Do Chinese Indonesians discriminate against native Indonesians

Dragons - the origin of the mythical creatures

Chapter 3., Position of the Chinese in Indonesian society: According to Coppel, the motto of the Indonesian constitution suggests that multicultural unity is sought in the diversity of society. This is seen as a necessary prerequisite for the permanent existence of the nation state. The motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, suggests that all ethnic groups in society and law are subject to uniform treatment and are not treated according to group affiliation. However, reality has shown that the motto of the Indonesian constitution is more wish than reality. Equal treatment of ethnic groups, especially the Chinese, is still problematic at the present time. The acceptance of the Chinese, who are called keturunan asing, by the rest of the population is low in contrast to the neighboring countries of the island state. The Mestizo Chinese are considered Filipinos in the Philippines, but Peranakan are not considered Indonesians. This even applies to members of the Chinese minority who have already integrated themselves so strongly that no characteristics of the Chinese culture can be recognized any more. The Assimilation Policy of the Suharto Government: During the parliamentary phase of the State of Indonesia from 1949-1958 and the following period of guided democracy from 1959-1965, an assimilation policy comparable to that of the Suharto was not enforceable due to constitutional principles. Particularly in the phase of controlled democracy, a policy that would have regulated the Chinese minority too tightly would have been detrimental to the good relations between the Sukarno government and the party leadership in Beijing and could have prevented the Sino-Indonesian alliance from emerging on the Malaysia question. The Malaysia question arose from plans by the British to amalgamate their holdings on Kalimantan with Malaysia and Singapore. Relations with China were eminently important for Sukarno's political survival, as the government found itself in a politically isolated position. Relations with the USA and the Soviet Union were bad. Help in the Malaysia question was only to be expected from China, which saw the emergence of the state of Malaysia on September 16, 1963 as an affront as did Indonesia. The possibility of enforcing the policy of assimilation was given by the authoritarian style of leadership that Suharto imposed on the politics of his country. The politicians of Indonesia, above all President Suharto, officially committed themselves to the constitutional principles mentioned. The term discrimination against minorities was not used directly. Rather, it was elegantly circumscribed by the term assimilation. Suharto made unmistakable efforts to ensure that the Chinese minority integrated into society. The merger process should be completed as soon as possible. However, Suryadinata points out that the measures taken under the Suharto government had the opposite effect. He states that tolerance towards minority religions and the division of the population into indigenous and non-indigenous groups promoted the separation of the population more than it was made possible for them to grow together. In dealing with the Chinese minority, politics revived the racial classification of minorities introduced by the Dutch. However, this is a contradiction to the guiding principle of the constitution and an additional violation of Articles 26 and 27. Both articles stipulate equal treatment before state and law for all citizens of the country and are intended to suggest objectivity. According to the Indonesian constitution, all people who are Indonesian by birth or of foreign origin but who have a legal residence permit are considered citizens. A characteristic of Suharto's assimilation policy was the concentration of the measures on the removal of the basic pillars of Chinese culture. These pillars were: Chinese media: The elimination of the Chinese media was the easiest of the proposed means of assimilating the minority. With the exception of one newspaper, all Chinese press and media were banned from publication. To strengthen this measure, an import and sales ban for Chinese printing works in Indonesia was imposed at the same time. Only one Chinese newspaper, half in Chinese and half in Indonesian, survived this ban. It served as a minimal information platform for the Chinese. Officially issued by the state and also subject to the control of the military, objective reporting was prevented. The compulsion to change names served as an additional instrument for weakening cultural identity. The aim of this tool of assimilation policy, introduced in 1966, was to change old Chinese names into names with an Indonesian sound. By adopting Indonesian names, identification with the nation and loyalty to the state of Indonesia should be shown. The Chinese avoided this by choosing Indonesian names in which the old family name was retained, for example Han / Hanjoyo or Tan / Tanoyo. Chinese organizations: Chinese parties and social organizations have been gradually banned as part of the policy of assimilation. Social activity was only allowed in organizations that had a majority of local members. Opportunities for political activity were only offered by joining existing parties such as Golkar, PPP and PDI. Chinese middle schools: Their closure represented the most massive encroachment on the social life of the Chinese. Due to the scope of this decision, a separate point is devoted to this aspect in the following.