January 21, 2009

The Momentum of Indigene Dragons, Recovered Their Social-Politics Back Bone

Written by Daniel Johan, Vice General Secretary of PKB
Translated by Agus Tjandra

We all know what is Batik, Wayang Kulit (shadow puppet), and Wayang Golek (wood puppet/marionette). When Malaysia claimed batik as their national heritage, most of us agitated and mad because our nationalism was disturbed. Why? Because we know that batik is Indonesian authentic culture that was rooted in our life. Batik, wayang kulit, wayang golek, is a few of creativity and art spirits of Indonesia Chinese descendant.

Chinese ethnics in Indonesia had a very long history and influenced a lot to many aspects in our life, from agriculture, language, medical, politic, to art and culture. However, it was a pity that the darkness of discrimination practices and suppression was colored the life of Chinese ethnics in Indonesia. All of it was begin from Dutch politics, devide et empera, who classified Indonesian in 3 class which are Europe, Far East, and Indigene. The funny is that policy was perfectly adopted by New Order regime. Let’s see the Decree No. 62, 1958 about citizenship, the point of that decree betrayed our Proclamation because the decree was using the results of Konferensi Meja Bundar (KMB), Round Table Conference, December 27, 1949 as the basic.

It was an ironic; an independent country was still loyal to the colonizer desirability. The consequence was since 1959 to 2006 citizen of this country still classified, therefore the discrimination practices on Chinese ethnics had very strong root. The top is Inpres (Presidential Directive) No. 14/1967, made by Suharto regime that forbids anything about Chinese.

It needs good will, hard works, and collective struggle to wipe it off because even now we have the new Citizenship Law and Removal of Race and Ethnics Discrimination Law, yet in implementation level we still facing a lot of obstacles. Everybody’s participation is needed to solve this nation issue.

These 12 astrological signs ethnics suffer the bitter and pain of discrimination and marginalization for more than 3 generations; systematically they had been localized in trade and business sector, until they were losing their social-politics back bone. Therefore, since colonial era to independence era, Chinese ethnics was always in “possessor’s cannon range”, so at any time they could be easy to been sacrificed by the ruler in un-advantage time. Without the social-politics back bone, the Chinese ethnic’s astrological signs were reduced from 12 to 5 which are “Experimental Rabbits” for bureaucracy complexity; “Black Goat” in crisis time; “Milk Cow” in peace time; “Riding Horse” in election time; “Cutting Chicken” in critical situation.

In while, Pramudya Ananta Toer, an Indonesian cultural observer, explained that the whole racialist acts and policies in Indonesia are rooted to falsification of forms and contents of socials incidents by certain persons, with the objectives are to wipe Chinese ethnics off Indonesia, has no citizenship in any country, or minimally as a foot polishes.

But now, reformation has made Indonesia smile again. Chinese ethnics now can perform to the public stage, especially since Gusdur, declarator of Nation Awakening Party (PKB) and former Indonesian President, removed the restriction of Chinese ethnics, including removing the Inpres No. 14/1967, so Chinese Ethnics now can express their self, their tradition and culture, including to celebrate Chinese New Year.

This condition has to pointed as a momentum to regenerate Chinese indigene’s social-politics back bone, so they, as a nation’s children, could stand up as an “Indigene Dragons” which are equal with Javanese, Bataknese, Sundanese, and other nation’s children. Let’s hope in this Chinese New Year 2560 moment brings a new hope for real reparation. Chinese ethnics as a legal indigene is also having values that can be contribute to nation progression and prosperity.

The 2009 election is the most important main gate for Chinese indigenes to regenerate their social-politics back bone so the enthusiastic and active involvement to vote their representatives can’t be wasted. Every Chinese indigene have to use their right to vote because the discrimination time is over, so these Indigene Dragons and other nation’s children can give their best contributions for the prosperity of the people and nation.

Source: www.kabarindonesia.com

(Author's note: I post this article to welcome Chinese New Year 2560 next January 25, 2009, as a reflection for all of us.)

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