A MALAYSIAN PERSPECTIVE ON DECOLONIZATION: LESSONS FOR INDONESIA?

J. Thomas Linbald

Abstract

The great regime change in Indonesian history, represented by independence and
decolonization, had profound implications for the state apparatus, in particular in its
relationship to the economy. This contribution seeks to widen our perspective on such
change in Indonesia by reviewing evidence from the experience of adjacent Malaysia.
Particular attention is given to the indigenization of the government bureaucracy -
Indonesianisasi in Indonesia, Malayanization in Malaysia - before as well as in the
immediate aftermath of independence. Our findings underscore the recent consensus
in the international literature that the way in which the process of decolonization
occurred had enormous consequences for subsequent performance. This article argues
that Indonesia could have reaped considerable benefit if in a position to apply the
Malaysian model of indigenizing the institution of the state.
Keywords: Decolonization, Indigenization, Malayanization, Indonesianisasi

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