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Tionghoa Ethnic Minority Group in New Order Circle of Social and Politic

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The chance to join the political affairs in this contemporer Indonesia is open wide for all kinds of ethnics. While in New Order era, the fact is not all ethnics can easily join the political affairs in Indonesia, especially for Tionghoa ethnics. We know that why the chance for Tionghoa ethnic to join the political affairs in New Order era was so insignificant, its actually because the political system in New Order era that was racist towards the Tionghoa ethnic. In this essay i will discuss about the reason why this minority group does not has a chance in Indonesian political affairs, and what all the consequences of the racial discrimination to the Tionghoa ethnics that had been done by the New Order regime. Because i believed that in the end all the discrimination that had been done by New Order regime will make more bad consequences to the political life of Tionghoa ethnics.

Soeharto was stepped down from his presidential position in 21st May 1998. Soeharto was forced to resign from his presidential position because of insistenly protests of Indonesian people. Soeharto resigned when the great turbulance of social, politic, and economy was occured in Indonesia. Under Soeharto's regime, Indonesia had experienced great ecenomic collapsed followed with etnicity, regional, and religion tensions that started to peaking which in the end made so many crisis and riots occured in Indonesia. It impacts the Indonesian social life become so bad, espescially for the Tionghoa people. We can see that by the limitation to show expression for Tionghoa people. Since 1967, the descendant of Chinese was considered as the foreign citizen in Indonesia and its means that their position was under the native citizen. This thing was indirectly also try to remove the human rights of the Tionghoa people. Even the Tionghoa religion was forbidden and Konghucu religion also not gained the recognition from the government. This authoritative system had confined the Indonesian people so bad and even worst for the Tionghoa people.

Moreover the intimidation to the Tionghoa people was not only in social aspect but also actually in political aspect. In New Order era, Tionghoa people had been discrimanted by the government because the government had anti-Tionghoa policy. But actually there was once an Indonesian Tionghoa Party in Soekarno era, it showed that Tionghoa people also got the desire to join and dissolve in the circle of Indonesian politics. And i believe the impact from New Order era towards the Tionghoa people was not just a little problem that will be forgotten by time of the time. Because actually, the discrimination had been made the Tionghoa people got a social stereotype. Tionghoa people always being assumed as a negative thing in every act, espescially politic. I believed this assumption was occured because the government had successfully manipulated the indigenous thought with the assumption that Tionghoa people was not Indonesian. New Order regime tried to spread the racialism and it made the anti-Tionghoa in Indonesia become so viscous and become more clear. The concept of unity in Indonesia was expressed in NKRI (Negara Kesatuan Rakyat Indonesia), but it seemed that this concept was just a deceived concept of unity in that era. And in the end, New Order era had been proven to build a fragile society as the result of worn out bureaucray that rule unjustly and was dominated by many practices of corruption, collusion, and nepotism. It was become the true reflection of politics in New Order era.

So, what is actually the main reason for the discrimination that had been done by New Order regime ? I'm quite sure that every thing that had been done by Soeharto is has a reason. And i try to explain why Soeharto did all the discrimination and anti-Tionghoa things in New Order. In New Order era, the historical condition was tends to trapped in the New Order mindset that see Tionghoa people as a 'problem of China'. A political problem that firstly created by the Dutch colonist goverment when faced the nationalism movement flow of Tionghoa in the colonialized land. According to Leo Suryadinata, since the first time of Soeharto's government ruled, Soeharto's regime already suspected the relations that had been occured among the Tionghoa community in Indonesia with the Peoples's Republic of Tionghoa. Because of this, the New Order government was hardly attempted to create a 'homogenic nation' with the indigenous model. And Leo Suryadinata also said that "Tionghoa ethnics was seen by New Order regime as nonative inhabitant, so Tionghoa ehtnics must remove and leave their Tionghoanism if they want to become the indigenous or true Indonesian people". So, in order to reach their identity of the indigenous of Indonesian, Soeharto paralyzed the three foundation of Tionghoa civilization that quite grew in 1960s.

First, New Order government has forbid the media that use Mandarin language and the Tionghoa organizations that not only involved in politic but also in cultural social. The usage of Mandarin language and alphabet was also forbidden by the New Order government. Second, the New Order also close the Tionghoa people schools in the entire Indonesia. Third, the New Order government published the rule about way of name changing for Tionghoa people in 1966. And the New Order government also forbid the Tionghoa people to set up the celebration of Chinese New Year or Imlek or Cap Go Meh celebration and other kind of Tionghoa traditions in the public.

And the fact was the New Order regime also made official polices towards the Tionghoa ethnics. New Order regime had applied the policies that forbid about anything that has relation with Tionghoa. The policy started from the



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