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Jakarta Post

Jakarta: Inequality and the poverty of elite pluralism

  • Ian Wilson
    Ian Wilson

    Lecturer in politics and security studies and a Research Fellow at Murdoch University’s Asia Research Centre

Perth   /   Sun, April 23, 2017   /  08:51 am
Jakarta: Inequality and the poverty of elite pluralism Vivianti, 35, lives with her husband and their twin sons Kevan and Kevin, 2, in the shack under the Tomang-Pluit toll road in Pejagalan. They had been living there since 2010. Before eviction, they sold meatballs but they had their meatball cart destroyed during the eviction. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Judging from national and international headlines, Jakarta’s gubernatorial election on 19 April represents not just a major turning point for the nation’s capital and city of 12 million, but potentially for the entire country. The alarmist tone is largely due to the unsettling direction campaigning has taken over the past eight months, that has seen any possible substantive policy debates over how to best tackle Jakarta’s complex infrastructural, economic, and social problems subsumed by sectarian identity politics. Initially a relatively fringe movement led by serial troublemakers the Islamic Defenders Front, objections to Ahok as governor on the grounds he was a non-Muslim snowballed after allegations he insulted Islam, and the subsequent laying of blasphemy charges. It presented the perfect opening for his rivals, who pumped significant financial a...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.