Emerald of The Equator: An Indonesian TL

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The Man who would be Greater Part 5: The Assassination
The Day the Republic Stood Still

15th August 1986

Halim Perdana Kusuma International Airport, Jakarta

The rumoured has it, the Air Force would move its base a little bit South temporary to the under-construction Cilangkap Air Base [1]. After a lengthy debate by the government and the military, Halim Perdana Kusuma was optimized for a 2nd Expansion to be an alternative to Suryadarma Airport in Tangerang. For Air Marshall Utomo, the motive of building a new airport was unnecessarily expensive because the government should have shared with Pondok Cabe Airport, a now Pertamina-owned Airport already constructed in 1972. However, the air space was too small for large aircraft cargos. They also did not want nearby neighbourhoods to suffer from noise pollution for the upcoming arrivals of 15 F-14 Tomcats that will live in Jakarta after arrival approximately in 1987.

This expansion initiative was initiated by Defense Minister Try Sutrisno, who finally came to senses that a good Army would inevitably need a good Air Force. He was adamant as a hardliner Army soldier, egocentric and faithful for only expanding the great Army. He followed Iran, who already expanded the Army to almost 350 thousand people. Indonesia has 335 thousand people in the Army alone, committing questionable deeds somewhere in Aceh and Northern Malaya that even the Air Force had no information or permission to go there.

Well, it wasn’t the Air Marshall’s problem, it was the government’s. Despite the President becoming extremely anxious about the warmongering attitudes of Indonesia, he still couldn’t control the growing Army under the cunning Try Sutrisno. The Premier, LKY, never discussed that predicament under the President because he himself agrees with Try. This year, fortunately, the Air Force was trickled with grace from the Defense Minister. Utomo was informed of an expansion for military bases in Biak, Batam, Northern Madagascar and Diego Garcia. The last base would be a shared military base with the Americans, therefore construction would also come from American companies. He was delighted, these companies would build faster, better with no money spent.

On a commercial basis, Utomo was excited with the new expansion of the HPK Airport [2] that involved a 2nd and 3rd Runaway, a secluded Presidential Airport (later can be used for military purposes), and a new Terminal for the passenger. There has been a scare that maybe the runaway would be too close to the Trans Java highway, but the local administration was concerned with the expulsion of few villages for the new presidential hangar. The scare was quelled down as the nearby airport zones would inhabit a newly designed residential zone that would envy both Kebayoran Baru and Menteng.

However, his excitement for the new airport expansion was abruptly stopped when he noticed a glimpse of news. The news broadcast seemed to convey a grim emotion. With a shocking revelation, the reporter stormed the afternoon news with a breaking life. In the airport, he noticed some cadre of pilots already gathering in front of the TV. All of their faces showed great terror and unbelief. The Air Marshall’s curiosity compelled him to go for the TV. As he arrived, the cadres all salute the Air Marshall who has fixed his gaze on the Television.

Breaking News. Today, tragic news had occurred in the centre of Jakarta. There was a bomb in Sarinah. A 23-year old called Abdul Rahim Ba’asyir suicide himself in front of a crowd by the mall. The effects were devastating, blowing up half of the mall’s first floor in the process. We believe that … um... I believe we have the latest updates on the situation. This is Reporter Bang Yodas in the scene with Representative Akbar Tanjung

To Utomo’s confusion, there was Representative Akbar Tanjung with dirt everywhere on his face. Should a terrible tragedy stroke, it was impossible that a DPR member would instantaneously arrive there. He composed himself, trying to calm and solve his messed mind. When he did, he only gasped in disbelief as he knew who and why the attack happened there.



15th of August was two days before the independence day, President Subandrio launched several patriotic campaigns to commemorate the 41st anniversary of Indonesia’s independence. The conditions all across Indonesia was joyful, people from far reaches of Indonesia honoured this forthcoming day by buying Indonesian flags and promoting heroic marches. Nearing the day, President Subandrio thought it would be a brilliant idea for a new ‘diversity shop’ to open. Sarinah was his first choice.

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Sarinah Shopping Centre, 1986

As Indonesia was growing in size, so does the number of ethnicities with various traditions of clothing, garments and accessories. Sarinah, being the national icon of Indonesia’s local commerce, would be the perfect place for President Subandrio to implement his little campaign. He proposed an expansion on that shopping centre, particularly adding traditional attires from Madagascar and the newly arrived Israeli diaspora. It was called the ‘Greater Indonesia Garment District’. Located on the 1st floor, visitors would see at first glance outfits and dress from the furthest point of Jakarta, notably Madagascar, Melanesian and Jewish. That conjured repercussions from the radical communities. Yet, Jakarta had grown accustomed to new cultures, hence they accepted the minute change on Sarinah. The countrysides who visited there, however, were disgusted especially by the Jewish kippah already hanging in the shops.

The shop was actually opened on the 12th of August, but it was not officially celebrated by President Subandrio which he desperately wanted to. However, as his schedule was preoccupied with the increasing tension of East Africa, Subandrio instead departed for Madagascar by the 14th, giving Premier LKY the opportunity to do the ceremony himself.

By the early 15th of August, Premier LKY firstly arrived at the newly expanded Gambir [3] Underground Station to commence the reopening. The underground tunnel which Nasution had built lavishly by his command had actually benefited the current administration. The tunnel caused the inner-city landscape to be ‘beautiful’, thus avoiding ugly pillars for the previous attempted plans. Also, noise pollution had been minimal to most houses near Cikini and Mangga Besar, both residential complexes constructed. As part of the inner city, MRT Jakarta should own this 15-kilometre tunnel. However, plans of this tunnel to be transferred as an integral part of MRT Jakarta was halted because the national train company, Perusahaan Negara Kereta Api (PNKA), refused to give possession of the tunnel.

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Gambir Underground Entrance, 1995

In the end, MRT Jakarta and PNKA agreed on a compromise. The existing rail network before the subway construction would be administered by the Jakarta-Kebayoran Urban Transport Division, a child section of PNKA. Until MRT Jakarta could expand greater than the Kota-Manggarai tunnel could be connected, PNKA would keep the ownership. Still, the stations would function and cost similarly to MRT Jakarta ones. On that day, Premier LKY would secure and signed the compromise deal in that station also, effectively ending the feud they have for the last three months.

The expansion station also would ease conjunction on the station between regional trains and local commuter line. A deviation station was also established to accommodate further MRT Jakarta expansion of the Kuningan Line [4], which would either end in Gambir as the terminus or continue to Kota. Still, that would take years to come as the Blue and Red Line [5] haven’t completed their fullest form by 1990. The first hope of integration of this tunnel would happen if the Red Line had connected itself to Kampung Bandan, a phase 2 project of the Red Line that would finish by December of 1990.

After the opening of the expansion station, LKY then arrived at Sarinah for touring and the ceremony. He arrived at noon in the mall and eat in the nearby Djakarta Café. The Premier conversed with local bartenders and became a public sensation nearby. The Jakartan locals esteemed the humble Singaporean. He then arrived at Sarinah for the opening of the shops. He was accompanied by few Representatives, notably Akbar Tanjung, Tony Tan Keng Yam, Didier Ratsirika and an influential Jewish rabbi Shlomo Goren.

Arriving on the first floor, the Premier was stunned by few mobsters who arrived menacingly before him. The bodyguards, experienced, rushed to deflect and halt the coming mobsters. However, it was just a diversion as Abdul Rahim Ba’asyir, wearing a baggy yet unsuspicious outfit, emerged and lunged towards the Premier with a hand grenade beside him. Furthermore, he prepared dynamites around his abdomen to increase the blast damage. When the bodyguards fathomed the condition they were in, it was too late. A blast some come after, the Premier was thrown 10 feet with severe head concussions.

