Wednesday, September 08, 2004

TEMPO's Special Report: Chinese Indonesians (2 of 14)

Chronology ~ After Sixteen Centuries

In 414, Fa Hien was the first Chinese who set foot on Nusantara soil-at least that is what history says. This Buddhist traveler wrote about Tarumanegara and Kalingga, the Hindu kingdoms on Java. The first migration to Indonesia in the 1600s boosted the number of Chinese in Batavia from around 2,000 to 10,000. The following chronology recounts a number of important events for the ethnic Chinese group in Indonesia. Starting with the massacre of the Chinese by Dutch soldiers in 1740, the chronology moves on to the year 2000 period. That was the year President Abdurrahman Wahid revoked all old bans fettering citizens of Chinese descent in Indonesia.

October 9, 1740
The massacre of Chinese in Batavia by VOC soldiers, killing approximately 10,000 people. Referred to as the first and largest act of racism against the Chinese in Indonesia.

The largest wave of migrations in the history of the migration of Chinese to Indonesia. The majority is brought in as contracted coolies for the plantations. The dichotomy between "totok" (from China) and "peranakan" (born in Indonesia) originates from this migration.

The Dutch colonial government forbids the ethnic Chinese group from conducting primary trading.

In the political frame of divide et impera (divide and rule), the colonial government uses the Chinese as middle traders with the indigenous people.

September 23, 1825
Dozens of Chinese are slaughtered in Ngawi, East Java, by troops on horses led by Raden Ayu Yudakusuma, the daughter of Sultan Hamengku Buwono I.

March 17, 1900
In Batavia Tiong Hoa Hwe Koan (THHK) led by Phoa Keng Hek is established. It is a Chinese peranakan organization whose purpose is to advance the Chinese culture and the Konghucu religion.

The THHK School on Jalan Patekoan 19 (Jalan Perniagaan) gets a widespread reception. The Dutch East Indies government becomes concerned, and opens the HSC, a school especially for Chinese children with Dutch as the intermediary language. The establishment of THHK as the first modern organization in the Dutch East Indies encourages the establishment of Boedi Oetomo, Sarekat Dagang Islam, Muhammadiyah, and other organizations.

The colonial government issues a law making it possible for the Tionghoas (the Chinese) to apply for a status that puts them at the same legal level as Europeans (gelijkstelling).

The government issues a law stating that anyone of Chinese descent is of Chinese nationality.

February 10, 1910
The Kingdom of the Netherlands announces the "Wet op het Nederlandsch Onderdaanschap" (WNO), a law stating that all Chinese people who are the second generation to be born in the Dutch East Indies are Dutch but are not Dutch citizens. Because the Chinese and Dutch governments both claim the Chinese who are born in the Dutch East Indies as their people, a dual-citizenship issue emerges. In 1955, the problem is resolved by an Agreement on Dual-Citizenship between the governments of Indonesia and the People's Republic of China.

Anti-Chinese riots in Solo are triggered by a trade competition between Chinese and Javanese batik traders.

October 31, 1918
Anti-Chinese riots break out in Kudus, triggered by competition between Chinese and non-Chinese cigarette businessmen. Houses and stores belonging to Chinese people are looted and burned by thousands of Sarekat Islam followers from Mayong, Jepara, Pati, Demak, and the surrounding areas.

The Chinese in Surakarta cut their pigtails and trade in their traditional clothing with western-style clothes and look like sinyos (European or westernized people).

A new Dutch-educated peranakan group is born. The group belongs to the Chung Hua Hui Party, which considers the Dutch East Indies as part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, so it wants the Chinese community to be oriented towards the Dutch Kingdom. The group becomes a competitor to Sin Po, a group which considers China to be the land of its origins.

The first population census for the East Asia group. The colonial governor records 1.9 million Chinese in the Dutch East Indies, 63 percent of whom are born in Indonesia. Of the 1.9 million souls, 83 percent live on Java Island.

