[Academic] The Role of the NGO and Government Organization in the Education Development in Indonesia’s Border Islands

Case Study of Gerakan Indonesia Mengajar and SM3T*

By: Retno Widyastuti
International Master’s Program in Asia Pacific Studies
National Chengchi University
Taipei, Taiwan

*This paper was presented in 2013 IGU Islands Conference in Penghu, Taiwan Oct 1-5, 2013

Abstract— Indonesia is an archipelagic state with more than 17,000 islands. Some of those islands are located in the border of Indonesia with the other countries, which has some sensitive issues with national sovereignty. It’s not only related to the security, but also economic, politics and social issues. To prevent the threat for sovereignty, one of the ways is by developing those areas to increase their national consciousness.

Education has been becoming important part of development process and education not only helps in upward mobility of a society, but it is also a vehicle for socio economic development of the country. To reach that goal, it needs participation from many levels. In this study, it will assess and analyze the role of NGO and government organization in the education development, especially to fulfill the lack number of teacher’s distribution in Indonesia’s remote and border islands, with the case study of Gerakan Indonesia Mengajar and SM3T. The method of this study is qualitative with analytical descriptive from secondary data and interviews.
Keywords-component; Border Islands, Education Development, Gerakan Indonesia Mengajar, National Consciousness, Teacher Distribution, SM3T


Indonesia is an archipelagic state that has more than 17,000 islands, with more than 250 million citizens live (July 2013, estimation) [1]. These facts create challenges in Indonesian education, especially limited access for getting qualified primary education in remote areas, especially in the front line such as islands in border area of Indonesia.

Geo-politically, Indonesia located between two continents and two oceans, and border with nine countries. According to Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries of Republic of Indonesia [2], there are 92 islands that directly border by sea with nine countries, such as Malaysia (21 islands), Vietnam (2), the Philippines (12), Palau (7), Papua New Guinea (1), Australia (26), Timor Leste (5), India (11) and Singapore (4).

Most of the Indonesia border region is still left behind in terms of development in social, infrastructure, and economy. Most of the paradigm see that border region as an area that needs to be closely monitored due to the intruder, international illegal activity, etc. This view creates a development paradigm makes more emphasis on border security approach rather than social and economy approach. As a result, some areas in the border region still untouched by dynamics of Indonesia national development. The people in the border region is still remainly poor and many are oriented to the neighboring countries [2] in which can be very dangerous for national sovereignty. To prevent this situation, one of the ways is by development, not only physically (infrastructure, economy and trade) but also human development. Education has been becoming important part of development process and education not only helps in upward mobility of a society, but it is also a vehicle for socio economic development of the country.

In this paper, it will describe the role of government and also NGO, especially on developing primary education in Indonesia’s border region. As for the case study, it will describe about the role of recently well known NGO in Indonesia, named Gerakan Indonesia Mengajar and also SM3T, a newly program initiated by Ministry of National Education and Culture, Republic of Indonesia.

These two initiatives have similar pattern; recruiting university graduates to be a teacher in remote area for one year service. Their mission is to fulfill the lacking of number of teacher and also to be a new benchmark for escalating education’s quality in remote area. Their presence is also for developing the basic education for national consciousness in border islands.


Started in 2005, the government of Indonesia tend to be more serious on developing the nation’s education. Based on the Government Regulations No. 25 about National Medium-Term Development Plan Medium-Term period 2004 – 2009, it mentioned that education is one of the main priorities in the national development agenda, namely the priority for increasing access to quality education.

Based on the 1945 Constitution of Republic of Indonesia Preamble paragraph IV, it mentioned the promise and mandate of independence; “…to establish a government of the State of Indonesia which shall protect the whole Indonesian people and their entire homeland of Indonesia, and in order to advance their general welfare, to promote the intellectual life of the nation, and to contribute to implementing order in a world founded upon independence, eternal peace and social justice…”.

Related to the education, it is already being mandated that our duty is to“promote the intellectual life of the nation”. From the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia 1945 in Article 31 Paragraph (1), mentioned shall be that every citizen is entitled to education, and (3) confirms that the Government establish and conduct a national education system that enhances faith and piety and noble character in the context of the intellectual life of the nation, in which governed by of Law.

National education aimed to improving intelligence, as well as dignity of the nation. National education also should be able to develop a sense of patriotism, strengthen the national sspirit, and a sense of social solidarity. Thus, it is appropriate for all education services to targeting all school-age children to get proper education, wherever they are.

Quantitatively, Indonesia has quite sufficient amount of teacher. However, the distribution and quality are generally still low. Throughout Indonesia, including Ministry of National Education (MoNE) and the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA), as well as private institution, there are more than 167,000 primary schools, 34,000 junior secondary schools and 17,000 senior secondary schools spread across some 440 districts and municipalities. Some schools are extremely isolated from the capital city, and/or their district centre and their remote location that creates problems in terms of teacher employment and deployment [4].

This can be evidenced by the number of teachers that do not achieved education in university level and get teaching certification, especially for those who are live in remote areas in Indonesia. Only 17% of primary teachers hold the proposed new standard of S1 (bachelor degree) [4]. Based on Dirjen PMPTK, Ministry of Education and Culture (2009), teacher quality index indicators in Indonesia in avareage is still low (3,72 scale of 0-11) and around 54% of teachers in Indonesia need to upgrade their teaching qualification.

From World Bank’s data, it shows their survey finding about the uneven distribution number of teacher in Indonesia. The district data show that there are marked inequities in the deployment of teachers both across schools and districts. Some 68% of urban and 52% of rural primary schools have an excess of teachers, while 66% of remote schools have a deficit [4].

It also mentioned that the district data indicate that there are acute shortages of staff in the majority of remote schools, with 93% claiming that they had a deficit [4]. Most of the teachers are working as civil servants, where they urged to serve wherever they are posted. However, the policy is clearly not being consistently implemented. In fact, a lot of teacher is refused to teach in remote area. The resistance to postings in such areas due to lack of adequate housing; poor transport; domestic responsibilities; concerns about the isolation from family and friends; and the generally poor services and facilities in remote areas [4]. As a result of the deficits, some teachers have excessive workloads. These factors ultimately have an adverse impact the students.

Teachers are at the forefront line in improving the quality of education, where teachers will conduct direct interaction with students in the learning process at school. In other words, the overall quality of education begins with quality learning undertaken by teachers in the classroom. It is supposed to be one of focus of the education system that need to be improved in Indonesia. To achieved more advanced country, it needs quality education, and to reach quality education, it needs quality learning. To get quality learning, it starts from a qualified teacher.


Unfortunately, there is no standard national definition of what constitutes a ‘remote location’ currently exists that allows for the quantitative analysis of the number of remote school in Indonesia. However, it can be clearly said that most of the islands in border area are still under-developed and become disadvantages area.

To know how to categorize a region become a developed or under-developed area, National Agency for Border Management of the Republic of Indonesia describe their approach in its grand design [3]. Disadvantaged areas are areas that the community district and the region is relatively less developed than other areas on a national scale. Determination using the approach developed areas 6 (six) basic criteria, namely: economy, society, human resources, infrastructure (infrastructure), local financial capacity (fiscal gap), accessibility, and regional characteristics (Ministry of Rural Development).

As for classification for an area as disadvantaged areas is based on [3]:

  1. Geographic. Generally geographically disadvantaged areas is relatively difficult to reach because they are too far inland hills / mountains, islands, coastal and isolated islands or because of other geomorphological factors that are difficult to reach by transportation and communications network.
  2. Natural Resources. Some disadvantaged areas do not have the potential of natural resources. The region might have vast natural resources, but the surrounding neighborhood is an area that can be protected or not exploited, and due to excessive use of natural resources.
  3. Human Resources. In general, people in disadvantaged areas have a lower education, knowledge, and skills are relatively low and the traditional institutions have not been developed.
  4. Infrastructure and Facilities. Limitations of communication infrastructure, transportation, water supply, irrigation, health, education, and other services that cause people in the disadvantaged areas find it difficult to carry out economic and social activities.
  5. Isolated area, Conflict and Disaster Prone. Physically disadvantaged areas is located in very isolated area, in addition to frequent an area experiencing social conflict or natural disasters such as earthquakes, droughts and floods, and could lead to the disruption of social and economic development activities.

From those criteria, most of frontline and outer – small islands in Indonesia can be categorized as disadvantage area. In 2010, there are 183 under-developed and disadvantaged districts in Indonesia [5]. Regarding the Ministry of Rural and Disadvantages Area Development, the Human Development Index (HDI) in these areas is only 66.98 (2013 estimation) [5].

Abubakar [2] also argued that these situations can create some threat that may be faced by small islands in outer and border line. These threats are illegal entry from foreigner fisherman, pirates, illegal fishing and trafficking; political, economy, social and cultural influence from foreign countries, occupation from the enemy, as well as natural disaster.


The task of ensuring basic and primary education is not only government’s responsibility, it also requires voluntary and private sectors, as well as communities, to collaborate and contribute. Successful experiments and new approaches to education have emerged from Non-government organization (NGO), and also government organization (GO). In this part, it will describe two organizations (each represents NGO and GO) as case study.

A. Gerakan Indonesia Mengajar

Gerakan Indonesia Mengajar (GIM), literally means “Indonesia Teaching Movement”, is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that focused on developing primary education in remote areas in Indonesia. Ignited by the spirit of enlightening the nation, Anies Baswedan, PhD has initiated this movement. GIM officially launched in 2010 adopts the tradition of sharing and inspiring others. It sends the best university graduates to teach as Pengajar Muda (means “Young Teacher”) for one year in the primary schools located in some of Indonesia’s most remote areas [6].

GIM believes that education is a movement and not merely a program run by government, schools and teachers. Education is a movement to educate and enlighten the nation that has to involve everyone, as GIM believe that education is a duty of every educated individual. Thus, GIM commitment is to continually send and support hundreds of Pengajar Muda every year to serve in some of Indonesia’s remote villages.

In order to ensure that every school child in Indonesia obtains the best education, GIM equips the Pengajar Muda’s with training on leadership and pedagogy methods. Hence, apart from being a primary school teacher for one year, these Pengajar Mudas are actively involved in their community.

It is in line with GIM’s mission is to address the undersupply of primary school teachers in remote areas as well as to give valuable life experience to future leaders at a grass root level by living within these remote communities.

Since 2010, there are 293 university graduates that have been selected as Pengajar Muda. These talented young graduates have been serving schools in remote villages and striving to make an impact on the children and their villages. Living within the community for 1-year to teach in an elementary school, Pengajar Muda have become the drivers of change and windows of development for the schools and villages.

As potential future leaders who have global awareness and competence, the experience of living closely with the communities will also give Pengajar Muda the opportunity to gain grassroots understanding about Indonesia. It is GIM vision to have a network of future leaders in many sectors that have great capability, integrity and deep understanding of Indonesia.

Until June 2013, there are 293 Pengajar Muda has been serving 22,808 students in 147 villages in 17 districts, in 16 provinces in Indonesia. From these 17 districs, six of them are located in islands, such as in Bengkalis, Bawean Island – Gresik, Sangihe Islands, Rote Ndao, South Halmahera and West Maluku Tenggara, and four of them are located in Indonesia’s border area.

1) Bengkalis
Bengkalis is a district located in Riau Province, in which has sea border with Malaysia. It has 24 big and small islands. Some of these big islands are Rupat Island (1,524.84 km²) and Bengkalis Island (938.40 km²). Pengajar Muda are served in primary schools in three sub-districts in Bengkalis, such as; Rupat, North Rupat dan Bantan. Especially North Rupat and Rupat, it is located in Malacca Strait area.

2) Sangihe Islands
Sangihe Islands, North Sulawesi Province is a district located in the most northern part of Indonesia and it is border with the Philippines. Sangihe Islands consist of more than 90 small islands. The capital city of Sangihe Islands is Tahuna, located in the biggest island in this district. Tahuna can be reach from North Sulawesi’s capital city, Manado, by sea with duration 7 – 8 hours, or by air with duration 50 minutes. The islands that become Pengajar Muda’s service location only can be reaching by sea. From Tahuna to those small islands needs 3 to 10 hours. Because of this remote location, there is only limited electricity, as well as communication access (cellular signal). Most of the people in Sangihe Islands are working as sailor, and coconut farmer. They do trade to Manado, even to the Philliphines.

3) Rote Ndao
Rote Ndao, that is located in East Nusa Tenggara Province, is the most southern district in Indonesia. The access from Kupang, capital city of East Nusa Tenggara, to Lobalain (capital city of Rote Ndao) is by sea. Rote Ndao has 8 sub-districts, and it has sea border with Australia territory.

4) West Maluku Tenggara
West Maluku Tenggara is located in Maluku Province, can be accessed from Ambon, the capital city of Maluku to Saumlaki by air, with duration 2 hours flight. Saumlaki is the capital city of this district, and it is located in Yamdena Island. To go to Pengajar Muda’s service location, it takes another trip by sea around 2 – 12 hours. Some of islands only have limited transportation access, in which only twice a week. There are 10 sub-districts that spread in different islands.
Similar with Sangihe, in these islands, there is only limited electricity and communication access. Most of the people are working as sailor and sea weed’s farmer.


SM3T abbreviated from Sarjana Mendidik di daerah Terdepan, Terluar dan Tertinggal (literally means; Bachelor Educate in the Frontier, Outermost and Disadvantaged Area), is a newly program runned by Ministry of National Education of Indonesia. This program is the part of Program Maju Bersama Mencerdaskan Bangsa or MBMI (means Program of Developed Together for Englightening the Nation).

Sumarna Surapranata, Director of Teachers and Education Personnel of Primary Education, Ministry of Education and Culture, writes that the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemdikbud), working hard to meet the needs of teachers in the 3T area (abbreviation of Terdepan, Terluar dan Tertinggal) [7].

SM3T program is addressed to the Bachelor of Education who has not served as a teacher, to be assigned for one year at 3T area. SM-3T program is intended to help overcome the shortage of teachers, as well as preparing teacher candidates a strong professional, independent, and have a caring attitude toward others, and have a soul to educate the children of the nation, in order to move forward together to reach lofty ideals as mandated by the founder of the Indonesian nation.

The reason behind, is because some education problems regarding teacher especially in 3T areas, such as; shortridge, unbalanced distribution, under qualification, low competencies, and the mismatched between qualifications education in the field of teaching. Another problem in education is the dropout rate is still relatively high, while enrollment rates are still low [7].
This program is also as a preparation for these university graduates as a professional educator. Until 2013, there are more than 5,200 graduates that already deployed and teach in 34 districts in 9 provinces, such as; Aceh, East Nusa Tenggara, North Sulawesi, West Papua, Papua, Riau Islands Province, West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan and Maluku [9].

Some of service area that located in the frontier islands of Indonesia’s border are in Rote Ndao District in East Nusa Tenggara Province (sea border with Australia), Sangihe Islands District and Talaud Islands District in North Sulawesi (border with the Philliphines), Natuna Islands District and Anambas Islands Districts in Riau Islands Provinces (sea border with Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia), Nunukan District in East Kalimantan Province (border with Malaysia), Biak Numfor District in Papua (border with Palau) and South West Maluku District in Maluku Province (border with Australia) [9].


Nowadays in Indonesia, there are a lot of NGO that has similar concern with GIM and SM3T, to create education as the movement. It involves not only government organizations and programs, but also Non-Government Organizations, which represents the societies and communities, to take a part in nation’s education, especially in remote and disadvantages area.
The most important role from these organizations is the presence of complimentary teacher in these 3T areas. The young teacher helps to decrease the uneven distribution of teacher, as well as to enhance education quality in primary level.

