Jakarta Chinese

Feb 20th, 2007, in News, by

Governor Sutiyoso of Jakarta wants a fair deal for the city's Chinese.

On the occasion of Chinese New Year, or Imlek, Governor Sutiyoso promised to make it easier for the city's Chinese to obtain official documents, such as birth certificates, family cards, local residency papers, and even citizenship, while visiting the Wihara Dharma Bakti temple in Glodok on the 18th. tempo

"Bang Yos" said that those Chinese who wished to obtain citizenship of Indonesia, if they presently were without it, could apply now, or at least register themselves at their local government office, even though the central government has not yet determined all the procedures and requirements for the applicaton of the 2006 citizenship law.

Sutiyoso
Sutiyoso, looking regal.

He said this would be one way in which Jakarta would become a shining beacon for the nation, a place which would wipe out all forms of ethnic discrimination, especially in the bureaucracy.

In accordance with the 2006 Citizenship Act there must no longer be any racial discrimination towards particular ethnic groups. It must not be made difficult for Chinese people to get their residency papers. Jakarta will be a pilot project for this.
(Sejalan dengan Undang-Undang Kewarganegaraan Nomor 12 Tahun 2006, sudah tidak boleh ada lagi diskriminasi rasial terhadap etnis tertentu. Warga Tionghoa tidak boleh dipersulit saat mengurus dokumen kependudukan. Jakarta menjadi pilot proyek nasional dalam kegiatan ini.)

Those who experienced difficulties, or stonewalling or corrupt officials, should phone a special hotline, 0811983899, to complain. kompas


64 Comments on “Jakarta Chinese”

  1. avatar Andrew says:

    Amen.

    The intention is all good at his level (and maybe above), but the stumbling block is usually at the execution level. We’ll wait and see. Gus Dur once stated that SBKRI wasn’t needed anymore, but I believe it is still required so far.

  2. avatar Joy says:

    Andrew, when I made my passport (in the 90’s) they told me that I need my SKBRI! I told them to put it in writing (official) that I need my SKBRI to process the passport. You know what, I never get the memo and my passport ready the next day.

  3. avatar Andrew says:

    Thanks Joy – it’s good to know a little trick that works!!

    BTW, which immigration office did you go to? I know some office are stricter than others – Kantor Imigrasi Jakarta Utara is a tough one, or so I was told.

  4. avatar Bas says:

    Good for the chinese. What about westerners? Wil thay have to wait 200 years to stop being discriminated?

  5. avatar Naga says:

    “Good for the chinese. What about westerners? Wil thay have to wait 200 years to stop being discriminated?”

    uhh, yeah, what about Christian Indonesians?

    That is more important for the future of Indonesia.

  6. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Bas the easterners are also discriminated against in western countries sometimes. Just start from yourself by treating people well then people will (hopefully) in return treat you well too. What goes around comes around.

  7. avatar Tomaculum says:

    You can not eliminate discrimination with the help of prohibitions.
    It stucks in our brain. Better they should put “anti discrimination” subject (or something like that) into the curriculum of the education.

    Btw: what about the discrimination (and prejudices) from the chinese-Indonesian sides against the “pribumis”?

  8. avatar Rockstar says:

    Ihaknt, well that kind of attitude doesn’t help, does it?

  9. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    I think we need to eliminate from the national character any form of discrimination, be it race, creed, or colour. But as long as we have the habit of blaming others for our failures, it is unlikely to happen.

    Peace

  10. avatar Colson says:

    “eliminate… any form of discrimination”, gender, religion and same sex preference included.

  11. avatar Madesh says:

    Such statement has been used by several politicians before as a political statement for getting support for their objectives and it would be different in the practice on the field.

  12. avatar 1ndra says:

    Hope this isnt just bla bla bla to regain his voice which drowned in flood.

  13. avatar Dimp says:

    We’ll just have to wait and see, I hope he actually performs what he promises.

  14. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Hi rockstar, it works for me. 😀

  15. avatar Asep S says:

    My friend shared to me his experiences that:

    He was born with small eyes and fair skin but living in poor chinese family. His family has been experiencing discrimination.

    1. They had to pay higher cost when getting identity card (KTP), passport, driving license, etc related to government sectors.

