TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - An Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) research report concluded that ethnicity, religion, and race (SARA) issues were amplified as the issue is being capitalized and manipulated by the country’s political elites.
“A LIPI poll result showed that SARA issues are not too significant in the grass roots level. The SARA issue outbreak during the Jakarta Gubernatorial Election happened because of the tendency that issue was manipulated and capitalized by political elites,” said LIPI researcher Professor Dr. Syarif Hidayat in a LIPI event in Jakarta today.
The poll was conducted on 145 experts in politics, economics, social issues, culture, and human rights that were spread across 11 provinces from April 2018 to July 2018. The poll itself was a part of a program attempting to map the domestic political, economic, socio-cultural, and security defenses.
According to the professor, the results of the poll shows that the public persecution that happened lately among Indonesia’s society was caused by the spread of hoax information (92.4 percent), hate speech (90.4 percent), radicalism (84.2 percent), social discrepancy (75.2 percent), and religious aspects (67.6 percent).
The percentage showed by the report strongly suggests that the existence of SARA issues are not too significant in the grass root level and is mainly a product of political elite’s politicizing strategy.
Professor Syarif said that the solution to manage SARA issues and prevent it from spreading even wider is to control the behavior of Indonesia’s political elites. He also warned elites to return to traditional political strategies rather than exploiting SARA as it can cause horizontal conflicts.