11 Years of Reformasi

This writing is not about politics. This is just a commemoration of the 1998 incident which changed the political landscape of Indonesia.

‘Reformasi’ is the Indonesian term for the word Reformation. Reformasi is still on-going and we hope that this Reformasi will bring a better Indonesia for its people. There are 5 parts in this documentary.

In 1998, students from various universities took onto the street, held protests asking then president Soeharto to resign from his position. The protests turn into riots in Indonesia’s bigger cities. Political instability, nationwide chaos and turbulent economy paved the way for Soeharto’s resignation. He chose Habibie as the new president and Habibie could only retain his top position for only one year before the 1999 election came about. The 1999 election is the election in Indonesia with the highest voters turnout ever as people were optimistic with the country’s future.

I don’t want to say much so I’ll let this documentary tells you what’s actually happening in 1998. The documentary is in English and Bahasa Indonesia.

From these videos, we learn that violence way will not solve the problem. The problem is still ahead for Indonesians. Corruption, unemployment, poverty, widening income gap, racism, attacks and therats on the minorities. I don’t agree with street protest actually as it caused traffic congestion, I was once in a taxi in Jakarta and stuck in the traffic for about 15-20 minutes as there was a demonstration. It was in 2007.

Through the 1998 protests, not just the government was toppled but the poor people were also suffering as they had nowhere to go, some of their houses were burnt, chaos stopped them from doing their businesses.

The current government also seems to be reluctant in solving the cases in 1998. Four students died, human right activists were missing and nobody knows what happen with them. And that’s why I’m wearing white on certain occasion between this Tuesday till Friday.


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