This article presents a picture of contemporary welfare politics in Indonesia. Adopted in the light of broken welfare-oriented programes initiated by national and local administrations, it was hoped that Law 11/2009 would provide a clearer direction for the development of welfare systems in Indonesia. However, analysis of the formulation and content of the law, together with interviews and session notes indicate that such expectations are unlikely to be fulfilled. The legislation process in parliament (DPR) lacked any ideological or substantive debate, while the content fails to present a clear vision of welfare, except as a residual-like model and with characteristics of a benevolent state. This social welfare law has thoroughly failed to act as a blueprint for the Indonesian welfare ideal.