In this webinar, Dr Sulfikar Amir and Dr Irma Hidayana highlighted two important points concerning people’s responses towards government policy in dealing with Covid-19 pandemic. First, there is a low risk perception of Jakarta residents with regard to Covid-19 pandemic. As such, they are actually not ready to enter the new normal phase initiated by the government. Second, some citizens have actively participated in advocating data transparency on Covid-19 cases, especially on the problematic death cases.
INDONESIA STUDIES PROGRAMME SEMINAR
About the Seminar
How widespread is vote buying in Indonesia? Although there has been a burst of scholarly and non-scholarly writings on the topic in the last few years, little is known about how many voters receive material incentives from politicians. This research offers a systematic answer to fundamental questions about the intensity of vote buying at parliamentary and local executive elections in Indonesia. Using data from a nationally representative survey, it demonstrates that vote buying has become central to electoral mobilisation in Indonesia. One out of three Indonesians was personally exposed to vote buying in most recent national legislative election, making the country the site of the third-largest reported sum of exchange of money for votes in the world. This study argues that candidates and brokers actually intend to target partisan voters, but in reality they mostly distribute benefits to voters who are politically rather indifferent, but who are embedded in personal networks through which they are connected to the candidate. Given their reliance on personal networks, most candidates and brokers typically misidentify non-partisans as loyalists because they misinterpret personal connections as partisan leanings. If vote buying is so misdirected, why do candidates invest so heavily in it? This study found that offers of vote buying in legislative elections influenced the vote choice of an estimated ten percent of total respondents. In this seemingly low number, however, lies the key to vote buying’s attractiveness. That ten percent effect of vote buying is sufficient for many candidates to secure their seats, explaining why they still engage in vote buying despite high levels of leakage. By proposing that vote buying in Indonesia is a function of achieving narrow victory margins, the study explains how and why vote buying is so prevalent in Indonesia.
About the Speaker
Burhanuddin Muhtadi is a PhD candidate under the Australia Awards Scholarship in the Department of Political and Social Change, in the Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs, at ANU. He is a lecturer in “Election and Voting Behaviour” at Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University in Jakarta. He is also an executive director of the Indikator Politik Indonesia and Director of Public Affairs at the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI). His research interests are voting behaviour, social movement, political Islam, and democracy. He also published his articles in the Asian Studies Review, Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies (BIES), Asian Journal of Social Sciences, Asian Journal of Social Policy, Graduate Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies, New Mandala, and East Asia Forum.
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About the Seminar
A number of important changes that have been transforming Indonesia’s economy, society, and politics are shaping this country’s future trajectory of development and democratic consolidation. Against the backdrop of these key developments, the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute commissioned a nation-wide survey to enhance our understanding of public perceptions of economic, social, and political issues in Indonesia. The survey collects public opinion data in a wide range of areas, fielding questions on macroeconomic performance, economic policy, the state, political participation, political parties, infrastructure, Islam, ethnicity, and international relations. Data were drawn from a nationally representative sample of 1,600 respondents in all 34 provinces in Indonesia to ensure countrywide representation of opinions and attitudes. Conducted in the wake of the Jakarta gubernatorial election, where certain religious and ethnic fault-lines were accentuated, the findings of this survey provide important and useful data for understanding the recent cleavages in Indonesian politics and society.
About the Speakers
Diego Fossati is a Research Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute and an Associate Fellow at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He studies voting behavior, democratization and development in low and middle-income countries, with an empirical concentration on Indonesia and Southeast Asia. He was trained as a political scientist at Cornell University, where he earned a PhD in January 2016 with a dissertation on the politics of health insurance for the poor in decentralized Indonesia. His research has been published or is forthcoming in leading peer-reviewed international journals such as World Development, European Journal of Political Research, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Journal of East Asian Studies and Contemporary Southeast Asia.
Hui Yew-Foong is Senior Fellow with the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute and Associate Professor at Hong Kong Shue Yan University. His research interests include the Chinese overseas in Southeast Asia, religion and politics in Southeast Asia, decentralization in post-Suharto Indonesia, and heritage politics. Besides Singapore, he has conducted multi-sited field research in Indonesia, East Malaysia, China and Hong Kong. He is the author of Strangers at Home: History and Subjectivity among the Chinese Communities of West Kalimantan, Indonesia, co-author of Different Under God: A Survey of Church-Going Protestants in Singapore and co-editor of Citizens, Civil Society and Heritage-Making in Asia.
Siwage Dharma Negara is Fellow with the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He is currently an editorial member of Journal of Southeast Asian Economies. Before joining ISEAS, he was a researcher with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). His current research interests include development policy, regional connectivity, industrial and trade competitiveness with special focus on Indonesia. He received his PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia.