Domestic tourism soars in China but foreigners stay away

BBC/KATHERINA TSE A popular thing to do in Wuzhen is to pose for photos dressed in traditional hanfu clothing
A popular thing to do in Wuzhen is pose for photos dressed in traditional hanfu clothing

With the Chinese economy facing massive challenges, there have been concerns over its growth potential, at least in the immediate future.

Yet a key exception is emerging in the form of domestic tourism.

Last week’s five-day public holiday to mark labour day saw 295 million trips made within China, according to figures from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. This was 28% higher than pre-pandemic figures recorded in 2019.

The Transport Ministry’s figures are also staggering: 92 million rail trips; almost 10 million air trips and 1.25 billion highway journeys.

However, this comes as international arrivals continue to lag, with foreigners currently entering China at barely 30% of 2019 levels. Why the disparity?

The beautiful historical river town of Wuzhen, a short drive from Shanghai, is considered one of China’s top visitor sites for travellers of all types. When we arrive the little pathways and old bridges which cross narrow waterways are filled with visitors.

A popular thing to do in Wuzhen is to pose for photos dressed in traditional hanfu clothing – as if you have really been transported back hundreds of years.

Two women in their 20s, friends since high school, are visiting from Jilin Province in the north east. After arriving, they spend an hour getting their hair done in an elaborate imperial-era style – and they are full of praise for Wuzhen’s classical beauty.

We ask if, following the post-Covid opening up, many of their family and other friends have been travelling much? “Of course, after the pandemic, we’re all visiting other places.”

Nearby a local man who is selling ice-creams also says tourist numbers are “not that bad lately”.

As good as before Covid? “Almost the same,” he replies.

Shopkeeper Wang Ying, who sells traditional snacks, echoes this sentiment with a big smile on her face. “Business is going well, and it’ll only get better.”

BBC/KATHERINA TSE Wuzhen is considered one of China's top visitor sites
Wuzhen is considered one of China’s top visitor sites

All this will be seen as good news for the Chinese government. It’s been saying that a push on domestic consumption can counter the significant faltering portions of the economy.

Major players in the once-mighty property sector are struggling to stay afloat, local government debt continues to rise, and persistent youth unemployment has left highly qualified university graduates uncertain of their future.

Amid all these challenges, the Communist Party has set a target of “around 5%” GDP growth for this year. Apart from the fact that analysts have long questioned the veracity of the country’s official growth figures, economists are also asking how such a target can be reached, in any genuine sense, in 2024 without significant extra stimulus.

One lifeline could be a more buoyant travel scene which could bring broader business opportunities and greater service industry employment.

Schubert Lou, chief operating officer at travel agency, told the BBC: “We’ve seen very strong domestic travel demand with search volumes in hotels up 67% compared to last year, and flight volumes up 80%.”

Tourism industry consultant Peng Han from Travel Daily is following the investment trail to see how the business community really views the possibilities in the sector.

“With famous international hotel brands – like Intercontinental, Marriott and Hilton – you just have to look at their growth in China in 2023,” he says. “Then check the performance goals for these large hotel groups in 2024 which have also been set relatively high. This shows that they are very optimistic about the growth potential of the Chinese market.”

But, while the volume of local travellers might be up, Mr Peng does point to the problem of per capita consumption which remains persistently low.

He says general uncertainty about the Chinese economy is putting more emphasis on saving, so people are looking for good value options. They are going on holidays and paying for things but doing so much more frugally.

This is where an increase in big-spending foreigners could help. But they are simply not travelling to China in the numbers they used to.

In 2019, nearly 98 million international visitors came to the country. Last year it was only 35 million – including business trips, students and the like. Mr Lou describes the domestic versus international market as “uneven”.

For many in the tourism industry here specialising in services for foreign travellers, “uneven” would be an understatement. Three years of harsh Covid prevention measures drove down arrivals from other countries, but that alone can’t account for the current situation.

Huang Songshan, the head of the Centre for Tourism Research in the School of Business and Law at Australia’s Edith Cowan University, blames this weakness in part to “the shifting geopolitical landscape globally”.

Getty Images Chinese performer
China’s culture and heritage has traditionally been a big draw for tourists

In the peer-reviewed East Asia Forum, he pointed to a 2023 survey carried out by the Pew Research Centre, writing that, “Most individuals in Western nations hold unfavourable views towards China. The Chinese government’s tightening grip on societal regulations could potentially cause discomfort for foreign travellers in China.”

Official travel advice from some governments echo this sentiment, at times quite harshly.

Washington warns potential travellers to “reconsider travel to Mainland China due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions”.

Australia advises “a high degree of caution” warning that “Australians may be at risk of arbitrary detention or harsh enforcement of local laws, including broadly defined National Security Laws”.

The political environment has also taken a toll on flight availability and price. This is especially the case with connections to and from North America. Last month’s 332 scheduled round trips between China and the US contrasts with 1,506 in April 2019.

As a result, finding a seat on a direct flight can be extremely difficult and those that are available are very expensive.

President Xi Jinping made a speech at a dinner on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in San Francisco last November addressing this point. “Today, President Biden and I reached important consensus,” he told the crowd.

“Our two countries will roll out more measures to facilitate travels and promote people-to-people exchanges, including increasing direct passenger flights, holding a high-level dialogue on tourism, and streamlining visa application procedures. We hope that our two peoples will make more visits, contacts and exchanges and write new stories of friendship in the new era.”

Washington has since increased the number of Chinese airline flights permitted to land – but only from 35 per week to 50. It is still well short of the 150 weekly trips pre-Covid.

The Biden administration is coming under pressure from unions and US airlines to not increase this any further because, they argue, Chinese airlines have an unfair advantage over them as they have state support; don’t face the same onerous Chinese regulations; and, crucially, can fly over Russian airspace, making trips shorter and cheaper.

A letter to the US government from the Chair of the House Committee on China, Mike Gallagher, and the committee’s top Democrat representative, Raja Krishnamoorthi, reads: “Should the US-China passenger carrier market expand without the US government addressing these significant issues, US aviation workers, travellers and airlines will pay a hefty price tag.”

Mr Lou says the frequency of international flight connections is definitely having an impact.

“What we are seeing right now, based on civil aviation data, is that inbound flight capacity won’t get back to even 80% of 2019 [levels] by the end of 2024.”

Then there are other potential turnoffs for those considering travelling in China, like the country’s state-of-the-art phone app payment and booking systems which work very smoothly for Chinese citizens and residents, but which can be an enormous headache if you have just arrived.

There are certain sites, transport options, and purchases which can only be accessed via Chinese electronic apps which are, at times, only available in Chinese.

Professor Chen Yong at Switzerland’s EHL Hospitality Business School is an authority on the economics of tourism in China. He thinks that hurdles relating to payment and booking apps can pose a real problem.

“Technologies such as social network websites, online maps, payment apps, among others, which foreigners have long been accustomed to using, are either unavailable or inaccessible when they travel to China,” he says.

“On the other hand, there are Chinese alternatives to these technologies that remain inaccessible to foreigners due to language barriers and differences in user habits. We need to bridge this divide because it affects the tourist industry badly.”

Back in Wuzhen, the presence of international travellers is much smaller than in years gone by, but there are still a few foreign faces in the crowd.

An Italian couple says the process of linking up to and using China’s payment apps was a challenge but that it was not insurmountable, though they add, with a laugh, that it is “much, much, much easier” if you have a Chinese friend to help you.

BBC/KATHERINA TSE Woman and child pose for selfies
Chinese officials have acknowledged that the foreign traveller numbers have been low but they are trying to turn this around

Eliseo, from California, says he has had problems making payments to small vendors who don’t accept credit cards and really no longer deal with cash. Another hurdle for him has been his bank at home which has blocked some payments, flagging them as potentially fraudulent coming from China.

Chinese officials have acknowledged that the foreign traveller numbers have been low but they are now trying to turn this around.

One way they’re attempting to attract more foreign visitors is by increasing the number of countries whose citizens don’t need a visa to enter. says this resulted in an almost immediate increase in passenger arrivals from Southeast Asia.

In 23 Chinese cities, transit passengers from more than 50 countries are also able to stay for a few days visa free if they have an onward ticket. In Shanghai, hotels above a three-star level have been told that they should prepare to deal with international credit cards and an initial batch of 50 taxis have also started accepting them.

However, Professor Chen says “it would be too optimistic to envision a long-term growth in China’s inbound tourism”.

“The key is to establish a culture that puts service providers in the shoes of foreign tourists. They should imagine themselves being a foreigner who can’t speak or read Chinese and who doesn’t have a Chinese mobile number, payments apps and so on.”

He says that the culture around this can’t be changed overnight.

Yet, in places like Wuzhen – where the local travellers have already returned – the tourism companies are hoping that incredible sites like theirs will eventually be too much for foreigners to resist as well.

UN rights chief ‘horrified’ by mass grave reports at Gaza hospitals

Reuters Palestinian civil defence workers dig mounds of earth in the grounds of Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip (21 April 2024)ReutersPalestinian workers are exhuming bodies at Nasser hospital with shovels because they have no heavy machinery

The UN’s human rights chief has said he is “horrified” by the destruction of Gaza’s Nasser and al-Shifa hospitals and the reports of “mass graves” being found at the sites after Israeli raids.

Volker Türk called for independent investigations into the deaths.

Palestinian officials said they had exhumed the bodies of almost 300 people at Nasser. It is not clear how they died or when they were buried.

Israel’s military said claims that it buried bodies there were “baseless”.

But it did say that during a two-week operation at the hospital in the city of Khan Younis in February, troops “examined” bodies buried by Palestinians “in places where intelligence indicated the possible presence of hostages”.

