Jawi, the Arabic script of the Malay language, is one of the cultural components historically shared in the Malay-Islamic world. Indonesia experienced a shift to the Roman alphabet during the early twentieth century, before Malaya did. However, in the 1950s, immediately after Indonesia’s independence, Islamic leaders from West Sumatra initiated a discourse to revive the use of Jawi. This article examines the background of the discourse as well as its relationship to Malaya.
Two factors can be identified as forming this background. First, Indonesian Islamic forces demanded the Islamization of the state and society. The discourse on Jawi was related to the emphasis on the significance of Islam in Indonesian culture. Second, regional dissatisfaction was heightened with the predominance of Java, the center of the state. As Jawi is called “the script of Malay” in Indonesia, the revivalist discourse can be understood as demanding respect for the regional Malay culture.
From the discourse, it is evident that the unity of the Malay-Islamic world was recognized to some degree after Indonesia’s independence. However, it was principally limited to the framework of the Indonesian nation-state and never developed into an idea that united the Malay-Islamic world politically. This indicates that Indonesian Islamic movements of that period—although their activities based on Islamism have attracted scholars’ attention—had firmly adopted the idea of the Indonesian nation-state.
This paper examines the ecological cognition of Sama-Bajau fishermen by analyzing the naming of fish, fishing grounds, and landmarks used by those who engage mainly in open-sea fishing in the Banggai Islands, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. The field survey assumed that reef rocks and celestial bodies are landmarks used only by Sama-Bajau fishermen because their Sama-Bajau names have been shared among the fishermen until the present day along with their detailed origins. Compared to these landmarks, capes and bays are spread over relatively long distances, so minute differences are difficult to discern. Sama-Bajau fishermen have an equal interest in the names of capes, bays, and reef rocks. The study also clarifies that the background to the naming and folk taxonomy of landmarks is related to differences in the appearance of landmarks and living spaces used by Sama-Bajau and non-Sama-Bajau groups. Therefore, folk taxonomies attract greater and lesser interest or an intermediate level of interest. The study clarifies that Sama-Bajau folk taxonomies have similar features to landscape recognition from a fisherman’s perspective. This is the first attempt to comprehensively classify fish, fishing grounds, and targets based on indigenous knowledge of the sea.
The fall of Suharto’s authoritarian regime and the subsequent dissolution of vertical political patronage led to an upsurge of mass mobilization based on religion and/or ethnicity. In Jakarta, newly emerged vigilante groups that initially sought to represent small-scale neighborhood communities rapidly grew in size by receiving endorsements from local political authorities as well as by gaining extensive popular support. Despite their persistent association with violence and illicitness in popular discourse, some of those vigilante groups quickly increased their membership to hundreds of thousands. Highlighting the activities of the Forum Betawi Rempug (FBR), one of the biggest of these groups, this paper explains the causes, processes, and consequences of its expansion.
The nature of the Betawi ethnic identity that has been constructed over decades, as well as an alternative mode of populist discourse that became prevalent in Jakarta during the last couple of decades, were the key background conditions through which such groups expanded in both size and geographic reach. These conditions also led to a loosely disciplined and highly autonomous organizational structure.
An explanation of this process calls for a radical revision of the conventional model of ethnic mobilization that takes for granted disciplined organization and hierarchical control. In contemporary Jakarta, successful mass mobilization is not the sheer result of people’s response to populist calls. Attention must be paid to the logic of the mobilized in order to explain why vigilante organizations have been able to gain popular support despite their notorious reputation. This paper investigates the perspectives of the mobilized by focusing on neighborhood-level activities of the FBR. In so doing, it exemplifies how some residents perceive the FBR as a provider of potential socioeconomic resources for the enhancement of their life environment.
The development of the Para rubber sector in Myanmar was slow for a long time from the early 1960s, mainly due to policy failures under the “Burmese Way to Socialism.” However, with the rubber boom around 2005–12, the sector started developing rapidly, as in other Asian tropical countries. The development of the sector is expected to be an important base for economic development in Myanmar through industrialization. This paper, based on information and data collected in Mon State in 2013 and 2014, clarifies the current status (with historical background) of various actors—including rubber estates (both private and government), smallholders, traders/processors, and tire factories—and investigates major problems they face. The rapid expansion of rubber plantation by smallholders in Mon State is particularly noteworthy, based on the study of two villages. It is found that the smallholders’ major source of investment is remittances from migrants working in the rubber sector in Southern Thailand. The migrants’ work experiences in Thailand, which expose them to technology and knowledge about supporting institutions, are expected to offer good potential for the future development of Myanmar’s rubber sector.