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Jakarta Post

Insight: Indonesia, 14 years after the fall of Soeharto

  • Bahtiar Effendy

Jakarta   /   Mon, May 21 2012   /  08:00 am

Much has been achieved since Indonesia became a more open democracy after former president Soeharto
decided to end his 32-year rule on May 21, 1998. At home, public liberty has generally been honored. Elections have been free and fair and those who hold public office are continuously scrutinized. Abroad, the country has been applauded as the third-largest democratic nation after India and the United States. Being the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, several emerging democracies, such as Egypt, have sought to learn from the Indonesian experience.

Fourteen years have passed with four different presidents — B.J. Habibie, Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid, Megawati Soekarnoputeri and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono — having worked hard to consolidate the practices of democracy.

As many public surveys have indicated, there are no signs of turning the clock ...