Dutch Compensation

Dec 19th, 2007, in IM Posts, Opinion, by

Should Indonesia seek compensation from the Netherlands?

Should Indonesia seek Dutch compensation?

As I read more about the history of Indonesia, this question cropped up to tease me.

The question being this; should Indonesia demand compensation from the Dutch Government for their past atrocities and what they looted during their time in Indonesia?

I have neither come across any source which says that the Dutch have formally and unequivocally apologised for their past crimes against the Indonesians nor is there anything which says that Indonesia has absolved the Dutch.

The history of the VOC and the Dutch East Indies is filled with umpteen comments that relate about Dutch atrocities.

Comments such as this:

"It was the beginning of Dutch colonialism in Indonesia. ... In these outrageous expeditions countless atrocities were committed."

and this:

"For of all the countries, outside of Africa, that had suffered from colonialism, Indonesia was without a doubt plundered the most ferociously. When the Indonesian masses finally were able to declare their political independence, the rich archipelago was one of the most impoverished areas on earth."

and this,

"the Dutch had tried and ultimately failed to re-impose their colonial power on the country after World War II. In the process, the Dutch military were guilty of what official records call 'excesses' In the view of some who were there, these 'excesses' were nothing less than war crimes. The sense of denial and cover up is so strong, most Dutch historians won't touch it."

and this:

"Wim, a Dutch soldier with the rank of corporal was stationed in Western Java in the Bogor area. He saw the 'police action' in Indonesia as morally wrong and refused to shoot people. He refused to be in a position of some authority and asked to be relieved of his corporal's responsibilities. Accordingly, the commanding officer demoted him to serve as an ordinary soldier.

Wim's memories connected with experiences of that period were deeply repressed and disturbed him many years later when he was an older man. He witnessed much human misery, saw friends killed and innocent Indonesians slaughtered. Mutilated bodies were a common sight."

and this:

"This wall of denial has only increased over time. There is a general silence about the murders committed by the Dutch Army in the name of the Dutch kingdom.
The Indonesians are trying to forget their painful past. So no one wanted to ask, no one wanted to find out what happened and no one did. The ghosts of colonial misrule and murder linger over Indonesia, even today."

Historical Facts

1602 - 1799. Indonesia was "ruled" by the Dutch VOC, which were a combination of Dutch Companies.

1800. Dutch formally declared the archipelago as the Dutch East Indies under direct rule of the Dutch Government.

1949. Dutch were forced in by International pressure to recognize Indonesia's Independence declaration in 1945.

Additional details of Indonesian History Timeline: 1602 - 1949

1602, March 20th. Dutch companies combine to form Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC); led by Heeren XVII representing different regions of the Netherlands; States-General gives VOC power to raise armies, build forts, negotiate treaties and wage war in Asia.

VOC establishes post at Gresik.

The Dutch East India Company was given most of the powers of a sovereign state, partly because communication between the Netherlands and Asia was so slow that colonial activities simply could not be directed from Amsterdam.

1798. Dutch government revokes charter of VOC, assumes its debts and assets.

The VOC was losing money to corruption and political intrigues. By the end of the 1700s, it was fully bankrupt. On January 1st, 1800, it ceased to exist.

1800, January 1st. VOC formally dissolved; properties revert to Dutch government.

More of these excerpts from "Timeline of Indonesian History" can be seen at http://www.gimonca.com/sejarah/sejarah02.shtml

Compensation

Compensation from the Japanese Government was once thought to be beyond any hope for those comfort ladies who were forced to serve as sex slaves for the Japanese Forces during their Occupation.

After several generations and with the details of Dutch atrocities either forever lost or progressively becoming blurred, is it beyond any hope for Indonesia to demand compensation from the Dutch?

I am not aware if Indonesia considered it and representation for compensation was made to the Dutch Government.

Assuming that Indonesia did in fact request for compensation but did not succeed, the Dutch attitude finds a similar comparison from an observer's remark. It was about the gift that Queen Beatrix's gave to Indonesia during her official presence in Indonesia's for celebrations of their 50th anniversary of Independence.

~ and drum roll please....
The Queen presented the Indonesian people with a Friesian cow. It must have been her pet cow and it probably sat beside H.R.H Beatrix on Royal Dutch Airline - all the way to Indonesia.

"A cow and not a Rembrandt or a Van Gogh. Very rude. That's part of the Dutch soul, this rudeness."

the observer berated.

In the case of the Dutch, I do not know what a Friesian cow symbolises. I do know what a cow symbolises for the Hindus but then again, Indonesia is not predominantly Hindu. Oh well, it was better a cow than a Trojan Horse.

It could well have been a Dutch way to inform the Indonesians that if they hoped for any compensation, they would have to wait till the cows come home. However, the Dutch would mock and have their Queen to bring at least one cow home to Indonesia with their sentiment,

"In the name of William of Orange! be thankful for that."

By the way, anyone knows what has happened to that "royal" Friesian cow?

What about Dutch financial donations/loans, (not compensation)? I read the following. It relates to what happened 16 years ago.

"Multilateral aid to Indonesia was long an area of international interest, particularly with the Netherlands, the former colonial manager of Indonesia's economy. Starting in 1967, the bulk of Indonesia's multilateral aid was coordinated by an international group of foreign governments and international financial organizations, the Inter-Governmental Group on Indonesia. The IGGI was established by the government of the Netherlands and continued to meet annually under Dutch leadership, although Dutch aid accounted for less than 2 percent of the US$4.75 billion total lending arranged through the IGGI for FY 1991."

Note how small was the Dutch amount. *brings out my calculator.....4.75 billion x 2 percent = 95,000,000 tops,
but it was LESS than 95 million said the article. PEANUTS compared to what the Dutch plundered from Indonesia for 350 years.

Anyway, it went on to say that

"the IGGI was disbanded. The Indonesian government decided not to accept further financial assistance from Holland because the Dutch government intervened too deeply in its domestic political affairs. The World Bank formed a new consortium called the CGI (Consultative Group on Indonesia) to take over IGGI's role. Holland was not invited to join the CGI, and it has not become a member until today."

However, no matter how ludicrous the question might be plus the fact it would have other ramifications because the Dutch are not the only colonialist throughout the history of mankind, would compensation be possible?

As an aside comment regarding corruption in Indonesia vis-a-vis Indonesia's colonial past.

Aristotle once said:

"If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development."

Having read what was the cause for the demise of the VOC, I have this remark to make.

Quote:

"The VOC was losing money to corruption and political intrigues. By the end of the 1700s, it was fully bankrupt. On January 1st, 1800, it ceased to exist."

Therefore, apart from the human sufferings that the natives endured during the Dutch colonial period, is it tenable that corruption in post independent Indonesia is something the Indonesians witnessed and inherited from 200 years of VOC presence and presumably throughout the remaining 150 years of Dutch presence thereafter?


134 Comments on “Dutch Compensation”

  1. avatar Dragonwall says:

    Yes, Indonesians young and old should sue the Dutch and get the Royal families indicted for discriminating and segregating the minorities during their atrocious rule dating back to 1740.

    Japan admitted that they were systematically killed and discriminates the Chinese and apologize for their mistakes and misdeed. Not amount of compensation was forthcoming.

    Someone should take the initiative. Give a start.

  2. avatar Teng says:

    is it tenable that corruption in post independent Indonesia is something the Indonesians witnessed and inherited from 200 years of VOC presence and presumably throughout the remaining 150 years of Dutch presence thereafter?

    This statement is used by lots of Indonesian leaders to hide the fact they do not want to do anything about corruption. “yeah sorry we can’t do anything about it… it’s because of the Dutch”. Doesn’t independence imply you can part with the ways of the old rulers?

    According to Anne Booth, a specialist on South East Asian economics, Indonesian independence was the best thing that happened to the Dutch economy. The Dutch Indies weren’t profitable for a long time.

    However all this does not hide the fact the Dutch government should indeed apologize. For the colonisation in general, and the atrocities that happened during the 1st and 2nd war in particular. It is a deep black page in Dutch history.

    Compensation will probably be impossible, because of the ramifications it would have like you said.

  3. avatar WP says:

    Whoa … wait a second there…

    The question being this; should Indonesia demand compensation from the Dutch Government for their past atrocities and what they looted during their time in Indonesia?

    I’ll not pretend to know much about history, but can anyone perhaps give more specific info on these meant colonial atrocities??

    At school I always learned the Dutch to be all what iamisaid said (hmm…): evil colonialist that deprived Indonesia of its riches, and do all kind of mean things to our people. But now I begin to seriously question this. The Dutch was probably mostly only shrewd merchants. They do bring military forces, but in term of strength I don’t think they mean much. However they were (very) clever to use Indonesian local rulers (sultans, bupatis etc) as their extension of power. In aftermath, I suspect that we’re as much a victim of Dutch colinialization as of our own local rulers’ naivety and greed. Unfortunately, I’m not a historian to have anything to support this hypothesis, but maybe someone can point out that I am totally wrong.

