By Khoon Choy Lee
In might 1998, President Suharto stepped down as President of Indonesia. along with his fall, the 3rd biggest state in Asia has plunged into anarchy and political, monetary and social strife. Racial and spiritual clashes, culminating in riots, burning and chaos, became the order of the day. Fissures within the social textile are widening and there's actual risk that this multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation may well crumble, similar to Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. during this booklet, the writer portrays the Indonesian humans, their heritage and their cultural traditions. He presents insightful analyses and views of the political cave in of Suharto and describes the risk dealing with the rustic. Describing the variety within the historical past, traditions, customs and cultures of some of the ethnic teams, he presents an figuring out of Indonesia. the writer goals to deliver outsider's readability of belief and the journalist-diplomat's adventure of culture and heritage to the issues and to talk with authority and sensitivity in regards to the demanding situations dealing with an unlimited, heterogeneous state that includes 336 ethnic teams conversing 250 dialects.
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Extra info for A Fragile Nation: The Indonesian Crisis
Like Sukarno, who fell because he failed to balance the power between the armed forces and the communists, Suharto also fell because he failed to maintain an equilibrium between the armed forces and Islam. In the first chapter under the title “Why Suharto Fell”, I venture into the future of Indonesia and the various problems facing the country if the spirit of Bhinneka Tunggul Ika is not observed. The book describes the diversity of the various peoples, their history, their dialects, their traditions, customs, cultures, their colourful ways of life and their psyche.
There could be misunderstanding when the two races speak to each other. When a Javanese nods his head, it does not mean that he agrees with you but merely that he has heard you. This too could cause misunderstanding if one does not understand Javanese culture. There are many different characteristics and idiosyncracies in the various cultures of the Indonesian peoples and an understanding of them will be useful in dealing with them. The IMF officials, for instance, recommended that Indonesia should increase petrol prices presumably for economic reasons, at the height of the economic crisis in mid-1998.
To revive further the spirit of the 1945 revolution and the struggle for independence, a Pancasila monument was erected at Kalibata where national heroes are buried. The monument comprising five towering pillars representing the five principles of Pancasila was officially declared open by President Suharto on 11 November 1974. The monument was to commemorate the millions of unknown soldiers who had sacrificed their lives for independence. After the fall of Suharto, even the Pancasila philosophy is facing a serious challenge by some fundamentalist Muslims who are clamouring for an Islamic state for Indonesia.
A Fragile Nation: The Indonesian Crisis by Khoon Choy Lee