ISEAS Library Selects

Special Issue on the Run-Up to the 
2019 Indonesian Election

12 April 2019  (pm) - 15 April 2019  (am)

This Special Issue of Daily News Alert compiles news articles relating to the run-up to the Indonesian Election that will be held on 17 April 2019. It includes one commentary by and two citations attributed to the following researchers at ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute. You may click on their names to go to the articles directly. Today's usual Daily News Alert will be  released after 3.30pm.

This is a daily information alert service containing articles and commentaries selected by seven ISEAS Library staff from 95 international and regional news sources every weekday morning. These news sources cover Southeast Asia and special topics relevant to the research interest/ direction/ agenda of ISEAS.  If you think your friends and colleagues would find this alert useful, please invite them to subscribe.

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1 .
China in Indonesia election spotlight: Trailing by double digits in the polls, Subianto has leaned on a fiery nationalist ticket and pledged to re-evaluate Chinese investment, even as Jakarta courts huge contracts from Beijing's USD1.0 trillion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)... "China's growing economic power has become a key election issue in many Asian countries...with opposition politicians winning the elections after they criticise incumbents for their 'pro-China' policies," Deasy Simandjuntak, a visiting Indonesian researcher at the Singapore-based Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, said.
2 .
Victory could be slipping away from Jokowi: "Prabowo supporters are relentless and very zealous in promoting Jokowi as a disaster for religious voters while promoting Prabowo as a good Muslim who will promote Islamic interests in Indonesia," said Alexander Arifianto, research fellow with the Indonesia Program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. "This election will be a nail biter. It will be very close and either one could win."
3 .
Jokowi's electoral chances and his legacy: Opinion polls released by the most professional survey firms all show Jokowi with a comfortable lead in the run-up to the election. On Wednesday 17 April the presidential elections will, for the first time, be held concurrently with elections for the national parliament and for legislatures in Indonesia's provinces, cities and districts; all told, 193 million voters will be able to choose from among 245,000 legislative candidates. But they'll only be able to choose one of two men to be their next president -- and they're the same two who faced off last time. Once again, Jokowi's challenger is the populist strongman and former general, Prabowo Subianto, son-in-law of Indonesia's authoritarian-era President Suharto. Voters' choices are limited because Indonesia's electoral laws include a 'presidential threshold', whereby presidential aspirants must gain the support of a coalition of parties controlling 20 per cent of the seats in the national parliament or 25 per cent of the popular vote to be eligible to stand.

4 .
Record voter turnout in Tokyo as Indonesians flock for general election: According to the head of the Overseas Election Committee (PPLN) for Kanto region, Makmur Lubis, 90 percent of 1,208 voters registered to cast ballots at the polling place had showed up by 4 p.m. "There should be more but we have yet to verify the final numbers." It was a record showing, with the voter turnout in the 2014 election hovering around 75 percent. Initially, the committee had lowered its expectations due to the change in election system and, therefore, shorter time to prepare and disseminate information. "We are surprised that a bigger crowd of voters showed up. We think there are many factors at play, but mainly because this time around there are only two pairs of candidates, which makes voters more firm with their decision."

5 .
Indonesia: How the polls are performing: For months now, Indonesia's pollsters have been in agreement: the status quo in both the executive and legislative branches will hardly change after Wednesday's election. Since the beginning of intensive polling early this year, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has held a large and substantial lead over Prabowo Subianto. In the legislative race, all but one of the incumbent parties appears set to return, with only moderate changes to their relative strength. But can the polls be believed? My research on pollsters in Indonesia suggests that, for the most part, they have been able to accurately measure support for presidential candidates. Pollsters have also fared well in measuring support for the largest and very smallest parties. They struggle, however, with the technically challenging task of estimating support for the middling Islamic parties that together comprise a large and influential parliamentary bloc. The only likely divergence from polls on election day will be the strong overperformance by most--perhaps even all--Islamic parties.
Seth Soderborg
New Mandala, 15 April 2019

6 .
Khilafah, Khalifah, dan Kepemimpinan Nasional [Caliphates, caliphs and national leadership]: Konsep negara Pancasila yang disepakati oleh para founding father NKRI sudah tepat karena dirumuskan untuk memberikan kemaslahatan agama dan dunia bagi warga negararanya. Sila pertama Pancasila merupakan inti dari penjagaan agama bagi tiap-tiap individu yang harus dijamin oleh pemerintah. ... Sebagai khalifah dalam konteks saat ini, pemimpin Indonesia ke depannya harus mampu untuk mengintegrasikan peran agama dengan urusan dunia bagi warga negaranya dengan memberikan kemaslahatan. Agama   bukanlah penghalang pembangunan negara sebagaimana yang dikonsepsikan oleh sebagian pemikir/tokoh Barat.
Nurizal Ismail. Direktur Pusat Studi Kitab Klasik Islami STEI Tazkia & Peneliti ISEFID
Republika Online, 15 April 2019

7 .
Pemilu Indonesia: Jokowi atau Prabowo? [Indonesia Elections: Jokowi or Prabowo?] Pertambahan empat parti baharu dan satu parti lokal Aceh adalah sejajar dengan pertambahan generasi muda berumur bawah 25 tahun, iaitu 20 peratus daripada keseluruhan pendaftar pemilih Indonesia. Ini bermakna suara anak muda mampu menentukan siapakah Presiden Indonesia 2019 jika peratusan Golput menurun dalam kalangan anak muda.
Dr Iskandar Hasan Tan Abdullah
Sinar Harian, 15 April 2019

8 .
Indonesia election: who will win between Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto? Jokowi again faces a challenge from former general Prabowo, who has attacked the incumbent's track record on the economy and promised to end growing inequality. Religious identity politics and fake news have both shaped the campaign, which culminates next Wednesday on April 17
9 .
Jokowi Critical Against Sandiaga Uno`s Macroeconomics Approach: Jokowi maintained that one or two opinions cannot be used as a basis to determine the condition of Indonesia's economy as a whole. "Managing macroeconomy is about production and aggregate of production, it cannot be based solely on one person's opinion," said Jokowi in the final presidential debate on Saturday evening, April 13. During the debate, Sandiaga Uno repeatedly used the testimony of several people to further back up his argument on Indonesia's economy. One case he mentioned was his encounter with a resident identified as Mia of Tegal, Central Java, who complained about her electricity bill that spiked from Rp300-400 thousand to over Rp1 million.

10 .
Indonesia needs to have biggest sharia bank in ASEAN region: According to Vice Presidential candidate number 02 Sandiaga Uno who spoke during the final round of the presidential debate here on Saturday evening, Indonesia must not be just a market for foreign halal products, but instead, should also emerge as a global exporter of these products. The halal economy was not just about certification, but much more, considering its strength was estimated to reach around Rp3,300 trillion, he said. Presidential candidate number 02 Prabowo Subianto added that a hajj saving bank would be opened if the Prabowo-Sandi pair won the presidential elections due to be held on April 17. "We are keen to find a hajj saving bank, and it will be managed professionally and transparently. The funds collected will not be misused," he said.
11 .
Joko Widodo pledges to increase fisheries factories: Incumbent presidential candidate Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has pledged to increase the number of fisheries factories in an attempt to increase the stability of the prices of agricultural-fisheries-plantation commodities. Likewise, in the plantation sector, the Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf Amin pair emphasized the importance of downstreaming to export semi-finished goods.   "Going forward, both in agriculture-fisheries are downstreaming. We will build as many fisheries factories as possible to export semi-finished commodities," he stated.
In relation to social welfare, the Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf Amin pair prepared three card programs to promote the social welfare of Indonesians. The three cards include the Indonesia Smart Card (KIP), Pre-Employment Card and Affordable Staple Foods Card. "In terms of social welfare, we have the Indonesia Smart Card (KIP). We hope for all children, especially those from poor families, can have access to higher education with this card," Jokowi said.

12 .
Opposition vows to support gender-based laws, economic policy: The vow was stated during the fifth presidential debate here on Saturday night when Prabowo stated that women had a great role in strengthening Indonesia's economic development, hence the laws must serve their interests. In terms of economy, Sandiaga stated that two-thirds of women in Indonesia have contributed to micro, small, and medium enterprises (UMKM). Consequently, the country's economic policy must be accessible to women. "We will focus to not only providing loans for women but also ensuring they will be assisted on maintaining their business," Sandiaga remarked while adding that 80 percent failure in growing business caused by the lack of mentorship. Prabowo's running mate further mentioned that he will use his entrepreneurship program OK OCE to help women obtaining permits for their businesses.
13 .
State-owned enterprises' super holding necessary: In the fifth debate, which is the last prior to the presidential election on April 17, Jokowi said that a firm super holding of the state-owned enterprises will stimulate the country's private sector to grow. "I think in the future we must transform our state-owned enterprises into holdings that are based on each sector, namely construction, oil, and gas, as well as agriculture and plantation. These holdings later led by a single super holding," Jokowi said answering a question from the vice presidential candidate number 02, Sandiaga Uno. Jokowi further mentioned that the country's state-owned enterprises had been flourished, as some of the companies had penetrated their businesses to Middle East countries. "Our companies have built bridges, highways overseas. One of our state-owned enterprise, INKA (state-owned train manufacturer) has exported a large number of trains to Bangladesh," Jokowi remarked while highlighting state-owned enterprises' contribution to the increase in the country's national income last year.
14 .
Subianto-Uno pair vows to strive for food and energy self-sufficiency:   The import policy failed to reduce prices of basic needs and make the prices stable and affordable, Uno said during the fifth round of the presidential election debate held at Sultan Hotel in Jakarta on Saturday evening. Efforts to achieve food self-sufficiency would include distribution of fertilizer and seed for farmers and stop of commodity imports particularly during grand harvest season, he remarked. As for energy self-sufficiency, they planned to use biofuel energy and utilize 10 million hectares of damaged and neglected land. "Together with Prabowo and Sandi, we will reduce electricity tariffs and will make sure the availability of affordable basic needs without issuing new cards," Uno said. Meanwhile, incumbent presidential candidate Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has vowed to stop trade deficit by implementing policies to boost exports and reduce imports.