Ten hostages who have now been released have said that they were held at Nasser hospital for long periods during their captivity.

Prior to the Israeli operation at Nasser, staff there had said they were being forced to bury bodies in the hospital’s courtyard because nearby fighting prevented access to cemeteries. There were similar reports from al-Shifa before the first Israeli raid on the hospital took place in November.

The Israeli military has said it has raided a number of hospitals in Gaza during the war because Hamas fighters have been operating inside them – a claim Hamas and medical officials have denied.

The war began when Hamas gunmen carried out an unprecedented cross-border attack on southern Israel on 7 October, killing about 1,200 people – mostly civilians – and taking 253 others back to Gaza as hostages.

More than 34,180 people – most of them children and women – have been killed in Gaza since then, the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry says.

A spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office said it was currently working on corroborating reports from Palestinian officials that 283 bodies had been found in Nasser hospital’s grounds, including 42 which had been identified.

“Victims had reportedly been buried deep in the ground and covered with waste,” Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva.

“Among the deceased were allegedly older people, women and wounded, while others… were found with their hands tied and stripped of their clothes.”

Mr Türk called for independent, effective and transparent investigations into the deaths, adding: “Given the prevailing climate of impunity, this should include international investigators.”

“Hospitals are entitled to very special protection under international humanitarian law. And the intentional killing of civilians, detainees, and others who are hors de combat [not participating in hostilities] is a war crime.”

On Monday, a spokesman for the Hamas-run Civil Defense force told BBC Arabic’s Gaza Today programme that it had received reports from local Palestinians that the bodies of a “large number” of people who had been killed during the war and buried in a makeshift cemetery in the hospital’s courtyard were moved to another location during the Israeli raid.

“After research and investigation, we learned that the occupation [Israeli] army had established a mass grave, pulled out the bodies that were in Nasser hospital, and buried them in this mass grave,” Mahmoud Basal said.

Gaza Today also spoke to a man who said he was searching there for the bodies of two male relatives which he alleged had been taken by Israeli troops during Israel’s recently concluded offensive in Khan Younis.

“After I had buried them in an apartment, the [Israelis] came and moved their bodies,” he said. “Every day we search for their bodies, but we fail to find them.”

Hamas has alleged that the bodies include people “executed in cold blood” by Israeli forces, without providing evidence.

Contains some violence and disturbing scenes.BBC Verify authenticates video from key moments in the story of Nasser Medical Complex in Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement on Tuesday: “The claim that the IDF buried Palestinian bodies is baseless and unfounded.”

“During the IDF’s operation in the area of Nasser Hospital, in accordance to the effort to locate hostages and missing persons, corpses buried by Palestinians in the area of Nasser hospital were examined.

“The examination was conducted in a careful manner and exclusively in places where intelligence indicated the possible presence of hostages. The examination was carried out respectfully while maintaining the dignity of the deceased. Bodies examined, which did not belong to Israeli hostages, were returned to their place.”

The IDF said that its forces had detained “about 200 terrorists who were in the hospital” during the raid, and that they found ammunition as well as unused medicines intended for Israeli hostages.

It also insisted that the raid was carried out “in a targeted manner and without harming the hospital, the patients and the medical staff”.

However, three medical staff told the BBC last month that they were humiliated, beaten, doused with cold water, and forced to kneel for hours after being detained during the raid.

Medics who remained at Nasser after the Israeli takeover said they were unable to care for patients and that 13 died because of conditions there, including a lack of water, electricity and other supplies.

Reuters Palestinian officials tape off the courtyard of al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City as workers search for human remains (8 April 2024)ReutersThe UN Human Rights Office said it had received reports that 30 bodies were buried in the courtyard of al-Shifa hospital

On 1 April, Israeli troops withdrew from al-Shifa hospital, which is in Gaza City, following what the IDF said was another “precise” operation carried out in response to intelligence that Hamas had regrouped there.

The IDF said at the time that 200 “terrorists” were killed in and around the hospital during the two-week raid. More than 500 others were detained, and weapons and intelligence were found “throughout the hospital”, it added.

After a mission gained access to the facility five days later, the World Health Organization (WHO) said al-Shifa was “now an empty shell”, with most of the buildings extensively damaged or destroyed, and the majority of equipment unusable or reduced to ashes.

It also said that “numerous shallow graves” had been dug just outside the emergency department, and the administrative and surgical buildings, and that “many dead bodies were partially buried with their limbs visible”.

The IDF also said it had avoided harm to patients at al-Shifa. But the WHO cited the acting hospital director as saying patients were held in abysmal conditions during the siege, and that at least 20 patients reportedly died due to a lack of access to care and limited movement authorised for medics.

Spokeswoman Ms Shamdasani said reports seen by the UN human rights office suggested that a total of 30 bodies were buried in the two graves and that 12 of them had been identified so far.

Gaza’s civil defence spokesman told CNN on 9 April that 381 bodies had been recovered from the vicinity of al-Shifa, but that the figure did not include people buried in the hospital’s grounds.

The UN human rights chief also deplored as “beyond warfare” a series of Israeli strikes on the southern city of Rafah in the past few days, which he said had killed mostly women and children.

The strikes included one on Saturday night, after which a premature baby was delivered from the womb of her pregnant mother, who was killed along with her husband and other daughter.

Mr Türk also again warned against a full-scale Israeli ground assault on Rafah, where 1.5 million displaced civilians are sheltering, saying it would lead to further breaches of international humanitarian law and human rights law.

Di balik aksi demo di depan kantor ICW, Kontras, dan LBH – Rasisme atau intimidasi terkait tuduhan kecurangan pemilu?

Massa Forum Masyarakat Pemuda Mahasiswa Timur Cinta NKRI membakar ban dan membawa poster saat aksi unjuk rasa di Kantor Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), Jakarta, Senin (26/2).
Keterangan gambar,Massa Forum Masyarakat Pemuda Mahasiswa Timur Cinta NKRI membakar ban dan membawa poster saat aksi unjuk rasa di Kantor Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), Jakarta, Senin (26/2).

Beberapa unjuk rasa yang digelar sejumlah orang yang menyebut diri mereka ‘Pemuda Mahasiswa Timur Cinta NKRI’ di depan kantor lembaga swadaya masyarakat Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), Kontras, dan LBH Jakarta, diduga terkait dugaan kecurangan Pemilu 2024. Kubu Prabowo Subianto membantah pihaknya berada di balik unjuk rasa tersebut.

Mereka juga sempat berencana melakukan demo di depan kantor Lokataru, namun batal setelah dibubarkan aparat kepolisian.

Dalam aksi-aksinya, massa yang menyebut diri mereka sebagai ‘Pemuda Mahasiswa Timur Cinta NKRI’ itu menuduh LSM-LSM itu melakukan apa yang mereka sebut sebagai “rasisme”.

Dilaporkan pula bahwa mereka mengutuk apa yang mereka klaim sebagai “gerakan pemakzulan Jokowi” dan meminta warga Indonesia untuk menerima hasil Pemilu 14 Februari 2024.

Soal tuduhan adanya rasisme, aktivis ICW mengaku tidak pernah melakukannya. Mereka juga menganggap para pendemo tidak dapat membuktikan tudingan itu.

Adapun pimpinan Lokataru Foundation menduga aksi tersebut berhubungan dengan sikap Lokataru yang selama ini sering menyuarakan dugaan kecurangan pemilu.

Siapa di balik unjuk rasa di depan kantor LSM?

Delpedro Marhaen, Direktur Eksekutif dari Lokataru Foundation, mengatakan tujuan utama dari aksi tandingan berhubungan dengan apa yang telah dilakukan oleh LSM seperti Lokataru, ICW, dan Kontras.

Alasannya, mereka sering menyuarakan isu kecurangan pemilu dan mengkritik situasi politik saat ini.

Wana Alamsyah, Koordinator Divisi Pengelolaan ICW, mengatakan bahwa pihaknya menduga ada pihak yang dengan sengaja ‘mengorkestrasi’ gerakan mahasiswa tersebut dengan dalih rasisme.

“Kami menduga bahwa memang ada upaya untuk membenturkan antar-kelompok warga. Karena kalau sebelumnya intimidasi dan teror itu selalu dilakukan oleh aparat keamanan. Yang mana sangat mudah untuk dideteksi dan sangat mudah untuk dikritisi.

“Tapi ketika ada kelompok warga yang berseberangan, substansi yang disampaikan serta maksud dan tujuannya belum terlalu jelas,” ungkap Wana kepada BBC News Indonesia.

Hal ini ia katakan karena ketika forum mahasiswa mendatangi kantor ICW pada Senin (26/02) siang dengan membawa spanduk-spanduk, menyampaikan orasi dan membakar ban, mereka tidak mampu memberikan bukti pernyataan rasisme tersebut dan menutup diri dari ajakan berdialog.

“Karena menurut mereka ICW enggak perlu klarifikasi. Padahal, tuntutan utamanya mereka adalah ICW harus klarifikasi, jadi kami pun juga mempertanyakan maksud dan tujuan mereka kemari,” ungkapnya.

Apa reaksi kubu Prabowo Subianto?

Tak hanya ICW, kelompok mahasiswa tersebut juga sempat mendatangi sejumlah LSM, seperti LBH Jakarta dan Kontras. Bahkan mereka berencana melakukan demo di depan kantor Lokataru, namun batal setelah massa dibubarkan aparat.

Dalam salinan pernyataan sikap tertulis Forum Masyarakat Pemuda Mahasiswa Indonesia Timur Cinta NKRI disebutkan salah satu tuntutan mereka adalah meminta pihak LBH, Kontras, dan Lokataru agar segera mengklarifikasi pernyataan rasisme.