  4. avatar wayan sudirta says:

    This is very interesting articles and got the points. But how we can claim “Compensation”? There was called “Puputan Badung” in Bali whereby they not only took valuable artifacts but also very cruel; sort of “killing field”.
    Related story.

  5. avatar Dragonwall says:

    The Dutch had written a law and is used until today by the Indonesian government with some changes since Soeharto’s era.

    This law is being made to benefit a certain party, particularly the dutch, european and disbenefit the minorities.

    The minorities were in one way or another being segregated and disallowed to do certain things which the Dutch considered them to be less superior group and in another words the minorities are second or thrid class citizens.

    Until recently it was fund that the law was wrongly revoked and accidentally set into motion a new form of discrimination that further discriminates the minorities.

    The former being criminal atrocities towards the minorities and the latter making the minorities beinf further discriminated by the government. The present Indonesian government. The reports was leaked by someone probably from the Kehakiman or lawyer and was leaked to the press somewhere around April 2007. The revocation was made while Yusril was the Minister of Justice and HAM and all evidence point the wrong doing to the direction of the Justice Department where on or about the same time the Sharia Law was shaft through DPR/MPR amidst some said rumors that graft was involve in getting parliamentarians to approve the law subjecting most Christians to Islamic Law..

    These are very real things in life dictating many lives of Indonesian Minorities.

    Don’t you think they should be held liable?

  6. avatar Masindi says:

    Don’t worry! I will help you guys get Dutch to invest more in Indonesia.
    Hello, Jakarta!

  7. avatar iamisaid says:

    Below is a photo of Atak Jarli Jambak, an elderly Indonesian who works as a cobbler nearby my shop.

    He says that he is a 67 years old Indonesian. That means that he was in Indonesia during Sukarno’s Proklamasi, the Japanese Occupation, the reoccupation of the Dutch and 1949 the Dutch finally under International pressure, to recognise Indonesia’s declaration of Independence in 1945.

    I asked Atak yesterday afternoon if he was able to remember about the Dutch. Much of what he related from his early childhood experience and from stories from his parents, relatives and friends underscores what is retold by historians about Dutch atrocities. In Atak’s case, these were actual incidents and which affected persons/families that his parents, etc., personally knew.

    Atak, said that the Dutch left behind a respectable education system in Indonesia, built wide roads and he confirmed that the Dutch were largely corrupt in their ways.

  8. avatar iamisaid says:

    Welcome WP,

    At school I always learned the Dutch to be all what iamisaid said (hmm”¦): evil colonialist that deprived Indonesia of its riches, and do all kind of mean things to our people. But now I begin to seriously question this. The Dutch was probably mostly only shrewd merchants. They do bring military forces, but in term of strength I don’t think they mean much. However they were (very) clever to use Indonesian local rulers (sultans, bupatis etc) as their extension of power. In aftermath, I suspect that we’re as much a victim of Dutch colinialization as of our own local rulers’ naivety and greed. Unfortunately, I’m not a historian to have anything to support this hypothesis, but maybe someone can point out that I am totally wrong.

    From what I have read about the Dutch atrocities, there were historians accounts of mass massacres of innocent natives who did not even resist the VOC and 300 years later with the return of the Dutch AFTER Japan conceded surrender.

    There were other accounts of natives resistance towards the Dutch and lots of accounts of patriotic wars waged against the Dutch. Their patriotism always ended in defeat against the more superior Dutch arsenal as well as the Dutch ability to secure other forms of support – the divide and rule maxim.

    There are accounts of how the Dutch brutally manipulated the natives and vast stretches of land for agricultural produce for export to the Netherlands. The natives received less than a third for their agricultural efforts.

  9. avatar Janma says:

    If they compensate, then who gets the money? That’s the real question…

  10. avatar iamisaid says:

    Hi Teng,

    Thank you for your views.

    You mentioned:

    According to Anne Booth, a specialist on South East Asian economics, Indonesian independence was the best thing that happened to the Dutch economy. The Dutch Indies weren’t profitable for a long time.

    Here is what I gathered.

