Indonesia Brings Back a Respected Publi…

The planned appointment of former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (above) as director of an as-yet unnamed state-owned enterprise, widely expected to be the giant state-owned energy company Pertamina, is intriguing on many levels. For a start, it continues the rehabilitation of a Chinese Christian who was defeated in 2017 for reelection as Jakarta governor, charged with blasphemy of the Quran and jailed on charges widely viewed by human rights organizations as trumped up politically to get rid of him. It is also a clue to the wider commitment of the government to rein in growing Islamist fevers generated by such organizations as the thuggish Islamic Defenders Front, assumed to be backed by the national police, and the radical Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI).

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