    2. They could not afford to do any mistakes because of “Cina labelled” they receives from their environment. The environment always think they have a lot of monies due to Cina labelled they have. In fact, they have been struggling to survive (poor family).

    Due to his effort, my friend had chance to work in Singapore. In Singapore, nobody believes he is Chinnese, people always think he is not chinnese because he was from Indonesia.

    He always think and feels “he is Indonesian” and he is proud being Indonesian however he seldom gained recognition to be an Indonesian due to his eyes and skin.

    I think we should involve chinese to develop this country. Let the chinese be in government and army too. See how they manage the country.

  16. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    I think we should accept with open arm’s anybody who is willing to help our country develop and grow, but unfortunately our government and leaders are terrified that if we have honest and competent people entering the country their own power and wealth would be threatened!

  17. avatar Pendi. S says:

    I am glad to hear encouraging news from Indonesia. Being originally from Indonesia, I long to see Indonesia become a truly democratic society, free from discrimination and harmoniuos country. I migrated to foreign country many years ago due solely to mistreatment of minorities there. However, I still love my beautiful Indonesia that is so rich in it’s diversified cultures and vast mineral resources. I do not dislike Indonesians (pribumi) and as a matter of fact some of my best buddies were pribumis. I hope the President, governors and other high ranking officials could tap the benefits of these talented Indonesians of different colors/race and cultures/backgrounds and make the country the envy of other countries in Asia. “Maju Terus, Indonesia!”

  18. avatar Raden says:

    Frankly let me tell you straight to the point. In my view, Indonesia is a huge country with thousands of big problems. The chinese Indonesian are crying for human right equality by delisting the needs for paper evident like SBKRI just to certify their Indonesian nationality. Do you know that this request is far from Indonesian government’s top priority list ? How about other bigger matters which needs to tackle more urgently?

    1. What about Radical Muslim keep on trying to impose their syariah laws in Indonesia? The government said No but the facts that the society tolerate it, it is the facts that some kabupaten adopted Syariah Law. What? You don’t like it isn’t it?

    2. If the Javanese are willing to trade-in their ‘batik-blangkon’ with their Middle-East sorban, when the Javanese girls sacrifice their sexy baju batik kebaya (which hm, I like it very much to see gadis Jawa wearing kebaya traditional – sexy) for again the Middle-East’s lousy looking Muslim dress with it’s veil (tudung/jilbab/baju ninja) and baju kurung. Brothers, those are a neo-colonialism from Middle East’s Wahabi, and the stupid things is the so called it Indonesian majority are accepting the fundamentalism daily life. They still have slave mentality at large similar to when the Dutch collonialize them for 3 centuries, but now Bashir (the Malaysian fugitive) is free teaching & open his fundamentalist madrasah in Solo. What to expect when they themself willing to sacrifice their original beautiful culture (like keris / blangkon / sarung batik are non Islamic in nature) & dressing code of conduct with Middle East’s ugly living style? Indonesia have bigger problems as they are eroding their-own value, traditional living style and back-down with Wahabism ideology. In my view, this is more important than helping a few hundreds Indonesian chinese crying for equality. You are simply in the non top priority category, beside the SBKRI is the source of korupsi (corruption) income for local officers, why they would want to make it easy since their mental are tightly labeled with slavery mentality (goblok & rakus).

    3. As long as the minority Indonesian Chinese have to deal with corrupted officers & the majority maintain it’s slavery mentality – the Chinese will never reach it’s full freedom & equal right. Because chinese-ren (orang keturunan cina) are forward looking race, we like to abide with our anchestor’s culture & values, it will looks stupid for Chinese to wear tudung like ninja & the man to maintain beard with sorban. Chinese people are globalized race since centuries ago whom like to travel & able to adapt everywhere BUT EXCEPT in the Middle East & India countries. Because those places are difficult to find PORK (babi is haram). Again the key hurdle for chinese, the chinese are incompatible with Islamic way of life, this is the fact of life.

    Let’s take a look how the chinese Malaysian living in Malaysia? Assuming Indonesia within 20 years later will be like the portray of Malaysia today. Yes, Malaysian Chinese do not have to proof with their ‘SBKRI’, but do they have full equality? NO. I am sorry to tell you that Malaysian bumiputera who belong to the Malay race are protecting their race against others like Indian & Chinese. So, it is a public secret that Malaysian Malay have special treatment from their government as bumiputera with all kind of incentives in school admission up to in the business when you want to supply things to Petronas (government body) for example, you must have a local bumiputera partners in between (profit sharing/prosperity to Malay).

    The net story is Indonesian chinese must see the bigger picture. Let say the SBKRI are really not a compulsory paper document then so what? You still facing a lot of other hurdles in your live in Indonesia, don’t dream your daily live discrimination then is over, it will never over. As long as the Indonesia’s majority which have the similar culture & characters like the other Malays majority in Malaysia, they inherited the same characteristics, a bit malas or lazy and like to demand to their Parliament & Government for special incentives & treatment more than their minority. That is why countries like Indonesia & Malaysia who share the same believe (Muslim) and have Malay majority citizen will never be able to compete in global world.

    What are you thinking now ? Go get out from Indonesia the soonest possible, and build a better life with your family in a more progressive & forward looking countries. Buddy – I believe you can do it , if your anchestors were able to get out from China to Indonesia, why not now is your generation turn?

    THINK ABOUT THIS, too many riots against chinese in Indonesia in the past 40 years, we just tired to see this again & again. God Bless You!

  19. avatar Aluang anak Bayang says:

    I will address some of your comment as it is very late.

    Yes, Malaysian Chinese do not have to proof with their ‘SBKRI’, but do they have full equality?

    Why cry about the equality? As far as I am concerned, we do not have the like of Malaysia’s NEP (New Economic Policy) which is more restrictive than SBKRI. IMHO, I think bumiputra Malaysians are more (or very) anti-chinese than pribumi Indonesians. I say this from my association with many Malays, but I do not wish to elaborate.

    If the Javanese are willing to trade-in their ‘batik-blangkon’ with their Middle-East sorban, when the Javanese girls sacrifice their sexy baju batik kebaya (which hm, I like it very much to see gadis Jawa wearing kebaya traditional – sexy) for again the Middle-East’s lousy looking Muslim dress with it’s veil (tudung/jilbab/baju ninja) and baju kurung.

    Brother, most Javanese are kejawen Muslims. A Javanese will never consider himself to be any other race than a Javanese. Probably you have to look further west where native Indonesian consider themselves Arabs.

    What are you thinking now ? Go get out from Indonesia the soonest possible, and build a better life with your family in a more progressive & forward looking countries.

    Let’s face it. Chinese will not get out of Indonesia no matter how many riots there were. I can read a Chinese mind very well. Indonesian is a land of golden opportunity. The Chinese will only leave when this gold mine is completely ored out.

    THINK ABOUT THIS, too many riots against chinese in Indonesia in the past 40 years, we just tired to see this again & again. God Bless You!

    Raden, more Javanese than Chinese were murdered during the pogrom of 1965. Proportionally, they were more Chinese deaths, but numerically, the innocent Javanese. 1965 is not anti-chinese riot according to popular belief.

    The 1998 anti-Chinese riot was orchestraced by the Suharto regime as reported by Human Rights agencies. Where there are large concentration of Javanese, like Central and East Java, it is less likely to be violence against our chinese brothers. Many were bystanders watching the parade. I was in Surabaya back then, and I have seen provocateurs with bullhorns urging the crowd to join them.

  20. avatar Raden says:

    Good to hear your comments, I think I mostly agree with your points that you are fully correct if the degree of hatred of Malaysian Malay is much higher than the real Javanese kejawen. You did not comment my another important implicit point if combination between Malay & Islamic way of life is incompatible with globalized world which I assume you agree on this important point.

    You said :

    Let’s face it. Chinese will not get out of Indonesia no matter how many riots there were. I can read a Chinese mind very well. Indonesian is a land of golden opportunity. The Chinese will only leave when this gold mine is completely ored out.

