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Gerindra politician says it's natural to use sectarianism, identity politics

Kumparan News - August 20, 2018

Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) Deputy Chairperson Ferry Juliantono says that it is natural to use identity politics in general elections because in several countries, identity politics are one of the considerations in choosing a leader.

"[The use of] issues of religion, ethnicity and race are natural in other countries, it's common to use SARA [ethnic, religion, race, inter-group inspired conflicts] in every country", said Juliantono during a discussion on the national political landscape post the official registration of presidential and vice presidential candidates for the 2019 elections which was held at the Pakarti Center on Jl. Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta on Monday August 20.

Juliantono gave America as an example of a country that often uses identity politics.

"The most relevant country in the use of identity politics is America, how Donald Trump uses the issue of immigration, ethnicity, religion, and inter-group [conflicts] and in the end makes the policies of regional heads", he said.

According to Juliantono, Indonesia has multi-coloured identities. He hopes therefore that Indonesian society can look at identity politics such as those in America where they are capable of evaluating them wisely.

"Our [recent] regional elections were ridden with identity politics but it wasn't a problem because over there (American) society also looks at identity politics wisely", said Juliantono.

Furthermore, according to Juliantono identity politics has again raised it head in Indonesia after former Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama was jailed on blasphemy charges.

"The climax was Basuki as a regional head who ventured into the realm of other people's religion. There primordialism surfaced and became protests and demonstrations. I think that there, identity themes reemerged", said the Gerindra politician.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "Gerindra: Di Semua Negara Isu SARA Lazim Digunakan".]

Source: https://kumparan.com/@kumparannews/gerindra-di-semua-negara-isu-sara-lazim-digunakan

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