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I have posted on this topic from various angles here, here and here. Somewhat foolishly the post titles were inconsistent, so from now on I will build on this post.

Anyway, the next chapter in the focus of those earlier posts occurs tomorrow, with Jakarta Election Round II after the ambiguous polling result in Round I. Some brief summaries of the situation are here and here, with both links (and others) pointing to just how close the race to office now appears.

It is in that environment, of competitive tension and high stakes, that stories like the one here are not only emerging but adding to tensions. The link is particularly relevant and interesting, as it touches on many of the subterranean issues (of violence, religion and memory) that keep bubbling to the surface of what is (another) very tense moment for Indonesia’s political future. The only key element that would otherwise be missing in the link, that of race, was introduced by the author as it too is central to the election.

There are dissenting views on the importance of the election though, such as the one here that paints the election as merely a blip in a much greater trend towards “a capitulation of the largest moderate Islamic organisations in Indonesia to the Islamist wave“.

That may be true, but Indonesia and its politics is fascinatingly unpredictable. There is a saying in English that “a week is a long time in politics”. In Jakarta that “long time in politics” can be just a day, so let’s wait a long time and see what happens.

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