    My comment:
    Wrong. The new generation of Indonesian chinese who are professional, well educated, in their early 20 – 40+ years old & able to compete globally are abruptly leaving the lovely country, those are the potential young generation. You assume all Chinese Indonesia are like the old Oom Liem, Eka Cipta generation, those ‘kampret’ businessman who like to exploit Indonesia pribumi government officers who chose to maintain their slavery mentality (corrupt government officers who like to trade-in HPH for $ – kantong sendiri) are only less than 0.01 % than total chinese population in Indonesia, so it doesn’t represent your claim that every Indonesian Chinese will cry for staying in Indonesia – wrong assumption. You maybe right if Indonesia is a land of golden opportunity only when the government officers remain corrupted and there are businessman kampret who like to take advantage out of it. But this set-up is an outdated economy model (’60 – ’70), there are more well educated Indonesian chinese who opt to work with multinational companies around the globe and enjoy the standard of living without they have to be bound his head & sacrifice their pride to some corrupt Indonesian officers.

    Regarding how many riot against Chinese in Indonesia?
    1980 – Peristiwa Solo, it was a simple incident when a chinese race high school ‘St. Joseph SMA in Solo driving motor cycle & had minor incident with a pribumi student from SMA Negri Solo. The impact ? the whole chinese in Solo had to accept punishment. The matter did not contain only in Solo but only a few hours later it went thru Salatiga then only within 3 hours later the entire Semarang city have to bear the cost. The popularity & it’s impact propagation for hating the chinese was very mind bolging & fashionable at that time. Were there any provocateur ? no it was not, it was simply teenager’s fight which then turn very ugly like stoning the chinese shops in Pecinan Semarang while the original incident was 100 KM away in Solo – If Michael Jackson lived in Smg at that time he might be jealous because his concert popularity will never fight against the ultra rapid spreading of rioting against the chinese. It was so popular at the time & fascinating as orang pribumi join the club stoning orang Cina.
    1981 : the similar stoning to Chinese shophouses happen in Pekalongan but it was not getting bigger

    There are some incidents which I do not want to remember it anymore between ’81 – ’98
    1998 : the 13 – 14 – 15 – 16 May 1998. Please see in YouTube, some of rioting video during the time are available as ugly memory. Womens’ minister Tuty Alawiyah said: there is no proof of gang raping of Chinese Indonesia, those who claim the opposite story should bring the girls (victims) to testify in front of the courts. The ugly Tuty Alawiyah maybe forgotten if she is a women too or maybe she is half man but who want to rape the fat old lady like her? F*ck her, she must think we were living in Middle East with it’s culture – biadab. If you are a rape victim you must speak-up tell everyone you are no longer virgin! FU FU FU.

    Until today there is no prosecution and the government just forgotten with the case.
    2000 : Ambon, the similar riots against chinese, looting & burning shophouses.
    You said the majority are only watching the parade? why not stopping the provocateur? as the majority you can & you are able to stop them

    You said:

    Brother, most Javanese are kejawen Muslims. A Javanese will never consider himself to be any other race than a Javanese. Probably you have to look further west where native Indonesian consider themselves Arabs.

    My comment:
    I want to hear the majority of Javanese to stand-up tall team-up and said to Muslim Radical Wahabism go to hell. I want to see if the Javanese majority in Pulau Jawa who control the cabinet & parliament to challenge MUI & NU that all Masjid must not impose the Middle-East way of life. Here I am not touching the fatwa at all, I try to distinguish between religius content and it’s Middle-East custom / culture imposition which are nothing to do with Indonesia. You can be a Muslim but not neccessarily adopt the Arab’s culture, why the pribumi are so weak ? In Salatiga/Jogja/Solo, there are GKJ = Gereja Kristen Jawa who pray in Jawa halus in churches using kebaya & blangkon. Salatiga Catedral encourage Javanese sunday mass and offcourse it will be very nice to wear your sexy kebaya & the man with blangkon + keris handsomely. Where got mesjid allow such things in Indonesia ? In my view, this is the real danger of Indonesian at large. You are losing your identity and the majority pribumi are very weak.

    Look at Imam Samudra, a small young man, short & tiny but forcing himself with his ugly & thin beard, he forgotten his blangkon but keep on his sorban like the fugitive Bashir. He sucks, he thinks he is a tall sheik from Arab, this is another example of a loosing identity person, if the number make-up millions, it is the real danger, but not the SBKRI or without SBKRI. We may not have the statistics, I agree if the Sumatra’s Malay pribumi adopted Arab way of life very much long time ago but I won’t be surprise if the real Javanese is in the way of following the trend too otherwise the Bashir’s Madrasah in Solo were closed long time ago & there will be no more sweeping for alcohols & American in the hotels in Jawa.

    To the young & potential chinese Indonesian: I encourage you to leave Indonesia soon, the global new economy model do not prerequisite your success to be physically leaving in a country with the real natural resources (literally as ‘gemah ripah loh jinawi’).

  21. avatar Aluang anak Bayang says:

    Raden, corruption is already institutionalised in Indonesia. I, myself, have to pay my way to get things done. So it is not a racial-based issue here.

    And re anti-chinese riot, Thailand and the Philippines have similar economic pattern as Indonesia. If one day the poor frustrated peasants in their thousands voiced their anger publicly demanding for a change in government, what would you think a desperate and calculating government of the day would do? Yes, in Indonesia we have a wily fox in the disguise of Suharto, and to cling on to power, provocateurs were deployed to redirect the anger toward the Chinese.

    Perhaps, the link below is more informative than I could explain. Ethnic Javanese from Central and Eastern Java are less anti-chinese than west-end pribumis. The worst they can do is to destroy chinese property, whereas in the westend, they get physical. Toward west and Sumatra, the pribumis are much closely related to the Melayus of Brunei and Malaysia which are extremely anti-chinese. I say this again from my association with many Malays and my time spent in Brunei.
    http://www.hamline.edu/apakabar/basisdata/2001/03/11/0000.html

  22. avatar Anonymous says:

    btw, do you know that:

    The majority of Brunei’s Chinese are permanent residents, and many are stateless.

    [1]

    and still according to [1], the composition of the population is something like:
    Malay 67%, Chinese 15%, indigenous 6%, other 12%

    I’m not sure if the other minority races are also subjected to the same condition.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Brunei

  23. avatar Aluang anak Bayang says:

    anonymous, thanks for pointing that out. Even if Bruneian chinese hold citizenship, they are still considered 2nd class citizen. They do not enjoy the same priviledges as the Malays.

    The other minority group that is subjected to these condition are the Dayaks. The predominant group from these Dayaks family is the Iban. They were locked out of the country to stop them from claiming Brunei as their ancestral land. Unless they renounce their racial background, convert to Islam and call themselves Malay, otherwise they will still be ‘stateless’ in their own land. The Dayaks were original inhabitants of Brunei, whereas Brunei Malays are migrant from Sumatra or Malaysia.

  24. avatar Arema says:

    Well, it’s a positive move by Bang Yos, regardless of his hidden motives, if any, but let’s not think negatively first without any proof. I’m chinese by race, but Indonesian at heart. I believe there are millions like me in Indonesia, who long just to be treated fairly and objectively.

    Pribumis can argue that we are foreigners no matter what, but look: we are born in Indonesia, and thus by default are Indonesian. I believe most of us now can’t speak chinese, do not practice chinese traditions, and pretty much an Indonesian rather than a Chinese. Some of us may have greater love toward Indonesia than those so-called ‘pribumis’ do, and yet we are “rejected”. Our heart belong to Indonesia, we’re born there, we live there, we laugh and make friends there, it is our home country, our Ibu Pertiwi, our tanah air, and why on earth our existence is undesired? Are we that bad or ugly?

    Sigh, those provocators in the past that injected this kind of discrimination on the people’s mind are the ones responsible. As Tukul said on one of his Empat Mata show, “You don’t work and you dream to be rich. Now you’re poor and blaming the rich, get your a** off and start working!”. Pribumi are jealous because the minority Chinese hold the majority of the economy. But in fact they should look on the mirror and reflect. They are “playing football on home ground” and losing, despite public support, what’s wrong? Against the naturally hard-working Chinese, it’s always a hard fight. But still, it doesn’t mean that the Chinese become enemies.

    I am now working overseas, but I will be back to Indonesia no matter what. It is true that my pay here is beyond the dream of most people working in Indonesia, and many of them trying to get such opportunities but failed. Why am I so “stupid”? I’d rather be a stupid guy who refuse thousands of dollars a year for a “below average” life in Indonesia (and do what I can for my country), rather than be a traitor and deny my heart.

    Ihaknt Says:
    February 20th, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Bas the easterners are also discriminated against in western countries sometimes. Just start from yourself by treating people well then people will (hopefully) in return treat you well too. What goes around comes around.

    We should change first before you expect others to change. Do unto others as how you want others do unto you. It’s the rule of thumb.

    Mohammed Khafi Says:
    February 21st, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    I think we should accept with open arm’s anybody who is willing to help our country develop and grow, but unfortunately our government and leaders are terrified that if we have honest and competent people entering the country their own power and wealth would be threatened!

    I agree 101%. Chinese should be treated fairly and objectively, because they are also part of this beautiful Indonesia. Having more allies is always better. The government should be more meritocratic and appoint those really capable to lead the country. I’m not in favor of Chinese at all, if they are not capable. But if they are, government should be objective and put Indonesia’s best interest above the ever-irrelevant SARA thing.

  25. avatar Raden says:

    Dear Arema, I think you set your expectation to unreachable level that I am sure until you come into your retirement age, you knew that Indonesian chinese will never have equal rights, it could be free from the stupid SBKRI but we will NEVER get the equal rights like pribumi have it today. I like to help our chinese race fellows to set their expectation correctly by learning from other similar countries like we discussed in Malaysia, Brunei.

    I disagree with your view, that you are as a hua-ren have totally forgotten your ancestor’s tradition & value, if you really do, one-day you will regretful, you will lose your identity too (like orang Jawa maintain beard & wearing sorban all the time (lupa keris & blangkon) while in home country you feel betrayed & cheated with discrimination. I see that you becoming weak similar to the pribumi, crying for staying in home country while frankly speaking a lot of people leaving Indonesia and they are much happier than before, no KTP, no KK, no K-1, no SBKRI, no schools/university admission discrimination for your children, enjoy better education quality, better income, higher living standard, enjoy gov’t pension fund & social / health security, etc.

    I believe the fear factor to renounce the WNI is emotional driven only. If you do it today and 15 years later you discuss this decision with your children whom hv grown up in a modern society, they will say to you: “dad, it was a good decision, I also do not want to stay in Indonesia”. The second generation of Indonesian Chinese whom his/her father left Indonesia long time ago because of rioting or other kind of discrimination, they never regret the decision. Those type of chinese Indonesian have their pride, never expect to bound his head to Indonesian corrupt officers in whichever kind of dirty business opportunities in home country – sorry we are not interested full stop.

    Since you are another capable Indonesian chinese, why not you renounce your WNI bravely and take another nationality that you think the country will protect you better?
    I am sure if Indonesia will be getting better let say 20 years later, naturally they will make it easier for WNA becoming WNI, so the choice are yours to think at that time but let your children to smell & live in full right equality in a modern non Islamic law country.

  26. avatar Arema says:

    Hi Raden,
    Your response is somewhat expected, as I said: I am “stupid”. I fully understand your point of view and concern, as those are also my friends’ concerns too. And frankly, there is nothing wrong with that, looking for better future elsewhere, everyone did that, why don’t we?

    Ronald Susilo defected to Singapore and now are their ace for badminton, same goes for Mia Audina to Holland. The legendary Ricky – Rexy become badminton coach abroad and not grooming future national talents, why? Better future is the answer… but I think the real answer is discrimination. All the names above are Chinese except Rexy, but he is Christian. I believe they all got their fair share of unfair treatment during their PBSI days, and had enough of it. Can’t blame them really. If I had such a dark past, maybe I’d do the same. But I’m blessed to live in my peaceful hometown of Malang, where harmony is kept relatively well despite all the ruckus happening on other part of Indonesia. Thus that “cinta tanah air” still left in me. I know that harmonious life is not impossible in Indonesia since I’ve seen that in Malang and south-east Sulawesi.

    I wish the discrimination will erode with time, and the sooner the erosion start, the better. That’s why I support Sutiyoso’s move, although I know it most likely be another forgotten campaign, but still it’s a positive step and has to be appreciated. Only when all Indonesia unite, then we can unleash our truest potential, which is quite immense really, considering our rich land and enourmous population.

