In the early 1980s, Indonesia witnessed the extrajudicial killings of thousands of hoodlums by security forces. The victims’ bodies were left at prominent public places. Because the authorities did not admit to any involvement, the Indonesian media termed the killings “Petrus,” which means “mysterious shootings.” This thesis aims to analyze the ruling style of Suharto’s regime by considering the mass killings.
From the beginning, the Suharto regime regarded Indonesian society as a legitimate target for intelligence activities and machinations, as symbolized by the existence of Operasi Khusus (Opsus); this was initially a team set up for the army’s intelligence work in Malaysia, but later became institutionalized to rule over Indonesian society. Applying intelligence and machinations to maintain domestic rule may be considered a rational step for the authorities. Given that other strong political ideologies still had deep roots in society, it was extremely difficult to create the Golkar system based on the state-sponsored Pancasila ideology by means of repression alone. Thus, the government had to rely on intelligence operations, such as machinations, provocations, and propaganda that justified the repression of potential enemies.
This thesis, based on interviews, seeks to show that many victims of Petrus were hoodlums who had been recruited as agents for covert operations. They were organized under Ali Moertopo, the head of Opsus and Suharto’s right-hand man in the early days of the regime. Though there has long been a speculation that the real target of Petrus was Moertopo’s network, the rumors have not been substantiated.
My argument is as follows. The Suharto regime, in its effort to build up the Golkar system, often used intelligence machinations toward members of its own society to eliminate or weaken potential enemies. This ruling style naturally alienated a specific societal group and created social divisions. The target of Petrus (or in any case, one of the main targets) were the hoodlums who had been used as a tool for such machinations. After their mission was over, the hoodlums came to be seen as unnecessary and dangerous; they were eliminated themselves through another huge machination—Petrus. In this context, Petrus symbolized a fundamental contradiction in the Suharto regime, which sought the thorough permeation of “harmonious” Pancasila ideology, but, in reality, could not rule the country without dividing society.
This paper examines Australia’s foreign policy towards Indonesia’s invasion of Timor-Leste (then called, Portuguese Timor); more specifically, it focuses on Don Willesee’s foreign policy towards Timor-Leste. Willesee was the Whitlam government’s Foreign Minister between 05 November, 1973 and 11 November, 1975. This study also focuses on Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, whose influence over foreign policymaking was more than Willesee’s. Whitlam nurtured a close relationship with Indonesian President Suharto. Therefore, to make policy recommendations, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs, which was led by its Secretary Alan Renouf, had to take into account the views of the Foreign Minister and Prime Minister, which were not always harmonious. This study deals with the period between 25 April, 1974, when the Portuguese Revolution and the decolonization of Timor-Leste began, and 11 November, 1975, when the Whitlam government stepped down in less than a month before Indonesia’s full-scale attack against Dili on 07 December, 1975. The military occupation lasted for over two decades and led to the killings of a large number of people in Timor-Leste.
Willesee’s policy towards Timor-Leste deserves close attention for the following reasons. First, Willesee earnestly sought to resolve this crisis through the principle of self-determination. To this end, he considered the possibility of Timor-Leste’s independence and aimed to dissuade Indonesia from forcefully taking over Timor-Leste. On the other hand, Whitlam called for Timor-Leste’s integration with Indonesia, a view he repeatedly shared with President Suharto during their two informal summit talks in September 1974 and April 1975. Despite Willesee’s failure to persuade Whitlam and the Indonesian government, his ethical stance remains laudable. Second, through a speech delivered at the Senate on 30 October 1975, Willesee succeeded in persuading the Australian government to espouse “the view that the people of Portuguese Timor should be allowed to determine their own future.” Third, Willesee’s policy towards Timor-Leste has not received much scholarly attention. Fourth, it is possible to analyse Willesee’s policy by examining (i) documents created by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and (ii) other materials, including Willesee’s personal recollections.
In sum, this study argues that Willesee’s emphasis on self-determination could be a more viable strategy than Prime Minister Whitlam’s call for Timor-Leste’s integration with Indonesia. The study also argues that Indonesia’s invasion and forceful annexation of Timor-Leste might not have occurred if President Suharto had been persuaded by Willesee’s opinions. This is all the more important as President Suharto was initially hesitant to use military force to address Indonesia’s situation with Timor-Leste.
This article explores the cultural and political context of the development of the rock music industry in Indonesia. With a focus on live performance, it shows how the political and economic power of Chinese Indonesian business and the military have played an important role in underpinning the sustainable development of the country’s rock music industry.
Indonesian rock music has continuously evolved from the mid-1980s, under the Soeharto authoritarian regime, through the country’s democratization to the present day. The industry developed during the Soeharto era through rock festivals (Festival Rock Se-Indonesia) sponsored by ethnic Chinese businesses, and since the fall of the Soeharto regime, the industry has continued to grow with the support of the Indonesian armed forces.
Chinese Indonesian businessmen have been sponsoring rock festivals to boost show business by attracting large crowds and contributing to the popularization and industrialization of Indonesian rock music. The increase in capacity and expansion of venues for live performances has contributed to the sustained development of the rock music industry, with the armed forces providing large military sites for music events following the democratization of the country. However, such mass mobilization, sponsored by Chinese companies increases the risk of rioting in these venues. Therefore, the military acts as a security mechanism to violently suppress riots and maintain order.