Lessons for Indonesia From Russia

Since the demise of Sukarno, Russia has drifted far from the Indonesian mainstream. Nonetheless, Indonesia’s leaders would do well to take heed of what’s happening there.

As with the Arab Spring, Facebook, YouTube and Russia’s own VKontakte have emerged as powerful tools to mobilize the masses. This is especially true in vast countries like Russia, where there have been protests even in peripheral areas like Vladivostok.

As for Indonesia, the risk is that the republic’s elite is unwittingly replicating Putin’s mendacity, ignoring the lessons of the fall of the New Order. With the 2014 elections looming, we are witnessing Jakarta’s power brokers up to their same old horse-trading and realigning of allegiances. It would be a mistake for them to assume that high-level maneuvering will assure victory in 2014. It fundamentally misreads the changes that Indonesia has gone through.

Karim Raslan: Lessons for Indonesia From Russia