Kelompok itu juga mengutuk gerakan pemakzulan dan meminta warga Indonesia untuk menerima hasil Pemilu 14 Februari 2024.

Sementara, TKN Prabowo-Gibran mengaku demo mahasiswa tersebut tidak ada hubungannya dengan mereka serta menyatakan bahwa perkara pemilu sebaiknya diserahkan pada lembaga-lembaga berwenang, seperti Bawaslu dan Mahkamah Konstitusi.

“Jadi produk perundang-undangan itu sebagai sebuah lembaga negara ditaati saja. Dialihkan ke sana [lembaga berwenang]. Kalau kemudian beberapa mahasiswa melakukan demo, apa maksudnya karena saya juga tidak mengerti,” kata Direktur juru bicara Tim Kampanye Nasional (TKN) Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka, Viva Yoga Mauladi

Menurut catatan Amnesty International Indonesia, sejak masa kampanye hingga sehari sebelum pemilu pada 14 Februari, terdapat sekitar 16 kasus serangan yang menyasar setidaknya 34 pembela HAM yang kritis terhadap pemerintah, baik berupa laporan ke polisi, intimidasi maupun serangan fisik.

Ketua Badan Pengawas Pemilihan Umum (Bawaslu), Rahmat Bagja, mengatakan bahwa segala tindakan yang “mengancam kebebasan berbicara, berekspresi dan menyatakan pendapat di Indonesia” merupakan tindakan pidana dan tidak boleh dibiarkan.

‘Pesannya sama, agar kami tidak kritis’

Delpedro Marhaen, Direktur Eksekutif dari Lokataru Foundation, salah satu LSM yang disebut oleh kelompok mahasiswa Timur, membantah tuduhan bahwa pihaknya mengeluarkan pernyataan rasisme.

“Tidak ada satupun aktivitas atau kegiatan baik pernyataan publikasi atau apapun yang disampaikan Lokataru yang mengarah pada kata-kata atau tindakan rasis kepada kelompok mereka ataupun kepada masyarakat Indonesia Timur secara luas,” katanya.

Ia mengatakan Lokataru menduga ada upaya pergeseran yang dilakukan kelompok yang mengaku Forum Masyarakat Pemuda Mahasiswa Timur Cinta NKRI.

Sebab, mereka mengidentifikasi tiga anggota yang pernah melakukan pembubaran diskusi Tolak Pemilu Curang di Universitas Trilogi awal Februari lalu.

“Kemudian setelah peristiwa tersebut, kelompok ini juga yang melakukan unjuk rasa di LBH dua kali dan juga di Kontras dua kali. Jadi total kalau di Kontras tiga kali, di LBH sudah empat kali. Kemudian di ICW sekali,” ujar Delpedro.

Sejumlah orang yang mengatasnamakan Forum Masyarakat Pemuda Mahasiswa Timur Cinta NKRI hadir di depan kantor ICW yang dijaga oleh polisi.
Keterangan gambar,Sejumlah orang yang mengatasnamakan Forum Masyarakat Pemuda Mahasiswa Timur Cinta NKRI hadir di depan kantor ICW yang dijaga oleh polisi.

Menurut Delpedro, tujuan utama dari aksi tandingan berhubungan dengan apa yang telah dilakukan oleh LSM seperti Lokataru, ICW dan Kontras. Karena mereka sering menyuarakan isu kecurangan pemilu dan mengkritik situasi politik saat ini.

“Setelah kami identifikasi, ternyata ada tiga orang simpatisan atau pendukung dari Prabowo Subianto dan Gibran Rakabuming Raka. Kami menemukan video dan juga dokumentasi-dokumentasi soal dukungan mereka,” jelas Delpedro.

Direktur juru bicara TKN Prabowo-Gibran, Viva Yoga Mauladi, menegaskan bahwa demo mahasiswa tidak ada hubungannya dengan TKN. Ia juga menyatakan LSM tidak boleh dibungkam karena mereka berperan dalam proses peningkatan kualitas demokrasi

“Makanya saya tidak mengerti juga demo-demo begitu. Biarlah nanti kalau itu memang menganggu ketertiban biar polisi. Tapi kemudian jangan membuat framing bahwa itu dikaitkan dengan TKN Prabowo-Gibran, tidak benar itu,” ujarnya kepada BBC News Indonesia.

Wakil Koordinator Kontras, Andi Rezaldy, mengatakan bahwa tekanan-tekanan yang mengarah pada pihak-pihak kritis dapat dimaknai sebagai upaya melemahkan LSM dengan cara membuat “narasi antagonistik” terhadap organisasi masyarakat sipil.

“Rentetan peristiwa dalam beberapa waktu belakangan, menunjukan sepertinya secara psikologis ada kekhawatiran dari penguasa sebab ditemukannya berbagai masalah dalam penyelenggaraan pemilu,“ kata Andi kepada BBC News Indonesia.

Ia mengatakan bahwa ini bukan pertama kalinya Kontras menghadapi perlawanan akibat upaya mereka dalam mengangkat isu. Pada 2013, Kontras pernah didemo terkait advokasi HAM di Papua.

Pada 2003, kantor Kontras pernah diserang oleh sejumlah massa terkait penolakan kebijakan pemerinah soal darurat militer di Aceh.

“Saya menduga pesannya sama, agar kami tidak kritis atas berbagai sejumlah persoalan, namun demikian hal tersebut tidak akan menghentikan kami untuk terus berusara kritis dan mengungkap berbagai ketidakadilan yang terjadi,“ tuturnya.

Saat unjuk rasa di depan kantor ICW, Koordinator Lapangan Forum Masyarakat Pemuda Mahasiswa Timur Cinta NKRI, Abdul Aziz Fadirubun, menuding bahwa lembaga nirlaba seperti ICW, YLBHI, dan Lokataru melontarkan kata-kata bernada rasisme.

Hal tersebut, kata Aziz, berakar dari respons para aktivis LSM terhadap video dirinya yang viral karena tidak setuju dengan permakzulan.

“Kalau ditanya namanya siapa, saya enggak tahu namanya. Karena ICW masuk dalam hal pernyataan-pernyataan yang rasis dalam hal mendiskreditkan kami orang Timur, makanya harus minta maaf dalam 1×24 jam,” katanya, seperti dikutip oleh Tempo.

Intimidasi terhadap pihak kritis menimbulkan ‘kemunduran demokrasi’

Pengamat politik dari Badan Riset Inovasi Nasional (BRIN), Devi Darmawan, mengatakan dalam sejarah pemilu diselenggarakan sejak 2014, belum pernah ada aliansi mahasiswa yang justru memprotes organisasi masyarakat sipil.

Sebab, menurut Devi tindakan seperti itu “salah sasaran”, karena LSM bertugas untuk menyuarakan aspirasi masyarakat.

“Jika memang tidak terbukti [rasisme], motivasinya memang hanya untuk melemahkan ICW sebagai bagian dari masyarakat sipil yang kritis terhadap dugaan-dugaan pelanggaran. Ini sudah jadi alarm bahaya bagi demokrasi kita,” ujar Devi.

Lebih lanjut, ia mengatakan bahwa serangan itu membuat gerakan organisasi masyarakat sipil dipersempit dan kebebasan berekspresi terancam.

“Organisasi masyarakat sipil ini menjadi terancam, semakin tereduksi hari demi hari. Padahal sebenarnya, organisasi masyarakat sipil itu membuat akuntabilitas bekerja, membuat demokrasi semakin bekerja,” kata Devi.

Dandhy Dwi Laksono, jurnalis pendiri rumah produksi Watchdoc Documentary, 19 September 2017.
Keterangan gambar,Dandhy Dwi Laksono, jurnalis pendiri rumah produksi Watchdoc Documentary, 19 September 2017.

Oleh karena itu, ia memperkirakan jika insiden serupa terulang lagi, maka masyarakat akan semakin takut untuk menyuarakan aspirasi dan mengkritisi berjalannya proses demokrasi di Indonesia.

Ia mengambil contoh ketika film Dirty Vote dilaporkan ke polisi menjelang Pemilu 2024.

“Ketika ada intimidasi atau bentuk mematahkan upaya -upaya yang dilakukan oleh organisasi masyarakat sipil ini, di situ sudah terjadi kemunduran demokrasi yang sangat besar,” jelasnya.

Sutradara Dirty Vote, Dandhy Laksono, mengatakan bahwa kru dalam film tersebut sempat mengalami beberapa tindakan intimidasi, salah satunya upaya untuk meretas akun media sosial.

Bahkan, ia sebut ada yang menerima pesan-pesan yang mengancam dan merujuk ke ranah personal.

“Beberapa bintang film kami itu di-hack telegramnya dan macam-macam itu,” kata Dandhy.

Selain dilaporkan ke pihak kepolisian dan Bawaslu, Dandhy mengatakan bahwa acara penayangan film Dirty Vote di UIN Sunan Gunung Djati Bandung sempat terkendala karena lampu dipadamkan saat diskusi.

Pihak Dewan Eksekutif kampus itu juga mengatakan bahwa menjelang acara diskusi mereka telah menerima “pesan mencurigakan dari oknum-oknum” serta kehadiran orang-orang yang mereka duga ingin mengintervensi dan mengintimidasi mereka.

“Kualitas demokrasi dan kebebasan berpendapat kita semakin terancam. Jadi alat legitimasi baru untuk lebih represif dan semakin jauh dari demokrasi,” kata Dandhy.

