The good news
For Good Friday, I thought I’d focus on some good news.
First, the Indonesian parliamentary election is nearly all good news. It’s good news that the election was held at all, and was pretty much free and fair. It’s even more good news that the military no longer holds a block of seats as it did under Suharto. And, generally speaking the results have been encouraging. Militant Islamists did poorly and the success of the Democrat party provides a plausible alternative presidential candidate, Yudhoyono. The unappealing prospect that Wiranto would make a comeback as president seems to be receding.
The earlier elections in Malaysia were also reasonably encouraging is showing little support for radical Islamism. But here, as in Singapore, the system can’t really be called democratic until it has managed a change of government. Surprisingly, Indonesia seems to have surpassed its neighbours in this respect. Given the dire state of affairs a few years ago, with Christian and Islamist militias fighting it out, the military fomenting trouble and Suharto still in the wings, this is an impressive achievement.