Emerald of The Equator: An Indonesian TL

What do you think about this thread?

  • Awesome!!

    Votes: 93 61.2%
  • Okay...

    Votes: 38 25.0%
  • Meh...

    Votes: 13 8.6%
  • It's Bad

    Votes: 8 5.3%

  • Total voters
The Golkars are at it again! Part 9: Vote
  • The First Snowball: Look into the Parties and Votes

    Indonesia was ill-fated to have a political crisis as dire as in 1986. The last power contest was Nasution’s rise in 1963. Even that, news coverage was radio stations, times when one had yet received any visual information. People had been less informative and less keen on overseeing Parliament sessions. This current crisis had 15 million people watching from the table. Also, Nasution was not entirely fighting for survival, Sukarno eventually wanted to diminish PKI’s influence from the executive government. This time, all sides are trying to shoot the government down, maybe using the law to find their own path to leadership.

    Indeed, much of the scandals coincided under Subandrio’s government signifies relative shock. Nasution had done worse, expanding the military with corruption towards the bureaucratic sector. Opening up lavish prestigious building to satisfy one’s prestige but not the economy, livelihood and prosperity of the people. For Sukarno, it was nothing better. The previous drafts helped Sukarno to form a pseudo-parliamentary system, that means the President control absolute authority. He deliberately maintained Wilopo’s premiership as he was the only willing minister that governs similar according to him. In that particular perspective, this premiership was not so bad after all.

    However, the assumptions did nothing to loathe not the current government. Anywhere outside the government has grown to hate the administration, even for politicians inside the coalition. For the PNI-R platform, it was the growing Japanese influence that upsets both Nasution war hawks, or the Nationalist Youths. For the PPI, the lack of farming incentives was to blame, and the increasing government attitudes towards corporates had also agitated the poor to support the communist wing. The Islamist, had their own problems, the receding religious values that erode mostly in cities, and also the education’s curriculum which supports science unilaterally.

    Still, the associations did not unite them, because there are countless other reasons why these factions cannot work together. After the decline of Nasution’s power, the Parliament evolved radically for one’s party. Cooperation has been difficult outside of the party. Although a 50% majority may help to pass laws, that will not last long as inner faction members would explode soon. PNI-R had suffered the Golkar split in 1983. Almost three years, that same men would ruin PPP’s cohesion.

    The end year season was busy for all the representatives, they are gathering masses and fans all across the world. After the parliament agreed to pass a vote by January, back negotiations have spurn all across Indonesia. Each faction from MPR goes to local constituents, senators and local elderly.

    Firstly, indeed, is the Malacca Faction. Truthfully, the faction was split between ousting LKY or keeping the man. Huge cities areas, such as Singapore or Jakarta, strongly believed in the government and wished to stay so until the end of the term. The leader, Musa Hitam, was LKY’s close ally during the war. While others in the Malay Peninsula and Sumatran islands aren’t so willing to spare aside. Mahathir Mohammad, a Kedah doctor, was an enthusiast to relieve LKY for someone else of his choice. The 229 Reps and 26 Senators have the same course, so an official split would not happen soon. Being the largest but not so united, the Malacca Faction suffered a significant blow in attempting to garner sympathizers. But then, the youth movement, particularly those who enjoy the freedom in cities, has vowed to support the government. An estimate of 750 young men would arrive to support demonstrations. Protests are not LKY’s preferable weapon, but it was required.

    The Madagascar Faction, favourably after incorporation, remains firm under Malacca’s directive. They have been availed the most, having the island exhausted by the French into a sustainable farm and factory by the Indonesians. At least, Madagascar is the 9th poorest country if independent now, rather than the estimate of 1st if Madagascar is granted by the French back then. Building an entire nation larger than most islands in Indonesia is hard, but surely it was decent. The other PPP Faction, the Hatta Faction, was lagging but support Malacca anyway. Adam Malik, the current ruler, still believed that Subandrio was still good. Although they don’t like LKY, they promised not to impeach.

    Although officially part of the Prosperity Coalition, PRD’s spokesperson Sudharmono has determined that the party will weight efforts to bring justice to the current government. Chairman Untung has given a Garis Besar Haluan Partai, or Broad Outlines of Party’s Direction, to mostly impose soft power to Indonesia by strengthening the army and its influence on the government. Moreover, there has to be an indivisible chain between defence, politicians, and executives. Unlike the opposition, PRD has no clear reason to withdraw its support from LKY apart from the Poroporo Incident. But then, with the hit they blew during December, they may harness ‘feeling good’ populace that wanted LKY out by humiliation without changing the government too much.

    To survive, PPP also needed to fight PPI, the third-largest portion and the largest opposition. Different than PRD’s objective, PPI was blatantly trying to overthrow the government. This staunch faction naturally acquired from PKI’s far-left, which was the only party to encourage and defend the Comecon. Their adorned candidate Guntur Sukarnoputra, an extra two years of development, and most of Sukarno’s politically active family into the party had been the reasons why PPI can resurge after Untung’s split to PRD back then. This is their best chance to possibly win the forthcoming 1988 election, and certainly, PPI is showing full strength from its members, especially the youths, to shout enough for the state to run.

    Less militant but substantial second-largest opposition was the old PNI-R. Now a shadow of its former self, PNI-R has increasingly grown to appease on both extreme sides of the age spectrum. Old guards, retirees, and revolutionary officers have friendly views of Nasution. However, the president had been waning it’s Dwifungsi ABRI dream to a more reasonable modernization the ABRI. This particular move was certainly Ali’s last attempt to sway Edi Sudrajat, one of PRD’s highest members. In the meantime, as the old 65 generations are probably inclined to Umar and his fellows, the younger, fresher, more active subordinates patronize the 2nd President. A notable member of which, is Colonel Abdullah Mahmud Hendropriyono, Intelligent Assistant of Jakarta Regional Military Command (RMC), Major Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Commander of Special Raider Infantry Brigade, Bali RMC and a half-Dutch half-Indonesian Captain Heri Sudiro Djambi, son of Idjon Djambi the first Kopassus commander. Still, the PNI-R can be persuaded, as they hated PRD and PPI more than the current PPP. LKY just needed leverage to prevent them from voting no confidence.

    Last but not least, the PUI and BKDT who was allying behind the bigger PPI was also LKY’s problem to resolve. However, with two-thirds needed for a no-confidence vote, LKY needed not to attract the PUI again. If his own party was united, even bare 65% of it, LKY could escape without stepping down. He was confident in his break he enjoyed his winter in Singapore to once again allure Japanese investors.

    Then, January hit LKY.

    6th January is the first workday of 1986 and also the return of the Assembly for a session. Unsurprisingly, almost all members of DPR and DPD present as a yearly session would convene at that time. LKY and his cabinet arrived with confident faces, but still determined for protecting his picture. He would prepare for a few things to conclude his defence, and the vote on the DPR proceeded.

    No-Confidence Vote
    Should the government step down or resume its executive powers?
    1. Yay
    2. Nay





    Although the motion passed the raw majority, it didn’t pass the necessity to vote 2/3 for the proceedings to go on. Few of PPP Politicians, notably those Malayans who were against LKY, cast their ballot to the Yay side. The real problem that hit the government, was the happenings outside. The PPI demonstrators, already outside of the Parliament, opened up a fight against the PNI-R youths. Riot happened.

    I was trying to post this update about the riots. But because of the long overview of the parties. I guess that would be next week's update.

    A few points to be mentioned, Nasution's power is waning that PNI-R essentially shifts from Dwifungsi ABRI to quality doctrine, with also influence from Djambi's clan. PRD, ironically, will inevitably become a part of that as the defence-politician-government triangle was central to Dwifungsi ABRI. Names are popping out as well, coming to the modern age which I master better. The Nationalist Faction under the PNI-R is basically those youths who wanted a Nasution government back and revisit the post-war ego and pride.

    I also wanted to mention a few insights on what the hell happened between 54-66 as I covered those quite vaguely. Fortunately, I'm going to make the 50th Anniversary of Indonesia to summarize the entire 50 years domestically and foreignly.
    The Golkars are at it again! Part 10: The Riot
  • The Riot of 1986

    The Riot of 1986 is a series of disorders and conflicts that happened during and after the voting procedure in the Parliament Jakarta. The youths, who are split between support and oppose but having a significantly larger mob for the former, came to the Parliament in Senayan to express their opinions. To fully understand how it was caused, or how it became as demoralizing as it was, there has to be a short context about history.

    The build-up came during December of the previous year. That time, politicians strategized themselves on finding the best scenario for themselves. It was notable, as every party had its own objective, thus finding themselves almost under difference. Even within the party, like in PPP and PNI-R, different factions might be across from each other. As after the vote, it was confirmed that some indigenous Malay politicians, led by Kedah doctor Mahathir Mohammad, showed resistance against the bigger pro-government Musa Hitam. In PNI-R, the case was much simpler, as it involved the youths versus the Old Guard. The youths played a big role during the tumult because they directly were involved.

    As New Year was coming, each party youth’s organization held a leadership meeting. In before, the PPI’s Barisan Pemuda (1) already determined their arrival to support the vote of no confidence against the Parliament. As they all were rural youngster, they totally supported the communist ideal. Moreover, their relatively unschooled nature than the other youth equivalents, as they chiefly entered the workforce after primary school, showed a more aggressive and hostile posture towards opposition than anyone else, sometimes involving melees and deadlocks. Barisan Pemuda was also famous for its unyielding mission, seize the means of production, to the Indonesian people. Therefore, expectedly, BP will come against the government at any chance they can find.

    The PNI-R Youths, Pemuda Nusantara (2), had a different view. Instead of the obvious anti-government Barisan Pemuda, PN showed a more tolerable stance for LKY. Indeed, the young nationalists hated Japan’s growing influence, particularly in Indonesia’s economy. As more and more appliances derived from Japanese corporations, fresh thinkers acknowledged this as Japan’s new imperialistic technique. With scars of Japanese occupation seriously embedded on nationalist propaganda, Pemuda Nusantara certainly opposed LKY’s policy. However, Pemuda Nusantara was supporting LKY’s social policy. They venerated BJ Habibie for a strong movement. A movement of science and progress. Consequently, the youth agreed with a pro-US Indonesia, especially with a science budget overhaul under the US President John Glenn. Also, is the same side as Barisan Pemuda was shown as a disgrace among PNI-R members. They would rather die than side with them. However, both of them have some same traits, which members usually dived into the depths of politics.

    Similar spirit with an absolutely different aim and expertise, Front Muda (3), PPP’s liberal youth wing, has entrenched with LKY’s government with a unified cause, keeping the growing trend of Westernization. Especially after the rising number of arrivals from America and Europe, Indonesians has been aware of western free culture. It brought diverse culture into the existing diverse land, introducing music, art and ideas. Like the PNI-R youths brought Malmedy into the 70s, the 80s brought Kenny Rogers, Madonna and Michael Jackson into Indonesian cities. European rocks, according to these kinds of youth, have become too apocalyptic and less certainty. As so, those new-rocks were tending to be slower than energetic American ones. Also, these youths controversially introduced the hippie and punk. Establishing movements of peace, anti-corruption, love and sex. The last point was proven to cause few clashes with Barisan Pemuda and Front Pemuda Islam, both of them too conservative to acknowledge that raw behaviour. Rather than the previous political groups, this PPP youth wing is entirely socio-cultural and exists non-obligatory political discussion. However, the group has been the most successful of them all, as they went far beyond political beliefs, and strongly address common societal problems like equality of race and gender.

    Last but not least powerful, Front Pemuda Islam (4) was a youth Islamic community established by ulamas to maintain and preserve Islamic religious norms to continue under the modern yet intrusive culture. This has grown as the one true opposition against Front Pemuda members, few times involved in a gang fight. Although the NU and the Muhammadiyah had their own youth movement to campaign their own fight for Islam, the FPI was a religiously driven group. Common to popular belief, they have fundamental Islam views, some of them may be entirely discriminative, like anti-Semitism. Moreover, they were also responsible for lynching several non-Muslim citizens with the case of kafir. As a result, the FPI have clashed occasionally with PN’s all-unity and FP’s support to the Jewish.

    With all due said, these youths were entirely divided into conflicting factions than can cause their own little civil war. In October 1985, nearly 20 teenage brawls happened in Jakarta than ignited into a full-blown out youth combat. Soon, these tensions became common to most families, and situations in cities can be slightly grim. It all soon escalated by January.

    In the morning of the 6th, reports of PPI demonstrators have arrived in front of Senayan (5). Barisan Pemuda orators coming from Brebes, Purwakarta and Cilacap sector all have flocked to demand the vote to oust the government. They brought hand-written banners, some were offensive for the politicians. Some other banners are nicely put propaganda, appeasing the less educated ones who adore good visual graphics. In 07.00, almost one thousand arrived from the PPI. They also brought convoys to the road. Next, naturally, was the city dwellers Front Pemuda. Boys wear yellow headbands while girls wear yellow bandana, their PPP iconic colour. Technologically more advance than BP, FP brought megaphones, quickly out speak them. They arrived in 07.45, and that was when Pemuda Nusantara comes in. Similar to FP, they accumulated almost 600 college students, mostly from local universities. Better coordination that FP, all PN wore blue. Lastly, the FPI arrived in 9 with their black sorban. Together, with additional convoys by afternoon, Senayan would be filled by almost a thousand people.

    FPI doing dzuhur prayer, a few bloks out from the Parliament

    As a security measure, Jakarta RMC (Kodam Jaya) Commander Major General Borhan Ahmad (6). Formerly Malaya RMC staff member before re-appointment. Borhan Ahmad, unsurprisingly, in Mahathir’s aide-de-camp, and not so cordial with LKY and Musa Hitam. He sent 500 of his troops to maintain a standoff against the demonstrators in case of a riot. While the other 500 secure the perimeter. The third troop was reserved in case the first defence failed. But still, Borhan Ahmad was not a pacific kind of person, but a conformist. His soldiers weren’t helpful either, as Kodam Jaya was infamous for treating civilians poorly. Police were also there, being the army’s indicator for any counter-riot operation to begin.

    The first half of the day was well mannered for both the convoys and the military. The police had conducive conversations with the youths, even some humoured each other. Yet, others maintained antipathy, giving the police difficult patience. After the vote by 3 in the afternoon, the entire demonstration all showed mixed emotions. Front Pemuda expressed the greatest excitement of their lives, while Front Pemuda Islam and Barisan Pemuda all shouted in disbelief. And then, provocations erupted.

    Firstly, an allegedly Barisan Pemuda punched a group of Pemuda Nusantara with the motive of most PNI-R not voting yay for no confidence. And then, the group clashed with each other, throwing bricks, rocks, or anything they could find. Unknowingly, during the fight Barisan Pemuda openly staged a brawl with Front Pemuda, therefore giving a mayhem circus just in front of the Parliament. As fellow friends of Barisan Pemuda, Front Pemuda Islam charged alongside them, giving a two-front youth riot in front of Senayan. From a tense wait in 15.00, it became a large feud in 15.30, and brick-throwing in 16.00.

    At this time, Borhan Ahmad was no patient nor considerate. He also noticed the political opportunity for this. Therefore, with negotiations with on-field Police Commander Brigadier General Sapta Noer (7), the police started beating everyone, regardless of the youth. Their reason was simple, there was a fight in front of MPR, the police should stop them. Initially, beatings from batons really ushered them away. But, as maghrib arrived, more and more youths, some that never even demonstrated in the day, arrived at the scene to retaliate against the police. The police brutality exploded the mass quadruplet. Almost ten thousand had mobilized, either from local universities or even nearest satellite cities of Jakarta. It was grim for Brigadier General Sapta Noor, especially as a PPI demonstration wave would come from Bogor with arrival at 10. In their perspective, these youths had prepared for such thing, and Sapta Noor gave Borhan Ahmad the signal. It was terrifying.

    By 21:03, the troops that were mostly on defensive had opened fire to the protestors. It was a no mercy attitude for rioters, Borhan had stated, and he felt no remorse from that. Then, after the youths fled for their safety, twenty-five men and three women died from gun wounds, and 72 others wounded, slightly or severely. Jakarta RMC troops also intercepted the second wave that came from Bogor on the Jagorawi Toll Road. The stopped the busses in Cilincing and ordered them to get back home in gun-point.


    Condition in 17.00 of the afternoon

    Just as the government reached their own homes by then, an infuriated Subandrio addressed the nation to apologize for such atrocities by the military. He attempted to discharge Borhan from his office dishonourably. However, he announced his own press conference, with a throwback for the president.

    What has the President shown to the people and the world is only cowardice and weakness. The political factions inside deliberately using the youths to move forwards agendas. The chaos happened because of the protestors acted violently, and the military must restore order. Indeed, the military doesn't patronize brutality and oppression. But, with the strong resentment among youths, and public concern of domestic stability, it should be clear that these sort of riots if not contained will cause only terrible effects for Indonesia’s future. I am a member Golkar, I work and think according to my ability and occupation. However, it is also apparent that the current government has been doing awful things outside our sight.

    I am urging the military to unite. After the split because of politics, I think it is time for the armed forces to join hand and be as one. Not to fight against the government, but protect the integrity of Indonesia. Indonesia is failing with all of those scandals, incidents, and now riots. It’s no time for lobbying or politics, it’s time to reform our nation.

    In February 1986, Borhan was inevitably discharged from the military. Public opinion was radically mixed between the old and the young. The old fully supported Golkar, that determined the youth’s insubordination that causes few incidents across cities. The youth, however, has turned more anti-military and thus giving more supporters to Front Pemuda and Barisan Pemuda. Unfortunately, the PNI-R has damaged the dearest, split between old guards who had a few affirmative opinions with the Golkar and Pemuda Nusantara, completely aligned with the Front Pemuda. There are few PN who agreed with Borhan too, stating the young communists as the culprit.

    As Subandrio’s second term faltered with a new crisis, the government seemingly forgot about one little thing, that the Indochina was once again in flames. The Cambodia Civil War has involved the Americans.

    I think from here, the government will have a difficult time to cooperate with the military.
    For simplification, let me summarize these four youth wings from each party:
    Barisan Pemuda: Ally of the PPI. Mostly a youth political group, with communist manifestos indoctrinated. They formerly hated the Islamists, but soon they shifted for a 'larger' threat: liberalism.
    (2) Pemuda Nusantara: Ally of the PNI-R. Mostly a youth political group, although they contributed mostly to scientific seminars. They truly hated Barisan Pemuda and Front Pemuda Islam, but neutral-friendly to the rest.
    (3) Front Pemuda: Initially a socio-cultural heterogenic group of youths celebrating the freedom under Subandrio and LKY's government. However, since the military was acting up they became more politically active. Campaigning for anti-military, and sometimes anti-corruption as armed forces (the police included) were susceptible to bribes.
    (4) Front Pemuda Islam: An extremely religious youth wing, extremely conservative and fundamentalist. Similarly indoctrinated. They extremely hated others except for Barisan Pemuda.

    (5) Senayan is also the area OTL MPR building of Indonesia is, and currently ITTL also.
    (6) Borhan Ahmad is OTL Commander of the Army for Malaysia by 1994
    (7) entirely a-historical

    For the record, this is the end of the chapter and the Cambodia Civil War will opened a new chapter, this time a trip around South East Asia as a whole, with few international events.

