Dr Max Lane is Visiting Senior Fellow at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute.
For 50 years he has written articles and books on Indonesian politics, history and culture. He has been a Second Secretary at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta; Principal Research Officer, Senate Committee of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade; written hundreds of articles for newspapers and non-government organisations and am a published translator of Indonesian literary works, including works by Pramoedya Ananta Toer and Rendra.
He has been an academic at the University of Sydney, Victoria University (Melbourne), Murdoch University and the National University of Singapore and lectured at universities in Southeast Asia, Europe and the United States.
President Joko Widodo’s recent acknowledgement of certain human rights violations in Indonesia took many by surprise. It may prove to kickstart a true national reckoning with one of the darkest periods of the country’s history.
The popularity of a recent image lamenting the wearing of conservative dress, particularly headscarves, by girls in Indonesia’s state schools have highlighted philosophical tensions in society and politics, with no easy answers.
The Indonesian government has argued that there is a strong case for increasing prices for fuel. Given that fuel prices are a politically sensitive issue, it remains to be seen whether the government will be about to ride out the storm.