    In the a Dutch publication as shown below, it would explain why Anne Booth opines that the Dutch Indies was not profitable for a long time. But then, one must understand that it was not only the Dutch Indies that was suffering the effect of the Great Depression.

    Of course in would be in the interest of the Dutch to let-go while they were still reeling from the effects of the Great Depression. But did they really?

    Moreover, with all due respect to Anne Booth, if the Dutch Indies wasn’t profitable for a long time, WHY did the Dutch come storming back to reoccupy Indonesia? In their struggle to reoccupy Indonesia, the Dutch committed war crimes against the Indonesians who had hardly recovered from the atrocities of the Japanese. The Dutch INVADED Indonesia AFTER Sukarno had declared Independence when the Japanese surrendered.

    Some more:

    Here is an account from the Dutch themselves.
    It explains what measures the Dutch employed to exploit the Indonesians.

    The Economic History of Indonesia
    (Jeroen Touwen, Leiden University, Netherlands)

    In the nineteenth century a process of more intensive colonization started, predominantly in Java, where the Cultivation System (1830-1870) was based.

    The Cultivation System, initiated by Johannes van den Bosch, was a state-governed system for the production of agricultural products such as sugar and coffee. In return for a fixed compensation (planting wage), the Javanese were forced to cultivate export crops. Supervisors, such as civil servants and Javanese district heads, were paid generous ‘cultivation percentages’ in order to stimulate production. The exports of the products were consigned to a Dutch state-owned trading firm (the Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij, NHM, established in 1824) and sold profitably abroad.

    Estimates of Total Profits (‘batig slot’) during the Cultivation System

    (1831/40 – 1861/70 – in millions of guilders)

    Gross revenues of sale of colonial products
    1831/40 – 227.0
    1841/50 – 473.9
    1851/60 – 652.7
    1861/70 – 641.8

    Costs of transport etc (NHM)
    1831/40 – 88.0
    1841/50 – 165.4
    1851/60 – 138.7
    1861/70 – 114.7

    Sum of expenses
    1831/40 – 59.2
    1841/50 – 175.1
    1851/60 – 275.3
    1861/70 – 276.6

    Total net profits*
    1831/40 – 150.6
    1841/50 – 215.6
    1852/60 – 289.4
    1861/70 – 276.7

    (Source: Van Zanden and Van Riel 2000: 223.)

    * Recalculated by Van Zanden and Van Riel to include subsidies for the NHM and other costs that in fact benefited the Dutch economy.

    The momentum of profitable exports led to a broad expansion of economic activity in the Indonesian archipelago. Integration with the world market also led to internal economic integration when the road system, railroad system (in Java and Sumatra) and port system were improved. In shipping lines, an important contribution was made by the KPM (Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij, Royal Packet boat Company) that served economic integration as well as imperialist expansion. Subsidized shipping lines into remote corners of the vast archipelago carried off export goods (forest products), supplied import goods and transported civil servants and military.

    I have another question: Did the Dutch put up any resistance in Indonesia against the invading Japanese?

    The Japanese experienced spectacular early victories in the Southeast Asian war. Singapore, Britain’s fortress in the east, fell on February 15, 1941, despite British numerical superiority and the strength of its seaward defenses. The Battle of the Java Sea resulted in the Japanese defeat of a combined British, Dutch, Australian, and United States fleet.
    On March 9, 1942, the Netherlands Indies government surrendered without offering resistance on land.

    What it really means is this. T

    The Dutch literally bolted like renegades for all the blood, sweat, tears and lives that was dearly paid by the Indonesians when enslaved to the Dutch.

  11. avatar Oigal says:

    he confirmed that the Dutch were largely corrupt in their ways

    Laugh..How would an Indonesian recognise a system that was not corrupt you need a frame of reference..

    It would be just another scam money for jam..yawn..never stops..

    Don’t forget, it was not an invasion same as now the Indo Leaders sold out their people for a quick buck..

  12. avatar iamisaid says:

    Hi Janma,

    IF compensation happens
    IF the Dutch Government does not wheeler-dealing behind curtains
    IF and A BIG IF this time, the Dutch Government pays the compensation DIRECTLY into the bank accounts of EACH INDONESIAN citizen.

    ~scrathes me head – hmmm so many if’s. sure to fail.

  13. avatar Janma says:

    That is a very naive idea. Sorry… but it is.

  14. avatar iamisaid says:

    Welcome back Dragonwall,

    Don’t you think they should be held liable?

    Yeah, Indonesians should round up these culprits. Hang them naked in front of the Komodo dragons and let the creatures have some meat balls for a diet change.

    *bulb lights up!

    Let’s get the anti Amadiyah posse to handle it.

  15. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    So Mr. Oigal, what do you think of colonization ? Do you think it’s fair that the Dutch don’t have to pay anything for what they did ?

  16. avatar iamisaid says:

    Hi Janma,

    That is a very naive idea. Sorry”¦ but it is.

    Me too, I feel sorry too. There are the experts who would find an answer IF and WHEN compensation would at all be on the INA-HOLLAND discussion table.

  17. avatar Janma says:

    “So what have the londo’s done for us?” …. (sorry life of brian moment…)
    “the roads?” (well of course the roads, the roads go without saying….)
    “the administrative system?” (ask dragonwall, it’s really left a great legacy…)
    railways? (where?)
    education? (for a select few)
    Thinking about it now, I think that india under the english fared better than indonesia did under the dutch.

  18. avatar iamisaid says:

    Hi again, Janma,

    “So what have the londo’s done for us?”

    Please, don’t forget to include the “royal” Friesian cow!

  19. avatar Sputjam says:

    “For of all the countries, outside of Africa, that had suffered from colonialism, Indonesia was without a doubt plundered the most ferociously. When the Indonesian masses finally were able to declare their political independence, the rich archipelago was one of the most impoverished areas on earth.”

    Plunder? There was nothing to plunder, whether it was in africa or indonesia. It would be different if the dutch had rule France or China or even India as there were numerous treasures and artifacts.

    If Plunder meant stealing the natural resources, Indonesia was not a significant contributor to he world’s commodities requirment before WWII.

    However, if plunder meant land grab, then that is different.

    What actually happened was that the europeans were after the spices that was availbale in indonesia. Did they steal the spices? Nope. they bought these in a deal with the local merchants and sold it for huge profits in europe. Had the indonesian knew about this, would have built a trading ship capable of sailing to europe for their share of the profit? I don’t thnk so.

    Colonial masters are good excuse to blame on if a particualr country does not seem to be able to deliver to their citizens. Normally the first thing a nationalist leader would do is to dismantle the governing and education infrstructure of the colonial rulers. Then they try to build another platform based on the national language and using native methods. Needless to say, most of these experiments have failed. By sidelining a workable administration based on colonialist, they have created a monster bereaucatic red tape with no focus and the head of these deaprtments seems to regard their little ministries like a principality like Monaca, whereby they can make any rules they like, not one based on serving the people and making life easier for the masses.

    when sukarno ruled, nobody bothered asking him for some apology for misusing the country’s wealth for his personal glory.
    same with suharto.
    So why should Indonesians ask the dutch for an apology? best to forgive and forget, and start again based on integrity.

    Imagine for once, if indonesia is actually 7 seperate and distinct country, made up of 7 independent nations. We shall call these sumatra, java, Sumbawa, Molucca, Sulawesi, papua and kalimantan. Do you think the total sum of these regions would be more prosperous and seperate nations or would they be more prosperous as One? My [ersonal opinion is that, by being seven seperate states, the populatio of the Nusantara would be more posperous and dynamic. Presently they are held in strangulation by jakarta. That is why the income gap between the regions and the captal is wide.

  20. avatar Anita McKay says:

    Most of Indonesians actually do wish to be under English colonization rather than Dutch but we can’t turn back time….

    Janma asked if there is something Dutch has done to us? Hmmm how about Bintang Beer (it’s Heineken recipe!), Susu Bendera (Frisian Flag), Anyer-Panarukan road by Daendels, and Indische Architecture? The first two is just for a laugh. But for architecture, it’s Indonesians who can’t maintain the historic buildings. I remember Dutch planned to build the canal system just like in their homeland, but of course they didn’t realize that Indonesians prefer to bath and wash there….

    PS: Dutch people are still here and everywhere…

  21. avatar colson says:

    Brilliant!

    And in it’s turn the Dutch could sue Spain.

  22. avatar raden says:

    Fellow Indonesians, there is no need to look backward a few hundred years ago while dreaming to sue the Dutch on their past wrong doings.
    Simply follow this steps,
    – can we take back Yayasan supersemar ‘ wrong doings ?
    – can we take back uang BLBI ?
    – can we take back uang cengkeh ?
    – can we take back Freeport’s profit ?
    etc …
    just anything within orba era, do not mention during the Dutch era.
    After we can take back, what next we will do to make this country up & running again?

