It is the first time in my life that I must support the statement from Thaha Al Hamid.
Indonesia consists of so many different ethnic groups which was in the past had their own governance in the form of traditional kingdom. The tribute system and the conquer of smallest kingdom into bigger one is basically a non-colonialism type. Even in Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bali, etc, Kabupaten (District) was an old small self-govern entity and that is way democracy can be smoothly implemented through decentralization and general elections.
However, something went wrong so far during the era of militarism in Indonesia. The central government ignored the needs of freedom of every different ethnic group. Repression, public order and political stability have had marginalized not only Papuan but also almost every single ethnic group in Indonesia. It was very difficult to show their unique ethnic identity because of the SARA repression (Suku, Agama, Ras, Antar Golongan). We could say that there were limited freedom of expression on ethnicity, religion, race, and group of people. The creation of Indonesian identity is not finished yet. Even in the capital city of Jakarta, the identity of Betawi (Batavian) “the indigenous owner” of Jakarta land vanished. Read the rest of this entry »