Emerald of The Equator: An Indonesian TL

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Tradition vs Progress Part 7: The Convention and Conditions in China
  • The Convention of 1987

    Indonesian scholars frequently admitted 1987 to be the most pivotal event in Indonesian history. In hindsight, it was a battle between populist rhetoric and liberal sympathies. The core values of which, were highly disputed as both have expressed Pancasila-ist tendencies by their perspectives. Regardless of who’s winning, the victorious faction would define Indonesia’s hereafter. It had indeed affected Indonesia’s forthcoming decades. Essentially, 1987 marked the start of the ‘Era of Populism’. The convention was consequential towards Indonesia because of the impact it had on the general trend of Indonesian history. Despite only affecting Nusantara’s State Republic’s general history, it changed how the federal society wished their government to work. The slight drift from the general trend in a nearly thirty-year gap from that time had made significant changes, a fluke on Indonesia’s complete history at its 100-year record.

    The PPP Convention of 1987, held on the 27th of June, mimicked the Democratic Convention of beliefs and government programs. Both sides believed their arguments about why a convention was needed. From Musa’s perspective, the Convention was perfect to harness accords and provoke the populace. The government’s campaigners, such as Goh Chok Tong, Rasyid Baswedan, Zon Harjo, Bob Tutupoly, Federick Trihandoko and finally Premier Musa Hitam entered Mandarin Hotel, Bunderan HI as convened by the central committee. The reason is the proximity with the national headquarters while capable of assembling nearly 4000 people in one room. On the other side of the aisles, denoted the opposition, were Daim Zainuddin, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, General Soesilo Soedarman, and Mahathir Mohammad. With a high number of officials within one structure, the central committee had hired bodyguards to protect the premises.

    Goh Chok Tong


    Bob Tutopoly


    Rasyid Baswedan

    Far before the main event was held, the main points of the campaign had already been broadcasted on news television by unofficial debates in night shows, radio hosts or newspaper articles declaring the advantages and disadvantages. So far, all forms of national media, radio, newspaper, or television, had not strongly sided on each side regarding the issue, unlike local ones which biased towards their preferred voting accordingly. However, the debates’ results were heavily tilted on Mahathir’s side, as many populaces declared themselves particularly obsessed with the term ‘anti-elite’ and ‘pro-people’, the two terms heavily used as Kesejahteraan Rakyat’s propaganda.

    Delegates from East Java, Convention of 1987

    The party convention, conducted from the morning, was particularly compared to a simpler form of faction debate, then continued with a one-man-one-vote system by the end of the session. The faction debate, consequently, became a proto form of most party’s ‘primary’ debate on future Indonesian politics. Although the voting system would differ from one party after another, some formats were adopted from the events here.

    The first session was opened by Musa Hitam at 09.30. His opening speech includes the great legacy of LKY, all the programs he has succeeded and many more that Musa can continue. For starters, he acclaimed the current Indonesian success to surpass China by adopting the current method of liberal economies. Singapore and major city ports in Indonesia, if granted the compatible amount of autonomy, may greatly increase the revenue and profit of the city, ultimately increasing everyone’s income by the economic potential it has given. On one occasion, his inspiring quote would ring future leaders with the true virtue of meritocracy.
    One of many lessons I’ve learned in life is it was unfair, is unfair and never would be fair. As a small child in Malacca, we endured hardships as all Indonesians did, yet entirely different from one after another. Still, despite that, the idea of meritocracy, which has been slandered greatly, was the agreement that life is never fair, yet it is rightfully so.

    We have our brilliant minds, all contributing to the future of Indonesia, yet none showed any standards besides the moral virtue one has maintained. Meritocracy meant these minds to pursue what was right for Indonesians, and right unnecessarily meant mob rule nor tyrannical minority. The struggle for independence in this nation objectively stemmed from the founding fathers and mothers all willing to find unanimity among deliberations, yet such deliberations did not come from the millions of the voices but represented by the faithful minds of the view, all meticulously thought for the decisions to go.

    Indeed, our government has given selected groups perished from negligence, unfavourability and lack of direction. But, for the future of our nation rested to compete against our enemies, the government has done everything they could for the perfect path. As one religious text, I remembered, to enter a wide gate led to destruction, to enter a narrow gate led to salvation.

    -Musa Hitam​

    On the other hand, Mahathir Mohammad gave a blazing speech about the idea of equality among men, and class shouldn’t be aggravatedly widened under the current government. His idea of ‘stronger together’ ring the lower populace harder. He criticized the destruction of the environment in Sumatra, the labour malnourishment in few as well as the increasing economic inequality from the government.
    I found the narrative which economic equality must endure economic inequality heavily inaccurately and faulty. The nation should be stronger together, all willing to slowly march forwards towards the better livelihood of everyone, not faster pace for the wealthy but slower for the poor. There’s no virtue in economic growth if the entire population did not enjoy it. I believe that everyone must rise together, or everyone does not rise at all.

    We all have experienced how ‘meritocracy’ went. It is just another system of systematically oppressed with intellectuals as the dominant force of the nation. Although we heavily agree that smarter minds will give better solutions, power will corrupt this man without the populace in control. In the end, the essence of “meritocracy” was tainted by the current government and should not be adopted anymore. Democratically elected, with the majority, should decide the rule in this nation. They fool us by telling us what’s “right” for us, but later showing everything wrong on the policy.

    -Mahathir Mohammad​

    Televised polling announced polls to put slightly favourable towards Mahathir’s faction, but Musa knew that they need not persuade the watchers, they need to persuade the delegates that will vote by the end. Consequently, he summoned Rasyid Baswedan and Zon Harjo, not Goh, to participate in the debate against Mahathir’s aides. In addition to it, Federick Trihandoko was added to safeguard the BUMN accomplishments, which were rather breathtaking considering creation barely a decade before.

    Daim Zainuddin, as expected, opened the debate with the economic woes of Indonesia as well as the downturn across the world. He exclaimed that with Indonesia’s economic dependence on the world, Indonesia will be crushed if the world demands it, stating globalism to be an endangering motive to the national economy. He also exclaimed the government’s stubbornness in printing money for the labour law, stating that it would grant people more money, thus giving them better prosperity.

    Baswedan, as confident as he would be, happily deflated Daim’s pride with absolute objection against Daim’s accusation of economic woes. He stated that the Indonesian economy had been in this stage particularly to the demonstrations of the labour law, not the downturns across the world. Although he added the United States to decline than previous projections, Japan and East Asia still boomed and potential for Indonesia’s economy to spend, the labour law had fled all investors back to their home country. Daim quickly noted this, attacked Baswedan claiming to ‘blame the workers’ for this matter. Radius Prawiro and many of Mahathir’s companions would join in with the accusation. The first topic ended with a sour tone as both factions were ready for boyish aggression. Fortunately, the moderator passed on a newer topic.

    The next topic was the environment, relatively a victory for the Kesejahteraan Rakyat in comparison to the previous debate claiming to move delegates on Musa’s side. Still, Barisan Progresif maintained their serenity by stating Hendarto’s attainments in urban greenery has some light for them for the environment. They also pushed a green environment that should be beneficial to people’s wellbeing, not for the sake of mere environmentalism that Mahathir has used as a political tool. Moreover, he attacked the liberal faction for using Hendarto as their image, showing how pro-urban they were and disregarded the countryside extremely.

    As more and more topics were debated on that faithful day, mixed results and ambiguous outcomes were presented at every debate. It seemed that Barisan Progresif, despite the disadvantage it had, was recuperating with reinforcing the positive changes the incumbent had done for the decade and so forth. In law and order, Kesejahteraan Rakyat screwed up by giving insouciant behaviour on justice reforms, but harshly promoted for increasing law enforcement. Barisan Progresif had increased a pro-police attitude but still maintained the compassion and solidarity one pursued in civil society. As a result, Kesejahteraan Rakyat had attacked them as ‘weak’ and ‘frail’ to the criminals of society, but that assault did not give a hard blow as most delegates agree on the progressive stance.

    Mahathir supporters outside the hotel near Bunderan HI, 1987

    In the military, General Soesilo Soedarman was successful in winning the session by claiming opportunist yet isolationist to be the key to Indonesia’s defence policy. Indonesia, as mere regional Southeast Asian power, should rest on the portion of the Pacific, not interfering in places in Africa, Pakistan or everywhere. As with Vietnam, Indonesia should realize that the place was infested with aggression, the most reasonable thing Indonesia could do was avoid the endless conflict rather than disrupt the nation’s small reputation by deteriorating the crisis. The other side exclaimed that global affairs would affect the Indonesian affair, so an active foreign policy should be implemented for the interests of the Indonesian people, not merely avoiding conflict by the abstract of peace.

    After a noon break, they continued with many other topics, each became more specific than the other. The closing speech, made by the same gentlemen that opened it, ended quite favourably with Musa Hitam as he declared the ‘Indonesia’s Arising’ Speech. Unlike Mahathir’s ‘Equal Indonesia’ closing, which was later declared as too discriminative towards non-Malay ethnicities.
    Under forty years of Indonesian history has progressed, our government has endured faults and errors for one fundamental reason, the human inside ourselves. Yet, in comparison to other states, we have been blessed by Allah to become such regional power in no time, triumphantly beating China in the telecommunications’ race, a difficult feat considering the cost and volatility it possessed. Yet, we all struggle and triumphantly succeed, proving that Indonesia is no less than an arduous nation capable of great success.

    Indonesia is arising as a global player, everyone here absolutely comprehended this as the pride of our nation, the best of our ego, and the true victory for our struggle. For more than 8 years, proceeding the many before that, Indonesia had been successful in beating other nations. I safely assume that the deceased premier, possible I most respected, contributed greatly to that achievement.

    Let’s continue Indonesia’s rise with us. Let’s continue the good trend it has for our country. Finally, let our predecessors awed in the future we established.

    -Musa Hitam​
    Indonesia’s struggle is always apparent and continuous. We expelled the tyranny of colonialism and punched them heavily into a counter victory of their humiliating defeat. Not only did we defeat it once, but multiple times in Indonesia’s short lifespan. Our modern struggle, Indonesia’s modern struggle, will not come from the same tyranny of colonialism and imperialism, but the more sophisticated version of corporates and elites. As Indonesian patriots, we Malays should rise on our feet, giving the same struggle we show against our adversaries, shouting them the same voices that our heroes did in 1945.

    We are here. We are real. No more tyranny, no more oppression. Let our voices be heard and let our fights be taken seriously.

    Indeed, delegates of this chamber, the struggle is real, and a change in government will reform to restart that struggle against them.

    -Mahathir Mohammad​

    As the debate session ended before the Asr prayer. Many media outlets bet on the winner of the debate. However, some argued that the liberals had won by their compelling strategy, while some maintained the populists to win the hearts of the delegates. Nevertheless, they started voting, which was quickly announced before dusk.

    6th June 1987
    Beijing, People’s Republic of China

    Beijing, 1987

    Wiyono Dahlan, the current diplomat for the People’s Republic of China, is occupied with the affairs of the nation he stayed in rather than his home country. It is because the conditions around the capital have been tensely surrounded by military personnel, Dahlan too may include few government enemies inside the embassy.

    The Cultural Revolution had been disastrous for the Chinese populace because of how atrocious the government had been under the program. Wished for purification of Chinese citizens with the cleansing of traditional and capitalist symbols in the country, estimated millions had died of unlawful purges and Red Guard tyrannies on the country. Relations with foreign nations, Indonesia also, was strained deeply as suspicion rose on Dahlan’s lenience in opposing factions.

    Fang Lizhi, a Chinese astrophysicist, was selected by Mao to be sent abroad for foreign learning. With enough persuasion inside the party, he was sent to the United States’ NASA for learning American astrophysics there. Jump from Peking University to the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), it was hoped that after his learning in the States, Lizhi would lead China’s astrophysics sector for China’s prosperous future.

    As Jiang Qing promoted her Cultural Revolution, many intellectuals are condemned as traitors of the nation, Fang Lizhi as one of them. He later demanded asylum in the United States as he was still there until the Chinese government finally come to their senses. Vice President Glenn, at that time, absolutely granted him the plea. For the early years of the purge, he was particularly safe in the States.

    However, coming to the later era of the 1980s, he was contacted with various underground anti-Jiang movements. He was touched by their struggles, misfortunes, and later unjust punishments thus determining him to campaign against the current government. In June 1986, he secretly moved to Indonesia as LKY looked at the man greatly. The former Premier negotiated for knowledge sharing for his intended campaigns. The scientist was reluctant at first, but soon relented and agree to quite a generous barter.

    As Dahlan was instated to China in late 1986, he smuggled Fang Lizhi to China from the embassy. For a few months, Fang was very active to teach underground lectures that expressed not only his expertise on astrophysics, but also his liberal view on politics, reflections on history, and criticisms on Cultural Revolution. He emphasized the social responsibility of intellectuals, support their struggle against the ‘idiocracy’ of the CPC. He also wrote opposition newspaper under the alias ‘Moon Light’, which symbolizes his radiant light against the darkness of the regime.

    If this plot was discovered, Dahlan and Indonesia would certainly rot the bitter relation to the point of no return, increasing the anti-Indonesian hatred here. Still, Fang was meticulous on his plans, clearing all possible cracks which the Red Guard might sniff on. He would go out only at night and return before dawn. Furthermore, he must return before 1988, as Dahlan would also be transferred soon enough.

    A few days ago, a slight catch appeared when the government personnel suddenly marched with the military across the city. They have caught a significantly underground leader, Dahlan could not remember, which infuriated Jiang Qing as the base they discovered was full of American books. Supervision was extremely high, in addition to the government’s announced night hour in the city. The embassy, protected by UN law, was luckily protected from illegal government raids and searches, but on multiple occasions, Dahlan permitted a search for the sake of trust. Obviously, during that time Fang would be outside with his fellow underground people, scheming for a new movement.

    Increased military presence in the city, 1987

    In correspondence to that, many Indonesian spies have speculated Fang’s arrival to spark a small intellectual revolt soon in Beijing. As the government is unpopular everywhere, yet feared by everyone, the intellectuals need the commoner’s bravery to stand against the Red Guard. Rice farmers from Southern China, unsettled with CPC’s behaviour, had been fleeing to Hong Kong. Folks in Shanghai and central China, the unfortunate ones, may be persuaded to revolt when the time comes.

    For Indonesia, the benefit of Fang was he also give astrophysics information to Indonesia, helpful for improving the nation’s astronomy. Dahlan thought it was a decent excuse, he formed a childish obsession with satellite launches. For him, any rocket launch is his dream.

    Quite a long one I suppose, but there we go. A few days later would post the Convention's aftermath and another interesting development in South America. However, as 1988 arrives, we certainly focus on Indonesia and the United States (both elections).
    It's quite something for the China post as it still didn't explain the photo. Certainly, nothing will happen this year (wink wink nudge nudge).
    Tradition vs Progress Part 8: The June Riots and Argentina
  • 27th of June Riots

    The June Riots, one of the worst riots in Jakarta

    The debate of the 1987 PPP Convention memorialised the decisive moments in the party’s antiquity, likely the nail to the vicissitudes for the future of the country. Regardless, at four in the afternoon, the results were presented. Nevertheless, the indoor site remained predominantly tranquil. The outside, however, was not.

    Since early morning, supporters on both sides had flooded the streets of Bunderan HI [1] and Imam Bonjol [2]. These protestors had been permitted by the local police authorities, in addition to the police station nearby to monitor the circumstances around the roundabout. Yet, as the roundabout became crowded with supporters on both sides, Defense Minister Try instructed the military on guard in case of discontent spawned. The 7th Cavalry Battalion was deployed in the Northern flank to halt protestor advances to the Presidential Palace, if necessary, while 2nd Marines was deployed on the Eastern Flank, around the Cikini railway to anticipate an influx of demonstrators after the hotel’s announcement to PPP Headquarters.

    At noon, many have seen the perilous prospect of a conflict between the two conflicting factions because the Kesejahteraan Rakyat’s supporters had tried to agitate Barisan Progresif’s followers. The former faction consists of rural workers that came to Jakarta to support Mahathir and his companions. Those include farmers, labour workers, village heads and sometimes few commuters flocked there. On the other side, Barisan Progresif’s was full of district citizens, particularly young students, middle-income workers and service workers. As a result of the protest distribution, Barisan Progresif’s protestors recognized their surroundings better than the Kesejahteraan Rakyat but were outnumbered by the amount and ardentness of the crusade.

    Media outlets gathered towards the hotel which was protected within a perimeter by policemen. As they split the roads between Bunderan HI and Imam Bonjol, the supporters also consequently are separated, with Barisan Progresif on the Eastern side (Imam Bonjol) while Kesejahteraan Rakyat’s demonstrators filled the main arterial street in Bunderan HI. The police also created that way to avoid further conflicts from the opposing factions, as the longer they stayed here to increase the chance of unfortunate series of events. As promised, the central committee announced their results almost 4 in the afternoon. In a total tally of 3723 delegates, the announcement marked the climax of the convention with a shocking turn.

    On a total count of 3723 votes. The number of voters towards the incumbent, Premier Musa Hitam and Barisan Progresif is a total of 1823 votes, the number of voters towards the challenger, Representative Mahathir Mohammad and Kesejahteraan Rakyat, is a total of 1329 votes. The total number who abstained in today’s convention is 121 votes. As a result, the convention is closed, and the incumbent Musa Hitam secured his spot.​

    The aftermath of the announcement was a total triumph for Musa and the cabinet. It seemed the PPP has given them chance after good argument and particularly well crises management in the federation. Outside, Musa’s supporters also cheered as news broadcast radioed the announced tally. They celebrated by intense chanting of “Awake Indonesia! Awake Indonesia!” by the previous Musa’s speech about Indonesia’s awakening as a global power under his and LKY’s premiership.
    We thank you for the delegates of our party to acknowledge our legitimacy by giving us the chance to maintain our mandate. We are grateful to all voters, support, against or abstain, that we will try to accomplish the need of the entire PPP base and make Indonesia great.

    - Musa Hitam​

    Many speculated the upset towards Barisan Progresif was the sudden incline of the Hatta’s rump faction to side with Musa. Although electorally insignificant by the two greater giants, Reformasi Faction has significant people on the higher-ups, capable of turning one side to the other. This was later unveiled by future leaked documents regarding the 1987’s convention, stating that Musa indeed had done a deal with elder Adam Malik and a few others, stating their policies of a new economic model by middle-class income, instead of relying on foreign investors and great conglomerates as LKY had done for the past decade, shaped Musa’s future brief changes and allegedly alter this wing to become as it is in the 21st Century.

    Consequently, Kesejahteraan Rakyat was furious about the sudden upset of a delegate election. As they were guaranteed a win by most media outlets by their favorability in the populace, Mahathir Mohammad’s supporters declared the results as fraudulent and crooked, demanded another recount by the central committee. In addition to it, Mahathir immediately addressed his supporters outside of the hotel with a passionate speech.
    My dear Indonesian companions and compatriots, let this not be detrimental to our struggle for a better future. Yet, let this be our calling to rise. I believe that these delegates don’t represent most of the Indonesian people, all determined a change in society. Let us remind ourselves that this, in essence, is the same struggle our Indonesian forefathers did against the oppressors and elites. Rise, people! We will show our power and denounce these men!

    - Mahathir Mohammad​

    Mahathir’s supporters became increasingly restless by the declaration from their leader. They chanted against the other side by claiming “Corrupt Musa!” and “Lock them Up!”. As the hotel was ending their convention and delegated tried to return home, the situation outside was turning dire as Mahathir’s supporters turned violent. Unfortunately, it came to a breaking point soon.

    At approximately 16:19 local time, protestors at Bunderan HI pushed the hotel’s perimeter, fighting against the guarding policemen and party’s guards inside. They started to throw stones and destroy pottery towards them. Furthermore, they rerouted themselves to Menteng to cut Musa’s sympathizers and fight them in person. In a few minutes, the police station along with their backup was overrun by protestors, causing an unavoidable retreat to Menteng, the police eventually rest there to safeguard the neighbourhood from the belligerent protestors.

    Police almost successful attempt to quell the riot failed ultimately

    Almost immediately, Premier Musa Hitam, currently inside the hotel called Defense Minister Try to resolve the ongoing crisis as many government cabinets, public officials and other important figures were nearly encircled by the growing mob. Defense Minister Try already acknowledged the past mistakes he did in Tangerang, instantly launched a better, more humane response against the growing violence on the place. The 201st Infantry Battalion was sent to the Southern flank of Thamrin Street. There the military would push the protestors North while the politicians may escape from there.

    Violence erupted, resulting in many vehicles in Imam Bonjol, mostly media vehicles, being burned and destroyed by the protestors. The roadblock was overrun, and the police defended the hotel’s fence at all costs. Yet, as both conflicting factions met each other, Mahathir’s supporters immediately aimed for Musa’s supporters. There, the fight started between the two protestors, many on both sides were thrown rocks, injured many.

    Colonel Suherman Dirja[3] from the 7th Cavalry Battalion, comprehended the situation on the North to be secure, as most protestors don’t bother moving towards the Presidential Palace. Instead, they immediately restationed on the Indonesia Hotel[4], securing potential dwellers that were potentially purged by the angry protestors. Unfortunately, as the battalion arrived few had entered the hotel and committed arson. Try’s immediate command towards the colonels already there was to divert the protesters away from the hotel as soon as possible. However, it was quite a challenging one, especially where should they strategize the tactical dispersion of the protestors. Moving them east would jeopardize the elite neighbourhoods of Menteng, giving more damage troubles there. Eventually, all agreed on pushing the rioters West, to the Tanah Abang region. The 7th Battalion was redirected to fill the Southern flank on Dukuh Atas but opened the roadblock in Tanah Abang. The 2nd Marines, all guarded on Cikini, was moved rapidly to Imam Bonjol for pushing the protestors back.

    The situation by 17:19, an hour after the spark, began to shift as Musa and many government officials successfully fled the scene from the 7th Battalion’s apt thinking and 201st quick reinforcement. The police forces immediately quintupled after the incident, approximately 7 thousand guarded the small streets to avoid protestors torching on the unfortunate neighbourhoods. Regrettably, few had been burned by arson and forced entry, as many looted the residence on the crossfire.

    2nd Marine Battalion near Menteng

    Just before Maghrib prayer, a new and mysterious wave came from the east towards the PPP’s central office. Those who wore PPP’s shirts, encircled the central headquarters of the PPP, still fully the central committee’s decision. Try assumed that being Mahathir’s new wave of radicals, which infuriated him of the crisis in Jakarta getting out of hand. As the fight between the military in Bunderan HI continued, the protesters eventually pushed along Diponegoro Street, therefore Musa’s supporters pushed Eastwards. The 2nd Marines Battalion, completely stunned by the sudden turn of events, intercept them on Suropati Park to avoid a massacre on PPP’s headquarters. As Maghrib begins, there’s a serene condition, a calm before the storm, that many done in honour of their daily prayers. Surprisingly, this serene condition fooled the military, policemen and Musa’s supporters. The police perimeter forgot the Menteng Boulevard in question, as they thought the protestors were particularly focused on brawling with Musa’s supporters. However, approximately 8000 of these protestors secretly moved Northeast, then immediately South to the PPP’s Headquarters, bypassing Suropati Park guarded by the 2nd Marines.

    As night falls, the situation was certain that there would be two riot locations, one being the battle of two protestors, the other being the siege of the PPP’s main headquarters. Although mere 600 meters apart, these two rioters wedged Musa’s demonstrators and the 2nd Marines. Lieutenant Colonel, I Ketut Mendra[3] demanded reinforcements from the 1st Marines Brigade, as the situation of these protestors became out of control. By his command, he determined to protect Musa’s protestors at all costs, giving them time to flee the scene as soon as possible. For that to occur, the 2nd Marines will march Westwards, meeting them just on the front of Maeda’s old home [5], the location where the Proclamation was declared. In response to the PPP’s siege, all police personnel’s, along with a portion of the 1st Marines reinforcement, will immediately relieve the office from the mob.

    On 19.40, the PPP’s headquarters was grazed to the ground, the 1st Marines Brigade and the policemen finally entered the siege. Blood was everywhere, with view body counts from PPP’s main headquarters. Shamefully, these insurrections dispersed quickly by the night, clearing the premises with a burned building and litters of blooded stones. Meanwhile, the 2nd Marines Battalion still suffered heavy siege from the relentless protestors. They even killed one soldier by stoning. Colonel Edy Pramodya[3], the 1st Marines Brigade commander, saw the atrocities of these protestors. He was infuriated by them, in a level like violent wrath, that he ordered the protestors on the other side for a complete encirclement. He ordered no more escapees from this mess; the military will bring them to justice if necessary.

    At around 20.00, the 1st Marines Brigade, including the return of the demoralized policemen, finally encircled Mahathir’s supporters around a tight perimeter. Police colonel Anandya Suparman shouted the protestors to back down or heavy suppression follows. However, the threat emboldened the encircled protestors, giving them a great passion to fight for death. As the police finally instructed tear gas and water cannons to be given, the protestors finally surrendered.

    By the end of the night, approximately 7 people were dead, 4 from the siege of the headquarters, 2 from the protestors on the hotel, and 1 soldier from the 2nd Marines Battalion. Approximately 26 people were hospitalized by severe injury, 146 people received small wounds. Moreover, 19 people disappeared after the incident, 16 of them were suspected military personnel disguised as rioters. Around 192 Mahathir’s protestors were arrested, along with 39 from Musa’s instigators. All of them were jailed on the Marine Corp’s Office near Senen, awaiting the commander’s orders for a proper trial.

    The day was remembered as the 27th of June 1987. More associated as June of 27th Riot, or the Sad Saturday. The office, despite being heavily burned, had their files unharmed. Still, pro-Musa supporters in the office were killed by the angry mob. Musa, after the incident, still wished the PPP’s headquarters to ‘never give up by tyranny’, demanded them to continue their previous works, defining Musa as not willing to compromise with Mahathir’s bloc. Until the next day, both the President and Mahathir opted no say on the riots. Eventually, many discovered that they were scheming for upcoming progress. As the first riot in Jakarta showed the military’s agitated state, the media outlets by the President later twisted them as particularly oppressive and cruel towards the common populace.

    Events in Argentina
    11th June 1987
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Tom Foley, the Representative of California, was surprisingly elected by Glenn as the new Ambassador of Argentina. There’s nothing as a reason for Foley’s appointment, mostly his Catholicism and probably immigrant sentiment. Still, Foley failed to grasp the country which is Argentina. It’s his second month living as the Ambassador replacing Theodore E. Gildred.

    Tom Foley on his official portrait

    After the Peronist government faltered by the subsequent military coup in 1970, Peron and Peronist loyalists moved to France in exile. Pedro Eugenio Aramburu Silveti became the new President of Argentina, his militarist tendencies started the presidency by excluding names of Peron or any Peron loyalists into the populace. Moreover, he launched terror against pro-Peronist sentiments, giving no mercy for any tendency.

    President Pedro requested American economists to arrive in Argentina to combat the ailing economy of the country, rising inflation and decades of economic stagnation. While Peron was extremely popular in Argentina, the nation had been stagnated from one of the richest nations equivalent to the United States, into a third world country with perpetual inflation. He, despite no economic background, attempted to solve the economic issue with MIT and Harvard Argentines, all of them in favour of free trade economics. President Pedro lasted for almost three years until the junta decided to appoint a new leader. Roberto M. Levingston was appointed as the new president. Unlike Pedro, he pushed for protectionist economies, increasing tariffs by almost 18%. He also fired all pro-free trade economists for this policy. Consequently, the Argentine government suffered another wave of inflation, economic downfall, and a recession in 1975. The junta dived into an unstable region after Pedro and Levingston, consecutive 6 presidents of Argentine history for 1975-1981. Economy and domestic Argentina was in shambles, but the military was still strong against a leftist uprising.

    601st Company of Argentine Special Forces, Héctor Ríos Ereñú, observed the chaos in Buenos Aires. He later devised a plot to end the junta government, adopting him as the true dictator of the nation. His intentions, however authoritarian, was intended to end the Argentine decline to rise again from the depts of inflation. In October 1981, Ereñú surrounded the junta’s place, forcibly demand them a step down from the government. Ironically, the United States Carterian government approved of this matter and declared the junta to immediately step down. As Chile and Brazil agreed to help in the case of Argentine’s junta decline, the Argentine government decided to let Ereñú rise as the true leader of Argentina.

    Ereñú, 1979

    The commander of the Special Forces has a method of ruling particularly stricter than the previous junta government. He pushed for public propaganda of the new military dictatorship, declared the old junta as ineffective and corrupt. As Peronism diminished by years of absence, Ereñú was particularly focused on cleansing the military by pro-junta sympathizers. This, in turn, was heavily supported by the dissatisfied people.

    Tom Foley had thought of the new dictator as power-grabbers like his predecessors. However, his mind altered when the dictator passed the Constitution of 1982. Within the Constitution, he declared the rule of law to be the most supreme authority in Argentina, as opposed to most predecessors sanctified as Gods of the Argentine nation. He passed Pedro’s economic policy of balanced budget, low inflation, and liberal economic model. Relaxed immigration and low tariffs but maintained pro-domestic views on industry and products.

    For the first time in decades, the Argentine economy was limping back on its former glory. Inflation finally rested on a stable 2%, the economy grew by almost 12% and the great changes in Argentine society, albeit authoritarian, passed him as the people’s dictators, putting Peronist return almost impossible. The middle class returned strongly under the dictator’s rule, putting a small sympathy to Tom Foley. Foley truly admired him, possible the only Latin dictator capable of running the country.

    He was fascinated even further that the dictator went a promise that he would step down in 1990 for Argentine’s liberal democracy. That, in his mind, was particularly unheard of in any junta government around Latin America. Therefore, he became fascinated with Argentina, also fantasized about how this nation could potentially become the US of South America.

    [1][2] For this, I need to describe with a picture.
    The bottom is Bunderan HI, the apparent road on the left is Imam Bonjol Street. That street, if you go further, will eventually reach Diponegoro Street. The police station mentioned is on the left side of Imam Bonjol, cut by the picture above.

    [3] ATL names

    [4] Shown in the photo below, Hotel Indonesia as the view from the Police Station
    [5] Maeda's old home, the place where the Proclamation of Independence is written, is located on Diponegoro Street, just shy half a kilometre from the hotel. Nearly halfway from the Mandarin Hotel to PPP's main HQ.

    The domestic mess is not over (spoiler: this is just a tremor), you'll see more on that later. I want to have Argentina the good ending ITTL, however, I won't describe how good it will be. Nevertheless, it won't be the sorry state it is IOTL. In short, this dictator is Argentina's Suharto ITTL.

    Assume this as an early Christmas Update, I'm pessimistic to post anything by Christmas. However, I have prepared a full domestic post later, before pacing the future events of photos described in previous weeks.
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    Tradition vs Progress Part 9: Events Abroad and PPP HQ Status
  • Exxon Valdez Spill and the Rise of AIDS

    President Glenn entered a presidency between two great conflicts, both internal and external, that cost his political career. As the Challenger Scandal[1] killed his successes, numerous other factors had contributed to his downfall as one of the worst American presidents in history. The mixed response of Exxon Valdez, as well as the controversial effort in AIDS management, were two of them.

    President Glenn showing Friendship 7 Capsule, amid ongoing AIDS crisis

    The Exxon Valdez oil spill happened in Alaska, exactly on Prince Willian Sound, on April 21, 1987. The oil supertanker, unsurprisingly owned by Exxon Shipping Company bound for Long Beach, California ran adrift in Prince Willian Sound’s Bligh Reef. It spilt nearly 11 million US gallons of crude oil over a few days. Consequently, the Glenn government instructed chemical dispersant with a helicopter which successfully hit the target area.

    The Glenn government’s response to this spill was particularly bland and unexpressive. The Vice President promised for better regulation in Alaska’s shores to mitigate such dire cataclysm to happen again, while Glenn was too preoccupied with the Challenger and the scandal it had uncovered. The cleanup, however, was particularly quick and successful. Yet, this spill caused upheaval on the Democratic Party.

    The environmentalist wing of the Democratic Party, specifically those on the West Coast, demanded the President for a stricter response regarding the ecological disaster made by oil. Yet, as the president comprehended America’s oil abundance with relatively few misfortunes, many of the protests fall on deaf ears. This disheartened the green wing, which caused a few of them to leave the Democratic Party. Nevertheless, the environmentalist influenced many of the liberals, caused dissatisfaction with the party’s biggest bloc.

    In the meantime, a viral pandemic has spread to most homosexual men. Formerly identified as Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, the rare lung infection was later recognized as one of the many symptoms of immunodeficiency disease. As the CDC identified many cases in California, notably Los Angeles and San Francisco, the government was demanded a response to this new pandemic. However, Aviva Chomsky, the press secretary during Carter’s second term, accidentally coined the disease as “Gay Virus”, the derogatory term later haunted the Democratic administration, continued towards the Glenn Administration.

    The rise of AIDS in the United States was particularly caused by both presidents’ disparagement. Carter marked it as “the negative aspects of his presidency” while Glenn commonly pointed that as “one of the factors of his fall”. This was because as numbers rise from 1981 (the first person infected) until 1987 (the first commission to combat the AIDS pandemic), nearly 14388 AIDS cases and 11203 deaths in the USA. In addition to it, America’s combat in AIDS was comparatively humiliating if Europe was taken into account.

    AIDS protest against Carter and Glenn's indecisive research

    Since the late-70s, France met its first case to a French soldier in Chad. The news was quickly dismissed as the government immediately solved the issue. A few isolated cases erupted in the 70s on French West Africa. However, only by 1982 that France finally declared the symptom a pandemic as French Metropolitan’s thousand of men were infected. Unlike the United States, which left the pandemic under the bus for years, the French government immediately implemented disease prevention against the unresearched virus. Later, the French government understood the transmission of AIDS (unlike the Americans, the French had known that AIDS can’t be transmitted through saliva) nearly three years earlier than in the US. The US, which initially called it bluff finally realized its mistakes in 1989. In other parts of Europe was relatively unharmed due to a small influx of immigration. Still, the Netherlands received their first case in 1981, the fastest in the democratic side of the continent. It spread to the Nordic countries before Germany finally hit in 1983. However, in 1987 these countries have not suffered a wave in comparison to France and the United States. They would have that by 1988, similarly to most Europeans.

    French scientist researching AIDS

    In Indonesia, nothing pivotal was caused by the Exxon Valdez Spill, because much of the issue was directed internally on the United States. Oil trade in the Malacca Strait remained high and rising. The Indonesian government-regulated background checks for tankers which allowed to pass Indonesia’s waters in the 1990s. Even so, the main objective behind this was to avoid unauthorized ships (mostly illegal ones) passing Indonesian waters, not directly correlated to the spill.

    Meanwhile, the rise of AIDS in the United States caused a stir in Indonesia because of the pandemic spreading on the country. In 1983, the first reported AIDS case was confirmed in Singapore. Then, another 40 people, mostly men, were reported having the disease in many major cities of Indonesia. Unfortunately, the people’s stigma of AIDS as a “gay virus” was commonplace, thus the government was discouraged on further prognosis from the society’s simplistic solution that eradicating homosexuals will solve the problem. The stereotyped continued throughout the 80s, ended in the mid-90s when Indonesia suffered the first wave of AIDS infection.

    30th June 1987
    Pangeran Diponegoro Street No.60, Jakarta

    Among the many Kesejahteraan Rakyat sympathizers that were disgusted by Mahathir’s warmongering attitude after the convention, Usep Ranawidjaja could be considered one of them. He gazed at the PPP headquarters, all ravaged and partly burned, but most of the files were safe. Usep, formerly a silent Mahathir’s supporter, eventually felt disturbed by the 27th of June rioters. He, among with few others, was determined to fight to the death with Musa.

    Almost everyone that worked on the PPP’s partly burnt headquarters possessed the similar passion of Indonesian independence fighters during the Dutch Aggression. Usep and many others felt the “nothing to lose” spirit that streamed towards their raging blood of revenge, a payback on persistence, telling these mobsters to ‘go scram’ and ‘we will prevail’. Indeed, Barisan Progresif supporters had their new catchphrase “Musa will prevail” echoing on the streets of Jakarta, everywhere these supporters’ dwell.

    “Do you still have the Annual Meeting files somewhere, Dimas?” Usep inquired the young secretary.

    “Yes, Pak. Luckily the intruders did not scramble that file. Furthermore, the entire section of the cabinet was untouched, therefore the Extraordinary Congress’ Transcripts were also unharmed.”

    Usep ordered Dimas to find all important files they could and gather them as soon as possible. Mahathir had given the war cry to Musa; this office will be the epicentre of the chaos. Possibly, a second, third, and successive brawls between two powers would soon continue in Jakarta. To avoid further similar occurrences, Usep intended to move the files towards a safe party location.

    Usep had recognized the threat as soon as the President announced his comments yesterday. Last evening, he announced the events that happened on the 27th of June as “unfortunate”, the military should not be acted as had happened. He condemned the actions of the politicians and military, stating the wrath of the citizens was natural if one looked at the chronological events of such riot. The prisoners were instructed to be released without trial, angering Colonel Edy Pramodya. Immediately after Colonel Edy expressed objections against the president’s words, the President immediately relieved him from duty, per today, from the Marines. It seemed that the President had deliberately used the riots as means to sweep out the opposition in the military, as multiple names began showing uneasiness as the president eyed on their “false actions” during the events of June 27th.

    Usep looked at his desk, half of it was hacked during the assault yesterday. A total 4 was reported died during the siege, three of them were the office’s guards on changing shifts. The other one was the poor staff worker that happened to forget a few items at his workplace. Usep pitied them because he used to converse a lot during evening breaks. Also, his conscience compelled him to write a full grief letter towards their families, even one might not necessarily have to. Regardless, Usep must show a new set of leadership on the PPP.

    He, ultimately, was de-facto chairman of the party, despite circumstances was not so because of the growing internal conflict which rendered the chairman useless as faction leaders evolved into” chairman”. He was adamant about siding on one’s faction, although he expressed similar views against the government’s policies. Still, the events that happened shifted his views, ranting about the faction he supported as “mob rule” and “unlawful”.

    The tug-of-war between the progressives and the populists ended up with the President siding on the populist after the conundrum happened. The Parliament had no power by the President, as he was elected by the people which constitution vaguely stated that the two governing bodies will not interfere with each’s power. The Premier did not have such luxury, regrettably responsible on both the Parliament and the President.

    “Mr Usep, it seemed our constituents in Malaya are preparing something. We can’t reach them yet, but our Malaccan friends noted of their secret meetings since yesterday.” Usep’s HRD Radiman informed him.

    “Secret meeting? What sort of arrangement are they plotting? Mr Radiman, I implore you to carefully monitor these men. I have a feeling that it won’t be good at all.”

    Usep had a small hunch on what the Malayan men are scheming, after contemplating on few scenarios, he concluded that none will actively reduce the tension in the capital.

    Affairs of the Commonwealth
    1st July 1987
    10 Downing Street, London

    Prime Minister Michael Meacher, who entered office on Labour Day of the year, decided that the affairs of the imperium were slowly degrading into a painful halt. The British Commonwealth, at least what is left, was nothing but the dust of the former glory. Currently, he saw that dust to be even worse, as he comprehended the situation on the rest of their territories.

    The new Prime Minister

    In the early stages of failed decolonization in the early 50s, the United Kingdom had released the Bahamas, Belize, and a few Pacific nations. During the recolonization methods, the briefly independent pacific nations were reclaimed, only to return as independent after the American demands by the 1966 Australian Aggression. Nearly all the Pacific islands were given to the States, now in a weird spot as the States were delighted to release them but the natives objected to the proposal. The Solomon Islands and Fiji eventually granted independence around the 70s, part of Prior’s attempts to end the nuisance of colonial power.

    In the Western hemisphere, despite the protest of the white-supremacist and discriminative Empire, the Dominions in the Caribbean (Trinidad, Jamaica, and the West Indies) were inclined to stay under the Commonwealth banner. A simple reason for it was they respected the Queen, the only "English presence" in the empire, with their local government entitled to their wellbeing. If one asked why other protectorates don’t echo the similar idea, Meacher believed that they were too passionate about the idea of anti-imperialism, all but no connection with the British. However, this was later proven false by third-person narratives because the British had numerously interfered on Dominion affairs much against the agreement did on the new form of Commonwealth.

    In the 70s and 80s Britain, in a nutshell, was full of diverting the blame away from British failures of the empire. Jim Prior was ecstatic that under his unionist leadership, British local productivity increased by fivefold. The United Kingdom, on its miserable shell, became Europe’s greatest machinery exporter. Moreover, the pound sterling intentionally devalued and weakened by the Prior’s government continued to maintain British charm on the international stage as the well-priced commodities on entire Europe, challenging Italy’s fiat which was even dwarfed by Rome’s agricultural exports rather than British industrial.

    However, noticing East Asia, Meacher discovered that the British government merely stagnated in time, while the East Asian governments, including the wretched Indonesians, had surpassed Britain in economic power, while industrial capabilities were not far away. Indeed, even Meacher bet Japan had passed Britain and eventually matched the United States. British perpetual devaluation also crippled the strong financial sector of London, moving bankers too much more favourable places like Berlin, Rotterdam, and heavens forbid Paris itself.

    “Prime Minister, regarding the ongoing heat on a Quebecois Referendum, would you still agree to Prior’s previous choice?”

    On the telephone was Lieutenant Governor of Quebec Gilles Lamontagne, he informed multiple times that the Prior government instructed a green light on the referendum of Quebec, much to the French population’s support on that proposal. Prior, also Meacher, had thought that even if the French-Canadians decided to separate from Canada, the circumstances between the First Nations will be awkward, as the natives still believed in the federal government. The worse situation would be the First Nations forming their own country, which eventually is as weak as the crippled Quebec, eventually prayed for Canada to reannex those regions. Quebecois, on the other hand, was optimistic that years of discriminatory Apartheid-supportive unionist government would eventually scare the Natives to secede from the Dominion of Canada. Also, the date agreed was 1990, probably Meacher would have quelled the native’s fear by then.

    “Of course, Lieutenant Governor, the Meacher government will do as promised to the Quebecois as the Prior government had done so. Besides, I was under the impression that Canada, along with South Africa, Jamaica and other of our Dominions, have relatively freer autonomy as Commonwealth members.”

    That quote, as naive as one might seem, will fall on deaf ears. The Quebecois were upset by the British government by their relentless campaign for a pro-unionist government, denoted as English-supremacist, to rule in Canada. His far more crucial affairs, rather than a referendum three years away, was the impending doom of the West Indies Federation. The cultural differences in each nation, including the black’s sentiment against a pro-apartheid government, continued their discourse to split from the West Indies. Moreover, they had no intention to unite as an independent union, but separate islands under each chiefdom.

    The "Yes" or "Oui" campaigners, despite 1990 as the referendum year, have been preparing this since 1987

    [1] happened similarly to IOTL, but the background of ITTL was more severe as it linked to Glenn on his obsession with Space Race. This obsession (more on the upcoming date) led NASA to hurriedly push for space launches, which caused this in the first place.

    Explaining things in the UK, partly Canada, and the US (once again). Keeping up the pace I have previously. The next post would entirely be a side story, much like my Christmas and Independence post previously.
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    New Year 2022 Update
  • Garden City, NY, United States
    31st December 2020


    Courtesy of Google Earth, please note that I choose this house with reasons for the TL's plot, not by other means or worse, "stalking".

    The bedroom is filled with plushies and private merchandise of Joseph Ryan H. As an exceptional teenager, Joseph is particularly glad his school life has not inhibited a lot with his virtual career. After two years of getting habituated to his new hobby, he was pleased that “streaming Minecraft” had given him a fortune. With the alias “JRobin”, he has accrued almost 4 million followers, much to his enthusiasm. He is certain that the wealth he gained on streaming was enough for paying his house bills, even to afford to make a living for the entirety of the house.

    “Thanks, Tom, for today, it’s unfortunate that your visa was rejected. Mark, Brandon, Eret, Harvey and Shelby are here.”

    “Man, it’s fine. Be sure to prepare for our next content. Also, thank you for the sent gift, I appreciate it dearly.”

    Almost a three-hour stream with Tom has ended with him awaiting the New Year’s clock in England. Still, it is a five-hour difference in Long Island than in Nottingham. Vlogging content, especially Joseph’s most famous Niagara tour, was liked by tens of millions, boosting his second YouTube account. Nevertheless, he was warned by his family to take care throughout his public events while the modern flu pandemic ravages the world.

    He ends the call with his friend and then wanders on the browser to look for stuff. In the meantime, Joseph is aware his friends were downstairs having fun with the Play Console 6. He exclusively wanted time with Tom for his late-night content. Nathan, his 15-year-old little brother, was great with friends. His extrovert attitude, unlike Joseph, lighted downstairs as great as a middle-school boy could have been. Likely, Nathan has distracted his friends as Joseph enjoys the upper floor’s silence.

    As his mind wander a bit, he was reminded of his times with Dad during his stay in the US. As a diplomat, he was famous in NY, befriending a few famous people in the state. From Kirsten Gillibrand, and the Trump Family, to actors of actresses living in the state. Unlike most Indonesian officials, his father is beloved by the American youths alike. That may be contributed to his father’s young age of 39. Charismatic and rather mysterious, his father mostly stunned analysts by unorthodox views of the diplomatic world; a reason why he was recalled to Indonesia.

    During his father’s presence, he would routinely bring Joseph and Nathan to New York City, enjoying the parks and picturesque skylines. Moreover, as Dad like taking pictures, he would use his multiple DSLR cameras to save moments. Currently, all those pictures rest in the basement, while Dad’s old cameras are gifted to Nathan, following his hobby. Meanwhile, Dad also excels in music, which Joseph inherited from his piano skills.

    His mother, similarly, is famous in the state for entirely a different reason. Her family rose to one of the richest electronic companies in Indonesia, surpassing a few of the East Asians. Despite her mother not being the nuclear of the family business, she is naturally posh and exclusive. In their childhood, his mother would naturally finance their lives, unlike most regular families. Also, because of it, Dad would raise the boy’s childhood, giving Joseph and Nathan’s fondest memories.

    Joseph closes all his browser tabs. He too closes running applications on his computer, his games particularly. However, just before he closes his computer, a video suddenly popped up.
    After ten, long, tense days, we’ve reached a historic moment in this election. We can now project the winner of the presidential race. As New York has finally called for the former governor [REDACTED][1], putting him above the 280 thresholds. Consequently, the former governor [REDACTED] has won the presidential election as the 47th President of the United States. It is the first time, unlike our previous elections, that a third party-candidate outright win the election. This is partly expected by political analysts, as this four-way race is a win-for all for all the candidates. However, Nevada, Vermont and Virginia all remain too close to call.

    CNN Election Night in America, 28th November 2020​

    The 2020 Election video spooked him, albeit briefly. A few days ago, Joseph had received the concluding news about the election. The president-elect managed to win New England but Vermont. Still, it puts him in a considerable gap of 352 electoral votes. He swept his home state along the Midwest and the Rust Belt, along with the Cascadia's West Coast. Joseph, the teen boy in New York, was fascinated by this election after they fixated on the four-way race by January 2020. He, along with all Americans, was proven their highest participation in US history on this extreme mess of the election day. Some, in an eerie sense, had mirrored 2020 as a replay of the 1860 election. Even the turnout was the same as the 1876 election, number 81.8%. The excess voter turnout, predicted to be around 72%, was mainly from the people voting for the third-party candidate by the upset of the party establishment.

    This third party is famous to rise slowly, despite being noticed, but continuously underestimated by established parties. The Four Horsemen of the Anti-Establishment, nicknamed four figures of this political party, consisted of an actor, a real-estate tycoon, a digital conglomerate, and a saxophone player. The last horsemen became the president of the United States. Unbeknownst to his digital friends who were having fun downstairs, Joseph is politically active in school, advocating the third party’s platform from the basis of rationality, centrism, and civic nationalism. He joined the Youth’s Group in Garden City’s High School. He was glad that in Nassau County, a decent 39% had voted for his preferred candidate, echoing his support for reform. Alas, statewide results did not win for the man.

    “Joe, Dad’s calling you.” Joseph hears Nathan, his little brother, who shouted from downstairs. His parents were all in Indonesia, unfortunately, as both preoccupied with Indonesian matters. Joseph and Nathan, both born in the United States, eventually stayed with his aunt from the mother's side. His aunt was ecstatic, especially since his father requested to take care of both brothers after his return to Indonesia in 2017.

    Unlike his American friends, he is mixed, not purely Asian. The blend between Dutch and Chinese heritage gives Joseph and Nathan an unusual facial feature. Joseph’s small eyes inordinately fit with the dark-brown bowl cut. Nathan’s looks are particularly blended with pale buttery skin. Every time a stranger gazed upon these two brothers, most of them were transfixed by the weird combination of racial features. Occasionally, the two brothers’ handsomeness (or cuteness for Nathan) is acclaimed as it is different from most Asian Americans living here.

    “A minute, I’m closing the pc.” He shuts down his computer, tidies his bedroom and goes downstairs.

    Joseph greets his friends all in the living room while excuses himself to the basement. As soon as reached the basement, he immediately noticed a TV screen of his father. Dad had video-called Joseph and everyone for now. Before acknowledging the children, Dad had asked Aunt for some time, sharing hospitalities. Soon, Aunt, Uncle, Nathan, and Joseph all sat downstairs, eyes pondered on Dad and Mom in their casual attire. On the other side of the screen, Nathan notices Louisa and Patricia, both are siblings of them, staying in Indonesia. Joseph almost forgets about his little sisters, probably from years of separation. Unlike Joseph and Nathan, Louisa and Patricia had been uncovered by the media.

    “Hello, Joseph. It’s been quite a while.”

    Half an hour almost passed in the basement. Dad and Mom asked a few things throughout the year, commenting especially on Nathan’s accomplishment to afford a living. The two brothers initially signed an agreement with Dad. Because of Dad’s renowned status in the international world, especially in the US, he would remain undisclosed in Joseph and Nathan’s life, saving them a normal life as opposed to their two younger sisters. This, as a result, indicates Joseph’s gaming career is entirely built upon himself. Luckily, even Joseph’s closest friends had known his father, or his famous surname.

    He returns to the living room, all ready and preparing for yet a New Year’s Eve stream in his house. Before streaming, he would mask himself to conceal his real face. That came from worry that maybe someone would recognize the resemblance between Joseph and his father. Not Nathan, though, because his face was a mix from both parents. Parenthetically, Nathan had also been strongly inclined toward Mark’s younger sister, Casey, who had been invited from her hometown Oakland. It was a big friendly Youtuber gathering; Joseph and Nathan did not want to miss this.

    “Hey, there is Joe. Shelby here has prepared the camera, three.” Harvey snickered, “we have also prepared chips and snacks for whatever we will do later.”

    “Pogg! Let’s go.” Joseph answered.

    Just as Joseph tries to sit, he heard Mark calling from the kitchen. Instinctively, he excuses himself and walked to the kitchen. He is distraught that Shelby and her friends decided to start without Joseph. Nevertheless, he still walks to Mark. Mark, overall, is Joseph’s TwitchTube friend from Oakland, California. He met Joseph in Minecraft SMP, the owner, Clay, invited him as a new member while Joseph had been one for a few months. Mark suffered facial dysmorphia, which caused him to conceal his face with his authentic mask during streaming. However, this time he doesn’t use the mask. Progressively, Joseph develops a crush on Mark. However, he doesn’t know that urge because of mere pity, pure fondness, or something else entirely.

    “Look, Joe. Casey thought that Nathan was inviting her. She then urged me to follow because she thought secret content was happening there. I too did not realize any problem until I saw your family on facetime.”

    Joseph had warned everyone, including his friends, that his family affairs were not to be brought up until he is ready. His father unanimously opted for his sons to have a normal childhood, away from his prominent standing. So, he obscured all family ties to his parents, including mentioning his family name. Outside his school, friends don’t particularly recognize Joseph’s family name. Now, it seems Mark stumbled on his family reunion, especially noticing his father and mother.

    “You see everything?” Joseph calmly infers. Despite his calmness, many have thought reversely. Just like his father, calmness indicates active brain activity within, either thinking about something or keeping hold of one’s anger not to be shown. Furthermore, his dad usually silences himself on the latter’s reason, just like Joseph.

    “Yep. Also, I see that you look like your dad. A bit fascinated on why your classmates don’t deduce that.” Mark opted for a low-key joke, but later revert himself because Joseph doesn’t flinch. Meanwhile, Joseph is thinking about that too, why his classmates are too oblivious to see the similarities between Joseph and his father. His speculation mostly rests that there is no way his father would leave his children here, in the politically dangerous United States.

    “Look, man. I’m sorry. I honestly ...”

    “It’s fine, Mark,” Joseph interjects.

    “Really? This isn’t the “handling” you give to me, right?” Mark replies. When Joseph distanced themselves from someone, he would calmly express no problems regarding the matter, but later cleared themselves on the friend list. Finally, Joseph would “forget” the friend, as if we weren’t existing at all. Unfortunately, this unpleasant mannerism inherits too from his father.

    After a quick ponder, he sensed Mark kept talking sense, so Joseph doesn’t get mad. Truly, Joseph’s threat on the family question is harsh, as he won’t make friends with anyone that don’t abide by his terms. However, he truly thought Mark here is a bit overreacting, as he found out by chance.

    “Close your eyes, Mark.” Joseph cuts Mark’s plea. “Just trust me.”

    Mark looks toward his friend, before entrusting his words. For just a brief second, Joseph is requestioning himself of his decision. Still, his reflexes overwhelmed him. After it is done, Joseph realizes that he and Mark lock lips for a moment.

    “It’s fine, Mark.” Joseph returns to his bit lively voice, “Just please don’t let Casey spill about Dad. Not that I don’t trust you, but she’s more talkative than you.”

    Mark just froze at what happened, slightly composing himself of the sudden awkwardness before he acclaimed.

    “We’re merely 17, Joe! Heck, we’re Roman Catholic.”

    “Look, Mark. Spare me with the religious thing. I prefer you just keep talking about my parents.”

    Mark slowly grins at Joseph’s response. The boys continue their conversation about Joseph’s parents. Joseph is astonished by Mark’s intrigue to his parents, especially his father. Later, Mark reveals himself to be a fan of Joseph’s Dad, cheering Joseph a bit. Mark, now in a much better attitude, courage himself to ask his deepest question.

    “Joe, about all of this, why don’t you tell the world about your family?”

    This struck Joseph unprepared because he has never asked himself the same question. Mostly, his father would advise his sons that publicity isn’t necessarily positive for character growth, especially for his boys like Joseph and Nathan. However, he was reminded of what his father told him in an ice cream shop. That answer would resonate with Joseph’s brain; thus, he tells Mark the same thing.

    “Dad used to say it was fear of me and Nathan’s safety. The fear of one day, maybe his career would render his children, hostage, from his advances in his diplomatic career, many risks during the early 2000s. However, I justly think that I received another value on this. As I and Nate don’t have the publicity as an official’s son, we are humbled by default. In addition to Dad’s constant advice to start bottom and reach the top, I became a much better person, grateful for his advice ringed to me faster than most of my age. Honestly, my YouTube career would probably not succeed without Dad’s confidential agreement.”

    Joseph lets that talk sink in for a moment. Then he resumes speaking.

    “Alright, enough with that. Let’s go back to the living room. Also, what happens here, stay here, okay?”

    “What if I don’t want to?” Mark replied.

    For a brief second, he smacked Mark with the nearby paper towel. This gives snickers from the two boys as they walk back to the all-ready living room. As the content creators greet Joseph and Mark, both with masks on. Joseph returns for the content, preparing himself for the new year of 2021.​

    [1] I'm not giving the name, but the clues surrounding it would entice you into detective mode.

    If you watch Minecraft twitch streamers, some would maybe ring a few bells. Although quite a light post, this was important to build up the main protagonist of this TL that I've been preparing for months. Shame that with the current speed of this TL, 2020 would be like 3-4 years away...

    Just to peak your interest, here below lies the 2020 Map. Colours are not only party-based but also ideologically based. More spoilers after 2010 in-TL:)


    Wish everyone a happy new year in advance. As always, likes are good, but comments are much preferred.
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    Tradition vs Progress Part 10: Space Race and Vietnam Situation
  • Space Race: Situations on Both Sides


    Soyuz 12 Landing in the Sea of Rains (Mare Imbrium), near Luna 11's Landing, March 29 1971


    Apollo 13 Landing in the Sea of Tranquility (Mare Tranquillitatis), March 26 1971
    “We are more fulfilled when we are involved in something bigger than ourselves.”
    — John Glenn, 2009 Ares 15 Launch

    Initial Adventures

    The first era of the space race officially initiated on the launch of Sputnik as the first Soviet satellite on 15 October 1957. This was a natural progression after the two adversary’s missile development, the protoform of what would become rockets. In the mid-50s, both the Soviet Union and the United States were contriving ballistic missiles that could be used to launch objects into space. Soon, the stage was planted for an imminent space race.

    After Sputnik’s successful launch to orbit, the United States gave concerns to a humiliating defeat on America’s industrial and technological devotion. Then, the situation grew into a much-deserved rivalry, establishing the rival space program, from Eisenhower’s project Vanguard, to fast forward a launch date. As the launch failed, it was an utter joke for the United States, one that forced the American nation to seriously consider the Space Race and its development.

    Eisenhower’s successor, Kennedy, was passionate to win against Soviet’s space achievements after humiliating defeats in NASA and their late Explorer Mission. Kennedy peaked the NASA budget to almost 4.5% for the manned missions, determined to send American science to space, combating Soviet’s advancement at that time. With his famous “Moon Speech”, he promised the American people to send manned missions to the Earth’s nearest large object by the end of the decade, a promise failed by 1 year, unfortunately. Yet, he still pursued that promise, along with other domestic programs, all of whom paved Kennedy to high popularity.

    President John Glenn as
    the first man to space, 1962

    However, during Kennedy’s years, the stakes, thus also risks, increased as the United States deliberately involved Indonesia’s land as a junior partner, ultimately contributing the most important launches of American history, Apollo 13, on March 26, 1971. Until the 21st century, many were perplexed on the Camelot’s decision of bizarre appeal to the tropical nation, apart from increasing American presence in Southeast Asia and NASA’s good side to push the launch site more tropical. However, many have argued that the societal improvement of Papua after Kennedy’s policy did little for America, but extremely many for Indonesians. Nevertheless, regardless of how Indonesia contributed to the improvement of the early Space Race, it gained traction towards the American people that Indonesia was postponing the Space Race, contributed with Nixon’s disdain on NASA’s careless obsession.

    As the space race had evolved as the domestic crisis birthed within the American party establishment, Nixon developed the opposition of Kennedy’s approach, claiming that American success for Americans only. This was seen by many Americans who felt Kennedy had been too kind concerning Southeast Asia rather than their continent. Yet, after Nixon’s controversial rule, the scepticism of NASA and Indonesia’s situation became dwarfed with Shafer’s brutally liberal policy, much extreme to the 1970s of the United States, won by threading the needle between two unpopular candidates. Still, besides the conflict of interests between NASA Administrator and President Nixon, the former governor was interested in winning the Space Race.

    President Shafer’s policy on the space policy was interesting, albeit not passionate to the likes of Kennedy and Eisenhower during the 60s. Howbeit, Shafer maintained the NASA budget as the predecessors did, allowing necessary growth to American space exploration. He acknowledged Papua’s significance on the Apollo 13 launch as the first American on the Moon. The President continued the Apollo Program, which discovered new water resources on the surface of the Moon, reported by Apollo 16, fruited to be beneficial for an American permanent mission to the satellite body. Simultaneously, the Shafer presidency announced the Space Shuttle Program, Hermes Program [1] and Skylab Program, also continuing the Mariner Program. These continued to be unnoticed throughout the 70s because Shafer’s other policies were more radical and controversial. NASA, fortunately, achieved decent successes on their space program. This is surprising that Shafer’s controversial era as the people’s attention was diverted from NASA’s struggle on the space battle, while still cheering the organization’s success in Apollo 13. He maintained past Kennedy's budget of around 2%, allowing significant space for NASA to complete many achievements.

    The Hermes Program, shown Hermes 3 to Mars, 1974


    The Space Shuttle Program, Colombia STS-2, 1985
    NASA’s great obstacle entered post-1975 when the assassination of Shafer marked the down spiral of NASA’s budget percentage to downright minimal. As Haldeman assumed the seat, he proposes significant budget cuts and curtail social programs, while increasing the percentage of the war in Central America. NASA, thus the space exploration, was damaged by a constraint budget of 0.75%. That involved longing few projects mentioned beforehand, compelling NASA to discover more efficient means to complete a program without lavish budgets. This causes several projects to postpone, like the Hermes Program, or having cancelled further missions, especially the Apollo Program.

    The next President, Carter, was passionate to continue Kennedy’s legacy, but later reversed himself for the sheer change he needed for his other domestic program. Firstly, the environmental push for America’s independence on oil marked Carter’s problem in the budget area. Although he later transferred the large military budget for environmental and oil exploration programs, this was one of the many centralized programs he visualized to pass. His biggest issue was Carteraid. It marked America’s first basic universal healthcare for all Americans, the third instalment of healthcare programs. The first, Kennedycare [2], passed health care for the aged. Medicaid [3] passed during Shafer’s presidency, passed health care for the needy and impoverished people. Ultimately, Carteraid [4] became the breakthrough of healthcare, gaining all Americans’ endorsement. Nevertheless, the last update of healthcare had killed the American budget. Eventually, President Carter passed budget cuts to NASA. By 1980, NASA’s budget was minutely 0.49%, a dwarf of his former glory. NASA’s worst reality was many of their ongoing programs must be terminated for reasons of financial burden, they later ended manned missions to outer space, relying on robots and satellites for future breakthroughs.

    Glenn’s Rise to Power

    NASA’s anomalous budget charts in the 1980s were because of the rise of an Ohioan marine, John Glenn. The first man in space was persuaded to join the political platform by Bob Kennedy in December 1962, suggesting running for the 1964 United States Senate election in Ohio. The man won the seat against incumbent Stephen Young and the Republican challenger Robert Taft Jr. He won the seat after that, consecutive from 1970 and 1976. During his Senate years, he befriends Senator Frank Church from Idaho, this friendship benefited him a lot to appease Rockefeller as former Vice President, along with his vice-presidential career after Frank’s untimely death on July 15, 1981. Glenn’s closeness with him also influenced Carter’s decision to appoint the Ohioan senator as his vice president.

    Glenn with Carter, 1977

    Glenn’s ascendance to the presidency marked two changes against Carter’s usual path. He eventually ended the environmental programs which took a lot of money, redirecting the funds to NASA’s increased budget to 3%. His pension programs also cost him money, causing devastating inflation until the 1990s. Nevertheless, he was passionate to boost NASA. Obviously, after the “sudden surge of funds” from the federal government, NASA reopened dormant programs as well as publicized the “new Apollo”, the Ares Program [5]. Like Apollo, Ares would mission a man to Mars, eventually winning the Space Race against the Soviet Union for good. Glenn declared the Soviets launch less than a week after the Americans were dangerous because the Soviets’ technological capabilities still challenge the United States.

    Unfortunately, America’s repurposed to continue the Space Race did not receive the critical response like the 60s, as the changed nation had moved beyond astrophysical desires. Many instead passed for diverting the Space Race funds into the social programs, improving Carteraid or possible enhancing it. This was completely ignored by Glenn, claiming that the healthcare was as perfect as one might allow because any more healthcare proposals would kill in Congress because of the rising reformists. The disparity between the people and the president interests signed distrust, evolving into fringe theories claiming Glenn to be benefited by the boosted space program. The Challenger Scandal was also political, despite numerous claims of a legitimate connection between the President and NASA’s incompetence, the outrage was partly a political manoeuvre stating for no more space missions and more domestic issues.

    Meanwhile, on the Red World [6]

    America’s step back on the space race was caused by domestic interests and the will of the American people. The Soviet Union, meanwhile, was derived from the Secretary’s commitment to strengthen the Warsaw Pact first. Although many coined the Andropov’s reign as stagnate of the communist world, Warsaw Pact satellites marked this as their golden age, because it was the only era of the entire chronology in which the Soviet Union truly caressed the needs of non-Soviet states. One might consider this obnoxious during the early Andropov reign in the early 1970s because the man was different from the man claimed by the Western intellectuals. Indeed, he spoke to the Soviet Union to regain its feet on the space race, increasing communist presence in Congo, Nicaragua, and many places of the world and possible allying all sorts of unique combinations merely to defeat the United States. Yet, just months after his claim, he would bite his tongue, pushing for the humble yet devastating tries of the Comecon and the Warsaw Pact, much like Ignatov’s initiatives.

    The Soviet Union space program successfully landed a man on the Moon after the Americans did in 1971. Yet, under his administration, he would pause the space program with Comecon’s extensive refurbishment and killing all corrupt bureaucrats of the CPSU. In contrary to the popular belief, he abandoned his brutal reconnaissance roots of KGB background but pushed for less repressive methods to other Soviet Socialist Republics and satellite states. The Soviet Space program, unlike the American counterpart, had not their budget killed, that’s because Andropov secretly launched a covert operation in a condominium with the KGB. The PAKA Operation was launched covertly to infiltrate NASA and gather significant launch data to the Soviet’s space agency. To reduce detectability, Andropov stated that the space program will pause its achievements until Andropov completed his mission in reinforcing the Warsaw Pact.

    Soyuz 15, the last mission before dormancy, 1973

    PAKA successful operation involved leaking documents of vital Apollo secrets, undetected by the American counter-intelligence body, until the Soviet’s public shock on their return to the space race. Although the Americans were better in the knowledge, the Soviet Union slowly grind information to the Soviet higherups, instead of adopting alternative methods, cheaper and efficient, against the American already-applied counterparts. This secret, uncovered in the late 2000s, also unveiled that PAKA prompted less needed struggle by Soviet scientists for space technology, and instead modify their discovered American ideas with Soviet minds to promote their shuttles. Although the KGB’s stealth infiltration to the American body, the CIA soon sensed a leak in American documents as soon as the Soviet Union’s rapid scientific development on the Space Race by the 1990s. Nevertheless, the aftermath of the incident would spark a second awakening of the Space Race, a refurbished passion towards infinity and beyond.

    3rd July 1987
    Saigon, Vietnam

    It’s almost a full year after Ambassador Johanes Petrus Louhanapessy lengthy discussion with Lieutenant Colonel Susilo, the day when the brilliant man also expressed the long pyrrhic end of this conflict, regardless of who came out victorious. A few days ago, a miracle happened on the Mekong River from President Glenn’s fortunate event in years. It partly delighted Johanes which South Vietnam has hoped for their eventual win, but also show upset because the government will continue to reinstate him here, not home. During the turbulent era of Saigon, Johanes became astute with the locals, learned the Vietnamese language fluently, also studied the local’s culture for the remaining stay.

    “Mr President, the United States government supports the South Vietnamese cause as maximum as you do. However, the people had fallen grace for this perpetual war. I’m sorry, even with the successful assault and recapture of significant checkpoints, the government will mediate a withdrawal.”

    Ambassador Johanes, in honest, were particularly stunned that the bureaucratic Americans have not briefed the General for a status quo ante Bellum proposal with the North Vietnamese. The North Vietnamese, radical with their spirit, outright rejected the idea, but future incidents would stir the situation in their favour.

    North Vietnam had the highest distrust with the communist Cambodians for a while, much to the borderland’s locals despise each other. The Khmer Rouge had planned systemic killings to Vietnamese for their reclaim territory. Despite these claims to be South Vietnamese, the killings spread to all Vietnamese, North and South. Currently, as the American general were optimistic, the Thiệu Regime, with all the atrocities, inefficiency, and lack of popularity, was gaining the hearts of all Vietnamese while the North stagnated farmers believed the communist regime sided with “The Brother’s Killer”. For Johanes, nothing surprises him anymore considering Mainland Indochina having had wars with all sorts of combinations, this iteration did not wow him.

    During the height of the disastrous convention buildup, the Marines have tried their luck one more time, Operation Delta Thrust 2.0 as one put it, to reclaim their captured objectives from their first success. Another full frontal assault from the Mekong. However, just before the all-or-nothing to begin, news circulated on South Vietnam that North Vietnam’s red militia in Da Nang mutinied. This continued with Vietnamese forces in Don Khong, just bordering the Cambodian State, that after the struggle against both Thai and American forces, North Vietnam cease to be held in favour, ending their loyalty to the communist regime. Immediately, the belligerent American Commander in Vietnam used their opportunities and launch their miracle of the decade.

    Instead of continuing the former plan, Operation Dagger Forest, named by the general itself, pushed for sympathizing with the mutiny in border regions of said North Vietnam defectors. South Vietnam’s forces were obliged to the American ingenuity. As North Vietnam was never napalmed as harshly by the Americans (they focused more on the Cambodians), the South Vietnamese army managed to defect a few communist militias to join their side on the border.

    Many of the defectors reveal the same poetry, with slight variations of different individuals, going crazy after witnessing a devastating atrocity. Immediately, the American soldiers watched as the South Vietnamese attempted to reconcile with their conscripted northern brothers. Soon, the defection destructed North Vietnam’s advances. The most notable one was Colonel Phùng Quang Thanh, the 12th professional Brigade that captured Da Nang and the offensive to Qui Nhơn soon defected to South Vietnam after noticing Cambodian’s atrocities on the Vietnamese people.

    “For our people, we march to the front! We’ll wipe out the very last Yankee, while the Khmers rampaged within, wiping out our own Vietnamese!

    Our hearts are filled with wrath, countryside burned, cities aflame. But we were lied greatly by the North. Let the thundering song gather all folks, that we chant the defeat of our kin, fighting against the wrong enemy.”

    -Translated March of the Mutinied Soldiers, as they fight against the loyalist armies.

    The situation reversed immediately as soon as North Vietnamese soldiers grasped the Cambodian atrocities racially directed on Vietnamese. Also, by this time, the truths of the Ba Chúc Massacre have been broadcasted to most North Vietnamese soldiers, beyond censorship, which they convened dissonance from the communist regime for the first time.

    “I assure you General, these findings have been… novel towards us. However, we are optimistic for a victory in this war once and for all, but an extra oomph to South Vietnam’s capabilities, especially firearms and monetary especially, donated to our cause.”

    As much as the Indonesian Ambassador wished for a little interruption, he almost chuckled at the idea of donation towards the dictator. Although he was aligned to Indonesia’s interests and the Americans especially, the idea of donation would be fruitless by the regime’s thick and corrupt bureaucracy. Nothing would be done to the war effort. Fortunately, the general also perceived similarly, which he politely rejected.

    “Mr President, as much as I can help you. I’m stuck between you and my government. We have… domestic problems… that can affect my help here. For now, my orders remain a withdrawal. The Virachey encirclement was the last thing I can do.”

    The president glanced at the general, then towards the ambassador. A disdain was clearly shown to the Indonesian representative, probably internally badmouthing Subandrio’s initiatives to back off from South Vietnamese affairs. As much as he would like to cut ties with the Indonesian government for the sake of wrath and betrayal, Indonesia’s economic capabilities partly sustained the South Vietnamese war effort. This showed great worry with Johanes, as that meant South Vietnam to be an unreliable partner in the future, because of Indonesia’s actions.

    “Meanwhile, General. Since this talk has been continuously in circles for quite some time. Why don’t we resume later?”

    The General was quick to understand his true intentions, which he composedly answered, “Yes, Mr President. Let’s resume talks afternoon at this same place. Thank you.”

    Frankly, the real reason why Johanes is inside these important talks is because of two crucial factors. Firstly, Indonesia is still the giant in Southeast Asia whom America presumable anointed as “America’s Right-Hand”, despite Subandrio’s recent policies. Therefore, the Americans particularly felt comfortable with Vietnamese talks under Indonesia’s responsiveness. Secondly, General Fred Trump Jr. was close friends with Johanes immediately upon arriving in Saigon. Also, the Indonesian Embassy was popular as a humanitarian activist’s activity centre, granting the most positive critics in the entire region, ironically to the regime’s preference.​

    [1] OTL the Viking Program
    [2] Kennedycare was the first healthcare regulation for the elderly and the children, socialized medicine basically, almost an OTL Medicare similarity
    [3] Medicaid was a medicare aid for the poor, similarly to OTL. The difference was the Medicaid was less effective during Kennedy's 1965 (with Kennedycare) proposal but finalized with strength on Shafer's 1973 Bill.
    [4] Carteraid is the ultimate national insurance law for all Americans, a step for universal healthcare, was a very daring proposal.
    [5] The ITTL Mars program name {the crewed mission], different from Hermes which launches orbital satellite (and not just Mars, but Venus, Mercury too)
    [6] Sergei Korolev lives ITTL. Similar divergence to the premise of the TV Series
    For all Mankind

    Next up is a domestic chapter, bringing about the real deal with the June 27th Riots as mere tremors. I didn't plan on what the format would be, but maybe a single-long post.
    Tradition vs Progress Part 11: Kudatuli
  • The Cries of the Capital: Kudatuli 1987
    Riots are not the voice of the unheard, is the noise of the empty vessels. There’s no righteousness in romanticizing violence, all commoners suffer enough.
    Try Sutrisno, 1987

    The 27th of June did assert the voice of the obstinate conservatives that change soon arrive on the largest party of Indonesia at that time. The PPP Convention, irrespective of the validity one can offer, will continue as nothing but an instrument for both sides of the splitting faction, neither willing to offer compromise after one another. Barisan Progresif, with all their alibis, maintained power because they believed Indonesia’s growth in that era to be their accomplishments. Self-complimenting them as the “good guys” as the opposition might put it, but they have all their proof to explain their motives. Kesejahteraan Rakyat, meanwhile, also offer another perspective, declaring the government to side with business and not the populace, granting all sorts of micro problems most farmers endured and partly agree on.

    30th June 1987 put Colonel Edy Pramodya, the colonel who secured the capital when the riot almost evolved into the massacre, was relieved from duty. Since that, the television broadcasted all sorts of arguments for and against the sacking of the colonel. Many metropolitans assumed the protestors had the correct response; the military performed well on their responsibility. Another stated the military to act too rash on civilian resentment, declaring some of the berets “off-centre”. Anyhow, the riots before did not end the deeper conflict between the factions within the PPP, it bolstered them.

    The release of the detained in Senin after the president’s order marked the romanticized struggle amongst farmers that hoped the party can continue under the torch of Mahathir Mohammad. President Subandrio’s support of them gave a yearning for change, not surrender to the tides of progressivism under the party’s other faction. Moreover, with the publicity they needed, these detainees eventually offered interviews, decreeing their hatred towards the government, especially the cabinet, “the Cronies of Singapur” as one of them might insult. Nevertheless, the lower class of all regions of the Nusantara State Republic had adored the protestor’s struggle, while other republics were repulsive of the protestors’ self-obsessed intention.

    President Subandrio 1987, visited the Netherlands in early July, later returned home but hospitalized

    On the 1st of July 1987, the central committee of PPP, Usep included as the head of the central PPP capital headquarters, declared the voting systems convention to be adequate and transparent. They declared none of the accused frauds, injustice and evils was executed by the central committee nor the two conflicting factions. However, the party strongly messaged their supporters to stop this destructive attitude on the victorious faction, needing the “heal” of the party to go ahead for Indonesia’s future. In turn, they wanted these protestors to go home while the politicians in Jakarta resolve the ongoing dispute between the two powers to continue in unison. Unfortunately, neither of Mahathir’s supporters acknowledged this, none of them does at all.

    The fortnight after the convention gave Mahathir’s ideology the nationwide courtesy it sought, declaring his policies far and wide. The Bumiputera policy, Mahathir as the mastermind, became the heating debate on the national platform, appeasing voters on ethnic Malays alike. This policy involved a racially discriminatory policy designed to favour natives to create economic and social opportunities at the expense of the significant minority population that controlled most privileges in Indonesia, notable one was the Chinese population as natural merchants or ethnic Papuans and Madagascans as they benefited the most on LKY’s previous programs. This also increased the fact most minorities received the investments for Indonesia’s modernization, mostly Chinese Indonesian conglomerates, especially Singapur as the leading image of inequality in Indonesia. Unlike most who progressed decently, Singapur was considered to leap from a third-world nation into a developed, on par with Korea and Japan. The consequences of the actions back on June 27th made a series of protests everywhere across Indonesia. From Western parts of Papua until the northern parts of Kedah, protest those considered as aides of Musa’s bloc. They mostly demonstrated on government buildings, office centres and iconic elite places of most tycoons, entrepreneurs and especially corporatists. In certain parts of the region, the Labour Law of 1987 had harnessed these anti-establishments to protest long before the first riot, but it had become the spark of purges.

    Mahathir during his Bumiputera talks, 1987

    The first riot spawned in Penang, Malaysia. The local Malays on the peninsula opposed the federal republic’s buildup of the semiconductor industry. There, the locals opposed eight multinational corporations, three of the famous were Intel Corporation, Hewlett Packard, and AMD of their factory construction. The locals demanded them to stop, evaluating those companies unwanted by the locals and contributing nothing to the society, despite being wrong as those companies have extracted many low-working jobs needed for those locals. The second riot spawned in Bandung when the locals opposed the conglomerate supermarket Carrefour because of the corporation’s past reluctance to raise pay for the native workers as tellers and other low-paid wages. Still, this movement initiated a series of protests elsewhere. However, it dwarfed the chaos in the capital.

    The PPP headquarters on Diponegoro Street was flocked with Musa supporters of the surrounding areas to praise their bravery of condemning those acts against the barbarian Mahathir supporters. In response to many Universities in Jakarta advocating for Musa, the building became a beacon for those young colleges against the uneducated swarms of the countryside. They campaigned in universities of other towns, notably around Java, which to fully support the government in their actions. Although not all of them agreed, many of the said college activists have round-up in support to protect the building against incoming hordes. Few hardliners activists, along with radical supporters of Musa Hitam, were determined to protect the headquarter.

    The college students (uniformly red), in the early morning of the riot

    The populist’s secret meeting was announced publicly on the 8th of July 1987, declaring a second PPP Congress to convene on Johor Bahru. This gained criticism on many of Barisan Progresif, declared the announcement to have a bias towards a few selected supporters. Regardless, the President did not intervene on partisan issues, stating the actions on Kesejahteraan Rakyat to be validated “as the plea of the public”. Nevertheless, the congress was held on the 20th of July 1987, a Monday, to solve it all. The congress, since Musa’s supporters did not come, became painstakingly obvious of who will be the winner, at the same day, Mahathir Mohammad was declared victorious, declaring a few hundred votes of Musa Hitam as “strongly tampered and blackmailed” with powerful pressures. This unanimous declaration also vowed with a simple threat, the populists will arrive at Jakarta and reclaim the building. Usep blatantly rejected their ultimatum, stating against the congress convened in Johor Bahru as illegitimate and none shall subdue the choices of June 27th. Yet, the circumstances around that time had changed because there were few tweaks on key positions.

    Firstly, Colonel Edy Pramodya was replaced with Colonel Untung Nurtansetyo. This colonel was extremely close to General Susilo Sudarman, the growing faction in the army under Subandrio’s protection, one which declare itself to replace former PNI-R and PRD’s generals. Few other posts involved around Jakarta was replaced by reason “reducing military violence in the capital”. President Subandrio also wanted Try Sutrisno to be sacked, but Musa Hitam had been strongly protecting the man from the favours of the recent incidents. Moreover, on the 25th of July, the President was admitted to the hospital for reasons unknown. It was later revealed to be a stroke, with a growing concern on other health complications, but the media wasn’t bothered by that.

    Congress received a mixed response on the national stage. On one hand, the farmers expressed the triumph against the government, while many of the non-radicals do commonly show discontent with the illegitimate congress.

    One Month After

    Although gossips of bad predicaments had circulated days before July 26th, the start of the riot happened on the 26th morning. It was almost dawn of that time when Mahathir supporters had started to arrive at the headquarters. Musa’s fanatics have constructed a perimeter around the building so Mahathir’s bloc wouldn’t near any chance of reclaiming the office. Tensions rose on the train tunnel, South of the Cikini Station, as thousands of supporters have flooded the place. A dialogue happened between two supporters for some time to prevent riots from occurring. It remained long until conditions changed.

    Just West of the Diponegoro Street, exactly 100m West of the building, college activists arrived at the scene to help Musa’s supporters. They have received news from informants who had monitored the place since morning, declaring the precarious situation of the headquarters outnumbered by the invaders. Notably, the law students have arrived here to support the rule of law with the Convention results and Musa’s legality as premier of Indonesia. The arrival of the flocks agitated Mahathir’s supporters, around three thousand by the arrival of the students (translate at approximately 8.30 local time) ended the little truce they had between the two factions. Just after that, a fight happens between the two blocs, pro-Mahathir supporters began throwing rocks and paving blocks towards the PPP office. The other bloc returned aggression with all the stuff they could muster on the office areas. During the riots, the police acted too slow on the matter, arriving as the fight had begun almost thirty minutes ago.

    The fight began to explode uncontrollably after the arrival of another five thousand Mahathir supporters from all outskirts of Nusantara, all of whom were belligerent and eager for attacks against “injustice of elites”. The fight continues for almost three hours. Populists had tried pushing for the office, but they failed numerous times. Pressure mounted on the PPP leadership and students to abandon the fight and flee the place. However, many have prepared to “fight until the death” after one unfortunate Budi Wuramari, a freshman of Trisakti University was instantly killed by the incoming rocks from Mahathir’s supporters. Amid the grief, several supporters strongly chanted slurs and slangs in offence to the university students. Ironically, these derived from all ages of Mahathir’s supporters, including similar ages of teens that didn’t go to college. This enraged the college students severely, completely abandoning any means of negotiation talks and vehemently throwing everything towards Mahathir’s supporters.
    “Brainwashed Scum! Capitalist Slaves! You shall no more be our future!”​

    On Mahathir side, the bold representatives cunningly instructed a few radio reporters to report his side of the news, announcing provocative propaganda about the conditions within Diponegoro Street and wishing arrivals to come soon. This is however a ploy too obvious as the “arrivals” were inactive buses of masses waiting for the command to arrive. Eventually, the numbers cranked up until almost twenty thousand in quantity.
    “Onwards, Brothers. Let this be our revolution. Onwards and never surrender!”​

    An adequate number of policemen finally arrived to quell the issue at around 11.00 in the afternoon. The riot had resulted in 24 students dying and a few hundred injured. On the opposing sides, few of them received mortal casualties but were irrelevant due to the increasing number of arrivals to help Mahathir supporters. Consequently, the police forces occupied the PPP headquarters, their main objective to prevent those protestors from entering the building at all costs. The area around it was declared officially inaccessible. Also, the police instructed the students to return home, which they responded well, by disbanding against the Mahathir's.

    Situation before noon

    As the day passed noon, the masses involved became a fight between Mahathir supporters and the police. The military was forced to remain inactive during the afternoon. As the president was still hospitalized and Musa continue to assess the situation, the military slowly revolted the Premier orders if repression was ordered. Therefore, Musa hoped the police would slowly die down. It did not. Also, what Musa feared the most happened. The arrival of more busses to Mahathir’s favour pushed the supporters for other means as the push against the police did not work. Slowly in the afternoon, the masses began burning buildings on Salemba and Cikini, establishing terror on locals. They purged and looted the surrounding areas, proofing the police useless and increasing the urgency of military arrival. Moreover, the police forces were slowly pushed back by the protestors, abandoning the building at 15.36 approximately. In the meantime, those students and Musa supporters adhered to police instructions to go home, but some also stayed to see the on-site situation.

    After Mahathir’s supporters occupied the building, they immediately burn everything upon its path and fly the Malayan flag on the front banner. Their actions mirrored the “independence struggle” of flag-bearing, romanticizing them strive to occupy the building. They hacked, destroyed, and burned the building wholly, setting the evening of the PPP headquarter ablaze. Unlike the previous intrusion, they destroyed everything this time, strangely also brought gasoline, as if that was their initial intention.

    Kudatuli… Kudatuli…

    Premier Musa Hitam must conduct immediate action to this increasing arson in the capital. Yet, considering Subandrio is under comatose and unable to commit the presidential duty, he immediately triggered the temporary succession law to put Musa Hitam as the commander-in-chief, the first time in Indonesian history, just to help the battered police. Moreover, as casualties began to rise on the police side, Musa had the psychological pressure of worrying the capital fall into a state of anarchism and the rise of local vigilantes. Unfortunately, local vigilantes in Cikini had started to fight against the looters, overturning their peaceful neighbourhood into make-shift thugs willing to protect their families.

    Situations per 16.11

    Around 16.11, the 7th Cavalry Battalion under new commander Ahsan Mukhlis finally arrived under Musa’s orders. They arrived from the West, protecting the noble neighbourhood of Menteng, the central district of Thamrin and the rest of Jakarta’s highest economic district. The soldiers, who already experienced their first encounter last month, had no more sympathy towards the rioters and without the commander’s orders, rapidly fire rubber bullets and anti-riot tear gas on the populace. In addition to it, their four panzers, which were never used last month, arrived to push the protestors away. Moving them Eastward for dispersion as they were too many in numbers. Try Sutrisno, together with Musa under fast coordination, directed the 9th Cavalry Battalion and the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade for riot control, currently without the marines involved. These men were close associates of Try during his controversial Cengkareng Riot, all of whom were particularly fond of the defence minister.

    The protestors saw the increasing presence of the military, conduct their all-out assault on the police, exhausted and injured, forcibly attempted an overrun and succeeded. The police barricade on the west was fully broken, with the protestor confronting the 7th Cavalry while the Brigade repositioned itself. On Try’s orders, 201st Mechanized Infantry Battalion would be positioned South from Tambak Street while the 203rd would barricade the Northern flank in Cikini Station. As planned, the 7th Cavalry was instructed with the 202nd Mechanized Infantry to march forward against the protestors, with the two flanks offered a pincer movement towards them, effectively pushing the rioters South or East. Meanwhile, Try also discreetly ordered Kopassus Group 1 Para Commandos, at that time in training on Central Java, to be planed and conduct the clean-up of the wild anarchist amid the protestors.

    The plan was implemented quite well, as by evening the 1st Mechanized Brigade had arrived on their locations with the 7th Cavalry as the distraction (also bulk) of the protestor’s wrath. Rubber bullets and tear gas did not dissuade the protestors as stones and other blunt objects were thrown continuously, hindering any forward movement from the cavalry. Positioned just on the Suropati Park, the 7th Cavalry began their push just as 202nd Battalion creatively initiated their ingenuity.

    Unlike the previous proposal of aiding the 7th Cavalry, Major Dadang Wirahadi decided to cut the protestors on Surabaya Street, cutting the fronts in half. From there, the battalion would quickly secure the destructed PPP Headquarters as well as clear the building from aggressive once and for all. It worked, as by 19.02 the protestors on the Western flank were encircled, a few hundred of them, between the 7th Cavalry and the 202nd Mechanized Infantry. From there, the 201st, 203rd and 7th will move orderly, squeezing the western protestors into submission while the East pushed backwards. Three panzers stationed near the junior high school, nailing the western enclosed protestors that the end is near.

    Still, the arrival of the military did not ruin the spirit of the protestors, they continued to attack relentlessly with everything they could, simultaneously looting and burning the surrounding things as their attempt of triumph. A brief stalemate occurred at 20.15 and 21.03 with the military having difficulties with emboldened supporters on their last stand. On the Western side, the rioters even bolstered their passion, heedlessly attacked the military without fear and hesitation. On the Eastern side, noticed their labour friends in danger also stubbornly resisted the 202nd to recapture the building. Nevertheless, many had noticed and smartly retreated.

    The riots officially ended with the last protestor captured in 02.31 the next day, almost four thousand had scurried away from the scene, especially with Kopassus finally arriving at midnight for counter-insurrection. Overall, there was an estimate of 282 dead, 92 were the civilians of the surrounding neighbourhoods, as well as the PPP’s purged employees. The remaining of whom were 16 soldiers, 31 policemen the rest being either the early Musa’s supporters or Mahathir’s rioters. Officials’ numbers tallied injured and wounded of around 3000 people, recorded a staggering 798 people admitted to Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, St. Carolus Hospital and Salemba Hospital, the three nearest hospital areas. Arrested protestors were approximately 1746, 372 of them were alleged insurrectionists that brought necessary tools for violence on the capital. Immediately after the riot, Musa Hitam ordered a three-day martial law for the Kopassus to arrest the remaining protestors lingering around the streets of Jakarta. An additional 429 was captured by them, ending the massacre tally by August, weeks before the independence commemoration of Indonesia.

    The riots would formally know as Kudatuli (Kerusuhan Dua Puluh Tujuh Juli) in Indonesia. Although the numbers were dwarfed by the future events in Indonesia, nor the massacres across the world. The massacre (many argued the tally to be too high as a riot, while some considered the word too strong) marked the political and societal change in Indonesia. Firstly, the urban dwellers, metropolitans above millions especially, became more-Western and less traditional on common trend, while the divide between rural-urban increased. The populists became a strong vocal ideology in Indonesia, continuing as a significant force of the nation, albeit beneficial or destructive. In the short term, Musa Hitam’s premiership was not discouraged. The cabinet members were determined to do at all costs to prevent Mahathir’s rose to power.

    I honestly don't know if 200 dead is still a riot or should be a massacre. As I have strongly inferred, this will be the 'real deal' against the June Riots. Quite a long one, a different style than the previous three or two-format sections.
    Next up would be Musa's post-riot government, and finally, we can move to election campaigns. Gotta have to progress, don't stuck on 1987 too much.
    Tradition vs Progress Part 12: Aftermath
  • The Post-Riot Premiership

    Arriving at the later stage of 1980s Indonesia, the nation underwent a massive shift in demographical and societal culture. This early stage denoted the transition phase of agricultural backwater into Southeast Asia’s industrial powerhouse – which later accommodate Indonesia into the modern post-industrialization era. Still, Indonesia at that time was in the early-to-mid stages of industrialization. Urbanization was underway yet faced significant opposition by the rural conservatives. Hence, the political drama around 1987 faced extreme urban support towards Musa Hitam, yet on the national stage, Mahathir led the populace by a significant margin. While the central government may be surrounded by friendlier neighbourhoods, election campaigns would be strenuously difficult for Musa as he completely shut all opportunities for rural appeasement.

    Nevertheless, Premier Musa Hitam was not elected by the people but appointed by the President. The Constitution stated the impeachment of Musa Hitam must be passed two-thirds of the Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat, a number he felt confident due to support by PPP-Barisan Progresif and anti-Mahathir fringe groups. But then, he realized that chances of Musa into re-election, specifically reappointed as Premier of Indonesia was extremely slim. With all that considered, the weak premiership, still commanded powers as head of government, exerted everything Musa could in a ‘nothing to lose’ manner. In essence, Musa’s post-premiership by most historians noted the most radical, more than LKY did beforehand. His programs would later characterize future “forward-thinking” generations that endorse progress above tradition.

    Although all logical senses might counter the legitimacy of the July 1987 PPP Congress, commonly called as “Johor Bahru PPP Extraordinary Congress”, rural and populist voters couldn’t care less about those fraudulent claims. Instead, they counter its illegitimacy with Musa’s illegitimacy in the premiership, calling him “a tyrant” and killing the livelihoods of common Indonesians. Almost nowhere rural Premier Musa could visit without boos or occasional throws. Yet, Musa was undeterred.

    Resolving the Labour Law

    Firstly, Musa Hitam’s highest priority was the issue of the Labour Law, at that time floated under Government Regulation in Lieu of Law No.1 of 1987. The temporary legislation, fortunately, had solved a few coring problems that labour protested, a surprising achievement Musa didn’t comprehend. Still, as protestors sometimes encroach his office one time or another, Musa intended to finish it ultimately. Despite tensions remaining high with pro-Mahathir aides, Mohamed Rahmat, the State President of Nusantara, was happy to enter a consensus with the other State Republic in finishing the fairness and justice of the Indonesian labour system.

    Musa’s main concern was investors’ appeal to the Indonesian market. Currently competing with the Philippines, Taiwan, and Korea, the Indonesian Republic was keeping pace with other nations. This, ultimately, resulted in Indonesia as Japan’s true successor – An Asian Giant with Great Industrial Might. Moreover, while China’s legalist government continue to purge their citizens into backwater society, Indonesia should outrun the Chinese as far as possible, so when China truly ascended as a natural superpower, Indonesia would have the time advantage. The situation across Southeast Asia was accommodating for Indonesia too. Within ten thousand miles around Singapur, nothing was as stable and peaceful as Indonesia itself. However, with Kesejahteraan Rakyat continuously pestering Musa’s policies of continuous growth and industrialization, it needed a middle-ground.

    Mohamed Rahmat, along with State President of Madagascar Philibert Tsiranana and the newly ascended State President of Papua Elias Jan Bonai, entered the Premier office on 21 August 1987, a week after the annual independence celebration that all parties attended in the Presidential Palace. This offer granted Rahmat’s respect for Musa’s fairness intention. In essence, the premier wanted a federal regulation for the labour law, appease both the workers and the capital investments, granting necessary protection while not hindering further progress. State President of the Solomon Islands, Moses Pitikaka, arrived late at the meeting, gaining suspicion on the islands’ interests as an Indonesian subject. That Friday, the presidents discussed the economy, welfare and immigration.

    Tsiranana and Bonai, expressed intense demand for less regulation on both economy and immigration, while absent on welfare issues. Both men stated that the decades of relaxed regulation, although transformed the nation entirely, was ultimately beneficial for the great leap forward in societal stages. For example, Madagaskar, the island that was potentially the most impoverished land in the African group, leapt as the faster-growing economy of the bunch. Estimates anon speculated Madagaskar to have jumped from Congo-equivalent societal stage, into pre-industrialized society such as Morocco or Oyo.

    Street market in Madagascar, 1987

    Pitikaka and Rahmat, each having distinct traumas of immigration experience, opposed any immigration, nor foreign investments whatsoever into their state economy. They preferred local or national investors into arriving the state, which even included few regulations needed to monitor those parties against possible misdemeanours. In all those disputes, all parties agreed on increasing welfare programs on fundamentals, i.e. healthcare and unemployment grants. Musa Hitam, formerly, was opposed that those programs would dissuade hard work and productivity, hindering the opportunity the world has given to Indonesia. Nevertheless, Carter’s ambivalent legacy of welfare programs contributed a similar response to all groups of society. Businessmen, bureaucrats and intellectuals feared the adverse effects it gave on the economy, while the rest of the society idolize the new funds diverted for their livelihoods.

    Then, there were the deals the federal government started with conglomerates outside the state’s sovereignty. Many of those deals incurred substantial damage to the local environment, both natural and societal. The Nusantara Republic had announced that companies the federal government had signed must be accounted for, including all the negative effects of their presence. For example, the companies exploited the loophole within this dynamo. As these conglomerates owned local lands via the federal government, they used this same clause that they should be responsible only to Jakarta, not the local region. As a result, companies cherry-pick on fundamental issues, such as using the federal minimum wage in that particular area where local wages were regulated to be higher. Moreover, work benefits such as overtime pay, sick leave and lay-off compensations were far lower than local rules. Farmers were also discussed in the lengthy meeting with State Presidents. Premier Musa Hitam understood the net-loss population growth in farming rural because of urban appeal with industrial benefits. He, with all the money he could, have diverted funds from the Federal District into those places. Food commodities, such as sembako[1] was covered too.

    Under the new law, commodities would first go to Bank Tani as the reliable trading partner, selling goods with federal standards, reducing fall of prices from private buyers

    21st of August 1987 was the first talks of many to complete the Social Justice Act of 1987. Ratified with a significant landslide by majorities of all parties (except radical representatives on Mahathir’s PPP Faction, the fringe communist PPI and BKDT), Premier Musa Hitam passed this as a settlement. Within the regulation, while federal taxes in local government shall be allocated on central welfare programs (basic healthcare and unemployment grants), federal taxes in districts remained 70-30. Farmer pension programs, food price regulation and other stuff already on the previous law continued. However, the current rule now changed that state republics have their autonomy on two primary issues, immigration and economy. Therefore, the federal government delegated the right of citizenship, residence and nationalities issues to the regional government.

    Unlike the previous issue, environmentalism was purely a political sideshow to discredit Musa Hitam in all possible ways. Frankly, none of Mahathir’s Kesejahteraan Rakyat group had expressed serious environmental concerns on the government, nor do they campaign for green alternatives in any shape or form. Still, the ongoing deforestation in eastern Sumatra and western Kalimantan due sored Musa Hitam because they have exploited nature inefficiently. Methods used by the corporations in cutting down trees was fast but evolved into numerous health concerns to urban centres. For example, deliberate forest fires in Palembang may have caused significant lung problems in the town of Palembang, in Musi River upstream, the polluting ashes caused water issues in a few villages there. Although no government regulation was passed, Premier Musa demanded his cabinet members on stricter land use that may cause other problems.

    His Absence on Defense and Foreign Policy

    Musa’s premiership, the one that historians have inferred to as the “coffin-in-the-nail” of his leadership, was expressed on Musa’s reluctance on further interference in defence and foreign policy. Unlike his predecessor LKY, post-Riot Musa’s only defence and foreign actions involved the post-riot capture of riot perpetrators of that unfortunate incident. Beyond that was entirely in the President’s favour, something President Subandrio was thrilled about. Despite this being a crucial blow on Musa’s power, that didn’t end his faction’s likeliness in the 1988 Election. Instead, this was notably an intelligent move by the Premier so his future successors would receive less fire when election campaigns began. Notably, the foreign and defence policy was why Musa and the President disputed in the first place, also contributing to President’s uncontroversial manoeuvre and Musa’s dip in popularity.

    Both the Soviet Union and America's involvement in Afghanistan marked the decline in Islam-American or Islam-Soviet Union relation, some might say it marked the start of Islamism as the third world ideology

    President Subandrio, after the announcement of his post-1988 future, decided to pursue once again the third-world nations joined on the Second Bandung Conference. Unlike his predecessors who were quite silent on the United States’ questionable involvements in particular nations, President Subandrio officially announced his criticism against US-backing juntas in South America and perpetual conflict in the Middle East. He agitated the religious voters to support his opinions on the United States’ disregard of the Muslim population. It strained the relations between the two nations quite a bit, but both sides do agree that neither can be fully opposed as the economic importance was beneficial both ways. In other words, if one cut ties with another, a subsequent downturn in everything will occur. Moreover, for Mahathir’s faction to minimize defence funding, the American defence became much necessary.

    The other hot foreign issue was Indochina and the Philippines. The Philippines officially announced their claims in Sabah, contesting Indonesia’s sovereignty on the area. President Subandrio, although had not expressed a formal response on this, media had strongly guessed the man’s strong counter towards this issue. Indochina, meanwhile, was sorting itself out with the communists falling back on the “democratic” South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos continuously ganged by defecting Viet Cong. The United States, finally after subsequent crises, have a good feeling that North Vietnam might fall by the end of 1988. Still, all of these had no comments from Premier Musa Hitam.

    13th September 1987
    Capitol Hill, USA

    Yesterday, the finals between Cleveland Guardians and Minnesota Twins ended up with Guardian victorious. However, the match was not infamous because of the standings, yet because of other incidents that occurred on that match. President Glenn attended that baseball match that day, while was interviewing with reporters only to get slugged with a middle-aged man. The Secret Services secured the man, a 45-year old Indianan Bob Russo. Authorities questioned him for hours only to reveal the unpopularity of the presidency.

    the incident, recorded on tape

    Just months before, the Challenger Scandal erupted as a nationwide issue as the president was caught with controversial tapes with NASA director William R. Graham regarding the Space Shuttle Program. In the 4-hour long conversation, the president was discovered adding extra funds to the particular NASA program without congressional approval. The issue then exploded as both opposing Democrats and Conservatives announced these actions “bribe” and “gratification”, paving way for the disastrous path of Glenn’s second term future.

    Missourian Congressman Richard A. Gephardt was the most vocal of the president’s actions. A representative of an agricultural and traditionally Mid-Western attitude, the populace was never acquainted with Glenn’s lavish spending on the space race, while inflation continued. Moreover, the social programs, especially Carteraid was not effective in these areas, as the hospital coverage and the health infrastructure was minimal so hospital visit cost more on-road than on the doctor. The Democrats, already satisfied with East Coast’s far superior road connection, continued the ongoing hatred that Mid-Westerners have with the Democrats.

    [1] sembilan bahan pokok or nine main commodities: rice, sugar, cooking oil and butter, beef and chicken, egg, milk, onions, burning gas, and salt.

    One image resolved, two to go. Nearing the election, we will see Subandrio first, then rotate to Indonesian parties, conditions abroad (most pivotal ones) and finally the tallies.
    Race of 1988 Part 1: An Overview
  • Let the Race Begin
    A changing time for a changing nation, the year 1988 was pivotal in a sense of Indonesia’s preparation for the next decade, which scholars universally agreed as the cathartic decade of the millennium because of how the world revolved in a climax of conflict in history. Despite the enormity of the effect of foreign policy, Indonesia’s domestic actions were additionally important, not only the labour conditions, transmigration policies, economic growth with unintentional equality were equally critical for Indonesia’s domestic future, but the unknown future which Indonesia should prepare timely.

    Jakarta, 1988

    Musa’s sincere attempts to review the worker’s condition of Indonesia saved Barisan Progresif a little sympathy on the lower class populace, a contrary to the faction’s reverse tendency as pro-business, pro-deregulation and the most liberal of factions in Indonesia. However, with Indonesia has been attaining wealth and progress, the economic enhancement has faintly altered the political, cultural, and – to a certain degree – demographical aspects of the nation, the factions of pro-freedom and Western beliefs had slowly gained traction, changing the views of archaic anti-imperialist romanticism beliefs to a more rationally defined intellect as Indonesia’s growing into an Asian regional power.

    The Incumbent Fractured, The New Party Rumors

    Partai Persatuan Pembangunan was established by Indonesians who had a foreign educational background, typical if one looked at the 60s of the PPP. Hatta’s social democracy, a democratic economy while rejecting the concept of individualism, became the “moderate” appeal against the former PKI, the communist icon, and the Parindra, the nationalist icon. PPP eventually grew as intellectuals increased multifold on Indonesia’s annexation on various parts of the globe, notable Singapore. Under Nasution’s nationalistic, somewhat Java-centric leadership (a false assumption in that period), the PPP became the voice of equal representation against the Malayans’ neglect.

    After the PPP emerged as the incumbent of the Indonesian government, the idea of Hatta’s social democracy gradually weakened with Malayan politicians emerging as the dominant force against Nasution’s boldness. This was added with Nasution’s aversion to Nahdatul Ulama (NU), ultimately the reason for his presidential fall. Ultimately, the PPP passed enormous progress in society, and improvement of livelihood, people’s affluence, and economic power in the regional area. However, their success came distinct division on their objective of continuing the trend, Barisan Progresif expressed economic freedom as one path towards it while Kesejahteraan Rakyat intended to pursue more in the economic inequality it has brought. Coincidentally, the unequal income distribution seemly fit the demographical ethnicity of Indonesia, that being Chinese particularly wealthier than native Indonesians. On the other hand, one might wonder what had happened to Hatta’s so-called “moderate” faction. Simply put, LKY had shifted the party dramatically with his legacy that Hatta’s ideology seemed to fall on obscurity, as the two factions began gaining traction. Despite the common supposition of the Reformasi faction (Hatta’s faction previously) to be archaic and old-fashioned, the ideology was the middle-ground between the two factions. Moreover, as Sabam Sirait had assumed the faction seat with his lack of renown, the faction had been modified by him into a more inclusive version of the two ideologies as he inserted economic freedom while acknowledging its dangerous inequality. Nevertheless, it would be a grand plan, only if PPP can survive for long.

    1987’s Kudatuli riot was the last straw of the PPP because neither faction (i.e., Kesejahteraan Rakyat and Barisan Progresif) were willing to compromise. Post-riot Musa was conflicted with the growing chasm on Partai Persatuan Pembangunan, the big-tent party purpose to increase the prosperity of the people in contrast to PNI-R’s still expansionist policy and extreme state-nationalism. Obviously, with two factions expressing glaringly opposite intentions to increase the prosperity of the people, Musa Hitam encountered an unstable party. Usep, the chairman of the PPP Central Headquarters, along with a few higher party officials announced government support and anti-rioters in all forms of speech. Yet, with Kesejahteraan Rakyat outnumbered Musa’s colleagues in numbers, Musa solemnly discerned an impending coup d’etat. The convention in Johor Bahru won’t happen once. Premier Musa Hitam, along with PPP ministers, had convened regarding the issue at the instance the riot ended. Under the circumstances at that moment, tension with Mahathir was at an all-time high.

    Before the 1988 General Election, the PPP already stated previously as a big tent, obviously accumulated sympathy from all kinds of a public commoners with various backgrounds. Firstly, PPP’s earlier appeal to intellectuals, the group commonly identified passionately as Musa’s fan base, continued gracefully without much trouble in scare of stealing from other parties. Because of its pre-70s plan to revive the Indonesian economy, it also gathered countrymen from all corners of Indonesia, everyone that felt nationalism to be exaggerated and obsolete. Those would be transitional towns in Java and Sumatra, as those citizens pursued primary economic growth so their towns would be developed as cities, gaining better access to public services as well as more opportunities. These “transitional towns”, although one might speculate it as mere rural, had one distinct difference: their youngsters had migrated to big cities, only to return home annually in Eid Al Fitr. These types of population groups, especially those who identified themselves as native Indonesians (Malayans mostly, but Javanese and Sundanese were getting traction too), found themselves as victims of the business conglomerates, rally solely behind Mahathir Mohammad’s Kesjahteraan Rakyat. Finally, the in-groups that don’t like how both factions had been doing, rested on the moderate Reformasi just to spite. Outside of population groups, the PPP heavily controlled Madagascar and the Malayan Peninsula because of the uniformity of good popularity by their policies and campaign promises.

    School default design initiated by Subandrio, a notable legacy of PPP


    Housing complex constructed by LKY, another legacy of PPP

    The Old Party Whimpers, but Prevails

    A shock to a nation in which the Islamic majority was a party that strangely coalesce with traditional Islamists, Christians, minorities, and the military managed to presume position as the dominant party of the country for two decades, yet in two decades before the idea was non-existent, even unheard of. Partai Nasional Indonesia-Raya was the party of miraculous ascension but suffered a fall in the 80s. Although one might argue that the first member of the merger, Partai Nasional Indonesia, was already famous as the party of Sukarno, the intended sole party of Indonesia, and quite the senior in politics. Yet, Partai Indonesia Raya, a party destined as a coalition of Catholic Party and Christian Party managed to merge, with their policies became identified as PNI-R’s legacy, although one debated that Parindra’s ascension was the military and NU’s responsibility, the two greatest contributors on voters. Moreover, the latter merger had surprisingly attracted all sorts of nationalist citizens (specifically pro-military) into the political tent, despite most of them being uncomfortable with the merger’s factions. Nevertheless, the Old Party by 1988 whimpered with lack of direction, mostly because they failed to gain publicity which was mostly given to the contesting PPP.

    A common misinterpretation of the party was it was extremely nationalistic, akin to most nationalistic governments in the world. As most of them tended to view negatively with racial discrimination, the Old Party was particularly defined not as ethnic nationalism, but civic nationalism. That was why, despite their supreme fond for the country with all the symbolisms, the party never flirted with ethnic discrimination. It was also helped by the military, as many of them were disproportionately diverse and tolerant in comparison to the national percentage. However, their civic nationalism was not as positively put as one might assume, possibly too excessive in one’s opinion, as apparent in Nasution’s government. During the 70s, there was a high intent of dominance of Indonesian against Malayans, mostly from their disdain in Bahasa Indonesia, called “a filthy colonized Bahasa Melayu”, and with the Malayans in better infrastructure than Indonesia, made régime agendas pressed in Indonesian heartland, minus Singapur and Malaya. Hence, little support was ever given by Indonesians living there for PNI-R.
    cijago 2.jpg

    Many of Javanese toll roads are Nasution's programs, some are too broad that the toll road would reach its capacity 30 years later

    To differentiate the remaining two factions of the PNI-R (as the NU Faction eventually left and form the PUI with Muhammadiyah). One can simply look at two factors: republicanism and the state’s autonomy. The Nasionalis were pragmatic in traditional institutions, therefore monarchy, tribal traditions and local customs were tolerated by this Nasution’s old guard politicians. Nusantara faction, meanwhile, although carrying a similar manner of tolerance, have higher republicanism that radiates on their policies, involving reducing the sultanate’s powers especially in Central Java and Malaya. In state’s autonomy, Nasionalis persisted as Unitarianism, preferring the united body rather than a federalized state. As Ali Sadikin took power as PNI-R chairman, the Ali-Suryadino Nusantara stood on a more moderate stance of civic-nationalism, probably in Western would say as national liberalism, as the chairman was particularly passionate about legalizing gambling, an immoral activity for Islamic followers, solely because there’s no use to criminalize it when you can exploit money. However, the faction was harsher in republicanism, implementing attacks against hereditary monarchies for a purely democratic Indonesian republic. Lastly, Ali and his faction have endorsed the federative system, additionally improving the autonomy with increased delegation.

    Senayan Mall, Jakarta, Ali's one of his attempts to decriminalized gambling by launching a "experimental place", failed by a conservative backlash

    At this moment, the PNI-R gathered voters weakly, as they lost their East Javanese portion to PUI’s growing rise. However, PNI-R managed to own a healthy proportion across Java, a manageable margin of second or third in all areas. In Sumatra, Borneo, and Sulawesi, the PNI-R reigned predominantly, especially on Javanese settlers. However, the biggest margin of PNI-R is oddly in Papua, where the high immigrated population, including Americans, Europeans, and Javanese settlers, all agreed on PNI-R as their preferred option.

    Guntur’s New Direction

    The communist party, or at least a remodel of it, became rather awkwardly positioned after Indonesia emerged as America’s close ally. Partai Pekerja Indonesia was rather disputed on declaring themselves an ally of the Soviet Union’s communist party, or China’s CCP as that would immediately alert the United States of communist presence in an ally, ultimately dissuading every attempt of PPI’s growth. Therefore, they adopted many of the communist’s policies, such as complete nationalization of mineral resources, labour unions, the creation of public apartment blocks like Soviet’s design, land-property rearrangement, and state program welfare. However, they have campaigned these policies with less communist resemblance, neither USSR nor China even started to shift a few policies to mimic the United States’ Carter programs.

    Guntur Sukarnoputra, the new successor of the PPI, launched a different breed of campaigning into the old guard secretly communist politicians. Instead of criticizing the United States on her capitalism, Guntur instead criticize Indonesia’s policies. That was why the party were closely associated with PPI’s Mahathir Faction, despite growing concerns on competition on similar voter group. The new campaign also involves the return of the Non-Aligned Movement, another PPI’s idea stolen by the Mahathir Faction. Nonetheless, Guntur reformed the party to reduce allegiance to the troubling Soviet Union and China. He added democratization of political speech, endorse a multi-party system and multicultural society.

    A commie block in Poland SSR, an cheap housing idea later imitated already by LKY but downright stolen as one of Mahathir's programs later

    Guntur’s strong support always stemmed from Banyumas, commonly associated as the “communist core” of Indonesia, apart from the old communist insurgency in Madiun. Farmers and rural around Java and Sumatra had been their loyal voters, therefore conflicted with Mahathir’s also partly rural voters by his populist attitude. Moreover, with Guntur slightly moving towards left-wing populism, it will be sure that the two factions coincided heavily. It implicated two drastically different outcomes, one merging as a coalition of populism, the other competing with bitter fashion.

    PRD, BKDT and PUI

    It left the three remaining parties of PRD, BKDT and PUI without explanation. The PRD was an anomaly as it was almost a mixture between PNI-R nationalist-militarism and PPP’s welfare-populism, yet the party that rooted from Suharto’s views fell into misdirection with his daughter Mba Tutut opened pro-business, pro-military campaigns on the party. Overall, the PRD had become the opportunistic party, a party without a clear agenda or policies that define it. Mostly, the voters were ultimately all critiques against the previously described parties’ leaders, or simply a cult of Suharto’s small sympathizers, all that remains of course. This was why PRD was heavily clinging to PPP’s incumbency. However, the PPP’s split, with Mahathir turning anti-business and anti-military opened options only to the liberal Musa, a cooperation Tutut did not like at all.

    Gus Dur in 1987

    The PUI was the rising star, after the PNI-R’s split, was projected to receive a good proportion of voters from loyal NU and Muhammadiyah clergymen, scholars, and nationalities of strong religious participation. Especially as good publicity made by Gus Dur and Amien Rais, both presentable leaders of the united Islamic movement, they have presented a different impression in contrast to both the PPP and PNI-R’s incumbency. Finally, the BKDT slouched but exist in Maluku and Western Papua, harnessing the native Islamic voters that disliked the arrivals of immigrants with a tip of regionalism.

    An opening for the race, putting in lines and detailing the history of each national party, next up maybe comes pre-campaign events, all of happening before 1987 ended.
    Race of 1988 Part 2: Why so Sudden?
  • 27th October 1987
    Premier Office, Jakarta

    Premier Musa grunted in disbelief. Indonesia’s economic growth in the third quarter rested on 4.7%, beforehand, the second and first had been a troublesome 1.4% and 4.5%, neither of the quarter exceeded the normal average growth of 6.1%, nor the growth of the previous 1985 of 10.1%. Indeed, the two years were plagued with the Labour Crisis and the political theatre that hit 1987. However, looking at the year instantaneously the gentleman sighed for his premiership was certainly dwarfed by previous statistics.

    Rumours from the PPP central leaders suggested the party had been seeping voters into other parties, conspicuously the PNI-R and PUI. The PNI-R had been fruitfully grouped the moderate urban voters, not particularly pious yet not radically liberal in comparison to youth students. Moreover, these voters had been noticeably Javanese urban settlers, many of whom declared criticism on Malayan’s Bumiputera policy, reminding the Australian Aggression where minorities like Chinese, Dutch and even Americans aided Indonesia helpfully as likewise Indonesian. In addition to Musa’s vagueness on Kudatuli’s aftermath, especially of the power struggle inside the central government, many reminisced the old PNI-R days, allowing a return to PNI-R’s rise.

    If PNI-R’s return was a piece of alarming news to the PPP, the PUI was even worse. These Islamic moderates reformed by Gus Dur benefited from fellow Islamic adherents who adopted an accepting bearing with non-natives into their domain. This type of temperance was almost identical to PNI-R’s leaked voters, yet one key difference lingered that as PNI-R’s voter backgrounds were a mostly public school, state indoctrinated, Nasution regime’s educational understanding, the PUI’s voter were mostly studied from pesantren, Islamic schools and other Islamic institutions that philandered LKY’s diagnoses. Currently, these voters have a notional intelligence that Gus Dur was integrally better than the current government, especially with PPP’s populist group on positive trends.

    All Premier Musa could do, without debating with the President, was to execute his powers on domestic issues, the only clause Constitution stated that Premier hold a higher responsibility than the President. Therefore, it was guaranteed Musa’s fame rise in succeeding good domestic policies. Nevertheless, with the party he led attacked left, right and centre lamentably by PPP’s faction, Premier Musa was seen more as ineffective, weak, and unruly as the party disintegrated.

    “Mr Premier, what urges you to honourably call me into this meeting?”

    Muhammad Ibrahim Djoyoputro [1], former vice-Premier of Subandrio in 1973-1978, greeted Premier as he was ushered in. The man had experienced a journey of a lifetime, yet his legacy in Indonesia was downright unrecognized even with spectacular merits. During the Australian Aggression, he united the coalition from Murba then PPP. He was moderate and charismatic in his leading years, his late was too interesting. By this time, he had written 13 memoirs about his work in the Australian Aggression, reminding the aspects of national identity, unity in diversity and public conscience in the civil policy. Unlike many of Ibrahim’s friends who moved to Bumiputera’s appeal, he staunchly remained opposed by it and stayed on Reformasi.

    “Please, Mr Ibrahim, have a seat.” Musa, albeit originated from the newly admitted Malaka, was not intimidated by significantly great Mr Ibrahim on Indonesian history. However, he also admired the man in respect, not only to withstand the risks of Indonesia’s survivability in the 50s, but he also pushed for Indonesia’s greatest expansion without global repercussion in the 60s. “The economy staggered on less than 5%, estimated prediction by this year would be smaller than last year. Our Southeast friends are less amiable to us either, showing great distance on each other. Not to mention the social tension…” The Premier hoped Ibrahim to receive the message.

    “Mr Premier, the low outcome of 1986 and 1987 is our PPP’s fault. The Malayan culture remained fluid in terms of politics, lest considering the national pendulum mimicked the uncertainty of politics elsewhere across the globe. We, at least since 1945, have defined our present by blatantly opportunistic, if not abusers of the global phenomenon. Your premiership, like many others, arrived at the crossroads of any ancient battle of change or comfort, which had happened long before I was born. We have chosen change for so long, that comfort seemed too appealing.”

    “Then what makes 1987 different from the others?” Musa replied in thirst of this interpretation.

    “It’s not different at all, Mr Premier. Nothing has changed if one look at the fundamental baseline, those that changed are the characters, environments and the stakes at hand.”

    The cryptic response from Ibrahim had Musa Hitam silently reflected for some time. The Premier instead conversed on another topic. “Alright. Mr Ibrahim, the circumstances inside our party was, as you perfectly stated, under serious challenge. With that so, within Reformasi, have your faction propelled a new initiative to leave the boat before it corrupts?”

    “PPP had been not Mahathir’s since ever, we belonged before them, and should prevail as long as humanely possible. However, the Reformasi leadership is not in my hands. Also, as far as I remember, Sabam Sirait is a close aide of your cabinet, Mr Premier,” the man replied.

    For some time, Musa Hitam acknowledged Sabam as “junior” on LKY’s huge political mechanizations. He was native North Sumatran, a good equivalent for rising as “new Nasution” of the home province. Although PNI-R’s presence in North Sumatra remained predominant after decades, Sabam Sirait was the reason for Subandrio’s majority as local voters flirted with PPP’s pro-growth policies. These people, in contradiction to their Malayan roots, did not prefer Mahathir, especially in urban Medan. Within the cabinet, Sabam as secretary became quite acquainted with PPP’s policies, but still unafforded to be one of Barisan Progresif as the initial roots of his background was thickly Hatta-ism.

    “Allow me to rephrase. Reformasi had been overrun by two greater factions, none of them was distinctively Hatta nor reformed in ways Mr Ibrahim had stated previously. Don’t you feel any threat?” Premier asked.

    “With all due respect, Premier,” Ibrahim added,” Fraksi Hatta had lost its power long before you and this mess. We will proceed after Barisan Progresif and Kesejahteraan Rakyat, not before.” Musa Hitam could agree that Reformasi had nothing beneficial to be the first actor in this PPP crisis. They had lost as the major power since LKY’s ascension, now Musa had feared the same thing with Mahathir. Nevertheless, he was still uncertain on why Reformasi stayed in the crippled party since the 1986 Labour Crisis. The political sphere lies currently on Kesejahteraan Rakyat, if only a “1973” or “PKI” could happen, PPP will lose everything.

    The Premier froze at the last statement. Isn’t he losing with Kesejahteraan Rakyat? LKY’s power is slowly being relegated to Mahathir Mohammad. If Barisan Progresif wanted to salvage all that remains, what they had to do was one extremely unlikely miracle of gift or the other that Indonesia dominant parties had done twice. Unlike the two past events, this will be grand strategy chess, one that needs to be acted on carefully. Ultimately, Musa finally received the message that led to his confusion. Indonesia is, naturally, opportunistic above all, and with people who have desired comfort for so long, Musa felt no benefit in fighting a losing ground.

    After that, it finally dawned on him, how this manoeuvre could return the favour. It was long-term after all, but Musa Hitam decided to do what his mind has spoken. In his highest gratitude, he thanked Ibrahim for his time, not knowing that it was Ibrahim all along that planted the seeds of what’s to come.[2]

    The Speech that Stunned Everyone

    Above all the stratagems of the 1980s, the 1987 “I comply” speech was one of Musa’s most confusing speeches of the century, one which historians could not decisively comprehend the hidden meaning of it, until at least long-term aftermath yielded. Musa Hitam held power after 1987’s controversial riots, winning the moral side of the Indonesian people, yet with various tension between Musa’s cabinet, the President and the two sides of the conflicting populace, Musa Hitam did the most unthinkable, much humble to radical pro-Musa, the one that defined the new populist era. At the Parliament, Premier Musa Hitam signed this consequential speech on 16th October 1987, just before the Friday prayer. Unlike previous premier speeches, this one was particularly lengthy and full, a strong sign for analysts that his speech was planned thoroughly.

    Just a week before the speech, Musa Hitam entered the Presidential Palace with the President. With the ageing president just months after healing from his first lethal stroke, he shockingly conversed candidly, unlike their previous tense encounter. Not only the President, but he also visited the MPR leader Untung Syamsuri from the PRD, various PPP federal officials, notably Usep as the chairman. In last, he visited Mahathir Mohammad, whom he had appointed as Vice Premier not long after the Kudatuli incident. Many have speculated to be consolidation of power since the PPP’s Barisan Progresif was under a good wind with Kudatuli strongly favourable as their tool. But, by Friday, it was reversed vehemently from the speech.
    “Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

    In the near past, I have meticulously observed our national situation, especially our majority’s aspiration to implement new policies in particular sectors of our livelihood and statehood. In my fundamental prognosis which these policies should not defy the previous establishment of what made Indonesia strong, advanced and prosper, I have tried everything I could to make those problems, that is Labour Law, the inequality of income, inequality of economic growth, and rural disenfranchisement, into action.

    But still, until today, the power struggle between me, the President, and Partai Persatuan Pembangunan had made cooperation can’t be properly realized, especially under the new events occurring in July 1987. Despite our central party, government and cabinet remaining strong, it has resonated not in the people, not merely PPP voters, that constituted our federal nation of Indonesia. In attempts to coalesce with my co-party friends, not only do I still fail hugely, but the PPP also remained less united for Indonesia’s future, which is negative for a nation that has been strongly suited with unity.

    Less coordination with the President, as a result of different approaches of policies, had made me extremely difficult to execute my duties as a government official of this nation, and the development I have given oath as. Because of that, under Article 22 of the 1973 Indonesian Constitution, and after careful considerations with the MPR leader, PPP leader, my cabinet, and the president, I have decided to resign from my post as Premier of Indonesia, starting today after this speech, 16th October 1987. My statement of resignation from Premier had been disclosed previously this morning to the President, MPR leader, PPP leader and had been a collective agreement on my cabinet.

    Under Article 22, Vice Premier Mahathir Mohammad will continue my remaining term as the premier. I give my cabinet to Mahathir Mohammad, whose further actions will follow suit under his command. Immediately after this, I invite Mahathir Mohammad to immediately swear the oath as Premier on this chamber.

    It is time for the government to comply with the citizens. I comply with the demands of the populace; the time has changed for a new system.

    Jakarta, 16 October 1987.

    Premier of Indonesia Federal Republic

    Musa bin Hitam”

    The speech was unexpected for everyone, not even from Kesejahteraan Rakyat. Of course, Kesejahteraan Rakyat blindly acknowledged this as a clear victory of their struggle, the opening for their predominant power. Yet, for more grounded forecasters, this was shockingly unorthodox in Indonesian history, as the power Musa held can withstand Barisan Progresif at least before the 1988 election. It was unpredictable as to why it happened, but it remained true. Musa Hitam, after his Friday Prayer, ended up returning to his native lands of the City of Malacca, determined absent on politics as he stated, “I need to have a breath of fresh air”. For succession crisis on Barisan Progresif, Emil Salim was appointed as the new leader of Barisan Progresif, wishing to distance itself from the destructive Bumiputera policies identical to Malayan conservatives.

    For Kesejahteraan Rakyat, this is the victory needed for the party, as Mahathir Mohammad ascended as the premier of Indonesia. With the power finally rested under their hands, President Subandrio do feel particularly optimistic with the new government, until the reshuffle. The first actions were to reshuffle the cabinet, deposing old rivals as predetermined on the president’s ultimatum. New faces, like Badawi as the new foreign minister, gained criticism from President Subandrio, as he wanted General Susilo. Nevertheless, with Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin, Economy Minister Radius Prawiro, Defense Minister Susilo Sudarman and BUMN Minister Andhika Respratama. There were other notable replacements, but it was apparent of Barisan Progresif’s deposal from the powers.

    On Barisan Progresif’s supporters, the resignation made the supporters angered by Musa’s decision. Lots of discontent, wrath, and sometimes discriminatory insults were given to the Premier. Some have speculated that Premier Musa secretly coalesced for the fall of LKY, but those are mere conspiracy theories that gathered traction in ethnic Chinese Indonesians. Chants of fully breaking the PPP was growing rapidly on students, urban dwellers, and ethnic minorities in response to the impending policy enaction of Bumiputera. Unsurprisingly, the drive for the anti-Mahathir drive for various minorities against the newly developed government.

    From other members of the PPP Coalition government, the PRD announced disappointment with the new government to replace Try Sutrisno as the defence minister. Still, Mahathir announced openly that Try has had a questionable reputation from his military career, unfit for further positions, especially as Defense Minister. That blunt response had angered few PRD officials who Mahathir had unknowingly disrespected from his answer. Nevertheless, with the new government, Mahathir was confident in his populist programs, more on that could make a significant popularity boost especially for the upcoming 1988 election.

    [Short] South Vietnam’s Salvation?
    Excerpt from Kompas, 23rd October 1987

    The July Mekong Miracle had made the best South Vietnam event for years, with few communist defectors reversing the red trend against North Vietnam, now the US and all that’s left determined to end with a delightful armistice of the old border. Also, the Cambodians officially split from North Vietnam’s friendship, allowing a worrying dispute between the two communists in North Vietnam and Cambodia. That ultimately ended up with China and the Soviet Union needing to choose between the two local regimes. For estimates, many believed this to mark an indeterminate era for the communist world.

    The Thiệu Regime with the US Marines proceeded with Operation Dagger Forrest in Don Khong, ending the ongoing push from Viet Cong soldiers. Moreover, the push eventually ended right back on the pre-war border, which North Vietnam demanded an armistice by the Glenn government. It was a great boost on the US President’s already poor popularity. After this new sense of peace is underway, it is uncertain of the Indonesian government’s reaction towards this new balance. After all, the newly appointed Mahathir Mohammad, with President Subandrio, announced South Vietnam’s for no aid and support, effectively worsening the relationship between the two countries. Also, many have suggested President Thiệu have personal resentment against the Indonesians, vowing secretly for lesser cooperation with “traitors”.

    Nevertheless, the promising armistice made another question unfold. How will Thailand, the nation under war with North Vietnam, Laos, and the Cambodian communist government, will play for Indochina’s new era? Will they continue to fight, with America as a twist, or would they also plan a compromise between the powers, effectively ending the fruitless Indochina War to date?

    [1] An old character from this TL's dead Election Game, better honour the previous players.
    [2] A brainstorm for readers, what do you think of this "strategy", will it work? no?

    Next up, new policies from the new Premier.
    Last edited:
    Race of 1988 Part 3: Bumiputera
  • The Bumiputera Policy: A Conservative Intuition

    Despite the fallout from Musa’s sudden departure from the federal government, many have worried about Mahathir’s new initiatives, many of whom he had travailed for years within the Kesejahteraan Rakyat wing of the PPP. It is a common consensus on the Malays (not particularly Malayan), of their resentment against the racial class of whom the 20th century had been progressed. As LKY became the apex of their contempt, Musa being their punching bag, Kesejahteraan Rakyat had played with dangerously discriminatory policies that shaped their collective minds.

    Abdul Raza Hussein, a prominent Malayan politician, one whom Nasution appointed aimlessly to adopt the government’s past neglect on British Malaya, was the first to coin a “special position” of the Malays to be provided on a national scale. However, the previous president did not acknowledge it at all, because the general appreciated many of the Chinese elites (Chinese Indonesians to be precise) as predominant financers that made Indonesia what it became. Moreover, with few Dutch Indonesians also appearing on many valiant sacrifices during the Australian Aggression, few Indonesians [1] (in this term the former Dutch East Indies) remained disdained on the supposed “elites”. However, in former British control of Malaya, the “Malay” only felt more discomfort as the government’s neglect of the region passed on a great inequality between backwater Malayans and wealthy Chinese. However, this resentment paused during Nasution’s presidency, mostly because of the united call to dispose of the Nasution government solely by claiming the entire British Malaya to be “superior” and must wait for the former Dutch East Indies to catch up in infrastructure, social prosperity, and economy. Indeed, seeds of discrimination had been far before the 80s, but it was mostly regional.

    After Subandrio was elected President in 1978, the Malayans had assumed power with cooperation from Indonesian intellectuals that demanded proper representation of the neglected Malayan Peninsula. Hatta, who had seen the discrimination of the Nasution government, eventually gathered these “silenced companions” into the party, the famous PPP, to opposed Nasution’s unconcealed foul play towards them. Subandrio was a Hatta sympathetic, a great balance to the PPP’s growing Malayan dominance. It was also a distant shock that instead of Mahathir Mohammad, the PPP chose LKY, a Singaporean, as the Premier. However, many have proved that LKY was elected because of his vision of a better Indonesia, equal growth everywhere across Indonesia, which also appealed to the ethnic Malays too. As a result, this “special position” privilege was less acclaimed by the Malayan people in the early term of Subandrio.

    The public shift towards a more conservative and modern terminology of “pro-Bumiputeras [2]” started to form at the second term of Subandrio’s presidency, exactly around the adventurism of Indonesian troops to Africa. As LKY had been a vivid supporter of the Indonesian troops in Angola and Mozambique, the ethnic Malayans, mostly natives of the archipelago presented doubts with LKY’s mindset. With increased corporate abuse on labours, uncontrolled capitalism on the federal level, extremely unequal prosperity distribution, especially rural Malayans began distrusting the Premier who was once their ally. The instigator, however, came from Mahathir Muhammad and his aides, supposedly shunned from LKY’s inner government, decided to shape the narrative of LKY’s controversy into “elites” maintaining their power. Then, the “special position” term became much more prevalent in local regions. Townspeople began spreading it sporadically. The “conservative” Malayans later adopted the “Bumiputera policy” as its name, officially offered as a national policy for ethnic natives.

    The interpretation of “Bumiputera” is descendants of Malay/Indonesian or local natives (from the Acehnese in Aceh to Torajans in Toraja) who adhered to the religion of Islam, habitually speaks the Malayan language group, and conforms to Indonesian customs. Many believed that backward Malays should be given better attainment than non-Malays to forge an equally prosperous Malayan nation. It was apparent from the distinct difference between rich Chinese merchants and Malayan labourers, as the former played immoderate amounts of control in a nation’s economy while constituting less than 15% of the population. The comprising leading politicians from different racial backgrounds, except notable Malayans, supported this promotion of economic equality.

    To appease the DEI parts of Indonesia, the one that had even considered such policy too unfair despite similar disparities between racial ethnicities, Malayan politicians changed the term “Malays” into broader “native-Indonesians”, which meant including Sundanese, Javanese and many proper-Indonesia’s much larger “natives”. With Mahathir Mohammad, the “Bumiputera” policy include solid policies like subsidies for real estate purchases, general subsidies to Bumiputera businesses, quotas for public equity shares, and the most intriguing of all, affirmative action on a federal basis. Although the Bumiputera had gained national coverage just before Musa’s departure, the term had lived within Malayan people for decades, much to the protest of LKY in 1965 that opposed such actions as inherently regressing growth and progress. The Premier’s rejection shaped his radically meritocratic government, one that Musa had tried to continue.
    "How does the Malay in the kampung find his way out into this modernized civil society? By becoming servants of the 0.3 per cent who would have the money to hire them to clean their shoes, open their motorcar doors? How does telling a Malay bus driver that he should support the party of his Malay director and the Chinese bus conductor to join another party of his Chinese director – how does that improve the standards of the Malay bus driver and the Chinese bus conductor who are both workers in the same company?

    Meanwhile, whenever there is a failure of economic, social, and educational policies, you come back and say, oh, these wicked Chinese, Indian and others opposing Malay rights. They don't oppose Malay rights. They, the Malay, have the right as Malaysian citizens to go up to the level of training and education that the more competitive societies, the non-Malay society, has produced. That is what must be done, isn't it? Not to feed them with this obscurantist doctrine that all they have got to do is to get Malay rights for the few special Malays and their problem has been resolved."

    -Lee Kuan Yew, 1984

    Andi Suwiryo, a Sundanese politician, argued that the Bumiputera policy is entirely dynamic, which meant that the policy will continue for a temporary duration of our future, at least until the Indonesian people have caught up with non-Indonesian elites in terms of economy and social standing. Another Sundanese mayor, Gilang Sutresna, declared the question of “special position” should be left to the Indonesians themselves because as more and more Indonesians became educated and gained self-confidence, they would do away with this privilege. These comments have reduced public hostilities, especially former DEI Indonesians, on how Bumiputera policy could be discriminative and unfair.

    The ascension of Mahathir Muhammad as the new Premier of Indonesia passed the greatest legislation in Indonesian history, the New Economic Policy (NEP) that was founded under the Bumiputera principles. Although it was rooted on the Malayan Peninsula, the plan eventually gained popularity throughout the Nusantara State Republic, while Papua, Melanesia and Madagaskar expressed little flirtatious adventure on this new policy. Barely before 1988 entered Indonesia, the New Economic Policy (NEP) was being negotiated by the Parliament for the 1988 budget. The three main objectives were simple, to achieve through socio-economic restructuring, minimize the level of poverty in the country, and increase the rural prosperity by economic equality. Concomitantly, the policy also demanded fairer distribution of opportunities to participate in the widening range of economic activities. It opened the divide of racial groups by economic status, one that had been worsened by the rural-urban divide.

    Kuala Lumpur, 1988

    Although by 1988 no significant Bumiputera policy was passed to the federal level, the populace was extremely enthusiastic about the alterations it might bring, obviously for the betterment of their lives. Almost everywhere across rural areas, solid three-quarters expressed unanimous support to the Bumiputera policy, claiming this as a “great steppingstone of equality”. From natural Mahathir bastion of rural Pahang to the remote regions of Sumbawa had majorly agreed on the Bumiputera policy to be implemented. Surprisingly, locations plagued with the Labour protests, around Western Java particularly, had less support of the Bumiputera policy rather than lesser-aligned natives of North Sumatra. Simply put, Sundanese and Javanese “pribumi” had articulated wariness on the policy as they feared “would bias more on the Malayans than original Indonesians”.

    The trend of undisputed enthusiasm was faced with precarious outcomes should one look much closer. In a few parts of Majapahit State, the NU traditionalist had less anticipation on the policy, which later were mimicked by their voter base. Along with the Muhammadiyah, Gus Dur and Amien Rais had placed themselves on the “centrist” much “moderate” attitude between Bumiputera and LKY’s meritocratic ideology. Despite it sure coming extremely handy in the 1988 election, it slowly weakened the base as time went on.

    Emil Salim, leader of Barisan Progresif, declared the Bumiputera policy as the antithesis of LKY’s perpetual growth, which he later threatened of an economic downturn after this implementation of the said policy. The bitterness echoed towards city dwellers, particularly big metropolises, many of whom were accustomed to the meritocratic system they belong to and had contributed to many of the nation’s unnatural advances in world history. Historians declared four Asian Tigers in the 80s, one of them to be Indonesia itself. Moreover, since the details of the Bumiputera Policy heavily favoured the agricultural industry, it was guaranteeably clear that the industrial and service industry was severely endangered by unreliable government focus. Nevertheless, as the PPP’s highest power had effectively “couped” for Kesejahteraan Rakyat, Barisan Progresif may more and more push themselves to leave the PPP as one tent.

    Mahathir Mohammad had thought the policy would be a clear road to a new age of Indonesia. It was anticipated by all, accepted by many, and certainly benefited Mahathir Mohammad as the leading figure in Indonesian history. Still, before he even began his beloved proposal, he was faced with crises all around Indonesia, all of which are effects of Mahathir’s “seize of power” in Indonesian politics.

    East Timor?

    Satellite imagery of Timor Island, 1989

    Strangely, Mahathir’s first action involved one distant region formerly owned by the Portuguese. East Timor [3] was a Portuguese colonial possession before the communist regime in the 1950s pushed Indonesia for securing the land as a blatant land grab, in addition, to appeal with the United States to “secure potential communist hotbeds” in the early Sukarno years. For decades, the military forces engaged in strict oversight of the Timorese civilians but remained rather civil for some time. After the Australians succeeded in invading the island within the war, the Timorese people had mixed views when the government proposed for independent East Timor, which was futile after their ultimate defeat in the 1960s. Moreover, independent East Timor was not as hopeful as Timorese expect, with highly likely chances merely to be as a satellite of Australia. Still, the non-belligerent response made East Timor suspicious for a while to the Indonesian government, so TNI forces engaged with harsher monitoring on the island. FRETILIN, the pro-independence communist insurgency, had failed for years and years, under the Indonesian nor the Australian brief rule.

    Operasi Keamanan started by Nasution was the pacification program to end the FRETILIN. It conscripted a few thousand Timorese men, those arriving from the West Timor, to march through the mountains ahead of any FRETILIN counterattack. As guerilla warfare was apparent, the FRETILIN was eradicated swiftly without genocidal crime, as Nasution was sympathetic towards integration of the Timorese people, then announced complete pacification just before the 1973 election. It was rather non-appealing for mainstream Indonesian media, as Timorese were similarly impoverished to his Western counterparty. However, with LKY’s arrival to that place in 1979, the region underwent immense agricultural growth, admiring the Catholic region as a new paradise with known oil reserves formerly discovered by the Australian military.

    TNI in patrol, 1977

    In the eyes of the federal government, LKY had strongly circled East Timor as a strategic location in response to an Australian threat should there be one. Premier Suharto had thought about this in the early 70s, but most money had been diverted for infrastructure efforts in Java, Sumatra, and Papua. This led the Nasution government to essentially forget about the island. Moreover, they had sheepishly belittled concerns, claiming the adequate bases in Christmas and Keeling Islands have protected Indonesia enough.

    LKY had noticed a few interesting pieces of information about the island that reinforced Timor Island as on-par with Madagaskar in terms of attention. The layout of the island despite being extremely rugged by mountainous features, lacks the volcanic nature of his sister islands on northern Lesser Sunda. Moreover, being near the Australian continent, faced a long dry season with hot winds from the Australian Outback. Fortunately, the southern parts were aided by monsoon winds, which alleviate the dryness compared to the northern side of the island.

    The bleak reality on the geographical side was effectively overshadowed by the intense resources the island has. It had high oil reserves, marble, and other various mineral deposits across the mountainous areas. For LKY, it was justified enough to pass a federal-funded program of general development on the island. However, to avoid the region’s dependency on the oil industry, LKY had passed agriculture and ranching to be developed in the southern tip of the island. Different from LKY’s usual approaches, he also developed a substantial military base in the region, arming with a minimum of 10000 ready-deployed armies. Since 1978, the region had undergone substantial growth, like their larger twin Madagaskar, all of them later expressed gratitude by unanimously supporting the Singaporeans. They attained to the state of perpetual cult, a determined voice that LKY will save the region from obscurity, pushing the growth of the region compassionately, even somewhat equaling the Premier with Jesus. Therefore, as the Premier was assassinated, the region suffered massive turmoil by the loss of its heroic figure.

    The ascension of Musa Hitam was not opposed by this population. But, after Mahathir Mohammad began threatening the establishment, they had begun taking interests (and sides) on this matter. Naturally, with the Bumiputera policy clearly stating Muslim devotees as supposed receivers of the privileges, the Catholic population in Timor was disillusioned with Mahathir’s policy, later opposed with extreme measures after Kudatuli Incident had reached to their ears. In addition to it, immigration from Java had flocked slowly to Timor, starting disputes with the native population. It somehow tipped after the Kudatuli incident, a few moments of which the Timor citizens announced their suspicion with the government, East Timor is the first in launching a protest. Ironically, the East Timor protests’ demanded Musa Hitam to be more aggressive in fighting against Mahathir Mohammad, clearly a conflicting trend across the Nusantara State Republic.

    After the ascension of Mahathir Mohammad as the Premier of Indonesia, East Timor held their first protest in decades, opposing the government. It was particularly aggressive, as they too insulted the new Premier as violently acclaimed the government. The sentiment quickly grew into a whole island insurgency. The first weeks of Mahathir were filled with protests in Timor. Unfortunately, he handled it horribly.

    [1] I'm having a hard time distinguishing OTL Malaysian and Indonesians, as ITTL we had no Malaysia. So, from this time on, I will put DEI (Dutch East Indies)-Indonesia as OTL Indonesia. DEI-Indonesians will constitute the Javanese, Sundanese, and all OTL Indonesian ethnicities. Malays as not accurately OTL Malaysians, but also Malays in Sumatra, for ITTL Malaysians, I'll prefer Peninsular Malays. I'll start to put Javans as "people who live in Java" and Javanese as "people who adopt Javanese cultures". For Indonesian readers, this might seem far easier because of familiarity, but I'll try helping the foreigners.

    [2] Bumiputera, actually, was a Malaysian term. OTL Indonesia would call pribumi, which was prohibited after Habibie's presidency, stating that pribumi was connotatively derogatory and infused racial division.

    [3] Although the island was incorporated long ago, I will still coin the Portuguese part as East Timor and the Indonesian part as West Timor. They coincidentally owned a rather different topology, ethnicity and language (despite Timorese as a whole) which help me in future posts concerning them.

    I'm not gone. I've just had weeks of weariness from university. Apologize for the unnoticed hiatus. Next up will explain the last image that I've promised to cover, as well as Mahathir's political adventures.
    Race of 1988 Part 4: Woe is Timor!
  • The Ugly Anti-Bumiputera of 1988

    One banner against Bumiputera, 1987

    Instantly after Musa Hitam’s resignation as Premier, the man’s cabinet issued a unilateral declaration of many subsequent resignations, many of whom were convinced of Mahathir’s eventual sacking of these individuals, as a passive protest of the Mahathir rule. This was supported unilaterally by the cabinet as an “ensuing tactic of passive criticism” against the Mahathir dominance. Although the media overtly burst this manoeuvre as backroom deals with Kesejahteraan Rakyat, it was apparent Mahathir’s supporters were aggressively supporting their candidates; even should the capital be burned as consequence. It later was discovered by Musa’s memoirs that the turmoil around 1988 was mostly because the people were unconvinced enough to support the incumbent government against Bumiputera hordes, the resignation was one attempt to unveil Barisan Progresif’s majority against Kesejahteraan Rakyat. He later added other leaders may become successors of this fight against anti-discriminative policy. Opportunely, Musa Hitam’s bidding was fulfilled.

    Unlike Peninsular Malays that had wholeheartedly advocated the Bumiputera policy, many of other native ethnicities – mostly in former-DEI Indonesia – had shown hesitancy on adopting the said policy. The tolerant customs that had been entrenched in these regions had been considered advocating “Malay-privilege” to be wrong and misguided. Especially as the Australian Aggression opened the minds of natives that not all foreigners were enemies, the notion of resentment by unequal ethnic distribution in the economic role had taken down naturally in the 70s. It was presented from the circumstances involved after the Social Justice Act of 1987 was passed, the bulk of the anti-business protests had struggled to continue their flame for the logical next step, the Bumiputera policy.

    The Communist Counterattack

    Bumiputera’s first obstacle came by the surprising turn of PPI’s pseudo-communist manifesto. The PPI – the spiritual successor of the defunct PKI – had announced a new direction under young and charismatic Guntur Sukarnoputra. Nicknamed the 1988 Manifesto, the PPI underwent a slightly curved trajectory in comparison to its old ones. Mostly, their old manifesto portrayed deep detestation towards the capitalist system and its admiration on the ‘big-C’ Communist spheres, the new manifesto seemed to have humbled under newer faces of the United States, specifically after the 1980s United States had been heavily interventionist in business.

    The 1987 PPI Manifesto stemmed from its criticism towards the current liberal economic system of Indonesia which brought out inequality in the economy and explosive corporate expansion in the Indonesian realm. However, he heavily stressed that race equality was no less important. In later interviews, many PPI politicians heavily echoed the spirit of promoting economic equality under the 1980 post-LKY regime. Still, many had criticized the “Malay” context on Bumiputera, claiming that it would hamper the idea of equality of all, some even pointed fascist policies to be like Bumiputera, insulting Kesejahteraan Rakyat. Many of this chasm between two similar-interest groups was because of competition in each turf. Both are anti-elitist, populist in rhetoric and hearted from the scuffle with the privileged. Yet, after Guntur’s interest in running for the second time as President, both parties seemed to be fixated on a new upcoming battle, a contest on who’s more popular, in terms of anti-elitist policies.

    Guntur when asked about his opinions on
    Bumiputera, 1987
    We believe in equality of everything, not just economy or status. Bumiputera only distributes one sector but aggravates another. This is not sustainable; the PPI will not endorse it.
    - Guntur Sukarnoputra​

    Guntur Sukarnoputera announced the party as “better” than PPP’s Kesejahteraan Rakyat. They presented the inequality issues as solvable should the government intervene aggressively by nationalization and intense economic planning. He demanded centralization of government, better land reform, and possibly constructing a new revolution in Indonesia. In that setup, he however wished for preserving multiculturalism in Indonesia, as well as endorsing a multi-party system. In a summary, he believed that if the PPI’s policies were right, after all, there will naturally be a dominant PPI and a ban on other parties would not be necessary.

    Naturally, other parties criticized the PPI as self-centred and partly arrogant in his announcement. Still, Kesejahteraan Rakyat was hurt the most, being called upon dearly as “inferior” to the PPI’s belief. It triggered a few Peninsular Malays, many of them eventually influenced Mahathir’s voice. Mahathir's government declared them as traitors of the common people. Kesejahteraan Rakyat politicians quickly berated the PPI with every possible negative critic they could muster. Their first attack was claiming Guntur was aiming for an atheist Indonesia, a lambast further strengthen with Guntur’s untimely commitment to Indonesia’s secular society. Nevertheless, PPI’s voter base in Central Java is sturdy against impending threats by Kesejahteraan Rakyat or any other. Central Java’s proportion was 12-15% nationally, the majority of them had been voting for PKI and PPI for decades. Guntur Sukarnoputera can take the risk. His father also aided Guntur to not fall entirely out of the political battle, as his legacy was honoured universally across Indonesia – except Peninsular Malaysia.

    The Liberal Mess

    After Musa’s retirement on national politics, Partai Persatuan Pembangunan experienced their worst performance ever since their creation. Distrust and dispute had been at an all-time high, both Kesejahteraan Rakyat and Barisan Progresif heavily distrusted the current establishment. The higher office was still controlled by Musa’s aides, but the lower echelons supported wholly Mahathir Mohammad. The ambience around the higher officials was sombre too, as they showed great difficulties in determining a united policy of Barisan Progresif.

    Usep, the chairman of the current PPP, had been crystal clear on explaining why Barisan Progresif was slowly limping from the previous premiership. Moreover, the departure of Musa unveiled the crisis of leadership Barisan Progresif had had since the death of LKY. Simply put, they have hearts less bold than the man, determination less strong than him and less brilliant than him. There had been few notable “successors” for the Singaporean: Lim Boon Heng, Goh Chok Tong or Frederik Trihandoko, but neither visualized similar confidence to the deceased legend.

    Front Pemuda, the youth group of Barisan Progresif, was disillusioned with the current establishment showing no prowess against the menace of Mahathir Mohammad. One college student, Rendy Sitompul, campaigned for a more radical approach against the PPP. At the University of Indonesia, Rendy devised a radical plan, one campaigning for the split of PPP, forming a “Liberal Party” fully advocating for LKY’s legacy. It gained traction on youths because of the ingenuity of the idea, one which echoed rapidly across Front Pemuda members across Indonesia. Above the headquarters, liberal politicians had saved the idea as last resort, at least should fight against Mahathir became less hopeful.

    A concept design of the proposed Partai Liberal Indonesia

    The progressive counter was not as united as PPI’s general manifesto, but the progressive was perfectly square for most Indonesians to follow. The simple ideology that opportunity should be given freely without restraint, success without hindrance, while responding to the future of the nation was not a dejected idea by the populace. Especially with LKY’s economic woes mostly caused by labour’s discernment – a negative aspect gradually withered after the Social Justice Act – the populace regained confidence in the usual meritocratic approach of the government. In addition to the United States’ achievements in healthcare, Indonesia’s progressivism was optimistic as the champion of its ideologue – basically the United States – had been less “elitist” and pro-common man much for progressivism to prevail in Indonesian soil. After the Kudatuli Riots, progressivism also cored staunchly on cities that hated the rioters. They loathed those who looted, committed arson, and destroyed urban lives. In addition to Barisan Progresif’s strong policy to improve city-living, the urban population had moved happily under the progressive group.

    Already a rival to Mahathir Mohammad, Kesejahteraan Rakyat since the takeover had pushed hard to undermine the influence of Barisan Progresif in PPP’s main power. His political overtures were appeasing the higher forms of government, completely aware that non-Chinese high leaders were not as strongly attached to progressivism to many Chinese ones, some even supported Bumiputera policy. They started by claiming urbanism as an evil attempt to reduce farmers' and labour’s influence in rurals, denouncing them as “pro-corporate pigs” and “unthankful youths” specifically for the high number of young graduates following progressivism. It received a foul response by Barisan Pemuda, that the de-facto leader attacked Mahathir with another slur.
    “The youth does not listen to senile men that endorsed discrimination like Japan and Germany in WW2. We will continue to fight against the (Mahathir) group at whatever cost because we believe nothing good will come from the (Bumiputera) policy."​

    Nationalist Slow Cut

    The communist and the progressive were frontally against Mahathir Mohammad before the campaign, but PNI-R Ali Sadikin was subtle in opposing the Malayan. Unlike the other two, the nationalist party had never argued against Bumiputera or any of Mahathir’s policies for the next few months. Most watchers suggested the PNI-R tried appeasing Mahathir because of his “very likely” victory in 1988 at that time. But, from the PNI-R beliefs and their politicians’ stances, PNI-R was criticizing Bumiputera.

    Ali Sadikin was a strong believer in legalizing religiously controversial issues just for the sake of taxes. His most famous one was trying to legalize gambling in Jakarta, but his other proposals involved prostitution, drugs and – the most controversial of all – homosexuals. He believed that criminalising those “sinful” issues were damaging to the country because lawbreakers will always break the law. Instead, allow a harsh regulation, such as high taxes or just simply too expensive, these by Darwinism would diminish. This facile observation mimicked the entire nationalist politicians throughout his leadership, as their social-cultural view was nothing more than just “everything is good if national identity is upheld”.

    This pragmatic view meant PNI-R was not against Mahathir as clearly as the other, but that didn’t mean supporting. The nationalist still had the same resentment of the Nasution era, determining the Peninsular Malays as different than former-DEI Indonesia, claiming the Peninsular Malays to have “less oppressive” colonial rule. Consequently, PNI-R politicians believed Peninsular Malays have a little struggle of independence, therefore appealing to them as “mentally weak” or “incapacitated of pain” from Indonesia’s much more dire scuffle like Australian Aggression or the Independence War. Eventually, it meant PNI-R did not oppose Mahathir, because PNI-R perceived them reluctantly. Ironically, they respected the Chinese in Singapore and many parts of Peninsular Malaya as opposed to Peninsular Malayans, probably because of their inspirational struggle of building a career bottom-up. Although this acumen was purely strange for mainstream racism (majority looked mainly by race, not by personal struggles), this impression originated from Nasution’s career as a prominent military leader of the Indonesian Army (explicitly how he rose in power), in addition to many of PNI-R’s influence derived from non-Islam parties (Partai Katolik and Partai Kristen Indonesia), all of whom entirely opposed with Bumiputera policy.

    Moreover, the second President had encountered non-Islam communities during his childhood, those of said memories inclined him and the PNI-R’s views as less ethnonationalism and more civic-nationalism. Incidentally, Ali Sadikin’s flirtatious in very progressive views surely put PNI-R as a more LKY-esque party than the PPP itself at that time. With also few remaining Javanese Catholics and Christians controlling significant party seats that directed the party’s policies, it was safe to say PNI-R will never adopt Bumiputera, even though Kesejahteraan Rakyat became extremely popular with it.

    The PNI-R so far had little response on Bumiputera policy, stating that PNI-R has not had to declare a stance on the issue early. However, judging by the character of the PNI-R leaders, especially considering a little structural disdain towards Peninsular Malays, Bumiputera’s issue may be used by the PNI-R for “testing the water”, while eventually risking PPP an untrustworthy ally. Nonetheless, the news was not alarming for many Mahathir Mohammad followers, many of whom had acknowledged PNI-R less prioritized on forging a coalition.

    Scraping What Remains

    It was challenging for Mahathir Mohammad, especially with three parties slowly inching away from Kesejahteraan Rakyat’s attempts at sphering. The remaining parties were PRD, PUI and BKDT, none of them was enticing for the conservative coalition. However, if he played the cards right, he might have a chance at these parties. The PRD was opposed to Mahathir Mohammad because of its extreme anti-military stance while dominating as business conglomerates of the military industry. Still, with the fact uncovered that Social Justice Act alleviated the issue – thus, the conflict between business and labour – that filled 1986, 1988 would be less revolved on the issue and Mahathir could stress on the racial privilege and Islam as the cornerstone of Bumiputera policy. Two birds one stone, it also helped appeal PUI into the fold, despite Abdurrahman Wahid and Amien Rais advocating multiculturalism previously.

    The Cries of the Timor

    27th of October saw the protest’s rapid growth in East Timor by personal scorn towards Mahathir Mohammad. Although the background of which was repercussion from the power struggle in Jakarta, Timorese was also unconvinced with Bumiputera, especially with the emphasis on Muslim, barred Catholic Timorese within the policy. Moreover, there was growing concern from the natives with Javan immigrants, the events in Timor before 1988 arrived was a culmination of everything wrong that preceded.

    The protest started after the death of LKY, it started as a support for Premier Musa Hitam to fight against the perpetrator of the group who killed LKY. It was handled arbitrarily ‘meh’ by the government, especially when the authorities had confirmed the culprit as “one-man’s doing” instead of “systemically planned”. It partly angered few Timorese people, partly because the assassination and bombing of Sarinah as collateral damage perceived as individually committed was unbelievable to the Timorese, especially when the remnants of the FRETILIN activist promoted false information about Mahathir’s supposed involvement in the tragedy.

    General Susilo Sudarman arrived at East Timor as the new defence minister to oversee the ongoing project of a military base in Dili. Arrived on 2nd November 1987, the Monday was filled with protestors in the city, determined that the defence minister had complied with Mahathir’s “immoral” activities. Tension quickly rose as his arrival brought more troops to the city. Dili residents demanded the general to leave the place as he was unwelcomed. Unfortunately, the minister understood it as a threat to his presence, therefore increasing the military even further. The second week of November increased the strain between the authorities and Timorese people, especially the pro-LKY youths. A brief standoff happened between the two sides, almost erupted into chaos as Colonel Ismail Omar fired warning shots at the protestors.

    On 8th November 1987, the military began their attention as a sermon in Motael Church was overheard by the military. Inside the building, many of the believers shouted in anger against the current regime, also offend Bumiputera policy with negative comments. The news arrived at the Colonel, perceived as “public discontent”, and wished for the sermon to end abruptly. In less than 15 minutes, as the Timorese had their morning Eucharist, the military banged the door to be let in. As Colonel Omar entered, the people inside became infuriated by the military’s intolerance of religious activity. Unexpectedly, the encounter inside the church became a fistfight. A confrontation ensued between peaceful churchgoers and the military inside the building, when it was over, one man was dead. Rafael Guterres, a parent of three children and shockingly a pro-Indonesian supporter, was killed by a beating from one of the soldiers.

    Consequently, the brief fight inside the church evolved into a massive confrontation of demonstration towards the military. Organizers of the protest, although aggressive, maintained order during the protests. Although it was loud, the crowd maintained their calm, by most accounts. It became the largest demonstration outside Jakarta even in Indonesian history. The media also attempted to enter the scene, but many of whom had been blocked by the military. The protest continued for weeks, all-determining the death of Guterres was uncalled for by the military. They demanded responsibility for the military’s indecency, announced them to leave the island as soon as possible. Colonel Omar ordered his men to increase awareness, even alarmingly anticipated harsh dispersion in case of chaotic evolution. Foreigners who had come to Dili, initially observing the new industrial buildup by the LKY era, was independent US journalists Charles Goodman and David Allen, German cameraman Markus Söder and Reuters correspondent Richard Bowman.

    On 12th November 1987, after the soldier’s Friday prayer, the confrontation was claimed that Major Cecep Setiaman was stabbed. Protestors claimed that Major Cecep had attacked a group of protesters including a little boy, and many locals witnessed unrecorded beatings from Indonesian soldiers. The funeral procession, as Major Cecep died from blood loss, was still protested before the cemetery wall. Around 150 more Indonesian soldiers arrived to honour the general, weapons clearly within reach. During the funeral procession of the major, many still believed the Indonesian Army fabricate the incident, thus putting Timorese in a bad image. On the other hand, the army firmly believes in the claim, increasing abhorrence towards the protestors in the process. As the funeral procession ended, they opened fire on hundreds of unarmed civilians At least 150 Timorese were killed in the massacre. The Reuters correspondent Richard Bowman was one of the people at the crossfire, killed by a gun wound from multiple entries.

    The massacre was witnessed by the two journalists and the German cameraman – it later was recorded on videotape, which Söder was filming undercover for his DW (Deutsche Welle) News. Goodman and Allen tried to defend the Timorese by standing between them and the Indonesian soldiers, by the soldiers began beating Goodman, fracturing his skull in the process. The camera crew managed to smuggle the video footage to the United States, luckily without confiscation by any authorities in the process. The video footage eventually aired in CNN as their Evening News, shown just before Christmas of 1987. The footage, combined with the testimony of the reporters, and another confirmation from one Timorese willing to speak, caused outrage around the world, even inside Indonesia.

    People fleeing during the shooting scene, more associated as the "Santa Cruz Massacre"

    Colonel Omar described the incident as a legitimate reaction to the death of Major Cecep, as well as the protestor’s “violent behaviour” during the man’s funeral procession. Mahathir Mohammad was later dismissed as a “misunderstanding” by the Western media, trying to portray his premiership bad in the process. President Subandrio also commented Timorese was “extremely hostile”; the soldiers were doing their job. However, the journalists later remarked the documented history of violence a few days before the attack, as if the military was “trying” to agitate the protestors. Amid promoting Bumiputera, Premier Mahathir and President Subandrio became under fire as Indonesian citizens also disapproved of the military situation in Timor, declaring that the two “is disuniting the country”.

    There are Mahathir's early overtures (very awful) and Santa Cruz Massacre under his watch. Great.
    We'll move elsewhere after this chapter, specifically dedicated to the turn of events all across the world (especially the US). Post-massacre events on the chapter after, but I won't promise too much.

    As one sorry again for the tardiness, I'll post a quote from Ali Sadikin regarding his opinion.

    Race of 1988 Part 5: Abroad Events
  • The Question of Government: 1988 US Pre-Primaries

    Across the hemisphere, the United States suffered a crisis of confidence in President Glenn. Economic woes, cultural stagnation and scandals have been some of them. Many had predicted Carter’s fiscal plan was not sustainable and will cost Glenn his presidency. Unfortunately, those predictors may have spoken the truth after all.

    First, the Democratic challenger against incumbent President Glenn had not been one, but two candidates, before the end of 1987. First was Texan Senator Lloyd Bentsen. Bentsen was a clear successor of Carter, a Southern with views alike, albeit similar to former Vice President Lyndon Johnson in terms of political views. He declared that the government need to double down on intervention, stop inflation with better healthcare programs, a substantial increase of job vacancy and the spending reduction in the military. Indeed, his policies were not popular in the South, but his background may give him a chance in Georgia and Arkansas, the most democratic states before Glenn took power. Bentsen’s rise gave the South needed frustration on Glenn’s government, who disillusioned Southern Democrats. Second, enter former-Governor of California Jerry Brown. He became a formidable foe after Glenn’s dismissal in the AIDS crisis, as well as the homosexuals across liberal America. He declared Glenn to forget the liberal roots of the United States for the sake of maintaining the presidency, for which he vocals it in his oration in California. Brown’s programs involved much more emphasis on social issues, while the economic he later admitted curbing few wasteful programs, again the military as one. Despite similar policies to Lloyd Bentsen, Brown’s is favourable for the liberals to vote for. Another difference was Bentsen was absent from foreign policy while Brown projected the liberal aggression against communism. The Democratic primary continued to challenge the president as nefarious ills within the Challenger issue uncovered. After the trial of William R. Graham, the Glenn Reelection Campaign had been grim. The Langley Scandal, which killed Haldeman Presidency, involved McNamara as the perpetrator, another taint of Glenn’s government. More likely, Glenn should refrain from another scandal to have any chance of reelection. President Glenn hoped his victories in Vietnam may turn the tide in his favour for his 1988 reelection.

    Lloyd Bentsen


    Jerry Brown (left)

    The Conservative Party, meanwhile, had their field day presenting many candidates aiming for the presidency. As they were defeated in 1980, lost a landslide in 1984, they have reformed themselves, less radical, to appease the moderate vote. They had sidetracked their objectives from old conservative notions like crime and religion, with more pressure on the economy and deficit. In consequence of their de-radicalization, they have filled the primaries with diverse candidates.

    The frontrunner before 1988 was former vice presidential candidate Bob Dole. He was the most experienced politician in the Conservative Party, also aide of former presidential candidates, Ronald Reagan, and Richard Nixon. However, unlike the two bolder candidates, Dole was a compromised person, less intolerant and stubborn to his policies. He described a “drastic” change in the American economy after his inauguration, but small reinforcement on negating many of the Democrat policies like Carter’s health care and Glenn’s pension program. He also promoted slightly pro-environment laws, determining the necessity of American sustainability in resources. His moderate attitude discouraged the conservative voters, as they predicted minor changes to be done hence. The Kansas representative maintained a steady 35% lead.

    Bob Dole, 1988

    Laterally, two notable candidates have risen against Dole’s prominence, are Representative Jack Kemp and James Buckley (the older brother of 1980 candidate William Buckley). Both have expressed stark interests in rebuilding the broken economy, declaring less funding on social programs and rewarding private programs as state alternatives. Jack Kemp’s proposal includes a mercantilist attitude on increasing exports to Asia-Pacific nations, especially on digital technologies like computers and electronic appliances. That way, the federal deficit would decrease significantly by the offset of trade balance, thus reducing the debt. Buckley’s proposal includes the withdrawal of many unnecessary regulations from Carter and Glenn’s presidency, which ironically contradicts Dole’s approach. His policies also include privatization of various industries, dismemberment of labour unions, and radical advancement of service productivity. However, as neither of them was religious enough for Evangelist voters, these two candidates struggled to break past the Deep South. One candidate Dole is also in trouble with.

    Jack Kemp, 1988


    James Buckley, 1988
    Jerry Falwell, a Virginian televangelist, was the one that enticed the Deep South voters. He instigated the anti-AIDS campaign and promoted more religious norms in the government. The further three candidates shot well around 10-20% of the votes, steady but not enough against dole. Other candidates who tried to challenge the establishment are Senator Joe Biden, congressional representative Dick Gephardt, and one Virginia Governor, John Warner. Few untraditional candidates were also Donald Trump, Lowell P. Weicker, and Lee Iacocca.

    Domestic affairs had been America’s top pressing issue for 1988, but foreign affairs have been noticeable too in some candidates. Dole had briefly expressed the necessity to fight the Soviet Union in the Cold War while James Buckley demanded a conclusion on the Pakistan and Afghanistan Intervention. There is a noticeable absence from South American issues, especially on Nicaragua and Colombia (currently under civil turmoil) in the Conservative Party. Their key points were the economy, which alone will kill the Democrat’s dominance for the past decade.​

    The Oil Problem
    15th November 1987
    Havana, Cuba, the United States of America


    Havana, 1988

    The sunset of the Caribbean radiated Maximo Alvarez’s mansion with glimmering rays. Owner of a Cuban oil enterprise, this tycoon has accumulated 250 million dollars of profit from decades of Cuban oil drilling. Benefiting from the United States’ admittance to Cuba, oil drillings have been safer than the Castroism era. The island has expanded since. After the 1970s, the island has had significant transitions of migratory flows in and out of the island. As Cuban moved to Florida, Texas and Louisiana for better wages, the State of Cuba encountered massive elderly whites. Cuban climate is warm, suitable for old people. The trade of population has made Cuban population steadily rise, yet far slower than California or Texas. In the 1980s, Cuba has dramatically changed as capital flowed freely. Rapid urban expansion, instant construction of public infrastructure, and general improvement of livelihood have been indications of Cuba’s change. Cuba’s insertion as American sovereignty boosted the Mississippian River Corridor, increasing sea trade routes on the Cuban-Floridan Passage. As a result, Cuba also provided safer trading towards the West.

    Alvarez is the lucky millions of Cubans that rise beyond the poverty limit after the American introduction. It is also an understatement since Puerto Rico and Panama have also benefited from American rule. Contradict the rest of Latin America which had stagnated, the 3 states are grateful to the United States. Because of that, they are staunch Americans. Believing the American ideal, they endorsed the liberal system more than their White counterparts. Cuban Americans entered universities as pro-capitalist, in contrast to pro-socialist Black Americans. Despite being conservative in heart, Hispanic American has voted for the liberal Democrat since FDR. They supported the party’s social pension, healthcare programs and centralization efforts. The majority of Cubans have voted for Glenn in 1984. However, Alvarez noticed worrying trends in his country.

    “Mr Alvarez, thank you for coming. Please have a seat.”

    A Caucasian male expressed a warm welcome to the entrepreneur, acknowledging the latter’s success in the oil industry. Akin to Alvarez, this man also profited in oil. He is a famous Texan oil tycoon, a potential partner of Alvarez’s Sunshine Oil Company.

    “Mr Bush, thank you for the hospitalities.”

    Alvarez is a native Cuban, but he lived in Florida throughout his adulthood. George W. Bush, meanwhile, lived in Cuba since his father’s migration from Connecticut. The Bush family, besides the oil industry, has been famous in politics. Bush's father had been the Republican presidential candidate in 1976. Although he failed horribly, the Bush family continued to be influential in American history. George W. Bush influenced Texas’ oil industry, take part in expanding America’s oil production as a self-sufficient oil exporter. This had been a direct consequence of America’s strained relations with many Arab countries.

    “It has come to my attention that Sunshine Oil Company shipped hundred thousand metric tons of oil in 1988, an outstanding feat.”

    “It has been honest work and sheer determination of my workers.”

    “Yes, indeed. However, your enterprise has been restricted to Cuba. When you propose an expansion, they mostly fail because of competition with mainland partners. But Arbusto can conduct a partnership, mutual. That way, Sunshine Oil can expand to the bigger Texas oil reserves, while Arbusto may benefit from Sunshine’s established shipment abroad.”

    The proposal enticed Alvarez. His firm has struggled to expand beyond the Hispanic-majority nations such as Puerto Rico, Panama, and Cuba. His American equals envied Alvarez’s oil industry birth personal discrimination against him. So, many white oil tycoons have distanced themselves from Alvarez. Arbusto was one obvious exception. This proposal was unexpected. Sunshine Oil has been better than Arbusto statistics, but Arbusto had better connections with oil suppliers across the continental United States. Sunshine Oil, based in Cuba, has its entire trade on ship containers, while Arbusto is more in oil trucks. The apparent differences between Arbusto and Sunshine Oil may benefit the diversification of both companies should they cooperate.

    “I will look into it, Mr Bush. But I highly doubt that our partnership will flourish, considering the new regulation on oil shipments.”

    Alvarez’s doubts resonated in Mr Bush as well. The 1987 Nature Law, proposed by environmentalists both Democrats and Conservatives, rejected offshore drilling for exports outside the Western hemisphere. Environmentalists argued that as the method had been high polluted, exporting said products across the world will aggravate the environment. Southerners, with a unique look, contemplate offshore oil products as more refined than conventional measures, thus promoting offshore products only to local Americans. That meant Sunshine Oil Drilling standing weak than Arbusto’s bigger potential, thus establishing an unequal partnership. In the meantime, Sunshine Oil Drilling has suffered slowly under various oil regulations by the Glenn government. Arbusto could mean Sunshine’s guaranteed future, but it can also mean acquisition in the nearly unknown.

    Sunshine Oil Drilling, in response to this crippling regulation, has diversified its oil products into processing materials, like plastic. This eased the firm’s dependence on raw oil exports and promote the industry to Cuba. Still, manufacturing was unpopular in Cuba, as the island’s much older population by the current situation reduced labour workers in Cuba, also preventing industries to spawn in the island. In the end, little alternatives opened for Sunshine Oil Drilling.

    “Mr Alvarez, as Colombia stumbles into a massive insurgency, Venezuelans will be affected. We have intel on the government, noting of South America’s instability.”

    “Isn’t that the problem? The United States, especially Sunshine Oil Company, will have fewer destinations to export crude oil. “

    “Yes, but actually no. The United States has been reliant on its oil products, regardless of attempts to reduce them. All our sectors, military as the greatest proportion, demanded crude oil to operate. With increasing instability in South America, America’s oil, your oil, particularly, will be more influential in the government’s agenda. In a short time, the United States will review all regulations, the Nature Law will be one.”

    A coop with Arbusto differed from most companies because they possessed key connections in the government. That meant Arbusto was foremost in the government agenda, following the federal trials and exploiting for their benefits. For example, Arbusto’s rise in southern Texas has been contributed to the state’s deficiency of energy from Carter’s environmental policy. Glenn resolved the issue by granting states more autonomy to decide how they meet their energy demand; Texas responded by escalating the oil industry.

    Still, the idea of repealing the Nature Law was not on the minds of Alvarez. Although big oil business affects both parties, the Conservative—the party Alvarez’s bet of winning the election—leaned towards environmentalism. From all running candidates, Dick Gephardt was the only one to promote oil and gas. He sincerely hoped the Democratic party to win 1988, as Bentsen and Brown are leaning pro-oil, but Glenn’s unpopularity may fail that wish.

    Maximo Alvarez grinned in his long silence of thought. He stood up and tell Bush that he will reconsider.

    George Bush, 1988

    The Eurasian Doctrine

    The Eurasian Doctrine refers to the intertwined foreign policy of the communist world presented by General Secretary of the Soviet Union Vitaly Vorotnikov. This had been a reaction to the Soviet Union’s stagnation in foreign policy under Yuri Andropov, who had been reforming the Comecon for a decade. As a Stalinist, Vitaly expressed discontent with the communist disunity throughout the world by lack of solidarity. He also criticized Afghanistan and Pakistan’s pyrrhic battles, determining the Soviet Union to show cowardly force towards non-communist ideologies.

    General Secretary Vitaly Vorotnikov, 1987

    Various speeches have been proposed as central of this doctrine, but the Astrakhan Speech in November 1988 symbolizes the core of the doctrine.
    The workers of the world will not rise inevitably because of the corrupt in the world’s conservative beliefs, either by wealth, nobles, or petty beliefs. We will reclaim the dominance of the proletariat if we strive for it. Aiming for the highest of stars, equality is above all men and women. May the three trifectas (China, India, and the Soviet Union) shine from the darkness, presenting to the workers of Eurasia that communism is their right and communism is their hope.​

    The Eurasian Doctrine had three fundamental objectives. First, the communist world should refit itself as united and strong. It meant a stronger Warsaw Pact and Comecon, with India and China to be strong associations with the communist world. Authoritative and drastic measures can be given to each member state to reaffirm the communist belief in every citizen of the worker’s world. Second, communism aims to expand across Eurasia, at a finishing blow to monarchial states of Europe, any theocratic sentiments in Balkan and the Middle East, and resolve the communist struggle in Eurasia (Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Pakistan). Last, the strive for excellence in the communist world shall not be from mundane activities of the proletariat, but also improving the livelihood by better science, security, and connectivity to one another.

    Direct consequences of the Eurasian Doctrine were shown from the repercussions in the Arab world. Saudi Arabia, one inconsistent ally of the communist world, has been outraged by the Eurasian Doctrine's denouncement of Islam. They presented a proper protest to the Soviet Union, which Secretary Vitaly retorted with insults of Saudi Arabia’s involvement with Mujahideen. Meanwhile, the doctrine appealed to the UASR for moderate relations with the Soviet Union after personal disputes with Premier Nasser.

    Since the Eurasian Doctrine was new, its effects of it would not change by the 90s. But analysts have stated that this could show communist aggression to the world balance, invoking Islamism, pro-Europeanism and Asia Pacific allies growing closer to the United States. Predictions of Africa, meanwhile, were inconclusive.

    There we go, next up will return to domestic events.
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    Race of 1988 Part 6a: Wait what?
  • Cukup Dua Periode

    25th November 1987 was the last day of presidential candidate registration. The day was longed for by everyone, not just the dilemma under the new premiership, but also it answered the ultimate problem Indonesians questions; Will the president rerun?

    Looking at the past, presidential elections seldom consumed time. First, the number of parties are particularly limited with lesser candidates willing to nominate. Second, before Subandrio the Indonesian presidents are naturally ascended, not elected. Therefore, the race seemed less about the clash of ideologies, mere personal backgrounds. At this time, the frail 73-year-old Subandrio had long gone its perquisites. Every Indonesian had been asking the president about 1988. But when questioned about it, Subandrio had ignored every one of them. Many speculated Subandrio waited until the last second to see who his challengers are. Some others argued his questionable popularity has been refraining him for reelection.

    For the last 10 years, the president’s popularity has been classified into two different eras of his lifetime. One was his time as the closest aide of Sukarno, one was him as the senior partner of LKY. As foreign minister, he helped push Sukarno’s agenda to the international stage, despite personally objecting to the Australian Aggression. He had similar views to Sukarno’s idea of Indonesia, which made him the diplomat he is. Subandrio was zealous on increasing the livelihood of Indonesians; he yet failed to discover how. Thus, Subandrio pursued decades of ideological viewpoints, one he supported on LKY’s liberalism strategy. Subandrio’s premiership in the 1970s was passing, but it marked the initial stages of Indonesian betterment, such as the reorganization of education, housing surplus, national integration, and many others. After his ascendance to the presidency, his policies are dwarfed by LKY’s more controversial policy but remained popular by LKY’s overwhelming bequest.

    As cited to be the remaining defender of the old PPP system, President Subandrio stayed as the questionable, yet necessary candidate to unite the PPP. That factored from the president’s overwhelming influence in high levels of the PPP party, despite Barisan Progresif have begun opposing. Many of these reasons came from the naïve hopes of Emil Salim and many others with the president’s tenure. As many speculated, President Subandrio could be the only band-aid for the clash of the ideologues. Unfortunately, his insecurity spoiled his good image. After the slow distrust with LKY’s Malacca Faction, President Subandrio thwarted the PPP into internal division. He was an indirect accomplice of Mahathir’s “coup”, thus disdained by the progressives. His attempt to resurface the Nonaligned Movement fared poorly, his education policy starved with budget deficits from the effects of political instability. In response, Subandrio had doubled down on Mahathir’s narrative of Malay privilege, a contradiction of his statements a few decades ago.
    “There is no Chinese Indonesian, Indian Indonesian, Native Indonesian. Only Indonesian. We bleed red, eat rice and struggle evenly in this wretched war. Should we work together as an Indonesian, not only we can plow through this struggle, but win it as well.”

    Subandrio during an exclusive Tempo Interview about the Australian Aggression, 15th September 1961​

    Subandrio’s regime indeed suffered a malaise nearing the election year, yet the popularity he received was possible for a campaign run. His positive legacy, truthfully LKY’s brainchild, continued to appease few hearts as decent achievements. In recent October surveys, many had shown favourable opinions to the president relative to other candidates. Most of them defended the president of the “downs” in his presidency as temporary, thus entrusting him for reelection. Few radicals, in Barisan Progresif and Barisan Kesejahteraan as an example, yet presented merely less favourable than outright opposed. From all of this, Subandrio did not seek for election in an instance.

    Subandrio’s silence sparked hope for other challengers to rise. Almost every party outside the PPP has suggested their idols to run for president. Still, the presidency was a difficult task, many chose not to run for president. Gus Dur was enticed by NU compatriots but rejected in the final seconds. PNI-R attempted to promote Ali Sadikin, but he preferred running in the Parliament. In the end, only one stood against Subandrio, Guntur Sukarnoputra.

    Unlike most parties who campaign party ideologues, the PPI had been promoting Guntur and all his policies. The 1988 Manifesto was published on all party pamphlets, broadcast on any radio station PPI could find. Guntur was meticulous to clear any signs of pro-communist in his statements, akin to opposition from the progressive PPP wing. He also campaigned against the Bumiputera policy, which ended the friendship between Mahathir’s populist wings. After five years, the candidate had aimed for a compromise candidate, an alternative against the “madness” he expressed which is the Bumiputera plan. In his speeches, he reinforced his disgust with the policy. The manoeuvre was so cunning because Subandrio must choose to adhere to said policy should he try running.

    Guntur may be promoted as a great challenger of President Subandrio, yet he remained circled with various rivals, as other parties were reluctant to cooperate with him. He was infamous for his authoritative measures in his internal party, much to the disappointment of other’s proposed coalitions. He vilified many of the other’s officials, like Ali Sadikin and Try Sutrisno, to be the reason for Sukarno’s fait accompli resignation. Under his remarks, he also disliked the Malayan establishment, stating the true spirit of Indonesia stemmed from the spirits of ’45 which Malaysians never participated. Nevertheless, he sought for the progressives of the PPP, all of whom teetering on party loyalty.

    In November, frequent visits happened in the Presidential Palace. Many of them are the PPP’s highest public officials, progressive or populist, that wished Subandrio to be the image. Emil Salim, the leader of the Barisan Progresif, wished the President to be a middle-ground between pro-LKY and pro-Mahathir, therefore maintaining unity. On the other hand, Premier Mahathir had tried boosting Subandrio to Kesejahteraan Rakyat, determining a split of the party. These visits ended up with empty hands though, as the President had his lips closed on confirmation. That is until 11th November 1987.

    That Wednesday, the President was flying on his trip to Balikpapan when he suddenly convulsed. The president suffered a second deadly stroke. When the plane landed in Suryadarma Airport Jakarta, the president was rushed to RS Gatot Subroto, with reports on the ambulance that he continues convulsing. News about the president’s health stayed dark until the 13th of November when RS Gatot Subroto officials finally declared the president to be resuscitated from a two-day coma. The media rushed in for further questions which the doctors blocked them. From later reports of his well-being, the President had massive stress on his work, thus causing the repetitive strokes this year. The recent coma reemerged the question of the President’s reelection, now citing health as the most critical factor.

    On the first day of next week, President Subandrio has returned to the Presidential Palace, greeted the cameras in the process. Despite a return, the president seemed to have a significant change in his heart, reasons still unknown. Unlike previous attempts that he would undermine the pro-LKY’s sympathizers on his words, his public conference remained neutral on those matters. His efforts have drawn to the tough NAM revival, a personal reflection of his Sukarno-ism tendencies. Moreover, he shook Indonesia to the core after his November speech, a piece that would remain prevalent in Indonesian history.
    As much as I would want my presidency to continue. The last nine years has been a great adventure filled with obstacles and challenges. Back in 1978, as the former Premier of the nation, I had hoped for changes, rapid ones. The spirit of then was passionate, flooded to the hearts of the nation, replenish them with a new hope for better Indonesia. Nowadays, that same man had turned into an old me, enduring questionable choices, suffering repetitive health problems. I tried reinvigorating myself with new objectives, one that fulfill the gap left by the previous years of my presidency. Yet, with less than a year of evaluation, I find myself on a pickle, realizing that many of my personal ambitions can be destructive to others.

    The last episode of my health problems was, arbitrarily, an indirect blessing derived from Allah. For once, I looked upon my deeds, actions, consequences additionally. I transformed Indonesia’s education, albeit slow-paced. I solved the housing crisis with thousands of new homes build a remarkable achievement should I remind you the government did not lend debts. My premier had tweaked the root systems of Indonesia’s bureaucracy, forming a simplified and practical version which I remained grateful for. Finally, Premier Musa Hitam has provided the best regulation in history, providing a compromise between the undoubted demands of better livelihood and the relentless ventures of the enterprise.

    Under these considerations, I felt my presidency as one chapter of Indonesians history. This, for me, is the era of Indonesia’s great growth, progress and increments on the global order. Nonetheless, all eras will end, I think my era ends soon. In conclusion, it’s time for Indonesia to open a new chapter, whatever that will be.

    As a result, I will not run for president in this 1988 election. I hope my concerns receive well by all sides and the entire brethren of Indonesia. Cukup dua periode, Indonesia butuh pemimpin baru

    Besides his rejection of reelection, President Subandrio gave an honest response to the people of Indonesia about his remaining years in office. He declared the Nonaligned Movement as his main objective, a stable friendship between the UASR, Yugoslavia, and the remains of the old movement. Moreover, he would give the proportionate response to the crisis in Vietnam in a later broadcast. Abiding the constitution, he admitted his past for intervention in the premiership sector, some even disturb the premier’s work. He promised to concentrate on foreign affairs, one Indonesia is lacking greatly. Subandrio’s change of demeanour surprised the media, even more, when he continued about his wishes of the last term about separation of powers. He stated even though the president and premier should show deliberation in governmental affairs, both leaders must honour the separation of duty.

    Promises made, promises kept.

    I will finish this chapter with the true candidates of the 1988 election, but lemme post this big boy out.
    I'M BACK
  • Hello all, it's been more than a month. The most prolonged absence I've been not in this TL, but the ATL community. Life is tough, assignments, exams and projects are everywhere. The last month being a prick to me.

    Luckily, exams are over, I have almost a three-month break until August (there's still other extra-co stuff, but that's manageable).

    So sorry for dear viewers to think this TL is dead, it definitely isn't, as I promised myself to complete this in my past. Give me three or four days to look at this TL again, expect a new post by late next week.
    Race of 1988 Part 6b: And thus there were two
  • The Honor of Candidacy

    For every election in this era of Indonesian history, there have been “firsts”. This election signified the first election in which a second-term incumbent declined for reelection. For scholars in the Western World, it symbolized Indonesia’s struggle with leaders quenched their desire for the cycle of democracy. For formerly Indonesian intellectuals, it marked the breakup of the incumbent party. Some modern scholars might argue the end of “stable” Indonesian regimes, an unfortunate outcome which 1988 may be the triggering point. Until Subandrio’s refusal, 1988 candidates were a mere two, Subandrio and Guntur Sukarnoputra. Notable others, like Try Sutrisno, Gus Dur and Ali Sadikin have all objected to candidacy because of past events, particularly 1983 Umar’s humiliation. The defeat of Umar reminded people that the most prominent politician in the party may not be the most popular with the people. Moreover, only Guntur’s PPI has shown total discontent towards PPP, the others “dangling their feet” to the incumbent. After Subandrio announced it, however, many of whom regretted not seeking the office.

    Indonesian presidency, in the meantime, also carried one fundamental superstition everyone believes. From Sukarno, Nasution and Subandrio, the two successors were either “appointed” or “recognized” by the Proclamator. Nasution has been a personal choice of Sukarno during the troubled times, while Subandrio was Sukarno’s aide-de-camp during the 60s. Hence, it has brought many “perspectives” supporters for all aisles wished to promote. Naturally, Guntur had the highest legitimacy from his bloodline, but Subandrio supporters ridiculed him for losing the 1983 election. After Subandrio’s declination, it was hard to find another replacement.

    Kesejahteraan Rakyat of the PPP pushed their first move by proclaiming Mahathir Mohammad as president. Albeit no wishes from the Premier, his ardent supporters have happily hoped for this move, a golden opportunity one should seek. The politicians disagree, as Mahathir’s candidacy will weaken his influence in the Parliament, thus policies like Bumiputera and various labour laws might lose into obscurity. Less than ten days before the deadline, the wing decided to lobby the moderate candidate. That candidate, horror to Barisan Progresif, was General Susilo Sudarman.

    General Susilo Sudarman, renowned for his actions as a “guerilla general”, appease the population as less divisive than any Kesejahteraan Rakyat candidates, yet have individual opinions supporting Mahathir’s base. He was the only general lucky to involve in military actions in Mozambique. That said, General Susilo Sudarman suffered from that popularity, as Mozambique eventually surrendered to despotic leaders. The general thus blamed the United States to agonize the native Africans so far as to reject democracy. The general lacked an authoritarian demeanour, and willingness to rest decisions on expert politicians, a perfect candidate for Mahathir Mohammad.

    As Defense Minister, General Sudarman had no consequential controversies that could damage his image, as Try Sutrisno had. He was close to the President and garnered the general the “legitimate” claim for the presidency. His cunning and diplomatic vigour also appealed to many moderate PPPs, alienating the Barisan Progresif Pro-LKY wing as the “radical” one. In conclusion, the general was the best option for Kesejahteraan Rakyat's success. Mere days after a deliberate brainstorming from the populist end of the PPP, Mahathir Mohammad urged General Sudarman as the new candidate for the presidency. Sudarman approved after a night, declaring his candidacy on the 20th of November 1987. In his speech, he disclosed the continuation of the President’s policies: Non-Aligned Movement, promise to reform labour, and other Subandrio-ism policies.

    The candidacy of Susilo Sudarman drained all optimism on Barisan Progresif. The general’s small dispute with LKY before had discouraged pro-LKY politicians into his close circle. His compassionate attitude (unlike most generals authoritatively stern), too harmed Barisan Progresif in moderate PPP voters. Musa’s absence in federal politics killed enthusiasm for this party, as neither had any alternative on any charisma and experience to counter Susilo Sudarman. Days wreak the liberal wing on how to reclaim pre-1988 influence. Emil Salim, the faction leader, tried appeasing the new general. His initial intentions preferred Susilo Sudarman as the “unifying” candidate for PPP, therefore again wished for balance between Barisan Progresif and Kesejahteraan Rakyat.

    Mere days before the day, Emil Salim visited presidential candidate Susilo Sudarman at his residence. They expressed cordial greetings at each other, obvious publicity to recognize PPP’s attempts to unify itself after months of obstacles. There, two conflicting minds have tried to renegotiate. Mahathir’s faction meant an overhaul of labour policies, one of which increased union presence in the country. With restraint foreign policy and domestic look, General Susilo Sudarman supported these ideas from experiences of failed expeditions. Unbeknownst to the party and public, General Susilo Sudarman expressed doubts about Bumiputera's policy, declaring it inherently wrong within Pancasila. The statement calmed Emil Salim. Furthermore, he honoured LKY for all progress he has created in Indonesia. He promised to be as moderate as possible, curtailing any radical attempts both from Kesejahteraan Rakyat and Barisan Progresif, a proposal Emil Salim agreed. Just hours after his visit with Emil Salim, General Susilo Sudarman approached Mahathir Mohammad. Many speculated that Susilo Sudarman “give some sense” that the Bumiputera policy was too radical for the entire nation, also mediating with the opposing wing will be better as previous months of riots and chaos engulfed the nation. The General, meanwhile, affirmed Labour rights, claiming that Indonesia’s path to progress includes modernization, that being unionization akin to Western nations in the height of the industry. Just hours before the registration deadline, the General proclaimed his candidacy speech.
    For the last months of this nation, uncertainty has grown under the party of the incumbent. Riots between two conflicting factions under the same party ridicule us in the eyes of the people, opening our adversaries’ opportunities. I can assure you this party has experienced decades of maturity, with two great opposing minds towards the same goal, improving the prosperity of Indonesians. We have one faction claiming labour as the key, to improving laws protecting workers and farmers. The other faction claimed industrial conglomerates as the key, to improving Indonesia’s productivity on the international stage. However, let me remind everyone, all Indonesians, PPP especially, that things that unite us are far greater than things that divide us. We believe in improving the prosperity of our citizens, reclaiming our status as a formidable power, and also tread the delicate balance between adhering to the West and the Oriental East. As a matter of fact, that has been who we are, Indonesians. As the wedge between two massive oceans and two great continents, we have become the bottleneck of trade and civilization. That’s why we have been so tolerant of each other because our legacy has defined us so. Tolerance has been our greatest gift to humankind. We have united in many things grander than petty skin colour, our struggles against imperialism have been one example. From our previous generations, glorious heroes have died for the survival of this federation, many of whom had no care of race, religion, and local tradition.

    I mention tolerance to remember us of recent events of intolerance within our party. What we need in 1988 is a unifying face, not disunity. I believe PPP has great politicians, but they forget the factor which drives PPP successful in the first place: unity. With my candidacy, I hope I can be the middle ground between two conflicting factions within our party, harnessing as the true successor of Subandrio, paving way for another path for PPP’s chance to reform Indonesia.

    -Susilo Sudarman 1987​

    The General sparked new hope in moderate supporters of PPP (mostly urban dwellers in Java and Sumatra), the pivotal populations that win Subandrio the presidency. Meanwhile, fringe groups on both sides (Barisan Progresif and Kesejahteraan Rakyat) expressed disappointment in another “conciliatory” candidate for PPP. Even, though Emil Salim was the only one satisfied, Mahathir Mohammad was a little displeased by his announcement. Still, he realized that PPP’s survival may have this as the only option, with Guntur gaining big steam under the disunited PPP.

    Restarting a TL accidentally from hiatus is like a train steaming after a stop; It needs time to regain normal speed. Moreover, as I looked at my timeline again, I notice a few of my TL "points" better with the new options, thus subsequently changing my initial outline of this TL. This, truthfully, has been one example.

    Expect more "back-and-forth" politics in 1988, next post should look at an unexpected (yet pleasing) turn of events.
    Last edited:
    Race of 1988 Part 7: Legislative Results
  • The Campaign Messages

    The uncertainty of 1988 was unlike any other election before, it evolved into the most rugged, yet quite pathetic. Began with the assassination of the Premier in August 1986, the labour issue that lingered throughout 1987, PPP’s internal conflicts nearing 1988 and the lingering fate of SEATO and Spratly League. In contrast to the era of Nasution and Sukarno (most of them being deliberate constants in growth), Subandrio’s has been the drastic ups, then the abrupt downs. The downs were the most evident in this decade, but the ups should not be neglected as so. One of them was the strange economic uptick at the beginning of 1988.

    As the presidential campaigns of both candidates began in January 1988, establishment General Susilo received the positive boost it needed because of the surprising economic return from the last quarter’s report. The labour dispute has dissipated mostly during that time, bringing productivity higher than pre-crisis levels, enhancing the economy once more with astonishing 7.5% growth in capital. Most of the workers have settled old wounds with industrial owners, finalising the malaise of 1987. It garnered a mixed response from the incumbent PPP. Barisan Progresif was disgruntled with the populist’s flattering contribution to the Indonesian economy, hence their popularity decreased in the national vote. Contrary to the popular belief, Kesejahteraan Rakyat also suffered uneasiness, as the healing economy tarnished any chance of Bumiputera policies enacted, again dispirited hardcore populists like Mahathir Mohammad. Fortunately, this gift can’t be more specifically aimed at General Susilo Sudarman, the Subandrio-ist successor.

    General Susilo Sudarman, 1988

    Other factors that cause this growth may be foreigners’ confidence, especially with Indochina War nearing its end, and Japan’s continuous economic growth. The issues in the United States, Wars in Pakistan, and Africa also Europe’s serendipity did little mark on the Asia-Pacific economy. Moreover, with Indonesia as the most appropriate choice for Japanese importers (considering all options lack economic power), Indonesia was again the exclusive beneficiary of Japan’s economic miracle. International events may also be involved in this strange phenomenon. The Suez Canal access to the Europeans has been rather safe for commerce, as opposed to previous hostilities from the Israeli exodus. Consequently, European trading has had a steady increase over the last year, improving Indonesia’s trading opportunities abroad.

    Daihatsu factory in Bekasi, one of the largest employers in Jakarta Greater Region'

    The apparent campaign message for General Susilo Sudarman, despite protests within Kesejahteraan Rakyat, was the continuation of Subandrio’s balance between meeting the economic demands of industrial growth as well as fulfilling the needs of working-class Indonesians. He expressed this balance with a concept of a ‘dual system’, one that pioneered Sudarman’s core campaign policies. He believed cities and rural can be mutual on each other while retaining their unique attributes. This disparity may be contextualized by uneven fiscal policy, different electoral systems, or custom education curriculums. His “One Country Two System” [1] policy gathered moderates en masse, especially in comparison to Guntur’s policy. Listening to Subandrio and moderate PPP politicians, he abstained himself from public view to let the economy rebound his popularity. His social stances softened towards Barisan Progresif, announcing similar rhetoric of avoiding Bumiputera policies while emphasizing diversity as a strength. Again, this non-conformist campaign resonated with many of Sudarman’s campaigns, as proven by his advocacy speeches of the current system.

    General Susilo Sudarman was in a dilemma as he opposed Japan’s remarkable leverage in Indonesia but realized the importance of Japan in Indonesia’s current growth. Barisan Kesejahteraan also demanded more independence from Japan, diversifying imports to the United States or Europe. Nevertheless, the general relinquished his old prejudice, and thus embraced Japan as Indonesia’s most valuable partner. He charmed moderates of the PPP who enjoyed all that is, while diehard Barisan Progresif and Kesejahteraan Rakyat expressed discontent. In the end, his foreign promises were those Subandrio wished to continue, plans like reviving the Asia-African spirit, improving Third World standing and Politik bebas aktif. In the end, Sudarman opted for minimal fresh ideas, and let Subandrio-ism take the mantle.

    The lack of freshness in Sudarman’s policy gave mileage for Guntur to adopt more revolutionary ones, for better or worse. As many of Sudarman policies were, at most, a “moderate” version of Guntur’s, his campaigners thought banking on radical versions may invigorate the PPI base. Therefore, albeit Guntur was advocating similar policies to the general, he gained the upper hand with sound reforms to the PPP. Guntur’s supporters have started calling Sudarman a “status-quo bootlicker”, a slander used to dissuade independents. This had also led liberal hardcore PPI factions, Barisan Progresif, to bank slightly in favour of the Proclamator’s son. This, in return, made the 1988 election a pathetic choice of candidates for the general populace would choose either the pragmatic or the radical, with policies more or less identical.

    Guntur and Mega during a fundraising event, 1987

    His most publicized policy is universal basic healthcare for all Indonesians. He wished the government to subsidize basic healthcare programs, such as subsidized medicine for the poor, subsidized doctor visits for the elderly above 65, with better public health insurance to cover everyone[2]. Yet, to appease the liberals, he advocated a slight “ranked” insurance level, providing more wealthy Indonesians with better healthcare options. It would increase the health budget by almost 156%, therefore Sudarman attacked Guntur for risking the national budget. Guntur insisted, even countering Sudarman’s attacks with his mediocrity on every policy.

    The PPI, to attract the PNI-R base, supported a national increase in the federal defense, decrying the need for Indonesia’s armed forces on such vast territories of Indonesia. Piracy in Madagascar, albeit manageable, has been Guntur’s main concern about Indonesia’s standing. He stated while Indonesia will withstand current raids, the government’s inaction would encourage those pirates for further opportunities. He also pointed out that the Chagos Archipelago, former British Indian Ocean Territory, may be further extended as an Indonesian base between the proper mainland and Madagascar. While Sudarman interjected such an offer, believing the current state of world affairs was not as urgent for Indonesia’s expanded armed forces, Guntur immediately launched an attack claiming Sudarman was dependent on American forces.

    Guntur’s other policy, his base’s red meat, was the organization of labour unions in Indonesia. He emphasized all developed nations were birthed from a strong union [3], so Indonesia should own as well. Guntur applauded the labour efforts on compromising with the Premier for the 1987 Labour Law. The appeal did damage a little for the progressive voters because of the trauma from previous pro-labour demonstrations. Guntur, already aware of the backlash, defended his ideals towards the liberals, claiming labour unions in the US, France and Germany were paramount for the nation’s greatness. He further strengthened his argument, claiming labour unions would benefit every Indonesian rising from critical poverty, and elevate to “middle class” (although the PPI refrain from using the term of its toxicity on communist supporters).

    PPI propaganda translated "100% Merdeka" as "100% Labour Unions", might not be so in retrospect or from the illustration alone.

    Guntur’s foreign policy take a progressive turn as he pushed for a more diplomatically active Indonesia. Indonesia under his presidency will be inspirational, like how Sukarno’s charisma flowed globally from his speeches during foreign visits and the annual UN congress. He remained a staunch advocate for NAM’s revival, although he downplayed the ‘non-aligned’ ideologue in contrast to Sudarman. Contrary to popular belief, his main objective was the revival of the Spratley League and SEATO, claiming these organizations as Indonesia’s major dominance apparatus [4]. Although South Vietnam was turning the tide, Guntur attacked Subandrio and Sudarman for their refusal on aiding a close ally, giving even the hardcore communists within PPI significant criticism.

    Overall, both candidates seemed to present a similar approach to policies, opinions, and approaches in almost all domestic policies. The stark difference in foreign policy, meanwhile, did possess a significant distinction between the two candidates. For Indonesians, one was too careful and pragmatic, the other radical and vigorous. The lack of direction in Sudarman gave PPP a chance for a broad coalition of moderates, while Guntur gave a significant boost to PPI’s vote, as well as appeals to certain aspects of the political spectrum.

    Coalition Forms

    Legislative Election would happen on Wednesday, 6 April 1988. Before that, the multi-party system of the legislative body opened new chances of a coalition, break, or bond, before the new 1988 government truly take place. Although previous projections of coalition bonds may shape public perspective on each party, the year surprised all expectations when all hell breaks loose with various parties expressing unforeseen friendships, rivalries, and even opposition. However, if one takes a closer look at their campaign policies, it was not impulsive as one may see.

    The first surprise was how Guntur appealed to the PNI-R’s Ali Sadikin into a close relationship. The close bond emerged from Old Party’s ruthless opposition to PPP’s populist party after Bumiputera policy as a new campaign promise. With PNI-R’s civic nationalism, many politicians admitted Guntur to be more politically aligned rather than General Sudarman. Moreover, the PPI’s no monarchist appeal harnessed more love from Nusantara Faction. Guntur never expressed any disdain for incumbent monarchs, but Guntur’s idealism invoked the spirit within Nusantara supporters, the vigour that was lost after Nasution’s absence.

    PUI, the party that Guntur sought in 1983, was not fond of PPI anymore in 1988. Gus Dur and Amien Rais may have invoked opposition against Bumiputera, but Sudarman’s moderate stance has appealed ulemas back against Guntur. Indeed, Guntur has assured the public that Islam will continue as a fundamental aspect of Indonesians, but his intention of separating church and state may dissuade religious supporters against him. Between a rock and a hard place, the PUI betrayed the planned PPI-PUI Coalition by Sudarman, forming the new Teruskan Coalition in early January 1988. In a public declaration, Amien emphasized PPP’s willingness to advocate Indonesia’s Islamism model as part of the candidate’s policies, a negotiation done between Amien, Gusdur, and Mahathir Mohammad.[5]

    There is one new party entering the race, Partai Majelis Persatuan Muslimin, an Islamist party that originated in Depok, Pasundan State. Ustadz Abdul Ghafar from Depok has assumed leadership as the only party that emerged victorious with strict party regulations under the Indonesian federal constitution. However, his ideas fell flat on his constituents of Pasundan State, but a surprising enthusiasm arrived from Aceh, where hardcore Aceh Islamists were against NU and Muhammadiyah, and wished for a new branch of Islamic ideology in Indonesia.

    Another intriguing turn of events was the changing leadership in Barisan Koalisi Daerah Timur. Lawrence G. Rawl, an American conglomerate in Timika [6], assumed great influence in the party’s leadership, ousting former Maluku secessionists from the high command. BKDT changed their policies, from advocating East provinces’ rights to extremely pro-liberal policies which Rawl has matured in. As this was a definite target for American growing immigrants across Papua, BKDT was, in one perspective, ousted by foreigners. The disappointed core Maluku supporters of BKDT fled for the remainder of the federal parties, but Tutut’s opportunist outlook may gather the upper hand on the residents. Politically, the new BKDT would align more towards progressive PPP, but they remained distant on joining the Teruskan Coalition.

    Until the legislative election, Teruskan Coalition was the only coalition formally established as a political pact in the 1988 election. The potential of a competing coalition involving PNI-R and PPI was likely but went nowhere before the election ended. Partai Aliansi Melanesia, a regional Melanesian party in the Solomon Islands, have a significant boost from the Tragedy of Poroporo. Polls indicate PPP’s decline from the political turmoil in 1986 and 1987, while PPI and PUI were the biggest victories.

    The Legislative Election

    The results came as expected from poll analysts, without LKY and Subandrio, the PPP voters on Java fled to PPI. PNI-R, an interesting anomaly, managed to hold on with little loss, rather than PRD’s downfall from 83 seats to 36 allocated seats. The shift came from PRD’s policy aimed at specific promises, like ending forest fires in Eastern Sumatra, pro-Javanese immigration in Lampung and former BKDT’s Maluku base migration. In other areas that were Suharto stronghold, either moved to PNI-R or PPI. PUI was the biggest winner in this election and managed to double in size from religious folks in various states of Indonesia rallying for the party notably in Banjar, Jombang and Minang. PPI swept clean Java’s Northern coasts from Serang to Semarang, except for the Jakarta region PPP.​

    Although the BKDT, MAP (Melanesia) and PMPM (Islamists) did not receive 5% of the popular vote to get a seat in the Parliament, these parties manage to gather a deal with major parties (PPP, PNI-R and PUI respectively) to put their representative affiliation as these major parties first, before eventually registered themselves as their party. This tactic, known as "Nebeng-ism" has sprouted and flourished since 1988. Promises to the big party, like siding in legislation and others had happened so these candidates can proceed. Also, these small-party candidates have been very popular in their respective counties (Stanley Ann Dunham in North Papua as an example), so not giving them seats may give respective regional voters spite to main parties, eventually opposing them.

    People's Representative Council of Indonesia (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Indonesia)
    DPR Post-1972 (2).png

    555 Seats

    Melanesian Alliance Party (Partai Aliansi Melanesia) - 8 seats - 1.44%
    Partai Nasional Indonesia - Raya (National Party of [Greater] Indonesia) - 56 seats - 10.09%

    • Fraksi Nasionalis (Nationalist Faction) - 8 seats
    • Fraksi Nusantara (Ali-Suryadino Faction) - 48 seats
    Partai Pekerja Indonesia (Indonesian Worker's Party) - 127 seats - 22.88%
    Barisan Koalisi Daerah Timur (Eastern Coalition Front) - 12 seats - 2.16%

    Partai Rakyat Demokratik (People's Democratic Party) - 36 seats - 6.49%
    Partai Umat Islam (Islam People's Party) - 68 seats - 12.25%

    • Fraksi NU (NU Faction) - 39 seats
    • Fraksi Muhammadiyah (Amien Faction) - 29 seats
    Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (Progressive Union Party) - 247 seats - 44.50%
    • Fraksi Hatta (Hatta Faction) - 2 seats
    • Fraksi Kesejahteraan Rakyat (MelayuFaction) - 121 seats
    • Fraksi Barisan Progresif (Malacca Faction) - 108 seats
    • Fraksi Madagascar (Madagascar Faction) - 16 seats
    Partai Majelis Persatuan Muslimin (Assembly of United Muslims Party) - 1 seat - 0.18%

    People's Regional Council of Indonesia (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah Indonesia)
    DPD post 1972 (2).png

    114 Seats

    Melanesian Alliance Party (Partai Aliansi Melanesia) - 3 seats - 2.63%
    Partai Nasional Indonesia - Raya (National Party of [Greater] Indonesia) - 17 seats - 14.91%

    • Fraksi Nasionalis (Nationalist Faction) - 7 seats
    • Fraksi Nusantara (Ali-Suryadino Faction) - 10 seats
    Partai Pekerja Indonesia (Indonesian Worker's Party) - 22 seats - 19.30%
    Barisan Koalisi Daerah Timur (Eastern Coalition Front) - 3 seats - 2.63%

    Partai Rakyat Demokratik (People's Democratic Party) - 9 seats - 7.89%
    Partai Umat Islam (Islam People's Party) - 15 seats - 13.18%

    • Fraksi NU (NU Faction) - 10 seats
    • Fraksi Muhammadiyah (Amien Faction) - 5 seats
    Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (Progressive Union Party) - 45 seats - 39.47%
    • Fraksi Hatta (Hatta Faction) - 1 seats
    • Fraksi Kesejahteraan Rakyat (MelayuFaction) - 22 seats
    • Fraksi Barisan Progresif (Malacca Faction) - 15 seats
    • Fraksi Madagascar (Madagascar Faction) - 7 seats

    [1] Similar to the China model, or the Shenzhen SEZ model, Nasution almost made that system in his presidency
    [2] Guntur attempted to mimic Carter's healthcare policy, the golden egg for his hardcore PPI supporter and also possibly PPP's liberals.
    [3] Different ideology, different propaganda, yet same purpose. Guntur will tell communist sympathizers unions in the Soviets or France as examples, while he would say the liberals that unions as in New Deal US labour Unions. Despite these unions may refer to opposite systems, the message stays similar.
    [4] Australian Aggression Sukarno, where the proclamator bank to US-leaning.
    [5] PPI was pissed, but nothing can be used as an attack as the coalition promise came from verbal promises, not written contracts.

    [6] OTL Exxon CEO in the 90s

    BIG explanation to give.

    The old me gave general guidelines on each Indonesian era, giving a strict path. I felt this has been bland after a month's hiatus, so I spice things up (Sudarman's candidacy as one). However, I realised too that the past-me method can obstruct my creativity, it gave me a sense of dread and confusion, and thus no paragraphs were written. I was almost at loss about this TL, almost unable to continue (laziness might be one, but the most crucial was the indecisiveness within me because I thought so many have to change). Nevertheless, I promised myself, so I need solutions fast. I eventually take a break (looking at other TL inspirations, both here and SV, found many luckily). I also looked at a few papers regarding Indonesian history. But the best turn of events came from an initiative to build up other parts of this TL, most notably ATL USA. I recalculated the EV (very fun actually), constructing TL-wise until 2024 (long, but also reinvigorating me in a way) and eventually gave broad guidelines so future me might detail it further. I ended up finishing this post just this morning, finally returning a willingness to move on. I have considered that, although this TL should be Indonesia-centered, the world is never centred around Indonesia, but can be so among major players on the global stage. This time, I used the US as the "constant" of world trends, giving me a sense of direction in Indonesia while maintaining the fluidity of Indonesian politics. This may contribute to my unusual interest in US politics, but basically, it makes room for TL construction.


    That big excel at the bottom has all the vote percentage of each US presidential election until 2024. I made this final, and I will unravel this one by one. (1988 one probably next two parts)

    A long story short, I have summarized US events all until 2024 (Big Events, Presidents*, even factions in power), way enough room for world-building. I freed myself to give any future Indonesian events to let me just go with the flow. Fortunately for you guys, I am prepared to unleash more lore.

    Alright, enough with the little introspection. Legislative elections are over, next is Presidential debates, the new Parliament, and all of its political shenanigans.

    See you next week.

    *Don't worry, my promise that there would only be one more OTL US president in TTL US President still holds true. Actually, I may have given the hint far before in one post, try looking for it :)
    Last edited:
    Race of 1988 Part 8: The Debates
  • Two Parted Ways

    The 1988 legislative election ended with two parties emerging triumphant in the year of confusion. Domestic factors have been voters’ actual concern, recalling the worrying events before this election. Foreign events had been a distant hum for Indonesians, even with South Vietnam’s news broadcasted daily. The constituents also desired a change of direction, as three decades of pro-liberal inclinations (Nasution’s apathy to any policies outside infrastructure efforts and LKY’s lengthy premiership) have drained the common populace. It seemed, arbitrarily, they discovered two alternatives.

    Partai Pekerja Indonesia won over Guntur’s charisma, the son of the founding father himself. Senior communist politicians rooted in decades of political activism, like Njono Prawiro and juniors of Aidit rule, have noticed pro-Guntur politicians elected in 1988. These politicians have endorsed communist policies throughout their lives, especially after the Soviet Union’s resurgence from the new leader. Price control, equal income and state property had been their fundamental promises throughout the birth of Indonesian communism. They supported state-controlled industry, banks, and finance. For any stereotypical communist one encounters, these politicians were perfect replicas. Guntur’s ideology, meanwhile, preferred the American version of the welfare state. They respect liberty, individualism, and private property. Their primary directive was the enlargement of trade unions, respectable minimal wages, a progressive tax system, and redistribution of income through government programs. These two drifted further apart after pro-Guntur politicians gave no emphasis on a strong unitary state, but a collective federation of union workers coalesced as one government’s interest groups. Old communist politicians dictated that the state need not have unions because those workers controlled the state. Also, Guntur's defence policy differed by advocating a robust military, while communist politicians preferred all citizens armed for the revolution. [1]

    Ironically, they adopted US pro-union propaganda as their own, as an example of this poster would be translated as PPI propaganda.

    This branch of PPI, eventually named Gunturism, was a synthetic balance of communist sympathies with a Western outlook. A bridge between two ideologies, moderate if one shall refer. It was a decent fuse of ideas for both PPP’s Barisan Progresif and PNI-R’s Nusantara to show support. Young Barisan Progresif supporters respected Guntur’s support of Carterism while Nusantara appealed to Guntur’s defence policy. Ali Sadikin, the leader of the Nusantara faction, also flirted with Guntur’s wealth-redistribution policy. Even so, PNI-R and PPP’s Barisan Progresif still doubted Guntur’s commitment to pro-West views as the party had been entrenched with anti-US partisans. [2] Gunturism displayed a significant challenge for gaining coalition partners; none of the other parties (albeit leaning) wished for mutual pacts.

    As PPI won by charisma, Partai Umat Islam won by the political ambience. Since the decades of Pancasila-ism fervently campaigned by the previous three assertive predecessors (Sukarno, Nasution and LKY), many disenfranchised underachievers of the new government system felt an urge for a new direction. Consists of the rural farmers who failed to rise as quickly as their urban counterparts, natives everywhere envious of outsider’s success and religious intellectuals vying for spiritual rejuvenation, these ‘losers’ of the old system demand change that only PUI provide. Gusdur and Amien Rais are towering figures in Indonesian Islamism. It received good sentiment from highly religious population groups (Minang and Mojokerto as examples). They gave Islam a presence in Indonesia’s governance, vital for fervent adherents who challenge the regime's reluctance on this matter. The conservative revival of these places gave PUI the starlight of the 1988 election. PPP’s Kesejahteraan Rakyat also rose from mere 30 people before the split, to 121 congressman, outnumbering Barisan Progresif. [3]

    Gusdur during a visit, 1988

    PUI supporters during the 1988 Legislative Campaign

    Promising signs for the incumbent Teruskan Coalition came from the active participation of the PUI’s top officials in the governing process. While Mahathir Mohammad was prevalent, his policies were unorthodox even to common Indonesian natives. PUI would become the catalyst of this extremist wing, eventually mustering a performing coalition with favourable support. Words of Mahathir Mohammad to step down for a compromise candidate are conversed by Teruskan party officials. The June and July Riots have influenced significantly towards PPP’s decrease in party seats. Daim Zainuddin, General Susilo Sudarman, Mahathir Mohammad, Abdurrahman Wahid and Amien Rais have held an unofficial meet in Sudarman’s house at Setiabudi, Jakarta. It was a long discussion, notably from the press’s presence on Sudarman’s front gates for almost 7 hours. On the 20th of April 1988, the Teruskan Coalition held a press conference for the new Premier.
    On behalf of the two partners of this great coalition, we should tolerate one another with a single goal of perfecting Indonesia as a better, fairer, and more devout nation. Our principles may aim for a single purpose, but policies would differ on one faction and another. To appease the common people, we should contribute to a unifying government, capable of reigning against seeds of discord and disorder. Fortunately, the elected coalition has given me confidence in the new government with Abdurrahman Wahid as my vice Premier. This rearrangement will satisfy the needs of the entire Indonesian as well as fulfilling our party’s main objectives. Our new administration shall sow the fruitful seeds of success and distribute them to everyone in need. It is time for a gentler, kinder era.

    Mahathir Mohammad​

    Mahathir and his wife were photoed after the declaration

    The premier continued his dominance on the federal podium, possibly to cater for the possibility of Kesejahteraan Rakyat’s policies enacted along the term. Also, being the largest part of Teruskan, PPP must commit to leading after a devastating riot after their actions. For now, the government is safely PPP. [4]

    The Debates

    Gusdur, Alwi Shihab and Habibie were conversing before the 1988 debate, on the right is Yenni Wahid, Gus Dur's daughter.

    Besides the political drama, 1988 was the first presidential debate in Indonesian history. Previous versions of this head-to-head with all candidates almost happened in 1973, but it emerged more as a dialogue of presidents than a debate of policies. This time, it mimicked the US Presidential Debates. Furthermore, additional features on cable companies’ equipment had been arranged for the two candidates. TVNI, the state television, sponsored the debate, coming in as the de-facto political cable of Indonesia. Government mandate had allowed these debates to be broadcasted on every Indonesian station, hoping for higher coverage.

    There would be three debates that occurred during the 1988 election. June 9th was the first of the bunch covering government legitimacy, law and Constitution, and Indonesian democracy. This is related to the recent events in Jakarta and Timor, both suffered great strides in riots along the way. Likewise, government legitimacy came into question with the Constitution’s failure to determine the limits of various government hierarchies. It was not a major crisis for most Indonesians at the time, but it was brought deliberately by the TV cables. This happened because cable regulations got problematized with local, royal, and state republic bureaucrats. [5] From 1945, 1950, 1959 and 1973, the revised Constitutions have been a temporary settlement to the issues at hand, one after another. The last establishment, 1973, was written to solve the constitutional crisis that erupted by the justification of Madagascar, Malaya, and Papua into an integral part of Indonesian society. That has given fundamental bases to operate, but there were further questions. Finally, the first debate challenged candidates to define “Indonesian democracy” with implementations on fulfilling the ideal course of action.

    The adult audience (especially government-related workers) sensed a US-based debate system would work poorly in Indonesian settings. Expectations for the first presidential debate were apathetic. However, this debate marked an excellent instrument of presidential campaigns, one that favoured extensively a charismatic candidate. The first presidential debate happened in the ballroom of Hotel Indonesia, just across from the Mandarin Hotel where the infamous June riots had occurred.

    Alwi Shihab moderated the first debate regarding government legitimacy. From the two candidates, it seemed both figures have evolved as their exaggerated labels. For starters, General Sudarman evaded any strong opinions about the recent events by claiming them as tragedies. If not, the General had deflected any moderator’s attempts to relate the question even further. Much to the general’s stubbornness, he even countered the moderator with severe accusations of manipulative media. Guntur, as expected, hammered the general by accusing Sudarman of siding too much with Mahathir and his cronies. He highlighted previous riots had been detrimental to everyone. Guntur’s attacks may harm his core bases, but they envigorated Barisan Progresif devotees.

    Alwi Shihab then opened another topic regarding Indonesia’s legitimacy on the international stage. General Sudarman cited Indonesia’s foreign policy problem from various scholars, concluding Indonesia must adhere to neutrality and pacifism. He refused to increase the military, relying on the international world to be more peaceful as time advanced. Guntur, again, attacked Sudarman, citing the new aggression in the Soviet Union, decrying peace through strength as Indonesia’s better foreign policy. This upset hardcore Barisan Progresif, but PNI-R was elated with Guntur’s strong viewpoint on defence. About South Vietnam, Guntur underlined Indonesian ties to South Vietnam while Sudarman merely expressed the horrors of the Vietnam War. Finally, regarding separatism in Aceh, parts of Maluku, Papua, and East Timor, Sudarman exclaimed the key to diplomacy while Guntur heavily defended Indonesia’s idea of a nation.

    Guntur won the first debate from multiple fronts, both in character and political circumstances. Before the second debate began, rumours of the Viet Cong completely collapsed had arrived in the Indonesian public, giving the necessary boost to ties with South Vietnam. [6] Moreover, East Timor had grown into a mild protest regarding Mahathir’s actions in Dilli, thus exhausting Sudarman’s campaign even more. Aceh had not helped with further demands of pro-Islam autonomy in the region. All these events gave Guntur increasing supporters.

    The second presidential debate (law and Constitution) became another heated argument because of the recent rise of localism across Indonesia. The 1973 Constitution repetitiously failed on tackling the modern crisis of the Indonesian federal government regarding government structure, autonomy and rights that have become increasingly apparent from the eve of the Labour Crisis. [8] The debate transpired in Borobudur Hotel with increasing media presence comparing the first one.

    Unlike the previous debate session, Sudarman turned aggressive on the series of questions inquired about the Constitution. He vowed to protest the Constitution and deny any changes as he argued laws are not interchangeable as men are. However, he gaffed himself that Indonesians should reeducate themselves about the Constitution, the output received as insulting for many. Guntur, after this event, confronted Sudarman from his statements, claiming that the 1973 Constitution was made in desperate times to negotiate with new republics. As Indonesia became more integrated, he implied essential changes should aim for an everlasting federation. Still, his momentum ended when he supported a split of Indonesia into numerous states - a motion DEI-Indonesians deeply rejected because of their trauma with a particular Dutch encounter. [7]

    Fortunately, Guntur won the debate with topics about law, deciding that a federal government must have a baseline of law all autonomous states must obey while local governments would be given adequate autonomy in matters local bodies could handle. He cited that three nations (the US, Soviet Union, and Federal Germany), all major world players, constitute a degree of federalism. In this debate, he reaffirmed his communist base that central government is not admirable in this modern era. PPI's communist appeal seemed to weaken Guntur, but that checked Sudarman’s capacity to express anything passionate about law.

    The third debate, Indonesian democracy, tested presidential candidates about an abstract notion of Indonesia’s democracy that differs from mainstream democracies. This growing concern from current Indonesian governments attempting to replicate American democracy became an issue for Indonesian intellectuals. As expected, Subandrio acclaimed his support of Sukarno’s idea of democracy as the deliberative consensus of all communities. He repeated the fourth clause of Pancasila as his guiding principle, one that harnessed decent support. His ideal solution to fulfil Indonesia’s unique democracy was to let time pass on, as Indonesians would be more developed than in their past, allowing maturity as the endgame. Guntur, similarly, had spoken close arguments that mirror Subandrio’s. Though, he preferred Indonesia's democracy as dialectics between various opposing powers whose ideas represented contrasting approaches to progression. Then, he trusted the civilians have good faith in deciding the best path forward.

    The first presidential debates were not outstanding due to the seemingly narrow discussions it has conveyed. Still, it became the precursor of Indonesian history of further presidential debates with better effects on Indonesia’s aptitude of choosing. National scholars have chosen this event as consequential to Indonesian history. In the subsequent months, it boosted Guntur’s popularity. In the succeeding times, it gave many changes for competent policymakers to have a better stance, especially after the 2010s.​

    [1] Senior PPI politicians are hardcore Marxists while Gunturism became more of a 'social democracy with Indonesian characteristics'.
    [2] Njono Prawiro and Aidit-ism still influence PPI. Remember that Guntur came and just control the party. This is OTL Partai Demokrat and SBY in the early years.
    [3] Expect more on 1990s political shenanigans
    [4] Emil Salim, the Barisan Progressive leader, also showed up as signs of 'unity', whatever that is for the 1988 PPP.
    [5] Sneak peek at what's to come.
    [6] I mention Vietnam as the 'only' foreign event to appear in the debates. This was not the case, as further chapters will explain. However, Vietnam was the only one that affected the debate.
    [7] Republik Indonesia Serikat is a painful remembrance of the Dutch 1st and 2nd Aggression. A federation has been a decent trend, but taking this plan would make things go too far. We wouldn't want a backlash of that to happen.
    [8] Again, another sneak peek.

    So, ITTL Indonesia has been significantly better in the democratization of the populace. Just a "feeling good" chapter while still addressing portions of the 1988 drama. The next post should be the presidential results before we close the chapter with foreign election results (especially the US).

    We have an incumbent under a pleasing position (good economy, 'peaceful times') and a challenger with oratory skills far beyond the incumbent. Who do you think will win?

    Before I finish. Here is the map of the 1988 legislative election.


    (Red = PPI [Partai Pekerja Indonesia] , Blue = PNI-R [Partai Nasional Indonesia - Raya], Green = PUI [Partai Umat Islam], Yellow = PRD [Partai Rakyat Demokratik], Golden Yellow = PPP [Partai Persatuan Pembangunan], Light Blue = BKDT [Barisan Koalisi Daerah Timur], Purple = Partai Melanesia, Black = PMPM [Partai Majelis Persatuan Muslimin])
    Last edited:
    Race of 1988 Part 9: Hear Ye the Word of the People
  • Call for Extension

    The Resurrection of Nusantara: How Indonesia Rose from Ashes of Colonialism (2015)
    Chapter 4: Post-LKY Populism

    Two months was all that separated the two pivoting elections of 1988. With the legislative chamber won by the incumbency, PPP officials would do their best to maintain the presidency. The task was not straightforward, Guntur Sukarnoputra had been accumulating voters in all corners of Indonesia. Meanwhile, international events provided benefits to Sudarman and the incumbent government. Methods of keeping the impetus were compulsory.

    Sudarman’s caution in the presidential debates had harmed his candidacy with polling decreased to margins below 5% of the popular vote. This was also caused by Guntur who had blared his speeches passionately, impacting both the youth and the elderly. The youth, naturally, have tended to vote for inspirational candidates that favoured a change in any form. The elderly, meanwhile, have noticed Guntur’s resemblance to his late father, placating him as the true Sukarno successor. Still, voting tendencies were distinguished not in generation, but the territory. To comprehend the process of voting groups between the two candidates, their campaign promises had been the perfect approach.

    Ostensibly, Sudarman’s appeal was the continuation of the successes within Subandrio’s presidency. That meant all Indonesians that gained from Subandrio’s (mostly LKY’s) policies supported Sudarman. Yet, Sudarman’s popularity was slightly damaged by his Premier, Mahathir Mohammad, for whom his initial government policies were still too radical for his promises of perpetuity. After he was appointed the Premier of Indonesia, Mahathir Mohammad reaffirmed his promise to his core ideals. He believed that Indonesia had given few elites golden opportunities for abuse of wealth, aiming for the lowest of farmers and labourers for better equality. He was steadfast in support of wealth redistribution, especially from the urban cities to rural villages, claiming that this method is the quickest way to eliminate inequality. There had been allegations of his inauguration speech as “dog-whistling” towards ethnic Chinese as the economical advantage societies in the 80s boom. But many Kesejahteraan Rakyat politicians object to these rumours, preventing mainly pro-ethnic Chinese Barisan Progresif from leaving the party. Eventually, these Kesejahteraan Rakyat officials targeted Javanese as their adversaries, bringing the old rhetoric that won Subandrio against Nasution. Another tactic Sudarman's campaigners used was their success in ending the Labour Crisis, a good one as workers were delighted by the outcome.

    This attack succeeded in Nasution’s downfall, but it gave a minuscule blow to the Guntur campaign which advocated everything their tactics had aimed for. Guntur, akin to Sukarno, had a broader appeal to almost everyone, rural and urban. Sudarman’s appeasement of native Indonesians falls flat on Guntur’s charisma ubiquitously. The elitist Javanese indictment also fell flat with most workers and farmers constituting Guntur’s core base, with the PPI manifesto unconcerned on any type of ethnicity. However, Guntur’s strong support can be derived from mostly Javanese as PPI’s core communist supporters came from the Northern coasts of Banyumas State, predominantly Javanese. There had been hoping for PPI’s clan that minorities will vote for Guntur as communists rarely favour racism as public policy. Furthermore, with China and India as communist states, Guntur would have a healthier appeal to low-class minorities with thick pro-ethnicity backgrounds. Still, with many Chinese and Indian Indonesians liberalized by LKY’s policies, political pundits had little idea whether they would defect to the PPP.

    Mahathir’s ardent wish to implement many of his Kesejahteraan Rakyat policies contradicted LKY’s policies in many forms. Federal governments encouraged positive discrimination for equality, which of course harmed Chinese Indonesians and other minorities labelled as “economically privileged”. Political experts suggested Mahathir’s impatience originated from his think-tank’s prediction of a drastic increase in wealth inequality in the 80s, with the 90s as the tipping point for wild conflict in Indonesia. These think tanks pointed to specific ethnicities as the culprit of the wealth inequality, Mahathir intended to balance this with a nativism-leaning stance for business regulations and other economic policies. The first example was the Program Rekonsiliasi, a bureaucratic program aimed at boosting local native businesses with minorities aiding them as “learners” and “co-sponsors”. These affluent conglomerates should give various aid, in money or vocational training, to newcomers so businesses may diversify and flourish. Barisan Progresif, Singaporeans in particular, condemned this as biased against Chinese minorities famous as productive businessmen. Luckily, this policy garnered great support from native Indonesians, noted many members of PUI, PRD and PNI-R supported it.

    The newly appointed Mahathir's second premiership had alienated Barisan Progresif further than Sudarman had anticipated, but he was certain the faction would not leave for the presidential election. He assumed PPP had made him the catalyst of two clashing factions, forging a compromise. The Subandrio Coalition, as many have put it, was still influential after all. Former British Malaya, Madagascar and half of Java were the core bases of this coalition which Sudarman likely won. Even with Guntur threatening Java, Sudarman will still receive the majority of the vote. Moreover, Sudarman had a cordial relationship with former Premier Suharto during his military career. Although this might be a dispiriting factor, he would have PRD campaigning for him. In Tutut’s point of view, PPP was the better alternative than Guntur because of personal rivalry, PNI-R (judging by Ali Sadikin’s interest) and overlapping demographies.

    Modern Indonesia – readers of this book – might have grasped the political environment to be very bizarre; one absolutely can relate. Ultimately, this election was the spark of Indonesia’s growing polarity. A divide between pro-equality and pro-growth, multicultural and Islam, and many other issues plagued Indonesia nowadays. At least, we can speculate how voter lines were drawn as such at that time. It was mostly stemmed by the remainders of the Subandrio Coalition, while Guntur brushed off some of the progressives into the fold.

    The map presents the majority of candidate’s colours in each sub-administrative region

    Official portrait of President Soesilo Soedarman
    Presidential Election 1978

    1. Soesilo Soedarman - 50.61 % - 58,114,225 votes
    2. Guntur Soekarnoputra -49.39 % - 56,703,061 votes
    Total Votes: 114,817,286

    Despite the 1988 Presidential Election being the least polarized election in history (even though 1988 events were quite controversial), the map signified a few patterns that would evolve permanently in the next era’s system. For starters, regions with influential monarchs present, such as Yogyakarta, Surakarta, and Brunei, voted the same tent as conservatives. Northern parts of Banyumas State (from Tegal to Semarang) voted on the other side. Nusa Tenggara (Lesser Sundas), divided into Muslim-predominated West and Christian-predominated East, will always be presented as opposing sides in this era. One last pattern was Aceh and the northern Malayan Peninsula (without Penang), the heavily Islamic region that would vote for the most pro-Islam candidate ever since.

    After showing significant patterns that branded the Populist Era, the 1988 Election also offered highly contested regions in many parts of Indonesia. Madagaskar, who heavily voted for LKY and Subandrio in 1983, became a battleground for the two candidates. This trend continued in Papua, Sumatra, and the remainder of Java. It was also shocking to Sudarman that Penang and Malacca, both strongholds of LKY, defect to Guntur on the election day. In Sumatra, every neighbourhood won candidate by single-digit margins, resonated between Batak State and Palembang State, apart from Minang State which supported Sudarman in great numbers. In Sulawesi, PPP was shocked that the entire island leaned toward Guntur after Makassar State’s 70% margins for Subandrio in the last election. Fortunately, Sudarman’s plentiful constituents in Malaya’s rural regions gave the numbers needed to win, a slim 50.61%. The election was the most competitive in history, below the victorious percentages of Subandrio’s 1978 and Sukarno’s 1955.
    After the presidential election, Guntur’s PPI launched a recount plea to the Supreme Court of Indonesia by a slim margin. But then, Guntur announced he would concede the election and support Sudarman as the new president of Indonesia. PPI’s core communist supporters were upset by Guntur’s decision, but political specialists had agreed on this manoeuvre for potential parties (PNI-R and PPP’s Barisan Progresif) as new partners for the opposite wing of the Parliament. This idea came into better publicity after PRD had announced to join Teruskan Coalition. Their demands include busting logging firms in Sumatra, centralized government subsidy on farming equipment, and further commitment to populism in general. Although this improved PPP’s dominance in the Parliament, Barisan Progresif was further estranged from the establishment as youth wings petitioned for forming the Liberal Party.​

    Tropicana, State Republic of Papua
    14th June 1988


    Barry's house in the conceptual drawing. In reality, the house does look similar, but the atmosphere around it was burning.

    Barry rested on the sofa, watching the television after a long work as a public contractor. As a young 28-year-old, he was lucky to oversee the construction of the Tropicana City Hall. After NASA migrated from Tropicana to Sukarnopura, the old launch site was bought by Papua State Republic officials for further investment in Tropicana growth. Apparently, despite malaria, terrain, humidity and natives, white Americans have flocked grandiosely towards Papua. One main reason was Papua had industrialized faster than the Indonesian counterpart itself. With unrestrained immigration from Java, Malaya, and foreign nations, the growth of the region skyrocketed precipitously into industrial growth. Moreover, just like the infamous Poroporo Tragedy, many Pentecostal sects of American Christianity have flocked here. But, because of that said tragedy, the federal government had noticed the vast influence of non-mainstream Christianity, with subsequent leaders after LKY tried mitigating the effects by boosting mainline religions while implying the newer religions as “borderline cults”.

    Barry was the exception to this new flock of immigrants. A mixed White-Kenyan descendant born in Port Moresby. His father is an Australian soldier, met a Kenyan in the United States, but born Barry in Port Moresby during Australian Aggression. After the war, his father returned to Australia while his mother, Zeitumi Musumba, lived in Port Moresby. Took college at the University of Singapore, and he took an engineering degree. After a few years of intermittent job offerings, he was assigned as the lead contractor of prestigious property development in Tropicana.

    Papua, like everywhere in Indonesia, had hatred towards the Australians from the Australian Aggression, but this sentiment faded rapidly from Dutch and many European settlers advocated fighting with natives during the war. Their involvement act as a deterrent to White discrimination and anti-colonialism in general, well noticed in Papua where BKDT had become a white-based political party. These white pockets evolved in multiple spots, Timika, Tropicana and Marangis, increased multifold in size. Simultaneously, the Java diaspora in Jayapura, Merauke and Manokwari hit high levels that change the dominant ethnicity in those towns. Native Papuan population have shrunk to 76% of the entire population and will remain to drop for the rest of the 90s.

    “Honey, don’t forget the technician, our air conditioner had overheating cables.”

    Barry’s wife, Sheila, greeted his husband downstairs. Sanyo air conditioners have been Barry’s greatest choice in his lifetime. Within 5 years, he had called the technician twice. Dust cleaning, on the other hand, was his doing every year. With cheaper value than its American counterparts, Sanyo AC was perfect for middle-class Indonesians that had a lower average income than the West. In addition to the harsh tropical climate of the island, Barry doubted American products would survive here.

    Barry and his wife, 1980s


    The AC mentioned

    “Of course, dear. I’ll go to the workshop.” Barry replied.

    In the humid climate, Barry missed the cool temperatures of Portland, Oregon. After an international duty there, Barry looked at the growing state, full of forestry and mountains, like Papua in some ways. After his trip, he realized centralization was key importance of growing here, noticing State Republics programming exactly that in many spots of the island. His property project involved multi-story apartment blocks imitating apartments while implementing specification necessities such as cooling and shade.

    Concept designs of the apartment

    In the living room, Barry noticed the television reported Glenn’s impeachment hearings. He remembered little information about it – President Glenn being accused of obstructing evidence of NASA funding without Congress approval, then goes on with pressures of Mars before 2000 that rocket engineers were laboured under stressed timeframe. The accusations blamed the President for all of NASA's hardships, including the Challenger Disaster. Barry was astonished by the Democrat's U-turn on space exploration. On one hand, the Kennedys had made Tropicana, the launch site of Apollo, a reality. Now, the Democrats ditched Glenn in 1988.

    After this would be the end of the 1988 Chapter including various election events all across the world (US, France) and significant events that shaped the world. The next chapter would be domestic-focused before we welcome 1990 with a tour all across the world (a recap).

    Sudarman won, he will run a successful presidency, right?

    And, of course. There's no Indonesian TL that would not include Barry. Expect great things from him in the modern age.
    Race of 1988 Part 10: Ups and Downs elsewhere
  • Faire en sorte

    Paris, French Fifth Republic
    May 8, 1988

    The French Fifth Republic, President Mitterrand reflected, needed his political reforms so the Communist Party would survive as an entity. Surrounded by liberal democracies, France’s population was exposed to a dazzling political ambience with energetic campaigners while the one-party Communist state disheartened voters to contribute to political life. Mitterrand understood that after dismay, people will resent the government. Looking around the political stage, Mitterrand saw his fears fulfilled.

    Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the Front National, had led the short-lived French civil war that plunged Southern France into notoriously nationalistic. No wonder, the remnants of Petain, then Gaulle before the Communists took over made Marseille and Lyon bastions of the anti-communist movement. In 1966 [1], barely a year after the first shots were fired, the Communists defeat Le Pen. However, they thought political perpetrators should be punished for witnessing their dreams devastated. So, Thorez did the unbelievable, putting Le Pen trialled house arrest for life, while his party was not prohibited at all. Moreover, all the rebels were not penalised, they were given options; either join Parti communiste français (PCF), under house arrest or exile someplace in Sierra Leone.

    Le Pen with his family under house arrest (1983)

    Communist officials denounced Thorez for this merciful penalty, but his methods worked perfectly. For two decades, the French Fifth Republic enjoyed the longest stability in all her history. Despite the Cold War returning to a US-Soviet confrontation, the French were never underestimated, cited as the Third Superpower who gained interest in Third World nations alike. The UASR and Yugoslavia had been France’s closes aides, while India and China still respected the communist nation. In Africa, revolutionary movements have been lukewarm to friendly relations except for radical Islamists who have gained traction in portions of Saharan Africa [2]. In Africa, the highest development growth put West Africa into the most loyal French subordinates. West Africa depended on France. Algeria, having incorporated into the French core territories, became a French permanent foothold in Africa, strengthening Arab-Berber spots in Tunisia, Morocco, and Mauritania (Morocco had been the most troublesome). Marchais government reflected this too, giving Africa every French money by building roads, hospitals, and housing complexes. Trans Sahara railroad was expanded to Abidjan, estimated completion of 1993. The other side of the Mediterranean was converted into French towns, although the demographics of France had become more diverse due to simultaneous birth decline in native-French and birth explosion in African French.

    The Trans Saharan High-Speed Rail stretch in Mauritania. (1988)

    However, the strain of demographical disparities hurt not French’s overseas holdings, but the core territories themselves. France’s native white population felt threatened with explosive rates of African immigrants flocking to urban centres, sometimes transforming neighbourhoods drastically. French core infrastructure was deteriorating also, on trivial basics like government outposts, administrative buildings, and roads. Sometimes, the French people thought the government overspent on prestigious megaprojects (nuclear arsenals, TGV, Plan Bernard) while common healthcare programs in Metropolitan France were under strain. After Mitterand came into power, the resentments diminished, but it was not enough. Mitterrand cursed Thorez for the PCF’s rule on a superiority complex. Their voluntary rule on allowing political discourse gave Front National the second chance. In addition to it, the FN has got a friend.

    Front National had been the celebrated contender of the communist rule, but the disaffected voters in Metropolitan France [3] had announced a new choice, Rassemblement pour la République. Consisted of old De Gaulle fanatics, this brand of French exceptionalism and strong state reshaped opposition into a much rhetorical sentiment. Unlike the old opposition that used the race and religion card in French Metropolitan, the RPR criticized the broader communist disappointment, stemming from the loss of French status in the Cold War era. It emphasized French identity as a national liberal state that should be involved further in European theatre instead of Africa. This had been the alternative Pro-Europe party, but they wished Western Europe as their turf, not the Germans. The RPR distinguished itself with pro-monarchy FN, claiming to liberate Europe from monarchy and Soviet authoritarianism, reforming the Little Entente.

    The RPR’s growth did not derive from their desires for Little Entente, but from their domestic programs which were stuffed with attractive plans. From restructuring of healthcare, pro-natal agendas and restarting the stagnated arms industry. Shifting focus from nuclear weapon research into nuclear power research, revolutionize nuclear power plants (which they almost did in the early 80s). Not only that, the RPR wished to kickstart the pharmaceutical industry, with AIDS as their main target along with drug enhancement, medical breakthroughs, and other health-related improvements. These appealing yet relatable plans gave the RPR much recognition in France. President Mitterrand noticed their upgrowing trend after the recent election tally that the PCF shrunk to nearly 70% of the Parliament seat, with FN at a stable 3% while the RPR gained almost 25% handily. Despite the Communists controlling a safe majority in the government, Mitterrand governed under the lowest majority in all of the French Fifth Republic. As mitigative efforts, Mitterrand had appeased core French citizens with more money allocated for programs in the Metropolitan. However, he had strained relations with French Africa, and with small protests government cuts there have emerged. He needed a solution quickly, or else the Republic would fall apart.

    President Mitterrand remembered his name... Picard if he was not mistaken (1988)

    To say France has no choice is a failure of imagination. Mitterrand listened to the young charismatic RPR activist. The RPR will work to better ourselves and the rest of France. Change is necessary for France to prevail. We will make it so. Mitterrand heard the speech reply with RPR supporters chanting the last phrase. Make it so. Faire en sorte.​

    India Decentralization

    Kolkatta, India
    March 1, 1988

    General Secretary Reddy kept pressing his cabinet members to India is facing the correct direction, following Madame Mao’s steps with Indian attributes. The Anti-Caste Revolution had been a triumph of his policies, claiming to reform Hinduism (or to destroy) [4] after more than a thousand years of cultural development. Although Janata rebels with few remnants of the Princely States heavily condemned Reddy and Communist India, the populace endorsed the regime. However, his precedent policies came much in trouble in light of newer circumstances.

    Firstly, the decentralization of the state, one of his “not his usual self” policies disturbed because the local interests conflicted with the national interests. Since locals had never been accustomed to industrial labours, factories were difficult to build without central prerogatives. Reddy himself had issued countless executive orders just to industrialize Southern India. In the North, with adequate factories outputting satisfactory results, the workers had no incentives to build more, thus stagnating industrialization. He laughed at himself that under the communist government, India had become the agricultural powerhouse. The catch was that India had become the agricultural powerhouse. [5]

    West scholars even argue India's agricultural boom feed the entire Continental Comintern (rice, wheat, etc) that contribute to the Andropov Decade (identified with economic reconstruction and Warsaw Pact reforms)

    When foreign analysts estimated Indonesia to surpass India in economic prosperity, Reddy was shown in fury. He comprehended that brutal and totalist measures must be done, like Madame Mao, so Indians will go forth for their betterment. But India is not China. As two civilization giants have different traits, norms, and cultural perspectives. Reddy’s work in India would be much more difficult than Madame Mao needed in China. One of the examples was India’s feudalistic association had been prevalent for millennia, even under British Rule India was divided into thousands of states. Should India become a strong centralized state, Reddy should move this slowly, not drastic. This became the core cause of “slow and steady” when Madame Mao ridiculed Reddy during the Comintern meetings.

    Second, Reddy’s idea of reuniting the subcontinent came to a halt with Islamists in Bangladesh and Pakistan gaining prominence. The politicians there have instigated targeted discriminatory attacks, Hindus in specific, to gain power. Pakistan had already crumbled into a destitute civil war, with Bangladesh having sly tendencies of backstabbing India. Luckily, Indonesia’ the closest Islamic power to Bangladesh, didn’t indulge the Islamists greatly. Instead, Reddy had to look West, where the entire world had crashed themselves to commit anarchy in Pakistan.

    From the Americans, Iranians, Saudis, Egyptians, Soviets and Chinese, the state of Pakistan was the quintessence of a clusterfuck. Reddy was reassured by Vitaly that the Comintern should reaffirm us to aid communist brethren in Pakistan. But, with Afghanistan under distress, the Soviet Union had diverted all available funds to her Southern border, while India and China must do something to accommodate the absence of the Soviets in Pakistan. Iran, feeling threatened by enemies on all sides, became aggressive with US backing to ensure the Islamists gained power. The Sauds, feeling they are the true Islamists, sent their radical fighters on the Islamist's side while in chorus undermining Iranian influence. The UASR, needing a slice of the pie for the conflict, gave its best army personnel in Pakistan, only to later broke the communist government of Pakistan into two (Pro-UASR and Pro-Comintern).

    Chinese tanks (but Russian manufactured) in Pakistan (1983)

    foreign_06 (2).jpg

    Indian expedition forces in Pakistan (1986)

    What a mess. Reddy said in their heart. He looked at the state newspaper, skimming the international section. He already guessed Indonesia, the United States and France elections quite easily, considering the circumstances were not outstanding. Nevertheless, he caught something interesting in the Canadian Election, as the Bloc Quebecois won an outright majority in the home state, giving the independence movement quite a boost.​

    A New Hope

    Russel, Kansas
    November 9, 1988

    A day before the results announced who to win the presidency, President John Glenn had wished the candidates for luck in the election. Although he was eligible for a reelection campaign, John Glenn’s impeachment hearings ruined his chances. Moreover, it was the Democrats, not the Conservatives, that dragged him out of 1988’s race. The Conservatives, Republicans in a newer name, all had assumed their victories after the DNC had voted Glenn out. This year, in a hindsight, was favourable for the Democrats in winning the election. Especially by August, inflation seemed to lower down, the economy growing up and public unrest seemed to fade away. Indeed, several issues, notably the AIDS crisis, had plagued the incumbency in a damaging manner, but their chances of winning again were likely. For the Conservative Party, 1988 was fading away into another Democratic victory, until the impeachment happened.

    Buckley during an interview with Hoover Institution (1985)

    James Buckley was surprised, shocked even when the Democratic Committee inquired about an impeachment hearing for their president. Their own. The right-wingers were critical of Glenn’s scandal regarding NASA, but these right-wingers understand that these issues might be inconsequential. In contrast to the federal budget where fiscal conservatives had plenty of subject matter. However, when the newcomer Vermont representative Bernard Sanders recommended an impeachment hearing on President Glenn, the Conservatives could not help but join in the charade. Furthermore, the Democrats dumbfound Buckley as much again, with whatever evidence they gathered, they held two articles of impeachment into voting.

    In between his impeachment vote, Glenn’s challengers had united with the sole purpose of eliminating him from office. After Bentsen cited health issues (major coughs during public speeches), he endorsed Governor Brown. Under a unified anti-Glenn coalition, Brown kept attacking Glenn on his unpopularity, involving lavish funding for space programs, the inconclusive Vietnam War, and the lack of Glenn’s proposals that enhanced Carter’s programs. Different from the 60s liberals, these 90s liberals were aggressive on foreign policy, deciding that with the power of diplomacy and moral “high ground”, the United States will stand tall against the Soviet Union. It was nonsense for Buckley and many conservatives, who advocated Reagan's “Peace Through Strength” motto. Even so, the Conservatives rode on the coattails of angry liberals, all the way into a successful impeachment vote in Congress. Happened during late February, just before the Super Tuesdays, Buckley and many others released their biggest glee as the impeachment vote cost Glenn the primaries, winning Brown as the nominee. [6] By that time, almost everyone on the Conservative side felt emboldened again for an opportunity, the presidency.

    Buckley, for humour pleasantries, had divided the Conservative Party into three distinct categories, Augustus, Bryan and McKinley-ists [7]. Augustus derived from Augustus Ceasar. Possessing a kind of divinity beyond the common man, Augustinians mostly aimed at the “strong man” philosophy. This principle has two schools of thought, each as vile as the other. First, there are the war hawks, those who shouted unanimously for the curbing of communist expansion with the military. From the charismatic Regan to radical Rumsfeld, those warmongers campaigned that peace was achieved with big guns and missiles. As expected, their belligerent tendencies spooked the American people, noticed by his brother who campaigned on these lines and lost the 1980 election in a landslide. Second, there are the social conservatives. While war hawks supported a strong military, social conservatives pushed for strong moralism in the United States. Religion being the forefront of their political foundation. Originated from Jerry Falwell and prominent Evangelists, these Moral-Augustinians changed guns and missiles with bibles and sermons.

    The McKinley-ists were fiscal conservatives, ranging from curbing excess federal spending to moving the US government back into the Gilded Era. Buckley was in this category, along with many others who complained about Carter’s uncontrolled health and pension programs that skyrocketed federal debt. Since 1980, the McKinley-ists have become the silent majority in the Conservative Party, gaining prominence with minimum publicity, judging by the number of times McKinley-ists have lost the primary against Augustinians. His brother, the candidate for the 1980 election, came under scrutiny when his fiscal policies were shadowed by Rumsfeld, again James Buckley blamed them for losing the election.

    Bryan, derived from the Great Commoner, was the populist group with “working men” tendencies. They coined the elite vs common people narrative and condemned college intellectuals to dominate the federal government. This supremacy had caused a significant loss of livelihood among farmers and common people alike, apparent in the high cost of living from rampaging inflation [8]. Buckley had assessed this group had the best environment to win the national election. However, there were very few figures (many of them came from rural Great Plains) that gained little traction in the federal saga. This, coincidentally, is where Dole surprised him.

    Dole campaign in his well-known campervan. (1988)

    A native of Kansas, Dole was sympathetic to the agrarian industry. After Glenn’s general shift towards pro-urban policies, many of his farming constituents felt neglected when inflation ruined the farming market with high equipment costs. Great Plains and the Midwest were severely impacted by farming decline, while farmers in the South tended to other alternatives proposed by Carter (home-region sentiments). With Glenn ascended, the inflation got worse, and many farmers flocked to Conservatives in midterms. Dole campaigned for these crises to over, a simple promise that energized farmers. It was enough to win today, but in January Dole’s chances were quite slim.

    Dole’s campaign promise was modest, he envisioned the United States under a fresh opportunity, a nation where men and women worked for the American Dream, not to be provided. Beacon of economic stability, general GDP growth and technological advancement. He criticized the Democrats to lose their vitality. Dole, with cunning campaign staffers, coined his motto “A New Hope”, a mundane phrase that resonated deep into voters’ hearts. Whatever his campaign policies were, his motto became the rallying cry at rallies, many of whom kept chanting one jingle.

    Bring us, Hope! Bring us, Dole! Let Him Lead America that We Adore!

    Buckley composed himself, urging him to leave. In his front, he realized after long pondering was his rival. “Thank you, Bob,” Buckley gestured towards Dole. Here I am. Buckley thought to himself. Dole as the President-elect.*

    Dole and Kemp accepted the Conservative nomination (1988)

    Dole nodded in return, thanking him as he departed the room. Dole knew that Buckley was his political rival. After all, he was a tough competitor in the primaries, much so that Buckley won Super Tuesdays and managed to eke a margin for a contested election. Hell. Dole reminded himself. Everyone was formidable. Kemp was spirited as a fresh politician. Falwell hurt Dole in religious fanatics. Dick Gephardt, Joe Biden, and John Warner, all were thorns on his side before they withdrew their candidacy in favour of Dole. It was supposed to be an easy fight. Dole was optimistic that being the vice-presidential nominee in the last election gave him enough gravitas, but that momentum was weaker than anticipated.

    Dole’s weakness came from his reluctance on expressing views that antagonize the Democratic Party because those policies stemmed from Jimmy Carter, a peanut farmer. Before the 1978 midterms, Carter’s policy was championed by farmers, Dole included. Healthcare and social spendings were praiseworthy to appease farmers, that was until inflation hit prices through the roof. After that, Carter changed course to appease liberals, side-stepping inflation and adding debt. Glenn did try to lower debt, but he still alienated ailing farmers from the crippling inflation. Sometimes during the contested primary, Dole’s campaigners would reflect if their boss promised on wrong policies. Yet, Dole reassure himself, as he saw three Conservative candidates (Nixon, Buckley, Schlesinger) slaughtered because of how right-wing they are. The Democrats still hold the trifecta with a considerable margin, suffice to say that Conservatives can win only if they stomp a few radical policies to appease independents. [9]

    After Glenn’s defeat in the 1988 Democratic Primary, Dole’s chances transformed from a coin-toss into a resolute victory. Glenn’s voter base [10], industrial and labour workers, came gushing to Dole’s platform after an excruciating humiliation by Governor Brown. Brown’s liberal appeal had dampened support in industrial and labour unions, Dole’s moderate stances contribute to that even further. After Dole promised to revitalise the United States' agrarian and industrial sector, the Midwest was evolving into a Dole landslide. Indeed, just a few hours ago, Dole expressed his highest happiness as soon as Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin all called towards him in considerable margins. With Minnesota (always voted Democrat after 1956) and Pennsylvania (before Nixon won in 1968) as the cherry on top.

    Dole’s presidency, however, was not as smooth as projected. Even before votes were cast, he was attacked by war hawks for his “Attack Only Provoked” military policy, which they claim was a source of weakness. Dole, decorated with WW2 experience, had all the privilege to acknowledge the brutality of the conflict. He emphasized to critics that unnecessary intervention costs unnecessary lives; the United States should have been more deliberate in its foreign policy. As appeasement, Dole had promised should an aggressor provoke the country, the US military will contribute all its might to eradicate them. By his sarcastic wit, “We’ll gonna Mike Tyson them. No doubt.”

    What a thrill. Dole thought to himself. Let’s get to work. Bob Dole’s core issue was inflation; he should prepare ideas for it.


    Results of 1988 US Presidential Election

    [1] reference here
    [2] Sudan, Chad and CAF had been most affected, everything westward was secure... for now.
    [3] French Mainland, ITTL expanded it with Algeria
    [4] Since the inception of the program in the early 80s, India had been moving towards atheism, predicting that 25% of the population was atheist.
    [5] Some say that India's farming had been feeding China during the destructive Cultural Revolution, which made the populace far better off than Mao's OTL Cultural Revolution. Unfortunately, that meant Madame Mao was the better version of Mao.
    [6] Glenn's Impeachment vote passed, but he was acquitted on both charges. Either way, the damage was done. The Congress was still Dem-controlled by a significant margin, with the Senate tipping point for the Dems.
    [7] Common voters would name them Socons, Warhawks, Fiscons and Populism (in this case Buckley unite Socons and Warhawks into Augustinians
    [8] These Bryan-ists focused on workingmen (farmers and workers) alike that felt the sting of rising consumer prices. This is also where the Young Four step in too.
    [9] Dole ITTL has a voter base of Carter OTL. Note that Carter ITTL doesn't have the "fresh outsider" outlook on the presidency.
    [10] Ohioans, especially, were enraged after the Dems seemingly ditch their star.

    *POV changed to Dole

    Bring out all of the foreign events to close 1988. The next chapter will look into Sudarman's plans for Indonesia. I introduce new characters which may or may not be significant. Dole-Kemp victory 8 years earlier ITTL, definitely very interesting.
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    The Great Urbanization: Prologue
  • Prologue

    Arriving in the last decade of the century, Indonesia has faced difficult internal problems with little to no prominence in the international sector. As a nation with high growth but a lack of industrial strength, the economy has been import-driven, flowing from the richer East Asian and US nations for strategic goods valuable to the improvement of Indonesia’s standing. Premier Lee Kuan Yew’s policies, which continued under Musa Hitam and remained slightly influential under Premier Mahathir, caused significant changes in Indonesia’s economic value. The results of it can be most apparent in Indonesia’s de-facto financial system.

    Since the advent of the republic, Indonesia is a centralized economy with clear guidance from the government. Much of it came from the response to Pancasila’s fifth value, as intellectuals of that time mostly agreed that government intervention (such as general direction) may contribute to a rapid transformation of a solid country. Of course, the economic debate did face challenges from other economic alternatives, such as laisse-fair or many decentralized measures. However, the agreement was sound around the centralized factor.

    In theory, Indonesia’s government tried to implement this in a form of government general schemes. In practice, however, the government continued a gradual phase towards the opposite of their intention, a decentralized economy. The lack of capital after the Indonesian War of Independence had made special economic zones independent of local rule of law. Indonesia’s desperation to harness international recognition gave private enterprises huge autonomy over Indonesia’s strategic resources (plantation and staple foods). Finally, LKY’s open-market system propelled Indonesia’s private manufacturing rapidly. Even under the new Mahathir rule, a proposal to distribute farmer’s banks into localized financial systems (to correctly allocate the necessary funds), can be dignified as one of the many contradictions the Indonesian government has regarding the economy. Indonesia’s economic direction became a mess as it is because of one major factor, the bureaucratic mess of the federal system. As different administrations adopted slightly different administrative systems, the intended end goal of a unified economic approach has altered its course exactly the opposite. For example, the creation of Federal Districts has created pockets within Indonesia that has far fewer regulations than the Federal Republics. Some villages may have different laws than the surroundings.

    Nevertheless, some attempts were done to improve the government’s control of the economy. However, while most people would agree to boost centralization from the bureaucratic side, the government had done it from the other sector. Firstly, Nasution’s infrastructure-focused government has birthed the biggest government corporates in the construction sector. These companies would continue their prominence under new administrations and possibly contribute to the entirety of Indonesia’s infrastructure expansion. Under LKY, the government focused on eradicating foreign companies extracting mineral resources. Reducing foreign-owned mines except through political bargain, the LKY government succeeded in nationalizing many of those resources under BUMN. The new Mahathir government, albeit indirectly, attempted to control the economy by supporting the farmer and worker unions. As unions grew powerful, the effects towards the economy would increase, thus the pro-union government may shift the balance against LKY’s pragmatic industrialists. Although most pro-Western affiliates would notice this as Mahathir’s populist ploy, many have argued the timing of this policy was as perfect as it is. The federal government has loosened control on the bureaucratic side but remained a firm stakeholder in all its megaprojects. Therefore, the federal government may suffer difficulties in completing its projects because of local opposition. The Labour Crisis of 1986 symbolized the permanent point within the Federal Republic of the immediate effects of the economic conundrum. It was their primary concern and that was the high number of migrations across Indonesia.

    In comparison to the complexity of the Federal Republic’s law, the Federal District’s were straightforward. It had the least regulated law in the entire federal republic, possibly the entire Southeast Asia, which made the Federal District’s livelihood very appealing to all kinds of migrants. Moreover, in comparison to the bloodbath of the Indochinese War, Indonesia’s peaceful situation became the highest attraction of refugees, filling up cities as asylum seekers kept flowing into the Federal District. The Federal Districts, which remained competitive since the 80s, attracted these seekers to not only stay for refuge but also to move entirely as naturalized Indonesian citizens. The low cost of living with a relatively good urban lifestyle also attracted less-wealthy Europeans and Americans to live here. Within this decade, Indonesia has naturalized millions of foreign citizens, refugees or voluntarily. It also caused significant changes in the Federal Districts demography statistics, notably apparent in Batam’s rapid increase of Vietnamese diaspora over the years, Kebayoran’s property expansion for European whites and, above all else, the increasing Madame Mao-era immigrants arriving at all ports around Western Indonesia.

    A short yet simple chapter to open entirely within an urban-related topic. This chapter would solely discuss the cities that thrived, as well as the political drama that carried behind the rise of urban centres.