Sukarno, Indonesia's founding president
Indian culture and customs were introduced, such as the system of government in a monarchy, the ancestry system, the organization of military troops, literature, music and dances, architecture, religious practices and rituals, and even the division of laborers into castes or varnas. The Hindu literary works known as Vedas and the "Mahabharata" and "Ramayana" epics were also introduced through the wayang, or shadow-play performance, which is still very popular in many parts of present day Indonesia.
The first Indian Buddhists arrived in Indonesia between the 1st and 2nd Centuries AD. They brought with them Buddhism in its two sects, Hinayana and Mahayana. The latter became more advanced in the 8th Century AD.
In 144 AD a Chinese Buddhist saint, Fa Hsien, was caught in a storm and landed in Java-Dwipa, or Java Island, where he stayed for five months. The northern part of the island was then ruled by an Indonesian Hindu King named Kudungga. Kutai, on the island of Borneo, was successively ruled by the Hindu kings Devawarman, Aswawarman and Mulawarman.
When the Greek explorer and geographer, Ptolemy of Alexandria, wrote on Indonesia, he named either the island of Java or Sumatra "abadiou". His chronicles described Java as a country with a good system of government and advanced agriculture, navigation and astronomy. There was even mention of the "batik" printing process of cloth that the people already knew. They also made metalware, used the metric system and printed coins.
Chinese chronicles of 132 AD described the existence of diplomatic relations between Java-Dwipa and China. Around 502 AD Chinese annals mentioned the existence of the Buddhist Kingdom, Kanto Lim in South Sumatra, presumably in the neighborhood of present-day Palembang. It was ruled by king Gautama Subhadra, and later by his son Pyrawarman of Vinyawarman who established diplomatic relations with China. Because of a spelling or pronunciation difficulty, what the Chinese called "Kanto Li" was probably Crivijaya, a mighty Buddhist kingdom. On his way to India, the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim, I Tsing, visited Crivijaya in 671 AD to study the Sanskrit language. He returned 18 years later, in 689 AD Crivijaya was then the center of Buddhist learning and had many well-known philosophy scholars like Sakyakirti, Dharmapala and Vajabudhi.
The kingdom had diplomatic relations with the south Indian kingdom of Nalanda. The Crivijaya mission built a school on its premises where Indians could learn the art of molding bronze statues and broaden their knowledge of the Buddhist philosophy. With the spread of Buddhism, Crivijaya's influence reached out to many other parts of the archipelago.
Another known Buddhist kingdom was Cailendra in Central Java. It was ruled by the kings of Cailendra Dynasty. During their rule (750-850 AD) the famous Buddhist temple, Borobudur, was built. In 772 AD other Buddhist temple were also built. They include the Mendut, Kalasan and Pawon temples. All of these temples are now preserved as tourist objects near the city of Yogyakarta. The Cailendra kingdom was also known for its commercial and naval power, and its flourishing arts and culture. A guide to learn singing, known as the Chandra Cha-ana, was first written in 778 AD.
The Prambanan temple, which was dedicated to Lord Civa, was started in 856 AD and completed in 900 AD by King Daksa. Earlier Civa temples were built in 675 AD on the Dieng mountain range, southwest of Medang Kamolan, the capital of the Mataram Kingdom.
In West Java were the kingdoms of Galuh, Kanoman, Kuningan and Pajajaran. The latter was founded by King Purana with Pakuan as its capital. It replaced the kingdom of Galuh. The kingdoms of Taruma Negara, Kawali and Parahyangan Sunda came later.
At the end of the 10th Century (911-1007 AD) the powerful kingdom of Singasari emerged in East Java under King Dharmawangsa. He codified laws and translated into Javanese the "Mahabharata" epic and its basic philosophy, as exposed in the Bhisma Parva scripture. He also ordered the 12 translations of the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavat Gita.
Meanwhile, the island of Bali was also ruled by King Airlangga, known as a wise and strong ruler. He had water-works built along the Brantas River that are still in use today. Before his death in 971 AD he divided his kingdom into the kingdoms of Janggala and Daha or Kediri. These were to be ruled by his two sons.
King Jayabaya of Kediri 1135-1157 wrote a book in which he foretold the downfall of Indonesia. Subsequently, so he wrote, the country would be ruled by a white race, to be followed by a yellow race. His prediction turned out to be Dutch colonial rule and the Japanese occupation of the country during World War. However, Jayabaya also predicted that Indonesia would ultimately regain her independence. During the golden period of the Kediri Kingdom many other literary works were produced, including the Javanese version of the Mahabharata by Mpu (saint) Sedah and his brother Mpu Panuluh. This work was published in 1157.
