The Jakarta Post
The 2010s will end with the closing of 2019, and as we prepare to welcome the 2020s, many of us are reflecting on what has happened in Indonesia over the past 10 years.
The Jakarta Post has rounded up some of the most important events of the past decade as they appeared in our newspaper's headlines.
Here is part one of our decade in review: what made the news from 2010 to 2014.
Mentawai tsunami: An earthquake-triggered tsunami swept through the Mentawai Islands in West Sumatra ─ one of Indonesia’s renowned surfing destinations ─ after a magnitude-7.2 quake jolted the area on Oct. 25.
The disaster, the biggest tidal waves since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, killed more than 400 people and damaged more than 25,000 houses.
Merapi eruptions: Mount Merapi spewed hot ash down its slopes on Oct. 26, forcing residents to flee to safety after the volcano recorded three major eruptions and was set at the highest alert level since Oct. 25.
Eruptions continued for weeks afterwards, affecting more than 300,000 people who took shelter in emergency tents. As of December, authorities recorded that the disaster has claimed 353 lives, including the volcano’s guardian Ki Surakso Hargo, better known as Mbah Maridjan.
Obama’s visit: Then United States president Barack Obama visited Indonesia for the first time in more than 40 years since he first came to the archipelago, where he spent four years of his childhood.
He was welcomed by then Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono with a state dinner on Nov. 9 at the State Palace where he was served with his favorite childhood dishes. “Terima kasih untuk bakso, nasi goreng, emping, krupuk. Semuanya enak!” he said.
Ahmadi killings: A mob of some 1,500 people attacked a house in Cikeusik district of Banten used by the local Ahmadiyah community as a place of worship, on Feb. 6. Three Ahmadis were killed and five were seriously wounded in the attack.
The tragedy, in which the mob destroyed and burned a house and vehicles, is one of the most brutal violent attacks carried out by Muslim hard-liners against the minority group, which has been the target of persecution since 2005.
2011 SEA Games: The 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games officially opened on Nov. 11 with flair, flash and artistic glitter laden with culturally rich ceremonial performances following months of preparation marred by corruption and faulty coordination.
Palembang in South Sumatra and capital Jakarta shared the same place in Southeast Asian sporting history as co-hosts of the region’s biennial festival of sport. All was grand, glam and spectacular.
Deadly plane crash: A Sukhoi Superjet 100 airliner on a demonstration tour in Indonesia went missing and crashed on Mount Salak in West Java on May 9. The accident killed all 45 people on board, namely 35 Indonesian passengers, two passengers from the United States and France and eight Russian crew members.
Sunni-Shiite mayhem: Two Shiite Muslims died of machete wounds sustained during religious violence involving Shia community members and an anti-Shia group on Aug. 26 in Sampang regency in Madura, East Java. At least four other Shiites were injured during the attack.
At the height of the violence, the mob also set alight dozens of houses belonging to minority Shiites in Sampang.
Followers of Tajul Muluk ─ the Shiite cleric sentenced to two years for blasphemy by the Sampang District Court in July ─ fled in panic after the attack on their settlement. Some 250 of the 500 members of the Shia community were relocated more than 8 kilometers from their village.
Jokowi-Ahok victory: Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his Chinese-Christian running mate, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, won in the Jakarta gubernatorial runoff against incumbent Fauzi Bowo on Sept. 20.
The pair clinched the majority of the votes on a generally smooth and peaceful election day despite weeks of negative campaigning, polarizing sentiments and racial insults since the first round of voting.
Sukarno-Hatta named heroes: Then president Yudhoyono bestowed the National Heroes title on Indonesia’s first president and vice president, Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta, on Nov. 6 in what some considered a long-overdue recognition as it came 67 years after the country’s independence.
Detained at last: The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) detained on Dec. 3 the main suspect in a driving simulator procurement graft case, Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo, who was also the first active police general to be locked up in a corruption case by the antigraft body.
The arrest came after months of tug-of-war between the National Police and the KPK, which saw a standoff between the two institutions that would end with criminal charges lodged against the KPK investigator in the case, then Comr. Novel Baswedan. Police later dropped the charges after Yudhoyono intervened on Oct. 8.
Massive Jakarta flood: Areas in the capital were hit by heavy flooding after Jan. 15 as a result of days of heavy rain and waterways clogged with garbage. At least 41 people were killed, according to the Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Agency, most from electric shock, illness and being swept away by the floodwater.
Mount Sinabung rumbles: The Karo regency administration in North Sumatra declared an emergency response period because of the increasing frequency of eruptions of the province’s Mount Sinabung in November.
Sinabung spewed hot volcanic ash 3,000 meters into the air on Nov. 5, forcing at least 1,700 people whose houses were located close to the volcano’s crater to flee to safer ground.
Alleged wiretapping scandal: Relations between Indonesia and Australia took a nosedive on Nov. 18 with Jakarta recalling its envoy to Canberra over allegations that an Australian spy agency attempted to bug the phones of then president Yudhoyono and first lady Ani Yudhoyono.
Deadly eruptions: The ongoing eruptions of Mount Sinabung in Karo regency had killed at least 14 people in North Sumatra. The fatalities added to the death of 21 evacuees who died from various ailments, such as breathing difficulties, depression and hypertension caused by the rumbling volcano.
Jokowi’s administration begins: Jokowi and running mate Jusuf Kalla were declared the winners of the 2014 presidential election on July 22, clinching victory against rival Prabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa.
Prabowo’s camp accused Jokowi of widespread electoral fraud and vowed to challenge the result. Jokowi won 53.15 percent of the national vote, as compared to Prabowo’s 46.85 percent.
Ahok’s rise to top Jakarta post: Jokowi’s former deputy governor, Ahok, was inaugurated as Jakarta’s 17th governor for the period of 2014 to 2017, becoming the first Chinese-Indonesian to serve as the capital city’s leader.
He was the second Christian governor to lead the predominantly Muslim city. Henk Ngantung, the first, held the office from 1964 to 1965.
Ill-fated flight: AirAsia flight QZ8501, en route to Singapore from Surabaya, was officially announced missing two and a half hours after it took off at 5:36 a.m on Dec. 28.
The plane was carrying 155 passengers, including 16 children and one infant, and had seven crew members on board. It was later confirmed that the plane crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 162 people ─ comprising Indonesian citizens and seven foreign nationals ─ on board.