Based on the interview conducted by the writer, GIM has specific approach, named education behavioral entity approach. It means, the Pengajar Muda not only responsible to teach in the school, but they also stimulate the society to make social and educational change [8]. In GIM, the Pengajar Muda has central role as the direct partner of GIM on developing Pengajar Muda’s leadership capacity, as well as as the technical supporter and direct partner on pursuing GIM’s vision and mission in supporting social change in area. In other words, they are the ambassador of the movement.

Pengajar Muda has four tasks in GIM’s framework, they are; curricular, extra-curricular, society education, and advocation of education network. Pengajar Muda scope of working is class, school, village/ society (including parents), sub-district and districs.

Similar to Pengajar Muda, as for the young teacher in SM3T program, their responsibility is also not just taught in the classroom. They will also educate and think about what facilities and educational information required and needed for the students in the SM3T locations.

Some significant stories of changes from GIM’s and SM3T’s locations are;

1) Students

The presence of young teacher in remote areas and islands, become the window of information for the students about many activities and competition. Not only in district level, but also national, even international level. Some of the students in these under-developed area can be successfully shows their ability on competing with another students with better education facilities in urban/ major cities in Indonesia.

Diana Poae (12 years old), one of the students in Kawio Islands, Sangihe Islands District, become the runner up in International Kids Photo Contest conducted by National Geographic Contest. Some other students also winning the competition in various contests, such as; Panasonic Kid Witness News 2013, Kalbe Young Scientist Award, student from Bengkalis as the finalist of Olimpiade Sains Kuark, student from West Maluku Tenggara as the participant of Bobo’s National Children Conference, and many more.

Not only did that, to strengthen student’s consciousness about nationality and patriotism, the young teacher teach them how to sing national anthem, conducting national ceremony (in some places it conducted for the first time), and invite the students to do multi-cultural understanding not only theorytically, but also practically.

At first, most of the students did not know about how large and big their country is. What they know is only their own island. To solve this problems, the young teacher initiates a program named “Jejaring Anak Indonesia” (means Indonesian Children Network), that is a correspondence program to encourage students to write and share their experience to the other students in another schools in different islands or provinces. It is quite effective for the students to broaden their knowledge and experience about the concept of state, nation and multi-culture.

2) Teacher and Headmaster

Previously, as mentioned before, the presence of original teacher in 3T areas is remainly low because of some reasons. But since the coming of young teacher, it stimulate them to come to the school ontime, as well as they are motivated to increase their quality through workshop and training, initiated by young teachers.

The teachers and headmaster also join some competition to increase their ability and experience. One of them is Jonathan Karame, Headmaster of SDN Inpres Para, in Sangihe Islands Districts; he got Manado Post Award 2012 from the Governor of North Sulawesi Province.

3) Society

Inspired by the successful story of their children, many parents and society finally become more optimistic and aware with education development in their area. Some of the communities in villages, in together, are build a place to study for their children and also village library with their own money.

4) Stakeholder

Bureau of Education, Youth and Sport in Sangihe Islands initiated a movement named Sangihe Mengajar (means Sangihe Teach). There are 16 young graduates from North Sulawesi recruited as the teacher to teach in elementary and junior high school in this district.


From this case study, it can be seen that the presence of young Indonesian graduates make the NGO and GO’s role in can be more signigicant. Not only solving the distribution problem of teacher in remote areas, it also helps the behavioral change of the society to be more aware and care about their education. Furthermore, these teachers, besides of taking a role as educators, they also empowered to strengthen the nation and state in the frame of the Republic of Indonesia.

Now, there are more and more NGOs and GOs that initiated similar movement on education, especially on inviting more people to be more aware and contribute their contribution for the education. The survey has established that the NGOs can and do play a strong role in assisting the State to complement the public education system and to improve its effectiveness [11].
Although it is still a long way and not an easy job to be done, as well as some problems (technically and socially) that facing this initiatives, the presence of both government and society is very important to reach State vision on enlightening nation through intellectual life and education. It also can escalate the people who live in small islands in frontline of Indonesian border to be more conscious about their nation and patriotism spirit. So that national threats related to foreign influence and border’s problem can be minimize.


[1] The World Factbook; Indonesia, Central Intelligence Agency Website, July 2013. Retrieved from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/id.html
[2] Abubakar, Mustafa. Menata Pulau-pulau Kecil Perbatasan; Belajar dari Kasus Sipadan, Ligitan dan Sebatik. Jakarta: Penerbit Kompas, 2006.
[3] BNPP, Grand Design; Pengelolaan Batas Wilayah Negara dan Kawasan Perbatasan di Indonesia tahun 2011 – 2025 (Grand Design; Management of Country’s Border Area and Border Regional in Indonesia, year 2011 – 2025). Badan Nasional Pengelola Perbatasan (National Authority for Border Management), Republic of Indonesia, 2011.
[4] The World Bank. Teacher Employment and Deployment in Indonesia; Opportunities for Equity, Efficiency and Quality Improvement, 2006. Retrieved from: http://ddp-ext.worldbank.org/EdStats/IDNstu08a.pdf
[5] Yoltuwu, Johozua M. Pertumbuhan Ekonomi di Daerah Tertinggal (Economic Growth in Disadvantage Area), Work Meeting Presentation, Ministry of Disadvantage Area Development, Republic of Indonesia, 7-9 March 2013.
[6] Gerakan Indonesia Mengajar Website. http://indonesiamengajar.org
[7] Dikbud E-Magazine, Edisi 03, IV, May 2013. Retrieved from:
[8] Personal Interview with officer of Gerakan Indonesia Mengajar office, on August 1st, 2013 at 2 – 3 pm.
[9] SM3T Website. http://sm-3t.dikti.go.id/
[10] Kusumo, Ayub Torry Satriyo. Optimalisasi Pengelolaan dan Pemberdayaan Pulau-pulau Terluar dalam Rangka Mempertahankan Keutuhan Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia. Jurnal Dinamika Hukum, Vol. 10 No.3 September 2010.p. 327 – 337.
[11] Jagannathan, Shanti. The Role of Non-Governmental Organization in Primary Education; A Study of Six NGOs in India. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/142h4bR

[Share] Belajar dari Taiwan – Kesehatan untuk Semua

Baru saja saya mengobrak-abrik file-file lama saya untuk menulis sebuah “tugas”. Dan yang paling saya suka ketika melakukan hal ini adalah menemukan sesuatu yang nostalgic atau tulisan-tulisan yang sayang kalau tidak dibagi.

Maka dari itu, perkenankanlah saya berbagi sebuah catatan pelajaran dari sistem kesehatan Taiwan yang saya ulas untuk “bahan belajar” kita bersama, untuk Indonesia yang lebih baik. Selama dua tahun lebih berada di bumi Formosa, saya merasakan benar manfaat dan kenyamanan dengan sistem kesehatan ini. Jaa, selamat membaca 🙂

Belajar dari Taiwan; National Health Insurance (NHI), Kesehatan Milik Semua

Oleh: Retno Widyastuti*
*Mahasiswa S2 Jurusan Asia Pacific Studies
National Chengchi University, Taipei – Taiwan (ROC)

Taiwan dikenal dunia dengan berbagai produk elektronik dan industri berbasis teknologi dan semi-konduktornya. Selain itu, ada hal lain yang patut kita ketahui tentang keunggulan Taiwan, yaitu sistem pelayanan dan asuransi kesehatannya yang bernama National Health Insurance (NHI). Sistem asuransi kesehatan nasional Taiwan ini didaulat sebagai salah satu yang terbaik di dunia, sehingga berbagai negara maju dunia melakukan studi banding tentang sistem ini. Apa dan bagaimanakah sebenarnya NHI itu? Apakah keadilan sosial dan slogan “kesehatan milik semua” benar adanya di Taiwan?