The kingdoms of East Java were later succeeded by the Majapahit Kingdom, first ruled by Prince Wijaya who was also known as King Kartarajasa.
Under King Hayam Wuruk the Majapahit Empire became the most powerful kingdom in the history of Indonesia. It had dependencies in territories beyond the borders of the present archipelago, such as Champa in North Vietnam, Kampuchea and the Philippines (1331-1364). King Hayam Wuruk, with his able premier Gajah Mada, succeeded in gradually uniting the whole archipelago under the name of Dwipantara.
During this golden period of Majapahit many literary works were produced. Among them was "Negara Kertagama," by the famous author Prapancha (1335-1380). Parts of the book described the diplomatic and economic ties between Majapahit and numerous Southeast Asian countries including Myanmar, Thailand, Tonkin, Annam, Kampuchea and even India and China. Other works in Kawi, the old Javanese language, were "Pararaton," "Arjuna Wiwaha," "Ramayana," and "Sarasa Muschaya." These works were later translated into modern European languages for educational purposes.
After the fall of Majapahit, Islam spread further east to where the sultanates of Bone and Goa in Sulawesi were established. Also under the influence of Islam, were the sultanates of Ternate and Tidore in Maluku.
North of Java, the religion spread to Banjarmasin in Borneo and further west to Sumatra, where Palembang, Minangkabau (West Sumatra), Pasai and Perlak were converted.
Meanwhile, descendants of the Majapahit aristocracy, religious scholars and Hindu Ksatriyas retreated through the East Java peninsula of Blambangan to the island of Bali and Lombok. In a later period, however, the eastern part of Lombok was converted to Islam, which entered the island from the southern Sulawesi city of Makassar.
The capital of the West Java Kingdom of Pajajaran was Sunda Kelapa (1300 AD). It was located in the present capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta. In 1527 Sunda Kelapa was conquered by Falatehan, an Islamic troop commander of the sultanate of Demak. After his conquest the city was renamed Jaya Karta, meaning "the great city," this was the origin of the present name, Jakarta. Falatehan also defeated the Portuguese, who had also tried to seize the city
The Sultan of Aceh in Sumatra, the Sultan of Demak in Java and the Sultan of Ternate in the Maluku islands joined forces in trying to ward off the Portuguese. At that time the power and sovereignty of Ternate sultanate was recognized by more than 72 islands, including the island of Timor. In 1570, the Portuguese succeeded in killing the Sultan of Ternate, Khairun. However, his successor, Sultan Baabullah, besieged the Portuguese fortress at Ternate. Baabullah then allied himself with the Dutch to further confront the Portuguese and Spaniards.
In 1651 the Dutch invaded Kupang in Western Timor. Despite the Dutch presence in Timor, the formal and precise definition of the territories controlled by the two colonial powers did not take place until more than 200 years after the Dutch conquest of Kupang. It was only on 20 April 1859, the Dutch concluded a treaty with Portugal to divide Timor into their respective control : The Dutch occupied the Western part and Portugal the eastern part of the island. From that time Portugal could secure a full control over East Timor until it left the region in 1975.
After the nationalization of the VOC in 1799, the Dutch Government had a firm grip on the vital territories of the country. People in those territories were forced to surrender their agricultural produce to the Dutch merchants. It was the beginning of Dutch colonialism in Indonesia. Sunda Kelapa was renamed Batavia.
Meanwhile, the Hindu Kingdom of Mataram converted to Islam and was ruled by the Muslim, Sultan Agung Hanyokrokusumo. He developed the political power of the state and was a keen patron of the arts and culture. In 1633 he introduced the Islamic Javanese calendar.
Sultan Agung was a fierce enemy of the Dutch. In 1629 he sent his troops to attack Batavia, but they were repulsed by the troops of Governor General Jan Pieterszoon Coen.
After the seizure of Ambon in the Moluccas in 1605 and Banda Island in 1623, the Dutch secured the trade monopoly of the spice islands. A policy of ruthless exploitation by "divide and rule" tactics was carried out. In this way indigenous inter-island trade, like that between Makassar, Aceh, Mataram and Banten, as well as overseas trade, was gradually paralyzed. Indonesia was reduced to an agricultural country to supply European markets. At the same time, the Dutch adopted a so-called open-door policy toward the Chinese in order that they could serve as middlemen in their trade with Indonesia.
Sultan Hasanuddin of Goa waged a war against the Dutch in 1666. But was defeated and Goa became a vassal state of the VOC under the treaty of Bunggaya of 1667. Prince Trunojoyo of Madura also fought the Dutch. He was defeated and killed in 1680.
