1. Ian Wilson says:

    My pleasure George. Sure. What is interesting here I think is how highly localised some of these voting patterns were, and the extent to which this reflected the impacts of specific policy interventions and/or perceptions of their merit, as well as socio-spatial and patterns. In TPS in Kampung Luar Batang itself Ahok was trounced. Same in the TPS in and around Pasar Ikan, and some others of what remains of the old neighbourhoods in Muara Angke and kampung under the toll road in Jembatan Lima. All have good enough specific reasons to dislike his administration. In the majority of the rest of Penjaringan however as you point out it was a big win for Ahok. In LBs case, sentiment against the governor was largely confined to the neighbourhood perceived as under threat. In the middle-class apartment complexes right next to LB, for example, the sense I got was that the redevelopment plans were very popular: it would improve the view, increase land value and provide easier access to other parts of the city. Ahok also won convincingly.

  2. Allan Beesey says:

    Good to hear more about the poor state of migration and human trafficking response in Malaysia. It makes the support to the Rohingya, backed by the PM sound somewhat hollow. Thailand was ‘forced’ into taking some action on the Rohingya but could have done much more, going higher up the chain of command. The lead investigator was going in this direction but was stopped, he eventually fled to Australia seeking asylum.

  3. Ron Torrence says:

    A long overdue change of policy. I have not been reading here as much as usual in the last few months, not wanting to see the lengthy schoolboy rants and arguments that have started recently. and commenters writing articles, not comments.

  4. Shwe Sin says:

    The comments and opinions are amazing to read. I am now reading the comment now in 2017 when the second 21st Century Panglong peace conference is going on in Myanmar. I am really wondering what are your opinions now concerned with that conference.

  5. […] Sumber: New Mandala […]

  6. Kelenger says:

    It is interesting to see that the writer’s comment on the sentence in the trial of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) for blasphemy, as “absurd: illogical, odd, and comical all rolled into one” This is a very strong statement.

    I am sure the writer’s view is shared also by many people but at the end of the day it is not relevant since two of the most prominent Islamic organisations in Indonesia NU and Muhammadiyah do not share the same conclusion. That is why the “official” Islam views on the matter is still the one from MUI (which also somewhat aligns with FPI, FUI, etc) and hence more credible to represent Indonesian muslims’ view on the case and is used as the basis by the state court to sent Ahok to jail.

  7. Burmese citizen says:

    Spam (1) and off-topic (2) are clear. But when it comes to the 3rd, beauty is in the eyes of beholder. Sometimes, the posts themselves may not meet the criteria. For example, calling for military actions against a particular country, using arguments which are “clearly false” to many people. Such posts incite heated comments. Even in that case, a better way is to attach a conciliatory response at the first instance, reserving outright removal for 2nd or 3rd instances. Like,

    Dear XXX,
    We understand the issue YYY is controversial. We suggest you to keep a cool head when commenting. Best, NM

    Everyone has biases. In a truly democratic sense, whether a comment adds to the discussion or not should be judged by the community, and not by an editor or two.

  8. Kelenger says:

    In addition, there is also a diminishing influence that the two largest Islamic organization, NU and Muhammadiyah, have in guarding the tolerant version of Islam in Indonesia. Both organization is moving to the right. They did not challenge the MUI interpretaion of Almaida 51 nor did they strongly remind the people that there are other interpretations. It is not surprising as MUI leadership includes also their leaders.

    This gives additional data point that when muslims are in the majority and there is no secular dictator (like Suharto in his earlier days) their interpretation of the holybook tend to move to the right and religious tolerance towards minority become less and less.

  9. Ralph Kramden says:

    I agree entirely with your policy and the reasoning you set out.

  10. jobin says:

    Hard pressed to see how this NM response will encourage comments from T’land. There, even the truth may be judged ‘defamatory’ by the courts. And with facebook now cowering down before the dictator/king expect cringing from all corners.

  11. ameer syarif says:

    everything is wrong here, you need to take a look at Eep’s exit pool and you’ll find different result.

  12. Andrew MacGregor Marshall says:

    Delighted to see the change in policy. I think it will bring back a lot of commentators who drifted away from the site as the comments section deteriorated over recent years. Best wishes.

  13. Stephen Sherlock says:

    “The diversity of an elite is used to rationalise its existence.” You have summed up the problem of Ahok and his team very well, Ian. And in doing so you eviscerated elitist liberal versions of “identity politics” and their studied ignorance of class.

  14. […] Read the article here […]

  15. Chris Beale says:

    The Thai Queen’s “delaying tactics” ? Thailand’s new King’s new Privy Council appointments are ALL King’s Guard former officers – from the Wongtheyan faction. Prayuth’s Queen’s Guard’s faction have n’t got a look-in.

  16. Chris Beale says:

    Congratulations to NM for getting such an excellent scholar as Professor Quinn to write. I still enjoy his book translating Australian poetry into Bahasa Indonesia. Very illuminating article is the above. Terimah kasih banyak.

  17. R. N. England says:

    I think Ian Wilson is broadly right here: the same thing is going on all over the world, and the religious aspect of the Jakarta events is overplayed. When uninformed people are suffering, they tend to put the blame on somebody or some group, when the real cause is cultural failure that can be explained dispassionately in abstract terms that only the scholarly (and therefore disinterested) are likely to appreciate. Millions of embittered victims of cultural failure are whipped into action by diverse opportunists who use them as a means to pull down their rivals and leap-frog to dominant positions in the power hierarchy. The same story, the failure of market fundamentalism, is told in recent election results from Jakarta, the United States, France (where the opportunists failed but the cultural failure remains unsolved), or Europe in the 1930s. The opportunists can be religious crackpots, confidence tricksters, ultra-nationalist thugs promising to turn the victims into conquerors, or thugs promising to murder the rich and fling their money about. Not last to leap on the bandwagon of bitterness are journalists keen to improve their hit rate.

  18. George Quinn says:

    Thanks for this comment Ian. I wasn’t aware at all of the developments you describe in the area around Luar Batang. Many thanks for the heads up. But I’m wondering how your comment fits with the apparent reality that Ahok-Djarot got a greater percentage of votes in the North Jakarta area than they got anywhere else in DKI, and around Luar Batang Ahok-Djarot even seem to have won a MAJORITY of votes, see for example: .

  19. Ian wilson says:

    Thanks George, a really fascinating piece. Its interesting to contrast the warm reception towards Ahok in Priok with the hostility he faced in Luar Batang. It became a major hub for the sectarian anti-Ahok movement, in particular from networks linked to the mosque and tomb of Habib Husein Alaydrus who even formed a militia, Laskar Luar Batang dedicated to his electoral defeat. The issue there was not that attention was being paid by the administration to the mosque and tomb complex: the mosques caretaker caretaker Daeng Mansur had lobbied for funds to develop LB as a religious tourism precinct for some years. It was the nature of the administrations redevelopment plans that caused consternation as it entailed the eviction of the surrounding kampung and its residents, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. This was done by the administration without consultation in nearby Pasar Ikan in early 2016, also on the pretext of developing it as a cagar budaya site. It left Ahok with few friends in the area and a deep suspicion towards his intentions. Many Luar Batang residents I spoke to believed the cagar budaya plans were a pretext for creating a corridor connecting to proposed land reclamation in Jakarta Bay, and on the behest of land developers.