Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat

Dr. Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat is a journalist and academician from Indonesia. He is currently a lecturer at Universitas Islam Indonesia and a research associate at Jakarta-based Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF). Muhammad holds a B.A. in International Affairs from Qatar University, as well as an M.A. and Ph.D in Politics from the University of Manchester in the UK. As an academic, his research focuses on China/Indonesia-Middle East relations. Meanwhile, as a journalist, he works on Indonesian politics and disability issues. Dr. Rakhmat is also the founder and CEO of Sekolabilitas, an Indonesia-based NGO dedicated to assisting children with disabilities in accessing education.

Indonesia’s Policy Over Travel Leads to Confusion for Eid

Indonesia has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. At the time of publishing, there have been more than 19,000 confirmed cases and over 1,200 deaths. Due to a lack of testing — just 776 people per 1 million in a country with a population of 268 million — the number of infections is believed to be much higher. Now, Indonesians are concerned as Eid al-Fitr — the Islamic festival... Continue Reading

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Indonesia-UAE Relations Strengthen Amid COVID-19

On April 28, the United Arab Emirates sent 20 tons of medical aids for the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus in Indonesia. This equipment is expected to help around 20,000 medical personnel in dealing with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. While the assistance was just the latest in a series of such initiatives, it nonetheless puts the spotlight on Indonesia’s... Continue Reading

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Coronavirus Makes Indonesians Get Online

At the time of publishing, around 9,800 Indonesians are confirmed to have contracted the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Although the central government had been slow in enforcing self-quarantine measures, the hashtag #dirumahaja (or #WorkFromHome) is trending on social media as more people are staying indoors. Rohingya Refugee Camps Are the Next Frontline in COVID-19... Continue Reading

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Will Jokowi’s New Cabinet Bring Change to Indonesia?

On October 20, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Maruf Amin were officially sworn in as the president and vice president of Indonesia after winning the election in April. Three days later, President Jokowi officially installed his new cabinet. The figures in the new cabinet come from various circles: politics, business and academia. Its composition is different from the previous cabinet, with more... Continue Reading

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How Indonesia Can Prevent Forest Fires

In recent weeks, Indonesia has been in the headlines due to forest fires. Having spread throughout the country in Southeast Asia, the regions of Jambi, South Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi have been severely affected while Riau Province has been the worst hit. According to the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), the first eight months of 2019 alone saw nearly 329,000 hectares of... Continue Reading

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Indonesia Needs to Negotiate with China

The outcome of the election may be unclear, but the next president of Indonesia should take notes on how to do business with China. On April 17, Indonesians went to the polls to vote for a new president. Although the official result will be announced in May, “quick counts” by polling companies — which have proved correct in in the past — reveal that incumbent President Joko Widodo is... Continue Reading

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Indonesia Is Spending Big on Infrastructure

With an election on the horizon, President Jokowi needs to justify his spending on Indonesia’s infrastructure. On April 17, Indonesians will head to the polls for a presidential election. To help choose the best person for the job, election debates have been held between the two candidates, President Joko Widodo and former General Prabowo Subianto. The latest debate, which took place on... Continue Reading

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Asian Para Games Can Bring Change to Indonesia

The Asian Para Games can bring change to Indonesia so it can be more friendly to people with disabilities. The 2018 Asian Para Games is currently taking place in Jakarta. The multi-sport event is held every four years for athletes with physical disabilities. A total of 2,762 athletes with special needs from 43 countries compete in 18 different sports. During the opening ceremony of the... Continue Reading

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Indonesia Needs to Educate on Natural Disasters

After another earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, it is clear that people are not taught what to do in the event of natural disasters. Indonesia has once again been hit by a natural disaster. On September 28, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake followed by a tsunami struck the cities of Palu and Donggala on the island of Sulawesi. At the time of publishing, at least 1,424 people died, with thousands... Continue Reading

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This Is What Indonesia Needs

As Indonesians brace themselves for another election in 2019, they must stop politicizing religion and identity. In Southeast Asia, Indonesia is set to hold its presidential election in April 2019. Citizens will choose a candidate to lead the nation until 2024, and the excitement can be felt among the people. The candidates include incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and the former... Continue Reading

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