The #BersihIndonesia Coalition protested in front of the offices of the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) in Central Jakarta on Jan. 15 against corruption in the coal industry. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Action Against 'Coalruption'
BY : YUDHA BASKORO
JANUARY 21, 2019
The #BersihIndonesia Coalition, initiated by a group of nongovernmental organizations, staged a protest in front of the offices of the Elections Supervisory Agency, or Bawaslu, in Central Jakarta on Jan. 15 to urge the candidates in this year's presidential election to end corrupt practices in the country's coal industry.
Protesters donned rat masks and used wads of replica banknotes to portray alleged corrupt behavior by Indonesian politicians.
The coalition, comprised of members of environmental activist group Greenpeace, natural resources and environmental conservation group Auriga, the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) and Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), claims that political corruption in the coal industry business has negatively impacted people's rights to clean air and a healthy environment, based on a joint report titled "Coalruption: Elite Politics in the Coal Business Vortex."
The report states that corruption has become a major source of funding for both the election campaigns of the incumbent, Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and his challenger, Prabowo Subianto, and that this allows certain interest groups to override the government both on a central and regional level.
Many countries have reduced their dependency on coal in recent years, but Indonesia still predominantly relies on nonrenewable energy sources. This has seen output from the country's coal mines increase above 500 million metric tons last year, well above the target of 406 million tons set out in the 2015-2019 National Medium-Term Development Plan.