Tag Archive for: indonesia

JC History Tuition Online - What is the Free Aceh Movement - National Unity Notes

What is the Free Aceh Movement?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Search for Political Stability
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme I Chapter 2: Approaches to National Unity

Find out how a separatist movement in Indonesia achieved a peaceful resolution with central authorities. [Video by Prof James Ker-Lindsay]

Historical Background
Aceh is located in the north-western tip of Sumatra. Notably, the Acehnese supported the practice of Islam. In the 1950s, Aceh rallied behind the Darul Islam rebellion, which resulted in a partial acceptance by the Sukarno government to grant a ‘special region’ status for Aceh. It was seen as an accommodative response by the government, enabling the Acehnese to manage their own matters relating to religion, education and customary law.

To put an end to the violence, Aceh was granted the status ‘Special Region of Aceh’ (Daerah Istimewa Aceh) in 1959, supposedly having autonomy in matters pertaining to Religion, Education and Customary law. However, most Acehnese claim that this ‘special status’ is a farce because on most occasions, the central government in Jakarta enforces its national laws, even when these laws completely contradict local customs. For example, in the late 1980s when the central government announced a national anti-jilbab (veil) policy – Aceh was also forced to bow down to national policy.

An excerpt from “Gender, Islam, Nationalism and the State in Aceh: The Paradox of Power, Co-optation and Resistance” by Joy Aquino Siapno.

However, problems began to surface due to growing discontent over two reasons. First, the transmigration policy involved the relocation of workers from the overpopulated Java to other islands, including Aceh. Consequently, Javanese immigrants occupied the mountains and industrial zones on the Aceh coast, cutting off Acehnese access to fish and rice for subsistence.

Second, public discontent related to the distribution of Aceh’s natural resource. Although the Aceh supplies thirty percent of Indonesian oil and natural gas by the late 1980s, it was still one of the poorest provinces in the country.

Free Aceh Movement
A former Darul Islam leader Hasan di Tiro formed the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka) in December 1976. The separatists aimed to create an independent Islamic state. GAM went through four key phases, the late 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s as result of military operations launched by Jakarta. Under Suharto’s New Order, the Indonesian army (Tentera Nasional Indonesia, TNI) mobilised its troops to quell the separatist insurgencies from the late 1970s to 1990s.

Tensions continued to rise, and in 1989, the civil war resumed. Attempts to negotiate a settlement with the Scandinavian-based exiled leadership were halfhearted at best. The war was bloody and very costly for GAM, with several thousand members killed. The TNI increased its presence in the province throughout the 1990s, reaching a peak of thirty thousand troops (the police were part of the army until 1999).

[…] GAM’s fourth phase began in 1999 with a renewed offensive to take advantage of the collapse of the Suharto regime/military-backed government. The system of civilian administration by the military ended, though civil administration was very weak. The military was on the defensive for human rights abuses and its role in keeping Suharto in power, so GAM seized the initiative and launched a wave of attacks. GAM truly believed that Indonesia was on the cusp of being a failed state and that independence was inevitable.

An excerpt from “Forging Peace in Southeast Asia: Insurgencies, Peace Processes, and Reconciliation” by Zachary Abuza.

Peaceful resolution and an unexpected national disaster
In December 2002, GAM and the Indonesian government signed a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, allowing for temporary ceasefire between the parties. Although the agreement broke down, GAM ceased hostilities after a massive earthquake in the Indian Ocean occurred on 26 December 2004, which caused a tsunami that affected numerous Acehnese. Both the GAM and government focused on providing humanitarian relief to the affected people.

In February 2005, another round of peace talks were held in Finland. Five months later, a peace deal was finally reached, ending the three decade-long insurgency.

The Government of Indonesia (GoI) and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) confirm their commitment to a peaceful, comprehensive and sustainable solution to the conflict in Aceh with dignity for all.

The parties commit themselves to creating conditions within which the government of the Acehnese people can be manifested through a fair and democratic process within the unitary state and constitution of the Republic of Indonesia.

The parties are deeply convinced that only the peaceful settlement of the conflict will enable the rebuilding of Aceh after the tsunami disaster on 26 December 2004 to progress and succeed.

An excerpt from “Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement“, 15 August 2005.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that minority responses were most important in affecting government efforts to forge national unity?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Approaches to National Unity. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What affected the economic development of Indonesia under Suharto

What affected the economic development of Indonesia under Suharto?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Paths to Economic Development

Challenges that surfaced during the ‘New Order
After Suharto took over Sukarno as the Indonesian President in the late 1960s, the new leader had begun efforts to recover the Indonesian economy. Agendas were set in the new Five-Year Plan, also known as Repelita I (Rencana Pembagunan Lima Tahun I).

