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Volume 4, No. 2
December 2002

 

New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies

Volume 4, No. 2, December 2002

All articles and essays in this issue can be downloaded as PDF documents.

Guest Editorial

Scrutinising Change in Island Southeast Asia
SARAH TURNER (McGILL UNIVERSITY), pp. 5 - 7

Articles

Balinese Music, Tourism and Globalisation
HENRY JOHNSON (UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO), pp. 8 - 32
Balinese music and cultural tourism are examined in order to illustrate the invented traditions and contexts of performance in Bali, and in terms of the wider influences of globalisation. The first part of the paper explores music and tourism in terms of hotel tourism in Bali. As well as including a documentary of the development of tourism in Bali from the early years of the twentieth century, the study focuses mainly on the rise of mass tourism in the latter part of that century when Balinese culture was adapted and invented specifically for visiting tourists. For the music researcher, these new contexts of performance provide windows into understanding contemporary aspects of Balinese culture. The article also extends the study to include other influences of globalisation with a discussion of locating Bali and Balinese music in the contexts of other cultures. Here, the music researcher is challenged to question where tourism and/or travel is located in connection with music excursions by Balinese and non-Balinese performers and listeners.

Otonomi Daerah: Indonesia's Decentralisation Experiment
RICHARD SEYMOUR AND SARAH TURNER (UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO & McGILL UNIVERSITY), pp. 33 - 51
This paper draws on recent and ongoing experiences in Indonesia to examine in detail the decentralisation process occurring there. After contextualising the Indonesian case, including a brief outline of the structure of the 1999 Otonomi Daerah (regional autonomy) laws, an analysis of the latter is undertaken. From this, six key problems emerge. These include the inappropriate level of autonomy, a lack of improvement in real fiscal autonomy, and insufficient finance. In addition, resource-rich regions are favoured, a number of 'grey areas' need to be resolved, and the laws have been implemented within an inappropriate time scale, raising questions regarding human resource capabilities. All are complex problems situated within an uncertain political environment, which in turn raises the question of whether Otonomi Daerah is actually working towards effective decentralisation in the Indonesian context.

Neo-Modern Islam in Suharto's Indonesia
MALCOLM CONE (UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO), pp. 52 - 67
This paper is an investigation of the liberal humanist tradition in Indonesian Islam that, in the period from 1968-1999, enjoyed the support of the New Order Government of Suharto in Indonesia. The paper argues that there was an elective affinity between the objectives of the New Order Government and this liberal humanist tradition, because the defining characteristic of this governmental support was the promotion of a privatised Islam that eschewed political life, concentrating instead on education, ijtihad and ascesis. The field work for this investigation was carried out at the Ciputat campus of the Islamic University in Jakarta and with Indonesian Islamic scholars in Islamic teaching foundations in Jakarta and Bandung. The Islamic scholars in these teaching institutions justified their position in reference to a long liberal humanist tradition in Islamic education in Indonesia. In this they reaffirmed the arguments put forward by Ibn Taymiyya, Al Mawardi and Ibn Kaldun, that there is a necessary separation between Islam as practice, from the oft-repeated call for an Islamic state.

Aceh: Democratic Times, Authoritarian Solutions
ANTHONY SMITH (ASIA PACIFIC CENTER FOR SECURITY STUDIES), pp. 68 - 89
The year 2001 has been, so far, the worst year on record for conflict related deaths in Aceh. Despite major democratic changes within Indonesia, Aceh continues to be subject to a military crack-down that is barely distinguishable from the methods employed under the rule of Soeharto. In particular, the Indonesian security forces do not draw clear distinctions between armed insurgents and non-combatant NGO critics of government policy. Both groups have been targeted. This article assesses that the causes of the conflict in Aceh are not simply based on either ethnic or religious difference. On this point, the insurgency in Aceh is very commonly misunderstood‚ both by the Indonesian government and the international media‚ as being somehow Islamic in character. However, the Free Aceh Movement do not resemble an Islamist movement, and instead tend to stress historical and ethnic difference. It is the case, however, that resistance to Indonesian authority has become more and more evident in Aceh only since the 1970s, as a result of massive human rights abuses by the security forces and economic exploitation. By 1999, it seemed that the majority of Acehnese had come to favour independence. Thus the alienation of the Acehnese people is more recent than many have claimed, and much of the blame rests with the security forces "shock therapy" tactics that have slowly, but surely, turned large numbers of Acehnese towards the independence cause ‚ the exact opposite of what the security forces have attempted to achieve.

Papua: Moving Beyond Internal Colonisalism?
ANTHONY SMITH AND ANGIE NG (ASIA PACIFIC CENTER FOR SECURITY STUDIES), pp. 90 - 114
On 16 August 2001, President Megawati Sukarnoputri made an apology to the Papuan people for the injustices of the past. The recent history of Papua (formerly known as Irian Jaya) has been a troubled one. Papua was forced into the Republic of Indonesia under controversial circumstances, and subsequent human rights abuses and heavy exploitation of resources served to keep alive demands for autonomy and independence‚ demands that became highly evident once Soeharto's authoritarian regime came to an end in May 1998. Many Papuan leaders and activists have characterized their plight as being a colonial possession of the government in Jakarta, and this gives rise to a discussion of "internal colonialism". However since reformasi (political reform) in Indonesia occurred, Papua has been given far more control over its own destiny. Regional autonomy delivered a great deal of power to Papua, including retention of much of the revenue earned in the province. In the sense that Papuan authorities now control much of their own affairs, it could be argued that Papua has moved beyond "internal colonialism" ‚ or at least is no longer under the tight political control of Jakarta. However, not all vestiges of the Soeharto era are in the past. Since August 2000 an alarming crackdown by security forces has seen human rights violations against pro-independence activists, including the death of Presidium leader Theys Eluay in November 2001 at the hands of Special Forces soldiers. The problem of ongoing human rights abuses mean that charges of "internal colonialism" are still quite widespread within Papua, and continues to undermine the internal legitimacy of Jakarta's rule in the province.

Human Development and the Urban Informal Sector in Bandung, Indonesia
EDI SUHARTO (BANDUNG SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WELFARE), pp. 115 - 33
This paper deals with identifying the relationships between the urban informal sector and poverty. The focus is on street traders in Bandung, Indonesia, and the use of social and economic indicators to examine the urban informal sector. The findings show that although the street traders are not the poorest in society, they are still living in deprivation and vulnerability, especially when measured by their economic capital. When judged against the standard Indonesian poverty line, it was found that some street trader incomes were able to rise above it and, on average, street trading provided a favourable source of income compared to other alternatives for the poor, such as unskilled manual labour. Nevertheless, taking a broader approach, the multiplication of poverty line, it was highlighted that 80 percent of the street traders interviewed could still be categorised as being poor and vulnerable. Perhaps more encouraging however, was the finding that, using other human development indexes, such as human and social capital, the street trader households surveyed mostly had adequate basic education, and access to health services and housing facilities, although their opportunities to participate in social activities seemed to be limited.

The Sultanate of Brunei and Regime Legitimacy in an Era of Democratic Nation-States, NAIMAH TALIB (UNIVERSITY OF CANTERBURY), pp. 134 - 47
Since gaining independence in 1984, the oil-rich Sultanate of Brunei has demonstrated its ability to maintain stability and internal cohesion within a semi-traditional political framework, despite demands for political participation and the problems associated with economic modernization. This paper examines the challenges faced by Brunei since independence. It also considers the various sources of legitimacy that are available to a monarchy determined to maintain its hold on political power. It assesses the role of ideology and religion as instruments of legitimacy and the extent to which they are used as bases for political action.

Graduate Research Essay

Democratic Discourses in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines
CHé CHARTERIS (UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO), pp. 148 - 76
Discourses on democracy are characterised by extreme fragmentation. Whilst examining three case study countries, namely Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines, this study highlights this diversity with respect to the democratic discourses of governments and non-government organisations (NGOs). Initially, through a review of academic literature, it becomes clear that the debate over whether or not democracy is a culturally bound ideology is a key point of difference. Around this debate there have emerged three definable discourses on democracy, namely liberal discourses, cultural relativist discourses, and syncretic/popular discourses. In all three case study countries, these discourses were found to be competing. Whereas the Indonesian, Thai, and Filipino governments and international NGOs mobilised liberal discourses on democracy, there was more discursive diversity apparent amongst regional and local NGOs. These findings have important implications in that the culturally relative and syncretic/popular discourses mobilised by some local and regional NGOs can be argued to be forms of resistance to Western-founded liberalism.

Short Story

Seno Gumira Ajidarma 'Destination: The Land of Never-ending Sunset'
PAM ALLEN (UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA), pp. 177 - 82

Review Article

Suharto: Father of Development?
R.E. Elson, Suharto A Political Biography
NICHOLAS TARLING (UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND), pp. 183 - 92

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