Jika melihat logo ini di klinik atau apotik, kartu NHI kita bisa dipergunakan :)
Jika melihat logo ini di klinik atau apotik, kartu NHI kita bisa dipergunakan 🙂

Sistem pelayanan kesehatan sangat terkait dengan kualitas hidup manusia. Dengan semakin mudahnya akses kesehatan bagi masyarakat, maka akan semakin baik pula kualitas hidup manusia negara tersebut. Salah satu keberhasilan Taiwan dalam mensejahterakan dan meningkatkan taraf hidup manusianya adalah melalui program asuransi kesehatan nasional (NHI) ini. NHI merupakan sistem perencanaan asuransi sosial yang bersifat nasional dan wajib bagi setiap warga Taiwan (termasuk warga asing yang menjadi residen di Taiwan). Sistem ini memberikan akses kesehatan yang sama untuk setiap warga.

Sistem pelayanan dan asuransi kesehatan nasional Taiwan yang dikelola oleh Ministry of Health and Welfare ini, diperkenalkan pada Maret 1995. Kebijakan ini bermula dari reformasi kesehatan yang dilakukan Taiwan pada era 1980-an, terutama setelah mengalami pertumbuhan ekonomi. Pemerintah membentuk komisi dan melakukan perbandingan sistem pelayanan kesehatan di 10 negara lain, dan mencoba mengkombinasikan kebaikan dari tiap sistem, dan membentuk sistem uniknya sendiri.

Dr. Michael Chen, wakil presiden Biro NHI Taiwan tahun 2009, menyampaikan bahwa pada dasarnya model NHI diambil dari Medicare di Amerika Serikat, namun yang berbeda adalah program NHI mencakup seluruh masyarakat, sedangkan Medicare hanya untuk lansia.

Setiap warga Taiwan dan residen mendapatkan Health IC smart card, semacam kartu sehat, yang mencakup data dan profil pasien, rekam medis, dan resep obat. Adanya kartu ini tidak hanya mencegah penipuan asuransi, pelayanan dan pengujian yang berulang, serta pembayaran yang tidak semestinya, tetapi juga memudahkan dokter untuk mengetahui seluruh rekam medis pasien dengan menggunakan card reader dan komputer. Keunggulan lainnya adalah sistem pembiayaan yang otomatis tercatat, dan segala rekam medis (tes kesehatan maupun resep obat) yang terdata, dapat mencegah terjadinya pemberian pengobatan yang berlebihan oleh dokter, sekaligus mencegah pasien menyalahgunakan sistem.

Menurut Wu, Majeed dan Kuo (2010), keistimewaan NHI lainnya antara lain akses yang baik, mencakup masyarakat secara luas, jangka waktu menunggu yang singkat, harga yang cukup murah, dan sistem data pengumpulan nasional untuk perencanaan dan penelitian.

Per tahun 2004, tingkat jangkauannya mencapai 99% dari seluruh total populasi Taiwan yang mencapai 23 juta jiwa (sebelumnya keterjangkauan hanya 97% pada 2001). Tidak hanya jangkauannya saja, tetapi berdasarkan poling opini publik yang dilakukan oleh Biro NHI, tingkat kepuasan pasien secara keseluruhan mencapai lebih dari 70%.

Sedangkan terkait pembiayaan, sebagai gambaran, untuk pelayanan kesehatan standar, pasien hanya perlu membayar NTD 100 atau sekitar Rp 40.000,- per kunjungan. Biaya ini ini sifatnya tetap dan tidak dibeda-bedakan berdasarkan tingkat ekonomi pasien.

Kuo membandingkan sistem kesehatan Taiwan dengan Amerika dan Inggris. Asuransi kesehatan di Amerika Serikat yang cenderung komersial dan berorientasi pasar dan sistem pelayanan kesehatan nasional Inggris yang sepenuhnya dibiayai pemerintah. Sedangkan di Taiwan, Pemerintah mensubsidi penuh masyarakat miskin dan veteran, sedangkan masyarakat yang bekerja, membayar premi dengan harga yang cukup terjangkau.

Dengan model yang ditawarkan NHI, masyarakat memiliki kebebasan untuk memilih rumah sakit dan dokter tanpa harus mencemaskan daftar tunggu. NHI memberikan keuntungan dan paket yang lengkap, yang mencakup pelayanan kesehatan dan pencegahan, resep obat, pelayanan kesehatan gigi, pengobatan China, kunjungan rumah oleh perawat, dan sebagainya. Selain itu, melalui NHI orang yang bekerja tidak perlu mengkhawatirkan hilangnya asuransi mereka apabila mereka berganti pekerjaan atau pensiun.

Namun, masih ada beberapa permasalahan misalnya pendeknya jangka waktu konsultasi antara pasien dengan dokter dan kualitasnya karena masih rendahnya rasio jumlah dokter dengan total populasi, yang menyebabkan tingkat ketergantungan pasien yang tinggi.

Dampaknya, dengan semakin banyaknya jumlah pasien dan tingkat kunjungan yang meningkat, menyebabkan dokter harus membatasi konsultasi sekitar 2-5 menit per pasien. Sedangkan dari sisi pemerintah, tantangannya adalah bagaimana meningkatkan kualitas kesehatan masyarakat, sambil tetap menjaga pengeluaran pembiayaan kesehatan nasional ini di bawah kontrol.


  • Kuo, Yu-Ying. Cross-National Comparison of Taiwan, Japan, US, and UK’s Health Insurance System. Department of Public Policy and Management, Shih Hsin University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Wu, Tai Yin, Majeed, Azeem and Kuo, Ken N. (2010). An overview of the healthcare system in Taiwan. London Journal of Primary Care 2010; 3:115–19,Royal College of General Practitioners

[Share] Untuk Para Calonku

Semenjak Sabtu yang lalu, semangatku untuk segera berjumpa dan membersamaimu semakin menggebu. Dukungan dari berbagai pihak, terutama restu orang tua, semakin memudahkan langkah dan menguatkan hatiku untuk segera menyusul dan menjadi bagian darimu.

Sebenarnya, sudah sejak lama hati ini ingin, namun apa daya keberanianku belum terkumpul karena berbagai hal dan pertimbangan.

Dan kini keberanian untuk sudah ada. Alhamdulillah, aku sangat mensyukuri pertemuan dengan 2 orang ibu dan seorang bapak pada Sabtu yang lalu di timur lapangan Banteng. Petunjuk dari-Nya melalui ketiga orang tersebut membuat pikiranku lebih terbuka dan lebih serius untuk merencanakan pertemuan kita.

Agar langkah dan rencana ini semakin nyata dalam bayangan, kucari beragam informasi untuk semakin memantapkan diri menemukanmu sebagai tempat berlabuhku. Paling tidak, untuk saat ini sudah kutemukan empat calon. Mereka adalah:

1) Kyoto University – Kyoto, Jepang
Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies (Doctoral program) – Division of Global Area Studies – Islamic World Studies. More info: http://www.asafas.kyoto-u.ac.jp/dl/about/ASAFAS_gaiyo2014.pdf


2) Waseda University – Tokyo, Jepang
Graduate School of Social Sciences (Doctoral program) and Institute for Asian Muslim Studies. More info: http://www.kikou.waseda.ac.jp/jyuten/en/WSD322_open.php?KikoId=06&kbn=1&KenkyujoId=3T


3) Fatih Sultan Mehmet Waqf University – Istanbul, Turki
Alliance of Civilizations Institute – PhD Program in Civilization studies. More info: http://medit.fsm.edu.tr/Application-Medit–Ph-D-Application


4) Leiden University – Leiden, Netherlands 
Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS). More info: http://hum.leiden.edu/lias/phd/prospective.html


(Sementara baru empat, untuk calon-calon lain yang akan menyusul :D)

Walau belum tahu ke mana jodoh dan rejeki untukku, namun untukmu para calonku, semoga Allah mempermudahkan kita untuk berjumpa tahun depan :”). Dan semoga Allah meridhoi kebersamaan kita untuk 3 – 5 tahun ke depan nanti.

