Jakarta. Jakarta ranked at the bottom of the list of tolerant cities in Indonesia, due to a rise in religion-based identity politics prior to, during and after this year’s gubernatorial election, research by human rights group, the Setara Institute, showed on Thursday (16/11).
The 2017 Index of Tolerant Cities is based on a study carried out in 94 cities nationwide between November 2016 and October 2017. The study looked at each local government’s efforts to promote and practice tolerance, and cities were awarded scores from 1 to 7, with the higher number indicating more tolerance.
Jakarta scored 2.30, with researchers citing incidents involving violations of religious freedom, along with a lack of an adequate response and action by the local authorities to resolve these issues, as factors contributing to the Indonesian capital’s significant drop on the list.
Jakarta ranked 64th out of 94 cities in a similar study the Setara Institute conducted in 2015.
Jakarta is joined at the bottom of the list by Banda Aceh (Aceh), Bogor (West Java) Cilegon (Banten), Depok (West Java) and Yogyakarta.
Halili, a researcher at the Setara Institute, said the study takes into account city regulations, government action, social regulations and religious demography.
In terms of religious demography, heterogeneity indicates higher levels of tolerance.
However, Setara Institute vice chairman Bonar Tigor Naipospos said the study also looks into each government’s efforts in embracing different segments of the population and fostering respect between diverse groups.
Topping the list of most tolerant cities in the archipelago are Manado (North Sulawesi), Pematangsiantar (North Sumatra), Salatiga (Central Java), Singkawang (West Kalimantan) and Tual (Maluku), all of which equally scored 5.90.
Tigor said the study seeks to highlight Indonesian cities that have made considerable efforts to promote tolerance.
“We hope this study can be used as a reference for further evaluation and planning of future government policies and programs, so that they can continue to push and promote tolerance,” he said.
He emphasized that the study seeks to serve as a reference for assessment by the Ministry of Home Affairs and city governments.
The study recommends President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to consider establishing a pilot project on the implementation of the Pancasila state ideology, which includes encouraging city governments to adopt conducive policy standards that foster growth and development of tolerant values.
Furthermore, the Setara Institute also encouraged city governments to ensure peaceful coexistence among different groups, adopting policies that are based on principles of equal treatment and actively engaging to reduce discriminative policies and prevent violations of religious freedom.