Feri Amsari, salah satu ahli hukum dan tata negara yang hadir dalam film Dirty Vote mengatakan bahwa apa yang dialami mereka ‘tidak ada apa-apanya’ dibandingkan apa yang dirasakan para aktivis LSM.

“Jadi ini hanya upaya untuk menyebarkan rasa takut. Mudah-mudahan sebagaimana kita ketahui, ICW dan Lokataru sudah teruji dalam upaya mereka melindungi kepentingan publik,” ujar Feri.

Apa kata Bawaslu soal demo mahasiswa di kantor LSM?

Ketua Bawaslu, Rahmat Bagja, menyampaikan temuan Bawaslu terkait pelanggaran pemilu pada Selasa (27/02).
Keterangan gambar,Ketua Bawaslu, Rahmat Bagja, menyampaikan temuan Bawaslu terkait pelanggaran pemilu pada Selasa (27/02).

Pada konferensi pers terkait temuan pelanggaran pemilu, Ketua Bawaslu, Rahmat Bagja, mengatakan bahwa ia baru mengetahui tentang aksi yang dilakukan Forum Masyarakat Pemuda Mahasiswa Timur Cinta NKRI.

Namun, ia mengatakan tindakan seperti itu melanggar hukum pidana dan tidak diperbolehkan.

“Tidak boleh orang mengancam kebebasan berbicara, berekspresi dan menyatakan pendapat di Indonesia ini. Bisa dilaporkan ke Pak Bareskrim di samping saya. Karena termasuk tindak pidana umum itu,” kata Bagja pada Selasa (27/02).

Lebih lanjut, ia mengungkatpkan bahwa sampai dengan 26 Februari 2024, Bawaslu telah menerima 1.271 laporan pelanggaran pemilu, baik yang bersifat administratif, pidana maupun pelanggaran hukum lainnya.

Meski begitu, Bagja menyatakan Bawaslu belum menemukan dugaan pelanggaran pemilu yang bersifat Terstruktur, Sistematis dan Masif (TSM).

Ia juga menyebut ada hal-hal yang harus dibuktikan mengenai dugaan pelanggaran yang bersifat TSM.

“Kita akan lihat misalnya apa yang dilakukan, ada command responsibility, ada perintah tertulis, ada kemudian terbukti pidananya, itu yang harus dibuktikan dalam pelanggaran terstruktur, sistematis, dan masif,” sebut Bagja.

Nigerian economy: Generosity of strangers stuns struggling mother

Shamsiyya Abubakar with her donated rice
Image caption,Strangers have been dropping bags of food off at Shamsiyya Abubakar’s house

Shamsiyya Abubakar had begun to lose hope – Nigeria’s grave economic downturn meant she was scrambling each day to feed her family of nine.

The 32-year-old had resorted to cooking afafata – the rice grain millers normally throw away at the end of the sorting process because it is too tough.

Ms Abubakar, mother to a newborn baby, told BBC Pidgin that her struggles had taken her mind to dark places.

“Sometimes I say to myself: ‘Instead of living like this, wouldn’t it be better to be dead?'” she said in the Hausa language interview, which was widely shared in Nigeria.

But since it was published on Tuesday, strangers have been filing in and out of her house with offers of food and money.

This unexpected response has “changed her life”, she said when the BBC caught up with her for a second time.

“I have never seen such huge amounts of money in my life… I am really grateful.

“I got cash from several people, while others brought bags of good rice and maize, so we have enough good food to eat now,” she added.

Her husband Haruna Abubakar also expressed delight at their change of fortune.

“On the day of the BBC video, we had nothing to eat, I struggled to get them 500 naira (£0.25; $0.32) to buy cups of rice,” he said.

“Today, I am a happy man as our lives has changed and we have enough to eat.”

Ms Abubakar with a dish of broken, tough rice grains
Image caption,A video of Ms Abubakar telling the BBC about her struggle sparked an outpouring of help

Sani Isah, one of those who took supplies for the family, said Ms Abubakar’s story made him cry. Mr Isah added that he felt compelled to help with the little he had.

“I think her case is a shame to our leaders, I actually wept after watching her video. How can someone pray for death instead of wanting to live just because of food?” he asked.

“I pray that others in her type of situation will also get the help they need that will change their lives.”

Nigeria is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis in a generation, which has led to widespread hardship and anger.

On Tuesday, thousands took to the streets in a nationwide protest against the government’s handling of the economy.

The steep price of food has been a major source of frustration.

Rice, a staple in Nigeria, has more than doubled in cost over the past year. Ms Abubakar is far from alone in turning to the broken, dirty and tough afafata grains – its relatively low price has helped many struggling families in the north survive. Several others have been forced to go hungry or ration the food they have.

Ms Abubakar feels that thanks to the kindness of strangers, she can now look forward to the future.

She told the BBC that in order to sustain her family in the long-run, she wants to start a business with some of the food she has received.

The year the Australian Dream died

An aerial landscape view of Sydney
Image caption,The average price of a home in Sydney is over A$1m (£535,000, $678,000)

At the age of 31, Justin Dowswell never imagined he’d be living in a shared room in his childhood home.

He had a full-time, well-paying job in Sydney, and had rented for a decade before an unprecedented housing crisis forced him to upend his life and move back in with his parents, two hours away.

“It’s humbling,” he says. But the alternative was homelessness: “So I’m one of the lucky ones”.

It’s a far cry from the promise of the Great Australian Dream.

Where the American Dream is a more abstract belief that anyone can achieve success if they work hard enough, the Australian version is tangible.

For generations, owning a house on a modest block of land has been idealised as both the ultimate marker of success and a gateway to a better life.

It’s an aspiration that has wormed its way into the country’s identity, helping to shape modern Australia.

From the so-called “Ten Pound Poms” in the 1950s to the current boom in skilled workers moving from India, waves of migrants have arrived on Australia’s shores in search of its promise. And many found it.

But for current generations the dreams proffered to their parents and grandparents are out of reach.

After decades of government policies that treat housing as an investment not a right, many say they would be lucky to even find a stable, affordable place to rent.

“The Australian Dream… it’s a big lie,” Mr Dowswell says.

A perfect storm

Almost everything that could go wrong with housing in Australia has gone wrong, says Michael Fotheringham.

“The only thing that could make it worse is if banks started collapsing,” the head of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute tells the BBC.

Underpinning it all is that buying a house is astronomically expensive – the average property now costs about nine times an ordinary household’s income, triple what it was 25 years ago.

It’s particularly dire for the three quarters of Australians who live in major cities. Sydney, for example, is the second least affordable city on Earth to buy a property, trailing only Hong Kong, according to the 2023 Demographia International Housing Affordability survey.

Australia has made home ownership virtually unattainable for almost anyone without family wealth. Last month the boss of a major bank, ANZ, said home loans had become “the preserve of the rich”.

Chelsea Hickman and Justin Dowswell
Image caption,Chelsea Hickman and Justin Dowswell feel let down

That’s left people like Chelsea Hickman questioning their future. The 28-year-old fashion designer always imagined she’d become both a homeowner and a mother, but now worries that may be impossible.

“Financially, how could I ever afford both? The numbers just do not add up,” she says.

She tells the BBC from her Melbourne shared house that despite working full-time for almost a decade, she can’t even afford to rent an apartment by herself. Her friends are in a similar boat.

“Where did it go wrong?” she says.

“We did everything that everyone said we should do, and we’re still not reaching this point where we’re going to have financial independence and housing security.”

Tarek Bieganski, a 26-year-old IT manager, laughs when asked if he thinks he’ll ever own property.

“It’s just so obviously out of reach that it’s not really even a thought anymore,” he says. “And this is coming from someone that, really, has got it pretty good.”

But with interest rates rising faster than at any time in Australia’s history, even many of those who have scraped their way on to the property ladder now live in fear of falling off it.

Foodbanks are being overwhelmed by mortgage holders struggling to keep their heads above water. Hordes of people are picking up extra jobs. Many pensioners have been forced back into work.

It’s not doom and gloom for everyone though.

A woman runs past an auction sign in Sydney
Image caption,Many existing homeowners do not want to see house prices stabilise

The level of home ownership across the nation – while significantly dropping for young people – has overall stayed around two-thirds.

And those Australians are quite content to see house prices climb and their wealth grow.

That’s difficult to stomach, Ms Hickman says, especially given how many homeowners – one in three – now own a property other than the one they live in.

“I understand that people are like ‘Well, I worked hard to get these millions of houses’ and blah, blah, blah, and I’m like, ‘Okay, well, good for you. I work hard too and I just want one house’.”

‘Grapes of Wrath stuff’

As a result, millions of people are trapped in the rental market, seeking to create a watered-down version of the Australian Dream as tenants.

But that’s no paradise either.

Vacancies are at unprecedented, prolonged lows – to the point that councils across the country are begging people with empty holiday homes and short-term rentals to move them on to the long-term market.

And, with the greater demand, rents are skyrocketing.

Australian news has been awash with stories of massive rent increases and images of desperate people queuing to inspect properties riddled with defects and – in some cases – obviously covered in mould.

“It’s Grapes of Wrath stuff,” Dr Fotheringham says, referring to the famous Great Depression-era novel about a family struggling to build a life.

A line of people waiting to inspect a house
Image caption,A line of people waiting to inspect a house in Adelaide

Social or subsidised housing – once a safety net for those on low or moderate incomes – is not an option for most Australians either. The number of homes available is less than half of what is needed to meet immediate demand and wait lists are years long.

And all of this is happening at a time when natural disasters and climate effects are wiping out swathes of housing stock, making even more parts of the vast Australian continent effectively unliveable.

The crisis is tipping people into homelessness or overcrowded living conditions. Demand for housing support is so high that some charities say they’ve been handing out tents.