By the time the emergency team arrived, it was too late for the Premier. He died from an exposed wound of shrapnel on his chest. The concussion only secured his final fate. By 14.13 on Western Indonesia Time, the Premier was dead. Representative Didier and Rabbi Schlomo were heavily injured and under intensive care while Tony Tan and Akbar suffered minor injuries. In 17.42, Didier was reported dead while Rabbi Schlomo was rushed for surgery. Fortunately, the surgery succeeded and Rabbi was taken care on Gambir Military Hospital.

As the sunset closed in Jakarta, turmoil started to occur in the cities. News channels all conveyed the tragic occurrence both domestic and foreign. The President announced a minute of silence for the loss of two important figures of the Republic and vowed to grapple the root of this cause. The Parliament then appointed Musa Hitam as the new Premier for the government. This time, the Malayan politician deeply condemned how a single crisis in Africa had ‘ultimately’ changed the course of Indonesia’s misfortune.

The liberal movement of secularism now rises against the fundamentalist. As news confirmed the death of being an Islamic scholar, the youths began decrying religion's barbarity and struggle for secularism. The idea of secularism had been taboo since it was ‘condemned’ by Pancasila. Nevertheless, a public outcry ensured to cleanse radicalism, even if it was Islam as the culprit.

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[1] ITTL new airbase, OTL nonexistent
[2] This is the rough map of ITTL Halim Airport Expansion. The Map is superimposed with OTL modern google Maps.

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Aqua Blue: Airport Area
Red Orange: Commercial Airport Area
Orange Box: Passenger Terminal
Black: Runaway
Grey: Taxiway
Navy Blue: Presidential Airport Area
White: Inner airport connection (roads)
Teal: Railway connection
Cerulean Blue: Local Road connection
Honey Orange: Toll Road connection
[3] ITTL transformed into an underground huge station, IOTL a huge elevated station
[4] Not entirely the same, unlike OTL to Cawang, this ITTL line will go South to Kemang, possibly Ragunan in the future (similar to the Transjakarta Bus Route 6).
[5] Although not exactly the same route, still resembling the idea. Further explanation of the track TBA.

Alright, the bombshell has been sent. Next post would be the turmoil aftermath. I apologize in advance if I posted late by next week, I will have a hectic 4 weeks to do later on. Schedule would continue normally at mid-June.

 
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The Man who would be Greater Part 6: Musa Hitam
The Early Premiership of Musa Hitam

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Musa Hitam was an interesting case for a politician. He had strived for establishing his own name unto the Federal Republic, yet he was always dwarfed with LKY’s excellence in governance. His achievements were mostly appreciated in Malacca, transforming the district into a competing international port. However, the sudden passing of the late Premier pushed him up to the 2nd most powerful man in Indonesia and possibly the highest man in government.

Musa Hitam entered this world from a father of Javanese descent and a mother of Chinese descent. He accustomed to the Malayan household since his early childhood. After the war, he joined the UMNO Party [1] in the 60s and rose in the ranks. He was briefly an Acting Secretary-General of UMNO until he decided to follow his kingdom’s allegiance to the Republic of Indonesia. Under the Malayan Civil War, another name of Australian Aggression as most Malayan perceived differently than the rest of Indonesia, he joined the now Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP). He met LKY in the late-60s as the young Singaporean had become the region’s leader. They grew fond of each other and became cordial friends ever since.

The creation of the Federal District of Singapore and Malacca provided them with an opportunity to reform those places. While LKY restructured Singapore’s bureaucracy, rendering it favourable to foreign investments, Musa Hitam constructed Tanjung Bruas Port as the city’s naval expansion. Sultan Ismail al-Khalidi, the Sultan of Johor [2], saw the true economic potential of his kingdom wedged between two international ports authorized by Jakarta. The Sultan spend his entire fortune on Malacca and Singapore, aiding Musa with an additional fortune from his homeland sultan’s wealth.

His federal district improved substantially under his leadership. The city port industrialized itself becoming the pioneers for Malayan cities to imitate. The city’s unemployment reached an all-time low as infrastructure plans necessitated the city with more workers, sometimes not enough. His invitation of investments to various machinery enterprise all across the world did succeed especially with an extra 30% deduction taxes of specific general projects. The city then marched with Singapore as the ‘little international town’ gaining tourists also because of the city’s historical importance on colonialism.

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Malacca City Port, 1993, first expansion finished in 1990, second expansion predicted in 2004

His little experience as the Ministry of Interior still emboldened his determination to reform the entire nation’s hinterland rapidly. As he saw the city improve dramatically over his time, he thought that other places would advance as well. He passed new laws to ease the nation’s extreme regulation on companies, decreasing tariffs, rules, taxes and even benefits in pursuit of employment. Ministry of Interior had become embroidered with immense power from Subandrio’s educational initiative that from him, LKY could muster enough influence for the Federal Districts to have an entirely different economic system than the rest of the nation without too much bickering.

At one time, in 1982, Musa Hitam intended to pass beyond LKY’s shadows by challenging him as the Malacca faction leader. He finally saw his potential to be somewhat greater than the Premier had done. He relented his friendship with LKY for challenging him more so. Yet, as the Premier relinquish his leadership at the party and committed to Musa as his secondhand, his seemingly ambitious plans were positively encouraged in contrast to what he hoped for. He rose to DPR Chairman as recent as this year, gaining LKY’s green pass for legislative pass.

As things had transformed dramatically dire, Musa Hitam had now become the Premier of Indonesia. His policies were continuous to LKY’s previous ones as his thoughts were alike. He however passed more pro-business laws that would boost the economy faster. Yet, the problem aroused during LKY’s premiership had been diverted to the new Premier. Mere months after ascension, Musa Hitam must tackle more pressing situations, like the assassination.

The final reports had been concluded, the suicide bombing and assassination of the late Premier had cost 21 lives, 15 injured and the mall’s damage of nearly 184 thousand rupiahs. Sarinah’s core structure had been compromised, possibly threatening a revitalization on the northeast end of the pier. Moreover, the image of Indonesia had been tarnished savagely from these perpetrators, Indonesian stock market utterly crashed 10% of its value by the end of August. The 44th anniversary of the independence was celebrated with mourns of the death of the beloved Premier. Public confidence at unsurpassed low, Musa Hitam was to blame by most critiques.

Moreover, Musa entered the government during a transitional change of perceiving culture. As the killings for Islamic purity in Palestine had caused agitation for Barisan Pemuda, the Kismayo Crisis deepened the gap between two conflicting thoughts. One supported the Islamic freedom fighters, condemning the government’s too-American attitude and killing off local beliefs. Rural regions that were still strong on their faith were supportive of their struggle while protesting the government to intervene in such a struggle. Aceh, Minang, Banten, Pasundan and Maluku [3] were regions with high supports for strengthening Islam’s presence in the nation. With the first three presidents had done nothing on the demoralization of the change, they rallied for opposing the government, possibly forming new government factions by the end of the century.

The other thoughts being maintaining the nation’s change. Indonesia was improving within these three presidents with similar paths of separating specific religion from massive influence while simultaneously reform the body of the nation much preparing for the next millennium. These thinkers, common both young and old with the young being a far greater percentage, had progressed to the point where religion has become or should become, ineffectual to the nation’s political platform. Some of the youths also passed secular thinking, believing that the state should separate from the affairs of religion. That, however, caused significant backlash from adults who still believed the importance of religion by Pancasila’s 1st principle.

After the death of the Premier, the thinkers of secularism reinforced their opinion and held a protest to mosques and centres where believed to campaign religious thinking. These mosques, indeed, partly had been influenced by Saudi’s radical thinking, especially with Mecca under their control. They also believed that particular races (Jews importantly) had occupied the native’s chances of highly prestigious jobs. They blame them for flooding as chief executives, specialist leaders and wealthy tycoons that ‘exploited’ the Islamic commoner. As a result, while the secularists invaded mosques from their vengeful protests, the Islamist also stormed a government building, with some events could become massive lootings.

On September 1st 1986, Musa Hitam faced the first-ever riot in his advent career. The crowded sectors of Tanah Abang, Jakarta had moved northwards and burned the residential complexes in Cideng. They saw Cideng as the house of the elites, similar to ‘Menteng’ but name. Especially with the stubborn belief that they haven’t been pay or protect enough (they still despise Subandrio’s refusal of raising wages, despite him the first in proposing a national minimum in the first place) and most of their sons and daughters unorthodox thinking had made few to stage an incursion. Also, with increasing tensions of Sinophobia as a protest of the late-Premier, the unquestionably large proportion of Chinese-descendants living in Cideng did only aggravate their motives. Shockingly, during the lootings, they also encroach their fellow natives. As they said, traitors are sentenced evenly as enemies. Reminding Musa having a Chinese mother, he couldn’t help being targeted as traitors by them.

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Cideng before the attacks, 1985

The 1st of September was the start of series of unrest in cities. Next week was Jelambar, then Kampung Melayu, Mangga Besar, Pejagalan, Koja and many others in Jakarta. It also erupted elsewhere, notably Surabaya, Bandung, Ambon, Bukittinggi and Bogor. The increasing instability also affected the nation’s economy, it was slowing down for the first time in Subandrio’s era, Musa Hitam hated when he would be remembered as such.

On 17th of September, he invited Muhammadiyah Leader Abdul Rozak Fachruddin and Nahdatul Ulama Leader Abdurrahman Wahid into talks with the President. He initiated the talk as an urgent call of the growing chaos erupting in major cities. Both leaders acknowledged the fault in the nation and converse on how to solve it. Subandrio, alienating by his ailing energy, had reserved himself to a conformist position of ending the ‘radicals’ once and for all, believing a minute tendency of an Islamic Republic may end the establishment of Indonesia entirely. Premier Musa Hitam concurred that Indonesia would not go as drastic as such. Encored with Indonesia’s high Sufism and centre of Shafi’i which was strictly objective and reject weaponizing religion to current political times, he along with the other imams believed that Indonesia needed only a slight nudge to correct. Along with a history of coexistence and tolerance, a distant purist Islamo-centric teaching can be suppressed with the principles of Pancasila itself. [4]

In conclusion, both the Muhammadiyah and NU agreed on a simple objective, campaigning for tolerance on their own adherent bases. They came on a simple yet effective technique, using the current technological advancement as tools. Muhammadiyah’s followers, much of them were intellectuals, will campaign peaceful existence to schools, universities, seminars and other academic activities. NU, meanwhile, would establish their own TV channel to promote the same thing to Indonesian viewers, speaking sermon publicly in gatherings, mosques, ceremonies and even wedding celebrations. Despite the plan to be quite unenthusiastic, it had worked quite effectively during the independence war and the Australian aggression.

After the meeting, he wished for the success of these programs as Musa Hitam passed on to the economic issues of the nation.



[1] UMNO Party was absorbed into mostly PUI and PPP after a restriction on regional parties by Nasution era officials. Similar happenstance occurs to all Singaporean, Malayan, Madagascarian and Solomon parties.
[2] This is like the Malayan counterpart of Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX
[3] Those are state names, a complete list of state names TBA
[4] These talk shows will encompass having religious figures campaigning and (in the modern days) having a public platform on the internet.

Alright, this would be the last chapter of weekly posts as few upcoming weeks would hamper my time to write one. I would return to the normal schedule by mid-June. Don't worry, I would possibly post a chapter, but not in a regular manner.
 
Yeah, he died unfortunately. Current chronology suggests the blast totally aimed for the Premier. They haven't quite connect the dots to the President or finding a different conclusion that maybe it wasn't for LKY after all.
So basically he was there accidently? I wonder what will be the official response from the terrorist regarding his death
 
The Man who would be Greater Part 7: Crises on the Making
Early Crisis and Mohamed Rahmat

Premier Musa Hitam exerted every ounce of his energy to sustain the delicate balance which his predecessor, LKY, has established marvellously. The growing economy under slightly better conditions even for the lowest of the poor had been the late Premier’s greatest achievements in his career. Despite being the most unrecognized abroad, his accomplishments succeeded his figure, radiating throughout the people who had been benefited from him. Still, there had been obstacles to achieve such triumphs, and those obstacles had been growing.

Concerns about the long-lasting economic growth were proclaimed by national economist after the last Carter term. In 1981, there was a devaluation of the dollar from inflation that supported the nation’s healthcare system which the US President highly had looked forward to. The devaluation of the dollar had actually not affected the growth of Indonesia, but it inflicted a slight indent on the state’s stock price which nearly shrank by 5%. That was Indonesia’s Panic of 1981, the local entrepreneurs had not been so fond of the weakening dollar and a small percentage of them had even resorted to the most stable currency in the world, the Deutsche Mark, for day-to-day commerce.

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Carter shaking hands with Chairman Paul Volker for devaluation, 1981

Indonesia’s dependence on the dollar had been reflected way during the end of the Australian Aggression. The Nasution Presidency had owed Kennedy Administration a huge favour. As a result, the reconstruction of the state was mainly funded by grants, debts and graceful donations sent by the American government. Stopped during the Nixon term, the American had not stopped helping Indonesia after since. In the transitional government, the national debt to the Americans alone had risen to 119% of the nation’s GDP.

The succeeding administration was better in terms of economics. LKY’s university background and well-positioned witty figure attracted Subandrio to appoint him. In just three years, public debt had fallen dramatically to 79%. The large proportion of the debt was ‘washed’ as voluntary investments which funded the entire industry. As native conglomerates joined forces with their foreign investors, a stable balance was achieved on those two factions which caused the economy to boom. Including LKY’s less regulatory attitudes on most of Indonesia’s commerce, the service sector also expanded rapidly in power.

However, the business relied deeply upon the protection of the predecessor. LKY’s voice was crucial as lower branches of government officials were anti-business. On several occasions, local districts may need direct instruction from the central cabinet to continue said industry. In February 1986 alone, LKY had dismissed 328 local councillors just because they propagated demonstrations that harmed the company’s revenue towards the government. This power, albeit unconstitutional to popular belief, was not prohibited at all as the constitution allowed the central government to intervene for the betterment of the state.

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LKY during his dismissal of said staffs, 1986

Overall, LKYs strict character with outstanding results had been the bane of improvement for the past years. The nature of Indonesia’s society had always antagonized corporate figures such as big banks or businesses, but the Premier, by one’s own bootstraps, purged those followers with the current situation Indonesia had become. Young scholars were delighted by the prosperity, so did the middle-aged population which saw their best era for their generation.

The death of the Premier uncovered the patch which concealed Indonesia’s true and unimpeded feelings towards business. Especially in the State Republic of Nusantara, the apparent opposition against the government had been most vocal. Without the new Premier’s command, local bureaucrats independently took matters and reverted allegiance towards the State Republic. Should they had to said why they reasoned as a fair ‘democratic’ move which the previous government has been attempted against it. The federal authority, to put it simply, had no unity in action with the State Republic of Nusantara. The largest of the state republics, Nusantara was literally Indonesia-proper. Unfortunately, the high staffers were affiliated with Mahatir’s PPP, they were too entitled to listen to Musa Hitam.

As stock prices kept receding, Musa’s focus was fixing the economy before the populace became too agitated by the sudden economic reversal. His first initiative was bailing out companies on the verge of bankruptcy, to fund them and have enough money to continue employment. However, his action stirred an increasing voice of the anti-business populace that had now chanting more for further regulative policies. PPP’s Melayu Bersatu Faction was the first to jump the board, then PPI and PUI to support the movement. Musa’s most vocal opposition, shockingly, rose within his own party.

