Document Type

Journal Article


President Soeharto’s resignation on May 1998 came as a result of intense dissatisfaction with his management of the economy and public dissatisfaction with rent-seeking activities of his family and cronies. The resignation ushered in a heady period of reformasi or reform, marked by a euphoric return to democratic national elections in 1999 and legislation which sought to write reform into national politics and governance. The Press Act of 23 September 1999, electoral reform, the abolition of the Department of Information and the creation of new independent watchdog bodies were part of a process which placed the rule of law and accountability to the public centre stage in Indonesia. In the five years since the 1999 national elections, however, conservative political and cultural forces have resorted to litigation and law and order rhetoric to slow down and even reverse the reform agenda. In this article the process of reform resistance through legal deadweighting is documented and explored in an examination of an excessive resort to judicial remedies brought against the work of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission in its first period of office.