    PS. ( Let me confide a bit) It's been 31-years TL Story wise or 36-years if you counted the EG. I wholeheartedly thank all of you who kept reading. You guys, especially the long-term readers, keep invigorate me to continue this timeline. I also thank the newcomers too. As a return favor, please let me know for any suggestions or comments that may help this TL. Who knows, probably your own ideas will be incorporated here.
    War no more! Part 1: Cambodia
  • Cambodia: A Tale of a Tragic Kingdom

    When Kennedy acclaimed his victory on one of the Indochina Wars in 1961, the United States of America foolishly believed the region would eventually end up serene. However, since the region is one of the most inflamed regions challenged by three global powers, the region will inescapably cause a conflict. As a land between India and China, these regions achieved peace with sacrifices so much of the residents living there. One of the most despicable ones in Cambodia.

    Cambodia returned into existence as the Kingdom of Cambodia in 1976, months after the Second Indochinese War. Norodom Sihanouk was a prominent figure during the early days of Indochina. He had cooperated with Bảo Đại to secure the kingdom harmoniously. However, as Bảo Đại's son took the monarchist faction into a spiralling deterioration, the man weighed Indochina as a lost union. Radical communists and republicans disposed the monarchists into exile. Norodom fled to Thailand due to that. After the end of the Third Indochinese War, Thailand offered him a diminished land for his kingdom, he agreed whole-heartedly. In return, Cambodia would align its domestic policies to Thailand, one of which was to return the cordial relationship with France, former colonizer. Thailand also appointed Major General Sak Sutsakhan as the nation’s first appointed prime minister. Indeed, Thailand’s main objective was to secure the region as quickly as possible using their native systems: military dictatorship.

    Cambodia given was not Cambodia before. Lands natively Cambodian were grabbed for Thailand to control. Angkor Wat, the Khmer temple, was owned to Thailand. Located Northeast of Tonlé Sap, they marked the border that cuts through the lake, effectively giving Cambodia mere three-fourths of their former French protectorate lands. However, being pathetically small helps the dictatorship secure the nation in peril. Sak Sutsakhan purged the remaining any opposing sympathizers into execution, giving terrors to their families and friends. King Norodom, lowly, ignored those atrocities that suffered his own people as he was merely a national puppet of Thailand.

    King Norodom was the head of state. However, the nation was effectively in total control to Sak Sutsakhan. Sak Sutsakhan is a close aide for the Thai military junta. With positive comments about the military, he pushed his way to become the appointee of the head of the kingdom. In expense of that, the country has become devoid of struggle. It has become mere tributaries of Thailand. The king opposed this outrageous humiliation. However, with Norodom secured by Sak’s most devoted guards. The king admittedly feared for his life in case of angering Sak himself.


    General Sak Sutsakhan

    King Norodom, secretly, was actually supportive of the Indonesian government, especially Wilopo whom he met before during the Second Indochinese War. But then, the Indonesians have antagonized Cambodia and Laos as puppets, and settled with Saigon instead. King Norodom, unable to do anything, was attempting innovative ideas which could end the junta. Petitions and letters of acknowledgements under an alias had sadly fruited less effort. In one occasion, the royal would pray in desperation. For him, the communist rule is no different than the junta, fear has become a weapon. He also requested French delegates to go take a look of this nation. However, the arrivals did not change a single thing in Cambodia, despite those delegated have reported signs of oppression in all places.

    Up until 1979, Cambodia was actually strengthening itself. Rebellions were quenched and killed, the junta established roads for further connectivity. The entire nation was progressively advancing for a different dark tenacity. A draft was written on the kingdom’s youth, brainwashing them with Sak’s idealism and principles, effectively promoting a new cult of personality. Even for some elders, they developed support to the general. After decades of conflict, Cambodia was certainly happy for a peaceful future.

    However, the system of the overlord has given its sickness too. Back in Thailand, the ruling Thanom Kittikachorn was under threat with younger General Arthit Kamlang-Ek who had become his Commander of the Armed Forces. Thanom Kittikachorn, already ageing and weak, had weakened its grip on national Thailand. Including Madam Mao’s aggressive efforts on aiding communist militias, the country must again see another communist insurrection. Cambodia was no different. Pol Pot, a communist politician and military leader, have opposed General Sak rule and has effectively caused mass destabilization on the nation. In 1981, the ruling General was weakened more as there was another military coup from General Lon Nol which failed. General Lon Nol objectives were to end Thailand’s grip on the nation, which may suffer its growth and hope. It was allegedly aided by the United States, but the proof was as unclear as they can be.


    Pol Pot

    General Lon Nol

    Sak Sutsakhan responded this with more removals and repression from his most loyal soldiers. General Lon Nol was hanged in a public podium, as well as his subordinates. Violence increased across the nation as Sak Sutsakhan wanted control by fear. Corruption, in the meantime, was also rampant, killing bureaucracy and the nation was on economic depression. However, Thailand has been helping General Sak to secure its government. The Thai Army entered Cambodia in means of friendly assistance which translated by the commoners as another Thailand invasion.

    Yet, how so long Thailand can hold its presence, that it started to fall apart by 1984. In July, the Laotians have formed the Democratic Republic of Laos, killing off the monarch and military government there. Thailand responded by aiding remaining militarist to conduct a civil war. That meant some Thai troops to withdraw from Cambodia. That withdrawal offered Pol Pot a chance to find his own revolution.

    Pol Pot established the Socialist Republic of Kampuchea in 1985. The party, Communist Party of Kampuchea, or Khmer Rouge, had garnered enough supporters to have its own revolution. Of course, General Sak announced for a civil war, and both forces started attacking by February. General Sak lost the nation retreat after retreat. Pol Pot arrested King Norodom and exiled him in May. The monarch was forced to flee to the other direction, South Vietnam, to avoid meeting General Sak that was being pushed to the West. In July, Pol Pot surrounded General Sak in Pnomh Kravanh. In desperation, he urged Thailand to help Cambodia, as they did to Laos a year ago. Thailand agreed and started relieving General Sak by 28 July 1985. Increasing escalation, North Vietnam joined to the Pol Pot alliance in the next day. Still, the Thai cannot afford to defend General Sak, and they flee afterwards.

    The Pol Pot Alliance, aided by both China and North Vietnam, had secured the nation of Cambodia after General Sak fled on 15 August 1986. Even so, Pol Pot had even pushed the Thailands back, therefore acquiring Cambodia’s former cores. The communist seized Phnom Krom, the other side of Tonlé Sap in the week after. On new year’s eve, Pol Pot had almost effectively in control of almost Cambodia’s former land. However, greed and paranoia hit him. Which could cost him his victory.

    As Thailand was not backing down, Pol Pot was afraid for an impending invasion from South Vietnam. President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu was planning for a return invasion to secure Cambodia, which feared by communist party officials. However, seemed that Pol Pot’s popularity is extremely high, he ordered the communist militias to engage first, and attack South Vietnam in a surprise. On February 1st of 1986, Pol Pot invaded the village Ba Chúc. In there, he sent a message to South Vietnam, killing the entire village ruthlessly. Therefore, Nguyễn Văn Thiệu mobilized the army to fight Cambodia, even inviting the United States for aid. President Glenn persisted on continuing Carter’s foreign policy answered with 20 bombers arriving by Saigon. Saigon officials also requested the Spratly League to intervene alongside South Vietnam. President Benigno Aquino stated a small military expedition will be sent to help the nation. Indonesia, obviously, did not answer due to the massive chaos on Jakarta.

    President Subandrio, now instilled with a pacifist attitude, was certain to not sending anything to the wars in Indochina. The army did not listen to him, as his own Defense Secretary arrived in Saigon for negotiations. Yet, it needed the president’s approval to succeed. It was a blessing within a curse that the Senayan Incident was helping Subandrio to delay deployment. Any delay was better, although Subandrio cannot stall forever. By March, the press had constantly pressured him for an answer. South Vietnam also demanded one. He responded to them officially on 29th March 1986. This time, enough is enough for President Subandrio, and he wanted to no involvement in more wars.

    A brief overview of Cambodia, up next Subandrio's speech that changed history.

    For an explanation, two civil wars are happening. Laos and Cambodia. Laos was mainly a Thai vs North Vietnam fight that interest Indonesia none. However, in Cambodia, as the paranoid Pol Pot decided to invade South Vietnam, Indonesia became very appealed, especially with army relations to South Vietnam regime. Of course, Thailand's power was weakening without Mitterand's overwhelming support. Myanmar was off the charts due to their own internal conflicts (you'll see which one).

    Anyways, Happy Lunar New Year to everyone who celebrates!
    Last edited:
    War no more! Part 2: Subandrio's Speech
  • The Speech that Shifted the Balance to the Commander in Chief

    29th March 1986

    The 72-year old President was still alive and kicking. Hatta, during his 60s, has retired early from politics. Subandrio, nearly the age when the first Vice passed to the heavens, was nowhere near to Hatta’s flailing health. Still, his optimum capacity and outstanding vigour was no match to the fit he was venting currently.

    On 12th March 1986, Defense Minister Try Sutrisno flew himself with the Deputy Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Edi Sudrajat. Along with other staff personals, they convened with the South Vietnamese junta in Saigon. There, the army already had talked about sending about two divisions of the same old Kopassus to support the Vietnamese. This was no intention from the President, as he was somewhat sickened of the interventions he needed to do. He thought Africa would be over, but later Pakistan emerged. Now with South Vietnam? Subandrio only sighed why him, not Nasution bear these tough choices.

    Luckily, Subandrio seemed to have a hopeful chance ahead of him. The US President John Glenn hadn’t telephoned him for any assistance to South Vietnam. In fact, he urged Subandrio to keep the armies. The Americans have programmed a certain Project Ares [1], it was a second phase space exploration responding to Andropov’s quick measures against American Apollo success. NASA was entirely shocked that Andropov launched his own Moon Landing barely a week after Apollo’s broadcast. Despite the Soviet Premier vowed to his people for fewer space programs more development incentives, the Comecon was nowhere wanted to drop from the Americans.

    Just as President Shafer stopped the NASA program to continue, the Comecon launched more manned Luna Missions to the Moon. It was until Carter that the Apollo was continued and relaunched several of the delayed missions. It was the United States to arrive first, but the Soviet Union to arrive most. A significant four more missions, the United States couldn’t win a propaganda fight if the topic was the Moon Landing. That was why Glenn was elected. Not only he issued better pensions for the people, and more federalization in bureaucracy, he also campaigned for the return of the States in scientific advantage.

    The predecessors have either destroyed, ravaged or neglected NASA. Science was pushed back as secondary, now as unnecessity. We will leave NASA no more. NASA was, is, and will be the bane of innovation. In the midst of the cold war against multiple nations, only science can defeat them without the power of threat and annihilation.
    -Glenn, 1985

    Of course, Subandrio thought that this new president would anger not the Conservatives, but his own party Democrats. The Progressive Wing is expanding rapidly for centralization, and members like Noam Chomsky, Bernie Sanders, and Ron Dellums have been very agitated of both Democratic presidents’ lack of ‘progressivism’. Funnily enough, the NASA Act of 1985 which increased the spending was passed because of the Conservatives unanimous backing. Although pensions should satisfy enough, Progressives demand increase taxes, which the president immediately refused. However, those are not immediate concerns for Subandrio, the analogy is.

    The situation of a divided party for the winning coalition, Subandrio thought, was eerily similar to what is happening in Indonesia. The PRD is becoming surprisingly hostile against Subandrio and LKY. The PPP itself was also splitting up between LKY Malays and Mahathir Malays. LKY Malays have pushed centralization efforts in the economy, while Mahathir objected to it. But, aside from the chaos for Poroporo Tragedy, most of the reasons was lame. It was simply personal, opportunistic, just like what happened to Nasution before.

    Subandrio, for a moment, realized this is what Nasution felt during the last days of his presidency. He was stabbed, battered and outflanked by his own party, reducing it into the smallest PNI-R currently. He, who actually wanted Dwifungsi ABRI, ended renounce it in January this year. He lost his direction, with age even younger than him, but Subandrio is experiencing it as well. Politics, he reflected, was never easy, and never will be.

    Subandrio cooperated with Golkar because it influenced the defence forces. During nationalization efforts, the process would happen quicker and less damaging if the government can exert a little military pressure to comply. However, as regions can felt revolting from Nasution’s decentralization, Subandrio kept the vicious cycle of military enhancement. Also, it was merely the army that was upgraded, the rest of the branches salvaged from Nasution-era weaponry.

    So, as the cabinet faltered from the crisis evolved, the Presidency is currently under threat by power-grabbers. As cries for responsibility ensued, people started to point fingers. Most of them, unfortunately, aimed for two men, LKY and Trihandoko, both of whom Subandrio considered brilliant men. Without those men contribution, Subandrio could not implement his own education, social nor any agendas from the national debt. Meeting those men was an oasis in the middle of a hot barren desert. Still, Subandrio was blinded by his own objective that sometimes coincided with these men. Difference clouded him from looking beyond the skin.

    While the young have sided with the government hardly, the adults are moving in favour of the PRD gang. This morning, Subandrio received the umpteenth time of a worker’s strike in Semarang just because PRD promises better factory regulations. His own education curriculum was demanded to change for more fundamental teachings. In conclusion, the reason was obvious. Adults are too conservative to follow the LKY government. Immigration, sociocultural shift, and lavish science are three main points that rallied the cause. The tragedy of Poroporo only bolstered the adult’s distrust of the government.

    Someone knocks on the door and enters. It is Subandrio’s secretary Sabam Sirait.

    “Yes, Sabam?”

    “Mr President. The time’s 3:10, you should prepare yourself for the speech you want to give.”

    Of course, why would the president forget that? This speech that he had prepared was basically stating the wheels of the status quo must end for better progress. Subandrio failed to understand before, giving the Army time and care to give them practical battlegrounds in Africa. War in the world would never end, it was not Indonesia to finish. Hell, even Indonesia was not to start. Subandrio failed to understand when Nasution gave region’s more authority themselves, they become so arrogant of themselves that any nationalization must be done with force. Hence the greater military power. Subandrio also failed to resolve the racial conflict instigated by Banjar and Dayaknese, now a similar precedent could happen entirely around Indonesia. Worse, it could have already started, giving that Javans and Sundanese often fight each other in the capital.

    Subandrio’s wife entered the office. Kiprah Hurustiati was formerly a doctor that cared for the woman rights. Now, the retired spouse of his spends more on supporting the woman rights, which is still minimal around Indonesia. On one occasion, she would prepare her speeches, giving hope for the woman. Now, Hurustiati was old, Subandrio noticed the woman’s wrinkles that gave her full of wisdom. She gazed his husband and immediately noticed the old man’s messy tie.

    Mas [2], your tie is not straight again. Let me tidy it.”

    Her voice was still the same that attracted Subandrio decades before. However, his wife noticed Subandrio’s fixated gaze with slight sweat from his receding hairline. The wife knew him for so many years, she knew that Subandrio is nervous.

    “You will be fine, Mas. Now, Indonesia needs you.”

    Subandrio thanked her with a simple nod. The woman never stopped motivating him to live again, live the life to the fullest. Even during the most strenuous times, his wife would exactly know how to calm him. As the President walked out of the office, he paced to the press room, one whole minute of his walking. He saw reporters, camcorders already aiming to where Subandrio will carry a speech, with static cameras already flashing him. He stopped at the newly bought podium, furnished with the president’s emblem. He took a full inhale and started his speech.


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

    Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

    It has been an honour, to you, the people of Indonesia, having elected me as your President for these 8 years. I am also grateful, for the confidence both the people and the Parliament have given me to govern Indonesia to its current state. We have witnessed an end of an era, welcoming a new one. It was unquestionable that all of the events that unfold may or may not be aligned with the government or the policies concurred. But, I can assure you, that the nation has gone tremendous positive changes for the last decade.

    Indeed, it has been largely a concern for me of the events that have been unfolding since the opening of the year. In the expanse of three months, we have encountered big challenges and obstacles, disputes and tensions. I can never express how deeply sorry I am, to the fallen youth that has been injured, decapitated, or killed during unfortunate events in the early months of the year. I, the President of the Federal Republic of Indonesia, will carry the cautious yet conclusive resolution to restore faith and confidence to the government. However, it was not my intention to bring about these events again. Instead, I hold this speech to finally decide on a recent dilemma.

    Our ally of the Spratly League, South Vietnam, was attacked horribly by the dark forces of Pol Pot. The attack killed an entire village, portraying evil atrocities that civil manner cannot fathom. We condemn the aggressive government of the Khmer Rouge regime and we will keep efforts to sanction the government furthermore. Yet, Defense Minister Try Sutrisno have urged me, countless times, to send Indonesian men to help South Vietnam in his defensive war. As a part of the military alliance congregated by the previous administration, it should be almost an obligation that Indonesia helps her allies from an aggressor of any party.

    Still, after the failures of establishing peace from all those interventions that Indonesia has expedited, it has been a public outcry to not sending any more men towards wars that created more wars. I will be honest to you, fellows of Indonesian patriots, that the Mozambique and Angolan campaign have been a disaster and reached nowhere near levels of intended objectives from the government.

    In addition to it, we should not conceit ourselves. After the Tragedy of Poroporo, the government have witnessed increase resistance in various places in East Indonesia. The Solomon Independence Forces have started to rebel against the federal authorities. In Papua, a small OPM has returned to fight in the midst of chaos. Aceh has begun gaining traction, so does most separatism groups after years of neglecting. As a president, I have been said to give the people assurance and remain calm. However, what I do realize it has never been the administration’s fault, nor the deteriorating cabinet. It was the military who has been very adhering to foreign expedition instead of securing domestic affairs.

    In that order, I demand that the Defense Minister should refrain from further promises to the South Vietnamese government. Yes, I will rephrase it. We will NOT send troops into the Cambodian border. We will try solving our own issues first. In the meantime, the government may contribute aid efforts, medical supplies, guns, or clothing, for our benevolent ally in the war.

    On that account, the presidency and the cabinet will reach out to the central staffs of the armed forces. National integrity comes first, and if the military should talk with us in order not giving the people a symbol of disunity.

    I thank the people of Indonesia to stay by me until the end of this speech. We will give more information after meeting with the military. Thank you for attending, and we will see you soon.

    Live and yet Live, Indonesia!

    Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh
    After the speech, Subandrio felt a strong weigh that holds him gone away. He felt light, tranquil. Reporters shoved each other to ask the President questions, but all of them just sounded quite until Subandrio can feel his own heartbeat. Nevertheless, this slight relief doesn't stop him from the future of Indonesia ensues. He clicked back into reality after Sabam touched his elbow, he returned to the office immediately.

    [1] this is a slight honorary reference to Hoi4 TNO: The Last Days of Europe, a PDX game mod that I like very much.
    [2] AFAIK, mas is a Javanese term for Darling and other equivalence. AnyJavan reader, if may, can infer me more about this.

    Kiprah Hurustiati is OTL wife of Subandrio that stayed by him since Sukarno appointed him Foreign Minister. She was an activist, which also part contraceptive movement in Europe, she wanted Indonesian women to start using one. She exiled because of, well, who else? :)
    ITTL, she was less active but more a helper for Subandrio's presidency. Therefore, her struggle was slightly weaker than OTL.

    The press conference room was slightly similar to mimick the US ones, a room full of reporters. However, unlike the US, the Indonesians currently have no permanent Press Secretary rooms, this was just mere auditorium left on the Presidential Palace. Yet, we could see a specific room for that later.

    Speaking about the outside world, John Glenn was more liberal than Jimmy Carter, which gave him a reputation of more 'conservative'. Why? ITTL Progressive Wing of the Democrats have been steadily rising with France neutralizing and socialist-leaning society in Cuba and Panama were giving more influence. In fact, the radicalization of left-right has happened faster ITTL, an almost OTL 2004-divide in ITTL 1986. The liberal wing has been shifting more to like OTL Tea Party Republicans, as the Conservative Party have been majorly hard-conservatives. The progressive wing, as a result, carry more weight thus making the party a bit divided. Another analogy was the pre-1912 Republican split, which shows a widening chasm between Teddy and Taft. Glenn pensions are the only thing that glued the party for a while. If something bad happened, we would see a similar 1912 happen in 1988.

    I haven't really thought about the upcoming chapter, but it should be the military to cover.
    War no more! Part 3: Situations for South Vietnam
  • Bring it On, Cambodia

    25 April 1986

    Tuy Hoa Air Base, Phú Yên Province, Republic of Vietnam

    Lieutenant Colonel Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono recognises that there were three conflicting military factions. The media, television, radio or anyone outside of the command, truly acknowledged the divisions as politically instigated. They considered PRD to be totally Golkar, and so forth. However, the conditions inside the armed forces were definitely manifest that conditions aren’t as before-mentioned.

    Nicknamed SBY, he enlisted into the Marines during the height of the conflict between Suharto and Nasution. At the start, both people sought power inside the government contradictorily. Nasution preferred the hard power, granting a portion to the Parliament to influence the outcome of the politics while strengthening the ABRI’s integration into the country. However, in 1973 he was very certain that his reputation would not drop so he never changed the presidential election system. He was opposed by Suharto, a less ambitious but more practical. The essence of Indonesia’s power lies within the relation between the government, army, and business enterprises. The government controls the policies; the army controls the people while the business controls the money. On a rational basis, General Suharto was a cunning person. The problem was he died before anything substantial happened.

    All of Suharto’s replacements, or at least the Golkar Faction, had already influenced by the mighty corporations. Defence companies ruled by suit men in a smoky room, those companies posed many threats due to great resistance against nationalization. The army hadn’t become the army; it’s just serving the corporations. Pindad, a de facto state company, was exactly ruled by the Cendana Clan, with all those corporations worked align or under Mbah Tutut.

    That left SBY, for the entirety of his military career, back the third faction of the armed forces. These men desired the old triumphs against hard-fought enemies, writing outstanding achievements under history. These men named themselves the ‘Purity Faction’, looked at externally as ‘Quality above all Movement’, determined that the army no longer fit for any political grounds, and must strive instead for a better, stronger, and more advanced military. When politics bickered and rambled, the army will fight for the nation and nation only. That dream had enticed much of post-war soldiers, like SBY.

    Nasution’s dismissal of his ABRI dream caused more high staffs into complete dismay. Just like Golkar before, this seemed like a terrible loss of the faction’s charismatic leader. As a result, Nasution’s Faction which had reigned dominant against the Golkars must now face problems with generals from the Nasution faction fleeing to join Golkar. As a result, the armed forces had another reshuffle from top to bottom. That reason is why SBY arrived in Vietnam three days ago.

    SBY married Sarwo Edhi’s daughter, Kristina Herawati[1], in 1976, which eased him up under the Golkar’s protection. He wasn’t entirely affiliated with his father-in-law, since the General rejected him from marrying her daughter once, but he grasped the opportunity while it still can. Under Sarwo’s permission, he met Defense Minister Try Sutrisno, which ordered SBY and few other commanders for a simple observational task in South Vietnam. His job is to observe, record, and report military happenstance throughout the brewing war as long as the minister urges. The envoy consists of three Kopassus men, four regular Army men, two Navy sailors and three Marines.

    He noticed First Lieutenant Aryo Budiatmojo arrived in the tent and saluted him. He knew him back during the Angolan days, with the Lieutenant ever been a fight with the son of the former general Suharto. However, he saw Aryo’s apt and quick-thinking skills, which qualified him for the job when asked by the Defence Minister. The Defence Minister immediately denied such appointments, but soon later came up with a compromise that Aryo will certainly hate. One of the Kopassus envoys, is Didik Budiharto. Luckily, the man is currently in Biên Hòa Air Base. SBY saluted him back, and Aryo speaks to him.

    “Colonel, I have all the US’ military data that you need.”

    SBY grabs Aryo’s seemingly thick pile of paper to his desk. While he opened pages by pages, he seemed to find a new version of the transport carrier. The Americans called them Bradley M2, an amphibious variant. Some secondary version of it also involved flotation curtains, which would make Vietnamese rivers passable. Still, these vehicles would suffer great speed under Vietnam’s jungle, let alone Cambodia’s harsher ones. However, SBY wasn’t surprised by the vehicle itself, he was surprised with the amount Americans have sent.

    “2173 vehicles? Do they want to send their entire army here?”

    SBY startled by the sheer amount of troop carriers. Before, SBY fathomed of barely 950 of that similar variation supplied to Pakistan, and that even carried out of almost 117000 soldiers to fight for them. The highest amount they have sent is to aid the Germans while maintaining American troops in case of Soviet aggression, which even accounted for nearly 1225, nowhere near those numbers.

    “I believe so, Sir. The Americans have signed a new conscription law, far harsher than they did before in Nicaragua.”

    A conscription law? Has the US government conveyed a bit overkill on this matter? The Lieutenant Colonel only discovered more answers than questions about this matter. The Americans are technologically superior everywhere in the entire world in terms of military combat. The Soviets are reforming their military ineffectiveness which shrinks their power slightly. The Chinese are developing but at levels nowhere near the superpower.

    However, SBY also knew that the last time they participated in jungle warfare, the United States ended up losing or causing more damage than before. Looking at the crumpled Angola and Mozambique, with Nicaragua still under communist rule, he could comprehend the US’ growl for securing a victory here. The Conservatives have returned the Representatives in 1984 for a slim margin after almost a tie in 1982, therefore giving Glenn a huge headache when they campaigned for securing Indochina once and for all. His own party, the Democrats, were absolutely disgusted when the President announced another tour to South Vietnam, helping them. Not to mention his Vice President, Robert McNamara, is very keen on this war.

    Just like in Indonesia, the anti-war settlement began rising gradually after the discharge from Nicaragua. Most citizens discouraged by their losses and expressed mix results. Some demanded a stronger payback to crush Pol Pot, some others deemed it useless and only diverted money against the poor and the needy.

    “Oh, and I add, Sir. The Americans have announced that they will participate to fight the Columbian Civil War supporting the government.”

    SBY then realized the fact. Of course, he had forgotten about the rising conflict in South America. After all those juntas established during the 70s, people had become repulsive of them. Few protests have risen all across the continent. To make matters worse, all of them are anti-dictatorship socialist regime, and none showed great interests in relations with the United States. Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru all have a small resurgence communist wing on the move against the government. Brazil, however, has a lesser activity and thus not to be afraid of. Then, SBY also realized that the new conscription law was basically covering both wars so they could deploy armies there. Still, the Lieutenant Colonel perplexed by such a number. His next revelation, instead, is Glenn hasn’t been keen on following his own party ultimately.

    He continued reading the new report that Aryo received from the Americans. The Defense Department has sent 105000 M16A2 for South Vietnam with 200000 for reserve, possible for the arriving first wave; 115000 M16A2a, a new variant with a night visual specifications, have arrived recently to the airbase; 250000 old M16A1 distributed evenly on the front lines to satisfy the Vietnamese Republican Army; finally, 324000 M14 rifles ready in five air bases across South Vietnam. For basic survival, the US army would prepare a 1.15:1 ratio of pistols for each soldier, shared unevenly between Beretta M9, SIG Sauer P226 and Colt 1911 (Colt having the most percentage). 3250 of M240; 5000 of M249 and 3000 of M60 of automatic guns. A decent amount of MP5, sniper rifles and shotguns for complementary uses. Almost 47000 M67 upgraded hand grenades; 97000 old M26 fragmentation grenades; and 15000 of the leftovers of M61 supplies from the Nicaraguan War production. [2]

    SBY has fully determined that the Americans is not playing here, unlike what had happened in Angola or Mozambique. According to Aryo, which had gone to Pakistan for a similar observation, he had spoken that the US has a stronger will there on helping the Islamists. Therefore, he wasn’t surprised as SBY by the number of weapons they capable of producing. He skimmed the basic infantry weaponry and communication equipment. He caught glimpse of AT Tanks, Armored Vehicles and Artilleries that will be brought, yet he was appealed with 1400 Cobra Helicopters.

    His surprise didn’t end when SBY looked over the ships in use. In 1960, the Seventh Fleet docked lazily in Yokosuka with helicopter carriers help to aid the Air Force. This time, meanwhile, has moved the whole Seventh Fleet to the South China Sea, floating miles off the Vietnamese shore, giving air coverage from USS George Washington.

    “Aryo, what are the US strategies?”

    “The Marines agreed with the South Vietnamese to recapture Ba Chúc as soon as possible, then started to invade Cambodia following the Mekong upstream. The American objective, so far, is to capture the capital immediately for establishing a pro-government as soon as possible. If possible, capitulate the Cambodians before Thailand even realizes it. With Pol Pot already leaving Phnom Penh for obvious purposes, he wished to cut off South Vietnam in Buon Ma Thuot, possible cutting the nation’s size for the North’s advantages. Maybe, they can consider giving Cambodia’s seized lands to them. There has not been a battle against both Vietnam, but the supplies and men given by the North has been pretty intense, considering the Củ Chi Tunnels are being reconstructed all over the place.”

    SBY grinned on that remembrance of the Suprapto Trail [3]. No one believed in the maniac general that the plan could work. However, it did surrender the North immediately when government officials suffered the burn of Hanoi. However, the man who invented it has died of leukaemia, no one in SBY’s opinion has ever matched his eccentric genius. However, the return of the Trails and Tunnels does mean that soon the guerilla warfare would return.

    The Lieutenant Colonel sighed deeply, if the Indonesians wanted to experience from combats, this war is certainly the most probably chance. Still, the president wished not for any intervention.

    [1] Happened in OTL also
    [2] All gun types, names, and specifications derived from OTL weapons, although with slight modifications like the M16A2a ones
    [3] A nod to here

    From the USA's perspective, we finally know that Glenn's running mate is McNamara. Well, we certainly know what happened to him OTL. However, with the 1960s Vietnam War ending much earlier than OTL. I guess this 1980s would be showing the cards. Also, both of them are radical Roosevelt New-Deal Coalitioners, with Glenn surprisingly on the more progressive side. Therefore, we can witness a growing divide in the Democratic Party clearer. It should be a few cracks in policy and the Democratic Party is certainly throwing knives at each other.

    The next chapter, hopefully, explains the chaos in Myanmar, although I want to write some updates around Madagascar.
    Last edited:
    War no more! Part 4: Madagascar Ascended
  • Madagascar, that Lucky Island

    1 May 1986
    Toamasina, State Republic of Madagascar

    In this small city that faces the gorgeous Indian Ocean, the Ministry of Industry Michael Hartono felt ineffable of the connections this island provided alike his home Java. The fine cuisine with exotic zest matched similar to the Indonesian heartland. For God allows, even he could understand the local speak swiftly. Truly, Madagascar was the lost Indonesian nation, and it was blessed that France has given it to us.

    The media defined that the French were being kicked out of Indonesia. Admittedly, the case was not as such for people in the government. In recent years, Trihandoko comforted the French to move their cash to another title. Instead of installing French companies which may upset the Americans, Trihandoko motivated them to invest in government enterprises. That way, the French still can receive plenty of interests, power and influence while not bearing the hard end of nationalist advocates or American resentment. Pertamina, as opposed to reported majorly state-owned, was truthfully a French-investment. That way, the French can trade inside Indonesia while not caught the care of the media.

    In the minds of Michael Hartono, this type of trick isn’t rare on the popular belief. It has been a pattern in Indonesian policies right after Sukarno. In the entire decade, Wilopo harnessed his pro-American policies within the war, therefore leaving neutrality. With increasing economic dependence on the US, Wilopo forced the belief that neutrality between two conflicting factions wasn’t optional, therefore a small leaning towards the West. The damaged has been done in Nasution’s era and he just continued the trend. Subandrio, on the other hand, determined to reverse. If Umar had won, we will be mere mandates of the United States, especially during an approaching war against China and the Soviet Union. He desired Indonesia to modify the plan, to remain free and sovereign, open and active on foreign affairs. Surely enough, the military had been too comfortable with American technologies, therefore the pest.

    That goal was why Hartono was feeling the warming sunrise of this city. Christmas of last year, Subandrio called him for supervising the new governor of this particular state. The old Malagasy Faction crumpled after the death of the predecessor. Both LKY and Subandrio stressed the precious growth of this island to remain. Therefore, Hartono, whose brother owned the BCA*, invited to administer the region. Hartono had experience in managerial concerns for corporations, but leading a company is different to administer the production of a nation. Still, Hartono understood the government’s questionable selection, this island can be a money-maker.

    His first sign of vibrant progress for this island was the creation of the Indofood factory in Manakara. After three months of prospects and financial analysis in 1981, Anthony Salim signed the first Indofood factory to open in Madagascar. The construct behind this was the rising consumption in the island and the surrounding African countries. Indonesia eased tensions with South Africa after reports of nuclear tests in the Bechuanaland regions. Right after a diplomatic emissary arrived in Madagascar a year ago, they opened relations by granting trade access, therefore reducing the US’s fear of the Cape Blockade. Moreover, Indonesian trade routes across the Cape is rising in traffic, as South American states gained interests in Indonesia’s economic bargain.

    The island has Indonesia’s great interests, similar to Papua on the other side. The East Coast was filled with rice fields that can sustain the needs of Madagascar, Malaya and Sumatra all at once. As a result, LKY had poured plantation subsidies while gradually industrialise Java. Improvements of pesticides also protected soil’s fertility, sustaining levels evenly that lasted for decades. On the West Coast, oil tycoons and mineral companies were exploring the lands and seas. Blocks were drawn near the coast, fences are drawn near stone hotspots. Yet, with tensions rising against Mozambique, the territorial sea dispute was becoming increasingly unresolvable as the Soviet Union sustained funding Mozambique’s government to agitate South Africa and Indonesia.

    He returned to the gaze of the man nearby him, Francisque Tsiatosika Ravony. The new governor for Madagascar was strong and vigorous, ambitious and ruling. His objective initially is to stabilize the nation after a significant demographical change for the last ten years. Similar to Hartanto, he loves waking early in time, staring at the dawn of the sun, hoping for a new future of the island.

    “The sunrise is charming. By the way, Mr Hartanto, I believe the government assign you to negotiate about the security suggestion.”

    Hartono hesitated and pondered. Back in Jakarta, President Subandrio was planning on a stand-off against the inciting military. Howbeit, Africa has thrown off the hospitality for the Indonesians. They demanded an exit out from Africa. The great Liberation Army of Mozambique assembled junta regions all across Africa: Katanga, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, newly established Zambia, and the Angola Freedom Movement. They pushed for a revival of Sukarno’s Asia-Africa Conference, this time the Second Non-Aligned Resurrection in Africa. These men determined for an independent, neutral bloc that needn’t side with the great powers. The problem was after the Indonesians fled from Africa, they grew to hate Indonesians. In addition to American appeasement towards South Africa, Indonesia adhered to a misunderstanding that Jakarta is going to support the apartheid Cape Town.

    “Indulge me, Mr Ravony. Are the Madagascar people felt threatened with the demographic changes all across the island?”

    The governor paused for a moment to harness a response. He sat uptightly, then convey his answer by a gentle gaze to Hartanto.

    “We certainly do Mr Hartanto. But we have another factor to consider. Back when we’re the French satellites, there was never any progress besides benefiting Paris. Thorez's idea was generally supported by the French solely by the response of the people still feeling unprepared for independence. However, after a few ten years after Indonesian rule, the people have given positive remarks about Jakarta. Moreover, even with the demographic decrease of native Malagasy, we still feel that under Indonesia, your nation was the best bet for the island’s future.”

    “You aren’t afraid that nearly 5% of the population is Jewish and another 5% of them are non-native Austronesians? Even as a representing of those migrants, the numbers do seem alarming for a barely 5-year difference. Not to mention that Ehud Olmert and Moshe Katsav are literally campaigning for Madagascar as their new home.”

    “We don’t associate ourselves with differences based on skin colour or culture. We adhered to multiculturalism and diversity, as long as they intend to be tolerant. Besides, those Jewish are temporary, at least until Israel is reclaimed.”

    That first statement hit Hartono deeply into his heart. Accidentally, he may be the reason why the Parliament in the capital has high bigotry against the people here; individuals which still look at people by the skin and traditions. After LKY’s slim vote of confidence, the Parliament has continuously attacked him in any way, including accusations of ‘Singaporean elitist’ and ‘Jewish conspirators’. Surely enough, racial slurs usage drastically increased, complaining to the LKY administration something that even not proven guilty. Damn complainers he sighed, Indonesians surely cannot relate to how to advance our economy has become.

    “Mr Hartanto. Sorry to reiterate this. But I expect a defence offer from you.”

    “Of course,” Hartono was unable to deflect this time, “Subandrio instructed me that we barter on industry and defence or within that base-line. He sought that Nusantara’s men will be withdrawn almost half to home. For combating the rising pirates, both in the North and West, Subandrio insisted on you finding more men, preferably the island’s residence, to substitute.”

    “If that had been the offer, shouldn’t I have met Try Sutrisno rather than you?”

    “As a matter of fact, Subandrio did send me because of one small term under that offer: It should be the labourers.” Hartono doesn’t want to reveal the truth that Try was almost being sacked after the small observation in Vietnam.

    “Pardon me?”

    Industry Minister continued explaining that establishing a regional military force may trigger some generals back in Jakarta. Trade-in this region has become too valuable to leave unguarded, pirates have ruining Indonesia’s trade either near Somalia or Madagascar Strait. However, the new oil rigs which are establishing slowly on the East Coast have developed their own guards and armed personnel to keep pirates from the rigs. Therefore, Industry Minister is here to suggest the Governor on expanding those private guards. For safety measures, Coast Guards will assist on several trips around the heated region. These guards would work under each company, currently Pertamina Oil Rigs, but that will be supervised by the Malagasies local government. Furthermore, they are the last defence of Indonesia’s military up here, worrisome but necessary.

    Ravony understood it but realizes the new complication of this matter. One man can do so much, labourers must do labouring and guarding? That surely need another field of men to do. However, unemployment in Madagascar was at all-time low, not enough people can be found to fulfil Hartanto’s 25000 targets. Unless…

    “Industry Minister, are you saying that we are the immigrants to protect our nation?”

    “I believe that has been our options. Unfortunately, both I and Subandrio hasn’t discovered new options.” Hartono lied, all he can do was to tell Try and the problem solved. However, that surely will anger the President and the Premier after current events. He was not going to be sacked.”

    The sun, now rising quite high in the sky, coloured the atmosphere the shining light blue. Ravony stood up and pressed himself to the balcony. He lowered his head, thinking deeply about the effects it could provoke. He returned to his seat and smoke one puff.

    “The Jews will certainly make the north their new home. Nevertheless, I understand.”