  23. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    A word of caution is needed in interpreting Indonesia’s colonial history.

    Dutch presence in the archipelago can be said to have lasted three and a half centuries, but if one defines colonialism as the subjugation of an entire area and dates it from the time when the last independent domain was conquered – in this case Aceh – then the Dutch colonial empire lasted less than half a century. Effective government could only be claimed for Maluku, certain portions of Java, a southern portion of Sulawesi, and some coastal regions of Sumatra and Kalimantan. Yet it is also true that precisely because Indonesia is an insular realm, Holland never needed a big army such as the one the British had to maintain in India. The extensive interiors of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi were not penetrated, because, for the seaborne empire of commercial interests, exploration of such regions was unprofitable, hence undesirable.

    After the VOC ceased to exist and by the time Holland regained its colonies from the British in 1816, any resemblance to the erstwhile Company had vanished. In its place was a firmly established, paternalistic colonial government which ruled by edict and regulation, supported a huge bureaucracy, and sought to make the colonies turn a profit, as well as to legislate its inhabitants’ manner of living. This centralized authority instituted changes from above that were often in direct conflict with local life and welfare. One such change, which was supposed to increase revenues and improve the life of peasants, was the infamous Cultuurstelsel (Cultivation System). This system required the farmers to grow cash crops, such as sugar cane and indigo, which, although profitable on the world market, were of little practical use for the local people. In effect it meant compulsory labor and the exploitation of the entire region as if it were a feudal estate. The system proved profitable for the Dutch, and because it introduced varied crops such as tea and tobacco to local agriculture, it indirectly improved the living standard of some of the local people. But it also fostered distrust of colonial authority, caused uprisings, and provided the impetus for liberal reform on the part of Dutch politicians in the Netherlands.

    It has to be said that all in all colonial policy also improved education, agriculture, public hygiene and expanded the transportation network. In Java a paternalistic policy was not offensive, because its ruling class, the priyayi, had governed that way for centuries.
    Although it is true that many atrocities were the responsibility of the VOC (e.g. the Banda-Neira mass execution) and of the subsequent Dutch rulers, most of these went unnoticed by the public in the motherland. It wasn’t until the book ‘Max Havelaar’ by Dutch writer and former assistant-resident of Lebak in West-Java, Eduard Douwes Dekker (pseudonym Multatuli) was published in 1860 that it caused a public outcry of indignation in the Netherlands and beyond. The same is true after the ‘puputan’ of Badung and Klungkung at the beginning of the 20th century, which were debated in the Dutch parliament and were one of the instigations of the ‘ethical policy’ doctrine. As a result the first three decades of the 20th century were probably the most stable and prosperous in Indonesian history.

    P.S. re the Friesian cow story. The Dutch are not only renowned for their rudeness, but especially for their stinginess. Friesian cows are so abundant in Holland that one more or less doesn’t matter. Hence the ‘royal gift’.
    By the way, do you know how the Grand Canyon in the US came to be? Erosion? Forget it. In the beginning there was nothing, just one vast plain. Then a Dutchman came along and he lost a coin.

  24. avatar Sputjam says:

    So according to dewaratugedeanom, dutch rule isn’t so bad after all.
    If you think about it, the malay race do not care very much who rules their “tanah”. The british did not even have to fight for malaya. in the end, they manage to administer “tanah melayu”, created vast plantations, which is now controlled by malaysian, and left an education legacy, which was dismantled by mahathir when he was education minister, constructed road and rail networks and medical facilities. Not only that, they even send locals to britain for training, as teachers, lawyers and engineers, before building up a local training institute and university in singapore.

    It was Sir stamford raffles (supposedly founder of singapore) who suggested to the british boses not to give holland back to the dutch, when he was working in present day bengkulu, sumatra, but that advice was not heeded. Otherwise, British would have ruled both present malaysia and indonesia and upon independence, it would be one vast country with singapore as capital.
    If you ask the malay nationalist in present day malaysia, they will tell you how evil the british were, just like a indonesian nationalist saying bad things about the dutch. But ever since independence, I think both countries have suffered significantly in form of human development and economic progress by stifling colonial legacy.

  25. avatar iamisaid says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Mas dewaratugedeanom,

    I almost fell off my chair reading your coup de grâce.

    By the way, do you know how the Grand Canyon in the US came to be? Erosion? Forget it. In the beginning there was nothing, just one vast plain. Then a Dutchman came along and he lost a coin.

