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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.

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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.

Join our JC History Tuition and learn how to organise your thematic knowledge for essay and source based case study questions. We introduce online learning classes that are instrumental in streamlining your review of past content and refining your writing skills to ace the GCE A Level History examinations.

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