Chinese Policewoman

Sep 15th, 2006, in Society, by

A daughter of Chinese traders in Glodok, Jakarta, has become a policewoman.

Yolla Bernanda, whose Chinese name is Chang Mei Xiang, works as a policewoman for the West Jakarta police force. She was born and grew up in the Glodok area of West Jakarta, well known as a centre of the Chinese trading community, and her parents, Tan Yu Hin and Khou Loen Nio worked as clothing and electronics sellers.

Yolla, since she was a young girl, had wanted to enter state service, in a uniformed and armed capacity it seems. She first attempted to join the womens’ branch of the Army but was rejected, and later, at university, she instead joined the campus army cadets. Finally in 2004 she secretly entered the Ciputat police training facility for female cadets and lived there for two months without her parents knowing of her wheareabouts.

Her parents were about to report her as a missing person when she returned home one night in full police uniform. Everyone in her family was happy for her except her father, who was fiercely opposed. Eventually however he relented and accepted her choice of career, with the words:

Don’t work half-heartedly. You now belong to the nation.
(Jangan bekerja setengah hati. Kamu kini sudah menjadi milik negara.)

When people express their surprise that a Chinese person works as a policeman Yolly responds:

Shocked that a Chinese has become a policeman? I’m confused too. Remember, this country is now advanced. I was born and raised in Indonesia so I have the same right to guard the nation.
(Heran ya? Ada orang China yang jadi Polwan. Saya juga bingung. Ingat, negara ini sudah sangat maju. Saya lahir dan besar di tanah Indonesia. Jadi punya hak yang sama menjaga negara.)


February 18th 2007.

The government of East Kalimantan on Borneo, to welcome the Year of the Pig presumably, says those of Chinese descent can become policemen provided they have a letter from the authorities stating that they are Indonesian citizens. It is not clear why the latter requirement is still necessary. mediaindo

30 Comments on “Chinese Policewoman”

  1. Molisan Tono says:

    nice way to go girl. salute… 🙂

  2. Miss Indo 07 says:

    cool gurl

  3. Ali says:

    You go girl 😉

  4. Hassan says:

    about time…
    I believe Indonesia should do what Malaysia did. Malaysia had a diverse culture and a multi ethnic environment, but they didn’t discriminate their citizens on governmental participation. we can easily find indian, Chinese, and malay policemen and even politicians.

    besides, discrimination is sooo old fashioned. it only caused segregation among citizens, like what happened here in our beloved country.

  5. matthew says:

    Malaysia is very racist, lots of laws for the bumiputera. The Malays are given a lot of preferential treatment over the Indians and Chinese

    Extremely bigoted. Not a good example for Indonesia

  6. Ali says:

    Yes, agree with matthew on the Malaysia issues.
    They actually practice a different version of apartheid (racist) law there.

  7. Hassan says:

    and Australia with it’s white Australia policy is a democracy?? Israel with it’s apartheid fence policy is a democracy?? ahh, the irony..

    let’s just say, Malaysia is better than Indonesia in the non discrimination department.

  8. Andrew says:

    Way to go, girl!

    Her father’s family name is Tan, but hers is Chang – what’s with that?

  9. Bas says:

    Let’s hope she won’t get raped or, at least, sexually harassed by her chiefs as it often happen in the Indonesian police administration.

  10. Miss Indo 07 says:

    Hehe, Andrew, I didn’t pay attention to the name before you mentioned. Maybe it supposed to be chen, because tan = chen.

  11. Miss Indo 07 says:

    Well actually maybe one example of a nice country with minimum racism is Singapore. I live here now and I can see Chinese, Malay, Indians and others get along so well and maybe I a bit agree with Hassan that malay at least is better than Indonesia. At least I never heard riot in Malaysia like what happened in Indonesia in May 98, or I never heard that Christians n Moslems in Malaysia in war or killing each others.

  12. pengamat says:

    Let’s put it this way.. Was this article intended to bring about racism views? Not quite.. It was her parents who rejected her. Read the article carefully 🙂

  13. Peace says:

    pengamat Says:
    September 17th, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    Let’s put it this way.. Was this article intended to bring about racism views? Not quite.. It was her parents who rejected her. Read the article carefully 🙂

    Hassan is……well you know what I mean.
    He’s the first to bring up racism in this thread.

  14. cik says:

    I was born and raised in Indonesia so I have the same right to guard the nation.

    If only everyone can have the sense of belonging such as her.

  15. pengamat says:

    wait a minute.. was this article altered in anyway ^__^ coz the last paragraphs do refer to “races” as such…

  16. pengamat says:

    Oh well anyway.. so the article didn’t say (even the Kompas article linked) that the government is discriminating against her or anything.. (which is rather cool!!) 🙂 … yep!.. it’s just the fact that it’s quite rare..

  17. Larry says:

    I just watched a show with her on it and listened to her and her family talk. She indicated that she could not find a man who accepted her career. I dont know is she reads this site or not, but I would love to have someone with her conviction towards family and job. A true quality hard to find in any one person. Chang Mei Xiang, I hope you find the person who will take you for who you are and for who you want to be.

  18. Bradlymail says:

    More openness! Truly Indonesian…congratulations! Do the good job!

  19. Cina Jawa says:

    “Tan” is a Chinese Hokkien last name, very popular in Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Phillippines). In Mandarin (the common Chinese language) it is pronounced and spelled using pinyin as “Cheng”. So it was probably misspelled as Chang.

  20. Tony says:

    First order of business–Give a salute to yourself! Semoga Sukses!

  21. Reza says:

    In my opinion it is time for the term ‘Indonesian’ be applied to all indonesian citizens!

    Social segregation amongst various local ethnicities is dissipating in its ever increasing bullet pace, despite of their existing cultural differences, so why should there be one against those of non local cultural communities?!

    I wish you the ALL the BEST with your active duty!

    You are a model to your ethnicity and to the rest of the nation!


  22. Purba Negoro says:

    Disgusting- putting the thief in charge of the safe.

    I sincerely hope this one is put in her place by a suitably nationalist preman. If not, I most am certain other Nationlists will arrange it.

    Wong cina= musuh Perjuangan. Jangan lupa.

  23. Janma says:

    Wong cina= musuh Perjuangan. Jangan lupa.

    I know I enter the fray rather late and everyone has already been down this road with PN… is he a sh*t stirrer or is he for real? If he is for real he sure has no education…. he doesn’t seem to realize who helped free his country and how many orang keturunan cina who were fighting for that freedom alongside so called ‘pribumi’.
    As for Keturunan chinese joining the police or the army for that matter…. I think anyone stupid enough to want to be a policeman or a soldier, should be allowed in.

  24. Purba Negoro says:


    Wong cina will forever remain wong cina.

    NEVER “keturunan” or NEVER the forelock tugging “Tionghoa” ever be spoken by the Rakyat.
    To every single wong cilik WONG CINA REMAIN WONG CINA.

    The term is China in English- yet they do not cry racism
    Therefore it their land is Bangsa Cina.

    Do you hear any Thai cry-babies asking for a name change because our expletive for excreta Coincides with their name in English?

    Yet still the Chinese hoard rice in the villages, gouging prices- a very well documented Chinese opportunism- or maybe you are illiterate in Indonesian and remain blissfully or perhaps willfully ignorant of current news.

    Chinese voluntarily sponsored Anti-Japanese Intel prior commencing 1928 in Indonesia.
    Chinese assisted Dutch Police in the crackdown on Rekso Roekmekso- the Nationalist movement of Surabayan Pribumi Shopkeepers to defend themselves against the monopolisation, price fixing and other such atypical Chinese business activities.
    Chinese were the willing compradores of the Dutch, commencing with Cultuurstelsel- which imposed starvation upon 3 million+ Javanese through the legally imposed and heavily enforced compulsory forced labour and cash-cropping of the Rakyat.

    Chinese involvement in Perjuangan was running guns and SELLING these obsolete weapons well above market price to the Nationalists- anything to make a quick buck.

    Sukarno himself never made one Chinese a National Hero.

    No- it remains you, and other such bule, and your contemptuous coffee-table book wisdom who remain the uneducated.

    Chinese Indonesia are known as ethnics hua li or hua qiao as opposed to Zhong Guo Ren- mainlander.

    Since I am such a bigot- explain why my Shanghainese friend of 20 years of the Zhong Gong Zhong Yang (CPCC) holds similar (widespread in CHina) views of the baizi (peasant) hua qiao (Hokkien)= pan tu- turncoats and his play on words hua li yi- li being covetous/avaricious/money-worshippers, ertc?

    Stop trying to revise well-documented history to fit your agenda.

  25. Purba Negoro says:

    IS it also a coincidence gambling, narcotics, amphetamine manufacture and mega-brothels are are all endemic to the Chinatown of Jakarta-
    Mangga Dua?

    Funny nothing like this exist in South Jakarta amongst the bangsawan pribumi where I live.

  26. Janma says:

    No, PN…. but I bet you plenty of you ‘bangsatwan pribhumi’s’ from the nice suburbs spend plenty of time and cash in Glodok etc… LOL
    Reminds me actually, saw a truck this morning with a pic of Iwan Fals on it, underneath were written the words “Wajah Pribumi”….. I had to laugh at that, because Iwan is keturunan arab and tionghua…. so maybe that is the real ‘wajah pribumi’ hey?

  27. Bananarama says:

    PN, you mentioned that the Chinese are active in drug dealing etc etc..
    Do you seriously believe that there are no pribumis in the illegal drug business?
    How about the ganja plantation and such?
    I am sure you can find articles in google mentioning about raids on illegal drug business by the pribumis.. but then of course only articles with Chinese name in it leave impression on you..

