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23 May 2019
Political systems
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General election in Indonesia 2019

Six people were killed and over 200 were injured in riots in Jakarta. This occurred after a peaceful demonstration resulted in violence. The demonstration was organized to protest against the results of the Presidential Election.

The general election had been carried out to a high standard of fairness. It was organized by an independent election commission. Independent observers from international bodies have reported that the election process had been carried out fairly and properly.

Indonesia did set a high standard of how a general election in a democratic country should be organized. It is sad that it still does not prevent some people from being unhappy and unwilling to accept the results.

A few years ago, my Indonesia friend said that it is easy to organize a large scale protest and demonstration in Indonesia. The organizer only needs to have a large sum of money. Many poor people will come forward to take part in the protest in return for a modest allowance. There are experienced and capable organizers who can carry out the logistics to print the banners and bring out large numbers of people to a large demonstration. They only need to be well paid to carry out the work.

There are many rich people who have the money and the political interest to fund these demonstrations.

Disputes over the results of an election also occurs in many democratic countries. Even America, which is supposed to be a model for democracy, had a serious dispute over their presidential election in the year 2000. This dispute had to be settled in the Supreme Court.

The recent 2019 election in Thailand is still being disputed.

Surely, there must be a better way to elect leaders without going through these disputes? What is the purpose of putting so much resources into a democratic process that produces results that are disputed, and worse, leaders who may not not reflect the wishes of the voters or the needs of the the country?

Tan Kin Lian

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