One Tasmanian woman told the BBC she and her four kids spent over six months crammed into her mother’s spare room after the family was knocked back for more than 35 properties while languishing on the social housing wait list.

Melbourne woman Hayley Van Ree told us her rental prospects were so bleak that her mother raided her own retirement fund to buy an apartment and is now Ms Van Ree’s landlord – eliciting what she describes as a confusing mix of relief, embarrassment and guilt.

“Friends who have parents who are in property have this kind of morbid knowledge that when their parents die, they might be ok,” Ms Van Ree says. “I hate that it’s my reality.”

Hayley surrounded by boxes
Image caption,Ms Van Ree says she knows plenty of people with “just fine” jobs who can’t secure a home

Mr Dowswell is now back in Sydney, having finally secured an apartment after six months, but says the ordeal has been a massive tax on his finances and mental health.

“It was just demoralising… the more you think about it, the angrier you get,” he says.

Investment or right?

In 2023, the national conversation shifted from how expensive it is to buy a home, to how difficult it is to secure any kind of affordable home at all.

An end to pandemic-era rent and eviction freezes, record migration, rapidly escalating interest rates and construction delays conspired to leave housing in Australia in the worst state it has ever been, experts warn.

But the crisis is the result of “50 years of government policy failure, financialisation and greed”, wrote leading finance journalist Alan Kohler in a recent Quarterly Essay.

Particularly critical was what happened at the turn of the millennium, he argues. Until that point house prices in Australia had kept pace with income growth and the size of the economy – but this began to shift when the federal government introduced tax changes which incentivised the buying and selling of homes for profit.

Australian house prices increasingly dwarf disposable income. .  Indexed to 2015.

A sharp spike in immigration and government grants pushed up house prices in that era too, but Mr Kohler says it was these tax breaks that forever changed the way Australia thinks about housing.

“It will be impossible to return the price of housing to something less destructive… without purging the idea that housing is a means to create wealth as opposed to simply a place to live,” he wrote.

Doing so will upset a large class of voters, which will take courage and innovation from policymakers, he adds.

And that’s something critics say successive governments at federal, state and local levels have struggled to muster.

Some point to decades of neglect for social housing, or the persistence with grants for first homebuyers, which are popular but don’t work as they should and actually drive up prices further.

Others argue planning and heritage laws have been too easily abused to limit developments, often by existing residents reluctant to see changes to their suburbs and investments.

Then there’s the fear of overhauling those lucrative tax incentives for property investors – with the most recent promise of reform rejected at an election in 2019 and now abandoned.

“Housing needs to be seen as an essential service and right before an investment,” Mr Dowswell says. “There is definitely a moral imperative to act… [but] selfishness will get in the way.”

People march through Sydney in a housing rally
Image caption,People have rallied in cities across the country

National Housing Minister Julie Collins told the BBC there are “challenges” to tackle, but that her government – elected 18 months ago – is delivering “the most significant housing reforms in a generation”.

It has created or expanded schemes to help prospective buyers, though they have strict requirements and limited places. It has also promised to build thousands of new social and affordable houses – a small dent in the waiting list – and set up an investment fund to support future projects. Alongside state governments, it has pledged to create a National Housing and Homelessness Plan and beef up protections for renters.

The government is pulling other levers too: it announced earlier this month that it would halve Australia’s immigration intake and triple the fees for foreign homebuyers, both things they argue should help ease the strain.

Advocates support these changes but say they are just more tinkering around the edges of a system that needs heavy reform.

Those the BBC spoke to say that the Australian Dream has been demolished, eroding the foundations of the nation’s identity.

Australia has long thought itself the land of a fair go.

“[But] education and hard work are no longer the main determinants of how wealthy you are; now it comes down to where you live and what sort of house you inherit from your parents,” Mr Kohler says.

“It means Australia is less of an egalitarian meritocracy.”

Or as Ms Hickman sums it up: “It’s rigged.”

Taylor Swift: Inside a world-first ‘Swiftposium’ academic summit

A pair of glittery cowboy boots and Brittany Spanos
Image caption,Scores of sequinned scholars are exploring Taylor Swift’s impact at an academic conference

From the moment she slipped the Fearless record into her CD player as a 14-year-old, Georgia Carroll has been fascinated by Taylor Swift.

A decade and a half on, she’s now touted as the only person in the world with a PhD on the superstar.

Her assessment? “At the moment, it wouldn’t be going too far to say [Swift] is one of the most powerful people in the world.”

That’s why Dr Carroll is among scores of experts who have descended on Melbourne this week for an international academic symposium attempting to explain just how Swift has become so influential.

The event – the first of its kind – is a curtain raiser to the Eras Tour in Australia, and has attracted more than 400 submissions from dozens of study disciplines and academic institutions around the world – sparking a flurry of excitement and global headlines.

‘Started as a joke’

The idea for the ‘Swiftposium’ was born last July as a half-joking tweet with just a few dozen likes. But when organisers quietly announced the event months later it went internationally viral overnight.

Organisers woke up to coverage on the BBC, in Rolling Stone Magazine, CNN.

“I was like, I’ve got to email my boss,” Dr Eloise Faichney says with a grin. “Our little conference suddenly became this juggernaut.”

Fans were also desperate to take part, and on Sunday, hundreds of people – walking advertisements for rhinestones, cowboy boots and Swift’s signature red lip – flocked into Melbourne’s iconic Capitol Theatre just to hear lectures about the megastar.

At a sold-out friendship bracelet-making workshop beforehand, 19-year-old Soumil says the event – run by RMIT University – is helping heal the wounds left by the ticketing bloodbath of last year.

“It’s fun to still be part of it all,” he tells the BBC.

Fans pose with a cut out of Taylor Swift
Image caption,Tickets to fan events were snapped up at lightning speed

But the organisers are quick to clarify the conference – backed by seven universities across Australia and New Zealand – is not a fan convention.

“Although some of us are fans, it certainly – for us – is about trying to take somebody like her seriously in academia,” Dr Emma Whatman says.

“This is not an uncritical celebration.”

‘Godlike’ influence

There’s no denying ‘Taylor Mania’ has swept the world this past year – she was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2023 – and it’s unclear when that might fade.

On Monday, the 34-year-old again dominated the headlines with pictures of her and footballer boyfriend Travis Kelce winning at the Super Bowl. Last week she cleaned up at the Grammys, taking home her fourth album of the year accolade.

Even her cats, her publicist and her childhood friends have name recognition and a loyal following.

“[Swift] has somehow become the most godlike superstar on the planet, bigger than I thought was even possible,” keynote speaker Brittany Spanos – a Rolling Stone reporter who in 2020 taught the first ever university course on the idol – told the conference.

But Swift has long found herself at the centre of huge cultural moments and debates, ever since shooting to stardom as a teenager.

Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift onstage at the 2009 VMAs
Image caption,Her infamous run in with Kanye West in 2009 was one of those moments

She has become one of the highest-earning and most-celebrated artists of all time – all while igniting conversations about everything from streaming royalties and music ownership to misogyny and cancel culture.

The summit obviously has a whole panel dedicated to “Swiftonomics” – a trend coined to explain her mammoth effect on economies, and one which has left world leaders begging her to tour their countries.

But there are also experts detailing how her bops are being used to train young people in CPR and excited discussion about the way her romance with Kelce is helping girls feel at home in traditionally male-dominated sports fandoms.

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce kiss after the Super Bowl
Image caption,Swift’s attention has resulted in a massive increase in NFL revenue too

There’s even a lyrical analysis of her attitudes towards public transport (ironically, as her real-life private jet use has increased, so have songs referencing trains and buses, Harrison Croft says).

And when the audience tired of listening to speeches, they were treated to a duet between a musician-turned-academic and an uncomfortably accurate AI clone of a younger Swift’s voice – to contrast how her sound has changed over the past 17 years.

For the literature fans, the conference had a mother-daughter duo read spoken-word poetry about the contempt society shows for the interests of young women – an item which drew an adoring reaction from the crowd. And for the politics nerds, an academic presenting on how Australian MPs use Swift to seem relatable.

Madeline Pentland, 27, found more than 30 speeches citing her most iconic lyrics – including a shameless performance by the treasurer of New South Wales, who racked up 20 references in a single speech.

Men were more likely to quote the singer, she discovered, but they tended to use the lyrics in political attack or mockery, whereas women were far more likely to use them to support topics of debate.

But Ms Pentland was most amused to find them wielded during one of Australian politics’ favourite past times – the disposing of leaders.

Madeline Pentland
Image caption,Swift’s popularity amongst politicians surprised historian Madeline Pentland

She laments, though, what she thinks are some missed opportunities: “I would have thought that there would be a bit of Bad Blood here and there, but I didn’t find any references!”

Another duo has explored how Swift has become such a magnet for conspiracy – from “delulu” fans reading into her strategic hints to right-wing characters reading into almost anything.

In the past few days alone, US President Joe Biden has joked off conjecture that Swift’s love life is part of a plot to rig the Super Bowl and help get him get re-elected, while her fans were convincing anyone with an internet connection that the re-record of the Reputation album was imminent.

Clare Southerton is interested in what all that can teach us about growing conspiracy communities.

“There’s a world of difference between being like, ‘Oh, look, the blue dress means 1989 is next’… and being a domestic terrorist, but it’s helpful for us to understand, why do people enjoy this?” the 35-year-old told the BBC.

There have also been uncomfortable debates about how terrifyingly unforgiving Swift’s fanbase can be, how her music reflects colonialism, and her controversial casting as a transport-emissions villain.