15 .
The Presidential Candidates' strategies to boost economic performance: There are some major differences in how two Indonesian presidential candidates envisioned the future of Indonesian economic performance. Both presidential candidates conveyed their strategies to boost the economic achievement on the fifth presidential debate at Sultan Hotel, Jakarta, on Saturday evening. This final round of debate between the Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf Amin and Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno pairs prioritizes critical matters concerning the economy, social welfare, finance, and investment, as well as trade and industry.
The Presidential candidate number 01 Joko Widodo (Jokowi), when elaborating his economic strategy, expressed his commitment to continue to fight for the independence of the Indonesian economy as an effort to increase people's welfare... Subianto said Indonesia has moved towards a wrong direction because the foundation for building the nation has deviated from its goals as stipulated in the 1945 Constitution. "We let our wealth be taken out of Indonesia. More wealth of our citizens are preserved abroad," he said. In addition to the outflow of the Indonesian citizens' wealth, Indonesia has also been undergoing de-industrialization. Due to this de-industrialization, the country has not produced "anything". Instead, it imports products of other countries to meet the people's demands. "This is wrong, and the Prabowo-Sandi pair is offering a change," he added.

16 .
Election enforcers: Paramilitary groups for Jokowi and Prabowo flex their muscles at rallies; They offer protection and help mobilise supporters to attend campaigning events: .... Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono told CNA that the primary role of these "election thugs" is to protect the campaign staff and supporters, and this could mean getting into "street fights" with groups from the opposing side. "Protection means a lot. If needed, they can clash with other militias to help their candidates or supporters to campaign in areas which are not their strongholds," he said.

17 .
Unapologetic: Indonesia's 'millenials party' calls out fellow members of Jokowi coalition: The Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) is the small party making a big noise at the country's elections this coming Wednesday, taking the political discourse into areas generally seen as off-limits by the more established players.
High on its agenda are issues with an ethnic or religious dimension as well as a desire to deal with corruption. In the process, it has controversially set its sights on the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the Functional Groups (Golkar) party - both part of a grand coalition seeking President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's re-election, which the PSI is also part of. PSI chairperson Grace Natalie Louisa acknowledged that criticising fellow coalition members has caused "awkwardness", but the former TV news anchor is unapologetic.

18 .
Jokowi still Indonesia's best bet in this week's election: Australia and the world, then, should look upon Jokowi's re-election as the better outcome, something that would lock in stability, pragmatism, and predictability on the economy and foreign relations. The atmosphere of polarisation between the Jokowi and Prabowo camps that has pervaded Indonesian politics since 2014 would also fade somewhat as Prabowo's party allies seek to cut deals with Jokowi in exchange for representation in the ministry, and the access to the spoils of government that accompanies it. Still, there are downsides to Jokowi seeing a good result on Wednesday as a vindication of his developmentalist policies and hard-nosed political tactics. Determined to leave an economic legacy, Jokowi will understandably be driven by an impulse to centralise more political authority in his own hands. The central question for the next five years, then, is how much Jokowi is willing to sidestep democratic norms to get there.
19 .
Prabowo cries foul ahead of Indonesian elections: Certainly, Indonesia's election campaign has not been entirely free of irregularities or controversies. Recently, reports about stray ballots marked in favour of Jokowi emerged from Malaysia -- where around 600,000 registered voters live -- but the ballots' authenticity remained unclear at the time of writing. The KPU had already admitted problems with the voter list prior to this, but denies the allegations of systematic fraud. Rather, it has pledged to work continuously on updating the voter list until election day. The Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) has also backed the KPU and made it clear that while minor irregularities have indeed occurred in the preparation of the voter list, there is no evidence for systematic fraud on Jokowi's behalf. The polls available have also shown little sign that voters believe the claims of unfairness. Recent surveys by Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) and Indikator -- albeit conducted prior to reports of the Malaysia case -- revealed an overwhelming majority of voters have confidence in the KPU's ability to conduct the election professionally. Disaggregated results from the Indikator poll demonstrate strong confidence in the KPU and Bawaslu even among Prabowo voters.
Dave McRae, University of Melbourne, and Dirk Tomsa, La Trobe University
East Asia Forum, 14 April 2019

20 .
Former Jakarta Governor BTP Explains Why He Rejoins PDI-P, Throws Shade on New Political Parties: BTP, the acronym for Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the ex-Jakarta governor formerly known as Ahok, uploaded another vlog on YouTube on Saturday (13/04) to explain why he decided to rejoin the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) straight after his release from the Mako Brimob prison, where he spent two years on blasphemy charges. The barely five-minute video, titled "Why I Chose PDI Perjuangan" is uploaded on the ex-governor's "Panggil Saya BTP" ("Call Me BTP") YouTube channel. In the video, BTP also urged his supporters to vote for PDI-P candidates in Wednesday's legislative election. "PDI-P is the only trustworthy party in this election. If you believe in me, vote for PDI-P. Help us get 30 percent [of the votes]. I myself will work hard to help PDI-P get over that target," BTP said.
21 .
Prabowo Blames Jokowi's Predecessors for Not Matching China's Achievement: In a rare departure from his xenophobic rhetoric, presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto praised China for its drastic reduction of poverty over the past 40 years, a feat he believes Indonesia should have emulated if previous presidents stayed true to the country's economic plan. Prabowo said Indonesia was in danger of deindustrialization, making it hard for the country to eradicate poverty, create jobs for its 131 million-strong workforce, and reverse its trade balance deficit. "To be honest, I do not blame Mr. Jokowi," Prabowo said in the final presidential debate on Saturday night, referring to President Joko Widodo by his popular nickname. "This is our fault as a country, which has been going for a dozen or even tens of years," he said. "The People's Republic of China can eradicate poverty in 40 years. We need to be brave to learn from such a great lesson."

22 .
An anti-feminist wave in Indonesia's election? The role of women in the Indonesian elections is largely under-examined. Yet as I've written previously, the role of female canvassers and volunteers--colloquially known as emak-emak--is important in this year's election campaign. On 24 March in Bekasi, West Java, I attended a campaign rally for Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (Prosperous Justice Party, PKS). The first thing I noticed was that women clearly outnumbered men, and they stayed under the burning sun throughout the campaign. The women's dedication was acknowledged by the president of PKS for West Java, Ahmad Syaikhu. The ex-mayor of Bekasi said: "We are also thankful to the power of emak-emak that have been actively campaigning for the party and Prabowo-Sandi." While emak-emak are sometimes used tokenistically by more senior male politicians so they can say they are addressing the women's vote, many conservative Islamist women are campaigning in new and unique ways in this election.

23 .
Indonesian election: The home stretch: Indopolling, Roy Morgan and Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) surveys early this month showed Widodo likely to win between 54 and 57 per cent of the vote, with Prabowo getting between 32 and 37 per cent. According to SMRC, only 6.3 per cent of voters remain undecided, down from as many as 25 per cent several months ago. Polls, aside, however, Prabowo will continue to hope that he can do a Donald Trump in his second attempt to be president with some reports, including his team's own survey, showing he has closed the gap in terms of support. This confidence is partly down to what happened in the last polls in 2014 when Prabowo lost narrowly with Joko winning 53 per cent of the votes. This time around, what separates the candidates is Joko has been at the helm for five years and he has defined the challenge posed by Prabowo as between team optimists and pessimists, thereby making out a clear line of choice for the voters. This observation was made near the end of the debate after Joko and Ma'ruf appeared satisfied that they were able to explain and emphasise their plans and achievement while parrying Prabowo and Sandiaga's efforts to instil doubts against them.

24 .
Indonesians to vote in world's biggest single-day election: Most opinion polls give Widodo a double-digit lead but the opposition has disputed survey findings. It has also said it has uncovered data irregularities affecting millions on the electoral rolls and has vowed to take legal action or use "people power" if its complaints are not resolved. Some analysts say an unexpected win for the challenger would probably cause a brief slump in Indonesian markets, while a very close race could elevate the risk of a disputed vote. "In a scenario in which Widodo wins by an unexpectedly narrow margin, large and prolonged protests in Jakarta would elevate tensions and pressure the currency," said Kevin O'Rourke in the Reformasi Weekly note on Indonesia published last week.

25 .
After reality check, Indonesia's 'new face' in politics seeks second term: When Indonesian President Joko Widodo was elected five years ago, the former furniture salesman seemed to offer a clean break from the military and political elite that had clung to power since the fall of strongman ruler Suharto in 1998. Now, Widodo, 57, is running on his own record for a second term in Wednesday's election, with a comfortable lead in most opinion polls over his rival, former general Prabowo Subianto. .... If he is re-elected, analysts expect broadly the same economic policy focus, though they are divided whether he will quicken the pace. "If he wins, I believe he will push his reform agenda more confidently, as politically he is a 'stubborn' leader," said Wawan Mas'udi, a politics expert at Gadjah Mada University who has charted Widodo's rise to power.

26 .
Meet the ethnic Chinese candidates who could sway the Indonesian election: As parliamentary candidates strive to make their mark, Tan said that every Chinese who goes into politics has to understand that they are not in it solely for personal ends or gains. Apart from serving their constituents, they are in politics to also help "improve the dignity of ethnic Chinese in Indonesia", and create a "a base for our children and grandchildren in the future to participate more in Indonesian politics".

27 .
Calm before a storm: What's at stake in Indonesia's presidential election: Some observers have said a low voter turnout will work against Mr Joko. Mr Andi Haswidi from FT Confidential Research agreed, adding that parties behind Mr Prabowo seemed better at getting their supporters to vote. The senior researcher added that despite surveys showing Mr Joko poised for a comfortable win on Wednesday, there are still enough swing voters to spring a surprise result. But pre-election surveys in Indonesia have been wrong before.
A case in point: Pollsters had expected Mr Joko to defeat Mr Prabowo at the last elections, in 2014, by a wide margin, but the final results were much closer than predicted. This time, however, the stakes are much higher for Mr Joko, who needs a strong mandate for a second and final term in office, if he is to realise his vision for reforms and infrastructure development. Anything short of a landslide victory for Mr Joko may set him up for a tumultuous post-election period.
Francis Chan, Indonesia Bureau Chief In Jakarta
Straits Times, 14 April 2019

28 .
Jokowi needs to win big: The 2014 presidential polls saw Mr Prabowo challenge the results. And if Mr Joko again ekes out a narrow victory, Mr Prabowo is likely to do so again. At the end of this polarising election, Mr Joko, if victorious, may have to join hands with his rival, such as by inviting Mr Prabowo's side into his new administration, to make his second term a less turbulent affair and to rally the nation together. If not, these two elections will leave behind a country deeply divided.
Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh,   Indonesia Correspondent In Jakarta
Straits Times, 14 April 2019

29 .
Indonesian Millennials Dominate Voting in Beijing: Not only voting, millennials were also involved in the Group of Foreign Voting Organizers (KPPSLN) for the polling stations 001 and 002 at the Indonesian representative office located in Dongzhimen Wai Dajie No. 4 Chaoyang District, Beijing. Likewise, the volunteers who were seconded to the health post and food and beverage booth at the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing were also dominated by Indonesian citizens who are most of them only for the first time to go to the poll.
30 .
Prabowo-Sandiaga Uno Urges Indonesians to Give Them Mandate: He also pledged when speaking at the closing session of the final presidential debate here on Saturday that he would not take his salary if the duo received mandate of majority of voters on April 17. "It is time for all of us to come to ballot booths on April 17, and cast your votes for the Prabowo-Sandi pair. If you are all keen to have a clean government, affordable prices of basic commodities, and excellent services of Healthcare and Social Security Agency, please choose us," he said. For the youths and millennials who are keen to work, or farmers who wish to see imported basic commodities get stopped, they were also urged to cast their votes for the Prabowo-Sandi pair, Sandiaga Uno said. The similar calls were also echoed by Prabowo Subianto who thanked ulemas and religious leaders who had supported him and his running mate, Sandiaga Uno for competing in the presidential race.

31 .
Cash could crash Indonesia elections: According to research conducted by Burhanuddin Muhtadi, a lecturer from Universitas Islam Negeri Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta, buying votes is nothing new in Indonesia. In fact, his research - which analysed data from multiple sources, including surveys with more than 800,000 respondents across the country from 2006 to 2016 - found that Indonesia actually holds third-place on the list of countries with the most vote-buying practices.

32 .
Indonesians flock to final presidential campaign rallies: Tens of thousands of Indonesians flocked to presidential campaign rallies Saturday ahead of a final debate between the two candidates, four days before the country heads to the polls. Supporters of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo filled a stadium in central Jakarta, while the vice presidential running mate of challenger Prabowo Subianto held a rally in a satellite city. Speaking to a crowd of more than 100,000, Widodo emphasized the importance of his big ticket infrastructure policy and education for the country's future development. He said pluralism is non-negotiable in Muslim-majority Indonesia, addressing supporters' fears about the aims of a conservative Islamic movement that backs Subianto. .... Subianto's running mate, Sandiaga Uno, told a crowd of thousands in Tangerang that a government led by them would focus on ensuring Indonesians had good jobs and a lower cost of living. "We will be able to unite the country and make this country very strong," said Uno, a businessman who has spent more than USD100 million on the campaign.
Niniek Karmini
Associated Press, 13 April 2019

33 .
Don't teach me democracy!': an uneasy audience with Indonesia's Prabowo: After asking a series of questions about whether he is playing identity politics, cosying up to Islamist hardliners for political gain, an exasperated Prabowo unleashes a tirade. "I am not somebody who is afraid of white people," he thunders, slamming a saucer down onto the polished wooden table in front of him. "Don't come and teach me democracy! Don't teach me politics of identity, I know! I was a commander, I had Christian soldiers, Hindu soldiers, die under my command. You think I am going to betray them?"

34 .
I Want an Honorable Victory': Jokowi: Joko "Jokowi" Widodo called on his supporters to fight their way to an "honorable victory," and his re-election, at the massive "White in Unity" rally -- the incumbent president's last campaign event before the April 17 election -- held at the Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta on Saturday (13/04). .... After Jokowi's White in Unity rally on Saturday, which many say was bigger than Prabowo's "Grand Campaign" last week, some people now speculate that though Jokowi's victory margin might be thinner than expected, it will be a victory nevertheless. "Mabye it's too hasty to say 'game over' [for Prabowo], but [it looks like it] from the GBK stage this Saturday," Ari Nurcahyo, the director of Para Syndicate, a private think tank, told the Jakarta Globe.
Telly Nathalia
Jakarta Globe, 13 April 2019

35 .
'Who are you debating with?': Prabowo remark rubs Dems the wrong way: Prabowo made the remark during a televised debate with his rival, Jokowi. Prabowo said Indonesia's economy was on the wrong track, but quickly added that: "I don't blame you [Jokowi]. This is a big mistake of presidents before you. That's my opinion." Democratic Party deputy secretary general Rachland Nashidik questioned the statement on Twitter. "Pak Prabowo, who are you debating with? Why is Pak SBY being targeted?" he tweeted, referring to Democratic Party leader and former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who served as president from 2004 to 2014. Meanwhile, Democratic Party politician Ferdinand Hutahaean left the venue of the debate at the Sultan Hotel in Jakarta on Saturday shortly after Prabowo made the remark.

36 .
How does simultaneous elections system influence Indonesian politics? The sheer scale of the elections is staggering. That they will likely proceed with minimal interference and conjecture surrounding the result, just as the previous elections have, is a testament to Indonesia's electoral systems. Likewise, while Indonesian's have dwindling faith in their elected representatives (a trend mirrored in democracies across the globe) Indonesians continue to have faith in the country's electoral system and democracy more broadly. For a well-functioning democracy with representatives held to account, an informed constituency is vital. With elections for five levels of government being held simultaneously confusing so many voters, education is key. Sitting House member Irine Robba from PDIP believes holding the simultaneous elections is a good thing, "But the homework is we have to inform our people more about the duty between the president, parliament and so on." One of the effects of the simultaneous elections is already clear, they are much cheaper than running separate elections.

37 .
Jokowi emphasizes diversity, confidence in final rally: The event, which featured dozens of renowned musicians performing and wooing the crowds in support of the Jokowi-Ma'ruf Amin ticket, was the incumbent's largest rally and wrapped up the seven-month reelection campaign before polling day next week. Dressed in his trademark white shirt, Jokowi was greeted by loud cheers from his supporters in the stadium when he stepped on to the stage and waved his hands before starting his speech, which emphasized that the country's principle of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) must be protected. "[Indonesia] is a huge country and a great nation, comprising people from different races, religions and cultural backgrounds [...] so together we have to continue to safeguard and protect our diversity," Jokowi said.

38 .
Jokowi, Prabowo pledge to empower women to achieve economic equality, inclusiveness: During the second segment of the debate, the moderator raised the issue of gender inequality in the economy, asking the candidates to explain their strategy for increasing women's participation in the economy while reducing sexual discrimination in the workplace. "According to the global gender gap index, women's participation in the economy in Indonesia is only 51 percent, compared to men's participation at 84 percent. What will be your policy to guarantee women's participation in the economy and what will you do to actually reduce sexual discrimination in the workplace?" moderator Balques Manisang said.
Prabowo emphasized the importance of the role of women, saying that this has been evident throughout his campaign. "The role of emak-emak [housewives] has been very crucial during this campaign. Thus, policies, laws should reflect their interests because those will determine the Republic of Indonesia's social and political life," he said. His running mate Sandiaga Uno added that two-thirds of family livelihoods were upheld by the role of women who start small businesses from their homes.

39 .
Prabowo decries 'deindustrialization', Jokowi promises more equitable growth: Presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto opened the final presidential debate on Saturday with an indictment of the Indonesian economy, which he said was on "the wrong track", while President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo vowed to make economic growth more equitable in the archipelago. "We are of the view that our nation has long been in the wrong direction and if this continues it will not bring prosperity to Indonesia," said Prabowo in his opening statement. He decried what he said was the massive amount of wealth that has left the country while also condemning what he described as 'deindustrialization' in Indonesia. "At the moment we are not producing anything, we only receive production materials from other countries. We should correct this," said Prabowo. Jokowi, on the other hand, brought up his administration's infrastructure development as the driver for creating new sources of economic growth and bringing about more equitable development in the country.