[Video] China – How to Be a Leader

Watch video here: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNjIxNjAyNzM2.html
Watch video here:

Kartun ini sangat menarik untuk disimak, terutama bagi mahasiswa or pembelajar studi hubungan internasional untuk memahami bagaimana proses pemilihan pemimpin di Amerika, Inggris, dan China. Video yang kudapat link-nya dari Mas NRY (bapak Dosen di UGM –> maturnuwun sanget mas :D), cukup menjelaskan alasan “China Miracle”.

Berikut ringkasan dari link videonya:
The “How Leaders Are Made” video, which has been viewed more than 1 million times since it was uploaded on Oct. 15, presents cartoon characters representing China’s President Xi Jinping and the six other men who make up the country’s ruling Standing Committee.

Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/10/17/whats-the-secret-to-chinas-incredible-success/#ixzz2iaTmNKBq

[Academic] Russia and China Presence in Central Asia

Russia and China Presence in Central Asia; 
Rivalry and Cooperation on Economics, Energy and Security Issues

Since the collapsing of the Soviet Union in 1991, there were some significant changes on the constellation of international geo-politics in Euro-Asia, specifically in Central Asia . Even after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Moscow has retained extensive political, economic, and security ties with the Central Asia countries (Weitz, 2008: 52).

Ariel Cohen, argued that Greater Central Asia, which includes Iran and Afghanistan, is vital for Russia as a source of hydrocarbons and other raw materials. This region is also a strategic transit route for Russia pipelines and rail roads which could become part of the “New Silk Road” for formidable developmental engine. However, the region is a major geopolitical battleground between China, which is a regional emerging power, with Russia (Central Asia Program, 2012).

China, as the closest big country with Russia, has some development on its relationship with Russia also with its neighboring countries of the former Soviet Union in terms of trade and political cooperation (Burles, 1999: ix). Burles (1999) also mentioned that Russia and Central Asia become major suppliers of energy resources to China’s rapidly growing economy.

Relations between Russia – China and China – Central Asia can be said as complicated since the leader in Moscow and the capitals of Central Asian countries seen the China’s growing power as a threat (Burles, 1999: ix). From geopolitical perspective, Central Asia has been becoming a “contestation zone” in terms of security, energy resources and commercial opportunities. Burles mentioned that China’s growing presence in Central Asia may be indicative of its impending ascendance in continental Asia, and may provide secure land links between China and states in the Middle East (and possibly even Europe) who share the China’s ambivalence toward American power.

Richard Weitz (2008: 51) mentioned that Central Asia represents the geographic region where the security interests of China and Russia most overlap. However, this shared security interests mean that the newly independent states of Central Asia, such as: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, have not become venues for rivalry between Moscow and Beijing, but rather major unifying elements in Chinese-Russian relations.

With the weakening influence of Russia in the independent state in Central Asia, in this paper, the author would like to describe about how are the current Russia presence and influence in the region, especially its contestation with China as newly leading economic power, especially in terms of economics, energy and security issues.

Economic Potential in Central Asia


To understand how Russia and China interest in Central Asia, firstly we should understand what the importance of this region is. Central Asia has emerged as one of the world’s fastest growing regions since the late 1990s and has shown notable development potential, that is significant for a region comprising largely of small landlocked economies with no access to the sea for trade.

Dowling and Wignaraja (2006: 16) mentioned four advantages of the region. First, the region contains a significant base of the world’s natural resources (including oil, natural gas, gold, and other metals) and its economic prospects are closely linked to international commodity prices. Second, from geopolitical perspective, it is strategically positioned as a gateway between Europe and Asia and offers extensive potential for trade, investment, and growth.

Third, the region spans a vast geographical area, with widely differing natural conditions. Many economies are landlocked and have harsh climates, both of which impose large transactions costs on economic activity. Fourth, all the economies have had a legacy of socialist-oriented economic policies and several have embarked on market-oriented reforms emphasizing macroeconomic stabilization, trade openness, and private sector development.

Russia Interest in Central Asia


With this situation, Russian puts its economic goals in Central Asia that includes; ensuring its firms participate in developing the region’s energy resources and Central Asian oil and gas exporters continue to use Russian pipelines. Russian companies and business groups control much of the transportation systems for Central Asia’s oil , gas and electricity.

Richard Weitz (2008: 52-53) mentioned that Central Asia’s landlocked states still heavily rely on the Russia’s transportation, communications, supply-chain and other networks. It relates to the legacy of the integrated Soviet economy. The manufacturers from this region remain similarly dependent on Russian spare parts, technology and services. In other words, Central Asia is an area of special Russian influence. Furthermore, much Russian influence and assistance in Central Asia is legitimate and vital, such as: over drug-trafficking, illegal migration and some forms of security cooperation. Russia has genuine security interests in Central Asia, but it would be more convincing if it did not play the security card when no such threat exists (Nixey, 2012: 8).

In other side, many Russian companies still rely on Central Asian suppliers for essential natural resources, equipment, and other inputs. Russian firms have made some progress in developing suppliers in Russia to replace or supplement sources in other former Soviet states. The recent surge in world oil and gas prices has facilitated a major resurgence of Russian public and private investment in Central Asia.

Although most of Central Asian countries are landlocked and have historically depended on the Russia Federation for trade linkages, the growing forces of globalization will be increasingly important for the future trade prospects for this region (Dowling and Wignaraja, 2006: 82). But, for at least the next few years, Russia will continue to derive soft power from its Soviet legacy.

China Interest in Central Asia

Historically, China had ties for centuries with Central Asia, but since the 19th century, Soviet control of the region severed these relations and contacts (Weitz, 2008: 54). After the collapsing of USSR in 1991, China has reemerged as a major player in the region. China provides the Central Asian states vital non-Russian transportation routes through which the states can interact with international markets (Burles, 1999: xi).

Most importantly, China’s growing energy needs represent another force driving its increased interest and involvement in Central Asia. China’s growing interest in securing Central Asia oil and gas could lead Beijing to reconsider its policy of regional deference. Richard Weitz (2008) argued that with the combination of a booming economy and declining domestic energy production, it results China’s importation of an increasingly large percentage of its oil and natural gas. Chinese policy makers have sought to enhance their access to energy resources from Central Asia, as well as Russia (Weitz, 2008: 56).

Another concern of China in Central Asia is its economic relations and cross border trade with Central Asia countries. Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) is one of six autonomous regions in China. Its location in China’s western border, make Xinjiang become special in the eye of central government in Beijing. Xinjiang has unique geopolitical situation, where it becomes the frontier of China with Central Asia. China views Xinjiang as a continental bridge which extends China’s reach to Central Asia and simultaneously serves as a buffer to China proper (Warikoo, 2011).

Xinjiang is susceptible to various influences and has had a history of interaction with Russia and Russia’s central Asian republics, which is an economic advantage for China. But in other side it also becomes a serious liability. China’s program to develop the west and Xinjiang’s economic viability hinges on trade with near neighbors. However, as China moves to create infrastructure to integrate Xinjiang into the region, it created an undesired influences into the province.

In order to develop Xinjiang economy, China government also tries to expand its economic influence to Central Asia. Warikoo (2011) explained that central government created special economic zones to facilitate cross border trade of Xinjiang with adjoining Central Asian Republics, in a manner that most of the business and trade remain in the hands of Chinese. Xinjiang also used as a spring board to penetrate and influence Central Asian economy, polity and society (Warikoo, 2011: 181).

