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GPS Seminar september 7

150 days and counting: The Baswedan case and Indonesia's "incurable cancer"


(Please observe day and place: Thursday 7/9; meeting/dining room, 10th floor, Niagara building)

Two seminar presentations by the visiting scholars from Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia:

Dr. Nur Rachmat Yuliantoro

(Department of International Relations, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia)

On 11 April 2017, 39 years-old Novel Baswedan was assaulted when returning home from his morning prayers. Two persons, who are not identified yet, sprayed hydrochloric acid to his face, making serious injuries to his eyes. Novel has been treated in Jakarta and Singapore since then, but the effect of the acid is so severe that his left eye may be blind.

Novel is one of Indonesia’s Commission to Eradicate Corruption top investigators. He was examining a major embezzlement case that implicated several members of the national parliament when the attack happened. Many people have been quick to say that this is another example of the “corruptors fight back” phenomena that have long hampered successful anti-corruption efforts in Indonesia. The police also seems to be slow in responding to this case, especially after Novel hinted to the involvement of a certain police top commissioner behind the assault.

In this seminar, I will talk about the development of the Baswedan situation as well as the embezzlement case that shocked the nation. I will argue that what happened to Novel indicates that it is very difficult to fight against corruption in Indonesia. Some might say that corruption has become an “incurable cancer” in this country. 

Dr. Yuliantoro has been studying political corruption since 2003, writing corruption and economic reform in China for his MA in International Relations thesis at Flinders University. His PhD in Asian Studies, also at Flinders, discussed political corruption in decentralised Indonesia. He has taught an undergraduate course on political corruption since 2011 and written several works on the issue (mostly in Indonesian). Dr. Yuliantoro is currently Head of the Department of International Relations, Universitas Gadjah Mada.

Senast uppdaterad av Mathilda Hansson