A crisis in the agricultural sector: Rice
In the early 1970s, a serious drought had hit Indonesia. It adversely affected rice producers, leading to a fall in production. As a result, the price of rice surged, impacting the poor. If left unchecked, this economic problem may spill over to the political sphere.

In 1973, Suharto formed the Badan Urusan Logistik (BULOG), a national rice agency. It was established to build and maintain a buffer stock of rice, managing distribution of rice across Indonesia. Also, it helped to maintain rice price stability to protect the welfare of rice farmers.

In addition, the Indonesian government aimed to create a national buffer stock of rice to pre-empt shortages, should there be unforeseen circumstances like a serious drought. By 1979, an integrated network of modern warehouses was built. This network had the capacity to store one million tons of rice across the nation.

From 1975 to 1983 BULOG implemented the government’s floor and ceiling price policy and delivered monthly rations to the Budget Groups without a hitch. […] Supporting the floor price received top priority as a way of stimulating domestic rice production, a crucial task because of the perceived unreliability of the world rice market. From 1974 to 1978, persistent problems with disease and pests associated with the new rice varieties kept upward pressure on rural prices, so maintaining the floor price was relatively easy at the prices actually set, which merely kept pace with inflation.

An excerpt from “Indonesia’s Sustainable Development in a Decentralization Era” by Budy P. Resosudarmo, Armida S. Alisjahbana and Bambang P.S. Brodjonegoro.

Public demonstrations: Malari
In the same decade as the ‘rice crisis’, Indonesia grappled with protests in Jakarta and other parts of Indonesia, known as the Malari riots in short (Malapetaka Lima belas Januari). The origins of the riots can be traced to a visit by the Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka. There were fears of growing Japanese influence in the commercial sectors of Indonesia.

In response to the demonstrations led by students, the New Order government mobilised the military to quell the unrest and restore order. Furthermore, public discussion of the Malari and its impacts was prohibited.

From the economic standpoint, Suharto revised the policies on attracting foreign investment, especially from Japan, to minimise the resurgence of socio-political instability.

The first was the so-called “Malari Affair” of January 1974, during which public anger about the rising tide of Japanese investment boiled over and called into question the continued dominance of energy extraction in Japanese-Indonesian relations. […] Malari forced a toning down of Japan’s conspicuous presence in Indonesia, as many analysts at the time identified it with Japan’s poor public image abroad.

An excerpt from “Engineering Asia: Technology, Colonial Development, and the Cold War Order” by Hiromi Mizuno, Aaron S. Moore and John DiMoia.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How successful were governments in managing economic challenges in independent Southeast Asia?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Paths to Economic Development. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - How did the Dutch influence the Indonesian economy

How did the Dutch influence the Indonesian economy?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Paths to Economic Development

Historical Context
In the 19th century, the Dutch established the cultivation system known as the cultuurstelsel. The origin of the system can be traced to the early 1800s, in which the Dutch colonial government had struggled to engage private cultivators to raise crop production for export. Under the leadership of the Dutch Governor-General, van den Bosch, he switched to a different method to cultivate export crops.

In particular, the Dutch identified individual villages and instructed the people in each village to grow specific crops, such as rice, coffee and sugar. In the 1830s, export production from Java increased significantly due to the efforts put in by the Chinese merchants and indigenous Javanese ruling class and the Dutch officials.

The emergence of economic nationalism: Limitations of the Ethical Policy
Yet, the Dutch cultivation system was not deemed by all local natives as beneficial. Within the indigenous Indonesian community, some viewed economic participation by the Chinese merchants as a threats to their interests.

Influential merchant groups in urban Java, such as the Sarekat Dagang Islam, resented competition from the Chinese. The better-off farmers in Java, who controlled irrigated rice land, resented the enforced renting of land to the sugar companies. Most of those involved in the growing nationalist movement, including growing numbers of indigenous business people, would probably have agreed with the judgement of a later economist that ‘the developmental effort under the ethical system was too little and too late to be effective in raising levels of living of the Indonesian people’.

An excerpt from “Economic Change in Modern Indonesia: Colonial and Post-colonial Comparisons” by Anne Booth.

The Sarekat Dagang Islam (Islamic Trade Union) was initially formed as a Javanese traders’ cooperative to support textile traders against Chinese competitors. In 1912, it was renamed as Sarekat Islam as the organisation evolved into a mass political party.

The Dutch Ethnical Policy (Ethische Politiek) was identified as the root cause of the unequal economic opportunities that generated resentment towards the Chinese immigrants and the colonial power. The policy was guided by its slogan: ‘irrigation, education and emigration’.

The Dutch colonial administration aimed to enhance the irrigation facilities to increase agricultural productivity. However, the intended growth target was not realised. As a result, the poor living standards had fueled the growth of Indonesian nationalism instead.

The Ethical Policy sought to protect the ‘poor’ and ‘unenlightened’ Javanese peasant against the oppression by feudal Javanese overlords and ruthless Chinese. Its formulated lofty goal was to raise the prosperity of the indigenous population through direct state intervention in economic life.

[…] The economic downturn of the early 1920s and 1930s started a period of consolidation and eventually deterioration of the Ethical Policy. The political will to initiate ethical programs waned as the administration embarked on a policy of expenditure cuts to balance the budget.

An excerpt from “Dutch Commerce and Chinese Merchants in Java: Colonial Relationships in Trade and Finance, 1800-1942” by Alexander Claver.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the significance of economic challenges in influencing government intervention in post-independence Southeast Asian economies.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about colonial-era policies and their impacts on the Paths to Economic Development. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - Sipadan and Ligitan dispute Revisited

Sipadan and Ligitan dispute: Revisited

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 1: Inter-state tensions and co-operation: Causes of inter-state tensions

Territorial claims
Malaysia and Indonesia had competing claims to the Sipadan and Ligitan islands. These islands were situated in the northeastern coast of Sabah in the Celebes Sea.

Indonesia’s stake was based on the 1891 Anglo-Dutch Convention. Since the two islands were formerly under the Dutch colonial occupation, Indonesia’s attainment of independence had meant that the same islands should belong to them.

In contrast, Malaysia referred to the 1878 Treaty between the Sultan of Sulu and the British North Borneo Company. The British had ceded the North Borneo territory (Sabah) to Malaysia. As such, the two contested islands were under Malaysia’s control.

The former territory of North Borneo was ceded or leased in perpetuity to the British in January 1878 by an agreement signed between the then Sultanate of Sulu and two British commercial agents, namely Alfred Dent and Baron von Overbeck of the British North Borneo Company, in return for payment of 5000 Malayan dollars per year. The sum was increased to 5,300 dollars when the lease was extended to include islands along the coast of North Borneo.

An excerpt from “Sultan of Sulu’s Sabah Claim: A Case of ‘Long-Lost’ Sovereignty?” by Mohd Hazmi bin Mohd Rusli and Muhamad Azim bin Mazlan.

Militarisation of a territorial dispute
The situation appeared tense when both parties turned to their naval forces to address the contestation of islands in the early 1990s.

For example, in 1993, the former Malaysian Armed Forces General, Yaacob Mohd. Zain, that military action was the only answer to unsolved territorial disputes. A typical Indonesian response was an Indonesian naval spokesperson’s announcement that its forces would continue patrolling the islands because they “belong to us and we will defend them.” The crisis reached its peak in 1994 when Malaysian Defence Minister, Najib Tun Razak, visited Sipadan Island. Although the visit did not give rise to any incident, the military situation remained tense. Several subsequent stand-offs between the armed forces of both countries were reported to have taken place in the following years.

An excerpt from “Dispute Resolution through Third Party Mediation: Malaysia and Indonesia” by Asri Salleh.

In July 1982, Malaysia deployed troops to Sipadan and Ligitan islands. Likewise, Indonesian forces have landed in Sipadan island in 1993. Tensions were high when Indonesia accused Malaysia of conducting a military exercise in September 1994 to take over the two islands. In response, Indonesia held a naval exercise, while emphasising that it was not related to that dispute.

In July 1982, Malaysia occupied the two islands to the chagrin of its neighbour. As was the case with Swallow Reef, Malaysia began to develop the island for tourism. By early 1991 Indonesia started to protest the change in the status quo of the islands. Malaysian fishermen came eyeball to eyeball with the Indonesian Navy in July 1991 after which a joint commission was established. Even so, Malaysia claimed that Indonesian armed forces actually landed on Sipadan several times in 1993 and in 1994 the Indonesia Navy staged large-scale exercise involving 40 vessels and 7,000 troops in the vicinity.

An excerpt from “Non-Traditional Security Issues and the South China Sea: Shaping a New Framework for Cooperation” by Shicun Wu and Keyuan Zou.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the Sipadan and Ligitan dispute has strained Indonesia-Malaysia relations in the post-independence period?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about territorial disputes in the theme of Regional Conflicts and Co-operation. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What was the United Nations Malaysia Mission of 1963

What was the United Nations Malaysia Mission of 1963?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 1: Inter-state tensions and co-operation: Causes of inter-state tensions

Historical context: A proposed merger and a political backlash
On 27 May 1961, the first Malayan Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman announced the proposal to form a ‘Mighty Malaysia’ that included the Borneo territories (Sabah and Sarawak), Brunei and Singapore. The merger would lead to the formation of a Malaysian Federation.