40 .
Taking Indonesia beyond Sukarno and Soeharto: If anything, Jokowi's personal integrity lends credence to his character, his character infuses national policies, and those policies make Indonesia a better country for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. What he has done assiduously is to keep religion and politics separate. That does not make Indonesia a secular country such as e.g. France, but a Pancasila nation that is living up to its own ideals. Surely, patriotic Indonesian Muslims do not begrudge the minorities their share of the national comfort zone of peace and tolerance. What is important to them is that Islam should not be under threat. It is not besieged under Jokowi, and it will not be should he win this month. Ultimately, of course, the choice is one which Indonesians, and only they, can make. However, they need to ponder how much of their history is at stake in this election. Indonesia would gain if President Jokowi were to be given the opportunity to carry on the legacy of Sukarno and Soeharto to build a new Indonesia that goes beyond their achievements.
41 .
Debat Pilpres tanpa Perempuan [Presidential debates without women]: Dalam debat maupun kampanye politik selama perhelatan pemilu 2019 ini, pengamatan saya wacana pemberdayaan perempuan (women empowering) menghilang di ruang publik, tak dipercakapkan juga tak didiskusikan secara ekstensif. Perempuan seolah kian dijauhkan dari politik, lembaga negara seperti KPU turut melakukan domestifikasi peran perempuan ke ruang sempit; sekedar kamar, dapur dan sumur.
Syamsuddin Radjab, Direktur Eksekutif Jenggala Center dan Dosen HTN UIN Alauddin, Makassar
Republika Online, 13 April 2019

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Could Hong Kong's domestic workers sway the Indonesian election? According to official statistics, 165,000 out of the 180,232 Indonesians living in the city are domestic workers. Tri said that one of his priorities had always been to improve these workers' protection. "I passed a code of conduct for employment agencies - for those that have the licence to recruit Indonesian workers to come to [work in] Hong Kong. Since then, more than 30 agencies received sanctions, which was rarely seen previously." In addition to that, he said, the consulate also started allowing the renewal of contracts with the same employer without the involvement of an employment agency.
According to official statistics, 165,000 out of the 180,232 Indonesians living in the city are domestic workers. Tri said that one of his priorities had always been to improve these workers' protection. "I passed a code of conduct for employment agencies - for those that have the licence to recruit Indonesian workers to come to [work in] Hong Kong. Since then, more than 30 agencies received sanctions, which was rarely seen previously." In addition to that, he said, the consulate also started allowing the renewal of contracts with the same employer without the involvement of an employment agency.
43 .
Indonesia election 'not about religion', says Sandiaga Uno. It's about unity - and the economy: Indonesia's presidential challenger Prabowo Subianto has been accused of playing to conservative Muslims in his effort to unseat President Joko Widodo. No, his running mate tells This Week in Asia: they stand for unity - and the economy.

44 .
Indonesia elections: is Prabowo Subianto on the verge of a Mahathir Mohamad-style upset? The survey and the enthusiastic responses from voters like Risnawati and Ria have convinced Prabowo that victory is well within grasp - so much so that he warned on Thursday there would be unrest if the election was "stolen" with massive cheating "going against the will of the people". In 2014, Prabowo also initially claimed victory. Widodo won the race then with nearly 71 million votes, 6.3 per cent more than the 62.5 million votes for Prabowo. His accusations of cheating then fell largely on deaf ears and proved unfounded. However, the discovery of some 40,000-50,000 stamped ballots for Widodo in Malaysia, where the largest overseas population of Indonesian voters live, has caused a rumpus, no doubt sweet to Prabowo's ears.
45 .
Jokowi's lead seen stable in Indonesian election, survey shows: Mr Joko, popularly known as Jokowi, is projected to secure 55.7 per cent of votes as shown by Charta Politika's survey conducted from April 5 to April 10. That compares with a mid-March survey showing he would get 53.5 per cent of ballots cast. Support for Mr Prabowo is seen at 38.8 per cent from 37.5 per cent earlier, Charta Politika said on Saturday. As many as 84.2 per cent of respondents said they are sure of their choice when they go to vote on April 17, while 7.2 per cent said they may still change their minds. The survey of 2,000 respondents in 34 provinces has a margin of error of around 2.19 per cent. About 5.5 per cent of the respondents said they do not know who they will vote for or did not disclose their support.
46 .
Final Presidential Debate; Top Programs of Jokowi, Prabowo: The presidential debate at the Sultan Hotel tonight, April 13, will become the final debate between Joko Widodo or Jokowi - Ma'ruf Amin ticket and Prabowo Subianto - Sandiaga Uno ticket. The establishment of the fifth debate will be the last chance for both candidates to explain their programs before the election day on April 17. The final presidential debate will talk about the economy and public welfare, financial and investment, as well as trade industry. The following are several programs mentioned by both candidate tickets.
47 .
Jokowi: Indonesia to Become World's Top 4 Economy in 2045: "There is no developed country whose people are pessimistic, the people of a developed country must be optimistic," he said in an oration during the campaign rally dubbed 'Konser Putih Bersatu' at GBK Senayan, Jakarta, Saturday, April 13. The incumbent said that he will keep on spreading the optimism to the people of Indonesia. "Let's be optimistic to move forward," he said, mentioning that Indonesia is listed as the G20 member, which its economy is taken into account. "It has been projected that our country in 2045 will become the world's top 4 of the country with economic power," Jokowi remarked.

48 .
Presidential Debate; Prabowo Asks Jokowi to Learn from China: The statement was Prabowo's response to Jokowi's statement. The debate moderator previously asked Jokowi about his strategy to maintain fisheries and agriculture commodities in order to attract millennials' involvement in the sector. Jokowi answered that Indonesia has been exporting raw material such as natural rubber. He, therefore, said that he will impose downstream policy to make Indonesia able to export processed material that will improve added value. The final election debate is focusing on the theme of Economy, Public Welfare, Industry, Trade, and Investment.

49 .
The Big Read in short: Indonesia presidential election - three big issues to watch: Dr Norshahril Saat, a fellow at the Iseas-Yusof Ishak Institute researching on Indonesian politics, pointed out that during the 2014 polls, Mr Widodo had to grapple with accusations that he was of Chinese origin and not "Muslim enough". To shore up support among conservative Muslims this time round, his pick of Mr Ma'ruf boosts and legitimises Mr Widodo's religious credentials, Dr Norshahril added.

50 .
In an Indonesian city still struggling from last year's disasters, upcoming elections are a chance to protest: places such as Palu, the anger is directed mostly at Widodo and his administration for the uneven response to last year's twin disasters. Elsewhere in Indonesia, others who proclaim themselves golput are self-identified progressives dissatisfied with the president. But they also appear reluctant to back Prabowo, who allegedly committed human rights abuses in the past. Prabowo was accused of kidnapping dissidents during the "New Order era" under authoritarian president Suharto more than two decades ago.

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言论:印尼总统选举势均力敌: " 身份认同 " 政治在这次的大选中仍然非常明显。其实,普拉博沃在辩论会过后,其团队又积极地玩伊斯兰牌。他们要再次将普拉博沃塑造成 " 伊斯兰的捍卫者 " 4 7 日,在 " 苏卡诺运动场 " 举行召开 " 百万人 ' 真主伟大 ' 竞选大会 " Kampanye Akhbar ),出席者多数是身穿白衣的保守派穆斯林和普拉博沃的支持者。他们的目的就是要突出普拉博沃作为印尼回教捍卫者的形象。
联合早报 , 13 April 2019

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Indonesia election: Paramilitary gangs choose their candidates ahead of presidential poll: Preman groups also use "intimidation and threats" to capture votes by targeting rival grassroots campaigners who seek to unseat their political masters, according to Mr Harsono. "Visiting their houses, visiting their parent's houses, visiting their grandfathers. If those things don't work, then they will use violence," he said. There are dozens of preman groups across the Indonesian archipelago, each conducting regular military-style parades and bootcamp training sessions. They also put on displays of strength and bravery for the public, including slashing at their own necks and tongues with machetes and setting off string necklaces made of firecrackers.
"Banser is certainly a paramilitary-style group, but many of its members would object to being called 'preman', which carries the connotation of thug or gangster," said Dr Ian Wilson, a senior lecturer at Murdoch University. Dr Wilson, who has done extensive research on Indonesia's crime gangs, said Banser's support for President Widodo has been welcomed by some Indonesian voters. "During the 2016 Jakarta [governor] election, the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) called for its members to go and 'monitor the process', which was code for going to polling stations in large numbers to intimidate would-be voters," he said. "In 2019, many see Banser's role as a positive one, because it's being used to balance out some of that intimidation."

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Prabowo warns of possible election fraud: While it's highly likely Jokowi will win next week, Brexit and Donald Trump's election win have shown upsets do happen, according to Hugo Brennan, principal political analyst with Verisk Maplecroft. Every election since Indonesia introduced direct voting for president in 2004 has resulted in legal challenges, he added. It "would be surprising if Prabowo didn't cry foul and petition the Constitutional Court," Brennan said. "The prospect of protesters taking to the streets to oppose the result can't be entirely ruled out given the recent history of mass demonstrations in the capital

54 .
Pushing the envelope: Money politics undermines democracy in Indonesia: In an interview, Ramchand said that at 3 out of 10 planned appearances, community leaders would demand gratuities to allow her to talk to the voters in her South Jakarta electorate. "Sometimes people bluntly ask for money. Others ask for air-conditioning units or a motorbike," she said. Ramchand, a policy consultant to corporations and governments who has lived overseas for most of the past decade, presented WhatsApp messages sent to her by village chiefs and officials from religious organizations demanding money to let her speak at gatherings. Ramchand said she has also declined to pay the usual political "dowry" required by political parties to endorse candidates. The going rate for a serious run for one of 560 seats in the national legislature is about 10 billion rupiah, according to the former deputy chief of the KPK, Busyro Muqoddas. "We live in a kleptocracy, not a democracy," said Busyro.


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