To reinforce their spice monopoly in the Moluccas, the Dutch undertook their notorious Hongi expeditions, whereby they burned down the clove gardens of the people in an effort to eliminate overproduction, which brought down the prices of cloves on the European markets. In these outrageous expeditions countless atrocities were committed against people who defended their crops.
In 1740 the Dutch suppressed a rebellion in Jakarta that was sparked by dissatisfied Chinese, who were later joined by Indonesians. Ten thousand Chinese were massacred.
The Kingdom of Mataram began to see its downfall after it was divided by the VOC into the Principalities of Yogyakarta and Surakarta. However, mismanagement and corruption forced the VOC into bankruptcy and on December 31, 1799, all its territories in Indonesia were taken over by the Dutch Administration in Batavia.
Raffles introduced partial self-government and abolished the slave trade. In those days slaves were captured and traded by foreigners. He also introduced the land-tenure system, replacing the hated Dutch forced-agricultural system, whereby crops were grown and surrendered to the Government. Borobudur and other temples were restored and research conducted. Raffles wrote his famous book, "The History of Java," in which he described Java's high civilization and culture. During the British stay in Sumatra (1814-1825), William Marsden wrote a similar book on the history of Sumatra, which was published in 1889.
After the fall of Napoleon, and the end of the French occupation of Holland the British and Dutch signed a convention in London on August 13, 1814, in which it was agreed that Dutch colonial possessions dating from 1803 onwards should be returned to the Dutch Administration in Batavia. Thus, the Indonesian archipelago was recovered from the British in 1815.
To mention only a few: Thomas Matulessy, alias Pattimura, staged a revolt against the Dutch in the Moluccas (1816-1818). Prince Diponegoro of Mataram led the Java War from 1825 until 1830. Again, it was a fierce struggle for freedom. Tuanku Imam Bonjol led the Padri War in West Sumatra, while Teuku Umar headed the Aceh War in North Sumatra (1873-1903). King Sisingamangaraja of the Bataks revolved against the Dutch in 1907. An attempt by the Dutch troops to occupy Bali in 1908 was repelled by King Udayana. Revolts were also erupting in Goa, South Sulawesi, and in South Kalimantan.
In 1912 Sarekat Dagang Islam, the Association of Moslem Merchants, was formed by Haji Samanhudi and others. Its objective was at first to stimulate and promote the interest of Indonesian business in the Dutch East Indies. However, in 1912 this organization of middle class businessmen turned into a political party and was renamed Sarekat Islam under the leadership of H.O.S. Tjokroaminoto, Haji Agoes Salim and others.
In 1912 a progressive Moslem organization, Muhammadiyah, was established by K.H. Akhmad Dahlan in Yogyakarta for the purpose of social and economic reforms.
In December of the same year Partai Indonesia was founded by Douwes Dekker, later named Setiabudi, with Dr. Tjipto Mangunkusumo and Ki Hajar Dewantoro. The objective of the party was to strive for complete independence of Indonesia. All three leaders of the party were exiled by the colonial government in 1913.
In 1914 communism was introduced in the East Indies by three Dutch nationals-Sneevliet, Baars and Brandsteder. In May 1920 Sarikat Islam split into a right and a left wing, the latter was to become the Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI, the Indonesian Communist Party) under the leadership of Semaun, Darsono, Alimin, Muso and others.
Indonesian representatives on the council were indirectly elected through regional councils, but some of the other members were appointed colonial officials. The Volksraad later developed into a semi-legislative assembly. Among the members of this body were prominent nationalist leaders like Dr. Tjipto Mangunkusumo, H.O.S. Tjokroaminoto, Abdul Muis, Dr. G.S.S.J. Ratulangi, M.H. Thamrin, Wiwoho, Sutardjo Kartohadikusumo, Dr. Radjiman, and Soekardjo Wiryopranoto. Under the pressure of the social unrest in the Netherlands at the end of World War I, the Dutch promised to grant self-government to Indonesians. This was known as the "November promise." It was a promise that was never met.
Besides the Volksraad, there was another body called Raad van Indie, "the Council of the Indies," whose the members were appointed by the Government Achmad Djajadiningrat and Sujono were among the very few Indonesian members of this council. In 1923 deteriorating economic conditions and increasing labor strikes prompted the colonial government to put severe restrictions on Indonesian civil liberties and make amendments to the colonial laws and penal codes. Freedom of assembly, speech and expression in writing was restricted.
The Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) staged revolts against the colonial government in November 1926 in West Java, and in January 1927 in West Sumatra. After their suppression the Government exiled many non-communist nationalist leaders to Tanah Merah, which the Dutch called "Boven Digul" in Irian Jaya. Dr. Tjipto Mangunkusumo was exiled to Bandaneira. In February 1927 Mohammad Hatta, Achmad Soebardjo and other members of Indonesia's Movements attended the first international convention of the "League Against Imperialism and Colonial Oppression" in Brussels, together with Jawaharlal Nehru and many other prominent nationalist leaders from Asia and Africa.
In July 1927, Soekarno, Sartono and others formed the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI), which adopted Bahasa Indonesia as the official language. This party adopted a militant policy of non-cooperation with the Government as the result of a fundamental conflict of interest between Indonesian nationalism and Dutch colonialism.
In the same year, an all-Indonesia nationalist movement was organized by Indonesian youth to replace earlier organizations, which had been based on regionalism, such as "Young Java," "Young Sumatra" and "Young Ambon." On October 28, 1929, delegates to the second Indonesian Youth Congress in Jakarta pledged allegiance to "one country, one nation and one language, Indonesia." Concerned about the growing national awareness of freedom, the colonial authorities arrested the PNI leader, Soekarno, in December 1929. This touched off widespread protests by Indonesians.
In 1930 the world was in the grip of an economic and monetary crisis. The severe impact of the crisis was felt in the Indies, a raw material producing country. The colonial government responded with a strict balanced budget policy that aggravated economic and social conditions. Two other leaders of the PNI, Gatot Mangkupradja and Maskun Supriadinata, were arrested and tried in court on charges of plotting against the Government. Soekarno was released in September 1931 but exiled again in August 1933. He remained in Dutch custody until the Japanese invasion in 1942.
In January 1931, Dr. Soetomo founded Persatuan Bangsa Indonesia, the Indonesian Unity Party. Its objective was to improve the social status of the Indonesian people.In April of the same year, PNI was abandoned. A new party was formed by Sartono, LLM and named Partai Indonesia, the Indonesian Party. Its basis was nationalism, its line was independence. Also in 1931, Sutan Syahrir formed Pendidikan Nasional Indonesia. Known as the new PNI, it envisaged national education. Mohammad Hatta joined this organization.
In 1933 a mutiny broke out on the Dutch warship "De Zeven Provincien" for which Indonesian nationalists were held responsible. The following year Sutan Syahrir and Mohammad Hatta and other nationalist leaders were arrested and banished until 1942.
In 1935, Soetomo merged Persatuan Bangsa Indonesia and Boedi Oetomo to form Partai Indonesia Raya (Parindra). Its fundamental goal was the independence of Great Indonesia. In July 1936, Sutardjo submitted to the "Volksraad" a petition calling for greater autonomy for Indonesia. This petition was flatly rejected by the Dutch-dominated Council. In 1937 Dr. A.K. Gani started the Indonesian People's Movement, Gerakan Rakyat Indonesia, which was based on the principles of nationalism, social independence and self-reliance.
In 1939 the All Indonesian Political Federation, GAPI, called for the establishment of a full-fledged Indonesian parliament. This demand was rejected by the Government in Holland in 1940. GAPI also demanded an Indonesian military service for the purpose of defending the country in times of war. Again, this was turned down, notwithstanding the impending outbreak of World War II. At the time, there were widespread movements for fundamental and progressive reforms in the colonies and dependencies in Asia.
To further the cause of Indonesia's independence, Soekarno and Hatta appeared to cooperate with the Japanese authorities. In reality, however, Indonesian nationalist leaders went underground and masterminded insurrections in Blitar (East Java), Tasikmalaya and Indramayu (West Java), and in Sumatra and Kalimantan.
Under the pressure of the 4th Pacific war, where their supply lines were interrupted, and the increasing of Indonesian insurrections, the Japanese ultimately gave in to allow the red-and-white flag to fly as the Indonesian national flag. Recognition of "Indonesia Raya" as the national anthem and Bahasa Indonesia as the national language followed. Hence, the youth's pledge of 1928 was fulfilled. After persistent demands, the Japanese finally agreed to place the civil administration of the country into Indonesian hands. This was a golden opportunity for nationalist leaders to prepare for the proclamation of Indonesia's independence.
Following the provisions of the Constitution, the country is headed by a President who is also the Chief Executive. He is assisted by a Vice-President and a cabinet of ministers.
The sovereignty of the people rests with the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR). Hence, the President is accountable to the MPR. The legislative power is vested in the House of Representatives (DPR). Other institutions of the state are the Supreme Court, the Supreme Advisory Council and the Supreme Audit Board.
Soekarno became the first President and Chief Executive, and Mohammad Hatta, the first Vice-President of the Republic. On September 5, 1945 the first cabinet was formed.
