Indonesia - An Unnatural Nation.

Oct 2017
381
America ??
Perhaps fellow historians can help me explain this point. It should be quite obvious to anyone who has a glance at the geography, ethnic diversity & history. Indonesia is basically a large basket or cage formed by the Dutch throwing a wide ambiguous net over the whole archipelago, & eventually giving the whole archipelago to the peoples based in where they set up theirs capital. I find the national motto “unity in diversity” to be quite overloaded & offending to the many groups who desire independence. definitely seems to be a government effort. Yet this obvious fact appears to be widely unrecognized by the general public.
Even the name itself isn’t very original, it basically translates as “Indies Islands” in Greek. The Majapahit empire appears to have colonized much of the archipelago even reaching as far east as New Guinea surprisingly, but the empire appears to have disbanded long before Europeans began settlement.
How Timor, New Guinea as well as Borneo are binarially shared with the Indonesian republic & their independence crisis should attest to the country’s artificialness clearly. I’m aware that many Indonesians of non-Malay background are quite passionate about this fact, especially those from the eastern islands & Papuans. West Papuans in particular are the extreme example, & they seem to have it the worst.
How nationalism appears to be quite common in the country, largely through government efforts, shoulders this fact. & frankly Malays, even if it’s just the culture, have never seemed like the most open minded people either & seem to be quite prone to violence as well.
 
Last edited:
Aug 2019
135
Netherlands
There are some real good youtube docu's about this, but unfortunately only in dutch.

The dutch intention during the independence struggle/negotiations of indonesia, was to create 5 federal states, the so called "malino states". These would be the united states of indonesia with still strong ties to the netherlands.

Malino states
* The main sunda islands (sumatra/java)
* Borneo
* The lesser sunda islands (bali etc etc)
* Sulawesi
* papua new guinea/moluccas

The javanese independence commission was divided on it but sukarno took control of this commission as he was opposed to this idea. His plan was backed up by the UN, USA etc, for probably mainly economic reasons, and sanctions would be issued if the netherlands wouldn't agree. This federal model was of course much in favour of the dutch, as it is a bit of a divide and rule plan, but nevertheless, this makes in terms of ethnicities more sense than present indonesia. This is still the basis for the revolts of the papuans, moluccans, timorese, borneonese peoples, they really wanted these malino states model. The brutal dutch politional actions in mainly java were officially not because of independence, but because of sukarno.
 
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Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
5,015
India
There are some real good youtube docu's about this, but unfortunately only in dutch.

The dutch intention during the independence struggle/negotiations of indonesia, was to create 5 federal states, the so called "malino states". These would be the united states of indonesia with still strong ties to the netherlands.

Malino states
* The main sunda islands (sumatra/java)
* Borneo
* The lesser sunda islands
* Sulawesi
* papua new guinea/moluccas

The javanese independence commission was divided on it but soekarno took control of this commission as he was opposed to this idea. His plan was backed up by the UN, USA etc, for probably economic reasons, and sanctions would be issued if the netherlands wouldn't agree. This federal model was much in favour of the dutch, as it is a bit of a divide and rule plan, but nevertheless, this makes in terms of ethnicities more sense than present indonesia. This is still the basis for the revolts of the papuans, moluccans, timorese, borneonese peoples, they really wanted these malino states model.
Why Dutch wanted several federal states?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
Why Dutch wanted several federal states?
Apparently, to make it easier for them to dominate over Indonesia after independence and also because they felt that this would be a better arrangement for Indonesia's minorities. It's somewhat similar to why India is a federal state right now rather than a unitary state.

There are some real good youtube docu's about this, but unfortunately only in dutch.

The dutch intention during the independence struggle/negotiations of indonesia, was to create 5 federal states, the so called "malino states". These would be the united states of indonesia with still strong ties to the netherlands.

