
Not only are terrorist fund-raising methods changing, but the ways money is being used has also evolved. Vigilance to the changes in terrorist financing methods is needed.
It is high time the human rights movement lives up to the foundational motto of the Indonesian state, unity in diversity. To influence in this rough political climate, they need to strengthen civil society – by building coalitions based on affinity.
Saskia E. Wieringa and Nursyahbani Katjasungkana write and edit works on the events of 1 October 1965, and the subsequent campaign to annihilate the Communist Party, the murder of an estimated one million people in Indonesia, and the many forms of violence during the period of the massacres that were to take place.
The presidential elections of 17 April in Indonesia are a rematch of the 2014 encounter. The same two candidates, Mr Joko Widodo and his adversary, retired general Prabowo Subianto, are again vying for the highest political position in the country.
In Indonesia, simultaneous campaigns of communist phobia and of homophobia portray both groups as enemies of the nation and condemn both for treacherously undermining the state’s morality and weakening its vigilance.