On November 10, 1945, fierce fighting broke out between British troops and Indonesian freedom fighters in which the British lost Brigadier Mallaby. As a result, the British turned to an all-out combat from the sea, air and land. The newly-recruited army of the Republic soon realized the superiority of the British forces and withdrew from urban battles. They subsequently formed guerrilla units and fought together with armed groups of the people. Under the pretext of representing the Allied Forces, the Dutch sent in more troops to attack Indonesian strongholds. Between 1945 and 1949 they undertook two military actions.
On November 14 of the same year, the newly-appointed Prime Minister, Sutan Syahrir, introduced a parliamentary system, with party representation, in the Republic.
On December 22, Sutan Syahrir announced Indonesia's acceptance of the British proposal to disarm and confine to internment camps 25,000 Japanese troops throughout the country. This task was successfully carried out by TNI, the Indonesian National Army. Repatriation of the Japanese troops began on April 28, 1946.
Because fighting with the Dutch troops continued, the seat of the Republican Government was moved from Jakarta to Yogyakarta on January 4, 1946.
But the freedom fight continued and Dutch military aggressions met with stiff resistance from Indonesian troops. The Indonesian Government conducted a diplomatic offensive against the Dutch.
With the good offices of Lord Killearn of Great Britain, Indonesian and Dutch representatives met at Linggarjati in West Java. The negotiations resulted in the de facto recognition by the Dutch of Indonesia's sovereignty over Java, Sumatra and Madura. The Linggarjati Agreement was initiated on November 1946 and signed on March 25, 1947.
But the agreement was a violation of Indonesia's independence proclamation of August 17, 1945, which implied sovereignty over the whole territory of the Republic. As such, it met with the widespread disapproval of the people. Hence, guerrilla fighting continued, bringing heavy pressure on Dutch troops.
In July 1947 the Dutch launched a military offensive to reinforce their urban bases and to intensify their attacks on guerrilla strongholds. The offensive was, however, put to end by the signing of the Renville Agreement on January 17, 1948. The negotiation was initiated by India and Australia and took place under the auspices of the UN Security Council.
It was during these critical moments that the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) stabbed the newly- proclaimed Republic of Indonesia in the back by declaring the formation of the "Indonesian People's Republic" in Madiun, East Java. Muso led an attempt to overthrow the Government, but this was quickly stamped out and he was killed. In violation of the Renville agreement, on December 19, 1948, the Dutch launched their second military aggression. They invaded the Republic capital of Yogyakarta, arrested President Soekarno, Vice-President Mohammad Hatta and other leaders, and detained them on the island of Bangka, off the east coast of Sumatra. A caretaker Government, with headquarters in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, was set up under Syafruddin Prawiranegara.
On the initiative of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru of India, a meeting of 19 nations was convened in New Delhi that produced a resolution for submission to the United Nations, pressing for total Dutch surrender of sovereignty to the Republic of Indonesia by January 1, 1950. It also pressed for the release of all Indonesian detainees and the return of territories seized during the military actions. On January 28, 1949, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution to establish a cease-fire, the release of Republican leaders and their Yogyakarta.
The Dutch, however, were adamant and continued to occupy the city of Yogyakarta by ignoring of the Republican Government and the National Army. They deliberately issued a false statement to the world that the Government and the army of the Republic of Indonesia no longer existed.
To prove that the Dutch claim was a mere fabrication, Lieutenant Colonel Soeharto led an all-out attack on the Dutch troops in Yogyakarta on March 1, 1949, and occupied the city for several hours. This offensive is recorded in Indonesia's history as "the first of March all-out attack" to show to the world at the time that the Republic and its military were not dead. Consequently, on May 7, 1949, an agreement was signed by Mohammad Roem of Indonesia and Van Rooyen of the Netherlands, to end hostilities, restore the Republican Government in Yogyakarta, and to hold further negotiations at a round table conference under the auspices of the United Nations.
However, no sooner was the Unitary State re-established then it had to face numerous armed rebellions. The Darul Islam rebels under Kartosuwiryo terrorized the countryside of West Java in their move to establish an Islamic State. It took years to stamp them out. Then there was the terrorist APRA band of former Dutch army captain Turco Westerling, which claimed the lives of thousands of innocent people.
Outside Java, demobilized ex-colonial arm men who remained loyal to the Dutch crown, staged a revolt and proclaimed what they called "the Republic of South Maluku". In South Sulawesi an ex-colonial army officer, Andi Aziz, also rebelled. In Kalimantan Ibnu Hadjar led another armed revolt. Sumatra could also account for a number of separatist movements. And, to complete the list, the Indonesian Communist Party again staged an abortive coup under the name of 30th September movement, when they kidnaped and killed six of the country's top army generals in the early hours of October 1, 1965.
