New test looms for Indonesian democracy

Malaysia's shock election results are a reminder of how far Indonesians have moved on since the fall of Suharto

The overthrow of the Barisan Nasional government in Malaysia was no less dramatic for having been constitutional and peaceful. More than 60 years of federal rule associated with the coalition were erased overnight when the Pakatan Harapan team sprung a largely unexpected victory over a government that had come to believe that it was invincible. This was democracy in action.

There is a sense of deja vu for many Indonesians who recall the events of 1998, when the seemingly impossible too occurred in their country, with the downfall of then President Suharto.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2018, with the headline 'New test looms for Indonesian democracy'. Print Edition | Subscribe