    Lastly, about the tradition thing… Thanks to “babe Harto”, Indonesian Chinese second generation after independence (about my age) are alienated from everything Chinese except the food. Tradition, language, customs, we become not so familiar with all those things. I have to admit that my Christian belief discourage my family to practice any superstitious things (it play a part too), but those like Chinese New Year are allowed. Learning Chinese after you get more than 20 years of Jowo Medhok exposure is not an easy task. Thus this whole recipe produced one unique breed named Indonesian Chinese, who are treated as foreigner in their own country, and treated as somewhat lower-class Chinese (baba) by the real mandarin/dialect-speaking Chinese (but it’s nowhere near the discrimination in Indonesia). Pretty sad isn’t it?

    We can all choose the easy way out (bye2 Indonesia), and there is nothing wrong with that, from personal point of view. But for me, I think God has a plan when He let me (and all of you, my brothers) born in Indonesia and not somewhere else. I love my country, I feel indebted to it, and I will try my best within my means to help. I feel this should be the attitude of all Indonesian. No matter how small are you, you can make the difference. Even if you’re just an immigration officer, you can give a good first impression about Indonesia when you do your job properly without any embel embel. Wherever we go, be bring 3 “invisible flags”: our family flag, our nation flag, and our religion flag. When we do good / bad things, people will look at these “flags” and form their impression, so why not make it a good one?

    I’m “stupid”, I’m naive, and unrealistic too. I know that. But at least I dare to dream. If we don’t dare to dream and try, we’ll be stuck forever in this downward spiral. Let’s pray to God to make Indonesia a better place, let His hand work, because we’re utterly powerless.

  27. avatar Raden says:

    Ha ha, similar to poor Rexy story, I knew a female Batak friend, her family name is Silitonga, she renounced her Indonesian citizenship for Singaporean last year. This is the real threats & problems in Indonesia which is the rapid spreading of Syariah Law adoption in kabupaten/district forces even the pribumi with other belief than Islam to think twice about the country. So, if you were her, being as a Christian believer you can imagine the kind of mental torture to live your own town but recently changed into Syariah law adoption?. But not everyone qualified & capable to find a better country though.

    Arema, as a Christian, if your home-town one day adopting the fundamentalist Syariah Law, you as a capable & qualified Indonesian chinese, will you remain to stay there? And let to witness your children constantly leaving uncomfortable with ideology that are totally opposite to your ancestor’s way of life?

  28. avatar Arema says:

    Hi Raden,
    That’s a tough question to answer.

    On one hand, I’m emotionally attached to Indonesia and would like to spend my days there with my family for the rest of my life, doing what I can for my country. I just can’t deny this feeling.

    On the other hand, if I interpret your question as “if Malang become Aceh, will you move back?” maybe the answer is no. My family is at stake, and I can’t ignore that. Not only that. My freedom to practice Christianity is threatened too. When that happens, I might even pave way for all my keluarga besar to move out from Indonesia, with flooding tears.

    But that’s an extreme case right? I pray it will never ever happen. But I thank God that He is showing the multiple flaws in Shariah law to Indonesian, as written in recent forum topics. Now the law is opposed by even fellow Muslims, which I think is a good sign.

    If most Indonesians start waking up and share the same thought with most of this forum’s activist, I believe slowly but surely Indonesia is heading to the right direction. All I can do now is pray.

  29. avatar Raden says:

    Arema, you might be WNI keturunan however your thought processes are similar to Javanese pribumi, in that case you better stay at home. Some progressive younger generation detach the Indonesian sentiment feelings from reality for the sake of more progressive living style. That kind of generation make-up the global economy society, I knew the majority of Indonesian will not think this way. So, for those kind of thought proccesses (just pray, hoping, etc) you must prepare to accept the reality of chinese discrimination in Indonesia will be there forever.

  30. avatar Arema says:

    Raden, thanks for the word of encouragement. I am aware of the massive challenges ahead, but I will try my best to do what I can for Indonesia, until I’ve reached my tolerance limit.

    I know the grass is greener on the other side (and this time it ACTUALLY is!) but I prefer to say home sweet home.

    So I suppose you’re now staying abroad “happily”? Let’s say Indonesia get much better in 10 years time (yeah, I know, one-in-a-million chance), would it cross your mind to come back home?

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