South Korean Attitudes in Education during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Worldwide educational systems have been affected by the coronavirus through the comprehensive closures of schools and universities. Goverments in about 73 countries implement it as of 56 states closed schools nationwide and 17 others did localized school closures.

South Korea perhaps has the most high-pressure and competitive education system in the world. The first corona virus case in South Korea was detected in January, 2020. South Korean universities have postponed the beginning of spring semester under the recommendation of Ministry of Education. Yonsei University has offered recorded video lectures, real-time telelectures and other learning materials will be provided instead of face-to-face classes until March 28. Ewha Womans University has conducted all classes via remote learning for the first two weeks of the semester. Kookmin University has created online classes for four weeks until April 11, so as Seoul National University and several other institutions. The background is they effort non-pharmaceutical interventions and preventive measures such as social-distancing or self-isolation. It prompted the widespread closure of primary and secondary schools as well as post-secondary schools including colleges and universities. Although the most confirmed patients of COVID-19 are adults, children still able to become the carrier of the virus.

Simultaneously, there are teachers who survive to deal with the shift of teaching in the classroom to online lessons. According to the experiences of Jennifer Gray and Sam Gray, teachers for elementary school grade in an international school in South Korea, they discover about Korean’s attitude in terms of tackling the situation as follows:

  • School regulates four consecutive weeks of distance learning in total. However, teachers and students have commanded one week of in-person class before the stint. This adjustment should be recognized as participation of students, parents/caregivers, teachers, administration, and other faculty under nowadays circumstances. They are engaged to struggle their multiple roles. People who take part believe that they need a community to raise and educate children.
  • Video-conference platforms help teachers to be able to meet students “face-to-face” several times a day including ‘Morning Meetings’ and ‘Closing Cirlce’ besides remote feedbacks on projects and works, live lessons, and small group conferences.
  • Developing skills in technology become an obligation when students have their personal iPads and the state provides best internet connectivity around the globe. Students likewise encourage themselves to grow their independence, problem-solving, resiliency, and ability to follow multi-step directions.

In accordance to 10 things to do list during pandemic situation on the UNESCO recommendation, Korean’s attitude as mentioned above are relevant with those points had created. The advices are:

  1. Examine the readiness and choose the most relevant tools;
  2. Ensure inclusion of the distance learning programmes;
  3. Protect data privacy and data security;
  4. Prioritize solutions to address psychosocial challenges before teaching;
  5. Plan the study schedule of the distance learning programmes;
  6. Provide support to teachers and parents on the use of digital tools;
  7. Blend appropriate approaches and limit the number of applications and platforms;
  8. Develop distance learning rules and monitor student’s learning process;
  9. Define the duration of distance learning units based on student’s self-regulation skills;
  10. Create communities and enhance connection.

Meanwhile, point (3) shows that there is an urgency of protection regarding to data security when uploading data or educational resources to web spaces, as well as when sharing them with other organizations or individuals. This matter should be initially considered by communities or societies which desire to implement an effective way of learning during this period.

South Korea correspondingly has the ‘hakwon’ or after-school activites. This place has doubled or even tripled student’s homework to make up for the class cancellations as reported in Washington Post although it had not happened in all hakwon. Parents started to worry about education gap that has caused by the coronavirus. Particularly in  Mok-dong, an affluent Seoul neighborhood known as a “special education district”. Its abundance of hakwon and good public schools cause parents spend an average of $1,000 a month on after-school classes for their children. People begin to discuss how to make up for cancelled hakwon classes and looking for private home tutors. Despite the government’s advice to close down the hakwon, two-thirds of the 25,000 hakwon in the capital city of South Korea have stayed open until February, 28.

In conclusion, school closures carriers high social and economic costs even though it is temporary. Though disruptions affect people across communities, South Korean’s collective responsibility is ingrained into the cultural psyche. Working parents in other country likely to miss their work when schools are closed in order to take care of their children. Therefore, most Korean putting their wants aside for the good and health of the community has become behavioural nature within society. However, school closures still needs to be reconsidered since how it will be runs among the low-income families who disproportionately lack access to technology, internet, data privacy and data security protection, childcare services, as well as students with disabilities.



  • Gray, S. (2020, March 18). Live in a Coronavirus Hotzone. The Marysville Advocate. https://www. zone/article_1c5287c2-6947-11ea8c6b-4347bf87f75d.html
  • Universities in Seoul shift to online classes amidst virus fears. Yonhap News Agency.
  • Kim, M.J. & Denver, S. (2020, Feb 28). In South Korea, coronavirus gives kids a break from school
    pressure , but also traps them. The Washington Post.

Writer : Nindita Nilasari

Editor : Angganararas Indriyosanti

The Anti-‘Killer Robots’ Agenda: Mapping Obstacles and Exploring Possibilities for Indonesia’s Role

Status Quo Overview

The issue of killer robots has been discussed in UN General Assembly for the past few years. ‘Killer robots’ itself is a popular terminology to describe Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) that, once activated, can select and engage dismounted human targets without further intervention by a human operator (ICRC, n.d.). At this point, it’s important to make a distinction between LAWS and drones; while drones still need human decision to an extent and are not limited to military purposes, LAWS are based on algorithms, therefore they do not necessarily require human’s affirmation before attacking their preset targets. In 2018, nearly 50 states addressed killer robots concerns in their statements to the 73rd session of the UNGA, including regarding the needs for regulation, ensuring a guarantee of human control, as well as ethical and moral questions and humanitarian law foundations about LAWS.

Recently, in the 2019 GA Session, dozens of states wished to negotiate a treaty to retain meaningful human control over the use of force, where 30 states have agreed to ban fully autonomous weapons or LAWS. However, this is not yet the final conclusion or even an universally agreed goal of CCW meetings. In reality, discussing this issue under CCW framework in the UNGA poses a fair number of problems. First is the slow pace of its progress. Instead of reaching a conclusion about drafting regulations or abolishment, states agreed to spend the next two years developing a “normative and operational framework” to address concerns raised by such weapons systems (Wareham, 2019). Second is regarding the substantive aspects, in which states still argue about the very essence of LAWS which makes it difficult to proceed further. At this point, there is yet to be a consensus on whether LAWS should be banned or regulated, as well as contending ideas about whether the legal instrument should be a voluntary agreement or legally binding rules. These confusions prolong the eventual technical steps needed to create a convention.

Since 80% of past General Assembly resolutions are agreed by consensus, political interests of states is also another thing to consider, especially those of major power states with generally bigger bargaining positions. In the case of LAWS, big powers have stakes in whether or not killer robots should be prohibited since many of such states have already developed their own LAWS, including 4 out of 5 Security Council permanent members excluding France, all of which rejected the ban for LAWS (Ray, 2018). Moreover, some states tend to be non-contributive in the debate. As reported by Human Rights Watch, during the discussions of LAWS, United States was mostly silent and Russia was mostly obstructive (Ray, 2018). China meanwhile called for a ban only for the use but not the development LAWS, which is seen as a strategy to give them leniency in pursuing such technology for their own advantage. These attitudes then hamper states’ agreement on possible multilateral action to address the risk of LAWS. Regarding this, it has been criticized that rather than a political forum for debate on key issues, the First Committee agenda has turned into a resolution-generating machine, from which repetitive, redundant resolutions are tabled and voted on year after year (Reaching Critical Will, n.d.). And since no common understanding or consensus the goal has been reached, even the prospect of any resolution is still difficult.

Why do Middle Powers Need to be Involved?

The global discourse of LAWS is often framed as an ‘AI race’ between great powers, a situation being fed by how major powers are the ones with the highest possibility of using such technology as means of warfare. However, there are reasons why middle power states, even those without possession of LAWS, should be getting more involved in LAWS discourse. First, due to the nature of middle powers themselves. Defined here as states with level of influence below those of superpowers, but significant enough of it to become valuable players in the international level, middle powers have strategic position to influence international events. It has been explained before how debates on killer robots are often stunted by the unwillingness of major powers, and a multilateral approach must be taken in order to produce an internationally-agreed basis for the ban of LAWS. Here, one of middle powers’ characteristics which is their tendency to rely on diplomacy to pursue foreign policy goals can be influential in shaping the global norms of LAWS (Britannica, n.d.). With enough number of states being vocal for the ban of LAWS, major powers will have more reasons to submit to the norm. As we cannot wait for major powers to somehow drop their interests to secure themselves in the security dilemma, therein lies middle powers’ ‘normative’ reason to be involved in the issue of killer robots.