The Asian-African Conference became the embryo of the Non-Aligned Movement. The seeds that sprouted in Bandung took firm root six years later when 25 newly independent countries formally founded the Non-Aligned Movement at the Belgrade Summit of 1961. Since then the membership of the Movement has grown to its present strength of 112 member countries.
On the night of September 30, or more precisely in the early hours of October 1, 1965, armed PKI men and members of Cakrabirawa, the President's security guard, set out to kidnap, torture and kill six top Army Generals. Their bodies were dumped in an abandoned well at Lubang Buaya, on the outskirts of Jakarta. The coup was staged in the wake of troop deployments to Kalimantan, at the height of Indonesia's confrontation with Malaysia. Moreover, at the time, many cabinet members were attending a celebration of the Chinese October Revolution in Beijing. It was during this power vacuum that the communists struck again.
Under instructions from General Soeharto, crack troops of the Army's Commando Regiment (RPKAD) freed the central radio station (RRI) and the telecommunication center from communist occupation.
Students made for the streets in militant demonstrations to fight for a three-point claim, or "Tritura," that aimed to ban the PKI, replace Soekarno's cabinet ministers, and reduce the prices of basic necessities. They set up a "street parliament" to gather the demands of the people.
Under these explosive conditions, President Soekarno eventually gave in and granted Soeharto full power to restore order and security in the country. The transfer of power was effected by a presidential order known as "the 11th of March order" of 1966. Soon afterwards, on March 12, 1966, General Soeharto banned the PKI. This decision was endorsed and sanctioned by virtue of the Provisional People's Consultative Assembly Decree No XXV/MPRS/1966. He also formed a new cabinet, but Soekarno remained as Chief Executive. This brought dualism into the cabinet, particularly when Soekarno did not show support for the cabinet's program to establish political and economic stability. Hence, a special session of the Provisional People's Consultative Assembly (MPRS) was convened from March 7-12, 1967. The Assembly resolved to relieve Soekarno of his presidential duties and appointed Soeharto as Acting President, pending the election of a new President by an elected People's Consultative Assembly.
To emerge from the political and economic legacy of Soekarno's Old Order, the new government set out to undertake the following:
- To complete the restoration of order and security and to establish political stability.
- To carry out economic rehabilitation.
- To prepare a plan for national development and execute it with the emphasis on economic development.
- To end confrontation and normalize diplomatic relations with Malaysia.
- To rejoin to the United Nations, which Indonesia had quit in January 1965.
- To consistently pursue an independent and active foreign policy.
- To resolve the West Irian question.
- To regain Indonesia's economic credibility overseas.
- To hold general elections once every five years.
With regard to Malaysia, not only were relations normalized but Indonesia together with Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand joined to establish the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). On achieving independence in 1984, Brunei Darussalam became the sixth member of ASEAN. In July 1995, Vietnam was accepted as the seventh member of this regional organization. The objective of the association is the establishment of regional cooperation in the economic, social and cultural fields, but ASEAN also operates in the political area.
To prepare for national development, in addition to economic rehabilitation, Indonesia secured an agreement with creditor countries to reschedule an overseas debt of US$5 billion. With the recovery of the country's overseas credibility, Indonesia succeeded in the formation of a consortium of creditor countries to assist in her economic development. This consortium is known as the Inter-Governmental Group on Indonesia (IGGI) and includes the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Britain and a number of West-European countries. Its annual meetings are held in Amsterdam under the chairmanship of the Netherlands. Currently, the IGGI has been replaced by the Consultative Group for Indonesia (CGI) consisting of the former members of IGGI (except the Netherlands) and five new creditors.
In a statement on May 28, 1974, the Governor of Portuguese Timor, Colonel Fernando Alves Aldela, granted the people permission to form political parties. The response was the emergence of five political parties - UDT (Uniao Democratica Timorese), FRETILIN (Frente Revolucionaria de Timor Leste Independent), APODETI (Associacao Popular Democratica de Timor), KOTA (Klibur Oan Timur Aswain) and TRABALHISTA (Labor Party).
Through lack of popular support, FRETILIN resorted to terror tactics, threats and blackmail in an attempt to intimidate members of the other parties. This caused growing tension throughout the colony and sparked an inevitable civil war. On August 27, 1975, the Governor and other Portuguese officials abandoned the capital of Dili, fled to Atauro Island and left FRETILIN free to continue its reign of terror. FRETILIN was even supplied with arms from the Portuguese army arsenal. On November 28 of the same year, FRETILIN unilaterally "declared the independence" of East Timor and announced the formation of "the Democratic Republic of East Timor".
In the light of these developments, on November 30, 1975, at Balibo, UDT, APODETI, KOTA and TRABALHISTA proclaimed the independence of the territory and its simultaneous integration with Indonesia. On December 17, 1975, the four parties announced the establishment of the Provisional Government of East Timor in Dili.
On May 31, 1976, the duly elected People's Assembly of East Timor decided in an open session to formally integrate the territory with the Republic of Indonesia. A bill on this integration was approved by the Indonesian House of Representatives on July 15, 1976 and, with the promulgation by the President, became Law on July 17. East Timor has since been the 27thprovince of Indonesia with all the rights and duties under the 1945 Constitution of the Republic.
Since the middle of 1997, the people's standard of living dropped considerably. The de-cline in the people's standard of living was aggravated by various political tensions arising from the 1997 general elections. The political system which had been developed since 1966 turned out to be unable to accommodate the dynamism of the aspirations and interests of the community. This led to riots and disturbances. To a certain extend, they reflected the malfunctioning of the political order and of the government, finally causing this situation to develop into a political crisis.
The accumulation of the economic crisis and the political crisis became a triggered factor for crisis in confidence. This applied not just to officials and state-running institutions, but also began to touch on the system of values and the legal foundations that underpin the state-running institutions.
A number of student demonstrations ensued, including the occupation of the People's Consultative Assembly/House of People's Representatives compound. They appealed for political and economic reform; demanded President Soeharto to step down and stamp out corruption, collusion and nepotism. Critical moments prevailed in the capital, Jakarta, and other towns from 12 to 21 May 1998.
On 12 May a tragedy happened in the Trisakti University Campus, causing the death of four students. On 18 May the leadership of the House suggested the President resign. The President's effort to accommodate the developing aspirations of the people by forming a re-form cabinet and a reform committee never materialized as there was no adequate support from various circles.
Finally, on 21 May 1998, President Soeharto, after a 32-year rule of the New Order Government resigned. Pursuant to Article 8 of the 1945 Constitution and the People's Consultative Assembly decree no VII/1973, he handed over the country's leadership to Vice-President Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie. After the announcement. Habibie took his oath of office before Chief Justice Sarwata to become Indonesia's third President. Earlier President Soeharto disbanded the cabinet which he formed shortly after his reelection for a seventh five-year presidential term in March.
A day after his installment as the third president, Habibie formed the Reform Development Cabinet. He picked the ministers from the various political and social forces, including three politicians from the two minority parties, the United Development Party (PPP) and the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI), to provide the needed synergy.
- President B.J. Habibie outlined the agenda for reform during his presidency as follows:
- rooting out corruption, collusion and nepotism, and create a clean government.
- reviewing the five political laws upon which the current political system is bound. They are the laws on mass organization, the House of Representatives (DPR), the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), political parties, regional administrations and elections.
- implementing sweeping reform in all sectors, including in the political, economic, and legal fields, to enable the government to satisfy mounting demands for a strong and clean government.
- boosting output from the agriculture, agribusiness, export-oriented industry and tourism sectors.
- safeguarding the implementation of the 1998/99 state budget.
- accelerating the bank restructuring program.
- resolving the problem of corporate foreign debts.
- conducting a special session of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) in November 1998, followed by General Elections on May 1999.
Thus Pancasila Democracy means democracy based on the people's sovereignty which is inspired by and integrated with the other principles of Pancasila. This means that the use of democratic rights should always be in line with responsibility towards God Almighty according to the respective faith; uphold human values in line with human dignity; guarantee and strengthen national unity; and be aimed at realizing social justice for the whole of the people of Indonesia.
In a democratic life based on Pancasila, the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), being the highest state institution, has a very important role to play. As an institution which fully exercises the sovereign rights of the Indonesian people MPR should always reflect the aspirations and the wishes of the people with all its decisions or decrees. And as the holder of the highest power in the state, the Assembly appoints the President and Vice-President and determines the Guidelines of State Policy for implementation by the President. The House of Representatives (DPR), the members of which are from the people and are elected by the people, has the function of exercising control over the conduct of the administration by the President. The mechanism of this control by the House of Representatives constitutes a means to prevent constitutional deviation or deviations from the people's wish by the government.
With sharply conflicting ideologies, political rivalry was the order of the day and a stable Government was out of the question. With a total of 24 political parties and their fractions, cabinets could only be formed on the basis of a shaky compromise between the strongest parties. In point of fact, coalition cabinets were formed and dissolved very often. The administration was a complete shambles and development was a far cry.
The first and only general election ever held during the rule of the Old Order took place in 1955. Even that election did not produce a strong cabinet with a solid back-up in Parliament. On the contrary, because political conditions continued to deteriorate, the President ordered the formation of a Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution. However, as mentioned earlier, this only ended in a total deadlock which led the president to take all the power of the state into his own hands under the pretext of guided democracy.
Having learned from the experience of the unlimited multi-party system of the past, the New Order Government, which came into office in 1967, decided to simplify the political system along the following lines:
- In order to minimize ideological conflicts between political organizations, all political organizations shall adopt Pancasila as their sole basis principle.
- To simplify the political system, particularly for the purpose of choosing a political organization by the people in general elections, it was felt that the number of these organizations should be reduced.
- In the past, villages were made the bases of political activities and maneuvers, most notably in the heyday of the Indonesian Communist Party. This adversely affected the social and economic life of the village populations. Hence, it would be desirable to free villages from the activities of political organizations.
Partai Persatuan is a fusion of Nahdlatul Ulama (the Moslem Scholars Party), Parmusi (the Moslem Party), PSII (the Islamic Confederation) and PERTI (the Islamic Union).
PDI is a fusion of the former PNI (the Nationalist Party), the Catholic Party, the Christian (Protestant) Party, the Indonesian Independence Party, and Partai Murba (the People's Party).
Golkar accommodates the aspirations and political rights and duties of functional groups that are not affiliated with either party, namely civil servants, retired members of the Armed Forces, women's organizations, professional groups, farmers, student, etc. By virtue of the 1983 Guidelines of the State Policy and on the basis of Act No. 3 of 1985, Pancasila has finally been adopted as the one and only ideological principle upon which all political organizations base their activities.
The national action on human rights in Indonesia formulated in a program which has been enacted for five years, as imbued in the policy of the Indonesian five-year development program on the State Guidelines of the Republic of Indonesia.
The human rights action is expected to strengthen respect for the rights of the Indonesian people for justice as enacted in the 1945 Constitution.
There are four main pillars of the Indonesian actions on human rights namely:
- Preparation on international human rights.
- Dissemination and education of the people on human rights.
- Priority on the implementation of human rights.
- The implementation of international rules on human rights as approved by Indonesia.
- To implement human rights as ratified on the basis of recommendations of the related government and non-government institutions.
- To further study priorities on international human rights. This is done by an inter-sector department working group.
- To prepare draft a document of the ratification. This activity is done by a small inter-departmental team.
- To understand international concepts on human rights.
- To disseminate information on international concepts on human rights.
- To organize a study and assessment on several laws and national regulations and or regional regulations which are relevant to international human rights. The activities cover the current laws and plans for new regulations.
- To also revise the current laws and or draft new regulations in line with the international human rights.
- To give directives to law enforcers concerned in upholding international human rights, for which assistance from the UN Headquarters is needed.
- The formation of a national agency charged with arranging reports from Indonesia to the UN.
- The necessity of regular coordination and consultation between government and non-government agencies on the implementation of international human rights.
- Training on the structure and dissemination of the reports to certain agencies of the UN.
- Dissemination of guidelines of the UN human rights on the obligation of the reports to the government agencies concerned.
- To form a working group to carry out the decade of activities, as follow up of the UN Vienna Declaration and Action Program.
- To decide the priorities in the UN plan of action on human rights education for the decade with UN assistance.
- To organize symposiums on regional and national level for exchanging views to promote human rights education, in line with the results of the National Workshop on human rights education for development in Asia Pacific, Manila in 1995.
- Development and dissemination of human rights studies.
- To form a human rights study center. In the first stage study centers will be set up in several universities in Jakarta, Central and East Java and one outside Java. To set up libraries on human rights in universities and establish a national center on human rights.
- To organize a degree program for a study on human rights in several universities in Indonesia or abroad on a scholarship.
- Education and training on human rights for law enforcement apparatuses with aid from UN headquarters.
- To prepare a curriculum on human rights for elementary, secondary and high schools.
- To translate literature or books on human rights for the students.
- To train teachers on human rights with technical assistance from various related international organizations.
- To prepare publication on human rights in which the public understands them easily.
- To make the public aware of human rights in villages through government programs while guidance and counseling are given to apparatuses.
- To promote workshop programs on human rights.
- To organize several workshops and discussions in social organization and non-governmental organizations.
- To formulate counseling on concepts of human rights in social groups such as religious organizations, scouts, youth organizations etc.
- Through an education pattern for children.
- Family reinforcement.
- To organize regular workshops and training on human rights for journalists and information officers.
- To organize interviews and discussions on television and radio, in cooperation with the Department of Justice.
- To disseminate information and booklets on human rights.
- To display activities on human rights in the printed and electronic media.
- To activate traditional media.