    How about the positive contributions that the Chinese has brought to Indonesia?
    Did you not put that into consideration?

    Bangsawan like you who live in southern Jakarta..
    are you the same kind that runs exploitation, corruption, intimidation, mass massacre in other provinces?
    It’s funny how Javanese bangsawan like you view this matter as “pribumi vs Chinese”.
    When people in Aceh, Manado, Timor Leste, Papua, etc etc view this as “Us vs Javanese”.

    I could go on and on about what the pribumis has done to their own country..
    We all know there is a looong list of corruption, injustice, human rights violation whereby the culprits have not been brought to the justice table..

    Maybe it’s time for your to wake up..
    This old regime strategy of blaming the Chinese is boring to me..
    You can keep blaming the Chinese, but it sure won’t bring this nation anywhere..
    Because we all know where the real problem lies..

  28. Bananarama says:

    To add to that, there are drug dealers, brothels, narcotics manufacturing by the pribumis.
    Difference is they are smaller in scale..

    If you think this is about race then you are delusional and biggoty.
    The problem lies in the law system in Indonesia, the corrupt officials who knows that these activities are running but choose to close one eye.

  29. donny says:

    just bumped to this topic …

    and I most wonder about comment by Purbo Negoro above …
    some of my family is a chinese descendant in Indonesia … and they earn their living honestly since around 1900 if I’m not mistaken …

    funny thing is the only “races” who opposed chinese descendant is Javanese …
    many of my colleagues (chinese descendant) receive protection from natives in papua during riot and same case with Ambon … they’re cleverer than Mr. Expert-but-subjective Historian Purbo above …

    sorry, pal … but you remind me of Hitler and Nazi … they also hate jews as much as you hate chinese descendants, and without obvious reason =D

    would you elaborate, how a chinese descendant hurt your feeling ? break your heart, perhaps ?? =D

    I read one ebook last year, about an american who tried to live without chinese products … and HE FAILED

    I suggest you try to do the same thing … ban all china products and tell us what it feels like … try to check your handphone and see where it was built … see your underwear … perhaps it’s made in China ?? hahahaaa =D

    rotten eggs always in ready stock in EVERY races … but that doesnot give you the right to condemn the whole races as bad …

    see madurese, who got slaugthered in Kalimantan … ??? does all of them bad / evil ??
    do you think all madurese deserved to be annihilated ?

    Chinese involvement in Perjuangan was running guns and SELLING these obsolete weapons well above market price to the Nationalists- anything to make a quick buck.

    this is a very cruel misinformation … can you cite the source ? or perhaps “someone” telling you and you swallow it whole ?
    even though so … they GAVE indonesian weapons … better than your sharpened stick of bamboo … and like it or not … it contribute to Indonesia’s independence …

    Your first president even acknowledge and appointed chinese descendant to be minister in his cabinet …

    you talk like your backyard is being colonised by Chinese … remember Angke slaugther? why do they name the river ANGKE (red) … because countless chinese descendants are slaughtered by Dutch, sooo many killed until the river turns red … means you’re not the only races oppressed …

    talk to chinese descendants … how he must pay a lot … bow his head to racist fellow like you just to get Indonesian citizenship … they have to wait 15 – 20 – 25 years to obtain it … in many cases they died while still on “waiting” list …
    how they have to pay taxes higher, how they are blackmailed by your kind and all injustice you imposed to them … how many killed silently and their asset seized during 1960 – 1970 ? no books ever written about this one … but there are many chinese descendant’s families kept this sad memory within their family history
    how many killed, raped during 1998 riot ? I WAS THERE shortly after the riot, so I know exactly what happened
    who killed them ?? your kind, right ??

    and then think about how much they contribute to the economics of Indonesia …

    look at your hand … did you have 5 fingers ? same with chinese ?
    do you have 2 eyes ? same with chinese ? is your blood red … same with chinese ?
    supposedly you got a terrible accident … do you accept blood transfusion if it’s not clear from what races it’s from ? perhaps it’s from chinese … don’t accept it =P
    what’s the difference then … ??

    nobody’s perfect … including you and me
    go find a mirror and see your “perfect” self …

  30. donny says:

    even Indonesia’s president acknowledge Chinese descendant as heroes … not like a narrow minded Purbo above

    Sedang penghargaan bagi alm, John Lie sangat khusus, karena selain gelar Pahlawan Nasional, beliau juga menerima Bintang Mahaputera Adipradana. Usulan John Lie sebagai Pahlawan Nasional asal Sulawesi Utara yang diajukan oleh Yayasan Nabil ii kemudian diterima oleh Pemerintah RI melalui Kepres RI No 058/TK/Tahun 2009. Salinan dokumen dan kronologi pengusulan serta press release bisa dilihat di website kami berikut ini

Comment on “Chinese Policewoman”.

RSS feed

Copyright Indonesia Matters 2006-2023
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact