Survey finds more people afraid of speaking out since Widodo came to office

CNN Indonesia – November 4, 2019
Djayadi Hanan explaining results of LSI survey – November 3, 2019 (CNN)
Djayadi Hanan explaining results of LSI survey – November 3, 2019 (CNN)

Jakarta – The Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) says that civil freedoms under the administration of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo have tended to worsen. LSI Executive Director Djayadi Hanan said that the worsening of civil freedoms has occurred in concert with a decline in several other democratic indictors.

“The public feels that civil freedoms which are a democratic foundation have not improved and have instead tended to worsen”, said Hanan at the Erien Hotel in Jakarta on Sunday November 3.

Hanan cited a Saiful Mujani Research Consulting (SMRC) survey between May and June 2019 which showed there was a worsening tendency in a number of indicators on civil freedoms. On expressing an opinion for example, he said that 43 percent of respondents admitted to feeling afraid to publically do so.

This percentage has risen significantly if compared with 2014 [when Widodo was elected for his first term] when it was only 24 percent. In addition to this, he said that 38 percent of respondents or an increase of 14 percent felt afraid of being arbitrarily arrested by security forces since Widodo came to office.

“Meanwhile, respondents who state that people are afraid of organising also rose, from 10 percent in 2014 to 21 percent”, he said.

Furthermore, said Hanan, the survey results show that restrictions on religious freedom have also increased from 7 percent in 2014 to 13 percent in 2019.

The situation for press freedom, continued Hanan, is also discouraging, with only 43 percent of respondents saying that the mass media in Indonesia is free and not censored by the government.

“However the number who stated that it isn’t free and is censored by the government is also big at 38 percent”, said Hanan.

On the other hand, Hanan said that the LSI survey showed that public satisfaction with Widodo is quite high with 71.8 percent feeling satisfied and 26.5 percent feeling dissatisfied.

“Public trust in President Joko Widodo appears to have strengthened compared with the start of his first term in offices, although it has stagnated over the last three years”, he said.

Meanwhile Hanan said that the majority of respondents agreed with democracy as a system of governance in Indonesia. As many as 12.3 percent strongly agreed and 72.5 percent agreed with democracy in Indonesia.

“Some 6.1 percent did not have a position. As many as 2.4 percent don’t agree and 0.1 percent strongly disagreed”, said Hanan.

Hanan added that 86.5 percent of respondents believe that the state ideology of Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution (UU 1945) are best for the Indonesian nation at the moment. Some 4 percent stated that Pancasila and the UUD 1945 conflict with syariat Islam (Islamic law) and agree that Indonesia should apply Islamic law.

“There appears to be a strengthening trend in the belief that Pancasila and the UUD 1945 are the basis of the nation and state and is the best [ideology for Indonesia] between 2016 and 2019”, he said.

In addition to this, Hanan said that 66.4 percent of respondents prefer to consider themselves as Indonesian citizens. As many as 19.1 percent of respondents meanwhile stated they prefer to consider themselves as a member of a certain religious community and 11.9 percent prefer to consider themselves as belonging to a certain ethnic or tribal grouping.

“Over the last three years, there has been a strengthening trend in national identity which has been accompanied by a weakening of religious and ethnic identity”, said Hanan. (jps/ain)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “LSI Sebut Ketakutan Publik Berekspresi Naik di Era Jokowi”.]