Disappointment in Jokowi due to overly high hopes, New Order remnants: Observer

Kompas.com – November 18, 2023
President Widodo arriving at Andrews Joint Airbase in Maryland, Washington – November 12, 2023 (VOA)

Icha Rastika, Jakarta – University of Melbourne Asia Institute Social Science Director Vedi R Hadiz says that there were overly high hopes in President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo which have given birth to a huge disappointment.

This was conveyed by Hadiz in response to seeing a number of professors and national figures expressing their disappointment over the issue of dynastic politics which have plagued Widodo's family following the Constitutional Court's ruling that gave Gibran Rakabuming Raka a red carpet to run as a vice presidential candidate.

"I understand that they feel very disappointed with the political maneuvers that made it possible for Gibran to become a vice presidential candidate, disappointed with his father who it was once hoped would be a reformer", he said during a Rosi talk show program on Kompas TV on Friday November 17.

"These hopes were overly high, now that his behavior is like this", said Hadiz.

For Hadiz however, this disappointment actually did not need to have happened looking at Widodo's track record as president. According to Hadiz, people should not have placed such high hopes in Widodo looking at the economic and political realities that exist in Indonesia.

"Namely a reality that that makes it impossible for someone in just a few years to emerge from local politics and rise to the center of national politics without being supported by the forces from oligarchy itself", he said.

Before becoming a national figure, said Hadiz, Widodo was a person who did not have a political party to back him as an electoral contestant. Plus, he did not have the financial resources and political infrastructure to win elections, either as a regional head or as president.

In the end, he had to borrow a political vehicle, capital and infrastructure from the oligarchs who would then expect a return when Widodo came to power.

"And then of course he had to take into account the interests of all these groups, right", he said.

What can be learnt from the Widodo experience, Hadiz said, is that former president Suharto's New Order has never really disappeared in Indonesia.

"The fuel that runs Indonesia's political economy is corruption, nepotism and the abuse of power. I say that actually the New Order has never completely disappeared, there are still remnants of it from before", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Manuver Jokowi, Harapan Masyarakat yang Berlebih, dan Sisa-sisa Order Baru".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2023/11/18/05283061/manuver-jokowi-harapan-masyarakat-yang-berlebih-dan-sisa-sisa-order-baru