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Indonesia: The Foreigner Perspectives

(Ahmad Miftahul Haq)
People act according to their beliefs and interests. Between one and another, these
belief and interests are likely different. These differences often grow as a prejudice, in the end
a conflict. To overcome it, we need to grow a tolerance between us. We need to know each
other to build an understanding in and between. Understanding person per person is not an
easy thing, moreover a nation.
We as an Indonesian, particularly a Javanese, are taught to behave and talk politely. To
behave and talk politely means that we are suppressing what is happening in our mind with
some kind of appropriate and inappropriate regulations. That is why a Javanese tends to talk
twist in and out than frankly. For some foreigners, which are taught to talk straight and
frankly, it is considered as a problem.
In a higher level, the Indonesia governmental policies, in some event, are considered
as unfriendly even vicious. From a Mark Carlton video (Indonesia: A Reporter’s Journey,
2007), we can see that there are three major events that foreigners, in this term Australian,
consider our governmental policies are vicious. They are G30/S PKI, decolonization of East
Timor, and Dili’s Riot.
As a Muslim, particularly a part of NU (Nahdlatul Ulama) organization, I was taught
that PKI is an infidel party, an anti God organization. They were also killing Muslims, we
could see its visualization in the Pengkhianatan Gerakan 30 September/PKI movie (1984) there were Muslims killed while they were doing a subuh prayer. Despite the killed general,
these kinds of reasons, and visualization, provoked more for Muslims to get a payback.
Through these points, killing a PKI member found its legality according to Islam. And
because these killing were also blessed by the government policy to burn out PKI, it also
gained its legality from the Indonesian law. NU as a civil organization who killed most of
PKI member in east Java considered it self as hero than a brutal organization. From John
Roosa book (Dalih Pembunuhan Massal: Gerakan 30 September dan Kudeta Suharto, 2006),
we knew that more than five thousand PKI member, or were supposed as a PKI member, had
been killed. What a killing from a nation that called him self as gemah ripah loh jinawi toto
tentrem kerto raharjo.
These killing also gained a peculiar reaction from lots of people and news paper,
especially from United State of America – for further note, U.S. was very ‘interested’ in PKI
because it was the biggest Communist party outside Soviet Union and China. John Roosa
(2006) noted some of those ‘uncommon reaction’:
1. Mark Frenkel wrote an article in New York Times entitled “U.S. is heartened by Red
Setback in Indonesia Coup.”
2. A famous New York Times editor, James Reston, called a “savage transformation” in
Indonesia as “a sparkling light in Asia.”
3. Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman consider the massacre in Indonesia as a “Goodwill
mass murder” and a “constructive terror.”
These kinds of reaction grew from a different beliefs and interests. For the victims and
families left behind (some lived in Australia), these killing were cruel and unforgiving. But
for people, and countries, who hated a communism, these killing were considered as
reasonable and a right decision.

They thought that this was just a new name for colonization. Trilogi Insiden. . Australian had a personal attachment with this event ‘simply’ because there were five Australian journalists killed in the attack. U. It could be happened because only the government press release was allowed. In the end. this attack was an effort to maintain the unity of the Indonesia territory. and reverse. Yogykarta: PT. Refferences Indonesia: A Reporter’s Journey. fund for Indonesia army. Soeharto. prove that other countries beliefs and interest could change in time. After his defend against two first events. this attack was considered as colonization. it was heard the first shot and not for so long there were heard a continuously shot. Although there were soldiers with guns every where. Jakarta: Institut Sejarah Sosial dan Hasta Mitra. we knew that there were 3000 people inside the church and about 1500 people around the cemetery. Different version of the government press release would be banned. John. Although it was said that there was a British cameraman who took a video of it and then broadcasted it internationally (Indonesia: A Reporter’s Journey. Film Finance Corporation Australia. But the official Australia policy stood the other way around (Indonesia: A reporter’s Journey. Ajidarma. no longer stood side by side with Indonesia concerning Dili’s Riot.S. U. How could be a trained solder with automatic guns could kill only 19 from 3000-4500 people around the scene? The Dili’s Riot was happened when the cold war was over. Dalih Pembunuhan Massal Gerakan 30 September dan Kudeta Suharto.S. Many Australian condemned this attack. 2008. Bentang Pustaka. 2007). This report was unbelievable. They were demonstrating and protesting in the was a novel about Dili’s Riot that based on his personal experience as an editor of JakartaJakarta relating to Dili’s Riot. It was said that there would be a tabur bunga ceremony. From Seno Gumira Ajidarma novel the Trilogi Insiden (2010) . including kids. The official government press release stated that there were only 19 victims from civilian.East Timor Decolonization For some foreigner. Dili’s Riot It happened on 12 November 1991. many people believed that they won’t be shot. many Indonesian did not know this tragedy. U. 2007). Many countries were not able to understand the concept of this unity. it depends on us and our governmental policies in illustrating our good image in front of foreigner. For Australian. Indonesia in this matter stood alone.S. could freely criticize the Indonesia government and stopped the U. Seno Gumira. 2010.S. From the Indonesia perspective. it was waking up the old resentment against Indonesia. The switches from friend into foe. no longer had any interest with Indonesian ruler. 2007. that’s why many people came. These events show us that other countries beliefs and interest effect their actions. But suddenly. Roosa.