    Hartono continued with negotiations of the new infrastructure project to link the island better. Attributed to mining spores being established, Hartono signed thirteen new lands to be sent to various other companies, most of the Javanese and Malays conglomerate companies. After hours of negotiation, Ravony exited Hartanto’s temporary villa and greeted him with a safe trip back to Jakarta.

    The minister looked once again to the seas of now midday Madagascar. He remembered Madagascar’s nearing the two thousand and a half on GDP per capita, surely not as decent as Indonesia’s average but extremely well for an African nation. He surely hoped for this nation’s growth because if not, heavens know what kind of bad will happen to this tumultuous year.

    *OTL large bank in Indonesia, definitely a larger evolution ITTL
    ITTL Madagascar was greatly benefited by Subandrio's administration. From projected poorest to one of the fastest-growing ones (if counted as an independent nation). I can see Madagascar holding a great influence on Africa, certainly a good opportunity for Indonesia's future in those regions (although not now).

    Trust me, the next chapter is definitely about the Myanmars although the centrepiece would not be about Myanmar entirely.
    War no more! Part 5: the Rohingyas
  • A Hypothesis

    3 May 1986
    Jakarta, Indonesia

    PPP Representative from Jakarta Adam Malik was appointed recently as Vice Chairman of the DPR after the former Vice Kharis Suhud* was accused of corruption scandal regarding Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone in Penang Federal District. The general was apparently convoluted with few Mitsubishi spokespeople that involved cash between the process. A sum of 2 million rupiahs was reported for Mitsubishi to defeat Hewlett Packard during the tender proceedings. Typical, Malik thought. Indonesia after LKY’s economic policy, some youths called Leeconomics, had become the major investment scheme besides unified Korea, Taiwan, and Thatcherite Hong Kong. Even though Indonesia was the most regulated among the others, Indonesia had small free-zones, the Federal Districts, that acted independently under a separate administration. That was why those Federal Districts had no power in DPR or DPD, they worked directly under the Presidency and the Cabinet, whoever feels in charge. Those places had become so contested that fair play became obsolete under a money game.

    No wonder for that judgment the Golkars had accused the government, again, of corruption. The general was clearly a Golkar Faction of the PRD membership, yet they sidetracked their own sentence, wished to drag along Lim Cheong Eu, the District Secretary, into same charges. Yesterday, the week ended with another shout. PPI insulted PPP as corrupt, while eerily blunt insult the PRD. Malik slurped a coffee for a moment, the taste at least relieved Malik a little.

    “Mr President, as the newly established Islamic Republic of Rakhine, was established, we should anticipate measures for the agitation Acehnese would receive,” Premier Lee Kuan Yew impulsed, “We know that minimal military presence is what the government solicited. But the rising crisis up in Myanmar could eventually come to us.”

    Adam Malik sat next to DPR Chairman Musa Hitam in the newly furnished Indonesia’s Situation Room. Approximately twenty-three chairs were forming a rectangular shape, all of them occupied with the highest officials. 1962 marked the Burmese Republic into a Myanmar National Government. That junta excluded Rohingya, a native Islamic community on the Rakhine State, from the list of Myanmar ethnics. Stateless and suppressed by the military, much of Rakhine’s populace attempted to migrate to Bangladesh, only failed due to government attitudes. Bangladesh wanted to wedge between India and Indonesia.

    As the people were more attracted to the former, Bangladesh’s ties to Indonesia was the rice export. The nationalist politicians have strived everything to maintain the only relation with Indonesia before Bangladesh became an Indian satellite. That way, the Rohingyas must not disturb the agriculture surplus Bangladesh has had since 1984. In 1985, they began sending back Rohingyas into their nation-state, causing an outcry for most Islamic people seeing that as an imminent betrayal.

    Eventually, the Rohingya grasped the state of the world they lived in, wedged between powers that expelled them. Long story short, radicalism rose as the Muslims acknowledged Bangladesh as hopeless. The Islamic Republic was formed under a similar government to Pakistan. Malik couldn’t understand why a small minority can exert rebellion that far. Possibly, in his thoughts, underground Acehnese would be one culprit.

    “Premier Lee. I will not send any armed forces, especially the army, to greatly increased their power and influence. South Vietnam’s demands had been a great wind for them, telling us as ‘cowards’ although they were the ones who screwed up in Africa,” the President responded piquantly. “Commander, what’s the coast guard’s strength in the Andaman Sea?”

    Commander Hendro Darmawan replied, “Close to non-existent Sir. The agreement from the government had to make Aceh coastlines ventured by the national Coast Guard. We relied on Acehnese fishermen, which we already know had been unreliable on certain questions.

    Adam Malik, along with others, nodded with an exchange. Subandrio himself conciliated with Acehnese on their hatred towards the previous administration’s suppression. As the only place that can resist government economic plan, Aceh had the Memorandum of Understanding of 1980, which allowed them to autonomously govern while still adhered to central wishes; education, fiscal and economic initiatives. The latter slipped, due to a discovery that Acehnese planted opium on the Batak-Aceh border. Moreover, Nasution had drawn the border inwards, giving Aceh a deep resentment towards Bataks.

    Formerly a member of the United Nations Assembly, Adam Malik totally hypothesized Acehnese insurgencies partaking a ploy on the Rohingyas. The Malaysian Separatist may take part, but Mahathir had dampened the separatist movement into a political faction, determining to take down LKY and conquered the government. Anwar Ibrahim, the man on the third row right from the president’s seat, had been meeting with the Malays, hoping for an opportunity.

    Still, Defense Minister Try Sutrisno rebutted this time, speaking carefully after a threat of sacking from the President, “Mr President. Our government reports of a direct MAK endorsement will be noticed as absurd. A MAK assistance would mean a foreign agreement had to convey around the Indian Sub-Continent. Besides, MAK couldn’t care less about Asia. The Middle East is their main focus, as long as the UASR still stands, the MAK would aggressively operate there. This Rakhine State had been GAM’s wager. If they succeeded, it added one more reason why Aceh should split from Indonesia.”

    Musa Hitam replied, “Mr Try, the days of Indonesian adventurism is over. We are not in the 60s and 70s anymore, we still have 15 million more living in extreme poverty, 4 million unemployed with a massive migration crisis that is starting to occur. Just last month, already 4000 Vietnamese boated to Indonesia. If we continued to focus elsewhere, like defence spending, it would be a year or two until Indonesia dissolved into a mess…”

    “… which is why increasing our defence capabilities is inevitable. We need to protect our lands. Our economic growth has enough momentum to divert it to military spending for a while. With also our Federal Districts giving us the money surplus, we need to tackle this now.” Try interjected.

    In Malik’s view, Try was right this time. The President’s speech in March had been too excessive as a response, it injured relations on the SEATO and the Spratly League. The Americans had been very thoughtful, but not for the Philippines and South Vietnam. Worse, the weakening of relations could mean a Chinese intrusion into the South China Sea.

    “Indonesia never was, is, and will be, the nation of the military expedition and over-effort jingoism. We followed the basic principles of Pancasila, and the second verse is to mediate peace, not reinforce. As long as our nation can negotiate terms, you can wave bye-bye for any military involvement,” Subandrio shut any further commentaries.


    Tropicana, State Republic of Papua

    Carter’s 1977 Immigration Act allowed immigrants of all descendants to legally dwell in the United States. However, a small percentage of American people are allowed and funded to emigrate into parts of America’s strategic interests. Mostly, the immigrants moved to Panama, Puerto Rico and Cuba while those islands exchanged some to Florida, Texas and the Sun Belt States. Therefore, rebellious regionalism would be severely discouraged. A small portion of it came to fill up towns across the Pacific. From Samoa, Marshall Islands, to inevitably Papua. As Glenn’s presidency had no apparent independent grants to any territorial ownership across the Pacific, the Immigration Act continued. As a result, the woman met many of her former friends here, in Tropicana.

    “Darling, don’t forget to buy the gas,” a man reminded the woman that was reading Kompas.

    Ann Dunham stopped her reading in the national Indonesian newspaper. She appreciated the current President’s solid stance against interventionism, despite he initiated it back in the early terms. “Alright,” she replied.

    The authorities haven’t established a gas pipeline that runs towards Tropicana, despite the growing population. The people here have been either mixed marriages or mixed-descendants, few faces are entirely European, Javanese or Papuan. The town almost called the most ethnically diverse town in Papua was the places where White migration has been moving here. There are three places that people like Ann preferred: Tembagapura, Sukarnopura and Tropicana. All of these are small but booming towns, already competing with the native Kotabaru, Merauke and Port Moresby. With few Jews implored to move here, these three cities have become a beacon for multiculturalism, little intolerance accidents occurred inside.

    Ann Dunham** moved here after her second husband, Peter Leemans***, moved here for the geological study of the Papuan Highlands. His husband was a Dutch-Indonesian descent born in former Batavia, a Peranakan for most people called him. Formerly a professor of the University of Indonesia, he joined the geological team to Papuan Highlands, trying to link the Pacific’s Ring of Fire to the Papuan fault lines.

    The livelihood here, surprisingly, is very cheap for an American-modeled town. The prices here are slightly higher than the ones she encountered in Malang, her former place. Back in Hawaii, a dollar can buy a can of tuna. Here, she can buy three. She loved living here, a peaceful suburban neighbourhood with amazing landscape, unlike Walini which had been too populated.

    She currently lived only with Peter Leemans. All of her children were away, either in Jakarta, Singapore or Hawaii. Her oldest daughter, Kristina Hirsch, was a result of her first marriage with former college classmate Michael Hirsch****. Kristina is 25 now, living with Ann’s mother in Hawaii. After divorced in 1972, she moved to Jakarta when she met Peter Leemans. At first, Peter Leemans persuaded her to move to Walini. She lived there for five years and birthed two sons and one daughter: Michael, Benjamin and Annabelle. In 1981, Ann moved to Malang for Leemans’ first geological tour. As her husband went on an expedition to isolated regions, Ann was worried about her children's education. As a result, Michael and Annabelle then were sent to Singapore with Leemans’s brother while Benjamin stayed in Walini with Ann’s sister. Leemans then was offered the geological tour to Papua in 1983 and thus have moved here ever since.

    After arrival, she worked as an English teacher for Papuan students near Kotabaru. It was a 30-minute boat trip, as land roads were dangerous. She never complained about her job, the students treated her nicely. She got a decent salary that can pay the housing expense, therefore Leemans can send additional money to the kids.

    Ann took the only bus route in Tropicana to the city centre. The centre was Tropicana’s highest places, comprising of a few office building, a mall and a cinema. She went to the mall first, going to the nearest retail seller to buy gas cylinders. During her trip back home, she witnessed another aboriginal attack on the city. The army immediately fired upon them with tear gas. Although Papuans were supportive of whites, some of them still felt reluctant. They opposed and fought people like Ann coming here. Fortunately, a small military platoon from the Indonesian Army was stationed here, prepare to fight in case any attack arrives.

    Just a few steps away from the house, Allison Melcher*****, approached her. She was also Ann’s friend in Hawaii, moved here because of the Immigration Act. The money the Americans gave for them was quite large, thus appealing.

    “Ann, would you want to watch the Tele?” Allison knew Ann didn’t have any television, she preferred newspaper instead. “Why?” “The Space Challenger in Cape Canaveral exploded. They said it was mismanagement.” Ann didn’t take a second question and quickly walked to Allison’s house.

    *OTL leader of DPR 198-1992. ITTL he is a PRD politician.
    **Famously known as President Obama's mother. ITTL she never met Obama Sr. therefore no President Obama.
    ***ITTL character, no OTL equivalence.
    ****Also ITTL character, but certainly will be seen again.
    *****Another ITTL character, was Ann's friend in college. She was a biologist.

    The next chapter would be entirely apolitical, determining to see the nation's infrastructure, culture and economic situation all across Indonesia. And then, it would always be around Subandrio.
    War no more! Part 6: Culture
  • The roar of the Equator: The Rich Culture of Indonesia

    Indonesia had been the paragon of diversity in ethnics, races and even cultures. The archipelago has separated communities into distinct cultures, yet they are united under the one grand republic of Indonesia. The ancient kingdoms of Srivijaya, Majapahit and Demak have established unique cultures that became classics. The contemporary culture of the state, meanwhile, has just started growing.

    The Generation of '45 marked the first age of realism rather than the previous romantic on novels and various books. It embraced struggles and fights for liberation unquestionably. Writers such as Chairil Anwar, Bakri Siregar and Idrus all played a part in creating valiant books that valued the heroes and encouraged young folks to fight against tyranny and oppression.


    Chairil Anwar Aku ini Bintang Jalang, portraying the barbarity of English during the War.

    The next generation, the '65 generations identified the following degree of the '45, this time with increased civic self-esteem fighting against the largest empire known to history. The trait that differed this younger generation of literature than the old ones, was the moral stories was not individual achieving freedom of oppression, but the joys of liberating other brothers that remained so. Indonesia Membebaskan from Pramudya Ananta Tur, Ia sudah berpulang from WS Rendra and Garuda merentangkan Sayapnya from Toha Mochtar all portrayed part of Indonesia’s "David against the Goliath" romanticism. The culture impacts of these writers are chauvinistic, looking at the young 50s until the early 70s generation which was highly supportive of the military and the national identity.

    As political drift cued the start of Subandrio’s presidency, the 65 generations were retiring for the newer Liberal Generation. Those militaristic people had become older, and the younger generation that replaced them were satisfied with Indonesia’s personality and rather concentrate more on the livelihood of oneself. Moreover, they became adamant about pursuing the prosperity of the nation rather than the old aggressive nature. With the seeming failures of Angola and Mozambique, writers have expressed increasing hostile viewpoints towards war and the military.

    In addition to the anti-war mobilisation of litterateurs in the United States, Indonesia has been deeply swayed by books that detailed the terrors of the Nicaraguan War and the ventures in Pakistan. So, the newer generation of writers veered most of the last generation's focus of the war to the daily activities of the people, contemplating the divide between the rich and the poor. As a result, there has been an increase in writers showing socialist values across the nation. Titis Besino, Leon Agusta and Gunawan Hadi* wrote their crafts in literary magazines, attracting mostly urban scholars that can purchase.

    With all eyes focusing away from war and struggle against oppression. The message has changed into covering the diversity of Indonesia since few ethnical clashes have started to erupt all across Indonesia. This time, native Indonesian were helped by a few Malayan and Singaporean authors. A Samad Said has published Malayu Indah which visualized the countryside of the Malay Peninsula admired by Javanese and Sundanese alike. Syed Hussein Alatas, a Malayan writer and also a famous politician, published books about multi-racialism as a new challenge of the new nation’s fight against old orthodox less tolerant views.


    Syed Hussein Alatas, the carried man

    Television & Radio

    Movie culture, comparing the books, grew likewise. In the early 60s, public radios regularly covered battles, either against the British or against separatists. The government sometimes broadcasted dramas about certain battles during the Indonesian Independence War or the Australian Aggression, notably the victory in Sidoardjo. With the help of television, these plays have become romanticized films, heavily propagated for national aspirations. TVNI, the national television network, has been established in 1968 solely for uniting far-fetched urban citizens of Indonesia, like Malaya and Singapore, which already had decent technology about that kind of networks. For decades, the TVNI offered national news all around Indonesia, as well as a small international briefing for Indonesian citizens to witness. Other than that, television before the early 80s was solely around TVNI. However, after 1981, with the first private Indonesian TV channel aired, a variety of shows began to entertain Indonesia. IndoTV, the first to be born, was mostly aimed to entertain watchers as TVNI only offered news with few advertisements. With definitely less news report, IndoTV offered talk shows, movie series and also bought movie licenses. Siapa Dia? was an adaptation of the United States' What's my Line. It featured many politicians, celebrities and other famous people that became the bane of IndoTV. Along with extensive marketing all across Indonesia, IndoTV gained attraction as the ‘fun’ Indonesian channel.


    Siapa Dia in 1985 with Presenter
    Aom Kusman
    IndoTV marked the new decade of Indonesian Television Shows, with TVNI also started featuring light talk shows with few comedies. Moreover, other private networks had been established regionally. NNN, Nanyang News Network, was open in Singapore by a local conglomerate for covering regional coverage around the Malacca Strait. An American migrant Anthony Feinsilber* has formed the WPBN, West Pacific Broadcasting News, which obviously cover Papua, Melanesia and few areas of Maluku. The LKY cabinet, fortunately, has been tolerant of these local growths, sometimes encourage them as their news network does help unify the nation a bit.

    In 1986, there have been 5 certified TV network, 3 of them managed to reach nationally. With TVNI, IndoTV and NTV (Nusantara Televisi). NTV aired since 1984, focused mainly on songs, mirroring the American MTV which already aired before 1979. These networks offered entertainment and information for a few tens of million people, especially in the urban areas of Indonesia.

    Moving to the countryside, most people relied on the radio for information. Therefore, the radio still has expanded. The RRI (Radio Republik Indonesia), like the TVNI, maintained the informative side of the radio broadcasts during which other frequencies focused more on entertainment. The 99.9 FM, the Koes Radio, was established by the Koes Brothers to transmit the new generation of songs all across the suburbs of Jakarta, Semarang and Surabaya. Some other radios, like local Sunda Suara Pasundan 88.8 FM, spoke Indonesian with a small Sundanese during mini-interviews, giving a slight introduction to Sundanese languages. There are other varieties in Melayu, Javanese and Chinese languages. For political parties, the PNI-R has the 101 Nusantara FM, organised by Barisan Nusantara. Their messages are mostly propaganda campaigning for another return of Nasution-esque government, so far has not been successful. On the other side, the 95.1 Merah FM was a well-renowned radio from the Barisan Pemuda. They have radio listeners especially in the countryside, mobilizing them to demand more agricultural compensation for the last few years. PUI also have the Jemaah 98.1 FM, broadcasting mostly in Pasundan and Majapahit State.


    The rise of non-state televisions has also paved the way for the new generation of songwriters. Before the 80s, most songs have been sold with vinyl records, magnetic discs or newly made tape recorders. However, vinyl was volatile and fragile. The tape recorders were quite expensive. Therefore, the song was mostly improvised publicly while records were kept for preservation. Occasionally, RRI would air the Beatles and other rock songs from abroad, because they owned the sophisticated technology suitable for the radio stations to broadcast.

    Yet, as the 80s progresses, television networks and radios offered a new place for artists to publish their works. Music that was played publicly; within streets, cafes or restaurants; are beginning to explode nationwide. Firstly, rock bands from America and Germany filled the streets, with people starting to adopt pre-punk lifestyles. Yet, that foreign genre has been dominating Indonesia since the 1970s, it has become outdated. As a result, the genre waned over time. Eventually, two genres dominated the nation by 1986, they rivalled each other and possibly create a decent division among the populace.

    The first one, early I-Pop, was the adaptation of the previous generation of foreign songs. With now young musicians have been creative under foreign culture, they have been creating interpretations of their own. Rock, Jazz, and Soul all merged into a new hybrid creation of Indonesian pop. With the folk culture of the young generation’s virtues from the old, they too started to shape the music with scenery lyrics. Rajawali Subur from Bin Abdul Syukur* become famous in its initial release in 1984, it spread even to parts of the Philippines and Vietnam. Another adaptation of these songs was romance and class struggle, which was apparent on Kisah Cinta, Ampunan, and Tukang Kredit all made by Benyamin Sueb. I-Pop mainly used modern instruments, guitar and drum. A few bands, notably Radikal* from Surabaya, used other unusual instruments like triangles, cymbals and gongs.