However, Sukarno of Indonesia had opposed the proposed Federation of Malaysia after the Brunei Revolt. In December 1962, the North Kalimantan National Army (Tentera Nasional Kalimantan Utara) fought for independence, rejecting the plan to join the Federation. In response, the British sent troops from Singapore to Brunei to crush to revolt. A month later, Sukarno’s chief architect announced the Confrontation (Konfrontasi) policy.

Throughout the Brunei rebellion, Radio Jakarta had broadcast a series of inflammatory statements designed to destabilize British influence in the region and then on 20 January 1963 Foreign Minister Dr Subandrio declared that Malaya represented the ‘accomplices of neo-colonists and neo-imperialist forces that were hostile to Indonesia’ and from henceforth Indonesia would adopt a policy of konfrontasi. Konfrontasi, literally translated as confrontation, had been widely used in Indonesia for years as a term to refer to the diametrically opposed differences between conservative traditional and liberal modern modes of thought and cultural expression.

An excerpt from The Brunei Revolt: 1962-1963 by Nicholas van der Bijl

Attempts at defusal of tensions: The United Nations Malaysia Mission
In May 1963, Sukarno and the Tunku met to hold talks on how to resolve their differences over the Federation. Sukarno claimed that Indonesia would not oppose the Tunku should the people of North Borneo agree to join the Federation.

On 31 July 1963, Malaya, Indonesia and the Philippines signed the Manila Accord, signifying the mutual consensus to ascertain the wishes of the people in North Borneo whether to join the Malaysian Federation. The Accord was drafted in accordance to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV).

Then, the United Nations Secretary-General U Thant led a mission to facilitate the referendum in North Borneo. However, on 29 August 1963, the Tunku announced that the Federation of Malaysia would be established on 16 September. This unilateral decision had angered Sukarno, who viewed Tunku’s action as a violation of their initial agreements.

During the course of the inquiry, the date of 16 September 1963 was announced by the Government of the Federation of Malaya with the concurrence of the British Government, the Singapore Government and the Governments of Sabah and Sarawak, for the establishment of the Federation of Malaysia. This has led to misunderstanding, confusion, and even resentment among other parties to the Manila agreement, which could have been avoided if the date could have been fixed after my conclusions had been reached and made known.

An excerpt from the ‘Final Conclusions of the Secretary-General regarding Malaysia‘, 13 September 1963.

As described by U Thant, the announcement was perceived to be a premature decision made by the Tunku which Thant thought should have been undertaken only after the completion of the UN mission. Nevertheless, the mission reported stated that the peoples of North Borneo were in favour of joining Malaysia, thus legitimising the Tunku’s plan. Excerpt for Brunei, Singapore, North Borneo and Malaya merged to form the Federation was planned on 16 September.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that ideology was the main reason for the Indonesian Confrontation of 1963?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Indonesian Confrontation and other causes of inter-state tensions. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - Konfrontasi Revisited - JC History Essay Notes

Konfrontasi: Revisited

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 1: Inter-state tensions and co-operation: Causes of inter-state tensions: territorial disputes

Find out what happened during the Konfrontasi [Video by Singapore Bicentennial]

The Confrontation
In July 1963, the Konfrontasi (Confrontation) began, threatening the socio-political stability of the newly-formed Malaysian Federation. The conflict had significant impacts on the perceptions of neighbouring countries toward Indonesia, especially after the formation of ASEAN.

Impacts on Indonesia-Malaysia relations
Bilateral relations were affected by the ‘ghost’ of Konfrontasi. With the the institutional support from the regional organisation, both parties were more willing to cooperate politically and economically.

Despite mutual high-level reassurances, relations thus remain somewhat ‘brittle’. Bilateral ties are still more contingent than institutionalized, and neither side seems sure of the other’s genuine goodwill or commitment to reciprocity – whether ‘bilateralism’ really means something more than involving two parties. Much as Konfrontasi has been ascribed at last in part to Sukarno’s grandstanding style and the verbal jousting between him and Tunku Abdul Rahman, which left little room for compromise, a change in domestic mood – especially in a rise in non-negotiable, emotional nationalism – can still dangerously curtail policy options or public support for particular positions.

An excerpt from “International Relations in Southeast Asia: Between Bilateralism and Multilateralism” by N. Ganesan and Ramses Amer.

Impacts on Indonesia-Singapore relations
For Singapore, the lingering impacts of the Konfrontasi on bilateral relations had subsided by the 1970s, following the Prime Minister’s visit to Jakarta. Furthermore, increased cooperation between the two nations in the 1980s and 1990s had helped to normalise relations.

Although it remains contentious as to whether the kind of multilateralism enjoined by ASEAN has brought about a regional security community, in the sense of its members having stable expectations of peaceful dispute resolution among themselves, most accounts of the regional organization argue that it has served to embed shared interests, trust, and habits of cooperation.

An excerpt from “International Relations in Southeast Asia: Between Bilateralism and Multilateralism” by N. Ganesan and Ramses Amer.

Regional cooperation: A new goal
Notably, the Konfrontasi was a reminder to member nations of ASEAN on the fragility of diplomatic relations. At the final stages of the conflict, efforts were made by Suharto and his counterparts to de-escalate tensions amicably.

In wrecking the prospects for MAPHILINDO, Konfrontasi had underscored the importance of regionalism by demonstrating the high costs of the use of force to settle intra-regional conflicts.

… While interest in regionalism among the five member states of ASEAN was a result of varied geopolitical considerations, all recognised ASEAN’s value as a framework through which to prevent a return to a Konfrontasi-like situation. As a regional forum under Indonesia’s putative leadership, ASEAN would first and foremost constrain Indonesia’s possible return to belligerence.

An excerpt from “Constructing a Security Community in Southeast Asia: ASEAN and the Problem of Regional Order (Politics in Asia)” by Amitav Acharya.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess whether inter-state tensions have hindered regional cooperation after 1967.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about regional conflicts and co-operation. Our H2 and H1 History Tuition classes are conducted online to improve your awareness of historical developments and refine your writing skills for essay and source based case study questions.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - What is New Order - Approaches to Governance JC History Essay Notes

What is New Order?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Search for Political Stability
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme I Chapter 1: Approaches to Governance

Examine the historical developments of Indonesia under Suharto’s New Order – Video by PinterPolitik TV

Historical Context: The 30 September movement
After President Sukarno declared the start of the “Guided Democracy” in 1957, the Indonesian government consolidated political control to restore peace and stability in the nation. However, Sukarno encountered difficulties in managing two notable roles – the military and the Partai Kommunis Indonesia (PKI). As such, he sought to re-energise the Indonesian society through the campaign in West New Guinea and the Konfrontasi, declaring a revival of the Indonesian Revolution.

On 30 September 1965, an abortive coup had resulted in the deaths of six senior generals (later known as the Gerakan 30 September). As the leader of the KOSTRAD (Komando Strategis Angkatan Darat, also known as the Army Strategic Command), General Suharto investigated the incident. Subsequently, the PKI was accused of launching the coup.

The end of Guided Democracy: Supersemar
On 11 March 1966, President Sukarno signed a decree that granted Suharto full political authority to restore order in Indonesia. The transfer of executive power was known as Supersemar (Surat Perintah Sebelas Maret)

III. Memutuskan/Memerintahkan:

Kepada: LETNAN DJENDRAL SUHARTO MENTERI PANGLIMA ANGKATAN DARAT

Untuk: Atas nama Presiden/Panglima Tertinggi/Pemimpin Besar Revolusi:

1. Mengambil segala tindakan yang dianggap perlu untuk terdjaminnja keamanan dan ketenangan, serta kestabilan djalannja pemerintahan dan djalannja Revolusi, serta mendjamin keselamatan pribadi dan kewibawaan Pimpinan Presiden/Panglima Tertinggi/Pemimpin Besar Revolusi/Mandataris M.P.R.S. demi untuk keutuhan Bangsa dan Negara Republik Indonesia, dan melaksanakan dengan pasti segala adjaran Pemimpin Besar Revolusi.

Excerpt from Supersemar (Order of Eleventh March), 11 March 1966.

From the above extract, it states that General Suharto was granted the authority to take any necessary measures to guarantee the security, stability and progress of the Indonesian Revolution.

The New Order
After the Supersemar was signed, the PKI was banned. Between June to July 1966, the membership within the People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat Sementara), which operated as the legislative branch of the Indonesian political system, experienced a purge. Individuals that formerly supported Sukarno were removed on the basis of being involved in the 30 September Movement.

Agains the Cold War backdrop, the USA also made observations that the rise of Suharto was a notable development that ushered a period of political stability in Indonesia after Sukarno’s inability to manage the Communist threat in the 1950s and 1960s.

The regime of General Suharto has brought Indonesia to a stage of imposed political stability and the beginnings of economic revival. Although the army holds predominant and ultimate political power, civilian participation in government is considerable and effective.