The Tionghoa Indonesia Party (PTI) is born in Surabaya led by Liem Koen Hian. The group argues that Indonesia is its motherland because the majority of the Tionghoa peranakan are born, live, and die on Indonesian soil. The party supports the movement to achieve an independent Indonesia.

Immigration to Indonesia is limited thus reducing the number of totok Chinese in Indonesia.

May 1946
Some 635 Chinese (including women and children) are murdered. Also 1,268 houses of Chinese people are burned to the ground and 236 houses are destroyed in Tangerang and its surrounding areas. It is estimated that there are 25,000 refugees in Jakarta coming from those areas. The unrest spreads to Bagan Siapi-Api, Kuningan, Majalengka, Indramayu, Pekalongan, Tegal, Puwokerto, Purbalingga, Bobotsari, Gombong, Lumajang, Jember, Malang, Lawang, Singosari, and elsewhere.

June 1946
Race riots take place in Tangerang-later known as the "Tangerang incident"-triggered by a one-sided accusation that the people of Chinese descent are previously pro-Dutch and are suspected of being agents of the NICA troops.

The People's Republic of China establishes the Department of Commission on Overseas Chinese and gives 30 seats in the Chinese People's Congress for representatives from overseas Chinese, including those in Indonesia. Its purpose: to protect the interests of Chinese abroad, to strengthen the bond between those abroad and in their ancestral land, and to encourage the Chinese abroad to remit money to China.

August 1950
the Indonesian Chinese Democrat Party is inaugurated in a congress in Bandung.

March 13, 1954
The Indonesian citizenship conference board (Baperki) is formed by ethnic chinese leaders in Jakarta. this Organization later turned into a political party and managed to win several seats in the constituent assembly during the 1955 election.

The government issues Government Regulation PP No. 10/1959, which forbids foreign Chinese from trade at the regency level and below. Consequently, hundreds of thousands of Tionghoas repatriate to the People's Republic of China.

Subsequent to PP No. 10, military commanders (army), especially in West Java, ban ethnic Chinese from living in the villages.

May 1963
Race riots break out in several places in West Java, such as Sukabumi, Cirebon, and Bandung.

The government issues PP No. 14/1967, which forbids the Chinese religion, faith, and traditional activities in Indonesia. Also issued is Circulation Letter No. 06/Preskab/6/67, which requires Chinese people to change their names to Indonesian-sounding names.

The use of the Chinese language is banned in accordance with the Decision of the Minister of Trade and Cooperatives Unit No. 286/KP/XII/1978. The New Order regime also instructs that the Chinese communities' movements be monitored by the Coordinating Body of Chinese Affairs (BKMC) which is under the State Intelligence Coordinating Body (Bakin).

Circulation Letter SE.02/SE/Ditjen/PPG/K/988 is issued. It bans the publication and printing of articles/advertisements using Chinese characters and language in public. Also issued is Regulation by Minister of Housing No. 455.2-360/1988, which bans the use of land to build, expand, or renew Chinese temples.

On July 9, 1996, Presidential Decree No. 56 is issued. It abolishes all regulations requiring SBKRI. The decree is endorsed by Presidential Instruction No. 26/1998.

May 1998
Riots in Jakarta and Solo break out. A number of people die and ethnic Chinese women are raped. Around 5,000 Indonesian ethnic Chinese citizens flee abroad.

June 5, 1998
Lieus Sungkharisma, tresurer of the Indonesian youth national committee, establishes the Indonesian Chinese Reformation Party (Parti). the goal of this party is, among others, fight for the integration of ethnic chinese Indonesians.

May 1999
Presidential Instruction No. 4/1999 is issued, allowing courses in Mandarin and the use of the Mandarin language.

President Abdurrahman Wahid revokes Presidential Instruction No. 14/1967 which bans all Chinese religious, faith, and traditional activities in Indonesia. Wahid also issues Presidential Instruction No. 6/2000, which allows the ethnic Chinese to express their culture, including the freedom to practice their faith in Indonesia.

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