Malino states
* The main sunda islands (sumatra/java)
* Borneo
* The lesser sunda islands (bali etc etc)
* Sulawesi
* papua new guinea/moluccas

The javanese independence commission was divided on it but sukarno took control of this commission as he was opposed to this idea. His plan was backed up by the UN, USA etc, for probably mainly economic reasons, and sanctions would be issued if the netherlands wouldn't agree. This federal model was of course much in favour of the dutch, as it is a bit of a divide and rule plan, but nevertheless, this makes in terms of ethnicities more sense than present indonesia. This is still the basis for the revolts of the papuans, moluccans, timorese, borneonese peoples, they really wanted these malino states model. The brutal dutch politional actions in mainly java were officially not because of independence, but because of sukarno.
It makes one wonder if Indonesia would have eventually broken up and split into several different independent countries just like the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia all did in real life if the Malino Plan would have actually been adopted. Any thoughts on this?
 
Aug 2019
135
Netherlands
Apparently, to make it easier for them to dominate over Indonesia after independence and also because they felt that this would be a better arrangement for Indonesia's minorities. It's somewhat similar to why India is a federal state right now rather than a unitary state.


It makes one wonder if Indonesia would have eventually broken up and split into several different independent countries just like the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia all did in real life if the Malino Plan would have actually been adopted. Any thoughts on this?
That crossed my mind too. What if?
It would have needed a lot of time to prepare most states to govern themselves. Some area's were just hunter/gatherer society's before, and in time we would probably see domestic conflicts too. But those would have been their own conflicts eventually.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
That crossed my mind too. What if?
It would have needed a lot of time to prepare most states to govern themselves. Some area's were just hunter/gatherer society's before, and in time we would probably see domestic conflicts too. But those would have been their own conflicts eventually.
What do you think that the odds of an eventual Indonesian break-up would have been in this scenario?

Also, why did Sukarno oppose this plan?
 

Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
5,015
India
Apparently, to make it easier for them to dominate over Indonesia after independence and also because they felt that this would be a better arrangement for Indonesia's minorities. It's somewhat similar to why India is a federal state right now rather than a unitary state.

When it came to India, British were only concerned up about winding up as soon as possible, even it that means leaving India in a complete mess and no law and order. Federal system in India was adopted when British left as the demand for language based states was demanded everywhere in India. The India British left was quite messy with partition, 565 independent princely states, riots and mounting refugee crisis and threat of war in some regions like Kashmir or Hyderabad.
 
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Aug 2019
135
Netherlands
What do you think that the odds of an eventual Indonesian break-up would have been in this scenario?

Also, why did Sukarno oppose this plan?
A break up i don't know, but probably plenty of political problems and unrest here and there would have arisen between factions.

Sukarno opposed this idea maybe because of javanese ideological reasons, but more for the interest in the vast natural resources across whole indonesia. He was very well received in the US later.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,748
San Antonio, Tx
When it came to India, British were only concerned up about winding up as soon as possible, even it that means leaving India in a complete mess and no law and order. Federal system in India was adopted when British left as the demand for language based states was demanded everywhere in India. The India British left was quite messy with partition, 565 independent princely states, riots and mounting refugee crisis and threat of war in some regions like Kashmir or Hyderabad.
Indeed. Imagine how messy India was before independence, before the British arrived, before there was an India. At the very least, the British built railroads that connected most of the parts of the sub-continent into the beginnings of a coherent country. The British were in India to make money. All other reasons were made up later and smack of revisionist nonsense, but the English left the Indians two very precious gifts: 1) the English language, which, while not as lovely as French, is much more useful in today’s world, and 2) the British also provided a decent model for a governing structure which I hope is still valid today.
 
Last edited:
Feb 2019
97
Mumbai
Indeed. Imagine how messy India was before independence, before the British arrived, before there was an India. At the very least, the British built railroads that connected most of the parts of the sub-continent into the beginnings of a coherent country. The British were in India to make money. All other reasons were made up later and smack of revisionist nonsense, but the English left the Indians two very precious gifts: 1) the English language, which, while not as lovely as French, is much more useful in today’s world, and 2) the British also provided a decent model for a governing structure which I hope is still valid today.
Why are people so damn touchy about british exploitation in India? It's impossible to criticize british colonial rule in India without some westerner telling us how it was actually good for us. Please understand that criticizing british colonization does not equal criticizing british culture or its people.