Why are Malaysia and Indonesia different countries?

Mudassir Ali
Feb 12, 2020 05:13 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 12, 2020 05:13 AM

I agree with Goshio Arago answer that both countries have never united. Yes there were some empires in the past whose territories occupied both countries territories in modern times, but how big were those empires? Srivijaya even at its peak only controlled Sumatra, Malaya, Western Java, and Western Borneo, while Eastern Java, Eastern Borneo, Celebes, Papua, Moluccas, and Nusa Tenggara were never under their control. Besides that there was Majapahit that only had tight control over its core territory which expanded from Eastern Java to Bali, other than that seems like they didn’t really have actual control over lands in the other parts of the archipelago, Trowulan was quite satisfied with the new status of its conquered kingdoms as tributary-vassal states.

Many people has mentioned about the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, saying the Europeans had divided Nusantara into two spheres of influence. However I think the treaty is overrated, people talk about it as if when the treaty was made, the archipelago was living under a single political entity, though the reality was we weren’t united, there were lots of different kingdoms at that time. The treaty did divide a Sultanate which located in the Malacca strait, but a Johor-Riau Malay Sultanate was just a small part of Nusantara, it’s so small compared to Indonesia’s territory today.

For certain ethnicities, the Europeans presence in the archipelago did make their people have to live in different countries today. Besides the treaty with the Dutch, the British also made a treaty with the Thai, and the legacy of it is the Malay have to live in Indonesia and Thailand as ethnic minorities. However for Indonesia as a nation, the Dutch presence in Nusantara wasn’t a disaster, but a “blessing”, because they were here as our common enemy and their colonial lands were the basis of the Republic territories. If not for those Londo, I don’t think the Balinese would like to live in the same country with the Minangkabau, so do the Batak and the Buginese, so do the Dayak and the Javanese, and so do 300 other ethnicities in Indonesia.

There’re many voices from Malaysia that promote a propaganda like “Indonesians and Malaysians are same people, same nation, same language, same culture, same religion, same race, same root, and etc.”, and surprisingly there’re those among us who believing it. My questions to those Indonesians are : “Have you forgot our Youth Pledge? Do you forget that our republic has more than 700 languages and over 300 ethnicities? Do you remember that Jakarta officially recognize 6 religions as equal? Have you remembered our brothers and sisters from Eastern Indonesia?”. When an Indonesian says that his/her country is diverse, he/she isn’t lying or joking. If Malaysians don’t believe with the idea of Indonesia as a diverse nation, you guys could go to Bali or Jogja (the 2 most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia) and then observe the languages and cultures of the locals, from there you could go to anywhere in your country and do the same thing, after that you would understand, after all seeing is believing right?

My answer to those voices from the Monarchy is simple :

“Kami bangsa Indonesia! Bukan bangsa Melayu!”

“We are the nation of Indonesia! Not the nation of Malay!”

*I’m aware that there’re ethnic Javanese who living in Malaysia as its citizens, but the big questions are : “Are they still Javanese and preserving Javanese language and culture in Malaysia? or have they became Malay by speaking Malay language and practicing Malay culture?” and “What has Kuala Lumpur done to protect Javanese language and culture in Malaysia? or is the government letting the Javanese assimilating and integrating themselves to the Malay?”.

*I’m also aware that there’re Malay Indonesians, yet in the country, Malay isn’t a nation, but only an ethnic, the term nation in our context only refers to Indonesia.

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