Sovereign state in Southeast Asia situated on more than 17,000 islands
Top 10 Indonesia related articles
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Government and politics
- 4 Geography
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Republic of Indonesia
Republik Indonesia (Indonesian)
Anthem: Indonesia Raya
(English: "Great Indonesia")
and largest city
|Over 700 languages|
|Ethnic groups||Over 1,300 ethnic groups|
|Government||Unitary presidential constitutional republic|
|Legislature||People's Consultative Assembly (MPR)|
|Regional Representative Council (DPD)|
|People's Representative Council (DPR)|
from the Netherlands
|17 August 1945|
|27 December 1949|
|1,904,569 km2 (735,358 sq mi) (14th)|
• 2020 census
|141/km2 (365.2/sq mi) (88th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2020 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2020 estimate|
• Per capita
high · 107th
|Currency||Indonesian rupiah (Rp) (IDR)|
|Time zone||UTC+7 to +9 (various)|
|Mains electricity||220 V–50 Hz|
|ISO 3166 code||ID|
Indonesia (// (
The sovereign state is a presidential, constitutional republic with an elected legislature. It has 34 provinces, of which five have special status. The country's capital, Jakarta, is the second-most populous urban area in the world. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and the eastern part of Malaysia. Other neighbouring countries include Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia, Palau, and India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support one of the world's highest levels of biodiversity.
The Indonesian archipelago has been a valuable region for trade since at least the 7th century when Srivijaya and later Majapahit traded with entities from mainland China and the Indian subcontinent. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign influences from the early centuries and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Sunni traders and Sufi scholars brought Islam, while Christianity were brought mostly through European explorers. Although sometimes interrupted by the Portuguese, French and British, the Dutch were the foremost colonial power for much of their 350-year presence in the archipelago. The concept of "Indonesia" as a nation-state emerged in the early 20th century, culminating later in the proclamation of Indonesian Independence in 1945. However, it was not until 1949 that the Dutch recognised Indonesia's sovereignty following an armed and diplomatic conflict between the two.
Indonesia consists of hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups, with the largest one being the Javanese. A shared identity has developed with the motto "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity" literally, "many, yet one"), defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a Muslim-majority population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. The economy of Indonesia is the world's 15th largest by nominal GDP and 7th by GDP at PPP. Indonesia is a regional power in Southeast Asia and is considered a middle power in global affairs. The country is a member of several multilateral organisations, including the United Nations, World Trade Organization, G20, and a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), East Asia Summit, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Indonesia Intro articles: 110
The name Indonesia derives from Greek words of Indos (Ἰνδός) and nesos (νῆσος), meaning "Indian islands". The name dates to the 18th century, far predating the formation of independent Indonesia. In 1850, George Windsor Earl, an English ethnologist, proposed the terms Indunesians—and, his preference, Malayunesians—for the inhabitants of the "Indian Archipelago or Malay Archipelago". In the same publication, one of his students, James Richardson Logan, used Indonesia as a synonym for Indian Archipelago. However, Dutch academics writing in East Indies publications were reluctant to use Indonesia; they preferred Malay Archipelago (Dutch: Maleische Archipel); the Netherlands East Indies (Nederlandsch Oost Indië), popularly Indië; the East (de Oost); and Insulinde.
After 1900, Indonesia became more common in academic circles outside the Netherlands, and native nationalist groups adopted it for political expression. Adolf Bastian of the University of Berlin popularized the name through his book Indonesien oder die Inseln des Malayischen Archipels, 1884–1894. The first native scholar to use the name was Ki Hajar Dewantara when in 1913, he established a press bureau in the Netherlands, Indonesisch Pers-bureau.
Indonesia Etymology articles: 10
Fossilised remains of Homo erectus, popularly known as the "Java Man", suggest the Indonesian archipelago was inhabited two million to 500,000 years ago. Homo sapiens reached the region around 43,000 BCE. Austronesian peoples, who form the majority of the modern population, migrated to Southeast Asia from what is now Taiwan. They arrived in the archipelago around 2,000 BCE and confined the native Melanesian peoples to the far eastern regions as they spread east. Ideal agricultural conditions and the mastering of wet-field rice cultivation as early as the eighth century BCE allowed villages, towns, and small kingdoms to flourish by the first century CE. The archipelago's strategic sea-lane position fostered inter-island and international trade, including with Indian kingdoms and Chinese dynasties, from several centuries BCE. Trade has since fundamentally shaped Indonesian history.
From the seventh century CE, the Srivijaya naval kingdom flourished as a result of trade and the influences of Hinduism and Buddhism. Between the eighth and tenth centuries CE, the agricultural Buddhist Sailendra and Hindu Mataram dynasties thrived and declined in inland Java, leaving grand religious monuments such as Sailendra's Borobudur and Mataram's Prambanan. The Hindu Majapahit kingdom was founded in eastern Java in the late 13th century, and under Gajah Mada, its influence stretched over much of present-day Indonesia. This period is often referred to as a "Golden Age" in Indonesian history.