Singaporean academic Aimee-Sophia Lim – who studies how the artist is inspiring political activism in South East Asia – says she’s a huge fan, but she is often disappointed by Swift’s “US-centric, white brand of feminism”.

“Perhaps people of colour and those from the Global South should be the ones advocating for themselves and their communities… but Taylor’s outreach is undeniable,” the 23-year-old tells the BBC from Singapore.

“It would be great if she manages to expand her activism, so perhaps she could give a platform to other people who are able to speak on behalf of themselves.”

How did she become so powerful?

Not everyone is buying into the hype though.

Sabrina – who is literally fleeing the city the weekend the Eras Tour comes to town – says she can’t comprehend the insane levels of Swift’s appeal or influence.

“I don’t understand the whole fuss… like, I really don’t understand what’s happening here,” she tells the BBC.

But Dr Carroll says it comes down to the broadly relatable brand Swift has built, and the “intense connection” she’s managed to cultivate with her base – many of whom feel like they’ve grown up with her.

“Taylor has spent her whole career making her fans think they could be her friend,” she tells the BBC.

“And she’s done all of these things that make fans want to act in a way that makes her like them back,” adding that can at times lead to concerning behaviour – like mobbing her friend’s wedding, spending tens of thousands on merch and tickets, and obsessing over her every move.

Dr Georgia Carroll
Image caption,Dr Carroll knows Swift’s power first hand

All throughout the symposium – hosted by the University of Melbourne – people have been likening Swift to Elvis, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Beyoncé.

It’s hard to compare her to those artists of a different era, keynote speaker Ms Spanos tells the BBC, but she’s certainly the hottest thing on the planet right now.

“She’ll be considered the greatest songwriter of her generation… and also one of the greatest songwriters of all time.”

Dr Carroll argues Swift has indeed been able to take her fame to another level though – thanks to that broad, incredibly motivated fanbase.

“[For other artists], their sphere of influence doesn’t extend too far out of their fan base. But that’s no longer true of Taylor.”

And it’s nice – and long overdue – that people are taking an interest in that, she says.

A year ago, when receiving her doctorate people laughed at the topic of her studies. Now she’s giving a keynote speech at one of the most publicised academic conferences in the world.

“It’s kind of like, oh my God, everybody gets it!” she says. “It’s that feeling of being seen, and recognition that my research does have a value.

“We are not just gonna be sitting around at this conference fangirling – that will occur – but there’s so much that studying her can tell us about the world.”

Government finances show big surplus in January

People in the street

The government finances showed a large surplus last month, more than double the surplus last January.

The surplus – the difference between spending and tax income – rose to £16.7bn in January, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

These are the last set of public finance figures to be released before the Chancellor’s Budget in March.

Jeremy Hunt has hinted he wants to cut taxes, but analysts said the surplus is unlikely to lead to big changes.

Despite being the highest surplus in nominal terms since monthly records began in 1993, it was lower than most economists had predicted.

But it is still likely to fuel calls for tax cuts in the forthcoming Budget, which many see as the government’s last chance to win round voters before a general election later this year.

The ONS said the surplus was the result of higher tax receipts and lower spending, with the government no longer subsiding household energy bills for example.

Every January, the government tends to take more in tax than it spends in other months due to the amount it receives in self-assessed taxes, according to the ONS.

In addition, the cost of financing the UK’s debt has gone down as inflation has fallen.

“Overall expenditure was down on this time last year, despite increased spending on public services and benefits,” said Jessica Barnaby, deputy director for public sector at the ONS.

Chief secretary to the Treasury, Laura Trott said: “While we will not speculate over whether further reductions in tax will be affordable in the Budget, the economy is beginning to turn a corner, with inflation down from over 11% to 4%.”

For the year as a whole, to April, the government is only on track to undershoot its forecast by between £10bn to £20bn. Chancellors usually allow some headroom in the finances, to allow for unforeseen changes in economic fortunes.

Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets, Hargreaves Lansdown said the figures represented a boost to the chancellor’s coffers, but were not big enough for a “Budget bonanza”.

“It offers a few inches of headroom for Hunt, but not enough for a Budget of dramatic tax cuts,” she said.

Capital Economics, an economics think tank, suggested using the added room for manoeuvre that the chancellor will have as a result of the surplus amounted to “putting the election before prudence”.

In the year from April 2023 public borrowing has totalled £96.6bn.

Overall the UK’s debt has risen compared to a year ago and remains at levels last seen in the early 1960s, the ONS said, at around 96.5% of the size of the economy, measured by GDP.

One of the government’s key pledges is that debt should be falling as a percentage of GDP in five years’ time.

Chart showing public sector net borrowing on monthly basis

The debate over whether January’s surplus in the government’s finances leaves room for tax cuts comes against a mixed economic backdrop.

The latest growth figures show that the UK went into a shallow recession in the second half of last year, although the governor of the Bank of England suggested this week that there were already “distinct signs of an upturn”.

The Resolution Foundation has warned that if the chancellor does cut tax in the forthcoming Budget, it would amount to a “tax sandwich” with any tax cut sitting between substantial tax rises in the years before and after it.

“Juicy tax cuts in this election year are sandwiched between far bigger tax rises already introduced last year. And highly unusually the government has already announced plans for a chunky package of tax rises that will come into effect after polling day,” said James Smith, research director at the Resolution Foundation.

Mengapa Prabowo-Gibran ‘menang‘ di tengah banyaknya tuduhan isu antidemokrasi?

pemilu, prabowo subianto, gibran
Keterangan gambar,Pendukung Prabowo Subianto di Jakarta, pada 10 Februari lalu, mengusung poster yang membalas sejumlah tudingan negatif kepada mantan Danjen Kopassus itu

Isu dugaan pelanggaran HAM dan dinasti politik yang dilekatkan kepada pasangan Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming tidak mempengaruhi elektabilitas keduanya. Berdasarkan hasil hitung cepat berbagai lembaga survei, mereka meraih lebih dari 50% suara.

Lantas mengapa Prabowo-Gibran bisa meraup suara begitu besar di tengah terpaan sejumlah isu yang disebut “antidemokrasi”—yang telah mereka bantah dalam berbagai kesempatan dalam Pilpres kali ini?

BBC News Indonesia berbicara dengan pakar sosiologi-politik dan aktivis lembaga swadaya masyarakat untuk menjawab pertanyaan tersebut.

‘Demokrasi bukan isu penting bagi banyak orang’

Sejumlah persoalan dalam rekam jejak Prabowo-Gibran hanya dibicarakan dan menjadi kegelisahan kelompok kelas menengah berpendidikan yang kritis, kata Mada Sukmajati, dosen Fakultas Ilmu Sosial dan Politik (Fisipol) di Universitas Gadjah Mada.

Mada berkata, isu demokrasi seperti hak asasi manusia, konflik kepentingan dan moralitas pejabat negara tidak dibicarakan oleh sebagian besar masyarakat ekonomi bawah dan kelompok berpendidikan rendah.

Menurutnya, itulah alasan mengapa film dokumenter Dirty Vote yang berkisah tentang dugaan kecurangan pemilu dan pernyataan sikap para guru besar yang mencemaskan situasi demokrasi di Indonesia tidak mampu menjegal perolehan suara Prabowo-Gibran.

“Kegelisahan bahwa demokrasi sedang mundur itu narasi-narasi dari kelompok menengah kritis dan masyarakat elit,” ujar Mada.

Indonesia, orde baru
Keterangan gambar,Potret unjuk rasa kelompok mahasiswa di Jakarta pada tahun1998 yang menuntut kejatuhan rezim Orde Baru pimpinan Soeharto.

Setidaknya tujuh dari setiap 10 orang penduduk Indonesia adalah orang dengan pendapatan menengah ke bawah, menurut Survei Ekonomi Nasional Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS) tahun 2021.

BPS mencatat, jumlah penduduk miskin Indonesia mencapai 26 juta orang pada September 2022. Angka itu tidak termasuk orang-orang yang rentan miskin karena berada di sekitar garis kemiskinan.

Sementara itu, jumlah penduduk Indonesia yang mencapai jenjang sarjana hanya 6,4% pada Juni 2022, menurut data Direktorat Jenderal Kependudukan dan Pencatatan Sipil. Persentase itu setara 61 ribu orang.

Penduduk yang menyelesaikan sekolah sampai tingkat SMA hanya 20,8% atau sekitar 57 juta orang.

Menurut Mada, transisi menuju demokrasi yang didambakan Indonesia pasca keruntuhan Orde Baru tidak dibarengi kesejahteraan. Data-data yang merujuk tingkat kesejahteraan masyarakat Indonesia itu, kata Mada, berkaitan erat dengan proses elektoral.

Mada berkata, bagi pemilih dari kelompok ekonomi menengah-bawah, “bisa makan dan punya tempat tinggal layak” adalah persoalan nyata yang mereka hadapi setiap hari. Isu kesejahteraan merupakan basis bagi kelompok warga saat memberikan pilihan politik.

Konsekuensi dari keterkaitan ini, menurut Mada, adalah munculnya calon-calon pemimpin yang menawarkan program populis. Warga dari kelas ekonomi bawah cenderung menyukai kontestan pemilu seperti ini—yang mereka anggap bisa segera menawarkan solusi atas persoalan ekonomi sehari-hari mereka.

“Program makan siang dan susu gratis Prabowo-Gibran itu memang jauh lebih mengena untuk kelompok masyarakat ini, dibandingkan, misalnya program internet gratisnya Ganjar atau bahkan isu keadilan yang lebih abstrak bagi mereka,” kata Mada.

Keterangan gambar,Foto unjuk rasa di Jakarta pada Februari 1998. Menurut Mada Sukmajati, sebagian besar masyarakat lebih mengutamakan isu kesejahteraan yang faktual bagi keseharian mereka, ketimbang persoalan HAM.

Bantuan berbentuk uang sebesar Rp600 ribu yang dibagikan Presiden Joko Widodo melalui bansos mitigasi risiko pangan jelang pencoblosan memperkuat posisi Prabowo-Gibran sebagai calon pemimpin yang populis.

Mada menilai, bansos inilah yang kemungkinan besar membuat suara Prabowo-Gibran lebih tinggi dari sejumlah survei sebelum hari pencoblosan.

“Dengan kondisi seperti itu, di saat-saat terakhir jelang pencoblosan, kelompok menengah ke bawah yang belum menentukan pilihan pada akhirnya memilih Prabowo-Gibran,” tutur Mada.

Nining, warga DKI Jakarta, memilih Prabowo yang menurutnya ”peduli kepada masyarakat”. Janji Prabowo memberikan makan siang gratis memikat Nining yang tergolong pemilih dari kelompok ekonomi menengah ke bawah ini.

“Hidup sehat, berkecukupan, tidak berkekurangan,” ujar Nining merujuk janji kampanye Prabowo yang menarik perhatiannya.

“Prabowo bisa menyejahterakan masyarakat sehingga tidak ada yang miskin dan menderita lagi,” kata Nining tentang bagaimana dia mempercayai retorika kampanye Prabowo.

indonesia, perempuan, ham
Keterangan gambar,Sumarsih, penggerak aksi Kamisan yang menuntut keadilan atas sejumlah korban hilang dan tewas pada Tragedi 1998, telah berunjuk rasa di depan Istana Negara, Jakarta, sejak 2007. Pada Pilpres kali ini, dia dituduh melancarkan propaganda negatif terhadap Prabowo Subianto.

Program makan siang gratis juga menjadi alasan dua warga Pamekasan, Madura, Jawa Timur, yang BBC News Indonesia temui, tentang mengapa mereka memilih Prabowo.

“Daripada dikasih internet gratis, lebih baik dikasih makan siang gratis,“ kata Hendri, warga Desa Bulangan Timur Pegantenan.

Hendri berkata, dia tidak terlalu tertarik dengan strategi kampanye Prabowo di media sosial—yang memakai lagu dan goyang disko. Dia juga tidak menonton film Dirty Vote yang bertutur tentang tuduhan kecurangan di balik kontestasi Prabowo-Gibran.

“Saya tidak mempertimbangkan masalah HAM. Masalahnya saya enggak tahu soal itu,” tuturnya.

Dedi Pramana, warga Kecamatan Palengaan, Pamekasan, memilih Prabowo sejak Pilpres 2014. Program makan siang dan susu gratis semakin memantapkan pilihannya.

“Saya pernah baca berita tentang rekam jejak Prabowo, cuma enggak saya tangggapi, enggak ada urusannya,” ujar Dedi.

“Isu-isu itu tidak penting bagi saya karena kadang orang itu mau fitnah, mau apa gitu,” tuturnya.

pemilu, prabowo subianto, gibran
Keterangan gambar,Pendukung Prabowo-Gibran membagikan telur gratis pada ajang kampanye di Jakarta, 10 Februari lalu.

‘Mayoritas orang kaya dan berpendidikan juga pilih Prabowo’

Namun kelompok menengah ke bawah bukanlah satu-satunya kantong suara terbesar Prabowo. Dia memenangkan suara di hampir di seluruh kategori masyarakat.

Mayoritas orang berpendidikan tinggi (41,7%) dan mayoritas orang dari kelompok sosial ekonomi atas (45,6%) memberikan suara mereka untuk Prabowo.

Ini adalah data Litbang Kompas dengan rentang kesalahan 1,1%, berbasis wawancara kepada 7.863 pemilik suara di semua provinsi pada 14 Februari lalu.

Firman Noor, profesor ilmu politik dari Badan Riset dan Inovasi Nasional, menyebut publik semestinya tidak perlu heran dengan temuan Litbang Kompas.

“Pendukung Hilter dan rezim otoritarian Soeharto pun banyak yang berasal dari kalangan terdidik,” kata Firman.

Menurut Firman, transisi yang dijalani Indonesia usai kejatuhan rezim otoritarian Orde Baru pada tahun 1998 tidak serta merta melahirkan masyarakat yang memahami dan menganggap penting makna demokrasi.

Transisi demokrasi pada era Reformasi, kata Firman, diselewengkan pimpinan negara yang berkolaborasi dengan elite pengusaha. Konsekuensinya, menurut Firman, Indonesia tidak pernah benar-benar mencapai titik demokrasi yang ideal. Masyarakat Indonesia pun lantas memiliki jarak yang besar dengan nilai-nilai demokrasi.

“Jangan bayangkan transisi demokrasi akan selalu berjalan sukses. Ada peran besar dari pimpinan nasional apakah mereka ingin memelihara proses demokratisasi atau tidak,” kata Firman.

“Harus diingat, ada banyak kelompok yang tidak nyaman dengan demokrasi,“ ujarnya.

pemilu, prabowo subianto, gibran
Keterangan gambar,Prabowo Subianto dan Gibran Rakabuming merayakan hasil hitung cepat Pilpres yang menunjukkan kemenangan mereka.

Taufik Hidayat, warga Kecamatan Tanara, Kabupaten Serang, memilih Prabowo meski mengetahui isu HAM yang selama ini dituduhkan kepada mantan Danjen Kopassus itu. Namun laki-laki berusia 28 tahun itu menilai, “yang terjadi pada masa lalu biarlah menjadi bagian dari masa lalu“.

“Selama pelanggaran itu tidak ada buktinya, kenapa harus dipersoalkan? Toh itu urusan masa lalu dan saya melihatnya ke depan,“ kata Taufik.

Prabowo tidak pernah diadili di Pengadilan HAM soal tuduhan penculikan aktivis tahun 1997-1998 yang diarahkan kepadanya. Namun putusan Dewan Kehormatan Perwira yang dibentuk Panglima ABRI pada 1998 membuat kesimpulan bahwa Prabowo terlibat dalam penculikan tersebut.

“Saya melihat sosok Prabowo itu gagah sehingga Indonesia nanti bisa disegani oleh negara-negara lain. Itu saja. Lebih keren,“ kata Taufik tentang mengapa dia memilih Prabowo.

Pilpres 2024
Keterangan gambar,Jafar Sodiq, warga kota Serang, memilih Prabowo meski telah menonton film Dirty Vote dan membaca pemberitaan tentang rekam jejak Ketua Umum Partai Gerindra itu.

Jafar Sodiq, warga Kota Serang, memilih Prabowo meski dia telah menonton film Dirty Vote. Dia juga mengikuti pemberitaan yang membahas dugaan politik kepentingan di balik perubahan syarat calon wakil presiden.

Walau begitu, Jafar tetap menjatuhkan pilihan kepada Prabowo. Dia merasa film Dirty Vote berupaya menggiring opini publik untuk mendiskreditkan Prabowo.

“Film itu kan dibuat oleh beberapa pakar, tapi seperti menghakimi,“ kata Jafar.

Jafar berkata, dia memilih Prabowo karena janji kampanye yang menurutnya realistis: makan siang dan susu gratis. “Yang saya anggap penting programnya. Kalau itu bisa berjalan, Indonesia bisa maju,” ujarnya.

Kritik untuk akademisi dan aktivis demokrasi

Mada Sukmajati, pakar sosiologi politik, menyebut isu demokrasi “masih sangat abstrak“ bagi sebagian besar masyarakat Indonesia. Beragam nilai demokrasi yang diperjuangkan sebelum era Reformasi, kata dia, telah direduksi oleh kelompok elite politik dan menengah atas menjadi sekedar proses memberikan hak pilih saat pemilu.

“Demokrasi tidak dipahami warga sampai pada hal-hal yang lebih substantif, misalnya apakah pemilu berlangsung tanpa politik uang, tidak dengan iming-iming bansos,“ kata Mada.

“Ini menandakan ketidakmampuan aktor-aktor yang dulu mendorong demokrasi, misalnya gerakan masyarakat sipil dan akademisi, untuk membumikan isu demokrasi ini sampai ke tingkat bawah.

“Dan memang negara sendiri juga memang menciptakan situasi yang akhirnya membentuk pemilih-pemilih yang paternalistik,“ ujar Mada.

pemilu, prabowo subianto, gibran
Keterangan gambar,Kemenangan Prabowo Subianto dalam Pilpres 2024 dianggap momen krusial bagi gerakan masyarakat sipil untuk membumikan isu demokrasi.

Kemenangan Prabowo-Gibran dipicu banyak faktor, menurut Egi Primayogha, Koordinator Divisi Korupsi Politik di Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW).

Selain dugaan kecurangan pemilu dan keberhasilan strategi mendulang suara, Egi menilai Prabowo-Gibran bisa meraih suara terbanyak juga karena isu demokrasi yang elitis.

Egi berkata, kemenangan Prabowo-Gibran menunjukkan persoalan besar dalam demokrasi Indonesia yang belum kunjung tuntas: gerakan masyarakat sipil hanya menyirkulasikan permasalahan demokrasi di kalangan mereka sendiri.

“Isu seperti politik dinasti, korupsi dan sebagainya tak tersampaikan secara meluas, terutama kepada akar rumput sehingga sulit untuk mendorong mereka untuk bersikap berdasarkan isu-isu tersebut,“ kata Egi.

Kemenangan Prabowo-Gibran yang punya catatan buruk mengenai demokrasi menjadi buah dari tidak terselesaikannya permasalahan tersebut, tambah Egi.

“Ini adalah kekalahan telak bagi gerakan sipil yang kesekian kalinya. Lolosnya undang-undang bermasalah seperti revisi UU KPK, UU Cipta Kerja, dan sebagainya berkali-kali terjadi selama beberapa tahun terakhir. Gerakan sipil gagal membendungnya.”

“Situasi hari ini idealnya mendorong masyarakat sipil untuk segera melakukan autokritik dan mengevaluasi gerakannya,“ lanjut Egi.

PPK di Kota Makassar mulai rekapitulasi surat suara pemilu

PPK di Kota Makassar mulai rekapitulasi surat suara pemilu
Suasana persiapan proses rekapitulasi hasil penghitungan perolehan suara Pemilu 2024 oleh PPK Kecamatan Manggala dihadiri saksi di ruangan media center Aula Kantor KPU Kota Makassar, Sulawesi Selatan, Ahad (18/2/2024). ANTARA/Darwin Fatir.

Makassar (ANTARA) – Sejumlah panitia pemilihan kecamatan (PPK) di Kota Makassar Provinsi Sulawesi Selatan mulai melaksanakan rekapitulasi hasil penghitungan perolehan suara Pemilu 2024, meskipun beredar kabar KPU RI akan menunda sementara rekapitulasi dan dilakukan serentak pada 20 Februari 2024.

“Untuk Kota Makassar sudah ada 12 PPK kecamatan yang mulai melaksanakan proses rekapitulasi, kecuali tiga kecamatan yakni Mariso, Mamajang dan Makassar ditunda dengan alasan teknis,” kata anggota KPU Makassar Abdi Goncing kepada wartawan di kantornya, Jalan Perumnas Antang Raya Makassar, Sulawesi Selatan, Ahad.

Penundaan rekapitulasi tersebut, kata dia, tentu dibutuhkan persiapan-persiapan karena ada beberapa hal yang perlu di komunikasikan dengan beberapa pihak terkait yang menjadi bagian dari pelaksana beserta perangkat peserta pemilu.

Menurut dia, berdasarkan aturan Peraturan KPU nomor 5 tahun 2024 tentang Rekapitulasi Hasil Penghitungan Perolehan Suara dan Penetapan Hasil Pemilihan Umum untuk rekapitulasi di tingkat PPK dimulai 15 Februari-2 Maret 2024.

“Untuk di tingkat kecamatan batasnya sampai 2 Maret dan, untuk kita di tingkat kota sampai 6 Maret. Jadi, selama ada yang sudah selesai kita akan mulai (rekapitulasi), makanya kita tetap melakukan monitoring hari ini untuk melihat bagaimana proses rekapitulasi di tingkat kecamatan,” kata dia membidangi Humas KPU Makassar ini.

Pihaknya menargetkan estimasi rekapitulasi di 15 kecamatan tersebar di Kota Makassar diperkirakan selesai tiga sampai empat hari per kecamatan. Pihaknya berharap, semoga rekapitulasi tersebut berjalan lancar sesuai aturan.

Saat ditanyakan potensi Pemungutan Suara Ulang (PSU) di dua kelurahan yakni Kelurahan Baru dan Bulogading, Kecamatan Ujung Pandang diduga terjadi pelanggaran pemilu pemilih tidak terdaftar lalu memilih di TPS setempat, kata dia, masih menunggu rekomendasi Bawaslu, dan tidak mengganggu proses rekap di kecamatan.

“Itu sudah disampaikan ke kami, dua TPS. Kemarin, kita sudah persiapkan segala sesuatunya jika sudah keluar rekomendasi dari Bawaslu. Jadi, kami tunggu surat resmi dari Bawaslu agar logistik tidak seperti kemarin yang tidak tercover. Kami akan lebih awal persiapan agar tidak seperti kemarin (bermasalah), katanya.

Mengenai dengan pelaksanaan PSU karena terjadi dugaan pelanggaran, kata dia berdalih, untuk memastikan bahwa Pemilu ini sesuai ini prosedur nya. Jadi, PSU bukan soal bagus atau tidak, tetapi untuk memastikan hasil yang tidak sesuai.

Seorang saksi menulis saat menghadiri proses rekapitulasi hasil penghitungan perolehan suara Pemilu 2024 oleh PPK Kecamatan Manggala di ruangan media center, Aula Kantor KPU Kota Makassar, Sulawesi Selatan, Ahad (18/2/2024). ANTARA/Darwin Fatir.

Pihaknya pun mengakui keterlambatan rekapitulasi surat suara pada hari H pemungutan suara Rabu, 14 Februari 2024, karena adanya kelalaian dan abai terhadap penyaluran logistik terutama formulir C1 Plano atau formulir hasil yang terlambat tiba di sejumlah TPS saat proses penghitungan.

Mengenai dengan soal dugaan kesalahan input data termasuk suara Calon Legislatif (Caleg) bahkan ada tertukar, kata Abdi, belum bisa berkomentar ada salah input data, karena per hari ini baru mulai perekapan di tingkat kecamatan. Sedangkan di Kota Makassar, ia belum menerima adanya kekurangan suara caleg.

Secara terpisah, Anggota Bawaslu Sulsel Saiful Jihad membenarkan untuk Kota Makassar data sementara ada dua TPS direkomendasikan PSU dari jumlah total se Sulsel sebanyak 54 TPS yang akan melaksanakan PSU.

“Kami tentu mengawal proses Pemilu, mudah-mudahan hasilnya nanti sesuai harapan masyarakat dan ikut mengawal prosesnya. Kalau ada catatan, tidak sesuai prosedur dan mekanismenya serta dianggap melanggar, Bawaslu harus hadir. Sejauh ini, penghitungan suara di PPK sudah berlangsung,” katanya kepada wartawan.

Data rekapitulasi surat suara yang dikutip pada situs resmi KPU, per 18 Februari 2024 pukul 19.00 Wita, dari 4.004 TPS se-Kota Makassar data yang masuk telah mencapai 42,93 persen atau sebanyak 1.719 TPS.

Data KPU Makassar, jumlah TPS yang tersebar di 15 kecamatan dengan 153 kelurahan sebanyak 4.004 unit TPS. Sedangkan jumlah Daftar Pemilih Tetap (DPT) Pemilu 2024 sebanyak 1.036.965 juta pemilih dengan rincian laki-laki 501.371 ribu pemilih dan perempuan 535.594 ribu pemilih.

Eks Ketua KPK pimpin sementara perolehan suara DPD wilayah Jatim

Eks Ketua KPK pimpin sementara perolehan suara DPD wilayah Jatim
Seseorang sedang mengamati hasil hitung suara DPD RI 2024 wilayah Jawa Timur melalui laman resmi KPU,, per Kamis (15/2/2024), pukul 17.01 WIB. ANTARA/Fiqih Arfani

Surabaya (ANTARA) – Mantan Ketua Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) RI, Agus Rahardjo, memimpin sementara perolehan suara pemilihan Dewan Perwakilan Daerah (DPD) RI 2024 di wilayah Jawa Timur dengan raihan 11,88 persen berdasarkan penghitungan sementara KPU atau real count per Kamis, pukul 17.01 WIB.

Sebagaimana tercantum di laman “”, seperti dipantau dari Surabaya, data tersebut merupakan hasil penghitungan suara di 36,88 persen tempat pemungutan suara (TPS) atau 44.504 dari total 120.666 TPS di 38 kabupaten/kota.

Posisi kedua ditempati Ketua DPD RI saat ini, LaNyalla Mahmud Mattalitti yang meraih 11,72 persen suara. Menempel ketat di posisi ketiga adalah aktivis perempuan yang juga keponakan mantan Gubernur Jatim Khofifah Indar Parawansa, Lia Istifhama dengan raihan 11,12 persen.

Di posisi empat, atau batas terakhir perebutan kursi untuk DPD RI daerah pemilihan Jawa Timur diisi seorang perempuan yang viral di sosial media karena disebut warganet berparas cantik, yaitu Kondang Kusumaning Ayu. Perolehan suaranya mencapai 10,76 persen.

Sementara itu, dua petahana anggota DPD RI yang memutuskan maju kembali pada Pemilu 2024, masing-masing Ahmad Nawardi (8,44 persen suara) serta Adilla Aziz berada (8,4 persen) di posisi lima dan enam.

Calon senator lainnya berturut-turut di posisi 7 hingga 13 , yaitu Ayub Khan (7,45 persen), Abdul Qodir Amir Hartono (6,56 persen), Mohammad Trijanto (6,48 persen), Catur Rudi Utanto (5,53 persen), Bambang Harianto (4,63 persen), Kunjung Wahyudi (3,79 persen), dan Doddy Dwi Nugroho (3,23 persen).

Hasil yang ditampilkan KPU itu bukan hasil akhir Pemilu 2024. KPU menyatakan publikasi Form Model C/D Hasil adalah hasil penghitungan suara di TPS untuk memudahkan akses informasi publik.

KPU juga menyatakan penghitungan suara yang dilakukan oleh kelompok penyelenggara pemungutan suara (KPPS) di TPS, rekapitulasi hasil penghitungan suara, dan penetapan hasil pemilu dilakukan secara berjenjang dalam rapat pleno terbuka oleh PPK, KPU kabupaten dan kota, KPU provinsi, serta KPU RI berdasarkan ketentuan peraturan perundang-undangan.

Sesuai Peraturan KPU Nomor 3 Tahun 2022, rekapitulasi suara nasional Pemilu 2024 dijadwalkan berlangsung mulai 15 Februari 2024 sampai dengan 20 Maret 2024.