Shared Russian – Chinese Interest


Central Asia perhaps represents the geographic region where the security interests of China and Russia most intersect. Russia and China often compete for Central Asian energy supplies and commercial opportunities. These two governments share a desire to limit instability in the region (Weitz, 2008: 60).

The fact that now the countries of Central Asia still remain economically and politically oriented toward Moscow, albeit to varying degrees. This orientation is the product of Russia’s long domination of the region. But, with the declining of Russian power, Burles argued that China’s influence in Central Asia will be growing. The countries of Central Asia, even regions within individual countries, are slowly reorienting themselves in directions more appropriate to their geographic position, political conditions, and economic needs (Burles, 1999: 51).

China has never expressed any interest in spreading influence when formulating its own policies into Central Asia. However, as China’s economic, political and military power grows, this behavior toward deeper involvement of China in Central Asian affairs is likely to change. As it mentioned before, China’s main policy priorities involve avoiding instability in the region, securing access to energy resources and expanding economic cooperation.

The issue of ethnic separatism and terrorism in their border territories become the major concern of these countries in terms of security. China opposes the spread of extremism movement in Central Asia and supports the region’s security. Beijing’s primary motivation for this action is to minimize the potential for instability emerging in the region that might threaten its domestic stability and economic development (Burles, 1999: xi).

Another issue on regional stability and security is the US military presence in Central Asia, which creates the government of both Russia and China feel clearly uneasy. The regional instability following from the US invasion of Iraq that have seen the deposition of pro-Moscow governments around Russia’s borders have led many influential Russian to see the US presence as a major source of instability in its own rights (Weitz, 2008: 61). Russian and Chinese leaders have avoided directly challenging the American military presence in Central Asia. Despite the overlapping interests of Russia and China, their policies in the Central Asia region still frequently conflict.

As for the energy issues, in some respects, China and Russia should be natural energy partners. Chinese energy demand is soaring and Russia’s oil and gas deposits lie much closer to China than the more distant energy sources Africa and the Persian Gulf (Weitz, 2008: viii).

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization


The overlapping security interests between Russia and China have manifested themselves most visibly in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (Weitz, 2008: 65). The making of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is become one of the ways to accelerating regional integrations and cooperation between Russian, China and Central Asia countries.

SCO started in 1996 and 1997, when Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan signed a document that established the ‘Shanghai Five’ to deal with border delimitation and fostering trust and good neighborly relations between the five countries. Then in June 2001 Uzbekistan joined the ‘Shanghai Five’ and then they signed the Declaration on the Establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (Kalra and Saxena, 2007). Since its founding, SCO has essentially functioned as a Chinese-Russian condominium that provides Beijing and Moscow with a convenient multilateral framework to manage their interests in the newly independent countries of Central Asia (Weitz, 2008: 65).

SCO engages the Central Asian nations with Russia and China in the region, also observer countries, such as Afghanistan, Mongolia, India, Pakistan and Iran. The aim of SCO is not only about security and balance of power, but also focusing on economic and social integration of the region and has gone to great lengths to create confidence in its desire to promote prosperity and cooperation (Kalra and Saxena, 2007). The goals of the SCO are to encourage trade links, social and political cooperation, find joint solutions to problems of environment, infrastructure, education, and to build scientific and cultural links between member states, the region as a whole and internationally. The future of the SCO lays more and more in the realm of economic and social issues.

However, since 2003 the SCO has sponsored a number of anti-terrorist exercises that involve paramilitary as well as intelligence and law enforcement personnel. China and Kyrgyzstan in 2002 conducted the first bilateral anti-terror exercise within the SCO framework.


With the weakening of Russia, its influence in Central Asia is declining. This reality becomes a great chance for China to take over Russia’s influence in the region. However, Russia still has a dominant energy presence in Central Asia. Interesting argument from Nixey (2012) it mentioned that if the most Central Asian given a choice between dominion by Russia or by China, they would currently choose Russia. It shows that China should be patient to take this chance fully. The situation might be more complicated with the presence of the US military base in Central Asia, which can disturb the balance of power.

For China, influence in the Central Asia is a means to achieve other domestic and foreign policy objectives such as securing energy resources. But for Russia, influence is, at least in part, an end in itself (Nixey, 2012).


[Academic] China Soft Power in SEA?

Berhubung nilai semester 2 kemaren sudah keluar semua (Alhamdulillah), maka paper dan tugas kuliah sudah bisa saya publish di sini. Anyway, maafkan saya yang akhir-akhir ini terlalu malas untuk menulis dan meng-update blog, dan memilih jalur singkat dengan cara upload tugas XD. Selamat membaca, terutama yang tertarik dengan studi China.

Reading Note: China Soft Power in South East Asia


This reading note is based on the article written by H.H. Michael Hsiao and Alan Yang, titled Soft Power Politics in the Asia Pacific: Chinese and Japanese Quests for Regional Leadership. It was explained about two countries on struggling for leadership in SEA. Located in strategic position, South East Asia (SEA) region and ASEAN as regional organization become significant for strong economic power such as China, Japan and South Korea. Not only its geopolitical situation, SEA has abundance of natural resources that being needed for industrial countries, as well as its market potential.

Since the 1990s, China has strengthened its relations with ASEAN states in fields of foreign aid, trade, finance, infrastructure, business, labor, environment, and development as well as tourism (Hsiao & Yang, 2009). Not only hard power, another approach to spread the influence of a country is by soft power. The essence of Joseph Nye’s concept of soft power is an ability to attract others; such an attraction serves to persuade others to accept one’s purposes without explicit threat or violent exchange. The soft power of a country rests primarily on three resources: its culture (in places where it is attractive to others), its political values (when it lives up to them at home and abroad), and its foreign policies (when they are seen as legitimate and having moral authority) (Nye, 2013).

China’s soft power in SEA, especially in grass-root level, in my opinion is perhaps not yet as successful as Japan and South Korea’s Halyu. Japan soft power diplomacy has been exist for decade, while China relatively new on emphasizing their soft power. From the 2008 opinion poll on Japan’s image in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, it results that Japan is a trustworthy friend for ASEAN countries; friendly to their country; and respondents had positive images of Japan’s economic and technical contribution to their country. These results demonstrate a warming attitude of ASEAN people to Japan and corroborate the efficacy of Tokyo’s soft power diplomacy (in Hsiao & Yang, 2009).

What made China is not successful enough for its soft power in SEA? I argue that beside of different starting time, another factor that might be very important for China to be more influential is its domestic political situation. Chin (2013) mentioned that the lack of serious political reform in China caused its soft power has not directly translated into more supportive views of its quest for status and legitimacy. With respect to the latter, it will be increasingly difficult for the government to prevent its domestic record on political and civil freedoms from affecting China’s international credibility.

In article titled “What China and Russia Don’t Get About Soft Power?”, Nye argued that for a rising power like China whose growing economic and military might frightens its neighbors into counter-balancing coalitions, a smart strategy includes soft power to make China look less frightening and the balancing coalitions less effective. China makes the mistake of thinking that government is the main instrument of soft power. In today’s world, information is not scarce but attention is, and attention depends on credibility. Nye’s view on soft power springs is largely from individuals, the private sector, and civil society. So that for China to succeed, it will need to match words and deeds in their policies, be self-critical, and unleash the full talents of their civil societies.

China might be powerful economically, but it seems that from soft-power influence, it will be a long way for China to “conquer” SEA social and culturally.


[Academic] India’s Growing Importance in Asia: Look East Policy

#India gak cuma tentang Bollywood en kari :). Dalam postingan kali ini, ku-copaskan tulisanku seputar kebijakan India tentang “Look East Policy”. Selamat membaca 🙂

India’s Growing Importance in Asia: Look East Policy


After the end of Cold War and the fall of Soviet Union, India was change its foreign policy orientation with a policy called “Look East Policy”. Look East Policy shows India’s efforts to develop extensive economic and strategic relations with Southeast Asia countries for creating and maintaining regional power in this area, as well as to counter China’s strategic influence (not only in economic, but also in military and security aspects). In 1990’s, there was a global trend towards regionalism and the increase of China’s influence in Southeast Asia, so that India need to swift their previous policy towards this region.