The earliest evidence of Islamized populations in the archipelago dates to the 13th century in northern Sumatra. Other parts of the archipelago gradually adopted Islam, and it was the dominant religion in Java and Sumatra by the end of the 16th century. For the most part, Islam overlaid and mixed with existing cultural and religious influences, which shaped the predominant form of Islam in Indonesia, particularly in Java.
The first Europeans arrived in the archipelago in 1512, when Portuguese traders, led by Francisco Serrão, sought to monopolise the sources of nutmeg, cloves, and cubeb pepper in the Maluku Islands. Dutch and British traders followed. In 1602, the Dutch established the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and became the dominant European power for almost 200 years. The VOC was dissolved in 1800 following bankruptcy, and the Netherlands established the Dutch East Indies as a nationalised colony.
For most of the colonial period, Dutch control over the archipelago was tenuous. Dutch forces were engaged continuously in quelling rebellions both on and off Java. The influence of local leaders such as Prince Diponegoro in central Java, Imam Bonjol in central Sumatra, Pattimura in Maluku, and the bloody 30-year war in Aceh weakened the Dutch and tied up the colonial military forces. Only in the early 20th century did the Dutch dominance extend to what was to become Indonesia's current boundaries.
The Japanese invasion and subsequent occupation during World War II ended Dutch rule and encouraged the previously suppressed independence movement. Two days after the surrender of Japan in August 1945, Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta, influential nationalist leaders, proclaimed Indonesian independence and were appointed president and vice-president respectively.
The Netherlands attempted to re-establish their rule, and a bitter armed and diplomatic struggle ended in December 1949 when the Dutch formally recognised Indonesian independence in the face of international pressure. Despite extraordinary political, social and sectarian divisions, Indonesians, on the whole, found unity in their fight for independence.
Post-World War II
As president, Sukarno moved Indonesia from democracy towards authoritarianism and maintained power by balancing the opposing forces of the military, political Islam, and the increasingly powerful Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI). Tensions between the military and the PKI culminated in an attempted coup in 1965. The army, led by Major General Suharto, countered by instigating a violent anti-communist purge that killed between 500,000 and one million people. The PKI was blamed for the coup and effectively destroyed. Suharto capitalised on Sukarno's weakened position, and following a drawn-out power play with Sukarno, Suharto was appointed president in March 1968. His "New Order" administration, supported by the United States, encouraged foreign direct investment, which was a crucial factor in the subsequent three decades of substantial economic growth.
Indonesia was the country hardest hit by the 1997 Asian financial crisis. It brought out popular discontent with the New Order's corruption and suppression of political opposition and ultimately ended Suharto's presidency. In 1999, East Timor seceded from Indonesia, following its 1975 invasion by Indonesia and a 25-year occupation that was marked by international condemnation of human rights abuses.
Since 1998, democratic processes have been strengthened by enhancing regional autonomy and instituting the country's first direct presidential election in 2004. Political, economic and social instability, corruption, and instances of terrorism (the deadliest being the 2002 Bali bombings) remained problems in the 2000s; however, the economy has performed strongly in the last 15 years. Although relations among the diverse population are mostly harmonious, acute sectarian discontent and violence remain a problem in some areas. A political settlement to an armed separatist conflict in Aceh was achieved in 2005 following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that killed 130,000 Indonesians.
Indonesia History articles: 53
Government and politics
Indonesia is a republic with a presidential system. Following the fall of the New Order in 1998, political and governmental structures have undergone sweeping reforms, with four constitutional amendments revamping the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Chief among them is the delegation of power and authority to various regional entities while remaining a unitary state. The President of Indonesia is the head of state and head of government, commander-in-chief of the Indonesian National Armed Forces (Tentara Nasional Indonesia, TNI), and the director of domestic governance, policy-making, and foreign affairs. The president may serve a maximum of two consecutive five-year terms.
The highest representative body at the national level is the People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat, MPR). Its main functions are supporting and amending the constitution, inaugurating and impeaching the president, and formalising broad outlines of state policy. The MPR comprises two houses; the People's Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat, DPR), with 575 members, and the Regional Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah, DPD), with 136. The DPR passes legislation and monitors the executive branch. Reforms since 1998 have markedly increased its role in national governance, while the DPD is a new chamber for matters of regional management.
Most civil disputes appear before the State Court (Pengadilan Negeri); appeals are heard before the High Court (Pengadilan Tinggi). The Supreme Court of Indonesia (Mahkamah Agung) is the highest level of the judicial branch and hears final cessation appeals and conducts case reviews. Other courts include the Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) that listens to constitutional and political matters, and the Religious Court (Pengadilan Agama) that deals with codified Islamic Law (sharia) cases. Additionally, the Judicial Commission (Komisi Yudisial) monitors the performance of judges.
Parties and elections
Since 1999, Indonesia has had a multi-party system. In all legislative elections since the fall of the New Order, no political party has managed to win an overall majority of seats. The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which secured the most votes in the 2019 elections, is the party of the incumbent president, Joko Widodo. Other notable parties include the Party of the Functional Groups (Golkar), the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), the Democratic Party, and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).
The first general election was held in 1955 to elect members of the DPR and the Constitutional Assembly (Konstituante). The most recent elections in 2019 resulted in nine political parties in the DPR, with a parliamentary threshold of 4% of the national vote. At the national level, Indonesians did not elect a president until 2004. Since then, the president is elected for a five-year term, as are the party-aligned members of the DPR and the non-partisan DPD. Beginning with 2015 local elections, elections for governors and mayors have occurred on the same date. In 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled that legislative and presidential elections would be held simultaneously, starting in 2019.
Indonesia maintains 132 diplomatic missions abroad, including 95 embassies. The country adheres to what it calls a "free and active" foreign policy, seeking a role in regional affairs in proportion to its size and location but avoiding involvement in conflicts among other countries.
Indonesia was a significant battleground during the Cold War. Numerous attempts by the United States and the Soviet Union, and the People's Republic of China to some degree, culminated in the 1965 coup attempt and subsequent upheaval that led to a reorientation of foreign policy. Quiet alignment with the Western world while maintaining a non-aligned stance has characterised Indonesia's foreign policy since then. Today, it maintains close relations with its neighbours and is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the East Asia Summit. In common with most of the Muslim world, Indonesia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel and has actively supported Palestine. However, observers have pointed out that Indonesia has ties with Israel, albeit discreetly.
Indonesia has been a member of the United Nations since 1950 and was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Indonesia is a signatory to the ASEAN Free Trade Area agreement, the Cairns Group, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and an occasional OPEC member. During the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation, Indonesia withdrew from the UN due to the latter's election to the United Nations Security Council, although it returned 18 months later. It marked the first time in UN history that a member state had attempted a withdrawal. Indonesia has been a humanitarian and development aid recipient since 1966, and recently, the country established its first overseas aid program in late 2019.
Indonesia's Armed Forces (TNI) include the Army (TNI–AD), Navy (TNI–AL, which includes Marine Corps), and Air Force (TNI–AU). The army has about 400,000 active-duty personnel. Defence spending in the national budget was 0.7% of GDP in 2018, with controversial involvement of military-owned commercial interests and foundations. The Armed Forces were formed during the Indonesian National Revolution when it undertook guerrilla warfare along with informal militia. Since then, territorial lines have formed the basis of all TNI branches' structure, aimed at maintaining domestic stability and deterring foreign threats. The military has possessed a strong political influence since its founding, which peaked during the New Order. Political reforms in 1998 included the removal of the TNI's formal representation from the legislature. Nevertheless, its political influence remains, albeit at a reduced level.
Since independence, the country has struggled to maintain unity against local insurgencies and separatist movements. Some, notably in Aceh and Papua, have led to an armed conflict and subsequent allegations of human rights abuses and brutality from all sides. The former was resolved peacefully in 2005, while the latter continues, amid a significant, albeit imperfect, implementation of regional autonomy laws, and a reported decline in the levels of violence and human rights abuses since 2004. Other engagements of the army include the campaign against the Netherlands New Guinea to incorporate the territory into Indonesia, the Konfrontasi to oppose the creation of Malaysia, the mass killings of PKI, and the invasion of East Timor, which remains Indonesia's most massive military operation.
Indonesia has several levels of subdivisions. The first level is that of the provinces, with five out of a total of 34 having a special status. Each has a legislature (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah, DPRD) and an elected governor. This number has evolved, with the most recent change being the split of North Kalimantan from East Kalimantan in 2012. The second level is that of the regencies (kabupaten) and cities (kota), led by regents (bupati) and mayors (walikota) respectively and a legislature (DPRD Kabupaten/Kota). The third level is that of the districts (kecamatan, distrik in Papua, or kapanewon and kemantren in Yogyakarta), and the fourth is of the villages (either desa, kelurahan, kampung, nagari in West Sumatra, or gampong in Aceh).
The village is the lowest level of government administration. It is divided into several community groups (rukun warga, RW), which are further divided into neighbourhood groups (rukun tetangga, RT). In Java, the village (desa) is divided into smaller units called dusun or dukuh (hamlets), which are the same as RW. Following the implementation of regional autonomy measures in 2001, regencies and cities have become chief administrative units, responsible for providing most government services. The village administration level is the most influential on a citizen's daily life and handles village or neighbourhood matters through an elected village head (lurah or kepala desa).
Aceh, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Papua, and West Papua have greater legislative privileges and a higher degree of autonomy from the central government than the other provinces. A conservative Islamic territory, Aceh has the right to create some aspects of an independent legal system implementing sharia. Yogyakarta is the only pre-colonial monarchy legally recognised in Indonesia, with the positions of governor and vice governor being prioritised for descendants of the Sultan of Yogyakarta and Paku Alam, respectively. Papua and West Papua are the only provinces where the indigenous people have privileges in their local government. Jakarta is the only city granted a provincial government due to its position as the capital of Indonesia.