Thursday, July 25, 2024 | 23:58 WIB

The Malang Tragedy, And What It Reveals About Indonesia

James Van Zorge
James Van Zorge, A business consultant in Indonesia who has worked for the Harvard Institute for International Development, Food and Agriculture Organization, McKinsey & Co., and A.T.Kearney’s Global Business Policy Institute. He completed his BA Degree in International Relations, summa cum laude, at the State University of New York at Albany, and he holds a Masters of Public Policy, International Economics, from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Given the fact the human rights office had previously issued a detailed report finding that possible crimes against humanity occurred against Uighurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim minority groups residing in Xinjiang, one would reasonably expect most countries would have supported the motion. 

Yet it was not to be the case when, out of the council’s 47 member states, 19 rejected the motion while another 17 voted in favor and 11 abstained. 

The usual suspects, such as North Korea, Pakistan and China’s client states in Africa, took sides with Beijing. More interesting, however, was that the Persian Gulf states of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates rejected the motion. Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim-denominated population in the world and has constantly professed its support for its Muslim bretheren in places such as Palestine, also helped Beijing win its case by not taking any sides when it abstained. 

Read: Safe Abortion in Indonesia? Looking at the Government and the DPR

By locking down votes in its favor Beijing has once again shown the world how its commercial ties can be leveraged when it comes to politics. Undoubtedly if it were any other country besides China news of possible human rights abuses against Muslims would have resulted in the Islamic world quickly condemning the accused country and demands for justice. But for Indonesia, whose principles have been compromised by politics, this was not to be the case when it came to the controversial issue on the fate of Muslims in Xinjiang.