The New Order sees its basic tasks as the restoration of the economy, the continued suppression of Communism, and the development of stable representative government which would include a substantial political role for the army.

An excerpt taken from the Weekly Summary Special Report: The New Order in Indonesia, Central Intelligence Agency, 11 August 1967.

After the New Order was established, Suharto granted the military a political role to maintain stability. The concept of dwifungsi (dual function) was implemented as a policy to legitimise its role.

Until the fall of Suharto, the military considered dwifungsi to be its function, reason and spirit. The missions of security and socio-political development were inseparable. By directing socio-political development, the military served to support the goals of development, political and social stability, defence and national integrity. Any deviant social or political movement that threatened the status quo was seen as a threat to national security.

An excerpt from “Power Politics and the Indonesian Military” by Damien Kingsbury

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the significance of the military in maintaining political stability of Indonesia under the New Order regime.

Join our JC History Tuition and learn more about the history of Indonesia and other Southeast Asian states. We provide useful study notes, essay outlines and practices for source based case study questions. We conduct online learning programmes for H1 and H2 History students to prepare for the GCE A Level History examinations.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to learn more.

JC History Tuition - ASEAN Economic Cooperation during the Cold War - JC History Essay Notes

ASEAN Economic Cooperation during the Cold War

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 2: ASEAN (Growth and Development of ASEAN : Building regional peace and security)

ASEAN Economic Cooperation after 1976
Following the historic Bali Summit in February 1976, ASEAN members signed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) as well as the ASEAN Concord. By doing so, member states expressed their common desire to promote economic cooperation against the backdrop of the growing threat of Communism in Southeast Asia.

However, it is imperative to observe that regional economic integration was not on the top of the priority list for many member nations.

Prior to the late 1980s, consideration of deep regional economic integration remained taboo and the focus was on economic cooperation…

ASEAN’s preference for regional economic cooperation rather than deep regional economic cooperation rather than deep integration in the 1970s and 1980s reflects the reluctance of some ASEAN countries to undertake trade and investment liberalisation owing to the pursuit of industrial policies of import substitution and picking winners.

An excerpt from “ASEAN Economic Cooperation and Integration” by Siow Yue Chia, Michael G. Plummer

According to the authors, “deep economic cooperation” refers to the removal of artificial barriers to promote international trade. In contrast, “economic integration” implies the aim of forming a Free Trade Agreement, economic community or customs union.

Diverging perceptions towards regional economic integration
Although the ASEAN Concord signified the member states’ desire to engage in regional economic cooperation through the setup of large-scale industrial projects within Southeast Asia, some had reservations over economic integration.

According to Widjojo Nitisastro, Indonesia had resisted all notions of trade liberalization and regional economic integration. Indonesia, he said, was more concerned with food, as well as energy, security and with the establishment of large-scale industrial projects.

An excerpt from “Southeast Asian in Search of an ASEAN Community: Insights from the former ASEAN Secretary-General” by Rodolfo C. Severino

Under Suharto’s leadership, Indonesian economist Widjojo Nitisastro took the lead in shaping the ‘New Order’ government’s economic policies. Notably, Nitisastro was part of the ‘Berkeley Mafia’ group that operated as technocrats to guide economic development in Indonesia.

Such views were expressed during the inaugural ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEMM) that was held in March 1976. Some membere states expressed concerns over access to essential resources and food like crude oil and rice respectively.

Preferential Trading Arrangement (PTA)
The PTA was introduced in July 1977, in which member nations would allow imports from other members a “margin of preference on Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariffs”.

After a decade of ongoing negotiations, the economic ministers agreed that the PTA would be applied to at least 90% of the items traded within ASEAN with at least 50% of the value of intra-ASEAN trade.

Unfortunately, intra-ASEAN trade remained low. During the 1991 meeting, economic ministers, it was reported that the value of intra-ASEAN trade in items covered by the PTA barely increased from US$121 million in 1987 to US$578 million in 1989.

The following document produced by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) reveals the underlying problems that explained the limited success of the PTA:

The existing low level of intra-ASEAN trade has always been the rallying point for the “regionalists”, who strongly advocate a rapid growth of intraregional trade in order to diversify the region’s market base and to reduce its over-dependence on the industrialized countries.

However, intra-ASEAN trade since 1976 has simply failed to take off in real terms and remained stagnant at around the 15 per cent…

At the same time, the stagnancy of intra-ASEAN trade also reflects the tremendous structural problems and institutional biases operating against intraregional trade.

An exceprt taken from the UNIDO report titled “Regional Industrial Co-operation: Experiences and Perspective of ASEAN and the Andean Pact“, 1983.

The ASEAN Industrial Projects (AIP)
In March 1980, the AIP was formalised to encourage member states of ASEAN to engage in economic cooperation. According to the Basic Agreement on ASEAN Industrial Projects, the host country was required to invest 60% of the equity, while the other four member nations would occupy the remaining 40%.

However, ASEAN encountered stumbling blocks against due to the perceptions of intra-ASEAN competition as possible conflicts to their national interests.

Among the approved ASEAN Industrial Projects, only the urea fertilizer plants in Aceh in northern Sumatra and Bintulu in central Sarawak have survived as such. No ASEAN country was willing to see curbs on its option to put up industries similar to those allocated to another ASEAN country.

… The ASEAN countries’ lack of enthusiasm for AIP’s other than their own was indicated by the fact that Brunei Darussalam and the Philippines, as well as Singapore, were willing to commit only one per cent each of the Thai potash project’s equity…

An excerpt from “Southeast Asian in Search of an ASEAN Community: Insights from the former ASEAN Secretary-General” by Rodolfo C. Severino

The ASEAN Way: Conflict versus Consensus-building
Nevertheless, there were member nations within ASEAN that advocated regional economic cooperation, even though the slow progress in the 1980s left much to be desired.

Given Singapore’s inherent challenges of lacking a sizable market, the government was a strong supporter of ASEAN economic integration.

We have spoken in one voice against protectionist policies. For our admonitions to be effective, however, we must practise what we preach. In our policies to promote intra-ASEAN trade, we must not put barriers to trade between ASEAN and the industrial countries. We cannot expect others to keep their markets open to ASEAN products if we close our markets to theirs.

… One cardinal principle ASEAN has practised is to agree by consensus. Consensus ensures that the national interest of any member will not be compromised. I suggest the time has come for greater latitude in defining ‘consensus’ so as to widen the areas of cooperation. When four agree and one does not object, this can still be considered as consensus; and the four should proceed with a new regional scheme. An ASEAN five-minus-one scheme can benefit the participating four without damaging the abstaining one. Indeed, the abstaining one may well be encouraged to join in later by the success of the scheme.

An excerpt from a speech by then Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew during the Ninth Meeting of the ASEAN Economic Ministers, 21 April 1980.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that ASEAN was effective in promoting regional economic co-operation from 1976 to 1991?

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JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - What is Guided Democracy - Approaches to Governance JC History Essay Notes

What is Guided Democracy?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Search for Political Stability
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme I Chapter 1: Approaches to Governance

Historical Context: Struggles of a Liberal Democracy
After independence was achieved in Indonesia, a democratic government was formed. Sukarno became the president, while Mohammed Hatta held the vice president position. The 1950 Constitution was drafted to establish a parliamentary system that supported the conduct of regular elections and diverse political representation.

However, the Indonesian government was hampered by political disunity, as observed by absence of a clear majority after the first general elections in 1955.

Furthermore, two competing entities vied for political roles in the government, namely the military and the Communist Party of Indonesia (Partai Kommunis Indonesia, PKI).

Soekarno stressed two themes in particular that had deep meaning for many to whom he spoke. One was the constant political, economic, social, and psychological strife which, though in fact endemic, liberal democracy was damned as having introduced. The continual tensions between Parliament and Cabinet had always brought down Governments before they could accomplish anything; the idea that a loyal opposition was necessary had led to simple obstructionism.

Excerpt from “The Transition to Guided Democracy: Indonesian Politics, 1957-1959” by Daniel S. Lev.

The Guided Democracy: The rise of authoritarianism
As Sukarno realised that the experimentation with liberal democracy was not viable, he introduced the “Guided Democracy“. In the process, he reverted to the 1945 Constitution, which allowed the president to use authoritarian measures and establish control. In 1959, Sukarno dissolved the parliament and personally appointed half of its members.

Also, Sukarno promoted the ‘Nasakom‘ (Nasionalisme, agama, komunisme) philosophy, which entailed nationalism, religion and communism. By doing so, the Nasakom legtimised the increased political involvement of both the PKI and the military.

In installing Guided Democracy in 1957-1959, Sukarno renewed his stress on the fundamental unity of the various ideological streams within Indonesia, and Nasakom became the grounds for including the Partai Kommunis Indonesia (PKI) in a broad range of government institutions from 1960 and including a few far left members in the cabinent from 1962.

Excerpt from “Historical Dictionary of Indonesia” by Robert Cribb and Audrey Kahin.

Third, Guided Democracy was a major step toward military domination of Indonesian politics. In March 1957, Sukarno responded to a series of regional military rebellions by declaring martial law, effectively ending parliamentary rule and legalizing those rebellions…

…Although martial law formally ended in 1963, Guided Democracy greatly expanded the military’s economic resources and established it as the clear leader of a broad coalition of anticommunist forces.

Excerpt from “Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor” by Keat Gin Ooi.

Indonesian Revolution Re-visited: Konfrontasi
A distinctive feature of the Guided Democracy involved the outright rejection of Western influences in the Southeast Asian region.

In December 1961, Indonesian launched Operation Trikora, which was a military campaign to seize the Dutch-controlled New Guinea. This was also known as the “West Irian dispute”.

Another notable incident involved its neighbouring countries, Malaya, Singapore and the Borneo Territories (Sabah and Sarawak). After the Tunku of Malaya announced the creation of the Federation of Malaysia, Sukarno protested by conducting the Confrontation (Konfrontasi).

Aftermath: The 30 September Movement
Although the Guided Democracy seemed to function more effectively than Sukarno’s pre-1957 efforts, the internal division between the PKI and the military persisted. The economic woes further destabilised the nation.

Eventually, the Guided Democracy came to an end when the PKI was accused of the assassination of army officers, which led to Suharto’s swift military intervention.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the reasons for the end of Sukarno’s Guided Democracy.

Join our JC History Tuition and learn more about the history of post-independent Indonesia as well as other Southeast Asian nations for the topic of Approaches to Governance. We also cover other relevant topics for students taking either H1 or H2 History. Join our online learning programme and receive study notes to kick-start your revision. We also support you by reviewing your writing and providing outlines for effective revision.

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JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - What is Pancasila - National Unity JC History Essay Notes

What is Pancasila?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Search for Political Stability
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme I Chapter 2: Approaches to National Unity

Indonesian President Sukarno’s speech on “Pancasila” in 1956 [Video by KompasTV]

Historical Context
On 1 June 1945, Sukarno gave a speech to the Investigating Committee for Preparatory Work for Independence (Badan Penyelidik Usaha Persiapan Kermerdekaan, BPUPK).

In that speech, the concept of Pancasila was introduced. The word itself was derived from Sanskrit, in which “Panca” means five and “sila” implies principles.

Sukarno’s Interpretation
The Five Principles were as follows:

  • Belief in God (Ketuhanan yang Maha Esa)
  • Nationalism (Nasionalisme)
  • Internationalism (Internationalisme)
  • Democracy (Musyawarah Mufakat)
  • Social Justice (Kesejahteraan Sosial)

Later, the second iteration of the Pancasila was introduced, the Pancasila was reordered. After the promulgation of the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, Pancasila became the fundamental political philosophy of the independent state.

Suharto’s Interpretation
Under Suharto’s New Order, the Indonesian government further institutionalised Pancasila as a national ideology. Although there was a change of political leadership in the 1960s, the Pancasila was a universal concept that strengthened national identity.

In 1974 Pancasila Industrial Relations (Hubungan Industrial Pancasila) was promulgated. This served to legitimise widespread state intervention, at the same time it nullified the legitimacy of strike action via its emphasis on familial and harmonious relations between labour, capital and the state…

While the importance of loyalty to the New Order was increasingly mediated through state-defined ideas about Pancasila, against the backdrop of an image of the Indonesian nation as a united and harmonious family (with Suharto as the father)…, which exhorted Indonesians to work together to develop the nation and bring about economic take-off, under the leadership of Suharto, the “father of development” (Bapak Pembangunan).

By Mark T. Berger, The Battle for Asia: From Decolonization to Globalization

Berger’s analysis revealed the signficance of Pancasila as an ideological basis for stronger state involvement not only for the promotion of social cohesion, but also for the pursuit of economic development.

The proliferation of Pancasila: Education
In practice, the New Order regime introduced education policies that emphasised on the study of Pancasila across all levels of society, starting with primary school students.

In 1978, the “Guidelines for Understanding and Practices of Pancasila” (P4) was introduced in the People’s Consultative Assembly.

The New Order enforced one single interpretation of state ideology and how to put it into practice by way of the then-popular program, a Course on the Guidelines for Internalizing and Practicing the Pancasila (Penataran P4/ Pedoman Penghayatan dan Pengalaman Pancasila). Declaring itself to be anti-communist, the New Order regime made Pancasila the political instrument upon which all policies had to be based.

By Shingo Minamizuka, World History Teaching in Asia: A Comparative Survey

In 1980, students in primary and secondary schools, as well as universities, were required to undergo the P4 Training. It aims to foster the comprehension and application of the P4 as a form of moral education.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the significance of Pancasila as a national ideology that was introduced to forge national unity in post-independent Indonesia.

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