    You have anymore to share?

  26. avatar bule gila says:

    Those Indonesians who think about demanding compensation from the Dutch… did you consider giving compensation yourself for Indonesia’s forced annextion of East Timor? This is a much more recent case in history and the East Timorese could be said to have a much clearer case against the Indonesians.

  27. avatar Londo says:

    The thing is, even though the Dutch have a historical debt towards Indonesia, present day Dutch do not know what was done exactly during the colonial period and waktu agresi 1 & 2. It might help if the Dutch were educated about wrongs from the past first.

    Most points mentioned here are very valid. I should know, I am a Dutchman with colonial turunan. The Dutch debt towards Indonesia is one of horrific proportions because of above mentioned oppression, the Cultuurstelsel, discrimination, divide et impera, violations of human rights by the VOC and Dutch army etc. etc.

    Unfortunately, like in all countries around the world we don’t like to see and hear about our own wrongs. Whether we’re Dutch, English or Indonesian. Like all countries around the world we are always capable of finding reasons why it was right to do this or to do that. And why it wasn’t actually wrong. And if it was wrong, we didn’t mean it that way. Etcetera etcetera.

    What might help is, when both Indonesians and Dutchmen made a joint effort to bring the colonial past to the attention of the Dutch public. Politicians from both countries, businessmen from both countries, scholars and people like you and me. Because honestly, although it is knowing in the Netherlands our predecessors did things wrong in Indonesia, I am ashamed to admit most don’t know to what extend.

  28. avatar Dragonwall says:

    iamisaid, I am still waiting for your email as I didn’t get the first you sent. tks

    Want to know about komodo dragons. They will sleep in front of your doosteps in the night. Just hope the sun doesn’t shine on them when their bodies gets heated up and the smell of mentruation, not necessary an open wound, they will just dash at you..ha..ha.. This happens to Try Sutrisno’s wife once..

  29. avatar Pena Budaya says:

    In my understanding VOC was the first multinational in the world. Of course it was a lousy one. What do you think about all multinationals/TNCs from European, US or China nowadays those are operating in developing countries or poor countries through supply chain with the end chain of home-based or sweatshops? They all have same motive: making profits as much as they could. But, is there any government managed to sue for what they have done? Let me know if you know one.

    Yes, it will make me happy if the Dutch government were finally acknowldege the past invasion especially after Indonesia’s independence in year 1945 and acknowledge Indonesian’s independence day in 1945 instead of 1950. But will that stop our dependencies towards the foreign aids especially from European Union? I will be very much happier if Indonesia could say no to any foreign aids and manage to be a financially independent country that could guarantee the social security of its citizens.

    I can’t help myself to join the conversation about “the universal misunderstanding” on the Dutch culture and habits. Dutch treat concept is very often to show how the Dutch is cheap. I found they are just so efficient with money and always thought ahead before spending money (see how they manage to secure the amount of double of Dutch GDP this year only for health and retirement insurance for instance). They spend money for useful things and very often not for themselves. And for the record, the Dutch national campaign Giro 555 for Tsunami in Asia in which that also directly coming from the Dutch citizens had reached to 183 millions Euros – http://tsunami.web-log.nl/tsunami/tsunami/index.html I don’t see this as attitude of bunch of people who were cheap.

    Anyway, most of all I agree with Raden. Let’s bring those ORBA and nowadays’ corruptors down to trial, send them to jail and force them to return all corruption to the needies before trying to get any compensation from the Dutch. Otherwise we will only repeating Suriname’s history when the Dutch’ severance package was mostly used by the corruptors to enrich themselves.

  30. avatar Londo says:

    An official apology has never been issued by the Dutch government. But in 2005 a first step was made.

    Dutch govt expresses regrets over killings in RI

    Veeramalla Anjaiah and Rendi A. Witular, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

    August 18, 2005

    In a bid to close the black chapter in the history of relations between the Netherlands and Indonesia forever, the Dutch government finally expressed its regret for its “police actions” which led to massive carnage and suffering in Indonesia during the late 1940s.

    The admission of past mistakes came from the visiting Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot on Tuesday during a reception to mark 60 years of Indonesia’s independence and the 60th anniversary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta. Bot was the chief guest at the reception hosted by Minister of Foreign Affairs Hassan Wirayuda.

    And from a government such a step is a huge one. Although perhaps not big enough.

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