Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bloggers and Good Governance in Indonesia

In the last few years, Bloggers and other internet activists have played an important role in what is happening in Indonesia.

Last year, they helped the "release" of an innocent mother of two infants who was detained and prosecuted just because she e-mailed her friends about the low standard services of a hospital.

Further, they also helped the "release" of two leaders of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) who were arrested based on uncertain legal grounds.

In this regards, I would like to quote the comments of U.S Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero as reported by Ethiopian Review.  

In Indonesia, Bloggers Show How Civil Society Can Promote Good Governance 

About the Author: Maria Otero serves as Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs.

Today, Indonesia is the world's third-largest democracy, and its free media environment plays an important role in the country's steady democratic development. In fact, the NGO Freedom House rated Indonesia as the most free media environment in all of Southeast Asia. Over the last decade, Internet penetration has surged, and half of Indonesia's Internet users are on Facebook and Twitter. There are over one million bloggers in the country.

On Wednesday, I met with leading bloggers and media developers in Jakarta. The lively discussion revealed the dynamic role of Internet activism in Indonesia. Even though fewer than 15 percent of Indonesians regularly access the Internet, the increasing number of people who engage online are making a difference in the way Indonesian society communicates about topics ranging from the environment and human rights to political issues, culture, fashion, and academic material.

The government, online businesses, and consumers all share a responsibility for protecting freedom of expression and freedom of information on the Internet. As co-chair of the NetFreedom Taskforce with Under Secretary for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs Robert Hormats, I was pleased to learn about how Indonesia's bloggers use the online space to express their views and advocate for change in their country through a conducive internet environment. It was helpful to listen to their views and look for more ways to engage together.

Indonesian citizens' active involvement in social media demonstrates how civil society can promote good governance and protect freedom of expression. Of course, as in any country, we must be mindful of threats to such freedoms. The bloggers at the meeting described the Indonesian social media response to a draft law on multimedia content that would form a government committee with the potential to censor online content. The bloggers voiced their objection to the draft law, citing that it would limit freedom of expression online. Fortunately, in response to online protests, President Yudhoyono put a hold on the law. The social media activism and response by the President signify the importance of partnership between government and society when securing the freedom of expression on the Internet. I am encouraged by the lively internet activism in Indonesia, and am grateful to the bloggers and government officials who are committed to protecting freedom of speech.

Under Secretary Otero traveled to Indonesia, May 16-21, to meet with civil society, non-governmental organizations, and senior government officials to discuss global issues on which the two countries can partner. As Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, MarĂ­a Otero oversees U.S. foreign policy on democracy, human rights, population, refugee, health, and environment issues.


erdysays said...

nice review... thx for this information

H. Nizam said...

Thank you for dropping by.

umihoney said...

this is good for for your country.

colson said...

Only in the Indonesian archipelago, Antarctica and the Amazon area there are still spots where humans haven't damaged or destroyed nature.

It's both a unique chance and a huge responsibility for the countries involved to keep it that way.

colson said...

O sorry, my entry belongs to the previous post.

As for "Bloggers ..." I like to say that I of course agree with the positive outcome f the two examples you gave.

Yet, it isn't hard to think of possibilities that this new medium for the 'vox populi' may do harm. Every now and then for instance some "canard'( that is false news) pops up on internet and bloggers usually don't write according to the principle of check and counter-check.

H. Nizam said...

Tt is good as long as online activists would express their thoughts merely based the best interest of the country.

On the one hand we love to maintain our nature i.e. forest, as it is.
But on the other hand, employment should created, and one of the way is by developing commercial plantations. For which purpose forest should be sacrificed.
If the forestry law is implemented and enforced the effect would not be so bad.

On bloggers:
I agree with you that sometimes we bloggers don't double check the accuracy of news. I believe that this is mostly caused by the fact that most bloggers have no knowledge about mass communication.

andee said...

good blog...

H. Nizam said...

I am glad that you like my blog.

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

It shows the power of people and the internet. Bloggers have a great influence globally, and are disliked and feared in China. Great to see the positive affects on Indonesian society.Indonesia is slowly emerging into the light. Great stuff!