One aspect that should be understood very well about India’s Look East Policy is its geopolitical situation (Chanda and Gopalan, 2009). India faces big challenge to create and develop relations with its neighbor countries in South Asia and West Asia. For West Asia and Middle East, these regions has unstable political situation, while South Asia, Central Asia and Afghanistan lack the potential for cooperation (Hong, 2007). The India’s failure in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) because of the lack of political trust and economic progress, interestingly are used by China to build closer relations with India’s neighbors such as Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Burma (Hong, 2007).

To grow up bigger, India needs to build relations with more powerful and stronger economic potential. As from security point of view, India has serious problem in some disputed area with Pakistan and China which can change the shape of South Asia.


Although India is still relatively weak in terms of economic and political power, it seems that this Look East Policy is quite offensive in term of India’s efforts on spreading its influence. Zhao Hong mentioned that India realized that if it wanted to have a significant role as a major power, India should complete its transition from a “South Asian regional power” to an “Asian major power” and eventually become a “major world power”. India also must develop political and economic relations with ASEAN and use them as a bridge with which to connect itself to East Asia (Hong, 2007). ASEAN countries realized that with the rise of India, they can reduce their dependence on Japan, the Western countries, and China in trade and economic relations.

With that reasons, India established some bilateral and multilateral cooperation with Southeast Asia countries, such as; with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV), BIMSTEC, Mekong-Ganga Cooperation. India also trying to become ASEAN’s dialogue partner in many forums such as ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN – India Summit, ASEAN+6, East Asia Summit, and ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity.

One of interesting part from Hong analysis is about the impact of the India factor on the future of Sino-ASEAN relations. He said that this condition may well depend upon the extent to which India’s economic potential can be translated into political and strategic influence. Balance-of power politics will continue to inform Sino-India rivalry in Myanmar, Vietnam, and other ASEAN countries.This India’s policy also related to the US, where China was also concerned that the United States might manipulate India’s evolving relations with ASEAN in order to contain China or “smother” China’s attempt to exert its influence in the region (Hong, 2007).


Hong, Zhao. 2007. India and China: Rivals or Partners in Southeast Asia?, Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 29, No. 1 (2007), pp. 121-42.

[Academic] North Korea Issues

As usual, I copy and paste my essays on National Development Policy in the Asia-Pacific Region class, especially for the North Korean part. In early 2013, North Korea and Kim Jong Eun became a hot topic in international affairs. Here are some of my opinions on some issues in this country :). Happy reading :D!


In the early of 2013, again, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) did a controversial and aggressive behavior by doing third nuclear test. The first and second tests were conducted in 2006 and 2009. In January 2013, North Korea announced that they would carry out a third high-level nuclear test and launch more long-range rocket that aimed at the US and US close allies in East Asia region such as South Korea and Japan. All these unfriendly behavior made North Korea or DPRK become isolated from international community with economic embargo and sanction, which impacted to its economy and created some serious domestic problem.


DPRK has been one of the world’s isolated countries and most secretive societies by the communist and dictatorship rule. DPRK face a dilemma because of its economy stagnancy, especially since the end of the Cold War. Its economy mostly came from agricultural sector that heavily dictated by weather. Floods and drought becomes the biggest enemy for this sector. Another one is manufacturing production, which is really dependent on electricity and oil supplies from foreign countries.

However, even though there are a lot of serious cases inside the country, DPRK stubbornness won’t stop. And surprisingly they still can “calm” with all the pressure from international world. What makes them still can survive?

In my opinion, the first reason why DPRK still can survive in its bad shape economy and unfriendly international community because of North Korea has nuclear and missile program as its bargaining power. Dick K. Nanto (2006) said that the North Korean leaders in Pyongyang have only limited options remaining as they have placed their nuclear weapons program on the bargaining table in exchange for economic assistance, security assurance, and normalization of relations with the United States, Japan, and South Korea.

The second reason is because DPRK’s economy is still heavily dependent on foreign assistance to handle starvation of the people. For covering up the domestic problem, DRPK has been using their bargaining power (that is nuclear program) for gaining more foreign aid. Nanto and Avery (2010) in their report mentioned that the country wants to join the club of nuclear and space powers and to be an Asian tiger economy. DPRK uses “charm offensive” that seems aimed at restoring inflows of economic assistance and trade flows. This “charm offensive” defined as specific actions to ease tensions with the United States and South Korea and appears to have reinvigorated its relationship with China.

Giving North Korean international assistance such as: food, energy and denuclearization assistance has always been a dilemmatic position for the donor, especially; the US, South Korea, China and Japan. From Manyin and Nikitin (2012) writings, it mentioned that between 1995 and 2008, the United States provided North Korea with over $1.3 billion in assistance: just over 50% for food aid and about 40% for energy assistance. But since early 2009, the United States has provided virtually no aid to North Korea.

North Korea has been suffering from chronic, massive food shortages since the mid-1990s where 40 percent of the population still suffers from malnutrition caused by the starvation. To fill those gaps, countries such as China, South Korea, and the United States and also the United Nations have been giving them food aid.

On February 29, 2012, after bilateral talks with the United States, North Korea announced a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests, and nuclear activities (including uranium enrichment) at its Yongbyon nuclear facilities. In exchange, the US announced that they would provide North Korea with 240,000 metric tons of food aid but in condition that the food aid on progress in security and/or human rights matters; and linked the assistance to Pyongyang for easing its restrictions on monitoring (Manyin and Nikitin, 2012).

As for the energy assistance, between 1995 and 2009, the United States provided around $600 million in energy assistance to DPRK that was given to two time periods in 1995-2003 and in 2007-2009. In exchange, North Korea was being asked to freezing its plutonium-based nuclear facilities. However, when the assistance not provided anymore since year 2009, DPRK withdrew from the Six-Party Talks and Korea launched several long-range missile and ran a nuclear device test.

Continue to next page….

[Academic] Discussion: Secularism and Political Islam in Turkey and Indonesia

Kamis, 30 Mei 2013 kemarin kampusku kedatangan tamu spesial dari Belanda. Beliau bernama Prof. Martin van Bruinessen. Beliau hadir ke Taiwan dalam rangka undangan dari Institute of International Relations dan NCCU (alias kampusku) untuk memberikan kuliah tamu dengan topik “Secularism and Political Islam in Turkey and Indonesia; A Comparison of State-Islam relations and Social Dynamics in Two Major Muslim Countries”. Saat membaca pengumuman ini, daku seketika langsung bersemangat karena topiknya cukup membuat penasaran.

Oya, sebagai informasi, Prof Martin ini adalah Anthropolog yang ahli dalam bidang studi Islam dan Muslim di Turki dan Indonesia. Beliau pernah tinggal lama, baik di Turki maupun di Indonesia (hampir 10 tahun). Maka gak heran kalau bliau sangat fasih berbicara dalam dua bahasa ini. Sekarang, beliau sedang jadi visiting professor di National University of Singapore (NUS). Fyi lagi, istri beliau ternyata orang Indonesia lho :D! Dan beliau sendiri adalah seorang Muslim.


Sebenernya ada banyak poin penting dan menarik dalam diskusi ini, terutama karena aye mengajukan cukup banyak pertanyaan ke beliau. wkwkwk…. But, ntar aye buat tulisan khusus (catatan pribadi dan hasil perenungan diskusinya) di lain kesempatan ya. Need longer time to write it. Sementara ini, di postingan sini yang aye share slide presentasi beliau dulu nggih. Kalau ada pertanyaan atau hal yang kurang jelas, bisa ditanyakan ke aye. Jaa, selamat membaca 🙂

Secularism and Political Islam in Turkey and Indonesia; A Comparison of State-Islam relations and Social Dynamics in Two Major Muslim Countries

By: Prof. Martin van Bruinessen (Utrecht University)

NCCU – Thursday, May 30, 2013


Some similarities of Turkey and Indonesia:

  1. Both are multi party democracies in which elections can and do overthrow the established government
  2. In both the military have often intervened in politics, claiming a unique position as founders and defenders of the secular republic
  3. Tense relations between the army and organized Islam
  4. Both turkey and Indonesia are secular states, though of different types
  5. Both in Turkey and in Indonesia there have been movements for the establishment of an Islamic state
  6. Both turkey and Indonesia have Islamist parties that became successful by broadening their base and renouncing on the Islamic state (AKP and PKS)

Less similar:

  1. Responses to ideological influences from the Arab Middle East (Di Indonesia, Hizbut Tahrir, Ikhwanul Muslimin, Salafy movement dapat dukungan yang cukup besar. Indonesia dapat pengaruh influence dari pemikiran Islam di LN. Sedangkan di Turki, organisasi muslim tapi basisnya di Turki, bukan pengaruh dari Timur Tengah)
  2. Role of Muslim political parties
  3. Intellectual aspects: development of modern Muslim theological thought vs piety  movements

Types of secular regimes:

  • Separation state and religion rarely complete, see Germany and great Britain
  • Protecting religion from the state/ guarantee religious freedom (USA)
  • Protecting the state from interference by religion (most extreme form: protecting all politics from religion, as in France)
  • Neutrality of the state towards religions(India, Netherlands)
  • Control of religion by the state (Turkey) à imam merupakan PNS
  • Recognition of (certain) religions (Indonesia)

Secularism and secularization:

  • A secular regime does  not mean that the citizens are secular in the sense of giving little importance to religion
  • A secular regime does not necessarily mean that society is secularized
  • Even in a secular state, religion may play a major public role (Casanova)

Indonesian and Turkish secularism

  1. Turkey: Kemalism replaced religious institutions by secular ones and made great efforts to protect the state from religion (or from society?)
  2. Indonesia: Pancasila proclaims neutrality in religion (but not entirely, for non-religion in not tolerated). In legal system, religion put into the part of the law

Turkey’s Secularism

  • No place for shariah in legislation or public life, no religious courts, only western civil law courts
  • Organization based on Islam not allowed
  • Diyanet (Religious Affairs Directorate): huge bureaucracy, controlling mosques and Imams
  • Imam-khatib schools to train religious person

Indonesia’s Secularism

  • Islamic courts for family law only; recently syariah based local regulations
  • Islamic state rejected, but Islamic parties major part of the landscape
  • Ministry of religious affairs in charge of religious education, hajj, etc. state and private religious education give access to public higher education
  • Majelis Ulama Indonesia: from government legitimizer to independent agenda setting actor


  • The elites that founded and governed Turkey and Indonesia in their early decades were secular. The pious segments of the population remained economically and culturally backward
  • Social mobility through institutions of religious education
  • C. 1980’s: emergence of Muslim middle class and counter-elite, Muslim lifestyles

Impact of the Islamic Resurgence

  • Indonesia: ex Masyumi party links up with Muslim Brothers and Rabita
  • Arabic Islamist thought has increasing impact on disaffected Muslims
  • Numerous Indonesians study in Egypt or Saudi
  • Turkey: limited influence Muslim Brothers in 1960s-1970s; contacts with Miili Gorus
  • Iranian revolution impacts on both in stimulating religious social thought (1978-1979)
  • Various transnational movements (Muslim Brothers, Hizbut Tahrir, Salafi) gain influence in Indonesia (and much less in Turkey)
  • After fall of Suharto these Islamist trends highly visible
  • Indonesian Muslim political parties fail to mobilize large numbers, and gradually decline, with the exception of PKS
  • Turkey’s AKP renounces on Islamic agenda and becomes hegemonic representative of conservative Turkey – effectively an alternative to Arab style Islamic movements

Muslim middle class cultures

  • Indonesia:
  1. regime policies benefit a growing middle class under Suharto apolitical but intellectually challenging Muslim discourses flourish
  2. Later increasingly individualizing ‘self-improvement’ types of religious training and Islamic consumerism. “Market Islam” à in banking (syariah banking), halal products and certifying halal
  3. Prosperity religion
  • Turkey:
  1. 1980s neoliberal restructuring and the Anatolian Tigers
  2. Refah and AKP capture new constituencies and expand beyond their original Islamist base
  3. Flourishing of ‘cemaat’ (congregations)

Greater visibility of Islam in both:

  • Muslim parties lose credibility in Indonesia; the main Turkish Muslim party has no Muslim program anymore, but has become near-hegemonic
  • Political Islam is marginalized


  • Indonesian Islam mostly at the receiving end of global flows (both fundamentalist and liberal cosmopolitan)
  • Turkish Islam increasingly self-confident and presents itself as alternative to Brotherhood or Salafi type Arabian versions of Islam
  • AKP as model for Islamist parties elsewhere
  • Gulen movement and other cemaat engage in foreign missions

[Academic] Taiwan’s Identity

#Bagi yang tertarik dengan studi Cross-Strait Relations antara Taiwan dan China, dan juga sejarah Taiwan silakan baca postingan ini ya :D!


Kemarin malam, seorang kawan bertanya padaku terkait sejarah Taiwan. “Sebenernya, gimana sih status Taiwan?”. Nah, pas banget hari Kamis yang lalu, aku melakukan presentasi dalam kuliah Political Development in Taiwan. Sengaja mengambil kelas ini supaya bisa lebih memahami hal-hal yang terjadi di Taiwan, serta juga bisa belajar latar belakang sejarah Taiwan yang cukup complicated dengan statusnya.

Di postingan kali ini, aku copaskan rangkuman dari tugas bacaan dan presentasiku. Selamat membaca 🙂

The Evolution of the KMT’s Stance on the One China Principle: National Identity in Flux

By: Wu Yu-Shan (2011)


This chapter explained about how the old force has been striving to maintain its political relevance by reformulating its ideals and reconciling Chinese and Taiwanese identities.

Two competing identities in Taiwan; one advocated by the KMT and the pan-Blue camp, while the other is by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the pan-green camp. The comparison of the two identities is based on their historiography, their identification of status quo, and their preference for the future of the nation. These two dominant identities are competing for supremacy; a pro-unification stance advocated by the KMT and a pro-independence position championed by the DPP.

The important discussion in this chapter is about the 1992 Consensus, different interpretations of “One China”. KMT government and Taiwan concerned that One China is referred to the Republic of China. Two sides of the strait have different opinions about the meaning of One China. To Beijing, One China means the People’s Republic of China (PRC) with Taiwan to become a Special Administrative Region after unification. For Taipei, considers One China as Republic of China (ROC), founded in 1912 and with de jure sovereignty over all of China.


Wu also described about the electoral cycle and power position of KMT regarding Taiwan’s national identity orientation. Wu argued that KMT are being pragmatic by shifting their orientation; when the party is in power position, it forms the government and the concern of party leadership is becoming realist; how to deal with Beijing. While the party is out of power, KMT leadership becoming fundamentalist especially between electoral competitions, and shifting to centrist during the electoral competition in order to gain more support and public vote.

In the end, regarding Taiwan’s national identity, majority opinion in Taiwan has always been for maintaining the status quo. Ma even offered a three no’s policy: no unification, no independence and no use of force, which representing status quo stand.


Nah, untuk lengkapnya silakan unduh dan baca slide presentasiku di sini: Political Dev in Taiwan ya :), Kalau ada yang kurang jelas atau mau didiskusikan lebih lanjut, jom sila komentar ^^!

Trus sebagai informasi tambahan, berikut link data grafik dari penelitian yang dilakukan oleh Election Study Center – NCCU terkait: