Today Indonesia has a big event, a demonstration by university students taking place in many cities in Indonesia. The demonstration is sparked by government idea to extend the period of president and vice president tenure beyond two terms, although this idea had been refused clearly by jokowi, president of Indonesia, since three days ago.
But the demand of the students is not the only to refuse the plan of extension of president tenure, but having been at some issues related to failure of government to manage Indonesia in the right course. We can see the rising of the price of cooking oil and fuel ahead of Ramadan, the moment where muslim – majority of Indonesians is muslim – will conduct fasting and their house expenditure on this commodities will be higher.
The demonstration is common in democratic countries where Indonesia has been applying this system since the reform era, even though in some practices, the system does not work. And the students, however, cannot be forgotten in Indonesian history. They have taken a part in developing Indonesia since prior to Indonesia getting independence from colonization until now, reform era, in which the student movement was involved to oust Suharto, the president of the new order for 32 years.
Nowadays, they are playing the role again with the different circumstances and challenges. Of course, sometimes they gain success and in contrast, they fail to achieve their goals. But it is usual thing in struggle.
For today, in my point of view, the demonstration is hysterical, at least to inform the government that college students are still ‘alive’ to fight for justice for society. But, the movement, for me, is just temporary and does not give significant results. In other words, jokowi is still in his stance to run their previous policies without any serious obstacle.
Jokowi’s advisers and national intelligence agency may have told jokowi about this development. There are no signs that jokowi will make serious changes in his policies because the impact of today's movement cannot last. Presumably, in some days to come the student will go back to their daily activities on campus, with many assignments from lecturers.
Furthermore, if people try to compare what happen today to the movement in the reform era which overthrew Suharto from president are different. The external conditions such as the geopolitical situation today is difficult to force jokowi to be stripped from his office. Likewise, domestically, jokowi has many supporters who will fight for him to be staying in power. One of the Indonesian strongly important components is military which backs jokowi until the end of his tenure.
There is no reasonable excuse for the military to take over or do a military coup for regime change. Jokowi enjoys his military support because of since earlier, his strategy to appoint some influential generals in strategic posts he can control. Hence, whatever the situation of Indonesia despite going in not constitutional track, the generals are behind jokowi. This will really take place if the generals are pragmatic, not to put society or constitution interest on highest priority.
The problem of movement is continuity and momentum, with some significant actors and factors that support. Many students have no deeply analytical thinking to map this. And most of them just join the demonstration without understanding much about the issue they are advocating. So there are many proofs which happen in the student movement.
Many of them just have strong desire in the beginning, but decrease during the struggle or before the struggle gets the result. This condition is literally known by the inner cycle of jokowi especially the intelligent agency that movement today is just euphoria after for long time,the students do not take huge movements, although I support the movement, at least to remind and to protest the government for its wrongdoing.
Baubau, 11 April 2022