The ‘normal’ politics of 2008, in between the big electoral events of 2004 and 2009, illustrated the ambiguities of democratic change. Hung gubernatorial elections in North Maluku and South Sulawesi led local elites to ask Jakarta to intervene. A long campaign of demonstrations and violent intimidation by fundamentalist groups against the unorthodox Islamic group Ahmadiyah persuaded the government to impose a semi-ban on the group. At the same time, a senior intelligence officer was put on trial over the 2004 murder of the human rights activist Munir. And the Corruption Eradication Commission continued to arrest powerful people for corruption, although these arrests also began to stimulate increasingly organised resistance. All in all, politics in 2008 demonstrated an openness, and even a willingness to learn, that augurs well for the future.