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Rising costs in Indonesia a drag on public trust in Jokowi govt

Bloomberg News - October 24, 2022

Jakarta – Public trust in Indonesia's government fell to the lowest level since 2019, in part due to growing anger over rising living costs and several instances of blunders by the police, including their role in a deadly stampede at a football stadium.

Trust in President Joko Widodo's government declined to 52 per cent, according to an October survey by the research arm of one of Indonesia's largest news outlets, Kompas. That was the lowest since the start of his second term as president in 2019, according to the survey conducted between Sept 24 and Oct 7.

Eroding public sentiment will further test the ability of the President, popularly known as Jokowi, to manage frustrations over inflation, which has soared to a seven-year high. Protests erupted after the government raised prices of subsidised fuel.

Recent blunders by the national police force have also dented the government's image, increasing pressure on Mr Widodo to push for reforms in his second and final term.

Criticism of police brutality has come to the forefront in Indonesia after the deadly stampede at a local football match earlier in October, which was triggered by police officers firing tear gas even though they are not permitted to do so.

That episode comes on the back of incidents of corruption involving top police officials, as well as a scandal where a senior officer was charged with the murder of a junior cop. The case came to light only after public backlash and accusations of a cover-up.

Public satisfaction in law enforcement declined to 51.5 per cent in October from 57.5 per cent in June, according to the Kompas survey that polled 1,200 people.

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/rising-costs-in-indonesia-a-drag-on-public-trust-in-jokowi-gov