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Jakarta Post

Don’t give up just yet on Indonesia’s democracy: The power of youth

  • Ika Krismantari


Jakarta   /   Sat, November 28 2020   /  01:00 am
Workers and students participate in a protest against the recently passed Job Creation Law in Jakarta on Oct. 20, coinciding with the first anniversary of Jokowi and Ma’ruf Amin’s term as President and Vice President respectively. JP/Seto Wardhana(JP/Seto Wardhana)

In 1998, I was at the center of a historic transformation of Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s most populous country, from an authoritarian state into a democracy. Standing on the second floor of my high school’s building, an innocent 16-year-old me saw a group of journalists hunting stories on the fate of Soeharto’s 32-year regime at the Attorney General’s Office, which is located next to my school. Meanwhile, less than 6 kilometers away, thousands of students staged a huge protest outside the House of Representatives, demanding the resignation of the president. Fast forward 22 years and, from my laptop screen, I saw the same spirit erupt in October when thousands of protesters gathered outside the House to reject the newly passed Job Creation Law. The administration of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has become the target of the protest for initiat...