Discussing about norms-shaping, at this point it’s also important to remember how states are not the only stakeholders in the issue of LAWS. We cannot disregard the role of weapon manufacturers—often working for the demands of states. A survey by PAX shows a concerning result: 30 out of 50 arms producers are categorized as ‘high risk,’ meaning that they work on increasingly autonomous weapon systems and do not appear to have a policy or stance against LAWS (PAX, 2019). As private entities, the only way to be able to control what is or what is not being produced by these manufacturers is the existence of a universal, legal standard regarding LAWS. Having such legal standard promptly gives economic certainty to companies engaged in military technology producing, since they can avoid the eventual loss that might happen if the weapon they are producing suddenly becomes illegal. This is also why defense contractors including Germany’s Rheinmetall called for government to work for a treaty. The existence of a treaty will also serve as a common norm that discourages participating in economic activities that contribute to LAWS as a dangerous, high-risk, and unethical technology. Not limited to weapon manufacturers, such norm should be pushed to prevent technology companies from assisting the creation of AI-based LAWS for military purposes. However, since international humanitarian laws are only applicable to state entities and to some extent individuals, states still have to be the main party to be involved, yet another reason for middle powers to drive the agenda to shape such norms.

The second reason is a rational one. Although it is widely known that LAWS is an advanced military technology which not every state possesses, the nature of this technology has the possibility to change the outlook of modern warfare for good, which affects not only those who possesses such technology. The lack of control over killer robots and their usage mainly benefits major military powers who already have developed such technology. Vice versa, when LAWS is not outlawed or prohibited, states who do not possess such technology will be placed in a risky position due to the resulting uneven arms race. This serves as an incentive for non-possessing states to be more vocal for a ban, especially since ‘catching-up’ to major powers’ current mastery and possession of LAWS is not an easy feat to do. In place of a security dilemma, it is more logical for non-possessing states to halt further possibilities of LAWS-based warfare. In this aspect, perceiving LAWS as something disadvataging in the long run rather than just an objective pursued by major military powers serve as a  rational consideration for middle power states to hopefully be engaged to drive the agenda on LAWS prohibition.

Additionally, the current lack of LAWS in some states must not be taken for granted. If no ban is in place, it’s not impossible that other countries especially developed middle powers will follow developments in this field, guided by their own strategic context and security interests. In fact, for states such as Israel, India, and South Korea, LAWS present an opportunity to effectively police borders and respond to potential skirmishes among others (Ray, 2018), which they have begun to do so. The usage of autonomous systems for border security purposes is not a black-and-white matter—it is fair to mention that such technology might help prevent unnecessary human casualties by providing automated surveillance system, especially in heavily militarised area or in states with no large standing personnel capacity (Ray, 2018). Therefore, what needs to also be emphasized is whether or not humans retain control over the decisionmaking, an important distinction in the discussion of LAWS. There should be a consensus that a meaningful human control must be possessed by any kind of military technology to ensure responsibility of attacks as well as adhering to humanitarian law principles. This is precisely the task of international community and state actors to include humanitarian concerns in the debate of LAWS and in the formation of a potential international norms as has been discussed above.

Mapping Indonesia’s Role, or Lack Thereof  

As of now, regional organizations to some extent have been becoming stakeholders in pushing the abolishment of killer robots agenda. For example, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) parliamentary assembly has adopted a declaration urging the 57 OSCE member states “to support international negotiations to ban lethal autonomous weapons,” although this will ultimately be up to each country’s decision. Furthermore, specifically in the context of ASEAN as a regional body, the discourse of LAWS is not as advanced, perhaps due to how most of its member states are not openly pursuing the usage of LAWS. In one hand, this situation is relieving, but as has been explained, states that are  traditionally not ‘big players’ in the international arena must also step up and be proactively engaged in the global discussion on LAWS abolishment. here is no justification to ignore possibilities of LAWS, especially with how Southeast Asian states are surrounded by major powers’ geopolitical contestations which might expose these countries to the utilization of LAWS while they themselves have no similar capacity. Moreover, with some of the aforementioned states being a maritime power, it is also worthy to consider that autonomous weapon systems have been regarded as an effective means to guard maritime sovereignty, enhance maritime domain awareness (MDA), and deter incursions (Ray, 2018).

The question right now would be, where’s Indonesia? Currently, Indonesia is not listed as one of the countries wanting to ban killer robots, nor the ones opposing said ban. However, Indonesia has spoken several times about the issue of LAWS, including as a representative for Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) during the 74th session of First Committee General Assembly agenda.  Therefore it is safe to say Indonesia endorses NAM’s stance that a preemptive ban on killer robots is necessary, and to quote Indonesian representative’s statement on behalf of NAM, “Issues surrounding LAWS should be deliberated thoroughly in conformity to internationai law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law.” Furthermore, since NAM States Parties to CCW also support the establishment of an open-ended Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) related to LAWS, it is fitting for Indonesia to be involved in a bigger capacity (Campaign To Stop Killer Robots, n.d.) by simultaneously highlighting the importance of multilateral efforts in disarmament and non-proliferation of LAWS as .has been mentioned during aforementioned NAM’s statement (Djani, 2019).

Indonesia itself has a good reason to take the mantle of regional leader. One visible advantage to this is public image: by taking the first step to be a state that supports the prohibition of LAWS and publicly stating its position against the usage of LAWS, Indonesia might be able to showcase its commitment as a formidable but peaceful middle power, as well as cementing its role as a prominent pioneering figure in both ASEAN and NAM. Not to mention, pushing for killer robots ban would also mean playing our role as a current member of both UN Security Council and Human Rights Council, a feat made better if it successfully encourage other member states to follow in the footsteps. Furthermore, to circumvent the slow process in the international fora, a regional-based appropriate frameworks regarding LAWS can be employed as one of the ways to pursue this agenda, and set the stepping stone for a international norm against LAWS.

Now is a good time as any to take the step: one reason to be optimistic about this is the apparent popular civilian support for a ban against LAWS. Global civil society seemingly has apprehensively reacted towards the existence of LAWS. A global poll taken by Ipsos in 26 countries showed  that 61% of the global respondents are opposed to killer robots. This number of opposition in an increase from the previous two years (Campaign To Stop Killer Robots, 2020). Additionally, YouGov survey across ten European countries in October found strong support for the goal of banning killer robots with more than seven in ten respondents favored their country working for an international ban on lethal autonomous weapons systems (Campaign To Stop Killer Robots, 2020). With Campaign to Stop Killer Robots that advocates for LAWS international ban has recently been launched in Southeast Asia as a regional coalition, it hopefully can take measures not only to influence decision makers through diplomatic channels but also disseminate knowledge to the general public about the risks of LAWS, which consequently may affect decisionmaking in the state level, especially in such democratic country to push for LAWS ban.

Bottom line, taking into account the current obstacles being present in the international fora as well as the pressing urgency to create a global norm regarding the ban of LAWS, the ideal thing for Indonesia is to take a firm stance and play the leadership position among the region and among middle powers to advocate this issue.With more stakeholders being vocal about how LAWS should be treated, the international community can bypass the current stagnancy and move on to produce an international legal framework.


“Autonomous Weapon Systems – Online Casebook.” Accessed January 8, 2020.

“Defending Multilateralism in 2019.” The Campaign To Stop Killer Robots. Accessed January 8, 2020.

“Global Poll Shows 61% Oppose Killer Robots.” The Campaign To Stop Killer Robots. Accessed January 8, 2020.

“Middle Power,” Encyclopaedia Britannica. Accessed February 26, 2020.

“Statement by H. E. Amb. Dian Triansyah Djani, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia on Behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.” First Committee General Debate, 74th Session of the UN General Assembly. New York, October 7, 2019.

“UN General Assembly First Committee.” Reaching Critical Will. Accessed January 8, 2020.

“UN Head Calls for a Ban.” The Campaign To Stop Killer Robots. Accessed January 8, 2020.

PAX, ‘Slippery Slope: The arms industry and increasingly autonomous weapons,’ PAX Report, November 2019.

Ray, T. ‘Beyond the ‘Lethal’ in Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Applications of LAWS in

Theatres of Conflict for Middle Powers.’ ORF Occasional Paper (180), 2018, 4.

Wareham, M. “Ringing the Alarm on Killer Robots.” Human Rights Watch, November 21, 2019.

Writer: Heidira Witri Hadayani
Editor: Yunizar Adiputera, Angganararas Indriyosanti

Populism: Democracy’s Secret Killer

2020 is expected to be an eventful year for global politics, especially with The United States (US) presidential elections scheduled for November. These elections raise concerns amongst international relations scholars on the future condition of democracy globally. This concern is mainly due to the rise of populism in international politics. Boris Johnson’s recent election as prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan rise to power in Turkey and the completion of Donald Trump’s first presidential term highlights a shift towards populist sympathies within politics. The global rise in populism over the past few years is problematic for countries and is very damaging for the state of democracy around the world.

Populism is a term used to describe a particular leadership style and is often associated with anti-establishment leaders. There are a few characteristics that identify populism as a separate style of leadership. These characteristics consist of: criticism towards the status quo, victimizing minorities, weaponizing public anger and the claim to be an anti-pluralist and anti-establishment (Muller 2016). Populism happens when there has been, “mobilization of a mass movement in pursuit of political power, this element theorizes that populists thrive where ties between voters and bureaucratic parties do not exist or have decayed.” (Kenny 2018). Trump, a populist leader, rose to power due to his disassociation with establishment politics and the mobilization of rust belt workers public anger (Sligo 2018). Populism differs greatly from identity politics because populism is especially damaging on the functioning of a democracy. Populism often creates a downgraded form of democracy that promises to create a good democracy (Muller 2016).

Donald Trump’s rise in popularity is a further evidence of the global trend amongst voters in favour of populist leaders. Donald Trump rose to power in the US by utilising populist tactics to gain votes. Trump presented himself as an anti-establishment and anti-pluralist candidate option to win the support of disassociated and disenfranchised voters. He also combined the demands and consolidated the concerns of rust belt workers, thus gaining their support (Sligo 2018). Populist tactics ultimately won Trump the 2016 election. Trump also displays a variety of other characteristics of a populist leader. For example, his continual attack on minorities by often using of them as a scapegoat for national issues. Trump does this by attacking the Latin immigrant population blaming crime and drug problems on this minority community (Anbinder 2019). These traits not only mark Trump as a populist leader but highlight the damages he has caused on the functioning of America’s democracy.

Donald Trump’s presidency as an anti-establishment, populist leader has had a severe impact on standard of America’s democracy.  A clear ramification of Donald Trump presidency is his damage on the freedom of the press, a tool he uses to build his anti-establishment image. Trump’s does this through consistent attacks on journalists as the “enemy of the people” and the labelling of many news agencies as producers of “fake news”. These actions by Trump undermine the legitimacy of the press and its important democratic function to hold those in power accountable. Trumps vilification of journalists as enemies’ positions them to be working against the interests of the people thus, influencing the American populous perception of the press. Further, The White House Press Secretary has also significantly reduced the number of press conferences held in the White House limiting the presses access to Government reporting. These subtle actions undertaken by Trump limit the US citizens ability to access free press causing a downgrade in America’s democracy. In 2019 The Economist’s Democracy Index, America is rated as a flawed democracy with a 7-8 rating out of 10. Thus, proving the negative impact Donald Trump has had on the functioning of America’s democracy.

The impact of the rise in populist movement is already causing a ripple effect globally.   In the Economist 2019 Democracy Index, only 22 out of 167 countries were classified as a full democracy and only 54 out of 167 countries were classified as a flawed democracy. The global democracy score is 5.44 which is the lowest score since The Economist started the democracy index in 2006 (The Economist 2019). When looking at these figures of democracy’s current struggle, it is important to consider the patterns and fluctuations of democracy that have always occurred since its creation. Therefore, whilst there may be a decline in the global standard of democracy, it is important to believe in the strength of democracy as it is likely to recover in the years to come as leaders come and go (Carothers and Youngs 2017).


Anbinder, Tyler. 2019. “Trump has spread more hatred of immigrants than any American in history.” The Washington Post.

Carothers, Thomas, and Richard Youngs. 2017. “Democracy is not Dying .” Foreign Affairs.

Kenny, Paul. 2018. Populism in Southeast Asia. Cambridge : Cambride University Press.

Muller, Jan. 2016. What is Populism? Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Sligo, Frank. 2018. “Trump’s Populism.” Media International Australia 169: 131-143.

The Economist. 2019. Democracy Index 2019. Washington: The Economist.

Writer: Ellie Hawthorne

Editor: Angganararas Indriyosanti

Indonesia’s Response on South China Sea : Too Late, Too Lame

At the beginning of the new decade, international community were immediately greeted with several turmoil. One that received the most attention from Indonesian audiences was the sailing of several Chinese vessels into Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone in the Natuna Islands region, Riau Islands Province. Moreover, two of the dozens vessels sailing were Chinese coastguard vessels specifically tasked to secure the interests of China in its claimed territory in the South China Sea (Lo, 2020).

This event certainly received a strong reaction from the people of Indonesia. Firstly, this is because the China’s action in Natuna region is clearly an illegal act. China specifically violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which regulates maritime control zones based on coastlines. The law clearly states that a country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is 200 km from the country’s outer coastline. However, China itself has their own version of EEZ called the Nine-Dash Line which is a line made unilaterally by China without going through legal conventions. The determination of the nine-dash line itself refers to the historical territory of the seas of Chinese fishermen since the Dynasty era and begin to pop up in the map of modern China since 1947. Legally since 2016, an arbitral tribunal constituted under Annex VII to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ruled that China has no legal basis to claim “historic rights” within its nine-dash line (Jiangtao & Mai, 2020). With such unlawful behavior, it is not surprising that the public demand the Indonesian government to react strongly in order to maintain the country’s authority and sovereignty.

The second reason that made the community’s react aggressively was people’s sentiment towards China in Indonesia. Since the election period, the issue of China has become one of the main issues where President Jokowi is considered to be too dependent on China. In the economic sector, Mr. President sometimes considered tending to marginalize his domestic public interests to keep China happy. Along with the issue of Uyghurs, which recently receives a sharp spotlight from Indonesian Moslem, who strongly condemn China’s treatment towards Uyghurs Moslem minority. The government response to the violation of sovereignty by China is highly awaited because it is considered to be a test of Indonesia’s assertiveness in dealing with threats from outside, especially a real threat from China, a country that Indonesia is considered to be too dependent on.

When China finally does its action in Natuna, which actually has been feared since the escalation of South China Sea dispute in the mid- 2010s, Indonesian government can not provide a strong response that could satisfy the public interest and give a tangible solutions for the problem. In its response, Indonesia seem to be unprepared to face the problem of sovereignty claims in the South China Sea. Although a form of diplomatic protest note had been submitted to the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs, the contents of the diplomatic note were rejected outright by the Chinese side by emphasizing that they have claims in the region. To appease public, Indonesian government tried to explain that this problem was not a serious problem that had to be exaggerated (Anwar, 2020).

The lack of response regarding the issue of South China Sea started since the 2014 presidential campaign period. At that time, when asked about Indonesia’s position regarding South China Sea, Jokowi stated emphatically that Indonesia had no part in the South China sea dispute. According to him there is no area of Indonesia that is under a threat to be claimed in this dispute (Arief, 2014). After becoming president, it was clear that Jokowi were hesitate and reluctant to resolve the problems in South China Sea. Whereas since 2016, China has openly stated that some parts of the Natuna sea is included in the territorial waters of China based on nine-dash line that they use for territorial determination. The World Maritime Axis declared by the president in fact also does not provide any solution other than strengthening domestic maritime connectivity through infrastructure development. During his first period as president, Jokowi seemed hesitant to take confident steps in order to not sever relations with China as one of the main business and investment partners who played a major role in financing the development efforts undertaken by the Joko Widodo government (Conelly, 2017).

Indonesia’s biggest opportunity lost is to bring this problem to the international level and become a leader for ASEAN countries who are also in dispute in this region. In practice, Indonesia tends to take its own steps without involving other ASEAN countries in taking strategic steps against China. This makes other countries in Southeast Asia become more isolated and vulnerable to the pressure of Chinese diplomacy (Conelly, 2017). Whereas, Indonesia’s leadership in dealing with China in South China Sea dispute can also become the answer to all doubts about Indonesia’s role as a natural born leader in the ASEAN region which increasingly has become irrelevant after the end of the New Order Regime. In dealing with China in this dispute, countries in ASEAN now tend to take their own steps so that they don’t need to put strong diplomatic pressure on Beijing. As a result, violations after violations are still being carried out by China in disputed areas in the South China Sea. The presence of Indonesia as the leader of ASEAN countries in this dispute can also reduce interdependence to global major power while preventing the involvement of outsiders which could actually heightened the political atmosphere. For example, the US involvement in South China Sea dispute, with a global political climate that is heating up, the involvement of outsiders such as the US in the South China Sea dispute can trigger more serious conflicts such as the possibility of an armed war in the East Asia region that is feared to have a chain effect to encourage another major war in the near future.

What’s Next for Indonesia?

Now that China has seriously disrupted Indonesia’s sovereignty in Natuna waters, of course, strategic steps must be taken immediately by the Indonesian government. Unilateral diplomacy efforts have been carried out and led resulting in explicit rejection by the Chinese government. This exact moment is the time for Indonesia to shift through a multilateral approach in response to China. Multilateral diplomacy involving other ASEAN countries which are also in dispute must be implemented immediately. Indonesia must emerge as the leader of ASEAN by bringing the issue of the South China Sea dispute as the main topic to be discussed at the ASEAN Summit which is scheduled to take place in April / May 2020.

Although armed conflict is not the best way out of this dispute given the potential causality that can be generated, steps like sending the military to Natuna Island to face the worst possibility is a step that needs to be explored as long as it is still in accordance with the rules of international law, especially with the need to convince public that Indonesia is serious in dealing with violations of sovereignty and responding the claim on the Jokowi government‘s dependence on China.


Anwar, M. (2020). Luhut: Soal Natuna Tak Usah Dibesar-Besarkan Lah!. Retrieved 6 January 2020, from https://

Arief, T. (2014). DEBAT CAPRES: Jokowi Menyatakan Indonesia Tidak Terlibat Sengketa Laut China Selatan | Kabar24 – Retrieved 6 January 2020, from read/20140623/355/237935/debat-capres-jokowi-menyatakan-indonesia-tidak-terlibat-sengketalaut-china-selatan

Conelly, A. (2017). Indonesia di Laut China Selatan: Berjalan Sendiri. Lowry Institute. Retrieved from https://www.

Jiangtao, S., & Mai, J. (2020). China’s Xi Jinping rejects any action based on international court’s South China Sea ruling. Retrieved 6 January 2020, from article/1988990/chinas-xi-jinping-rejects-any-action-based

Lo, K. (2020). Indonesia-Beijing dispute could lead to tough South China Sea code. Retrieved 6 January 2020, from

Writer : Muhammad Indrawan Jatmika

Demonstrasi: Ruang Publik yang Maskulin, Patriarkis, dan Ricuh?

Di Indonesia, demonstrasi memiliki konotasi yang negatif karena lekat dengan memori-memori yang menakutkan. Tanpa menghubungkan keduanya, demonstrasi—yang lebih populer dengan istilah ‘demo’—kerap diidentikkan dengan aksi laki-laki dan kericuhan. Hasilnya, terdapat ketakutan dan kekhawatiran dari keluarga maupun teman apabila anggota keluarga perempuan atau teman perempuan mereka mengikuti aksi massa. Demonstrasi mahasiswa di berbagai kota di Indonesia dua minggu belakangan membawa kisah-kisah baru tentang keterlibatan perempuan. Banyak perempuan yang ikut turun ke jalan, walaupun—berbicara dari pengalaman dan pengamatan pribadi—diwanti-wanti untuk tidak usah ikut oleh keluarga, dilarang hingga harus berbohong, atau lolos ikut dengan memanfaatkan cela tidak ditanya oleh keluarga karena dianggap sudah pasti tidak mungkin ikut.

Seusai aksi, cuitan-cuitan populer di Twitter dan beberapa refleksi teman-teman perempuan yang mengikuti aksi, menyayangkan demonstrasi yang dipercayai masih berbudaya patriarki. Demo yang di berbagai kota berakhir ricuh jadi ruang yang ‘tidak aman bagi perempuan’. Di tengah kondisi yang sulit, ada yang mengingat kerelaan para lelaki untuk ‘pasang badan’ dan memprioritaskan perempuan sebagai solidaritas. Ada pula yang mengkritik ‘perlakuan spesial’ untuk perempuan berlawanan dengan tuntutan perempuan yang ingin diperlukan dengan setara. Apabila ingin kesetaraan, mestinya perempuan siap dengan sifat alami demo yang keras dan berbahaya, kan?

Dari pengamatan tersebut, muncul sebuah kegelisahan: Apakah memang benar demonstrasi adalah ruang publik yang secara alamiah maskulin, patriarkis, dan ricuh? Atau ini sebenarnya masalah keterbatasan referensi dan imajinasi kita tentang aksi massa? Waktu saya terlibat dalam demonstrasi pada 23 September lalu, ketika berjalan pulang seusai aksi dengan teman-teman saya, ada seorang yang bersorak kepada saya, “hidup perempuan yang melawan!”. Pada saat itu saya merasa senang. Saya menganggap sorakan tersebut sebagai apresiasi personal. Saat saya kembali mengikuti demonstrasi seminggu kemudian, saya mendengar jargon-jargon: Hidup Mahasiswa Indonesia! Hidup Rakyat Indonesia! Hidup Buruh! Hidup Petani! beberapa kelompok lainnya juga disebutnya hingga kemudian diakhiri dengan Hidup Perempuan yang Melawan! Mendengar itu, saya merasa ada yang janggal. Saya percaya jargon tersebut datang dari maksud yang baik. Namun, dari situ saya baru menyadari, ternyata keikutsertaan perempuan dalam perlawanan masih dianggap sebagai sesuatu yang baru, unik, dan jarang sehingga perlu diberi label khusus. Padahal, dalam memori saya, perempuan telah dan selalu melawan.

Perempuan yang Melawan
Sepanjang sejarah, perempuan terlibat dalam berbagai perlawanan nirkekerasan di berbagai belahan dunia
memperjuangkan berbagai isu. Pada abad ke-19, di Amerika, perempuan berjuang untuk mendapatkan hak
pilih. Pada tahun 1970an, perempuan-perempuan di India melakukan aksi memeluk pohon yang dikenal sebagai ‘Gerakan Chipko’ untuk melindungi pohon dan hutan. Pada tahun 1976 hingga 1983, ibu-ibu Plaza de Mayo di Argentina melakukan aksi jaga untuk menuntut kepulangan anak-anak mereka yang dihilangkan paksa. Pada tahun 2003, dari Liberia, para perempuan melakukan kampanye perlawanan nirkekerasan yang menuntut perdamaian dan berakhirnya perang sipil. Pada tahun 2018, dari Swedia, seorang anak perempuan berusia lima belas tahun melakukan aksi mogok sekolah untuk menuntut kebijakan perubahan iklim. Aksinya sekarang menjadi sorotan global serta memantik berbagai aksi mogok dan demonstrasi di berbagai negara.
Indonesia juga menyimpan banyak cerita perlawanan nirkekerasan oleh perempuan. Sejak tahun 1990-an hingga 2010, dari tanah Mollo, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Mama Aleta Baun melawan perusahaan-perusahaan tambang marmer dengan menenun di atas batu. Dari Jawa Tengah, perempuan petani Kendeng datang ke Istana dan melakukan aksi mengecor kaki. Pada tahun 2017, dari Jawa Barat, perempuan warga adat Sunda Wiwitan berada di baris paling depan dalam aksi tidur untuk menghalau alat berat yang akan mengeksekusi lahan cagar budaya dan tanah adat Sunda Wiwitan. Sejak tahun 2017 pula, Women’s March diadakan di Indonesia. Sejak 18 Januari 2007, terinspirasi dari perlawanan ibu-ibu Plaza de Mayo, ibu-ibu dan keluarga korban pelanggaran HAM melakukan aksi Kamisan. Aksi tersebut masih berlanjut hingga sekarang.
Mengetahui ini semua, tidak rela rasanya untuk setuju dengan asumsi bahwa aksi massa adalah ranah laki-laki dan selalu berpotensi ricuh. Sepertinya, asumsi tersebut dari keterbatasan referensi dan imajinasi terhadap aksi massa.

Aksi Nirkekerasan
Menurut Gene Sharp (1973), seorang tokoh penting dalam studi nirkekerasan, demonstrasi—atau demo—
sebenarnya hanyalah satu dari 198 metode aksi nirkekerasan yang dapat dilakukan. Sharp dengan teorinya ‘consent theory of power’ percaya bahwa kekuasaan (power) tidak bersifat monolitik—melainkan pluralistis. Daya/kekuasaan seseorang bukan datang dari dirinya sendiri, melainkan diberikan oleh orang-orang yang membiarkan diri mereka dikuasai. Oleh karena itu, aksi nirkekerasan merupakan metode melawan tanpa kekerasan dengan menarik kepatuhan yang diberikan kepada lawan sehingga bisa lepas dari kuasa lawan.
Dalam praktiknya di negara demokratis, aksi nirkekerasan sering digunakan sebagai jalur informal ketika jalur-jalur formal tidak menyalurkan aspirasi rakyat. Dalam sejarahnya, aksi nirkekerasan merupakan metode dalam perlawanan nirkekerasan yang digunakan untuk melawan ketidakadilan sosial serta berbagai macam bentuk kekerasan struktural (Stephan dan Chenoweth, 2008; Sharp, 2013; Dudouet, 2017).

Artinya, demonstrasi sejatinya adalah salah satu metode perlawanan yang menolak baik kekerasan langsung
maupun kekerasan struktural. Sayangnya, riset oleh tim Damai Pangkal Damai yang meneliti aksi nirkekerasan
di Indonesia dari tahun 1997 sampai 2018 menemukan bahwa repertoar masyarakat Indonesia dalam melakukan aksi nirkekerasan masih terbatas pada demonstrasi. Dari 13,524 entri aksi nirkekerasan yang ditemukan, 5,362 (29,6%) di dalamnya merupakan aksi demonstrasi. Sayangnya lagi, repertoar utama dalam aksi nirkekerasan di Indonesia sendiri memiliki konotasi yang negatif.

Di bagian sebelumnya, telah dipaparkan repertoar-repertoar alternatif dalam melakukan aksi nirkekerasan.
Berbagai kisah perlawanan perempuan di atas bukan hanya untuk menunjukkan keikutsertaan perempuan dalam perlawanan sedari dulu, tetapi juga untuk memberikan memori perjuangan alternatif sebagai referensi dan ruang imajinasi yang baru dalam melakukan aksi massa. Aksi-aksi di atas bukan tanpa ancaman. Mama Aleta dan rakyat Mollo menghadapi intimidasi dan kekerasan
hingga harus bersembunyi di hutan selama melakukan perlawanan. Aksi mengecor kaki memiliki risiko kesehatan yang sangat tinggi. Perempuan Sunda Wiwitan memasang badan mereka di hadapan alat berat. Tanpa mengatakan bahwa perempuan adalah faktor penentu damainya suatu aksi, berbagai contoh oleh perempuan di atas mengajarkan pentingnya menahan diri untuk menggunakan kekerasan dalam aksi nirkekerasan. Dalam pertimbangan strategis, kesetiaan untuk tidak menggunakan kekerasan dalam perlawanan adalah tentang (1) menjaga legitimasi perlawanan, dan (2) melawan secara kreatif.

Aksi nirkekerasan merupakan metode yang efektif bagi kelompok marginal/yang lebih lemah karena dia merupakan metode berkonflik yang kreatif. Dalam kondisi ketimpangan kekuatan, akan lebih sulit untuk menang dengan kekerasan. Masyarakat sipil tidak mungkin menang menggunakan kekerasan melawan negara sebagai entitas yang memiliki sumber daya ekonomi, legitimasi, media, dan sebagai pemilik hak melakukan kekerasan secara sah. Dan dengan menggunakan kekerasan, akan sangat mudah bagi negara untuk mendelegitimasi perlawanan dengan melabelinya sebagai ancaman yang dapat dihancurkan dengan kekerasan.

Maka, sesuai dengan apa yang ditawarkan Sharp, yang harus dilakukan adalah menarik sumber-sumber kekuasaan dari lawan—atau disebut pillars of support. Pillars of support ini dapat termanifestasi sebagai polisi, pasukan keamanan, partai politik, media, dan yang lainnya—termasuk lewat pembiaran atau act of omission. Menjaga legitimasi menjadi penting untuk menyasar pilar-pilar ini agar bersimpati dengan aktivis nirkekerasan sehingga mereka berhenti menopang penguasa dan berbalik mendukung perjuangan. Sebagai contoh singkat, strategi ini tercermin dalam gerakan ibu-ibu Plaza De Mayo. Menyadari segala bentuk tuntutan yang terlihat seperti ancaman bagi pemerintah hanya mendapat respons yang represif, ibu-ibu di Argentina datang sebagai ibu-ibu yang sedang mencari anaknya. Mereka berkeliling menggunakan syal putih yang menyimbolkan popok dengan dituliskan nama dan tanggal lahir anak-anak mereka yang hilang—menanyakan di mana anak mereka. Setidaknya terdapat tiga pilar yang berhasil mereka sasar: polisi, media, dan ibu-ibu yang tidak melawan. Polisi yang biasanya menangkap dan kemudian menghilangkan pula orang-orang yang mempertanyakan orang-orang yang dihilangkan, tidak bisa menangkap para perempuan yang sebagai seorang ibu menanyakan di mana anaknya. Media yang selama ini diam mulai menyoroti kasus dan perjuangan ini. Ibu-ibu yang selama ini diam mendapat keberanian dan bersolidaritas untuk melawan.

Memperluas Imajinasi Aksi Massa
Sepertinya, imajinasi kita melakukan aksi massa masih memberi ruang bagi kekerasan. Saat merencanakan aksi, kita menyiapkan mental dan energi untuk melindungi perempuan—alih-alih menyalurkannya untuk menciptakan ruang aman untuk bersama. Laki-laki dan perempuan adalah setara. Tentunya, kesetaraan itu terefleksikan dalam hak tidak mengalami kekerasan dan bukannya bertanding ketahanan mengalami kekerasan, bukan? Apakah imajinasi kita harus se-masochist itu? Di titik ini, kita mungkin perlu mengkaji ulang apakah demonstrasi 98 adalah referensi yang tepat untuk jadi pijakan imajinasi kita tentang gerakan mahasiswa? Padahal, ingatan masyarakat Indonesia tentang 1998 masih sangat terpolarisasi: Gerakan Mahasiswa 98 atau Kerusuhan 98? Ada yang mengingatnya sebagai kemenangan perlawanan, ada yang mengingatnya sebagai periode kekerasan yang mengerikan. Mungkin, kekhawatiran keikutsertaan perempuan dan konotasi negatif demonstrasi adalah produk memori-memori kekerasan masa lalu yang kita rayakan.

Aksi #GejayanMemanggil yang sudah dua kali dilakukan berlangsung dan berakhir dengan damai. Aksi ini juga berhasil tidak meninggalkan sampah, menjadi ruang yang aman bagi semua, akomodatif terhadap tuntutan perempuan, serta menjalin hubungan dengan polisi, pedagang, dan warga sekitar. Besar harapan saya, memori-memori ini dapat menjadi memori kolektif kita terhadap aksi nirkekerasan di Indonesia ke depannya. Tulisan ini mengajak mengingat berbagai perlawanan perempuan yang dapat menjadi referensi alternatif kita dalam melakukan aksi massa nirkekerasan. Di mana perempuan bukan hanya untuk dilindungi, bukan menjadi korban, tetapi melawan dan menolak kekerasan.

Dudouet. (2017). Powering to Peace: Integrated Civil Resistance and Peacebuilding Strategies. International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. Retrieved from
Sharp, G. (1973). The Politics of Nonviolent Action. Boston: Porter Sargent.
———–. (2013). How nonviolent struggle works. United States: The Albert Einstein Institution.
Stephan, M., & Chenoweth, E. (2008). Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict. International Security, 33(1), 7-44. doi: 10.1162/isec.2008.33.1.7

Penulis : Grace Lolona Alexis Hutapea

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer Appointed as Germany’s New Defense Minister: What’s in Store?

On Wednesday (17/7/2019) in Bellevue Castle Berlin, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (widely referred to by her
initials “AKK”) was appointed as Germany’s new defense minister to replace Ursula von der Leyen that left the post to become European Commission President. AKK, who has been dubbed as Angela Merkel’s protégé, also leads Germany’s center-right Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands (CDU) party. Naturally, her appointment also brought new changes and reactions within the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) and the CDU itself, German’s domestic political reconfiguration are on the move. Come as a surprise, almost no one expected the leader of the CDU to take the post, not with that kind of responsibility and challenge to divide concentration. Previously, Angela Merkel has emphasized the importance to replace von der Leyen with someone from CDU-Lower Saxony branch too to sit in the cabinet, however none of the CDU minister candidate came from there (Riedel, 2019). Surprisingly as well, she ‘beats’ Peter Tauber, the former CDU secretary general, veteran and current Reserve Captain in the Bundeswehr, a prominent candidate favored by the soldiers. This of course, disappointed many in the Bundeswehr. Yet, expecting defense minister to have served in the military to performed well is utterly nonsense, as minister can and should rely on the professionalism of the Bundeswehr, argued Carlo Masala, a security policy expert at the Bundeswehr University (Deutsche Welle, 2019).

Despite stumbled into a scandal when she accused the Bundeswehr to have some right-wing extremists within its rank (which drew heavy criticism from the troops), von der Leyen actually set good reference for her successor. Von der Leyen managed to keep the pace to modernize the Bundeswehr, in material, personnel and budget; making it as an ever ready armed forces in Europe and more attractive to young recruits. AKK has to stand to this standard, at least by avoiding controversies on ‘right-wing extremists’ comments, despite the effort to actually combat them within the Bundeswehr. She needs to genuinely learn and listen more to the troops with her non-military background to earn trust. “Germany can rely on you! And you can rely on me.”, as she said to the Bundeswehr (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2019).

Although simultaneously leading the CDU too, which many concerned the heavy burden and responsibility she
has to take, her appointment as defense minister can actually brought new wind of change for the Bundeswehr. The dual responsibilities means she has greater political weight as a CDU leader and can assert more power to influence the political arena in favor for the Bundeswehr needs; and it rarely happens, this is the first time since the 1960s. As her recent statement shows, this might well be the case, as she urged the needs to enlarge defense spending to 2% by 2024 despite heavy criticism from the opposition, which means 0,63% higher than the 2020 budget (Handelsblatt, 2019). The increase is to sustain Bundeswehr commitment to the NATO and EU, as well as a response to Donald Trump’s previous yelps at NATO members’ lack of commitment on defense budget. As von der Leyen take the seat in Brussels, Bundeswehr position and contribution might be increased; and it will require a lot of money. Starting out with good impression and ability to fulfill the commitment, AKK could be on the right track in the eyes of the Bundeswehr.

In the political sphere, this might be the beginning of German “Frauenpower” succession in the throne. As a former Minister-President of Saarland, AKK had earlier withdrawn from public office, but as if following the footstep of her mentor, Merkel, she took the ministerial job. Is it CDU strategy to prepare her as the next chancellor? AKK has never held any cabinet positions and the appointment could be a test-bed for what she has in store for Germany. As widely reported, Jens Spahn, another CDU veteran and Health Minister, was also eyeing the defense minister post in line with his ambition to become the next chancellor. On the other side, AKK appointment could also be seen as an attempt to boost CDU leverage after its catastrophic loss in European Parliament against the Green Party. Whether it is by design or not, we have to see AKK’s performance if she indeed wants to prepare for the 2021 elections; still plenty of time left for other candidates to outshine her. In the end, the defense minister is an appealing post for ambitious politicians that need good stepping stone, but that’s not what the Bundeswehr wants and needs. Time and attention need to be given by whoever become the defense minister for the 181.377 troops under his/her command, and it requires pure commitment (Bundeswehr,2019). For now, that’s what AKK needs to focus on, and other things will follow.

Bundeswehr. (2019). Stärke: Militärisches Personal der Bundeswehr. Retrieved from https://www.!ut/p/z1/04_Sj9CPykss
Deutsche Welle. (2019). New German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer out to win over
military.Retrieved from minister-annegret-krampkarrenbauer-
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. (2019). AKK zur Bundeswehr: „Sie können sich auf mich verlassen“ (Video
File). Retrieved from
Handelsblatt. (2019). Kramp-Karrenbauer fordert deutlich höhere Rüstungsausgaben. Retrieved from https://
Riedel, Donata. (2019). Von der Leyens Nachfolger soll noch heute feststehen. Handelsblatt. Retrieved

Writer :M. Ilham R. Adamy, S.IP

The Moral High Ground dalam Aksi Protes Anti-UU Ekstra disi Hong Kong

Tidak perlu menunggu lama untuk memperkirakan akhir dari aksi protes menentang inisiasi hukum ekstradisi
yang dicetus oleh pemerintah Hong Kong. Aksi protes dalam bentuk turun ke jalan yang dimulai sejak Maret 2019 ini diperkirakan akan terus berjalan selama kedua belah pihak bertahan dalam posisi politik masing – masing. Namun, ada beberapa hal yang menarik untuk dicermati dan diproyeksikan dari keseluruhan proses ini, terutama yang berkaitan dengan aksi dan interaksi antara massa protes dan pemerintah Hong Kong.

“Bom Waktu” dari Revolusi Payung.

Pihak yang terlibat dalam protes ini merupakan orang yang pernah mengikuti Revolusi Payung atau Okupasi Sentral pada 2014. Revolusi Payung merupakan serangkaian protes atas tindakan politis dari pemerintah Republik Rakyat Tiongkok yang ikut campur dalam urusan pemerintah lokal melewati batas ketetapan dalam Hong Kong Basic Law. Pada aksi tersebut, para penggerak yang menyampaikan tuntutan agar nilai – nilai demokrasi liberal khas Hong Kong pra 1997 dikembalikan seutuhnya justru ditangkap. Sejak saat itu, “bom waktu” ketidakpuasan dan keputusasaan masyarakat sipil tertanam dan memulai hitung mundurnya, terutama setelah proses peradilan secara sepihak tersebut disertai dengan retorika nasionalistik yang didengungkan pejabat pemerintahan Hong Kong sendiri. Selain itu, akhir dari Revolusi Payung juga menumbuhkan kekhawatiran pelaku bisnis dari mancanegara akan semakin menguatnya kontrol pemerintah Cinaterhadap kota yang diperuntukkan sebagai Special Administratives Zones (SARs).

Hal ini jelas turut berimbas pada sendi perekonomian warga lokal. Pada akhirnya, ‘bom waktu’ itu
meledak ketika Undang-undang Ektradisi diumumkan pada Februari 2019. Landasan yang dikemukakan oleh para pembuat hukum bahwa UU ini akan membuahkan rasa keadilan karena menutup peluang pelaku untuk kabur dan tidak mempertanggungjawabkan tindakannya dianggap mengada–ada oleh masyarakat sipil. Mereka yakin bahwa pengadaan hukum ini merupakan taktik pemerintah Cina untuk menggerus secara perlahan hak-hak khusus yang dimiliki Hong Kong sebagai wilayah SAR. Status SAR tidak hanya memberikan pemerintah lokal Hong Kong sebuah otonomi yang tidak terbatas kepada urusan ekonomi, tetapi juga berbagai kebijakan vital dalam aspek politik, sosial, dan budaya. Di samping itu, hukum ekstradisi dipandang dapat
mengurangi ketertarikan investor dari luar RRT untuk berinvestasi, sehingga berimplikasi terhadap ketergantungan ekonomi yang semakin besar kepada pemerintah Beijing. Meningkatnya kontrol RRT terhadap berbagai aspek dalam pemerintahan dan masyarakat membuat Hong Kong di masa mendatang tidak ada bedanya sama sekali dengan kota-kota Tiongkok lain yang menyandang status Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

Metode Nirkekerasan sebagai Pilihan

Ratusan ribu warga Hong Kong memutuskan untuk menggunakan berbagai metode nirkekerasan yang didominasi oleh aksi demonstrasi dan pawai damai sebagai bentuk perlawanan terhadap rancangan UU ekstradisi. Demonstrasi dan pawai, menurut Gene Sharp, masuk dalam kategori protes dan persuasi nirkekerasan yang bertujuan untuk menarik perhatian, dukungan, dan kesadaran pemerintah maupun publik akan adanya sebuah isu penting yang harus segera ditanggapi. Aksi turun ke jalan sendiri juga merupakan kulminasi dari proses yang diawali oleh aksi representasi formal. Oposisi yang tersisa dalam legislatif telah berupaya mengulur waktu dan melakukan obstruksi terhadap proses formal pembuatan hukum, walaupun kemudian ditentang oleh kelompok pro pemerintahan yang berjumlah lebih besar. Di waktu yang bersamaan, lobi dari kelompok bisnis, hukum, hak asasi manusia, hingga demokrasi – baik yang berasal dari dalam negeri maupun mancanegara – gencar disuarakan agar pemberlakuan UU ini direvisi atau bahkan dihentikan sepenuhnya. Namun, lobi dan rekomendasi yang telah diupayakan tidak menuai respons yang signifikan dari pemerintah yang tetap melanjutkan proses pengesahan rancangan hingga awal Juni ini.

Aksi ini dapat bertahan lama hingga hari ini karena telah belajar dari kegagalan protes 2014. Aksi 2019 diorganisasi dalam kelompok – kelompok kepentingan yang tidak disatukan dalam hierarki tertentu dan memanfaatkan kemajuan teknologi berupa Apple Airdrop dan aplikasi pesan terenskripsi Telegram yang dapat mengantisipasi kemampuan intelijen yang dikerahkan pemerintah. Akan tetapi, ketika aksi nirkekerasan yang dilakukan masyarakat tidak menunjukkan perkembangan memuaskan, perasaan gelisah tentu membuncah.

The Moral High Ground
Seperti halnya pada Revolusi Payung, aksi damai kali ini kembali direspons negatif oleh pemerintah. Menggunakan teori Christopher R. Mitchell, konflik yang seharusnya dapat dimitigasi justru didorong untuk semakin mengganas. Tindakan kekerasan yang dilakukan aparat terhadap peserta protes meningkat seiring aksi yang berlanjut hingga kini. Beberapa insiden kekerasan juga melibatkan gang/sindikat kejahatan yang diduga bekerja sama dengan aparat. Carrie Lam sebagai wajah utama pemerintah lokal dalam posisi Kepala Eksekutif Hong Kong menunjukkan sikap yang cenderung agitatif: dari sebelumnya mengatakan bahwa protes ini sebagai kerusuhan (kemudian meralatnya, lalu dimunculkan kembali oleh pihak kepolisian) hingga mengkritisi orang tua dari anak – anak yang terlibat dalam pengorganisasian protes lintas generasi. Sentimen ini dikobarkan oleh media lokal yang condong pada pemerintah maupun media RRT, hingga menimbulkan efek adu domba dalam masyarakat. Carrie beserta kepolisian tidak menepati janji untuk mendengarkan keinginan massa maupun bertanggung jawab lebih terhadap keamanan masyarakat, seperti yang pernah disampaikan ketika ia meminta maaf kepada publik pada 18 Juni lalu. Janji kosong  ini semakin tercoreng mengingat bahwa rancangan UU undang – undang ekstradisi tidak juga ditarik dari proses legislatif.z

Ketiadaan upaya deeskalasi konflik dapat berujung kepada entrapment yang sewaktu – waktu dapat terjadi, terutama setelah pemerintah Beijing mengirim sinyal bahwa opsi militer dapat digunakan untuk menghentikan aksi protes yang dianggap mengganggu stabilitas nasional dan memicu perlawanan kepada RRT sebagai pemimpin dalam sistem “satu negara, dua otonomi”. Dalam kondisi sekarang, massa protes pantas menyandang posisi moral high ground ketika secara disiplin dan teratur menjalankan aksi nirkekerasan, walaupun dilawan dengan metode sebaliknya oleh otoritas. Namun, apakah hal tersebut cukup untuk mendorong masa depan berpihak kepada mereka? Satu dari tiga kemungkinan dapat terjadi: (1) konsesi politik diberikan untuk memenuhi tuntutan massa; (2) protes dihentikan paksa tanpa pemberian konsesi politik seperti 2014; hingga (3) protes berakhir dengan melibatkan militer yang tentu mengingatkan dunia kepada Peristiwa Tiananmen 1989. Sembari mengirimkan simpati kepada aksi protes di Hong Kong, harapan dan dukungan akan kedua belah pihak dapat saling mendengarkan satu sama lain demi masa depan Hong Kong yang lebih baik patut didengungkan sebelum pengorbanan lebih besar harus terjadi.

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Penulis : Wilibrordus Bintang Hartono

Japan’s Agenda behind Its Chemical Export Curb to South Korea

Japan hinted a trade war with its neighbor, South Korea by limiting its exports on fluorinated polyimide, a chemical material often used for semiconductor in chips and for TV or smartphone screens earlier this month. It is known that Japan is South Korea’s largest supplier when it comes to chemicals that are critical for technological products. These components are commonly used by South Korean tech companies. Japan stated that they have been suspicious over the mismanagement of the chemical compounds, worrying South Korea might illegally transfer them to North Korea as the compounds are applicable for weapons too (Lee, 2019).

By putting national security as its main motive to restrict trade relations, Japan has actually demonstrated its
inconsistency in supporting international trade system. Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, just recently expressed the stance of the country in supporting “free, fair, and indiscriminate trade” during G20 Summit held in Osaka last June (Reuters, 2019), only to break his own promise not long after. This sudden change makes us wonder whether or not security is the real reason behind Japan’s chemical compound export restriction to South Korea. The action could be a form of retaliation against the recent South Korea’s decision to request for a redress in a form of financial compensation from Japanese companies that utilized forced labor from South Korea during colonialism era (1910-1945). This causes an economic issue as it consequently requires Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to pay $134,000 for each 10 plaintiffs and Sumitomo Metal Corp. to pay $88,000 for each 4 plaintiffs (Lee, 2019). Such measures potentially harm the running of their business as well as the reputation of the companies. Thus, Japan might have seen the export curb policy as the perfect retaliation since it would bring similar harmful effect to South Korean tech companies, considering the country is currently in urgent need to diversify their alternative suppliers for said chemicals (Su-hyun, 2019).

Alternatively, the motive behind the export limitation might be simply a protection towards Japan’s domestic
market. Foreign technological products are currently dominating Japanese market. For instance, Japanese prefers iPhone and Huawei more than local brands for smartphone choices. It is also said that Japanese giant tech companies cannot compete with foreign products including Apple (Statista, 2019). The decline of Japanese technology brands was started since South Korea took over the international market of technological products with its low-cost products and massive business on semiconductors (Osanai, n.d.). Japan has gradually been losing its prowess due to lack of innovation in their product development. They tend to focus more on the hardware improvement and was reported to spend less amount of budget for research and development compared to its major competitor, Samsung (Wakabayashi, 2012). Therefore, the export curb to South Korea can also be seen as an attempt by Japan to protect its domestic market because the cost of South Korean products will rise, and thus limit the product options for Japanese.

In conclusion, seeing how the two countries are retaliating against each other, it is less likely that the trade war will die down anytime soon. The continuous trade war will certainly exacerbate current global trade situation which has been worsened by the larger scale of existing trade war between China and the US. Any conflict between Japan and South Korea surfacing at the present and in the future cannot be separated from their prolonged historical sentiment. Thus, the harmonious relationship between both countries depend heavily on how they will untangle the messy thread from the past and focus on the future collaboration.

Lee, C. Japan-South Korea trade dispute threatens global tech market. Japan Today. Retrieved from https:// global-tech-market
Lee, Y. (2019). Why Japan and South Korea Still Spar Over History. Bloomberg. Retrieved from https://www.
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approach to product development. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from
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Statista. (2019). Share of smartphone models sold in Japan during the month of April 2019, by model. Retrieved
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Su-hyun, S. (2019). S. Korean biz groups in emergency mode as Korea-Japan feud drags on. The Korea Herald.
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Writer : Arindha Nityasari

President Jokowi’s Vision on Indonesia 2019-2024: the Grand Old Talk on Investment and the Missing Points on Technological Utilizatio

As General Election Commission has officially announced Joko Widodo as the elected President of Indonesia for 2019-2024, thus he presented his vision through an open speech entitled Visi Indonesia (Indonesian Vision) on Sunday, 14 July 2019. He underlined the urgency to be open towards investment as he believes that it is equal to wider job opportunity. On that occasion, he also stated that supportive bureaucracy should be built to lubricate such investment and any party indicated hindering the investment will face severe consequences.
Jokowi did well in explaining how investment will create wider job opportunities, however here comes few missing points that were promoted many times during his presidential debate, but were not mentioned at all on the recent speech.

The Missing Points in the Speech

During his presidential campaign, Jokowi took pride in his deep understanding on the utilization of technology in many sectors, including digital economy development (CNN Indonesia, 2019). He has also expressed his ambition on building technology infrastructure that will provide an established digital economy ecosystem as an incentive for businessmen or entrepreneurs to grow more productively and rapidly. In addition, Jokowi has articulated his commitment in the development of digital economy as stated during the G20 Summit in Osaka last June (Anya, 2019). Therefore, it is a huge miss that Jokowi did not mention about the technological utilization and its impact to investment in one of the visions on Indonesia 2019-2024.

Jokowi could have explored on these following points more strategically: 1) boosting up economic development
through technology, 2) building technological infrastructure, and 3) potential new policies in supporting digital
economy. Citizens might have wanted to know more about those because he seemed very clear in his stance in
supporting technology advancement and developing digital economy proven by his previous speeches and what
he has done during his first term. The continuation of the program is such a promise for the actors playing roles
in the industry and for those who were not informed well about the mutual correlation between investment and
technological advancement.

Although President Jokowi missed stating the points on utilization of technologies for economic development and digital economy on his speech last Sunday, hopefully he will still commit to the matters. If he is persistent to build more receptive condition towards investment, he might as well include more investment on digital economy or technological infrastructures. Nonetheless, several things are needed to be improved in regards of utilization of technology and digital economy to make them work efficiently. Firstly, government needs to provide more space for entrepreneurs to innovate. It is not good to control them too much as it can hinder their creativity to innovate (The Jakarta Post, 2018).

Secondly, providing better climate for investors to invest in digital economy and technological infrastructures is
important. It can be seen from the data by Investment Coordinating Board that FDI invested in technological
sector were still relatively low in 2016-2018. However, investment in technological sector indeed increased in the first quarter of 2019 and that is a good sign for enhancement. FDI should also be prioritized considering that investment from abroad will be followed up with transfer of technology that is important as Indonesia is still learning to adapt to the new technology.

Lastly, as digital economy is prone to cyber attacks such as issues on users’ privacy and the transaction processes, the government should strengthen its cyber security and legal frameworks to ensure the potential risks will be managed accordingly. Strengthening cyber security may be achieved by reinforcing cyber diplomacy with other countries because such attacks are often done in a transnational manner. Therefore, there should be a cooperation from government-to-government or business-to-business in regards of cyber attacks on economic facilities such as fintech that work similarly to conventional bank. We can learn this by how Japan proposed international agreement to secure data exchange (Anya, 2019).

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Remain Increase Significantly, Reached About Rp 185.3 trillion (Press Release April 2018). Retrieved
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Reached Rp. 165.8 trillion (Press Release April 2017). Retrieved from:
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Rose 17,6% “Optimism on Improved Investment Climate Confirmed” (Press Release April 2016).
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Writer : Arindha Nityasari

Mau Bekerja Sama atau Saling Tuding Terkait Kabut Asap?

Kebakaran hutan tropis dan lahan gambut yang melanda Asia Tenggara bagian selatan menunjukkan adanya
masalah kolaborasi antar negara anggota ASEAN dalam upaya pencegahan dan penanggulangan bencana kabut asap. Peringatan pada pertemuan ke-21 Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution (21st MSC) yang menyatakan bahwa titik api berpotensi meningkat sebagai implikasi dari perubahan pola cuaca tidak dihiraukan secara lanjut (ASEAN, 2019a). Ketika kebakaran muncul hingga semakin sulit ditanggulangi, upaya nasional dari masing-masing negara tentu tidaklah cukup. Di tengah bencana ini, Menteri Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan (LHK) Indonesia, Siti Nurbaya Bakar mengeluarkan pernyataan bahwa Malaysia ikut andil terhadap kabut asap hasil kebakaran yang meliputi Indonesia.

Balasan menyengat datang dari Menteri Lingkungan Malaysia, Yeo Bee Yin yang mengatakan bahwa Indonesia
tidak dapat menyangkal ketika data yang disediakan oleh badan ASEAN berbicara bahwa titik api lebih banyak
berada di wilayah Indonesia (Jong, 2019). Menyikapi balasan itu, Menteri Siti berujar bahwa Malaysia gagal
membaca data dan lebih baik berkonsentrasi saja untuk menanggulangi tantangan yang dialami masing masing negara (JPNN, 2019). Pertukaran pesan di atas tidak berujung pada diskusi penyelesaian bersama masalah kebakaran dan kabut asap. Justru, ini menguatkan preseden antara Indonesia, Malaysia beserta Singapura bahwa negara lain bersalah atas bencana/kerusakan lingkungan yang terjadi di negara masing-masing. Keadaan menjadi semakin berbahaya ketika narasi yang selama ini dibangun dikuatkan sembari menolak uluran bantuan oleh negara tetangga karena dianggap melukai harga diri bangsa. Seperti yang disampaikan oleh Jati Witjaksono, juru bicara Kementerian LHK baru –baru ini (BBC, 2019).

Minimnya pembicaraan terkait perlindungan lingkungan dan mitigasi bencana bisa jadi merupakan antitesis
dari upaya peningkatan kerja sama ekonomi sebagai bagian dari ASEAN Economic Community. Padahal,
penelusuran lebih jauh akan menunjukkan bahwa salah satu faktor penyebab kebakaran adalah pembukaan lahan yang dilakukan oleh perusahaan sawit Malaysia dan Singapura setelah mendapat izin dari pemerintah Indonesia dan sebaliknya. Langkah untuk menyegel wilayah usaha perusahaan sawit serta tindakan hukum di tingkat nasional (Tjandraningsih, 2019) seharusnya juga diiringi komitmen untuk bekerja sama menyiapkan langkah penanggulangan potensi terjadinya bencana di masa depan.

Peristiwa kebakaran hutan dalam skala besar tahun 2019 menunjukkan kelemahan ASEAN Agreement on
Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP) sebagai instrumen utama dalam menanggulangi bencana kabut asap lintasbatas (ASEAN, 2019b). Sekedar menyelenggarakan pertemuan dan mengeluarkan langkah kerja penanggulangan untuk dikerjakan masing-masing pihak tidak memberi dampak signifikan dalam usaha penanggulangan bencana. Untuk itu, dibutuhkan kesadaran untuk mencapai kesepakatan bersama, mengingat kondisi geografis negara yang terdiri dari berbagi pulau dan berbatasan dengan banyak negara tetangga. Secara praktis tidak mungkin untuk mengeluarkan satu sama lain dari upaya mitigasi bencana kabut asap. Sinyal yang telah dikeluarkan oleh Perdana Menteri Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, bahwa kerja sama jangka panjang antara negaranya dengan Indonesia untuk menangani bencana (Annuar, 2019) patut disambut untuk meningkatkan kerjasama dalam hal penanggulangan bencana. Sembari menyiapkan bentuk konkrit penyelenggaraan kerja sama, Presiden Joko Widodo dan jajarannya perlu menanggapi positif dengan menggandeng negara ASEAN lain dalam usaha mitigasi bencana kabut asap. Kerja sama Indonesia dan Malaysia dapat menjadi katalis agar target Asia Tenggara Bebas Kabut Asap 2020 yang dicanangkan bersama dengan AATHP benar-benar tercapai.

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Penulis: Wilibrordus Bintang Hartono