Within last week, Indonesia’s politics have been in the heat.
To be more precise, it is on the fight against corruption (and certainly its ‘fights-back’). But albeit the ups and downs of heated situation, we may underline one thing: the middle class becomes more articulate and assertive in politics.
As an update. Indonesia’s anti-graft commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – usually referred in as KPK) has again been under attack. The first sign is an attempt by the parliament (DPR) to weaken the KPK’s authorities through its proposed law amendment. The second sign is on the recalls of a number of KPK’s investigators to return to their original institution, such as the Police. And it was just last Friday that one of the investigators, Comr Novel Baswedan was to be arrested due to a criminal charge, something seen by many as very strange.
All the above signs are regarded by many Indonesians and particularly the middle class as a fight against KPK. Thus, without any single command, they unite and stand bravely in defending the institution.
The middle class do their defence on KPK through several ways. The most massive and aggressive way is through social media campaigns. Twitter tops the rank where some notable figures convince their ‘followers’ to raise the same concerns: #save KPK.
Some of the notable figures who voice loudly on these campaigns are as follows.
First, Addie MS, a prominent musician who is also a conductor of the prestigious Twilite Orchestra. Even though a professional musician, Addie is very active in commenting social phenomena. With more than 270,000 followers, Addie often intervenes on sensitive issues, including by calling the country’s president to take certain actions. (By the way, Addie was an active supporter of Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo, a governor-elect of Indonesia’s capital at the recent election. Perhaps, if only half of Addie’s supporters were on the same standing at the election, no doubt that Jokowi has to thank Addie).
Second, Anies Baswedan, Rector of the well-recpected Paramadina University. With more than 140,000 supporters, Anies has been very active in promoting the fight against corruption. He even voiced such strong critics against the president demanding him to be more stern in fighting the corruption.
Third, Wimar Witoelar, a former spokesperson of Indonesia’s fourth president, Abdurrahman Wahid and currently active in promoting Sri Mulyani Indarwati as the country’s next president. Wimar is very active in Twitter with his more than 130,000 followers, particularly in voicing the need for a better Indonesia through the fight against corruption and bad politicians.
These three public figures and others, based on Projecting Indonesia’s observation, have been very active in campaigning the need to have a clean and better governance. Even though their professional backgrounds are different, from musician, academic to social activist, but arguably they share one goal: a better Indonesia.
What they have done may create discomfort for some. But broadly speaking, they are part of the symbols of Indonesian middle class who now become active politically (even though not necessarily be part of political parties). At least, they have generated a wave of middle class who want to see the country free from corruption.
It is certainly a mighty task. Nonetheless, it is one of the ways to have Indonesia’s potentials to go higher and reach further into a globalised world. (YA)
(Photos: from various sources)