Upon being elected as Prime Minister in 2003, Abdullah Badawi promised to make changes in the political and administrative aspects. However, four years into his leadership, the promise remained unfulfilled and this led to the dissatisfaction among the people. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the emergence of civil disobedience during Abdullah Badawi’s era and its impact upon the election and democratization process. This article argues that civil disobedience occurred due to four factors, namely unfulfilled promise to reform, economic problem, corruption in government and the government’s failure to handle racial issues. Consequently, the National Front coalition failed to gain the two-thirds majority of seats during the 2008 parliamentary general elections and at the same time lost five states to the opposition. Second, even though the emergence of civil disobedience failed to create a change of government, however, it has been able to give birth to cyber democracy and create awareness among Malaysians to challenge the Abdullah Badawi’s leadership of the government.
The election of Susilo Bambang Yudhuyono (SBY) as Indonesia’s president in 2004 gave rise to the expectation that the level of professionalism of the Indonesian military will also improve. This prospect is based on his background as a former senior military officer who has the experience to spear head the reform process, but this expectation proved wrong. Although the military no longer intervenes in national politics as had happened in the past, but the former’s continued engagement in business, politics and state owned enterprises is seen as an obstacle to the restoration of professionalism in the military. Therefore, in order to understand and analyse the level of military professionalism in SBY’s presidency, this paper discusses the level of military involvement in Indonesia’s political affairs, business, elections and the former’s sensitivity towards human rights. In addition, this article will also discuss the steps taken by SBY in reforming the military during his reign. The main argument of this article is that military professionalism in Indonesia during President SBY’s rule is slowly improving, although the pace by which this improves is rather slow.
This article is a re-interpretation of the history of ‘power struggles’, ‘civil wars’ and ‘anarchy’ which were asserted to have happened in Perak, one of the Malay states in the Malay Peninsula during the period of 1871-75. Up until now, historians tend to suggest that the ‘Malay feudalism’, i.e. the political disputes and the power struggle among the Malay rulers; were the main factors that prompted the Perak 1871-75 mayhem. This writing, however, finds that allegations of ‘civil wars’ and ‘anarchy’; blamed for their so-called roles that pushed Perak to the brink of collapse and eventually led to British intervention, has not been credibly supported. By utilizing authoritative primary and secondary sources, the author argued that these are merely imaginary excuses invented by the British colonial officials to paint the negative perception that the disturbances happened at large in Perak and that the indigenous rule was deteriorating in shape. These excuses were made to simplify justifications by the British in its quest to intervene into the Malay states affairs in the late period of the 19th century.
The dramatic changes taking place in Indonesian politics since the fall of Soeharto’s autocratic regime has resulted in Indonesia’s political space becoming more open and democracy beginning to flourishagain in the country. Local politics that were previously restricted and not allowed during Soeharto’s time began to open up andlocal people began to regain autonomy in their respective districts. This paper discusses and analyzes subnational politics in Indonesia before and after the political transformation of 1998. The aimis to portray the political changes at the subnational level during both periods. This paper argues that during the New Order era, the centralized system of government is the main factor that hindered the growth of a vibrant democracy at the local level. This is because the centralization of power gave rise to two things. On the one hand, this established a collaboration between the central and local elites to maintain the central power, and on the other hand, it also led to opposition from other local elites who became known as the ‘local strongmen. The effect that arose from the colloboration of central elite and local strongmen is the cooptation of political democracy at the subnational level. During the Reformasi Order, the expectation that the collaboration ofcentral elite and local strongmen will change did not happen and this led to the emergence of new political dynasties in some districts. Thus, political reform that is expected to bring about total changes to the Indonesian politics remains. This led to the perceived changes to remain an illusion.
The Patani conflict is a consequential clash of two different cultures and the identity of peoples involving the Patani Malay Muslims (OMIP) and the Thai Buddhists or Siamese. The clash turned into a conflict when OMIP took a violent uprising (after histories of diplomatic attempts) to defend their identity and culture from the Thai government`s policies that are seen trying to assimilate them to the Thai-Buddhist society. They feel that the assimilation policies were denying their rights as a minorities (within the Thai state) and do not bring any benefit to them. Meanwhile, the Thai government implemented policies because of its positive perception on the need to consolidate the identity of the people as a requisite for them to work together and develop the country. However, this policy is seen touching the OMIP values such as the Malay identity and culture, and therefore could not be compromised. They will certainly not leave the professed religion of Islam solely for national interest. Similarly, language, race and belongingness to the Malay culture cannot be changed. However, pressure and coercive approaches from the Thai government against the OMIP in various ways were deemed unacceptable that it led them to take up arms until today. Ultimately, these violent acts has given a negative impact to the OMIP. Hence, this article discusses the efforts and the survival of OMIP in its effort to defend their cultural identity. The main focus looks at the aspects of cultural identity and the experiences of assimilation of the OMIP, and their reactions as a community that is greatly affected by this assimilation process.
The British occupation of Indonesia is an interesting topic for discussion. This is due to the fact that this superpower never colonized Indonesia. Instead, Indonesia was colonized by Dutch. Britain was chosen as the caretaker during the 1945-1946 transition periods after Second World War (WW2) by virtue of the fact that they were more moderate nation in comparison with Dutch. Besides that, Dutch did not have a good reputation as it had lost badly at the hand of the Allied powers in Europe during WW2. Britain’s readiness to assume the responsibility was attributable to their need to strengthen power after suffering severe losses at the hand of the Japanese during WW2 in Southeast Asia. As well as the afore-mentioned, Britain’s willingness was also due to the fact that Dutch had been a major British ally in Southeast Asia since 1824. This was a partial manifestation of the British-Dutch close alliance as Lords of the East and as an ideology of partnership in the context of Britain’s alliance with other Western allies in Southeast Asia. It also related with the great agenda in Britain’s foreign policy, however, was the continuity or survival of western powers over Southeast Asia. This article discusses the implementation of Britain’s policies in Indonesia in an effort to ensure that the objective of western powers and Britain itself were achieved. In comparison, Britain’s policies were more diplomatic compared to Dutch’s rather militaristic approach. This caused Indonesian revolutionary’s compliance to accept Britain’s presence rather than Dutch. British occupation took less than two years but it had great effects on Indonesia’s history of independence. Furthermore, Britain was involved in the series of independence talks between Dutch and Indonesia, leading to the Round Table Conference on 27 December 1949. This essay makes use of the historiographic approach and the primary sources used are British records obtained from the British National Archive, Kew, London. Secondary sources such as books have also been referred to.
This article discusses China`s hegemony over Tibet from Deng Xiaoping’s era to Hu Jintao’s administration. Chinese hegemony over Tibet was done through force and coercion to curb the rise of the Tibetan people against the government of China. In addition, they also hegemonized the Tibetans by means of persuasion that was by implementing development policies to gain acceptance among Tibetans. Although the persuasion strategy was taken by introducing modernization approach, this move, however, was rejected by the people of Tibet because it slowly marginalizes their position as indigenous Tibetans. This marginalization is due to the action of the Chinese government in bringing the ethnic Hans into Tibetan areas to meet the needs of skilled manpower that cannot be accommodated by the local Tibets. The influx of ethnic Hans into Tibet resulted in the destruction of identity, language, religion and culture of Tibet. In addition, the Tibetan people are also denied their rights in the economic and administration spheres, thus causing them to play a lesser role in determining the future of their region. Therefore, the people of Tibet represented by their Buddhist monks staged a protest by burning themselves. This prompted the international community to pressure the Chinese government to respect human rights. Despite international pressure, in the final analysis, this article found that the two leaders stood firm and warned other countries not to get involve by interfering in the internal affairs of China.
This article discusses bilateral relations between Malaysia and Singapore in the context of the water dispute. The dispute began when Malaysia proposed to review the sale price of water to Singapore before continuing with signing a new water agreement. However, Singapore rejected the Malaysian claim because the latter did not doing it in 1987 as stipulated. Malaysia protested against the Singapore’s attitude because it felt that the review of the sale price of water can be carried out any time after the 25 years, while Singapore argued that the review should be done every 25 years. The different interpretations by the two countries on clauses 17 and 14 of the 1961 and 1962 Water Agreements caused the emergence of the strained bilateral relations. This tension heightened due to the roles of factors outside the 1961 and 1962 water agreement such as rights of mutual agreement, water pricing formula, the determination of the quantity of water, the component package system, the setting of the water price review period, the attitude of the leaders and role of the media. Therefore, to determine the extent to which relations between Malaysia and Singapore is affected by the water dispute issue, the paper discusses the role of the 1961 and 1962 Water Agreements in the bilateral relations of both counties. The main argument of this article is that the refusal of both countries to compromise in the the water agreement dispute causes the problem to be difficult to resolve, thus creating tension bilateral relations.
Managing conflict transformation should be given due importance in multi-ethnic societies. In global organizations, ethnicity is often regarded as static cultural container, and ethnic conflict as traditional but unusually stubborn impediment to modernization. Our main initial assumption in this research states that experienced acculturation is one of the main forces to shape identity formation at workplace. Being concurrently a cultural marker and an identity catalyser, taste is powerful vessel for identity shaping in our studied workplace. The findings of this study were based on empirical data collected between 2008 and 2010, via qualitative methods, from a specific empirical field: 5 star international-brand hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There are two departments within these luxury international hotels where transfer of knowledge and skills take a particularly direct and tangible form: food and beverage and kitchen. Empirical evidence presented here may qualify “the Hotel” as an “advanced social laboratory” for the study of ethnic relations. Focussing on social actors, this micro-sociological study shows that ethnic identity, belief and behaviour are not static but fluid. A specific organisational model such as “the Hotel” can help us redefine how we see ethnic differences, not as divisive, but as inclusive, when contingent forces at work trigger “cross-cutting ties” along group boundaries. Transforming these inter-ethnic differences in “the Hotel” may lead to the discovery of peace in the service industry.
Jebat: Journal of History, Politics and Strategy, School of History,
Politics and Strategic Studies (PPSPS), Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities,
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM, Bangi Selangor, Malaysia.