State President of Nusantara, Mohamed Rahmat, was chosen in 1983. Previously, Mohamed Rahmat was a loyal PPP statesman that got elected with en-masse voting from the Malayans. He, albeit initially was amiable to the Premier, pursued closer ties to Mahathir Mohamad. However, he conjured a political strategy which had divided Nusantara into distinct ethnicity. Javanese, Sundanese and Borneo tribes were isolated to his Melayu group. Therefore, many of his voters dwelled merely in Malaya and Sumatra. His win in 1973 was because the gubernatorial election split Javanese voters into three groups, PPI vice-chairman and daughter of Soekarno Megawati, PNI-R DPD politician Ali Sadikin and PRD Wahono.

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Muhammed Rahmat during a public gathering in Palembang, 1984

Advocacy towards pro-labour sentiment maintained Rahmat’s legitimacy from the divided voters and somewhat appeased non-voters to side with him. Especially in the non-college group, Rahmat’s popularity rose significantly when he pushed for an increased budget of general insurance for working accidents. His problem was most of the revenue were from satellite cities of all neighbouring federal district, he didn’t like that his state was given the non-profitable while big metropolitans were controlled by the federal government. He conveyed that frustration to his hinterland people whom jobs and opportunities were seized by that same federal districts. Soon, what was once his base’s exclusive by race had become widely accepted under one class: blue-collar workers.

His countermeasure for all his problems was quite simple, frankly. He pressed the federal government with demanding more budget percentage for pro-labour laws. A proto-medicare program was launched, subsidizing all patient treatments classified as common checkups. He passed ‘Employment Laws’ which protected freelancers from exploitative corporates. At first, Premier LKY was reluctant to oppose the majority of Indonesia’s population. Besides, the economy was still doing great. Yet, as the divide grew ubiquitous across Nusantara, Premier LKY tapped budget spending towards Rahmat.

The Premier also discovered questionable spending under the administration. He looked at the state budget to have an excessive amount of welfare spending. Should welfare become a state priority, the staggering level was not equivalent to its effect on the citizens. Thousands of Nusantara citizens migrated to Federal Districts or other state republics, the notion had become a concern that pushed for an investigation. His state was also the most tainted one, his staffs had been fired multiple times by the late Premier.

He debated Premier’s suspicion of corruption to be blatantly misleading and genuine misdirection of the Indonesian public. Premier’s growing disagreement also prompted villagers to side with the state president. Except for seasonal workers at the federal district, most of Nusantara’s nationals had endorsed Mahathir Mohamad as the next leader. Nevertheless, said voters were PPP ones. PPI, PUI and PNI-R all had a particularly fanatic base that preferred die than change allegiance. However, PPP’s voters were adequate for a transition on the Parliament.

The rise of Musa Hitam provoked Rahmat to act steps unthinkable during the LKY reign. Musa Hitam, in contrast, had less unrelenting commitment than LKY had. Rahmat had been the first to persuade Mahathir to form an overthrow of the current PPP leadership. While months went by, State President Rahmat perform manoeuvres that past administration would consider as treason of the government.

Since the revaluation in 1985, the minimum wage was Rp3,500 monthly, but the Nusantara officials had unilaterally raised the wage to Rp 5,000. This was from the local union’s plea which heard only by the state government. State President of Nusantara argued that the imposition had existed way before the election The declaration was published on 5th September. The Premier was desperate on resolving the issue because as payday would come, an unprecedented outcome would definitely have meant the economic downturn to be worse than before. In Rahmat’s eyes, this was his perfect gamble. Should the government fail and economic slug occurred, he has disenchanted people from his perceived ‘temporary’ joys of capitalism. Should the government succeed, his pro-welfare policy will continue to push aggressively for attracting workers.

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State President of Nusantara Mohamed Rahmat and his pro-labour laws, 1986

Premier Musa Hitam was incapacitated on fighting against multiple fronts. His ministers sounded warnings an economic downturn was imminent with Rahmat’s deeds. Nonetheless, Musa Hitam his best to mitigate the impending loss by printing more money. But, he was too late.

As the 29th of September arrived, multiple businesses liquidated themselves from the unwelcoming minimum wage on Nusantara. Industrial complexes sent hundreds of thousands home as their worth had become too expensive to sustain. The crippled secondary sector inflicted damage to the service commodity, destroying trade values. Thus, the stock market worsened its fall. The proceeding events marked the nation’s slow fall to the infamous Crisis of 1986.

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Mohamed Rahmat OTL was the Information Minister of Malaysia. ITTL he is the State President of Nusantara, his power is alike to the Republic of Indonesia during the United States of Indonesia Era. If the federal government had a rival government, it would be the State Republic of Nusantara.

You may think Rahmat's motives are a bit strange, but this is the perfect example of Indonesia's socialists. OTL Indonesia has always had socialist tendencies that never changed, businesses would still be regulated as opposed to Taiwan or maybe Malaysia. The current Omnibus Law still suffered backlash despite passed. ITTL, socialists had been discouraged with LKY's economic system. This Indonesia was more of Greater-Singapore ITTL, therefore opposition against the system was apparent. It was not that LKY despised socialism, no. His economic policies were relaxed that most conservative Indonesian thinkers would think of it as 'radically liberal'. This Rahmat character ITTL was the embodiment of decades from presidents that neglected the socialist side of economics.

In the upcoming chapters, we would see how Rahmat thought of non-economic issues, like social or cultural change in Indonesia. However, I also wanted to address the Crisis of 1986. A small hint for the crisis: it would be transregional.
 
The Man who would be Greater Part 8: The Compromise
The Crisis of 1986: Prologue

We have experienced the height of materialistic voyeurs for the last 30 years. The nation has transformed itself from an agrarian home into a regional powerhouse. We were unstoppable back then until the crisis emerged. The crisis abruptly changed the leadership and possibly granting instability for years to come.
Edi Sudrajat, 1999


No other region has witnessed the economic miracle of the late 20th Century better than the Asia Pacific. Since the fall of the Japanese Empire and embrace the American order, Asian allies of the West flourish in success and influence on the global stage. The Korean War basically boosted Japanese commercial prowess internationally, some considering levels on par with the United States. With Japanese might, the boom has spread throughout neighbours like Korea or Taiwan (although relatively delayed). Not in the distant future, these nations would also spread the wealth to Indonesia and her two most favourable allies, granting them the new generation of Asian economic tigers.

For Indonesia, the Subandrio Administration was commemorated with exceptional growth and capital on her people. Tens of millions carried themselves away from the average poverty limit, most of them becoming the thriving consumeristic middle class that rotates the circulation of money even better. Up until 1985, Indonesia’s economy was a 10-year outstanding growth. Yet, a variety of warnings had signalled an end to this upwards trend. Nevertheless, the subtlety of these warning had been the reason why the crisis it came after was devastating.

Firstly, common to the popular agreement, the agrarian sector had been the main culprit. Regardless of the inevitable change in which a nation must leave its farming phase to industrialize itself, Indonesia was rendered prematurely transformed. The government has admittedly skipped crucial steps of developing the nation. The mechanization of agrarian appliances had been comparably slow, the importance of this sector had not been stressed enough and the countryside had lost direction over time. Thus, villages often witnessed a dwindling of their population as young people were interested in moving to cities. Cities consumed vast amounts of food that only the countryside provided. As a result, the strain on consumer goods inevitably increases raw imports. This was dangerous as reliance on foreign trade will become one of the cases why the crisis was so profound.

Second, which indirectly contributed as the fuse for this crisis, was the growing laxity from the relaxed system of local liberalism. President Subandrio’s socio-cultural policies were ineffective in continuing the balance and Premier LKY had stressed the economy above all. The void of any cultural stances by the government grew distrusts that plagued the middle-aged populace to form a specific rebellious stance against the growing free society. With the young becoming open and wild, the old opposed themselves farther to the conservative side. While these social struggles occurred in big cities where capital had flowed rapidly, the hinterland was definitely not the case. They had been radicalized by their loss of productive workers to the cities, so cities often being described as evil, lecherous absorbers that took the village’s opportunities. While metropolitans have become bigger and richer, the countryside generally loses profit and significance. Therefore, most anti-liberal supporters came from this side of the nation, radicalizing everyone there including those young people whose parents have been indoctrinated for years antagonizing big metropolitans.

It formerly was a battle between young and old, but the current federal government’s administrative division solidified disputes which stressed the urban-rural divide. The Federal Districts and the State Republics had been the striking example of why it has been the case. The central government occupied economically strong cities while the state republics was left with backwater, isolated regions. This appropriate predicament was the reason State Republic Nusantara opposed the central government as soon as the federal power showed apparent fractures.

As mentioned beforehand, the State Republic of Nusantara was the federal’s staunch opposes solely for the nation’s unfavourable regions from the government’s ‘cherry-picking’ strategy. The Federal Districts were selectively chosen around Nusantara which possessed vast potential which any suburban or surrounding rural wished to receive. Big metropolitans like Jakarta and Singapore brought forth extensive wealth towards the city population, but it was limited only to the most direct neighbours. Unfortunate locations like Cilacap, Tegal and Cirebon continued to stagnate as their population prefer migrating to said federal districts.

The unattractiveness of Nusantara had been a major reason why Mohamed Rahmat had been extremely vigorous on expanding the labour laws; it was the most effective legislation to recall those flocking migrants back. Notwithstanding other sensible reason why raising labour conditions at that time, Mohamed Rahmat was perceived as simply retaking his own nation. That was why the countryside had been vigilant in supporting Mohamed Rahmat and elated for a new federal government.

Nearing the 30th day of the month, companies one by one discharged a portion of their workers to alleviate the financial burden. Approximately 50 thousand workers, notably from satellite cities for the federal district, lost their pay and left for home. The dissatisfied proletariat immediately launched a protest against their dismissal. A demonstration followed after to the companies’ headquarters, demanding at least an equitable compensation for sudden unemployment. Most of the business conglomerates shrugged them off as they faced another problem; reduction of productivity. Worse, much of this inflicted the most damage on canned goods, crucial for city-dwellers.

The fall of production started the cataclysmic domino into a crisis. As production fell, factories failed to sustain the consumption that had been stable before. On 12th October 1986, prices of goods skyrocketed and shopping centres had food shortages. Then, just like clockwork, every price inflated highly to follow the rapidly rising food prices. Not just another two weeks, the stock prices fell 25%, millions of lives lost their jobs and money. Inflation had just arrived on the corner. Public agitation rose and protest grew rampant in almost all of Indonesia. The most unaffected, weirdly, was the other State Republics like Papua, Melanesia and Madagascar, all of them purposefully distanced themselves from the chaos which was happening in Nusantara.

Western Indonesia had been hit the hardest by the economic panic. Soon, the successive month greets the government with widespread protests. Some of them demanded the regional government to cease this self-destructive initiative and follow the central government. Yet, the larger, still more populated state republic rallied to end the Federal’s reluctance on reducing profitability for welfare.

The federal government announced that they would negotiate with the regional government about a possible compromise to end this calamity. President Subandrio supported Musa Hitam and Mohammed Rahmat for a meeting. They eventually agreed in Bogor, where three parties would cold-headedly solve this issue.



President Subandrio was the most powerful man in the room. Yet, he sat there helpless by both sides of the issue. He has heard the arguments which Premier Musa Hitam and State President Mohammed Rahmat expressed passionately so that a fight nearly happened. On the third day of negotiation, the President truly fathomed there would not be any agreement by dusk. He decided to intervene hand, now.

Subandrio understood the concerns of the two gentlemen which made the president thought deeply about this issue. For nearly thirty years of experience in politics, foreign policy was equivalently messy like the ones he faced today. However, as foreign policy affected only how others perceived Indonesia, Subandrio was meticulous to balance both sides of the argument, decide which will affect the entire people of Indonesia the best and find his sound determination.

Premier Musa Hitam, unsurprisingly similar to the late Premier’s opinion, had expressed that Indonesia would lose the opportunity it presented on the global stage. While China and India remained isolated with Japan already moved far beyond the developing stage, it left Indonesia and few others to carry the torch for the economic benefits it would reap. Interestingly, the Premier connected his tangible state uniquely with the promises our forefathers dreamt during independence.

“It is not the best way, but it was the most effective. The boom in the economy will push prosperity better, sooner or later. But, as most of our dearest economist has argued, we are far from that stage yet, we merely achieve halfway. If we decide to increase labour laws, it would only end the benefits Indonesia has been given since the Nasution era. We just waste thirty years of another economic positivity. Our forefathers had expressed a dream which Indonesia remained prosper and rich, I see this as a square method of plans we can achieve.”

However, State President Mohammed Rahmat had proclaimed that in the process of industrializing, we had neglected far too many of our farmers into destitute. The urbanization process was so fast that the countryside lost more than it could maintain. In the end, the advancement of factories would end up sacrificing the array, a futile trade according to him. Also, he mentioned on numerous corporations exploited the inexperience and lack of information farmers and labours had to comply with a job they even cannot live upon. These pro-labour law was a saviour for most of them, and until justice being made, they would only antagonize the federal government stronger. President Subandrio, with all being said, also supported Mohammed Rahmat under this matter.

The first and second day was full of a heated argument, sometimes ended up with slurs declaring each other villainous. Despite them being born on the same peninsula, Subandrio was quite intrigued by their ideological passion. Unlike back in his days, most ideas formed by a charismatic figure, unlike now that had been party-driven, or collectively endorsed. Moreover, unlike the old political system which used far simple and mundane strategies of no opinions and just arrests, these men retorted with hard facts and solid data. Their days of debate could fascinate Subandrio with how changed his nation has become, a proto-Westernized society that he himself had silently fancy on. Nonetheless, the current crisis was childish on his behalf, he thought he needed to finish this issue with an executive order. Dated back from Sukarno's regime, executive order had been efficacious in solving nationwide issues. Such as the declaration of survival against the British Empire, the controversial reconstruction and lastly Subandrio's plea for better education, most executive orders (more like commandments) had been a positive outcome for Indonesia.

President Subandrio, after his break for Asr prayer, will announce his own decision by the time after. His declaration will be publicized, Rahmat and Musa must honour the executive decision created by him. Despite the presidential powers to become somewhat ceremonial, the President was still highly respected from the legacy two previous presidents had given. On the 11th of November 1986, after a compromise from both powers, Subandrio roared the populace with a speech.

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim

My brothers and sister who currently attend this press conference, and to all of the people who watch this broadcast.

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

Firstly, I would like to express my thanks to all the workers in Indonesia. You have arduously strived for the result which the country had been extremely grateful of your sacrifice. For the past few years, jobs had been increasingly available nationally. Yet, as I would like to express today, some of these opportunities show concerns of those who stayed within their own kampungs.

Before I declare my true intentions of this public broadcast, I would like also to announce recognition to entrepreneurs all across the nation that had opened companies whose success was immeasurably beneficial to Indonesia for the last decade. Your diligence and hard work had made outstanding levels of achievement that we are comparably competitive with secondary powers of the world. Without these creative thinkers, Indonesia would not be as powerful as it is now. Still, these same entrepreneurs were condemned by our own men. They mostly condemned these men as too creative, sometimes allowing backroom deals that the populace wholeheartedly felt betrayed upon.

Subandrio then stopped for a moment, letting the populace absorb his words.

The meeting today in this place was destined to hold a compromise between two Indonesians on different objectives. The division had been so serious that the regional government had turned against the central government. Moreover, the fight which has taken place also ruined the nation deeply from the rising unemployment, inflation and all sorts of economic woes that we have never experienced and should not be, especially under my administration. As duty for the whole nation of Indonesia, I intend to mediate for their behalf, which fruited only three days of desperation and fruitless agreement.

It was not entirely their fault, personally. The people of Indonesia surely had recognized the crossroads which we delved in, picking choices is difficult under a naturally human world. On many occasions, sacrifices must be made to continue on the path. It has been done countless times, during our struggle for independence, during our struggle of maintaining independence, and the times currently another struggle we have to face.

For that record, as a duty as the unifying figure of the Federal Republic of Indonesia. I solely announce the State Republic of Nusantara to cease the raise effectively immediately. In the meantime, the government will apply necessary measures which the farmers would be heard. We will not redo our mistakes on not listening to the voices of people. The Federal Republic of Indonesia is for the people, and we should act accordingly.

Live and yet Live, Indonesia!

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

I'm back guys.

In this chapter, we would see the first glimpse of President Subandrio announcing an incredibly controversial topic (which he could lose popularity).

The next chapter would be addressing other crises immediately after Subandrio's speech. As said in the quote, it was just the beginning (sadly).
 
The Man who would be Greater Part 9: Opposition Grows New
The Crisis of 1986: Jakarta v. Nusantara

Backlash ensued after the President’s public response ceased the Governor’s attempts to pass the troubling labour law. The regional authority complied anyway, they delayed most of the parts into next year, gaining almost three months for further negotiations. During that time period, substantial unrest occurred all across Indonesia, notably in major urban centres with high concentration.

According to most noble politicians, Subandrio had been reckless in determining the controversial matter in his own hands. Despite his job of handling exactly matters that if not manage could disrupt the unity of the nation, Subandrio acted hastily on issues that may need time. Based on this matter, Subandrio had effectively shut down the hero of the Nusantara countryside, alienating his popularity deeply into the abyss. Expectedly, a public backlash erupted in protest of the president’s decision. Many on the television concurred this topic as common public debate. Unfortunately, many of the adversaries are charismatic, cunning figures.

The first man who proceeded on criticizing the President’s speech was Nahdatul Ulama leader Abdurrahman Wahid. He, who also was widely known as Gus Dur, censured on the government’s minute of empathy to whom most of the citizens of Indonesia belong. His voter base, located mostly within the heart of the Nusantara State Republic, felt the dearest on the failure of their hope which was the Labour Law of 1986. As most of the Ulama’s supporters were traditionally accustomed farmers, clerks and workmen, they brought masses to protest at the nearest Federal District and deconcentrated federal-owned building. Those locations were Semarang, Surabaya, Bandung, Walini City and Jakarta.
download (1).jpg

Workers protest rallying to Jakarta from Bekasi

Musa Hitam’s first counter to the NU was reminding Gus Dur of his previous government’s agreement for a future on a cooperative basis. That agreement ultimately rebuked by Gus Dur as it was tangled with the rising Islam radicalism which his own organization wished to quench. Also, the traditional, mystified, form of Islam in Indonesia was rather well-defended by loyal believers. Nevertheless, Musa Hitam’s careless manoeuvre cost him another resentment from NU’s loyal adherents. Not only they loved their leader, but they also were willing whatever Gus Dur urged them to. The turbulence the government had caused in this year alone gave Gus Dur the necessary popularity to propel him as the sole idol of the Nahdatul Ulama. Elected in Situbundo in 1984, his early years were full of consolidation and strengthening his position as the head of the organization. Slowly, Gus Dur’s popularity rose and people began to support him. In a little, subtler context, his criticism may have credited respect towards a new group; the non-Muslims.

Gus Dur’s other charms were humour and tolerance with the latter initially deprecated by his own NU ulamas. While he commonly used humour in preaches, sermons and public seminars, his tolerance helped him attract non-Muslim supporters. In 1985, he commenced multiple appearances in churches, temples and viharas. Indeed, his supporters were quite agitated with their leader ‘too fond’ of non-Muslim adherents. The sentiment ended conveniently, as Gus Dur’s good luck could have been, by the current commotion at the federal level. That was the case because few parishioners, especially Catholic ones in Yogyakarta and Surakarta, heavily championed the new law. Buddhism follower in the northern coasts of Java, a majority of the ones who remained outside Federal Cities were low-income blue-collar workers, who also advocated the law. The veto of the law not only gained more criticism on the federal government, but the countryside also put aside religious differences to fight for the law.
Fellow santri, ustad, ulama. Fellow Indonesians of a different faith. Not only does our livelihood may hamper under the cancellation of the law, but it would also destroy the hope which we have dreamt of for so long. That is why, we, not only Islams, Christians, Buddhism, etc., but as Nusantaran people, fight against the tyranny that the central government can suppress. Not only we can reclaim our rights, but we also can unite against the ‘greed of the devil’.

Abdurrahman Wahid

The second figure to exploit the opportunity, unsurprisingly, was Abdurrahman al-Baghdadi, the leader of the HTI movement. Formed in 1983 during al-Badghadi’s stay in Australia, the purist Islamic movement had been gradually gaining traction especially on the desperate poor which had lost hope on the government, both local and federal level. Previously campaigned for a pro-Wahhabism affiliation on belief, tradition and customs, HTI had become the correctional alternative view confronting the Kismayo Crisis. The HTI movement attracted especially temperament youths that saw their parents, accusing their disillusionment with mystical trusts or liberal friendliness that the youths opposed by HTI’s indoctrination.
selain-indonesia-ini-negara-negara-yang-melarang-hti.jpg

HTI Protest in 1986, gaining traction in the 90s and 00s

Despite being the end of the anti-establishment faction, HTI in contrast garnered members within indigent urban sprawls. In the State Republic of Nusantara, NU and Muhammadiyah had defended their base persistently despite showing cracks after the Kismayo Crisis. HTI had also been discouraged by the military because they had insulted Pancasila and the previous regimes for being too Western. Considering former President Nasution and former Prime Minister Suharto to be popular in the military, they had been elated to crack down several HTI bases deemed ‘endangering the principles of Pancasila’.

For Abdurrahman al-Baghdadi, the labour law was his perfect moment to rise and challenge the religious establishment Islam Indonesia supported. Especially Mecca’s host nation Saudi Arabia was increasingly reinforcing purist beliefs on everyone visiting for hajj, HTI’s contentious oration allured gradual sympathy. Behind the scenes, converted elites also funded HTI for expanding their movement.
Islam teaches every one of us to be equal, willful, and compassionate to others. The federal government had proven himself to be not a Muslim, particularly Muhammad’s pure followers of his teachings. As this movement promised, we would help the labour law to pass as this is our struggle on advocating the true Islam in Indonesia.

Abdurrahman Al-Baghdadi

The two-character opted to crusade against the scrapping of the 1986 Labour Law only propel countless other figures to join aside. Activists, local charmers, broadcasters and local politicians emerged on fighting against the Subandrio’s commentary. The campaign had not been finding an alternative by next year, but a return of the implementation by the new year. Pressure mounted on the federal government heavily on Musa Hitam’s burden. To exacerbate the fragility of the current Musa reign, another crisis had provoked in foreign relations.


1st December 1986
Ministry of Foreign Relations Office, Jakarta


Last September, the people of the Philippines saw the most shocking election in their history. Neither Raul's Liberal Party nor Aquilino Laban[1] won the election, despite all media coverage had bet on either of the two. Teofisto Tayko Guingona Jr. from the deep socialist DSP[2], swept the popular vote by 21.13% of the voter margin. It was unprecedented and shocking to the news and the world. But, for Foreign Minister Anwar Ibrahim, it was the perfect actual occurrence of ‘when two fights, the third wins’.
1623657189637.png

President of the Philippines (1986-)
Teofisto Tayko Guingona Jr.
The politics in the northern neighbour could be summarized simply by a logical conclusion. Both Aquilino and Raul, despite showing opposite policies, ideas and promises, tried to appease the centrist moderates that mostly the nation voted. The centrist idea had maintained for decades in Philippine history, only a few names could sustain power without cooperating with the middle. The Nacionalista Party of Marcos seized the right voters, but the right was fractured by typical regionalism and local parties, thus hampering another pro-Marcos win. Thus, the only single uncontested block had been left, voters. As the communist party had been banned in the 50s, the Philippines Laban had all their time when the entire left would vote for the best candidate. Communist sympathizers, as one might have assumed, would grandly campaign for Teofisto, securing him a presidency. The president was quite controversial upon inauguration, and worse on his foreign policy.

The president had announced that the Philippines would leave South Vietnam in their own interests and stop sending supplies that ‘wasted their allowance’. Moreover, he considered efforts on leaving the EAC and finding their own destiny. This was a typical attitude on most East Asian lefts. It happened in North Vietnam, causing the Chinese to stop funding. It almost happened in Cambodia when they distrusted North Vietnam. Left-wing ideologies in East Asia was populist-driven that compromise with other powers meant death and betrayal of the people.

The stop of aid had made the Saigon government repetitiously demand Indonesia to help. This was bolstered by sudden change by Vice President McNamara’s Asian Call Speech, which assembled East Asian nations to aid the growing conflict in Indochina. Already losing on popularity and legitimacy, the Glenn Administration distressed on finding a good public view to save his reelection. The 1986 midterms have finished, and the Democrats barely holding on to the majority in both Senate and House. Still, now with Indonesia’s economy going shambles, Washington DC had demanded the Indonesian government to actively use the military to aid the Vietnamese fellow. Threats like ceasing the scientific improvement Indonesia had been benefiting, donations to Papua’s infrastructure and the protection the States gave had been three of many ‘if nots’ Anwar Ibrahim needed to consider.

“Sir,” his office secretary greeted Anwar,” Defense Minister Try Sutrisno is here.”

“Ah, yes. Tell him to come here please.”

Anwar Ibrahim expressed formalities to the general, exchanging remarks and goodwill. Still, unexpected to Anwar, Try Sutrisno already opened a discussion.

“Anwar, the conditions in South Vietnam had been radically Americanized. An escalation would happen if the Americans keep sending their troops there. Contrary to popular belief, I thought the Democrats were pacifists enough to refrain from doing so. I was wrong.”

“I have told you, Try. If you want to engage the army, the President is the one you need to contact, not me.”

“But Anwar, you’re the President’s aide. He only trusts few others, and you are one of them. His pacifism only resorted to the stagnation and decline of Indonesia. He naively demanded the return of our troops in Africa, not knowing that they too became antagonistic because of that reason.”

Anwar deflected the argument, “The economy is also bad, Try. With the current dispute between the local and federal government, I don’t think we could return as usual.”

“The economy can be recovered if South Vietnam stabilized. You know from Trihandoko how a stable and friendly South East Asia can boost our domestic income. Hell, sometimes war can improve the economy.”

“What are you saying?” Anwar wasn’t sure he would like the answer.

“There was a reason why we had been at war for thirty years and won almost most of them. Indonesians are committed, innovative and damn tenacious. But that comes with a purpose, a difficult purpose which the current administration cannot provide. The 1986 Labour Law only strengthened Indonesians to fight against the federal government, it carried instability and maybe destroy the federation we establish.

The point is the government had running in circles ever since Subandrio called out our forces in Africa. The economy was not his miracle; it was LKY’s. The lame-duck governance would only paved way for more extreme ones. Therefore, I need you to tell Subandrio that he needs to compose himself. The alternative one can provide, currently, was to persuade the federal government we can help our allies.”

Anwar Ibrahim digested the thought of Try Sutrisno. Sure, people had interests but no one knew the real intention of the president himself. Pacifism and education had been his enthusiastic path, but the Kismayo Crisis and the bad coherence of bilingual education had robbed the popularity of LKY’s wonderful policies. In his opinion, Subandrio now tries to reinforce LKY’s popular policies, which now crumbled after the 1986 Labour Law. This was not his area of expertise, but the brewing protest sure thrilled him as an Indonesian.

“Of course, Try. I maybe will try to concur with him.”

[1] This ATL Laban was not created by Benigno Aquino, but Aquilino himself as a protest for both Liberal and Nacionalista pro-Western.
[2] The DSP (Demokratikong Sosyalistang Partido) was an ATL made, technically socialist party like Indonesia's PRD or PPI. There are also allegations which the Communist Party of the Philippines may have funded the Party. Nevertheless, it has won the election. This reflected the 1912 US Election where Wilson won against the Republicans and fractured Republican Progressives.

Next up would be the core of the protest movement, and the government response regarding it.
 
The Crisis of 1986: Jakarta v. Nusantara

Backlash ensued after the President’s public response ceased the Governor’s attempts to pass the troubling labour law. The regional authority complied anyway, they delayed most of the parts into next year, gaining almost three months for further negotiations. During that time period, substantial unrest occurred all across Indonesia, notably in major urban centres with high concentration.

According to most noble politicians, Subandrio had been reckless in determining the controversial matter in his own hands. Despite his job of handling exactly matters that if not manage could disrupt the unity of the nation, Subandrio acted hastily on issues that may need time. Based on this matter, Subandrio had effectively shut down the hero of the Nusantara countryside, alienating his popularity deeply into the abyss. Expectedly, a public backlash erupted in protest of the president’s decision. Many on the television concurred this topic as common public debate. Unfortunately, many of the adversaries are charismatic, cunning figures.

The first man who proceeded on criticizing the President’s speech was Nahdatul Ulama leader Abdurrahman Wahid. He, who also was widely known as Gus Dur, censured on the government’s minute of empathy to whom most of the citizens of Indonesia belong. His voter base, located mostly within the heart of the Nusantara State Republic, felt the dearest on the failure of their hope which was the Labour Law of 1986. As most of the Ulama’s supporters were traditionally accustomed farmers, clerks and workmen, they brought masses to protest at the nearest Federal District and deconcentrated federal-owned building. Those locations were Semarang, Surabaya, Bandung, Walini City and Jakarta.
View attachment 659185
Workers protest rallying to Jakarta from Bekasi

Musa Hitam’s first counter to the NU was reminding Gus Dur of his previous government’s agreement for a future on a cooperative basis. That agreement ultimately rebuked by Gus Dur as it was tangled with the rising Islam radicalism which his own organization wished to quench. Also, the traditional, mystified, form of Islam in Indonesia was rather well-defended by loyal believers. Nevertheless, Musa Hitam’s careless manoeuvre cost him another resentment from NU’s loyal adherents. Not only they loved their leader, but they also were willing whatever Gus Dur urged them to. The turbulence the government had caused in this year alone gave Gus Dur the necessary popularity to propel him as the sole idol of the Nahdatul Ulama. Elected in Situbundo in 1984, his early years were full of consolidation and strengthening his position as the head of the organization. Slowly, Gus Dur’s popularity rose and people began to support him. In a little, subtler context, his criticism may have credited respect towards a new group; the non-Muslims.

Gus Dur’s other charms were humour and tolerance with the latter initially deprecated by his own NU ulamas. While he commonly used humour in preaches, sermons and public seminars, his tolerance helped him attract non-Muslim supporters. In 1985, he commenced multiple appearances in churches, temples and viharas. Indeed, his supporters were quite agitated with their leader ‘too fond’ of non-Muslim adherents. The sentiment ended conveniently, as Gus Dur’s good luck could have been, by the current commotion at the federal level. That was the case because few parishioners, especially Catholic ones in Yogyakarta and Surakarta, heavily championed the new law. Buddhism follower in the northern coasts of Java, a majority of the ones who remained outside Federal Cities were low-income blue-collar workers, who also advocated the law. The veto of the law not only gained more criticism on the federal government, but the countryside also put aside religious differences to fight for the law.



The second figure to exploit the opportunity, unsurprisingly, was Abdurrahman al-Baghdadi, the leader of the HTI movement. Formed in 1983 during al-Badghadi’s stay in Australia, the purist Islamic movement had been gradually gaining traction especially on the desperate poor which had lost hope on the government, both local and federal level. Previously campaigned for a pro-Wahhabism affiliation on belief, tradition and customs, HTI had become the correctional alternative view confronting the Kismayo Crisis. The HTI movement attracted especially temperament youths that saw their parents, accusing their disillusionment with mystical trusts or liberal friendliness that the youths opposed by HTI’s indoctrination.
View attachment 659184
HTI Protest in 1986, gaining traction in the 90s and 00s

Despite being the end of the anti-establishment faction, HTI in contrast garnered members within indigent urban sprawls. In the State Republic of Nusantara, NU and Muhammadiyah had defended their base persistently despite showing cracks after the Kismayo Crisis. HTI had also been discouraged by the military because they had insulted Pancasila and the previous regimes for being too Western. Considering former President Nasution and former Prime Minister Suharto to be popular in the military, they had been elated to crack down several HTI bases deemed ‘endangering the principles of Pancasila’.

For Abdurrahman al-Baghdadi, the labour law was his perfect moment to rise and challenge the religious establishment Islam Indonesia supported. Especially Mecca’s host nation Saudi Arabia was increasingly reinforcing purist beliefs on everyone visiting for hajj, HTI’s contentious oration allured gradual sympathy. Behind the scenes, converted elites also funded HTI for expanding their movement.



The two-character opted to crusade against the scrapping of the 1986 Labour Law only propel countless other figures to join aside. Activists, local charmers, broadcasters and local politicians emerged on fighting against the Subandrio’s commentary. The campaign had not been finding an alternative by next year, but a return of the implementation by the new year. Pressure mounted on the federal government heavily on Musa Hitam’s burden. To exacerbate the fragility of the current Musa reign, another crisis had provoked in foreign relations.


1st December 1986
Ministry of Foreign Relations Office, Jakarta


Last September, the people of the Philippines saw the most shocking election in their history. Neither Raul's Liberal Party nor Aquilino Laban[1] won the election, despite all media coverage had bet on either of the two. Teofisto Tayko Guingona Jr. from the deep socialist DSP[2], swept the popular vote by 21.13% of the voter margin. It was unprecedented and shocking to the news and the world. But, for Foreign Minister Anwar Ibrahim, it was the perfect actual occurrence of ‘when two fights, the third wins’.
View attachment 659190
President of the Philippines (1986-)
Teofisto Tayko Guingona Jr.
The politics in the northern neighbour could be summarized simply by a logical conclusion. Both Aquilino and Raul, despite showing opposite policies, ideas and promises, tried to appease the centrist moderates that mostly the nation voted. The centrist idea had maintained for decades in Philippine history, only a few names could sustain power without cooperating with the middle. The Nacionalista Party of Marcos seized the right voters, but the right was fractured by typical regionalism and local parties, thus hampering another pro-Marcos win. Thus, the only single uncontested block had been left, voters. As the communist party had been banned in the 50s, the Philippines Laban had all their time when the entire left would vote for the best candidate. Communist sympathizers, as one might have assumed, would grandly campaign for Teofisto, securing him a presidency. The president was quite controversial upon inauguration, and worse on his foreign policy.

The president had announced that the Philippines would leave South Vietnam in their own interests and stop sending supplies that ‘wasted their allowance’. Moreover, he considered efforts on leaving the EAC and finding their own destiny. This was a typical attitude on most East Asian lefts. It happened in North Vietnam, causing the Chinese to stop funding. It almost happened in Cambodia when they distrusted North Vietnam. Left-wing ideologies in East Asia was populist-driven that compromise with other powers meant death and betrayal of the people.

The stop of aid had made the Saigon government repetitiously demand Indonesia to help. This was bolstered by sudden change by Vice President McNamara’s Asian Call Speech, which assembled East Asian nations to aid the growing conflict in Indochina. Already losing on popularity and legitimacy, the Glenn Administration distressed on finding a good public view to save his reelection. The 1986 midterms have finished, and the Democrats barely holding on to the majority in both Senate and House. Still, now with Indonesia’s economy going shambles, Washington DC had demanded the Indonesian government to actively use the military to aid the Vietnamese fellow. Threats like ceasing the scientific improvement Indonesia had been benefiting, donations to Papua’s infrastructure and the protection the States gave had been three of many ‘if nots’ Anwar Ibrahim needed to consider.

“Sir,” his office secretary greeted Anwar,” Defense Minister Try Sutrisno is here.”

“Ah, yes. Tell him to come here please.”

Anwar Ibrahim expressed formalities to the general, exchanging remarks and goodwill. Still, unexpected to Anwar, Try Sutrisno already opened a discussion.

“Anwar, the conditions in South Vietnam had been radically Americanized. An escalation would happen if the Americans keep sending their troops there. Contrary to popular belief, I thought the Democrats were pacifists enough to refrain from doing so. I was wrong.”

“I have told you, Try. If you want to engage the army, the President is the one you need to contact, not me.”

“But Anwar, you’re the President’s aide. He only trusts few others, and you are one of them. His pacifism only resorted to the stagnation and decline of Indonesia. He naively demanded the return of our troops in Africa, not knowing that they too became antagonistic because of that reason.”

Anwar deflected the argument, “The economy is also bad, Try. With the current dispute between the local and federal government, I don’t think we could return as usual.”

“The economy can be recovered if South Vietnam stabilized. You know from Trihandoko how a stable and friendly South East Asia can boost our domestic income. Hell, sometimes war can improve the economy.”

“What are you saying?” Anwar wasn’t sure he would like the answer.

“There was a reason why we had been at war for thirty years and won almost most of them. Indonesians are committed, innovative and damn tenacious. But that comes with a purpose, a difficult purpose which the current administration cannot provide. The 1986 Labour Law only strengthened Indonesians to fight against the federal government, it carried instability and maybe destroy the federation we establish.

The point is the government had running in circles ever since Subandrio called out our forces in Africa. The economy was not his miracle; it was LKY’s. The lame-duck governance would only paved way for more extreme ones. Therefore, I need you to tell Subandrio that he needs to compose himself. The alternative one can provide, currently, was to persuade the federal government we can help our allies.”

Anwar Ibrahim digested the thought of Try Sutrisno. Sure, people had interests but no one knew the real intention of the president himself. Pacifism and education had been his enthusiastic path, but the Kismayo Crisis and the bad coherence of bilingual education had robbed the popularity of LKY’s wonderful policies. In his opinion, Subandrio now tries to reinforce LKY’s popular policies, which now crumbled after the 1986 Labour Law. This was not his area of expertise, but the brewing protest sure thrilled him as an Indonesian.

“Of course, Try. I maybe will try to concur with him.”

[1] This ATL Laban was not created by Benigno Aquino, but Aquilino himself as a protest for both Liberal and Nacionalista pro-Western.
[2] The DSP (Demokratikong Sosyalistang Partido) was an ATL made, technically socialist party like Indonesia's PRD or PPI. There are also allegations which the Communist Party of the Philippines may have funded the Party. Nevertheless, it has won the election. This reflected the 1912 US Election where Wilson won against the Republicans and fractured Republican Progressives.

Next up would be the core of the protest movement, and the government response regarding it.
Phillipines going red and the HTI gaining power is a recipe for disaster but one where it could be interesting (hey who knows perhaps we will see a filipino civil war in the future and the HTI gaining more power in the indonesian underground)
 
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