    Benyamin Sueb during recording, 1986

    I-Pop’s drastic popularity was mostly because of IndoTV’s continuous broadcast of these songs. Also, the Koes FM aired those songs on the radio, increasing coverage all across Indonesia. As the network became popular, I-Pop has also grown in urban sprawls all along with Indonesia. Cities like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, Semarang and Surabaya have youths all singing these songs. Politically, I-Pop has become the song for Front Pemuda, along with infamous songs of the West like YMCA and Raining Men, a slight reference to the most radical liberal attitudes of sexuality freedom.

    The well-accepted icon for I-Pop is the rise of Iwan Fals in 1983. He was a young singer who published his first breakthrough Sarjana Muda in 1981. By 1983, he already published 20 songs, with fifteen of the portraying the basic problems between employee-employer. In 1985, he was tied with a conflict with the army after publishing Sungguh Biadab, an anti-war song about the Army’s involvement in Africa. His newest solo, Demokrasi Hidup, was the first-ever explicitly political satire song he ever published.


    Iwan Fals, 1984

    In other regions of Java, Sumatra and Borneo, a rival for I-Pop emerged. This homemade genre was named dangdut. Dangdut, unlike the progressive Western I-Pop, is mostly folklore and traditionalist. Originate first on Java, Dangdut is fused with Hindustani and Arabic music, giving melodious instrumentation rather than rhythmic I-Pop. They also used traditional instruments, like table and gendang, which are mostly used before in Tanjidor and other older concerts. Unlike I-Pop’s meteoric ascension, Dangdut had been gradual and fine. Yet, as the genre existed since the 1950s, Dangdut has gained enough traction in the 1980s. Moreover, with the help of Dangdut King Rhoma Irama, it has become prominent because of the King’s exotic dance crew. From Said Effendi’s Seroja until the latest Rhoma Irama’s Haram, Dangdut has become an alternative for I-Pop.

    Conveniently, Dangdut has become a political identity that is also a rival of PPP. Front Pemuda Islam, as well as Barisan Pemuda, has become attached to this genre and campaigned alongside dancers. Controversially, this dangdut was allegedly more ‘erotic’ than the I-Pop, despite I-Pop’s messages was more vulgar.

    The growing of art has been the most mundane growth relative to other forms of culture. Mostly they fully imitated the trend of the international world, although late by a few decades. For example, Affandi’s impressionist paintings have continued to inspire 1980 painters to recreate some, although with a slightly different context. Basuki Abdullah realism paintings also contribute to the rise of war paintings that depicted horrors and costs of an active battle.

    Traditional arts, such as batik and kerajinan was still the nation’s cultural identity throughout the decade. Batik clothes have become cheaper than before with the rise of machines. Kerajinan was also being massively produced in certain parts of tourism regions like Bali.

    Most of the characters are based on OTL along with some works, although a large quantity of them are ITTL different. Because of the sheer number of reference, I will start inserting links referring to the author. The websites are in English (Indonesian if I can't find the decent English reference. ITTL characters symbolizes an asterisk. References on names or OTL resemblance can also be found on links.) The 45 Generations are mostly derived from OTL Angkatan 45 while the 65 Generations are inspired by OTL Angkatan 66

    I promised for both culture and infrastructure, but the sheer writing of culture made me split the infrastructure to the next post. As compensation, next up would also be looking at the technology advancement of Indonesia.
    Last edited:
    War no more! Part 7: Infrastructure & Science
  • The Roar of the Equator: Infrastructure and Science

    At first, the rise of Indonesia in the Asian theatre was unsurprising for the world. With all that manpower and resources from the archipelago, Indonesia has invested her raw resources to improve the nation’s fallen industry relative to Japan and Korea. Indeed, Indonesia, unlike any East Asian nation, was comparatively grappling in terms of catching up. Nothing had been more evident than in infrastructure.

    Indonesia’s infrastructure wasn’t quite a unifying structure for the nation only because of one thing: geography. The archipelago had large straits across each island, rendering it costly and unworthy for the administration to initiate a build-up. As a result, infrastructure was focused to connect at least the largest islands first. Then, essential shipping routes were established to connect between islands. Assuming that these sea lanes fared similarly as the land ones, construction in Indonesia will be ‘interconnected’, at least de facto.

    During Nasution Era, Indonesia underwent a massive overhaul regarding the minimal infrastructure Indonesia had had, especially after most of the damage by British bombers. After a general reconstruction effort, mostly repaying with oil commission or American donations, the President launched the massive national project that marked as the icon of his presidency. TJIP (Trans Java Infrastructure Program) and TSIP (Trans Sumatra Infrastructure Program) had become the bane of rapid construction in Indonesia [1]. TJIP constructed the ambitious Trans Java Toll Road, which connected Merak (near Cilegon, OTL Banten) and Malang (OTL East Java) under the longest stretch of four-lane tollway competing with the infamous Anyer-Panarukan construction. TSIP launched the longest toll in Indonesia, connecting Medan to Bandar Lampung. That way, Indonesia succeeded in competing with the abler regions of Malaya and Singapore and started to catch up in terms of growth.


    A stretch of Trans-Java Toll Road near Jombang, part of TJIP


    Medan-Binjai Stretch of Trans Sumatra Toll Road, part of TSIP
    In Javan cities, construction had remained under the Subandrio’s administration to provoke industrialization in satellite cities. Jakarta started extending outwards, subsequently link with Kebayoran once and for all. Around the cities, smaller tier towns like Tangerang, Bekasi and Depok are thriving in numbers, accommodating the lower class that works on the city’s factories. The Jakarta Inner Ring Road was finished in the 1970s, while the Outer Ring Road achieved in the early 80s. Traffic soon grew dramatically as the centre became a bustling centre of commerce, office and government. Public transports soon follow to be built after toll roads, as LKY’s cabinet preferred mass transits rather than roads. In the end, nearly 43 cities in Java alone has either built or planned public transport, rail or bus, to bridge residential to their workplace.


    The Gaplek Locomotive, a common Locomotive in Majapahit Region

    In Sumatra, construction initially began due to Sumatra located between Java and Malaya. With the Toll Laut under operation, Sumatra expanded its cities and factories because they positioned themselves between Malaya and Java, the two giants of Western Indonesia. Even though dire opposition from ultra-conservatives in Padang and Aceh region kept blocking off arrivals, the rest of the island became extremely open in terms of cultural and social diversity. With that, the east coasts of Sumatra were ripe with newcomers from densely populated areas of Java and Malaya. The high exchange of population with a petite growth of transmigration from the current government also boosted the coasts into bustling cities filled with the island’s foreigners.

    Deliberately, Malaya and Singapore’s increase was restrained to the urban areas. The countryside prevailed stagnated as expected, though only to return growing under Subandrio’s industrialization efforts. Still, the growth was virtually apparent, the countryside only flourishes because unemployment from the farmlands has moved to cities. Production soon met at a full flat because the villages are having fewer people by urbanization. In contrast, the locals remained happy for the all-out urban transport programs to be built, competing Java with around 12 Malayan cities under serious planning.

    Subandrio’s personal programs, similar to the predecessor, was the revived TPIP (Trans Papua Infrastructure Program) and the new TMIP (Trans Malaya Infrastructure Program). TPIP was blessed for the government, as investors had already poured money even before the government planned the budget. The toll roads secured, naturally, are privately administered by investors; foreign or domestic. Subandrio’s less authoritative rule under a nett positive region also helped Papua to become one of the fastest-growing, least regulated places of Indonesia. At the end of Subandrio’s presidency, Papua had complete autonomy from the central Jakarta government. The profit the region created has kept the central authorities happy to let them be. That had caused every construction beside the TPIP to be sporadically birthed by the people living there. A group of German investors poured a North-South highway connecting Kotabaru and Merauke. Sibil, locating in between, was the Germans main objective, believing to posse

    TMIP was a response program after Nasution had deliberately left the region under their own management. With LKY as Premier, TMIP was heavily explored and hastily planned. Similar to TSIP and TJIP, TMIP will possess a main four-lane highway and a two-lane railway. The TMIP, also, shall boost coastal ports to improve the capacity and efficiency, with that expanding the ports also. Malacca, Penang, Johor and Port Klang were Indonesia’s priorities. These would aid Singapore for rapidly rising shipment traffic, then reducing traffic jams and waiting time. Across the Strait, towns like Dumai and Medan also took part in reducing the island’s burden.
    ss great mineral deposits around the mountainous regions. Construction began in 1985, predicted to finish by 1990.


    Penang Port in 1983

    What was stunning for Subandrio was him passing a program that transformed an island thousand miles away from Indonesia proper, Madagascar. The republic holds strategic importance for markets in Africa, a potential that Industry Minister Hartanto discovered. These African nations can become economic partners, trade raw good with them to boost Indonesia’s growing processed goods. Yet, tensions are rising in the Congolese rainforest area, all of them seeing Indonesia as a bully for instability. That meant Indonesia will open ties with the UASR, a formerly strained nation currently opening for cordial connections. South Africa, despite a British dominion, is also a perfect candidate for Indonesia’s goods. Their apartheid policy has halted their industrial growth, lagging and stubborn on a pre-1960s system. Fortunately, that standstill in the economy may help us as their trading partner, considering most of their import goods are more expensive than ours.

    The sole reason Madagascar can become a large hub for Indonesian goods to export is why LKY expanded programs on the island. It was extremely impoverished after the acquisition, the Premier changed the premonition with business opportunities, vast investment scheme and rapid raw resource exploration. Infrastructure was constructed rapidly. Toamasina and Antananarivo had their road connection paved. An oil discovery in Analalava made the American Chevron funded a freight connection from the town to Mahajanga, the largest port in northwestern Madagascar. Toliara had become the American naval base, therefore had its populace of 50000 Americans use a bus transit to St. Agustine, the sailor’s residence.

    Although the outstanding infrastructure projects do improve the nation roundly, critics still questioned LKY’s biases towards the issue. It was because, in Borneo, Sulawesi and Maluku, there was significantly less construction that took place, depicting the government as abandoning these regions. Also, tourism spots are loosely funded, unlike ambitious Nasution policies, and are slowly worn out of budget. All for the government is industry and industry only. As a result, all of the infrastructure agendas are circling industrial potential.


    Indonesia’s science was groundbreaking in its own ways. The growth during Nasution days until now had been excellent. Undeniably, Indonesia had the most natural disaster occurrence yearly. The Ring of Fire has carried out earthquakes and volcanic eruptions regularly in Indonesia. In addition to man-made disasters like wildfires in Sumatra, droughts in Timor, and some landslides in Pasundan, Indonesia’s scientists have been arduous in predicting and mitigating these events.

    Badan Meteorologi dan Geofisika (BMG) was established in 1975 under the Ministry of Transportation. This organizational structure aimed at predicting natural disaster strikes, and that had been a difficult job because of Indonesia’s frequent happenstance. The BMG became quite prominent during its satisfactory precaution measures on the Dieng Plateau Eruption in 1979. The best BMG’s feat was predicting the Papuan Nelson Cyclone in 1983, in which the severe cyclone hit Port Moresby, destroyed dozens of buildings. Fortunately, BMG managed to save the people, and the cyclone killed none.


    Dieng Plateau Eruption 1979

    One name of BMG’s achievement was the Natural Disaster Law of 1980. Passed in the Parliament unanimously, this law would improve disaster alerts by establishing countless small BMG outpost all across Indonesia. The initial numbers, constructed in 1981, was 1300 small posts, 870 of them located in Java alone. These stations can be a small hut is near the volcano’s crater or a large station filled with a laboratory. A distinct radio service would roam around these posts, alerting everyone in case of signs. By 1983, these stations are everywhere, and the time delay was shortened from before 1 hour to 15 minutes’ response.

    Asia, Indonesia’s was the second leading scientist in geophysics and meteorology in Asia, lagging behind only Japan himself. Prof. Dr Barizki, a professor at Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) was the pioneer of modern Indonesia’s prominence in these fields. With American volunteers, they proceeded to research the Sunda Fault Line with the most sophisticated tools. More data can be stored and analyse, thereby predicting the next earthquakes to anticipate. Some young engineers also constructed their own weather device to discover any cases of cyclones, droughts, or thunderstorm in the making,

    Besides meteorology and geophysics, Indonesia had followed the Americans on every scientific achievement. With President Glenn boosting the morale of American intellectuals, they have advanced science to great lengths, surpassing the Soviet Union by a ton. After the New Frontier Act of 1985, NASA and other scientific organizations had their budget increased, giving more space on trial-and-error, and campaigned aggressively on scientific advancements. Under the grace of NASA scientists, Lembaga Antariksa Indonesia had held massive cooperation efforts, scientific sharing and practical joint experiments solely to increase Indonesia’s aerospace capabilities. Their substantial achievement was the Palapa Program that became the icon of Indonesia’s 1980s space prestige.

    Badan Tenaga Nuklir Indonesia (BTNI) was a research centre on nuclear physics and radioactivity. The Americans persuaded LKY into telling them that the nuclear power plant was beneficial for replacing coal and oil. LKY agreed because he intended to sell the oil rather than use it for power. He ordered BTNI to locate a suitable place for a possible nuclear power plant. At the end, of 1978, Subandrio passed his campaign of One Island One Plant Policy. The campaign was originated in Nasution’s era, but scrapped due to large sums of money need to use. However, Subandrio caught attention on this policy, and a nuclear power plant was heavily explored.

    In 1981, the BTNI agreed on putting one nuclear plant in Pamanukan. LKY then ordered the first construction on a Javan nuclear power plant, but that was heavily opposed by residents, which caused small chaos in 1982. In 1983, BTNI proposed Kalijati for the power plant. This time, the residents approved, and the first power plant was built. In August 1985, Dumai was planning for a power plant to be built there. Aburizal Bakrie, the youngest pioneer in nuclear engineering, estimated that the location would easily supply electricity on Sumatra and Malaya, preventing any electricity shortage that Singapore constantly happens that year. In early 1986, during the riots, LKY approved for the plant to be built. Now, two plants are being constructed. In Papua, the plant was not funded by BTNI, but rather by the state government. The Fly Nuclear Power Plant was Papua’s efforts on achieving power-sufficiency to appease immigrants and newcomers to come here. [2]

    This is the anticipated update to finish the non-political stuff. Basically, the government currently is investing in more industrial-related infrastructure rather than anywhere else. Public transport was immediate aftermath on cities growing from industrialization, hence the massive overhaul of the building. Tourism spots, the most famous OTL Bali, was not sighted like OTL Soeharto Era, which actually sees the potential that shaped Bali today.

    There are two references from my previous posts, all can be click on the numbers. For those who will ask, I intended to skip Nurtanio here, it is because the man in charge, Habibie, will have something to do with Subandrio later on.
    War no more! Part 8: A President's Thinking
  • 17 May 1986
    Jakarta, Indonesia

    After five years of premiership and eight years of presidency, the 72-year old Subandrio has already felt a president’s weight after months of serious work. His recent trip to the Federal Kingdom of Germany has compelled him a week of rest on the Presidential Palace. In addition to it, his recent fury towards the agitating military exhausted his energy. A few weeks ago, Umar had given the torch to Try and Wahono, as stated in the 1986 Year Congress of PRD. Umar’s popularity never returned after multiple accusations of corruption and budget embezzlement. Instead of continuing the stubborn path, he relented and passed on.

    At Subandrio’s party, a great change is going to happen. The faction led by Mahathir Mohammad was squeezing LKY and Musa Hitam from the majority. Mahathir and his countryside politicians felt cheated with the urban Federal District’s rapid development. The fact that LKY and Musa Hitam fitted to the city-dwellers also confirmed this new faction, Melayu Bersatu Faction [1], to kick the Malacca Faction out from leading the PPP. Worse, the Melayu Bersatu Faction attracted Sumatran folks also, a base that Subandrio’s Hatta Faction endure on.

    The PRD, conveniently, allied themselves beside Mahathir’s Melayu Bersatu Faction, with malicious intent on reducing Hatta and Malacca’s Faction. It was unfortunate that Mahathir’s ideologues were no different than Hatta during his prime times. Yet, due to Subandrio and LKY, the hatred had grown larger than common sense could fathom. Despite the similarities, Melayu Bersatu Faction has similarities with PRD regarding the pro-farmer and increasingly populist concept. Subandrio can guess a pact between these two groups, Melayu Bersatu attracting Malayans while PRD for Javanese and Sundanese ethnicities.

    For the Malacca Faction, LKY has met Habibie for a negotiable alliance, therefore aligning themselves as a nationalist outlook. The Premier does have some nationalistic tendencies. His campaign was always civic nationalism and state multiracialism. He embraced the arrival of Jews into North Madagascar, while others criticized and condemned that particular race deeply. The other faction that had no interest in aversing the Jews were Habibie’s Nusantara Faction, no wonder they’ve discovered that both men aren’t so incompatible after all.

    The President stopped his political analysis for a moment. He had no business in lobbying anew, he had determined to step down after ending his presidency in 1988. So far, the President’s aide-de-camp has been Adam Malik. He was also retiring, and gave the Hatta’s Faction leader to Sabam Sirait, Subandrio’s secretary, by January next year. Besides, the domestic political circus was entirely pointless looking at the world clown that is happening now.

    “Mr President, the UASR demand us to renegotiate our trade deals, it is said that the Egyptians demanded more.”

    The Suez Canal had been Indonesia’s main trade to Europe and holds vital importance of flowing technology to our own nation. While Japan and Hong Kong have given decent electrical appliances, Indonesians have bought any German industrial advancement that the country can purchase. As the European nation’s industry was the best since the 19th century, Indonesia could not resist the lure of the Rhenish industrial competence. Everything, from mining tractors to agricultural shovels, is bought to satisfied the Indonesian elite market along with the industry that tried to copy it. So, Suez Canal had been the bloodline of Indonesia's future. The UASR understood this and wished trade deals to help prioritise Indonesian ships to pass through without delays. That befell with the cost of livestock subsidies, something the UASR are lacking off from her growing population. Last year, the UASR demanded another product, this time processed food subsidies. Now, Subandrio suspected it would be coffee.

    “Bring them to the table, Mr Anwar. Besides, Nasser would not be staying long.” Subandrio answered. He shrugged the country of being too cautious. The Suez Canal was an international passage owned by the Egyptians, yet they have abused the passage to increase relevance. He could not argue too much, though, Indonesia is doing the same thing in the Malacca Straits.

    Any third nation, despite historical discrepancies, will fall under any case in these two contexts: lack of power rotation and lack of delegation. Starting in the 80s, President Nasser had effectively centralized the nation under his rule except for Hussein and his huge Iraqi Ba’athist Army. His popularity had never waned caused him to suffer a disease like all leaders before him, he built his own cult of personality. In Yugoslavia, General Kadijević was wise enough to care for the national state rather than own cultural and ethnic groups. He stopped the early dissolution of Yugoslavia from the rising protests from each cultural identity. In the UASR, Subandrio has no hesitancy that Saddam will eventually form his independent Iraqi state after the death of Nasser. The sickness had been too Egypt-centric, especially with Nasser’s new pharaoh-Esque new capital proposal West of Cairo, it raged much of the Syrian and Iraqi’s plea that wished for funds to divert from there. Corruption also started to infect the government. According to our intelligence, local Jordanian legislatures are starting to receive Saudi’s money to rebel that supported some militias including the new movement in Palestine. Inevitably, the UASR will be spliced sooner or later.

