The urge for nation-building and nation-state building in Asia, particularly Southeast Asia, comes from a desire to survive in competitive international society in the post-war years. The situation in Asia, however, may not be suitable for the consolidation of nations and nation-states. For one thing, there was no ready made entity in Asia known as the “nation” before the arrival of the West. Therefore, efforts at nation-building and state-building are confronted with numerous difficulties. This does not mean, however, that these efforts are not worth taking. There are two different schools of thought which cast doubt on discussing nations and nation-states in Asia. One is the “Globalist School” of international politics. This school feels that the nation-state as the major actor in international society has been losing importance recently. Therefore the efforts to consolidate nations and nation-states are anachronistic, and do not deserve serious academic attention. The holders of this idea overlook that, in a world in which “society” (in the Deutschean sense) may be enlarged with the development of interdependent relations among nations, the “community” is becoming even smaller with further social mobilization, and the role nations play is becoming bigger even among developed countries. In Asia, the role nations are supposed to play is much bigger. The second is the “School of Culturalism, ” which negates the wisdom of applying “Western” ideas to the Asian situation, where the uniqueness of the region invalidates “historical parallelism.” This argument neglects the enormous pressure from the international system to form the historically most effective political system (i. e. the nation-state) which was first established in the West. Whether or not the nation-state is suitable to the situation, those people who wish to survive as independent entities cannot but build nations and nation-states. This special issue on “Nations and States in Asia” is a compilation of articles positively analysing the various efforts being made in many Asian countries to define the scope of the nation, and to make nation-states in designated areas.
The mutual exclusiveness of two types of political integration, i. e., regional and national integration, has been widely accepted: regional integration can take place among those countries which have already completed national integration, but it cannot take place among those which are yet to be integrated nationally. This article challenges this assumption of political integration by discussing a counter-example we are witnessing now. International relations of insular Southeast Asia have been characterized by a proneness to regional conflicts. The decolonization plan for British territories in the region gave rise to the Philippine claim to Sabah, then a British colony, and Indonesia's anti-neocolonialism campaign. The eventual formation of Malaysia in 1963 caused serious turmoil, which lasted until the downfall of Sukarno. The Sabah problem endangered the new-born ASEAN in the late 1960s, and has from time to time made intra-ASEAN cooperation awkward. Moreover, Muslim separatism and insurgency in the southern Philippines adds another complication to a region where two other countries are Islamic. Under the surface of such turbulances, however, a joint recognition of the necessity of regional integration has been evolving among the leaders of the countries in the region. In order to integrate their own country individually they must, as they have realized, seek regional integration simultaneously. Consecutive regional conflicts provided the pressure for the leaders to mutually learn that conflictual international relations hamper their individual national integration policies. The framework of ASEAN provided the opportunity for these leaders to transform actual relationships from mutually distrustful to mutually cooperative ones. National integration may not satisfy all the people in these countries; again, regional integration may not satisfy all the peoples in the region. However, the government leaders of these countries share the basic premise that both regional and national integrations are vital, and hence to be pursued simultaneously. Although the coexistence of these two types of political integration is by no means probable, the ASEAN governments have shown it is at least possible. To change the possibility into an actuality, both governments and peoples in insular Southeast Asia have lost valuable human resources during both regional and local conflicts. Will they have to keep paying such cost in order to pursue political integration?
In the age of the United Nations, the state derives the meaning of its existence from the imagined nation, from the fiction that the executives of the modern state are a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole nation. From this, constitutional democratic thinking draws one conclusion: the key to legitimacy is the mandate of the nation/people, represented through fair and free elections; governmental performance in managing the common affairs of the nation is important, but it is translated into legitimavy only through elections. “Authoritarianism and development” thinking draws another: the legitimacy of a regime and hence regime stability ultimately depend on governmental performance in carrying out the common affairs of the nation, that is, national independence, unity, order and welfare. It is not the mandate of the nation/people represented through elections, but governmental performance itself that is the key to legitimacy. The ruling elite are those who know what the national goals are. The Important thing is to do the job. Legitimacy will come if the job is done well. Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines adopted this “authoritarianism and development” strategy for nation-building in the 1960s and 1970s with different results. Thailand and Indonesia have been successful in the task of state-building and are now trying to cope with the task of expanding political participation in different ways. In Thailand the bureaucratic polity has become a thing of the past and the search for a new form of “power-sharing” is now under way. In Indonesia, in contrast, the bureaucratic polity has been consolidated and the integratin of social forces in the regime is being attempted through functional representation. Only in the Philippines Marcos' “revolution from the center” and “democratic revolution” proved to be a dismal failure. But the argument Marcos made proved to be valid. It was indeed a “reoriented political authority” that initiated the “democratic revolution.”
This paper describes the integration of Indochina historically, comparing it to the case of Indonesia. Indochina and Indonesia are both within the territorial framework set up by the European colonial government, but the latter became a framework for the nation-state while the former did not. This difference derives from two historical causes: first, becaue of the presence of differnt orders prior to the colonial rule in each area. That is Jawa nucleus of Indonesia, held the tradition of open port-state, while Vietnam, a nucleus of Indochina, was a closed agricultural state. Second, because of the different ways of colonial rule which strongly influenced the development of the nationalist movements in each area. In Indonesia, the chances for people who had different cultures to meet together inside the territory built up within the colonial bureau-cracy, whereas in Indochina, the colonial bureaucracy was filled mainly with Vietnameses, so chances like those in Indonesia were very limited. However, the failure to become a nation-state does not mean that the framework of Indochina became meaningless thereafter. The Vietnamese communists and their counterparts in Cambodia and Laos are attempting to reorganize Indochina as an alliance among the three nations of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. This attempt for creating a new “Indochina” was regularilized after the Second World War and has built up integration to a certain extent. This new “Indochina” represents an attempt to bring about first political integration with communist parties and armies as the principal organization in the midst of fragile conditions of social integration. Although this new “Indochina” still hasn't matured enough to build stable integration in this area, it can not be disregarded in the case of considering the current Cambodian problem.
Taiwan has a population of 19 million, ranking in the top one-third among the 168 countries of the world. Taiwan enjoys economic prosperity symbolized by outstanding world trade which was 17th among the nations of the world in 1985. In reality, the name of the nation which exists on Taiwan is the “Republic of China”; however, this government refuses to consider the island of Taiwan as its only territory and has been struggling with the Peoples' Republic of China, both claiming the opposite side's territory as its own. The war in search of legitimacy still seems to be underway; but the will of the Taiwanese, who comprise 85% of the population of Taiwan, has been ignored for a long time. This article, which is a prelude to a forthcoming article, “The People and the Nation of Taiwan-Trends After the Second World War, ” gives the historical background of Taiwan; furthermore, it describes what the Taiwanese think about the people and the nation to which they belong. Taiwan was ruled by the Dutch, the Spanish, the Koxinga Dynasty and the Manchurian Ching Dynasty of the seventeenth century. The latest governing power lasted until 1895, when Taiwan was ceded to Japan. The native inhabitants of Taiwan were Malayo-Polynesians; they were joined by the Han immigrants from the Chinese mainland. At the end of the Dutch era, these two populations were balanced at about 40, 000 each. However, at the end of the Ching era, because the Hans continued to immigrate to Taiwan, the natives were out-numbered. Relations between the two groups were very poor, and even the Hans themselves failed to establish an identity as “Taiwanese” until the Japanese occupation in 1895. A Taiwanese consciousness was established among the Han inhabitants during the early period of Japanese occupation, perhaps because of the following: (1) resistance by force from 1895 to 1915 helped the Hans to create a “weconsciousness, ” (2) economic construction by the Japanese Taiwan Governor-General government brought communication infra-structures to the inhabitants (i. e., telephones, lengthened and widened roads and railways), (3) Japanese language instruction offered the inhabitants a mutual language; before this time, even the Hans in Taiwan were divided into two language groups. In the second decade of the 20th century, the Taiwanese political movement took over the position of resistance by force against Japanese rule. It was then that the idea of nationalism was introduced to Taiwan through the Chinese Nationalist Revolution in China in 1911. Thereafter, Han political leaders considered the Taiwanese to be a branch of the Chinese people; however, the native aborigines were still excluded. Although Han political leaders consider the Taiwanese to be a branch of the Chinese people, their idea has failed to gain support from the Taiwanese masses who consider themselves to be “Taiwanese.” The Taiwanese Communist Party established in 1928 also failed to appeal to the masses. Their slogan “Taiwanese nationalism” was not accepted. Since all of the political movements in Taiwan were oppressed by the Japanese authorities around the time of the Manchurian Incident in 1931, the Taiwanese consciousness failed to grow to form a “Taiwanese people.” The forced Japanization was accelerated until the Japanese surrender to the Allied Powers in 1945. The emergence of Taiwanese nationalism, in other words the formation of the “Taiwanese people, ” did not come about until their confrontation with the newly arrived ruler, the government of the Republic of China.
This article is a preliminary attempt to discuss the cultural environment of Java from the end of the nineteenth to the beginning of the twentieth century through the medium of the growing market in a new type of “mestizo culture.” Since around the middle of the nineteenth century the colonial cities in Java like Batavia, Bandung and Surabaya had been growing dramatically, and concomitantly there was increased social communication among different social groups: the Dutch, Eurasians, and elites of Chinese and ‘native’ societies. “Mestizo culture, ” typically expressed in the pictures of “the Beautiful Indies, ” the kroncong melodies, new types of drama like the “Komedie Stambul” (the “Comedy of Stambul”), new types of popular novels like “nyai's stories, ” and films made by the colonial Dutch, incorporating each of these cultural elements to some extent, was distinctive. It was also important in creating cultural integration and in nation-building in Indonesia, in the sense that: 1) it continued to grow as a mass-culture at the “grass-roots” level, and therefore contributed to the spread of the Malay (Indonesian) language throughout society; 2) it was enjoyable and acceptable to all of the social groups in the colonial cities; and 3) it became more and more a “national” culture as nationalist movements burgeoned from the turn of the century.
Singapore is a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual nation. Its 2.4 million population consists of 77 percent Chinese, 15 percent Malays, 6 percent Indians, and 2 percent Others; It has four official languages, Chinese (Mandarin), Malay, Tamil, representing its three major ethnic communities, and English, reflecting its colonial past. Each ethnic community is further divided into a number of subgroups either in mother tongue or in the language of education or both. Most Singaporeans, moreover, are relatively new migrants who still maintain human, cultural, and/or emotional ties with their ancestral lands. These divisive factors could pose a threat to the security of the city-state and have prompted its government to create a common language for national indentity. The effort was initiated by the British shortly after World War II, anticipating the independence of the then Crown Colony. English was chosen as the common language mainly for political reasons. Firstly, English was affiliated with none of the major ethnic communities and easier for all to accept than any other language. Secondly, English had been used for inter-ethnic communication and its speakers, though relatively few, were a multi-ethnic group. Thirdly, having been the only official language, the high status and prestige of English was well established. Finally, above all, those educated in English were politically docile and tolerant of ethnic and linguistic differences, as compared with the majority Chinese educated, whose strong sense of identity with China and political activism constituted a security problem. The problem of the Chinese educated derived from the prewar education system of four language streams separate from one another in every respect, under which Chinese-medium schools had been allowed to inculcate their pupils loyalty to China. Worse still, the Chinese educated with little knowledge of English, the dominant language, were left out of prestigeous and well-paid jobs and tended to be discontented and prone to Communist influence. As the postwar British policy of promoting English-medium education proved successful in drawing more and more pupils away from Chinese schools, the Chinese community feared that Chinese education was in danger of extinction. The 1950s saw mass upheavals against the policy of “killing Chinese education” interlocked with militant labour movements. The straight-forward policy of favouring English thus effected more division than integration, contrary to what it was expected to attain. In 1955, the first elected government of Singapore adopted a new policy based on two principles, i. e., equal treatment of the four official languages and promoting English as the common language. The twin principles were mutually contradictory. If the first was strictly observed, the second was impossible, and vice versa. But the government had to stick to the principle of equality in order to prevent the explosion of communal emotion. On the other hand, promotion of English was imperative for national integration and had to be done tactfully. The new policy secured broad consensus and formed the basis of Singapore's language policy thereafter. Under this policy, bilingual education was introduced with English and one of the three other languages made compulsory; official aid was extended equally to all schools; and unified curriculum was adopted for all the language streams. English retained its importance and continued to increase its weight in education. After Independence in 1965, Singapore embarked on a development strategy of becoming a Global City. The government of the People's Action Party (PAP) emphasized English education, for the spread of English, the language of international business and modern technology, was needed for economic development. The remarkable success of the strategy in the past two decades raised the economic value of English and accelerated the influx of pupils from the non-English
Thailand is one of the non-Western countries where firm state ideology has been developed on the basis of national political traditions in the face of the inflow of Western liberalism. Thai official state ideology is clearly shown in the constitution. Article 45 of the present constitution says: “No person may exercise the rights and liberties under this constitution adversely to the nation, religion, king and constitution.” It means that every Thai must be loyal to the nation, religion and king as well as to the constitution. This is not a mere article on paper. A large number of pamphlets are published by the Thai government in order to imbue the minds of the Thai people with this ideology. “Nation” in this ideology is found to be closely associated with “Religion” and “King, ” both of which are the fundamental elements of traditional Thai Buddhist theory of kingship. According to this theory the king, supposedly elected by the assembly of people, should practice justice as the protector and as the person to be relied on by the people under the restraint of the moral law of Buddhism. The conception of “Nation” in this ideology is, accordingly, different from that in Western liberal nationalism. Usually, the idea of nation in modern Thai history is discussed in the context of politics in the reign of King Vajiravudh (1910-1925). Siam experienced the most dangerous crisis of national independence in the period between the mid 1880s and the mid 1890s, but this effect on the origin of Thai nationalism is not paid serious attention in existing studies. In fact, the introduction of the idea of nation into Siam had already begun in the reign of King Chulalongkorn (1868-1910). Nation (Chat or Chat Ban Muang in Thai) in the sense of national political community became a popular word in the Thai vocabulary in the latter half of his reign when Siam faced a most critical national crisis. Western educated Thai intellectuals used it frequently. It was a useful symbol for Thai ruling elite. For they could manipulate it as a means for national integration under their leadership. Adoption of Chat as a national political community to Thai politics, however, did not bring about a fundamental change in the traditional Thai political principle because Chat was explained by the traditional elective theory of kingship. What is more, the ruling elite insisted on the significance of this peculiar political principle on the grounds that it is suitable to Thai conditions, and also an important part of the historical heritage and indigenous culture of the Thai nation (Chat Thai) as well. Thus a prototype of the Thai official state ideology, three-in-one loyalty to nation, religion and king, took form on the basis of the traditional idea of Buddhist kingship, the concept of national political community (Chat) and the conviction of the irreplaceable value of Thai national traditions in the last decades of the nineteenth century. King Vajiravudh basically inherited such political ideas from his father's generation. He formalized them as the official state ideology. He was, like his father, convinced of the irreplaceable value of Siamese national traditions and cultural relativism. Compared to the reign of his father, the threats from outside diminished, but the unbounded king's power was criticized more severely by local newspapers and even by his officials. In this difficult situation he wrote many political articles. He expressed his antipathy to Western oriented political activists both in Siam and in other Asian countries. He accused them of being believers in the cult of imitation. He insisted that Thai must deepen its civilization based on Thai traditions through its own way. These political ideas of King Vajiravudh become the foundation of modern Thai political principles which have peculiar characters distinct from Western Democracies
Malaysia is a typical plural society which is composed of three different ethnic groups; the Malays, Chinese and Indians. The Malays are called “Bumiputra” as the indigenous people of Malaya. They observed the Islamic religion and have inherited the Sultanate system. The Chinese and Indians were brought as immigrant laborers under the British colonial administration of Malaya. They observed Buddism and Hinduism, respectively. Beside these racial and religious differences, there developed a different division of labor in the economy, which was led by the British divide and rule colonial policy. The Malays were mainly paddy and rubber small holders, the Chinese were tin miners, rubber estate owners, traders and merchants and the Indians were mainly rubber eatate laborers. This division of labor has resulted in the income disparity among the three ethnic groups. The Chinese were ranked as the higher income group compared to the Indians and Malays. And, this economic disparity among the three ethnic groups become the main political issues after the independence of Malaya in 1957. The independent Government led by the Alliance Party of Malaya, which was composed of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA), and Malayan Indian Congress (MIC), has launched the rural development policy for the Malay farmers to increase their incomes, through land development and double-cropping of rice. But, as for the industrial development, the Government has allowed a free hand to the private sector, mainly Chinese enterprises and foreign investment. This laissez fair economic policy of the Government did not succeed in dissolving the economic disparities among the three ethnic groups. And, dissatisfaction toward the Alliance Government reached a crucial point in the May 13th (1959) racial riot at Kuala Lumpur. This tragedy happened after the May 10th election, where the UMNO and MCA lost their seats and the opposition parties-the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and the Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (GRM)-increased their seats and the DAP suported Chinese and the UMNO suported Malays were crushed at Kuala Lampur. This racial riot was controlled by the Government, led by the Vice-Premier Tun Razak. He has launched a New Economic Policy (NEP) to eradicate poverty and eliminate racial economic disparities. The point of this NEP policy is to create a Malay commercial and industrial sector by mobilizing Government development expenditures. After fifteen years implementation of this policy, there has emerged Malay commercial and industrial groups who were supported by the UMNO-led government and public corporations. But, the many Malay farmers were still poor as before, and discontent with the NEP policy among the Chinese has grown, year by year. And, there has been grass-root Islamic fundamentalism in the Malay rural areas. Also, the discontent of the Chinese, who moved to the support of DAP, is shown in their increased seats at the recent election of August, 1986. Thus, the outcome of the NEP policy was to produce a so-called small number of Malay state-capitalists, and dissatisfaction with this policy is growing not only among the Chinese, but also among the Malay farmers. This artide is an attempt to describe political and economic changes under the NEP policy, based on an analysis of ethnic differences, class divisions and ideological conflicts in Malaysia.