    The Arabian money was draining away in Libya also; the Gadhafi dictatorship was losing control after a small militaristic Islamic rebellion sprouted on Benghazi, crippling the nation’s oil production. The Iraqis are sent there, only to realize they are fighting Saudi militias in this proxy war. The French have been funding Gadhafi too, but that will certainly hamper UASR’s stability. The idea of Islamism has been prevalent in the heart of Islam, Saudi Arabia. So, much of the young populace in the Middle East are feeling less hopeful about the old Pan Arabism from socialism characteristics and promoted more on fundamentalism and Wahhabism. Moreover, since the French were restoring connections with the Germans, the UASR carelessly advocated for Pan Arab to expand in French Africa, hinder further relation improvements.

    That worrying trend of Wahhabism also caught notice by Subandrio in Indonesia. Although Indonesia’s friendliness to Iran does help decrease discrimination, the rift between moderate and purist Islam has deepened. The NU is frightened with Muhammadiyah and the more radical Front Pemuda Islam. The essence of religious uniformity was already dangerous to Indonesia that two of the major rebellions are sourced by that background. Short term benefits for Subandrio’s party is obvious, the PUI will split shortly. The premise which he worried about is the uncertain future of Indonesia.

    “No, Sir. I don’t believe so. But the problem is your initiative of a neutral Indonesia.” Anwar noted.

    Buggers, President Subandrio comprehended the Foreign Minister’s understanding. Indonesia’s status to be non-aligned nations has disintegrated after the 60s and 70s. Much alone to the 80s, where business with First World Nations have become the most frequent occurrence. The fourth NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) Summit will convene in Nairobi, Indonesia will attend even though the fiery eyes African nations will give. UASR’s renegotiation may hamper Indonesia’s return as the original NAM member. Being non-aligned essentially rendered all nations friendly towards Indonesia. However, looking at the fruits of capitalism and American scientific advancement, the LKY cabinet has no plan on returning to non-align.

    Official Indonesia’s stance had been leaning, if not very, towards the Western Bloc. Fortunately, Indonesia’s was not entirely shifted to one side after a negotiation with communist France, it soothed the old guards thinking for neutral Indonesia. The recent French appeasement towards the Germans, however, may cause the entire question to return. The PRD, not surprised, brought on this issue to the Parliament, mocking the government as too US-leaning. More harsh comments came from PPI and PUI, seeing the ‘demoralization’ of the society from their perspective.

    Subandrio continued to converse about the President’s wishes to join the Summit. The Foreign Minister, yet, showed less enthusiasm for this event. He considered that showing presence at that Summit only bring nuisance and chaos to the Parliament, which the cabinet has enough of. The debate with Foreign Minister Anwar continued, meanwhile a small knock arrived Secretary Sabam Sirait.

    “Afternoon Mr President and Foreign Minister, the plane scheduled to Japan has arrived. You need to go to Halim Airport, Mr President.”

    The 4th Summit of the East Asian Community is in two days, President Subandrio acknowledged. Four years of decreased tariffs have earned East Asia the greatest economic boost in history. While China lagged in Madame Mao, the First Island Chain [2] has improved dramatically. The average economic growth of EAC members is the highest in the world, GDP rise is also competitively rising against the European stagnation. Japan, obviously, is the leader and host of the EAC. The nations presented the most sophisticated tools and methods, which then powered by South East Asia’s relatively cheap labour to push the production.

    Premier LKY already warned Subandrio that any raise in lower-wage salaries will ruin this opportunity. Currently, Japan is still keen on investing in Indonesia, despite has noticed the cost of labour in the Philippines and South Vietnam are much cheaper. The disparity between high-tech cities and slow-growth rural have maintained Indonesia’s paradox: being quite ahead on society while still benefiting as a developing nation. Plus, Premier LKY also stopped the nationalization of companies, a trend that he himself implemented years ago. For him, the current dynamics had transformed that further nationalization would mean more disadvantages than advantages of the nation’s economy.

    That’s what Subandrio always criticized LKY for; just the economic mindset. On the President’s behalf, society progressed not solely from a better economy, it needed welfare to protect. Indeed, more money makes society better apparently, but what’s the use of money if there’s no guarantee of healthcare, pensions and insurance. Besides, Indonesia’s core doesn’t imply prioritizing economies, it has five principles, two of which stressed man’s justice and prosperity.

    Meanwhile, the United States has expressed a possible overhaul to restructure the Pacific islands administration. Since most of the UN’s Pacific Trust Territories was transferred to American control (some of the previously were NZ or Australian controlled), the Americans were planning on giving each cultural regions referendum, either joining America as commonwealth territories which can be admitted to statehood, or demanded independence. The Glenn Administration has decided to resolve the acquired Pacific islands once and for all. With that, he invited Indonesia to help the Americans to be one of the Pacific’s defender. Moreover, this case will not be a one-party opt, Subandrio affirmed, as even the Conservatives are willing to let them go, even preferred independence rather than admitting them.

    This new trend of the US gave a new idea of a possible Pacific Alliance consisted of the US, Indonesia, Australia and NZ. Subandrio told the President that reaching out to Australia will still be different from the war and much effort will be exerted. New Zealand, however, is amenable to heal old wounds and continue cordial relations.

    “Alright, Secretary Sabam. Also, do you received any whereabouts on Toba?”

    Toba was a registered Indonesian cargo ship that lost contact near Socotra Island. Hopefully, the tropical storm only disrupted radio transmission.

    [1] An idea of Melayu Bersatu Faction is like the current party in Malaysia, UMNO.
    First Island chain derived from here.

    This is an intro to Subandrio's thoughts, next up would be his visit to Japan.
    War no more! Part 9: Crisis Prologue
  • 19 May 1986
    Tokyo, Japan

    The President should hold a speech for the outstanding growth of South East Asia as EAC’s greatest marvels. However, the sky around him had been grim because Toba was interfered with by rebel militias of the Somali Government. It seemed that the vessel was at the wrong place during the wrong time.

    During the British massive withdrawal from Africa, the Somaliland Protectorate was allowed to unite with former Italian Somalia for a democratic Somalian government. By 1973, they hold the first-ever elections in unified Somalia. The government elected was a nationalist party led by Abdirashid Shermarke. Especially when Ethiopia fell under communist influence, Shermarke’s Youth League Party campaign vigorously for uniting the brothers on Ethiopian land, thus creating a Greater Somalia. His ambition yet was confronted with the religious upheaval that was never finally explored until 1984. A country still divided was clinging on towards Shermarke’s loyal general Jama Korshel. When the nation attacked Ethiopia in late-1985, that nation did not comprehend how deep communism has infiltrated. As a result, last week the Somalian People’s Movement sieged the capital. It has ties with Islamo-socialist Turkey. Of course, Saudi Arabia participated in this mess, they funded the Mujahideen to establish an Islamic government. It was chaos. On that particular day, the Mujahideen’s hijacked Toba. Consequently, the Parliament issued a national decree to reinforce the return of Toba. Subandrio is afraid that this will brought a dangerous precedent for the fragile serenity of Africa and the Middle East.

    “Mr President, Toba will be rescued.” Foreign Minister Anwar reassured Subandrio. For the first time in man’s history, Subandrio saw the first major piracy incident involving an entire cargo ship in Indonesian post-independence history. Somalia was definitely a test; the media is already prying for his reaction immediately. PPI has started to insult the governments’ long response as ‘cowardly rats’ and linked it with the Tragedy of Poroporo.

    President Subandrio was furious with how the world seems to plan against him. Almost every attempt he made to curtail the military must meet with some bizarre incidents that compel him to do the otherwise. Recently, he has been reciting Al-Quran more frequently than he used to. He eats seldom and became agitated in cabinet meetings. His only source of relaxation was his wife and old vinyl collection of ’45 songs.

    “I understand, Anwar. The LKY cabinet has been working excellently to resolve this issue.” Subandrio lied. He had no intention to delegate this issue to Premier Lee. This EAC meeting which just began was why he rather passed it to him. Premier Lee resolved this issue by threatening a release from the Mujahedeen. So far, the Mujahedeen merely demanded formal recognition of the Islamic Republic of Somalia. LKY has been contacting Chancellor Helmut Schmidt as the cargo’s supplier and ship registry. Germany preferred a cordial negotiation while Premier Lee preferred intimidation. The 4th Fleet was sent north from Madagascar.

    “Anyway, Foreign Minister. I suggest we seat and discuss EAC’s future,” the President recommended Anwar. Similarly, EAC talks was a challenge especially since the Tokyo government has shifted slightly more aggressive. Prime Minister Masajūrō Shiokawa was intending to open strict immigration laws to tackle the lack of uneducated workers. Still, the benefits outweigh the burdens and the Japanese people openly denied the proposal. Despite the rejection, the Prime Minister opens trade tariffs, thus opening the idea for EAC’s open market.

    The East Asian Community for now only subsidized export tax and inter-regional corporation laws from member countries. According to Subandrio, an open market scheme has been rather far-fetched. People haven’t fully grasped the idea of an open border thus remained protectionist about the economy. The Asian norms preferred bilateral deal because more members will spew more negotiations, a common goal was portrayed to never be as beneficial as singular or bilateral agreements.

    Last year, Japan signed an exclusive deal with the Indonesians whose deal has been technically a barter of goods instead of money. Then-Prime Minister Taro Nakayama envisioned Indonesia as Asia’s Southern Rising Sun reminded them once of Japan before. The statement caused quite a stir in Asian politics, considering Japan’s dark imperial past. The current successor was a more careful approach, he believed Indonesia will be the new centre of trade. Brilliantly, he came out with a ‘New Silk Road’ idea, stating that the land route has deteriorated for the sea route to expand. The issue for the current premiership was not derived from Japan but Indonesia herself.

    “We need to talk with Prime Minister Shiokawa about Japanese huge percentage on Indonesia’s total advance goods. The people aren’t very happy about this and began showing anti-Japanese boycotts.”

    “I think the Japanese are willing to buy some of our national companies, these would reduce anti-Japanese sentiments while probably maintaining the trade we have for them. Alternatively, we could demand more from Europe or America, but that will be more expensive.”

    “I know. Premier LKY has been nagging me about the rising trade from Germany. We need them solely for machinery, not production. Besides, the new incident we had before just shows how hostile the Red Sea can be.”

    20 May 1986
    Kyoto, Japan

    Our small initiative to unite East Asia for a better flow of goods was our first step in developing the East for our people’s prosperity and livelihood. We, the East Asian Community, are still relatively young in terms of age, but the ramifications of it had been significant to each nation’s growth. The dynamics among each other has resonated into every one of us, up until the minutest goods of our daily lives. Personally, this community has its members’ not affiliating perfectly, yet this community has proven that unity and friendship are far superior to rivalry and tension. We, in the EAC, currently agree on a common subsidized tariff. I believe we, soon, will show the world how successful EAC has become. Hence, when every eye has noticed us, we show that the world can be as synergic as the EAC.

    -President Subandrio in the 4th EAC Summit Opening

    To start with, Subandrio’s speech at the EAC 4th Summit was definitely unveiling a small patriotic emotion. He conveyed an early thought of Indonesia before the EAC, and how Japan with EAC has shaped Indonesia into a fast-paced development. At home, the DPD and DPR conveyed it positively, except the PPI who still thinks of President Subandrio too leaning on Japan. Foreign Minister Masayoshi Ito met with Anwar, stating that maybe at the end of 1986, Japan will maybe relax visa conditions for Indonesian citizens.

    The problem from Subandrio’s latest speech was how the Mainland nations reacted. The People’s Republic of China considered it an immediate threat to the Chinese connection to the world. President Jiang Qing condemned the EAC as ‘anti-Chinese’ and launched aggressive military exercise along the coast. Especially in Korea where borders China, the People’s Republic turned increasingly close with the Soviet Union.

    For Foreign Minister Anwar, what he can expect were heightened conflicts in Indochina. The region has become a Chinese propaganda battleground, launching communist movements to attract small nations to the mainland sphere. India as China’s partner was alarming too, both greatest nation in continental Asia was America’s greatest fears. Including the Soviet Union, any confrontation that resulted in active war will definitely end apocalyptically.

    In the United States, the midterm elections are starting to heat up. The Conservatives are winning most Democratic tossups. If that happens, Indonesia could have slashed its foreign aid throughout the years. That free money for few American cities in Papua was Carter and Glenn’s major policy. If that ended, not only will Indonesia must rewrite the budget, but also defence fears that the same Americans will try to establish a free Papua.

    The foreign minister sighed deeply. The racial issue has started to erupt once again, this time against the Chinese descendants. It became severe as Premier LKY was losing touch quickly with the Parliament, which caused the media to vilify him according to orthodox discrimination. The Indonesians accepted a Singaporean Premier in the 70s, they, unfortunately, don’t this time.

    Excuse me for the short update, life has been quite busy for this week.

    As usual, some names ITTL are based on OTL, although with slightly different backgrounds. Names are hyperlink accordingly to give some context.
    A first glance of Indonesia being targeted by Islamists, although being the largest Islamic nation in the world.
    Also, a small entrance to the dangers of Papua's extreme advancement.
    A slipping presidency and maybe the government along with it. All of it depends on how the government solve the crisis.
    Discrimination finally getting momentum this year and maybe will affect the upcoming years. It has been considerably some time that Indonesia has been going under a 'racial utopia'.
    I think next up would cover the Toba crisis along with the shockwave/aftermath of it.
    The Man who would be Greater Part 1: Toba Hostage
  • Toba Hostage and the Kismayo Crisis


    The capture of an Indonesian-registered Cargo Ship Toba has caused an extensive crisis for the remainder of the 1980s. Consequently, this event may spark the shenanigans that would continue to burn in Africa for decades. Also, being the targeted nation, Indonesia herself would witness a slight shift in foreign policy which finally materialized in the second quarter of the 21st century.

    Toba was the first-ever cargo ship that the nation’s promising shipbuilders proudly presented. Benefiting from American knowledge with Japanese practicality, PT Penataran Angkatan Laut (PAL), a state-owned shipbuilding enterprise would build his own Panamax Class ship. Following a standard length and draft of 250m and 11m respectively, the ship can hold 3000 TEUs. Toba was the first armada of the ten PT PAL would construct by the end of the 90s. Laid down in 1981 and finally launched two years before the accident, Toba would replace the existing Indonesian government container fleets that then traverse Germany to Malacca. PT PAL gave it to PT Samudera Indonesia [1], the buyer and operator of the ship. The operator had registered it in Jakarta, currently trying to balance the Singaporean Temasek fleet which has been dominating the shipment service.

    Toba was formerly open to usage for all business. However, in early 1985 the government would exclusively rent it for securing the European tech sharing that the Germans have agreed to. The ship would be responsible to carry tonnes of automotive, machinery and tools with the return of rubber, chemistry and processed products whose price has been discounted for the European benefit. Sometimes, the ship would carry out trips to Japan with similar exchange but the shipping focus is mainly European. To encourage Germany with his European friends for more technological exchange, the registry would be moved to Bremen by PT Samudera Indonesia. That change of registry also reduced cost for the company from higher regulations in Jakarta Federal District, rendering the ship more profitable for the state-owned enterprise. Before the accident, the ship was, unfortunately, carrying secretive military equipment for PT Pindad for military usage and further mechanization research. Several TEUs had been filled with computers, advanced radar and reconnaissance machinery for a total sum of almost 5 million Rupiahs.

    Toba was hit by a storm near Aden on the night of 16 May. The ship was unharmed from the weather, although it may have rocked heavily during the high tidal waves. Yet, three hours after the storm, a group of small boats from Somalia would hijack the ship. They boarded the ship and capture the Captain thus controlling Toba. The ship was sailed offshore of the Mujahideen-controlled Kismayo. There are 19 Indonesians, 9 Americans, 3 Germans and 1 Japanese on the ship. They were held hostage in an undisclosed location on Jilib.

    To fully apprehend the background of this capture, a thorough explanation must be given around the Horn of Africa. Eritreans saw the USSR favouring the Ethiopians more, proven by agreeing to squash Tigray and Afar residences. The Eritrean government still intended to say on the Comecon sphere, but the people had become too distrustful of the regime. The anti-government insurgence soon erupted under the UASR backing. Ethiopia, meanwhile, cognized Amha Selassie who launched a democratic resistance opposing them. As a result, the Ethiopia-Somali War was completely frozen. Both sides have agreed on an armistice and focused entirely to squash the rebels before continuing the war. That armistice happened on the 15th without international oversight.

    The capture, some might believe, was a desperate effort planned by the Mujahedeen to finally grasp the attention of the Americans on the Horn conflict. Especially since the Somali Republic will end the rebels quickly after the signed deal. The USSR, currently supporting the communist militias, was reluctant on negotiating with the Mujahedeen, opting to secure a unified communist Somalia. The Somalian’s People Movement Leader General Jaalle Mohamed Siad Barre was formerly a crackdown general of a division carrying out efforts to silence the Mujahedeen. After the fall of Mogadishu was imminent, the Mujahedeen Council perceived an attack that cannot be defended. With the hostage situation, the Mujahedeen foolishly thought that the Americans would help them fight for their establishment.


    the Mujahedeen

    Upon perceiving the hostage crisis, President Subandrio was on the meeting with East Asian powers regarding the EAC Summit. He delegated his powers to Premier Lee as he was extremely detached in that matter. Premier Lee after that launched the 4th Fleet immediately after gaining the executive permission. The cargo was LKY’s highest priority as there were many valuable goods, some of them highly dangerous in unfriendly hands. He assumed the Mujahideen group as hostile and carefully proceeded plan with aggressive manoeuvres. Premier Lee continued floating the fleet off across the Kismayo. He ordered Rear Admiral Tanto Kuswanto to fill up the ammo as a provision for future bombardments. In the meantime, diplomatic envoys would attempt to release the ship.

    The first contact arrived on the 21st of May. A diplomatic ambassador Latief Budiman arrived at the Mujahideen Headquarters in Jilib. Latief was accompanied by American representative Lyold Cutler. They were greeted with a warm welcome, but the Mujahideen commanders wished for the Americans for official recognition of the Islamic Republic of Somalia in return for the American hostage. The Americans rejected those offer as they were backing the federal government. For the Indonesian hostages, the militias claimed they treated well with food and drinks. The Muslim hostages are allowed to perform Salah 5 times a day. They were not allowed to see the hostages though, which created a heated response that withdraws the first envoy.

    Premier LKY was defeated with the first diplomatic failure. The problem was, the Glenn Administration was currently busy with the fallout from the Space Challenger Crash. The government has been attempting to appease the American people that space exploration remains mandatory for the Cold War. But there has been an anti-science movement opposing the over-funded space programs. Moreover, South Vietnam was also fighting the Cambodians.

    In an attempt to find international assistance, Premier Lee urged President Subandrio to call in the United Nations on this matter. The international organization did respond for a commission to arrive, but the government needed to wait for three months. Premier Lee, knowing this would be a long and costly crisis, has ordered to send a second, belligerent Indonesian diplomat by 1st June to hammer out a return of the ship and hostage. This was a personal humiliation for the Indonesian government to have a ship fully hostage, the first major one to reach the international news. Alas, the other governments prefer the slower attrition route; they wait for the Mujahedeen to finally release. Premier Lee was not going for that option and ordered the 4th Fleet to increase pressure. For further cargo shipments, LKY ordered three destroyers KRI Siliwangi, KRI Sanjaya and KRI Diponegoro [2] to patrol the Socotra basin.

    Lee’s actions were faced with great resistance from the Parliament. As much of the DPR and DPD are adherent to the Islamic faith, the Premier was faced with Islamophobia accusations and thus endangering his premiership. A young PUI senator Muhammad Al-Basri continuously pointed LKY to his seemingly racist policy. He would rally with other PUI representatives to once again oppose hardly any move the Premier was going to make. On 23rd May 1986, he spoke his infamous speech ‘the Devil’s Doing’

    Indonesia has been a nation majorly of the Islamic faith. It was extremely tyrannical and ruthless for the current government to enact such extreme actions to fellow religious. The man in charge, Premier Lee Kuan Yew, should be hanged for such barbarity. He positioned the Mujahedeen rebels that took our ships as hostile terrorists, not knowing he indirectly insulting the entire 70% of his own country’s population. Premier Lee is the devil himself, this is the devil’s doing of clearing the Muslims!

    Muhammad Al-Basri, senator (Regional Representative) of Pasundan

    Al-Basri’s eccentric use of words may have driven the nation once again to oppose Premier Lee. Even with the exaggerated pretence, the Premier’s opposition has become stronger. The public media were threatening the Premier to withdraw the fleet and stop the aggressive policy. Within a week, the Parliament has returned to attempt another impeachment process. Premier Lee was fumed by President Subandrio when returned. The President criticized his actions of being too hurried and volatile, looking at the people turning against the government. Premier Lee remained his stance, stating that terrorists remain terrorists, although they are families.

    I don’t care Mr President. These people have taken our people, and we should not be intimidated by them. Criminals should be dealt with batons, not candies and soft treatments. We are the nation of law, and those laws have written that stealing a ship and kidnapping was not treated with minor sentences. They used our men as a political prisoner. I will personally release them if I have to.

    Exempt from the Premier Lee Kuan Yew's Library in Singapore

    Premier Lee’s quick movements did agitate a lot of the people. The President, although subtlety agreeing on Premier Lee, advised him to wait for action. That inaction only worsened the Premier’s power on the parliament. Oppositions started questioning the Premier’s methods and demanded for a second vote of impeachment to commence. The Melayu Bersatu Faction was ready for the next step to kick LKY out after he was weak.

    On the 31st of May, news of Mujahedeen killing off American and Indonesian hostages went wild on the news. The brave Indonesian Chief Engineer of the cargo ship, Anwar Muljadi, has sent transmission without the militias consent to the Indonesian Navy overseas. He, with two other American men, rushed towards the shore pleading for the rescue to come over. Helicopters of the Marines came to the rescue, they had plenty of fire against the coming militias, but they rescued the three men afterwards.

    For the subsequent week, these three witnesses revealed the nasty captivity the Mujahedeen did. They mistakenly killed seven Indonesian crewmates, five of them are non-Muslims. Although they valued fellow believers, they killed two men of being ‘defenders of kafir’. These perpetrators are youth radical militias from the Somali Mujahedeen. They perceived Indonesian’s acceptance of Israeli immigrants to Madagascar as ‘extremely heretic’ and should ‘be persecuted’. Ironically enough, they don’t kill the Americans as they were deemed precious from the high command for negotiation tables.

    These men were utterly disgusting to our belief in liberality and suffering. They only save men that benefited and kill the remaining which are useless. These teens are brainwashed so deeply from their conscience.

    Cook John Freidmond, one of the escapers

    In an instance, the government’s grasped the momentum of this testimony. President Subandrio responded to the militias with great infuriation. Under his own speech, he would condemn these types of militias, and calling out them as ‘true devils of the Islamic faith’. As the President retook the command of the armed forces, he instructed Rear Admiral Tanto Kuswanto to scheme a breakout to the remaining captives. The second diplomats were cancelled for an attack to plan. He also reconciled with Premier LKY and defend the latter’s policies to the nation. Premier LKY, with his counter-attack from the early insults from members of the DPR, gave the ‘they are no friends’ speech.


    LKY during his DPR speech.

    My fellow Indonesian politicians, the tragic occurrence in the state of Somalia reminded us that we are lucky to be an Indonesian citizen. An Indonesian that honoured the values of Pancasila, the first being tolerance to other religions. Looking at the current situation, these Mujahedeen performed the worst humanity has ever seen. The first-ever radical movement has surpassed equally with other racist and extreme levels of religious discrimination. They are stubborn and rebellious, they only care about themselves and themselves only.

    My dear members of this chamber, they are no friends. They may be devotees of Indonesia’s largest belief but our beliefs are different than theirs. We struggled for prosperity, they thirst for chaos. They see killings as bliss, conciliation as apostasy. The Indonesian government will not permit them to harass our citizens. We will retrieve them and bring them home.

    Premier Lee in the DPR, 7th June, 1986

    Unlike the President’s angry speech, this time’s level-headed response from the Premier itself sparked the greatest political movement in Indonesian history. Yet again, for the second time in the century, people including the Islam believers once again reject the PUI and rallied under a non-Islamic banner. (In this context, Premier Lee) Anti-war supporters shrank rapidly against the numbering angry citizens who wanted revenge against the Mujahedeen. However, those who are staunchly inclined to the PUI and the opposition thought this move was a ‘cultural coup’ to kill fundamentalist once and for all.

    The first confrontation happened to retrieve the hostages on 2nd July 1986.

    [1] ITTL PT Samudera was a privately owned company that was sponsored by the government.
    [2] Kidd Class Destroyers, ITTL also used by Imperial Iran.

    After this crisis, the government actually healed its reputation and LKY became popular as it was before the impeachment proceedings. President Subandrio felt great respect for the man and opted to side with him despite his disagreements.

    The United Nations aren't so active ITTL was because the current dispute between the USSR and the US effectively froze any UN progress. Currently, any proxy war has become a betting game between two powers, neither of them using the UN as the international 'peace player'. Those three months they need before arriving in Somalia was to determine whether the Security Council (currently neither of them supporting one another) supports or denies any UN intervention. Overall, the UN was weakening to a League of Nations.

    The Somalian Mujahideen can roam on the Red Sea because of foreign assistance that I may have briefed on in the previous post. That would resurface in the next chapter which will encompass the reaction of the confrontation and events relating to Kismayo.

    The Somalians killed Indonesian for their hatred for the nation that accepts Jews. As these Jews are perceived as terrorists of the Middle East (especially after the death of the nation when the UASR killed them), many Islamic believers affirmed their hatred towards Jews. Few of the tolerant ones remain few, such as French Africa, partly Iran and Indonesia.
    The Man who would be Greater Part 2: Kismayo Crisis
  • The Beachhead

    The Indonesian government in July 1986 acted as the most bellicose state in post-WW2 history. Not only were they willing to fight a militant group who merely stole one ship and one remaining Indonesian, but they also imposed the reparations those Mujahedeen has inflicted from this small fiasco. Different from the United States’ subtle strategy, Indonesia truly meant what the nation meant.

    In addition to a strict Premier and an angry old President, the United Nations got involved anew with a confrontation involving an Indonesian faction. The last UN presence was agreeing to ratify the devastating defeat of the United Kingdom. Currently, the Indonesian Republic is now condemning in any way of shape and form the Somali’s Mujahedeen intolerance to Indonesian people. It was truly a bizarre background indeed, that the Mujahedeen declaring other Islamic adherents as ‘kafir’.

    The history unfolds in this small incursion was probably under the majority agreement of the UN Permanent Security Council. The United States, stated by Vice President McNamara, has committed to Indonesia’s struggle and exploit the situation to increase aid to the Federal Republic of Somalia. As President Glenn was growing disillusioned with the stubbornness of the people regarding the space program, much of defence, foreign policy, and social security was given to the hands of the vice. McNamara ensured that the Americans will impose a ‘passive aggressive’ measure towards any anti-democratic nation. This then gave the green light for the Indonesians to bomb whatever they saw fit.

    The Soviet Union was out from the field in the meantime because their esteemed General Secretary, Yuri Andropov, was reported passed away due to kidney failure. The death was on May 31st, and currently, the Politburo was electing a new Secretary on power. The current trend was Aleksander Vladimirovich Vlasov [1], a staunch Stalinist politician who has determined to overturn the growing decline of the Soviet Union’s influence in Europe. His excellent ‘the Red Wave shall roam West’ speech had contributed to the passion of the Politburo, and probably Eastern European leaders. From Andropov’s Comecon reform, the former Chairman of the Russian SFSR Council of Leadership intends to push further, gaining military involvement to maintain these nations under the Soviet sphere. However, as he wished for the communist Horn of Africa, the future Secretary also would attack the Mujahedeen as the strange common enemy with the US-backed nation.

    France, in the meantime, became very silent on this matter because of Mitterrand’s pro-European policy. With reforms to undo the Marchais’ and Thorez’s single-party policy, the French President was going under fire with increasing Mainland plea to restore democracy while the Africans demanded maintaining the communist rule. As the reformist president, Mitterrand sidetracked the Africans in favour of the Mainland which had one objective: return relations with the new Imperial Germany. The policies had meant the French gradually withdraw their attention from the Black Continent. To appease the Germans, the French supported the German ally, America, thus shrugging Indonesians.

    That left the United Kingdom and China for the decision. The United Kingdom, being an ultra-nationalist nation that feared the rising of African-descendant in the colonies, totally opted to not participate in any of the wars in Africa. They might have wished for the demise of the Africans, but Prime Minister Jim Prior had not said anything about this. Moreover, with the UK trying to stabilize the fractured Commonwealth, the Prime Minister focused more on isolationist policies rather than looking abroad.

    China, surprisingly, was the curious case from all fives. The most populated nation had no interest in the land far away, yet the Chinese expressed the highest sympathy to the Mujahedeen relatively to all of the others. Chairman Jiang Qing, during the late 80s, was the reason for Saudi Arabia’s interest in the Comecon sphere. Still, with the Soviet Union’s objectives to establish a communist government in Somalia, the Mujahedeen could not gain the Chinese support until they can grasp the Soviet one.

    Other parties outside the United Security Council has contributed no or antagonistic support for the Mujahedeen. Only the Saudi Arabians remain loyal to them, but their support was limited due to the latter’s secret incursion in the UASR. From here, it was known that the Mujahedeen was a lost cause.

    At midnight local time of July 2nd, the Kopassus was sent to inland Jilib. With the help of 1 Lockheed C-141 Starlifter and 1 C-130 Hercules, Task Force Brawijaya was sent to the location the hostages have been informing the Kopassus. Under Captain Rivo Rakotovao [2], 17 men will be sent to relieve the base that had held hostages. It was a quick in-and-out rescue, the team would rush their way using supplied ammunition from Hercules’ airdrop to the beachfront where transport carriers have waited there for extraction. As a diversion and rescuing the ship, a Marinir Platoon of almost 40 men will rush to the Kismayo town. Ten of them would be seizing the ship from the militias, which was anchored fortunately on the farthest pier. Therefore, the other thirty would secure the Seerbenti bottleneck to avoid militias reinforcing the ship. That way, as the ship withdrew, the thirty men will remain positioned until a faster transport carrier will withdraw the troops.

    Both the President and the Premier stayed awake during the rescue operation. The operation was proceeded carefully under Rear Admiral Tanto Kuswanto from KRI Mulawarman [3] with the small yet formidable 4th Fleet off the Somali Coast.

    Task Force Brawijaya proceeded quite smoothly in the beginning. With the inexperienced fighters, the Mujahedeen could not stand a chance against the Kopassus in Jilib. Unfortunately, upon arrival, only 8 people remaining as the Japanese and Germans had been killed. The remaining captives, one of them was an Indonesian Chief Mate Yusril Ihza Mahendra [4], was rescued by the Kopassus. His body had lots of torture scratches, but his health was enough to bring him on KRI dr. Moewardi [5] for intensive care.

    The first hour had been so well for the Kopassus Task Force in Jilib, they had breached the base and plotting to escape. The second hour had been extremely well as they had encountered no militias during the retreat to the coastline. However, because of the complicating situation from the Kismayo Task Force, they were retrieved by five Bell UH-1 Iroquois. These helicopters, although piloted by the Indonesian Navy, will be transported to USS Midway [6].

    The Marinir Platoon in Kismayo Bay received great resistance from the town. It seemed that the Mujahedeen had anticipated well on this front and prepared for a good fight. However, as they had seized the ship, they realized that Toba was beached off. The hull has been damaged greatly from the Mujahedeen’s actions and thus causing the shipwrecked badly. There were few viable alternatives they could make. One was to either transported the goods one by one, which would take an excruciating amount of time. The other being to just abandon the ship and let the government dealt with this. As the third hour coming to withdraw the troops, the government must decide either to prolong the military presence or desert the ship along with the materials altogether. Upon discovery, the search platoon also revealed several parts of the container already opened by these militias, those youths had no intention of keeping promises. The Marinir Captain, Ridho Ramdani reported to the Rear Admiral.

    With coordination from the President and the Premier, Rear Admiral Tanto Kuswanto requested the government to act quickly before the troops left the coast. Lee Kuan Yew was definitely losing his calmness from the catch he found the government is in. President Subandrio, unilaterally, agreed on destroying the ship as a whole, killing any potential militias stealing bough tech. Task Force Syailendra was forced to abandon all hope and retreat without any fruition. Just barely when the troop carriers escaped the bay, GGMs from KRI Albert Kwok [7] blew up Toba.

    The aftermath of the day caused a great stir around the world. Japan and Germany both conveyed their deepest agony towards their murdered citizens but applauded Indonesia to carry on an operation so quick. The United States has vowed to increase efforts to reduce radicalism in Somalia. Even the Soviet Union, right upon the appointment of Vlasov has uniquely negotiated with the United States for the Somali’s Faction armistice to fight the rising Mujahedeen. The UK only strengthened their cause to her people that 'Blacks are terrorists' and thus increasing Blackophobia that Jim Prior's Cabinet has been doing for the last decade. Even the Iranians had looked at their fundamentalist youths as 'suspected terrorists' and Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi even condemned this ideologue.

    For the subsequent months, the Kismayo Crisis erupted a substantial political realignment in a pre-WW3 era in the Middle East and Africa. The Somalian Mujahedeen had become the punching bag of both the Federal Republic of Somalia and the Somalian’s People Movement. It caused the withdrawal of Saudi Arabia from the Comecon sphere, thus becoming a neutral pariah state. Osama’s MAK power was strengthened under a government that no one befriends. However, the Mujahedeen’s relentless and vicious struggle against the two uniting factions for the latter years fruited the most dangerous thinking of Islamism in history.

    The Kismayo Crisis, indirectly, create a tricky situation in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, as the United States supported the Islamic factions. Pakistan responded with extensive reforms from the Islamists politician, stating that they have no affiliation with the Somali pirates. The Afghan Taliban, however, ceased relations with the United States and stopped relations with the superpower.

    In Indonesia, this pyrrhic victory received sufficient warmth from the media. Rather than accusing the Premier of his promptitude, much of the public opinion agreed with LKY’s rapid ambush. The moderate societies now hold a harder stance towards any fundamentalist ideas. The support for the PUI quickly dwindled. For the government, the rescue also awarded the US favours. With the Kopassus flew to the States for the President’s gratitude, Indonesia had become a friendlier ally for the United States. Alas, the Kopassus victory with a Marinir defeat triggered the early rivalry of these two special forces that carried on until the 21st century.

    [1] ITTL Vlasov infiltrated as Andropov's confidante. Although Andropov was the USSR's moderate candidate, Vlasov ITTL is deeply Stalinist and demanded to restore the Soviet Union during the greatest times. He sometimes disagreed with Andropov's policies but he remained the thought to himself until his ascension,
    [2] ITTL Rivo will be a prominent Kopassus soldier
    [3] Indonesia's 4th Fleet Flagship, a relatively larger destroyer of the Indonesian-made Fatahilah Class
    [4] OTL a lawyer, ITTL Yusril is now a sailor as Indonesia's sailor are highly respected ITTL.
    [5] A hospital ship, stationed at that time in Madagascar.
    [6] US Carrier still operational, now becoming a part of the American 6th Fleet (a flagship also)
    [7] The only GGM destroyer in the 4th Fleet, made from Gajah Mada Class (not the ex N-Class, but a modernly modified

    Saudi Arabia becoming the ITTL's North Korea. However, this will not be the isolation of the nation, probably the rise of a new global faction.
    Indonesia becoming less conservative on Islamism from this. More on that on the next domestic update.
    Kismayo Crisis will be felt more on the international stage, especially as the Mujahedeen now cried for the condemnation of Indonesia.
    A brief overview of the P5 reactions.
    Last edited:
    The Man who would be Greater Part 3: That Particular Problem
  • The Elephant in the Room

    The system of government the Indonesian provided had soothed the populace. The essence of a Singaporean decree the entire nation was truly a peculiar and special sensation. Yet, as the President was Javanese, the outrage hasn’t been quite so terrible. People still revered Subandrio as the leader of the state. Well, at least before the people understood the semi-presidential republic Indonesia has adopted.

    The first cause of infighting came from the growing influx of Jewish immigrants that come to Madagascar since the 60s. The native Madagascar society had been the most receptive to the Israeli residents. As a result, when the Jewish State was erased from the map, Madagascar had been one of the Israeli’s main destinations of refugee. After the exodus after the destruction of the state, Israelis must move elsewhere. Some opted tenaciously to become insurgent groups to fight against the Palestinians, most others chose to move. Because of the friendliness, a large 35% has resolved to move to the island. Additionally, the Indonesian Then-President Nasution did not display any sentiments towards the Jews, the refugees hence flocked yonder.

    It is with a heavy heart for the entire Israeli population that we must move elsewhere to survive. However, our allies the United States have been the most welcoming of our exile, wishing our best to reclaim the nation as soon as possible. The Indonesian State of Madagascar has been the friendliest of us too, their warmth to our arrival do attract immigrants arriving on the island. I sincerely grateful of their hospitality even with the most different of [our] kind. I hope greatest fortunes for the Federal Republic of Indonesia.

    Yitzhak Rabin, Leader of the Israeli Government-In-Exile in New York City

    Although the former PNI-R government has circumscribed Israeli’s entrance to Madagascar for a while, the PPP government completely opened it loosely for the island to enter. The PPP Factions explored the strategic benefits of Israelis into Indonesia. Not only they were technologically superior, but they also have a better skill set and thinking, beneficial for education in Indonesia. Subandrio needed the nation’s education to reform and improve fast, using these refugees was a unique coincidence. These men could become scholars, intellectuals and craftsmen of much of Indonesia’s most sophisticated industry. Before ascension to Presidency, Subandrio had personally proposed some of the intellectuals to universities so they would teach albeit in limited territories. In Malacca and Papua, these minds would start to teach young Indonesians with a return of higher payment than usual professors and security insurance. Shimshon Avraham Amitsur taught as a mathematician at Nanyang University[1] for almost twenty years (1974-1992). Joel L. Sussman was the Head of Structural Chemistry in that same university.


    Shimshon Avraham Amitsur during a seminar program in Nanyang University, 1983

    Under Premier LKY, the Jews were not considered as temporary citizens for benefit, but Indonesia’s obligation to assimilate them into the banner of the Republic. Rather than most Islamic politicians praying to the Jews to leave Madagascar as quickly as possible, Lee pushed for the radical approach to confront the most conservative of Islam with the Israeli’s progressive minds. In his reign, the Israel refugees must not dwell exclusively in Madagascar. An even distribution must be met to equalize the economic growth and the society’s cultural shift. That meant them arriving in even the far inland of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi. As so, the Premier controversially promoted Jewish immigrants to major cities of Indonesia. The colleges were excited about these men, they provided more inquiry to young graduates and improve the education system as a whole. As a result, the media was catching the attention of these arriving settlers. although they had been arriving since 1980, the first even major news coverage of the coming immigrants was reported in late-1984. After that, many of the Indonesians were expressing opinions.

    Inside the scholar’s realm, the Jewish was appraised deeply even to Islamic professors. The dynamics of cultural exchange was nearly perfect, Indonesians perceived the science field maturely, thus pushing the nation to a world stage. Young educated workers are delighted too, their fondness of these people was one of the reasons why Barisan Pemuda existed in the first place: to protect these people from the infuriation of the simple-minded rioters. The same could be said to every scientific or progressive organization in Indonesia. Those who believed in progress all accommodate the Jews as colleagues. Business and industry leaders also clapped them, they have brought efficiency towards production.

    Truthfully, these Israelis [specialists] are better teachers [for all of us]. They improve our efficiency and boost production substantially. Not only labour are more educated, they upstand a high ethic workforce, something we have lacked deeply for a long time. Despite their strict and impatient behaviour, we all see the benefit at the end of the journey.

    Ishmail Syaiffudin*, the Head of Badan Meteorologi dan Geofisika, 1988

    At the same time, the two highest religious bodies of Islam in Indonesia had two very similar reactions to the arrival of Jews in most parts of Nusantara. The modernist Muhammadiyah, naturally, announce more support for the Israeli people. As most of Muhammadiyah had become modernist thinking from the reform of K.H. Abdul Rozak Fachruddin. They invited for a cooperation-venture of scholars and intellectuals alike, combining information and knowledge to share progress. With most of Muhammadiyah adherents were well-educated scholars, they had been the first welcome of Israelis and the ones that had known them extremely well.

    These (Jews) men had been very friendly to us. They honoured Madagascar’s warm welcome of their exile, with a return of a very accommodating manner to every Indonesian. Although some parts we may disagree, we respect them.

    Amien Rais, the head of The Council of Preacher (Majelis Tabligh)

    The Shafi’i traditionalist Nahdlatul Ulama(NU) also was lacking concern. In the leader Abdurrahman Wahid interview about the rising Jews, an insouciant answer of ‘so be it' was received from the mouth of the NU leader. Since the creation of the Parindra, the NU has accepted Pancasila as the Indonesian ideology and hoped to reconcile with a moderate approach of traditionalist Islamic schoolings. The Islamic pedagogy promotes interaction under the socio-cultural norms of Indonesia. These teachings included tolerance and acceptance of diversity, which made these Israelis accepted under the NU banner.

    Islams, Christians, Buddhists. They all are the same as them [Jews]. We ought not to discriminate, they're human beings.

    Abdurrahman Wahid, 1983
    As being one of the largest bodies of Islam in the nation, NU has contributed extremely influential to society’s farewell wave towards anti-Semitism. Without any commanding voice from the Middle East, Abdurrahman Wahid’s opinions have become the followers' mandate. Although some lesser Ustad, Imam or Ulama opposed the progression, the majority of others agreed with the leader’s thinking especially after the Crisis of Kismayo. NU’s main objective was to welcome the aliens as members of the peaceful Indonesian society. The Indonesian people had their duty to make these immigrants feel at home.

    Both highest bodies that endorsed the immigrants angered a sum of preachers all across Indonesia. Especially those who sympathize themselves with any of the Middle East nations will think their Imam’s as unacceptable. Uneducated Indonesians that travelled to Saudi Arabia for hajj may have been influenced by Saudi’s anti-Semitism and radical thinking, these have been alarming especially after 1985.

    Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) massively expanded after they have used the momentum to garner support. From the people’s perspectives, HTI was the only organization sane enough to hate the Jews. Unfortunately, with a simple campaign and a still lack of critical-thinking citizens, HTI rocketed in support after the Jewish arrival to all parts of Indonesia. The use of fear and terror do really inflict the core of Indonesian’s nativism, a common trend that was already brewing in the Middle East. The defected NU Ustads, Imams or Ulamas that didn’t agree with the NU’s common objective all gathered under the HTI’s fold, campaigning for the expulsion of ‘invaders’.

    The reactionary group initial attack happened on 15th September 1985 during an introduction lecture held by one Israeli professor in Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB). A mob consisted of fifteen men charged inside the university building and arson the class, engulfing the building. Yehuda Amichai, the professor teaching, was lynched severely by the mob, enraging with the ‘Jew’. Although the professor can be saved timely from the bleeding wounds, the battle continued as the mob received the aggressive end of the fuming students. This wasn’t the only attacks that happened, moving on towards the year after, multiple occasions in Universities all across Java had received these imprudent motives.

    Still, these attacks not proved to endanger the lives of the Israeli themselves, but the infightings that occur between native Indonesians. Middle-class citizens who afford to go to university all had a sounding agreement that these Jewish are not a threat to Indonesians' integrity and thus retain its Pancasila rights to have the freedom to live and work here. Those who don’t afford to go to schools, however, all resonate the same rhetoric that the Middle East has been giving; these people are terrorists and Islam should reject them as a mortal enemy.

    After the HTI realized that the Indonesians are positively sympathetic with the Israelis, they launched a new campaign to ‘purify’ Islam in the region. This time going across towns, communities and villages that accepted ‘Western thinking’ was assaulted or abused harshly. It was quite easy for the organization in the countryside, as these villagers never met or encounter the Israelis in person, thus innocently agreed with the HTI’s fearful personality of the Jews. A small 2000 followers ended up with an insane 193000 before the Kismayo Crisis.

    After the Kismayo Crisis and the LKY’s speech about the attacks, HTI immediately accused the Premier of ‘fabricating falsehood’ to the attacks that happened in Somalia. They insulted the government to falsify events to strengthen the Jews in Indonesia. Their circulated version of the Kismayo Crisis was the attacks were launched by the government itself, inveigle the Mujahedeen with the ‘slimy’ Indonesian. Despite the media completely uncalled the HTI’s blatant assumption, the populace thought the government’s chronology wasn’t coherent and engaging. The HTI’s campaign was slightly winning.

    One of the influenced was Abdul Rahim Ba’asyir[2]. Born in Mamuju, 1963, he attended the Madrasah school in his local city. After finish high school, he immediately sent to Jordan by his father in 1981. There he studied with the Jordanian priests that extremely hated the Jews. During the siege of Al-Quds, he was involved in a gunfight which fueled his hatred towards the Jews. He ached of the Indonesians soft stance towards the rising Jewish population. He blamed Premier LKY for this. Because of that, he tried to do something personally, and he committed it on August 15th 1986.

    *ITTL names
    [1] This is OTL National University of Singapore, not to be confused with Nanyang Technological University (NTU), a university form later in the 1980s.
    [2] This is the ITTL son of Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, the OTL Jemaah Islamiyah responsible for Bali Bombings.

    IOTL, Indonesia really hated the Jews and endorsed the Palestinians. However, ITTL as the Jews were ousted brutally from the Holy Land, the sentiment had not been quite severe. Moreover, looking at the split Suniism (UASR-socialism, Turkish-pseudo fascist 'Islamo-communism' and Saudi Arabia-Wahabbism), the Indonesians doesn't seem to fit in any thus searching for a distinct identity. The Kismayo Crisis only reaffirms the intentions to drift radically away from Saudi teachings (which had been so since the alignment with the US in the 60s). Other nations that endorsed the Israelis were Iranians ITTL, an irony looking at OTL Iran-Israeli relations.

    Next up will be an interlude to the growing tensions of the Indochinese region, the Philippines' relation to Indonesia. The following post will cover what Ba'asyir is doing.
    Last edited:
    The Man who would be Greater Part 4: Looking at Our Neighbours
  • The Fourth Indochina War

    10th August 1986
    Saigon, Vietnam

    From the rise of Indochinese nationalism during the Pacific War until now, the region was never under a tranquil session. War engulfed the place for almost anytime, few interregnum moments ceased aggression. However, should one summarize the condition of the region for the last 10 years, it was a perpetual war.

    In Saigon, Johanes Petrus Louhanapessy stumbled himself under a precarious place of threatening war. Just weeks prior, the communist troops have ravaged the Western section of Saigon, looting shops and burning all the war across the place. They unleashed their best abilities to the Americans: the humiliation of security. The Americans were boiled by the sudden infiltration. Moreover, the livid President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu announced the total emergency of the government, arming every farmer with adequate military equipment.

    The Indonesian interests in South Vietnam were entirely economical. However, the naivety of the old Subandrio never fathomed that economic benefits can only be fruitful if only three intertwine aspects of a nation fulfilled: security, stability and regulation. The first two were definitely non-existent here. No investors were appealing to discover wealth under a war-town nation, especially inside a brewing war. The Thiệu Regime was nothing stable as any dictatorship would do. Policy-making was usually personally oriented, conveying emotions and characters instead of the pragmatism for the progressive path of the nation. Still, the presidency was highly grateful for the SEATO, Spratly and the EAC for the economic benefits they received for the past 5 years albeit the EAC were opting to suspend the nation for lack of insured investments.

    Ambassador Johanes expressed a similar sympathy towards any pro-War faction that was rising in Indonesia. If any example needed to covey how quick decisive war can solve the problems; here should be the perfect one. Already ravaged for almost thirty years without any substantial progress, Indochina had been stagnated for wars and aggressions. This current Indochinese War, the 4th one, had erupted in every part of Indochina, carrying the name precisely suited unlike the former three. Had there a quick summary of the counting Wars, a rolling snowball was a flawless analogy.

    “Ambassador, when do you think this will be over?”

    The ambassador was drifting away to home when Lieutenant Colonel Susilo asked him. He staggered and attempted to ask, but the gentleman shrugged it off. The background noise of small bajaj clattered across the room. The Marine Commander was stationed in South Vietnam for military advisors and educational purposes. While we, Indonesia, can brainstorm ideas for South Vietnam and America to use, the Americans and the Vietnamese can bring valuable strategies for the national fighting prowess. While the young commander Aryo had returned home, his boss stayed here for the rest of the year.

    “I don’t know, Colonel. I perceive that this war is just starting. “Johanes answered after he flashed of what Susilo had said. The Americans were swelling in numbers here. Yet, the Challenger Crash in May had caused the deep fallout of the technocratic government. The Democrats Left was hostile to change the space budget for health expenditure, while the Conservatives unanimously agree to transfer the space budget for defence spending. Glenn’s promise had been winning to Mars as a great feat of the brewing Cold War. However, the fallout from the cause of the Challenger Crash was riveting for all American taxpayers to grant the government more money to NASA.

    The destabilization of the American Military Empire rippled towards the Marine Corps presence in South Vietnam. The intended upgraded military equipment was cancelled from the budget reorganization in July. Weirdly enough, the political consensus that the bipartisanism agreement achieved was formulating a draft lottery procedure for young Americans to go to South Vietnam. The Ambassador was completely perplexed in how or why the agreement can be as such. Nevertheless, the Americans now seemed to propel more bodies than bombs to Indochina.

    A similar confusion can be noticed from Susilo. The ‘Operation Delta Thrust’, an obvious catchphrase for the advancement from the Mekong, was becoming a full-front assault commanded by Washington. He sensed President Glenn’s frustration to finish the war as soon as possible, but that short-sighted vent would give more men to die in the banks. The Indonesians were still partly rigid for the adaptiveness during the 2nd Indochina War, let alone the Americans now. Their best hope was to burn the jungles to hell so no Viet Cong would hide between the trees. Hopefully, the bombs they had sent here was enough.

    General Paul X. Kelley had to devise a cautious manner towards the bold attempt the Joint-American forces had tried just months before. The American forces have arrived in Chhlong and were three months away from securing Pakse, their intended target. However, the change across the expense, strategy and political situation in Washington forced the Marines to stop at Chhlong and progressed inland. Fortunately, Phnom Penh has been liberated and the Cambodian Emergency Government was established under Prum Neakareach.

    From the military perspective, Lieutenant Colonel Susilo had heard irritation from the Pentagon. Much of the Generals are begging for a big blow once and for all, but the government’s political turmoil has turned the tides almost against the general. Despite extensive efforts to be apolitical inside the army, the General has been favourable to the Conservative Party. A Wyoming Congressman Cheney had been the advocate for the military, which make him a very popular representative in Pentagon. Still, much of the efforts are futile, the Democrats were going pacifism, this Vietnam fiasco would go badly.

    His native nation also had this kind of pacifism growing. Yet, the Kismayo Crisis had solved it, gaining much of the people’s wrath to defend the nation against radicals. Still, the strategy was as such: defence. There had been no initiative or even signals that the military can intervene on our Vietnamese allies. Unless the Parliament solved their growing chasm, anything would be stopped under the weird political drama in Jakarta.

    “Ambassador,” Susilo questioned, “If South Vietnam became too unsafe for diplomatic duties, where would you go?” It was a mundane question to ask such deep analysis, but for him, it was worth a shot under the chaos the jungles might have brought for the rest of his stay.

    “Becoming a teacher, perhaps. My alma mater was lacking political professors, a simple lecture wouldn’t harm, would it?” The Ambassador was really looking to return home. Not that he disliked the job, it was that he had seen enough mess in Vietnam that he thought retiring was good.

    Prelude of the 1986 Philippines Election

    11th August 1986
    Manila, the Philippines

    Vice President Raul Manglapus rubbed his forehead from the reformed trade agreement offered by Japan. The 576-page deal consisted of many trade benefits from Japan that encompassed as part of the new EAC initiative. The trade initiative involved further transaction of goods, capitals and bonds to the Philippines by the Japanese companies. The people here, ascertain of their predicament, couldn't bear for another reform. Investments in Luzon Area to form a financial city did attract the Japanese hunger for new potent returns. Also, the Metro Manila was offered to the Japanese to construct, which also disappointed several local enthusiasts.

    Aquilino swore in Manila that the ‘imperialistic Japan’ will be curbed by his presidency. The EAC had become the party’s battle cry for the nation’s higher discrepancy and inequality. Ferdinand Marcos and Benigno Aquino seemed to advocate the business strategy more than the people. That populist propaganda would hamper Raul’s ascendance towards the Presidency. However, the 1979 Constitution disallowed more term for President Aquino to run. His days were numbered until October. The problem that erupted was the incumbent failing to rerun could be the victory Aquilino Quilinging Pimentel Jr. needed.

    Indeed, the new trade agreement would aggravate the populace to further agree on Aquilino. Japanese insurance of investing in the Luzon Area will provoke a false statement to the citizens. Anti-Japanese sentiment had been rising in the Philippines because of the high Japanese presence without much change in the society. Unlike Subandrio’s Indonesia, where education and basic welfare had been the bane of love for the people, the Philippines government response was improving the Luzon cities with lavish metros. The countryside was turning to Aquilino, securing his voters in Minandao, parts of Visayas and Palawan. Young nationalist city voters would also vote for Aquilino, they despised foreign contractors. They all insulted the government for not becoming like Indonesia which had MRT Indonesia Corporation. The Vice President then almost wanted to knock the reporters over and said that the said corporation also had a joint partnership with the Japanese. The money even came from the Americans, it was not natively Indonesian.

    The Moro National Liberation front had still resented President Aquino’s rejection for Autonomous Region. Aquino stated that increase autonomy would only disintegrate the nation further, crippling the federal power towards the nation. In his promise, Raul Manglapus already guaranteed the Moros for autonomy, he wished those votes for September.

    In EAC, SEATO or Spratly League, the Philippines was always the junior partner despite the second-largest archipelago nation and a population of almost 60 million. Looking North, Korea and Taiwan were catching up exceedingly fast to Japan’s economic might as the biggest power in East Asia. Looking South, Indonesia’s was running for becoming the successor of Japan: a mighty economy with a decent population. Since the beginning, the Philippines was already outpaced, all of it partly blamed on the nation’s mess on bureaucracy. As a result, with the growing populace angst of the Japanese influence, the government could only resort to the same statement: The Philippines are not ready enough. That was the issue, Aquilino stated that the Philippines was ready. That provoked en masse of his ascension of popularity, possibly winning in 1986.

    Furthermore, Raul’s concern for Aquilino’s rise may contribute to another danger of the Philippines. If the Philippines decided to destroy Japanese ties, where to go? The United States? His anti-imperialist rant would only kill any chances. Indonesia was our best bet, but it seemed Aquilino's presidency would not revolve around it. His campaign was lacking the direction of a huge Malayan Union, as the Party Mas Malaking Pagkakaisa stated.

    Raul’s hesitance finally resolves into a single shred of fear. Aquilino was reaching the Chinese. He would not allow it, even under his life. The Communist insurgency was still happening in the East; he’s not certainly giving the communist a friendlier picture? Raul sighed in disbelief. The South Vietnamese was thanking us for the troops we aided to the region. Aquilino’s Philippines may start the withdraw of those troops, weakening South Vietnam further into dismay. What’s next? EAC exit? SEATO and Spratly exit? The Indonesians were quite friendly with us, they won’t after this happened.

    Louhanapessy is also OTL Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam. Yes, Susilo as in ITTL Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Cheney as in Dick Cheney. ITTL SBY was a Marine commander.
    The South Vietnamese and Philippines background can be seen here and here. That covered the presidents along the way.
    The first part touched the Viet Cong still an outstanding achievement of infiltrating the United States. The second part was the Philippines perspective of the EAC and all the economic pacts they've involved.
    South Vietnam is a presidential republic similar to Indonesia except for no election due to the nation's junta. The Philippines current constitution resorted to 1935 limits for the Presidential term (6 years-1 terms).

    After the promise of the next post made by me yesterday, the further chapters would solely circle the happenings after.
    Last edited:
    The Man who would be Greater Part 5: The Assassination
  • The Day the Republic Stood Still

    15th August 1986

    Halim Perdana Kusuma International Airport, Jakarta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Sarinah Shopping Centre, 1986

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

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

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


    Gambir Underground Entrance, 1995

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Screenshot (80) (1).png

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Cideng before the attacks, 1985

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

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

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

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

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

    Alright, this would be the last chapter of weekly posts as few upcoming weeks would hamper my time to write one. I would return to the normal schedule by mid-June. Don't worry, I would possibly post a chapter, but not in a regular manner.
    The Man who would be Greater Part 7: Crises on the Making
  • Early Crisis and Mohamed Rahmat

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

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


    Carter shaking hands with Chairman Paul Volker for devaluation, 1981

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

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

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


    LKY during his dismissal of said staffs, 1986

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

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

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

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

    mat rahmat 2 copy.jpg

    Muhammed Rahmat during a public gathering in Palembang, 1984

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Live and yet Live, Indonesia!

    Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

    I'm back guys.

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

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

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

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

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

    Workers protest rallying to Jakarta from Bekasi

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

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

    Abdurrahman Wahid

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

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

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

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

    Abdurrahman Al-Baghdadi

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

    1st December 1986
    Ministry of Foreign Relations Office, Jakarta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Next up would be the core of the protest movement, and the government response regarding it.
    Last edited: