Emerald of The Equator: An Indonesian TL

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21.10. Race of 1988: Ups and Downs elsewhere
Faire en sorte

Paris, French Fifth Republic
May 8, 1988

The French Fifth Republic, President Mitterrand reflected, needed his political reforms so the Communist Party would survive as an entity. Surrounded by liberal democracies, France’s population was exposed to a dazzling political ambience with energetic campaigners while the one-party Communist state disheartened voters to contribute to political life. Mitterrand understood that after dismay, people will resent the government. Looking around the political stage, Mitterrand saw his fears fulfilled.

Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the Front National, had led the short-lived French civil war that plunged Southern France into notoriously nationalistic. No wonder, the remnants of Petain, then Gaulle before the Communists took over made Marseille and Lyon bastions of the anti-communist movement. In 1966 [1], barely a year after the first shots were fired, the Communists defeat Le Pen. However, they thought political perpetrators should be punished for witnessing their dreams devastated. So, Thorez did the unbelievable, putting Le Pen trialled house arrest for life, while his party was not prohibited at all. Moreover, all the rebels were not penalised, they were given options; either join Parti communiste français (PCF), under house arrest or exile someplace in Sierra Leone.

Le Pen with his family under house arrest (1983)

Communist officials denounced Thorez for this merciful penalty, but his methods worked perfectly. For two decades, the French Fifth Republic enjoyed the longest stability in all her history. Despite the Cold War returning to a US-Soviet confrontation, the French were never underestimated, cited as the Third Superpower who gained interest in Third World nations alike. The UASR and Yugoslavia had been France’s closes aides, while India and China still respected the communist nation. In Africa, revolutionary movements have been lukewarm to friendly relations except for radical Islamists who have gained traction in portions of Saharan Africa [2]. In Africa, the highest development growth put West Africa into the most loyal French subordinates. West Africa depended on France. Algeria, having incorporated into the French core territories, became a French permanent foothold in Africa, strengthening Arab-Berber spots in Tunisia, Morocco, and Mauritania (Morocco had been the most troublesome). Marchais government reflected this too, giving Africa every French money by building roads, hospitals, and housing complexes. Trans Sahara railroad was expanded to Abidjan, estimated completion of 1993. The other side of the Mediterranean was converted into French towns, although the demographics of France had become more diverse due to simultaneous birth decline in native-French and birth explosion in African French.

The Trans Saharan High-Speed Rail stretch in Mauritania. (1988)

However, the strain of demographical disparities hurt not French’s overseas holdings, but the core territories themselves. France’s native white population felt threatened with explosive rates of African immigrants flocking to urban centres, sometimes transforming neighbourhoods drastically. French core infrastructure was deteriorating also, on trivial basics like government outposts, administrative buildings, and roads. Sometimes, the French people thought the government overspent on prestigious megaprojects (nuclear arsenals, TGV, Plan Bernard) while common healthcare programs in Metropolitan France were under strain. After Mitterand came into power, the resentments diminished, but it was not enough. Mitterrand cursed Thorez for the PCF’s rule on a superiority complex. Their voluntary rule on allowing political discourse gave Front National the second chance. In addition to it, the FN has got a friend.

Front National had been the celebrated contender of the communist rule, but the disaffected voters in Metropolitan France [3] had announced a new choice, Rassemblement pour la République. Consisted of old De Gaulle fanatics, this brand of French exceptionalism and strong state reshaped opposition into a much rhetorical sentiment. Unlike the old opposition that used the race and religion card in French Metropolitan, the RPR criticized the broader communist disappointment, stemming from the loss of French status in the Cold War era. It emphasized French identity as a national liberal state that should be involved further in European theatre instead of Africa. This had been the alternative Pro-Europe party, but they wished Western Europe as their turf, not the Germans. The RPR distinguished itself with pro-monarchy FN, claiming to liberate Europe from monarchy and Soviet authoritarianism, reforming the Little Entente.

The RPR’s growth did not derive from their desires for Little Entente, but from their domestic programs which were stuffed with attractive plans. From restructuring of healthcare, pro-natal agendas and restarting the stagnated arms industry. Shifting focus from nuclear weapon research into nuclear power research, revolutionize nuclear power plants (which they almost did in the early 80s). Not only that, the RPR wished to kickstart the pharmaceutical industry, with AIDS as their main target along with drug enhancement, medical breakthroughs, and other health-related improvements. These appealing yet relatable plans gave the RPR much recognition in France. President Mitterrand noticed their upgrowing trend after the recent election tally that the PCF shrunk to nearly 70% of the Parliament seat, with FN at a stable 3% while the RPR gained almost 25% handily. Despite the Communists controlling a safe majority in the government, Mitterrand governed under the lowest majority in all of the French Fifth Republic. As mitigative efforts, Mitterrand had appeased core French citizens with more money allocated for programs in the Metropolitan. However, he had strained relations with French Africa, and with small protests government cuts there have emerged. He needed a solution quickly, or else the Republic would fall apart.

President Mitterrand remembered his name... Picard if he was not mistaken (1988)

To say France has no choice is a failure of imagination. Mitterrand listened to the young charismatic RPR activist. The RPR will work to better ourselves and the rest of France. Change is necessary for France to prevail. We will make it so. Mitterrand heard the speech reply with RPR supporters chanting the last phrase. Make it so. Faire en sorte.​

India Decentralization

Kolkatta, India
March 1, 1988

General Secretary Reddy kept pressing his cabinet members to India is facing the correct direction, following Madame Mao’s steps with Indian attributes. The Anti-Caste Revolution had been a triumph of his policies, claiming to reform Hinduism (or to destroy) [4] after more than a thousand years of cultural development. Although Janata rebels with few remnants of the Princely States heavily condemned Reddy and Communist India, the populace endorsed the regime. However, his precedent policies came much in trouble in light of newer circumstances.

Firstly, the decentralization of the state, one of his “not his usual self” policies disturbed because the local interests conflicted with the national interests. Since locals had never been accustomed to industrial labours, factories were difficult to build without central prerogatives. Reddy himself had issued countless executive orders just to industrialize Southern India. In the North, with adequate factories outputting satisfactory results, the workers had no incentives to build more, thus stagnating industrialization. He laughed at himself that under the communist government, India had become the agricultural powerhouse. The catch was that India had become the agricultural powerhouse. [5]

West scholars even argue India's agricultural boom feed the entire Continental Comintern (rice, wheat, etc) that contribute to the Andropov Decade (identified with economic reconstruction and Warsaw Pact reforms)

When foreign analysts estimated Indonesia to surpass India in economic prosperity, Reddy was shown in fury. He comprehended that brutal and totalist measures must be done, like Madame Mao, so Indians will go forth for their betterment. But India is not China. As two civilization giants have different traits, norms, and cultural perspectives. Reddy’s work in India would be much more difficult than Madame Mao needed in China. One of the examples was India’s feudalistic association had been prevalent for millennia, even under British Rule India was divided into thousands of states. Should India become a strong centralized state, Reddy should move this slowly, not drastic. This became the core cause of “slow and steady” when Madame Mao ridiculed Reddy during the Comintern meetings.

Second, Reddy’s idea of reuniting the subcontinent came to a halt with Islamists in Bangladesh and Pakistan gaining prominence. The politicians there have instigated targeted discriminatory attacks, Hindus in specific, to gain power. Pakistan had already crumbled into a destitute civil war, with Bangladesh having sly tendencies of backstabbing India. Luckily, Indonesia’ the closest Islamic power to Bangladesh, didn’t indulge the Islamists greatly. Instead, Reddy had to look West, where the entire world had crashed themselves to commit anarchy in Pakistan.

From the Americans, Iranians, Saudis, Egyptians, Soviets and Chinese, the state of Pakistan was the quintessence of a clusterfuck. Reddy was reassured by Vitaly that the Comintern should reaffirm us to aid communist brethren in Pakistan. But, with Afghanistan under distress, the Soviet Union had diverted all available funds to her Southern border, while India and China must do something to accommodate the absence of the Soviets in Pakistan. Iran, feeling threatened by enemies on all sides, became aggressive with US backing to ensure the Islamists gained power. The Sauds, feeling they are the true Islamists, sent their radical fighters on the Islamist's side while in chorus undermining Iranian influence. The UASR, needing a slice of the pie for the conflict, gave its best army personnel in Pakistan, only to later broke the communist government of Pakistan into two (Pro-UASR and Pro-Comintern).

Chinese tanks (but Russian manufactured) in Pakistan (1983)

foreign_06 (2).jpg

Indian expedition forces in Pakistan (1986)

What a mess. Reddy said in their heart. He looked at the state newspaper, skimming the international section. He already guessed Indonesia, the United States and France elections quite easily, considering the circumstances were not outstanding. Nevertheless, he caught something interesting in the Canadian Election, as the Bloc Quebecois won an outright majority in the home state, giving the independence movement quite a boost.​

A New Hope

Russel, Kansas
November 9, 1988

A day before the results announced who to win the presidency, President John Glenn had wished the candidates for luck in the election. Although he was eligible for a reelection campaign, John Glenn’s impeachment hearings ruined his chances. Moreover, it was the Democrats, not the Conservatives, that dragged him out of 1988’s race. The Conservatives, Republicans in a newer name, all had assumed their victories after the DNC had voted Glenn out. This year, in a hindsight, was favourable for the Democrats in winning the election. Especially by August, inflation seemed to lower down, the economy growing up and public unrest seemed to fade away. Indeed, several issues, notably the AIDS crisis, had plagued the incumbency in a damaging manner, but their chances of winning again were likely. For the Conservative Party, 1988 was fading away into another Democratic victory, until the impeachment happened.

Buckley during an interview with Hoover Institution (1985)

James Buckley was surprised, shocked even when the Democratic Committee inquired about an impeachment hearing for their president. Their own. The right-wingers were critical of Glenn’s scandal regarding NASA, but these right-wingers understand that these issues might be inconsequential. In contrast to the federal budget where fiscal conservatives had plenty of subject matter. However, when the newcomer Vermont representative Bernard Sanders recommended an impeachment hearing on President Glenn, the Conservatives could not help but join in the charade. Furthermore, the Democrats dumbfound Buckley as much again, with whatever evidence they gathered, they held two articles of impeachment into voting.

In between his impeachment vote, Glenn’s challengers had united with the sole purpose of eliminating him from office. After Bentsen cited health issues (major coughs during public speeches), he endorsed Governor Brown. Under a unified anti-Glenn coalition, Brown kept attacking Glenn on his unpopularity, involving lavish funding for space programs, the inconclusive Vietnam War, and the lack of Glenn’s proposals that enhanced Carter’s programs. Different from the 60s liberals, these 90s liberals were aggressive on foreign policy, deciding that with the power of diplomacy and moral “high ground”, the United States will stand tall against the Soviet Union. It was nonsense for Buckley and many conservatives, who advocated Reagan's “Peace Through Strength” motto. Even so, the Conservatives rode on the coattails of angry liberals, all the way into a successful impeachment vote in Congress. Happened during late February, just before the Super Tuesdays, Buckley and many others released their biggest glee as the impeachment vote cost Glenn the primaries, winning Brown as the nominee. [6] By that time, almost everyone on the Conservative side felt emboldened again for an opportunity, the presidency.

Buckley, for humour pleasantries, had divided the Conservative Party into three distinct categories, Augustus, Bryan and McKinley-ists [7]. Augustus derived from Augustus Ceasar. Possessing a kind of divinity beyond the common man, Augustinians mostly aimed at the “strong man” philosophy. This principle has two schools of thought, each as vile as the other. First, there are the war hawks, those who shouted unanimously for the curbing of communist expansion with the military. From the charismatic Regan to radical Rumsfeld, those warmongers campaigned that peace was achieved with big guns and missiles. As expected, their belligerent tendencies spooked the American people, noticed by his brother who campaigned on these lines and lost the 1980 election in a landslide. Second, there are the social conservatives. While war hawks supported a strong military, social conservatives pushed for strong moralism in the United States. Religion being the forefront of their political foundation. Originated from Jerry Falwell and prominent Evangelists, these Moral-Augustinians changed guns and missiles with bibles and sermons.

The McKinley-ists were fiscal conservatives, ranging from curbing excess federal spending to moving the US government back into the Gilded Era. Buckley was in this category, along with many others who complained about Carter’s uncontrolled health and pension programs that skyrocketed federal debt. Since 1980, the McKinley-ists have become the silent majority in the Conservative Party, gaining prominence with minimum publicity, judging by the number of times McKinley-ists have lost the primary against Augustinians. His brother, the candidate for the 1980 election, came under scrutiny when his fiscal policies were shadowed by Rumsfeld, again James Buckley blamed them for losing the election.

Bryan, derived from the Great Commoner, was the populist group with “working men” tendencies. They coined the elite vs common people narrative and condemned college intellectuals to dominate the federal government. This supremacy had caused a significant loss of livelihood among farmers and common people alike, apparent in the high cost of living from rampaging inflation [8]. Buckley had assessed this group had the best environment to win the national election. However, there were very few figures (many of them came from rural Great Plains) that gained little traction in the federal saga. This, coincidentally, is where Dole surprised him.

Dole campaign in his well-known campervan. (1988)

A native of Kansas, Dole was sympathetic to the agrarian industry. After Glenn’s general shift towards pro-urban policies, many of his farming constituents felt neglected when inflation ruined the farming market with high equipment costs. Great Plains and the Midwest were severely impacted by farming decline, while farmers in the South tended to other alternatives proposed by Carter (home-region sentiments). With Glenn ascended, the inflation got worse, and many farmers flocked to Conservatives in midterms. Dole campaigned for these crises to over, a simple promise that energized farmers. It was enough to win today, but in January Dole’s chances were quite slim.

Dole’s campaign promise was modest, he envisioned the United States under a fresh opportunity, a nation where men and women worked for the American Dream, not to be provided. Beacon of economic stability, general GDP growth and technological advancement. He criticized the Democrats to lose their vitality. Dole, with cunning campaign staffers, coined his motto “A New Hope”, a mundane phrase that resonated deep into voters’ hearts. Whatever his campaign policies were, his motto became the rallying cry at rallies, many of whom kept chanting one jingle.

Bring us, Hope! Bring us, Dole! Let Him Lead America that We Adore!

Buckley composed himself, urging him to leave. In his front, he realized after long pondering was his rival. “Thank you, Bob,” Buckley gestured towards Dole. Here I am. Buckley thought to himself. Dole as the President-elect.*

Dole and Kemp accepted the Conservative nomination (1988)

Dole nodded in return, thanking him as he departed the room. Dole knew that Buckley was his political rival. After all, he was a tough competitor in the primaries, much so that Buckley won Super Tuesdays and managed to eke a margin for a contested election. Hell. Dole reminded himself. Everyone was formidable. Kemp was spirited as a fresh politician. Falwell hurt Dole in religious fanatics. Dick Gephardt, Joe Biden, and John Warner, all were thorns on his side before they withdrew their candidacy in favour of Dole. It was supposed to be an easy fight. Dole was optimistic that being the vice-presidential nominee in the last election gave him enough gravitas, but that momentum was weaker than anticipated.

Dole’s weakness came from his reluctance on expressing views that antagonize the Democratic Party because those policies stemmed from Jimmy Carter, a peanut farmer. Before the 1978 midterms, Carter’s policy was championed by farmers, Dole included. Healthcare and social spendings were praiseworthy to appease farmers, that was until inflation hit prices through the roof. After that, Carter changed course to appease liberals, side-stepping inflation and adding debt. Glenn did try to lower debt, but he still alienated ailing farmers from the crippling inflation. Sometimes during the contested primary, Dole’s campaigners would reflect if their boss promised on wrong policies. Yet, Dole reassure himself, as he saw three Conservative candidates (Nixon, Buckley, Schlesinger) slaughtered because of how right-wing they are. The Democrats still hold the trifecta with a considerable margin, suffice to say that Conservatives can win only if they stomp a few radical policies to appease independents. [9]

After Glenn’s defeat in the 1988 Democratic Primary, Dole’s chances transformed from a coin-toss into a resolute victory. Glenn’s voter base [10], industrial and labour workers, came gushing to Dole’s platform after an excruciating humiliation by Governor Brown. Brown’s liberal appeal had dampened support in industrial and labour unions, Dole’s moderate stances contribute to that even further. After Dole promised to revitalise the United States' agrarian and industrial sector, the Midwest was evolving into a Dole landslide. Indeed, just a few hours ago, Dole expressed his highest happiness as soon as Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin all called towards him in considerable margins. With Minnesota (always voted Democrat after 1956) and Pennsylvania (before Nixon won in 1968) as the cherry on top.

Dole’s presidency, however, was not as smooth as projected. Even before votes were cast, he was attacked by war hawks for his “Attack Only Provoked” military policy, which they claim was a source of weakness. Dole, decorated with WW2 experience, had all the privilege to acknowledge the brutality of the conflict. He emphasized to critics that unnecessary intervention costs unnecessary lives; the United States should have been more deliberate in its foreign policy. As appeasement, Dole had promised should an aggressor provoke the country, the US military will contribute all its might to eradicate them. By his sarcastic wit, “We’ll gonna Mike Tyson them. No doubt.”

What a thrill. Dole thought to himself. Let’s get to work. Bob Dole’s core issue was inflation; he should prepare ideas for it.


Results of 1988 US Presidential Election

41. Representative Robert Joseph "Bob" Dole (C-KS) - Representative Jack French Kemp (C-NJ) January 20, 1989-TBA
def. 1988 (367-191; 50.15%-45.13%) Governor Edmund Gerald Brown Jr. (D-CA) - Mayor Carolyn Jane Maloney (D-NY)

[1] reference here
[2] Sudan, Chad and CAF had been most affected, everything westward was secure... for now.
[3] French Mainland, ITTL expanded it with Algeria
[4] Since the inception of the program in the early 80s, India had been moving towards atheism, predicting that 25% of the population was atheist.
[5] Some say that India's farming had been feeding China during the destructive Cultural Revolution, which made the populace far better off than Mao's OTL Cultural Revolution. Unfortunately, that meant Madame Mao was the better version of Mao.
[6] Glenn's Impeachment vote passed, but he was acquitted on both charges. Either way, the damage was done. The Congress was still Dem-controlled by a significant margin, with the Senate tipping point for the Dems.
[7] Common voters would name them Socons, Warhawks, Fiscons and Populism (in this case Buckley unite Socons and Warhawks into Augustinians
[8] These Bryan-ists focused on workingmen (farmers and workers) alike that felt the sting of rising consumer prices. This is also where the Young Four step in too.
[9] Dole ITTL has a voter base of Carter OTL. Note that Carter ITTL doesn't have the "fresh outsider" outlook on the presidency.
[10] Ohioans, especially, were enraged after the Dems seemingly ditch their star.

*POV changed to Dole

Bring out all of the foreign events to close 1988. The next chapter will look into Sudarman's plans for Indonesia. I introduce new characters which may or may not be significant. Dole-Kemp victory 8 years earlier ITTL, definitely very interesting.
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Damn, it's been three months.

Sorry, y'all, I've been juggling life and university for a while, you can notice that from my complete hiatus from the AH community since August. This (one of many post promises) had been one of the many inconsistencies I've made towards you, but I have ample reasons why I've decided so. The last post (the one above this) was the previous subtext of the Election Chapter which made partial closure to a segment of my TL. Also, I got covid in August, which hospitalized me for two complete weeks, and another two weeks for recovery. This, along with the previous reasons, became the 'snowball' cause of why I have prioritized TL less in favour of other urgent matters (already explained above).

Again, I won't make promises unless I have 95% certainty (learnt from mistakes). But I can review my previous chapters, aspire to future ideas, and post them with the reinvigorated spirit of my past compassionate self. Next week, however, is midterms, so expect good things by the end of this month.

Although I won't spoil too much, I have a few images that resemble the next post's topic. Here are those:



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22.1. The Great Urbanization: Prologue

Arriving in the last decade of the century, Indonesia has faced difficult internal problems with little to no prominence in the international sector. As a nation with high growth but a lack of industrial strength, the economy has been import-driven, flowing from the richer East Asian and US nations for strategic goods valuable to the improvement of Indonesia’s standing. Premier Lee Kuan Yew’s policies, which continued under Musa Hitam and remained slightly influential under Premier Mahathir, caused significant changes in Indonesia’s economic value. The results of it can be most apparent in Indonesia’s de-facto financial system.

Since the advent of the republic, Indonesia is a centralized economy with clear guidance from the government. Much of it came from the response to Pancasila’s fifth value, as intellectuals of that time mostly agreed that government intervention (such as general direction) may contribute to a rapid transformation of a solid country. Of course, the economic debate did face challenges from other economic alternatives, such as laisse-fair or many decentralized measures. However, the agreement was sound around the centralized factor.

In theory, Indonesia’s government tried to implement this in a form of government general schemes. In practice, however, the government continued a gradual phase towards the opposite of their intention, a decentralized economy. The lack of capital after the Indonesian War of Independence had made special economic zones independent of local rule of law. Indonesia’s desperation to harness international recognition gave private enterprises huge autonomy over Indonesia’s strategic resources (plantation and staple foods). Finally, LKY’s open-market system propelled Indonesia’s private manufacturing rapidly. Even under the new Mahathir rule, a proposal to distribute farmer’s banks into localized financial systems (to correctly allocate the necessary funds), can be dignified as one of the many contradictions the Indonesian government has regarding the economy. Indonesia’s economic direction became a mess as it is because of one major factor, the bureaucratic mess of the federal system. As different administrations adopted slightly different administrative systems, the intended end goal of a unified economic approach has altered its course exactly the opposite. For example, the creation of Federal Districts has created pockets within Indonesia that has far fewer regulations than the Federal Republics. Some villages may have different laws than the surroundings.

Nevertheless, some attempts were done to improve the government’s control of the economy. However, while most people would agree to boost centralization from the bureaucratic side, the government had done it from the other sector. Firstly, Nasution’s infrastructure-focused government has birthed the biggest government corporates in the construction sector. These companies would continue their prominence under new administrations and possibly contribute to the entirety of Indonesia’s infrastructure expansion. Under LKY, the government focused on eradicating foreign companies extracting mineral resources. Reducing foreign-owned mines except through political bargain, the LKY government succeeded in nationalizing many of those resources under BUMN. The new Mahathir government, albeit indirectly, attempted to control the economy by supporting the farmer and worker unions. As unions grew powerful, the effects towards the economy would increase, thus the pro-union government may shift the balance against LKY’s pragmatic industrialists. Although most pro-Western affiliates would notice this as Mahathir’s populist ploy, many have argued the timing of this policy was as perfect as it is. The federal government has loosened control on the bureaucratic side but remained a firm stakeholder in all its megaprojects. Therefore, the federal government may suffer difficulties in completing its projects because of local opposition. The Labour Crisis of 1986 symbolized the permanent point within the Federal Republic of the immediate effects of the economic conundrum. It was their primary concern and that was the high number of migrations across Indonesia.

In comparison to the complexity of the Federal Republic’s law, the Federal District’s were straightforward. It had the least regulated law in the entire federal republic, possibly the entire Southeast Asia, which made the Federal District’s livelihood very appealing to all kinds of migrants. Moreover, in comparison to the bloodbath of the Indochinese War, Indonesia’s peaceful situation became the highest attraction of refugees, filling up cities as asylum seekers kept flowing into the Federal District. The Federal Districts, which remained competitive since the 80s, attracted these seekers to not only stay for refuge but also to move entirely as naturalized Indonesian citizens. The low cost of living with a relatively good urban lifestyle also attracted less-wealthy Europeans and Americans to live here. Within this decade, Indonesia has naturalized millions of foreign citizens, refugees or voluntarily. It also caused significant changes in the Federal Districts demography statistics, notably apparent in Batam’s rapid increase of Vietnamese diaspora over the years, Kebayoran’s property expansion for European whites and, above all else, the increasing Madame Mao-era immigrants arriving at all ports around Western Indonesia.

A short yet simple chapter to open entirely within an urban-related topic. This chapter would solely discuss the cities that thrived, as well as the political drama that carried behind the rise of urban centres.
Hello, y'all.

It's almost one year of hiatus huh.

Life sucks man, I've been having the most unproductive times on my life. Hopefully, I can turn this around.

Again, need to re-read all of my stuff first. See ya soon chaps :D
22.2. The Great Urbanization: The Policies
The Great Urbanization
Reinvent Nusantara: The Evolution of Concept

The great urbanization of Indonesia’s core was propelled with unremarkable economic growth from decades of post-war boom. All Indonesians agreed on the belief that the nation will thrust itself into size substantially larger than it was. As it was the United States in the late 19th century, Indonesia will face significant challenges to reaffirm itself as a tropical giant. In order to do so, policymakers envisioned to transformed Indonesia’s cities entirely. This process was never named by the government(s) of that time, yet most socio-political scholars named as the invention of the Blue Belt.

This long-term plan of urbanization did not occur after Nasution’s presidency. During the early days of the Federal Republic, Sukarno and his administration had little effort in city planning. More of their focus was to bring Indonesia’s agrarian output into self-sufficiency (which was intended as a war effort with the Australians seemingly hostile in the late 1950s). Even more so, in the Australian Aggression any urban construction was doomed to aerial assaults. Instead, Sukarno campaigned for citizens to move back to rural areas, to reduce casualties and improve food production on rice farms.

Although no regulatory policies were created under the administration, Sukarno was nowhere humble on city-plan ambitions. A civil engineer, Sukarno had dreamed of Proyek Mercusuar, the construction of Jakarta to be noticed by foreigners. It was never named so, but the general construction of prestigious public places became the trend to appeal to Indonesia on the global stage. Initiated during the 1950s and continued until the 1970s, these constructions were lavish and costly. However, the war delayed much of that infrastructure, thus Sukarno’s plans remain an idea until Nasution’s post-war administration.

Simpang Susun Semanggi, One of Sukarno's Proyek Mercusuar plans fulfilled during Nasution's administration

During Nasution’s era, urbanization had become Nasution’s main concern from Jakarta’s desolation after the perpetual bombings caused by Australia and her allies. As people remained traumatic by the previous terror, Nasution’s government needed to form an effective plan to bring people back to cities and fast. This demand not only came from Indonesia’s infrastructure crumbling from the aggression but the leader’s haste on joining Asian Tiger Economics from the boom that most East Asian countries had been experiencing. Moreover, with the spoils of war given Indonesia British Malaya, along with decent war reparations, Indonesia had all the resources to emerge from its pariah state.

The 1960s and 1970s marked Indonesia’s almost pro-foreign economic system. Despite the welfare issues Nasution tried to address, he wished to increase capital just from unrestrained access to globalization. The economic system had been sporadic, from the liberalization of Special Economic Zones, and nationalization of oil companies. With the militarist government, Nasution had given pressure on local governments, especially cities, to allow foreign capital to invest in any possible way. With the help of rare Dutch-Indonesian figures that stayed in Australian Aggression, pro-government Chinese-Indonesian elites, and moderate intellectuals, Indonesia’s urban revival had become the hub of economy, education, and salad-bowl culture.

Indonesia’s great metropolis is located in the Western Region of Indonesia, which is in Java, Sumatra, and Malaya. After the war, cities in Java had reduced by nearly half its size, while Sumatra reduced by 25%. This, along with biases from the administration, gave Java the whole spotlight of Indonesia’s federal budget. Should big funding of 6 trillion rupiahs be given (nearly accurate value of 1971 Plenary Budget), 4 trillion of them had given to Java’s infrastructure, the remaining 2 splits on across the nation. Until Subandrio’s premiership in 1973, Indonesia’s budget had been burned on Java island, much to the dismay of other islands. After 1973 (especially under Subandrio and LKY premiership), Indonesia’s budget had balanced for further representation in Malaya, Papua, and Madagascar. Yet, these efforts were heavily pressed on urbanization. Consequently, Indonesia’s focus after the Australian Aggression had been to improve urbanization. In 1950, 15% of Indonesia’s population lived in urban areas. That number dropped to 9% by the peak of Australian Aggression. However, with the programs enacted by successive governments reversed that trend to 30% by 1988.

Indonesia’s urbanization programs can be divided into two distinctive eras: The Nasution-Suharto Era and the Subandrio-LKY era, which transited during the tenure of former Premier Subandrio (1973-1978).

Economic Growth and GDP Growth Chart of Indonesia until 1988 (projected)


Debt to GDP Chart of Indonesia until 1988 (projected)

Nasution-Suharto Era (Revolusi Biru)

Urbanization under Nasution’s dominance came from the bigger concept of Revolusi Biru. This had been much of the PNI-R (mostly Parindra’s military wing) program on how to bring Indonesia into a regional power. Upset with the logistical nightmare during Australia's Aggression, Nasution and the armed forces hoped for an integrated network system of transportation. This, along with Jakarta’s vital capital standing, affirmed the armed force’s minds to rebuild cities by connecting them. Program Infrastruktur Trans-Jawa, Program Infrastruktur Trans-Sumatra, and Program Infrastruktur Trans-Papua[1], all had been Nasution’s brainchild. Approved by Hatta from Nasution’s moderation to PPP at that time, the program was nothing moderate. It mimicked America’s National Highway System passed by President Eisenhower (deliberately, as Nasution also agreed to this as one of his reasons). The programs did not end on big highway and railway systems, there had been few urban constructions – related to trains and tolls – which was discussed by Nasution’s administration. Notable urban infrastructure was approved, such as revamp of Jakarta Ring 1 System, Jakarta Outer Ring Road, Surabaya Tram Network, and Bandung Urban Transit System. Moreover, these infrastructure programs had long-term drafting envisioned by officers of Nasution’s clique. That ramification trickled into urban growth, thus giving influencing on city’s planning.


Daan Mogot Interchange, connecting Jakarta Outer Ring Road with Daan Mogot Road, the main arterial connection to Tangerang.


Gambir Underground Labyrinth
After the war, the government focused on rebuilding the inner district which had been devastated by bombs. Many of them tried various solutions to avoid this incident ever happening. At that time, Brigadier General D.I. Panjaitan expressed concerns about the cul-de-sac networks of Harmoni and the surroundings, as he had logistical problems in reaching important locations when main arteries are damaged by bombings. Air Marshall Suryadarma mentioned vulnerabilities of vital networks from aerial bombings. Yet, concerning that a dispersed network is much more impervious to aerial attacks than a concentrated network, Suharto’s main position was not affirming for just bigger roads.

These concerns passed the Ring 1 Bill of 1967, which was initially a full urban reconstruction of inner Jakarta. This bill mentioned that housing developments in inner cities must remove blind alleys, and drastically increase the connectivity of the road network. To reduce congestion on these alleys, neighbourhoods may install portals for restricted access at nighttime. All alleys should adhere to a minimum width of at least 6.5m (passable for tanks with parking on two sides). Second, this bill prioritized the electrical grid to go underground. That way, electricity remains on during any attack. Third, government buildings should have sparse distribution on Ring 1, to avoid damages from bombing runs. Finally, the most important aspect of urban planning, each subdistrict should have public places (parks or plazas) that form a refuge for civilians in targeted attacks at buildings. Although the Ring 1 Bill had direct effects on Jakarta, this concept had been used nationwide in major cities. It had become the de-facto blueprint for most of Java’s urban planning.


Cideng Municipality Map, notice the semi-grid system
Ring 1 Bill's first results came as Jakarta Ring 1 System. Jakarta Ring 1 System, essentially, is the integrated commuter system of the region encircled by Jakarta Inner Ring Road. A 22.4km highway covering the centre of the federal government, also infamous for the region’s Australians bombed. With a heavy emphasis on underground development, Underground Mass Rapid Transit had become Jakarta’s second train transportation. The MRTJ (MRT Jakarta), had all underground connections, existing or planning, in Ring 1. Total removal of electrical posts, hanging cables and transistors had been done to move under. Also, public places had been constructed. All these constructions, luckily, were easy as much sprawl was already gone to rubles.

Electrical tunnel in Setiabudhi Grid

Jakarta, Surabaya, and Jogjakarta, the three most bombed cities during the aggression, had gone through massive transformations. Jakarta established Taman Nasional (Peringatan 1958), which was the biggest park in Jakarta, competing with New York’s Central Park. In Surabaya, Alun-Alun Surabaya had become the greatest plaza on Java Island. These cities with others (Semarang, Bandung, Cirebon, Malang, Madiun, Surakarta), had moved electricity under. This was also the planner’s way to make the grid urban system mainstream, starting with Sudirman Grid as Indonesia’s financial centre.

Taman Senayan

Besides reducing those weaknesses, Indonesia needed to immortalize the victorious war as a morale boost for Indonesia. Although Indonesia received a pleasing reparation, public happiness, especially in urban places, had plummeted from constant terror. It caused the massive depopulation of cities during the war, and people were afraid of returning to cities. The Nasution Administration recognized these challenges and adopted the natural option for militaries to boost morale, constructing monuments. The proposal was agreed with Hatta’s intellectual wing, stating the necessity to honour the death and inspire the youth. That proposal had become its parody, with Nasution and Suharto relentlessly constructing lavish, sometimes excessive, monuments across Java that bring Indonesia’s debt exponentially. Still, the effects of these monuments may have been beneficial, proven by the increasing population's wishes to return to cities.

Under Nasution’s government, Indonesia’s urban development was heavily influenced by American suburbia: single-family homes with spacious yards. Developed in the late stages of Kebayoran Baru (Jakarta), it expanded into many of Jakarta’s sprawl, with other cities copying Jakarta’s model. The distance between homes was compatible with the military concerns at that time, and as their wealth rose as public figures, they too establish profitable real estate enterprises that build similar models.

1980s Housing in Pulomas

Nasution’s ideal was adopting America’s suburbia into Indonesian housing. Yet, this radical concept had received backlash from Hatta’s intellectual wing and religious wing. With the obvious concerns of being too Western, Nasution received backlash from uncompromising views to design national monuments. Hatta promoted a more egalitarian concept of stacked housing (proto-thinking of what LKY would do a year later), citing concerns that single-family homes are too expensive for poor people. The clergy, however, criticized Nasution’s insistence on building only nationalistic monuments, not Islamic ones that may be suitable on their turf of dominance (they believed it still improves aesthetics and morals, as well as the spirituality of the towns). The compromise Nasution made for these people eventually came at the cost of building more towns in Java and Sumatra. He agreed to denser housing in a few parts when Hatta’s wing became agitated, and alienated the religious wing. Also, the schism in the military faction exacerbated Nasution’s effectiveness on urban development outside of the aforementioned policies, with factions bickering on the next step.

Subandrio-LKY Era (Persatuan Pembangunan)

As Subandrio led the Parliament after 1973, Indonesia’s future had been different comparing the one given by Nasution and Suharto. This time, Suharto’s political radicalism of authority and strong-man personality came with assault from PPP intellectuals. Nasution’s national budget had increased the debt exponentially, increasing the risk of default, despite economic growth has been catching up. Also, the military’s popularity had diminished from scandals and Nasution’s inability, albeit ironic, to accommodate urban settlers that had returned to cities. Jakarta, notably, had its first Housing Crisis in 1973. Nasution’s public spaces, lavish monuments, and Ring 1 Bill of 1967 had become the new ‘template’ of Indonesia’s urban planning. These contribute to cities' urban renewal, possibly the most extensive “make-up” in Asian history. Architecture, unrestricted during this era, had given cities faces of all architects from all backgrounds (educated or not).

Subandrio’s government encountered new setbacks from Nasution’s urban policies (and lack thereof). The war trauma had made the PNI-R government irrational fear of increasing density (or simply building up). But that had given immense pressure on the housing supply, a drop since the 1970s. Nasution’s unrestricted urban planning had given to uncontrolled public planning, which in turn caused significant obstacles to public welfare. For example, single-family homes in the Cideng complex were built so wide for new families, but it has no public amenities (hospital, police station, education) that made locals need private vehicles. It caused the traffic jam in 1972, Jakarta’s first experience of 2 hour-standstill during rush hour. Moreover, as homes are being built, they used groundwater uncontrollably, causing a gradual drop in public homes, but the most horrible effects were the collapse of the Cikini tunnel that stopped trains for 3 months.

Traffic in Grogol, 1982

Subandrio’s premiership issued the Urban Declaration of 1975. It was not a forceful law like the newest 1987 Urban Law, but Subandrio’s declaration written concerns on urban development. The most famous transcript below is used almost as a citation to succeeding urban laws.
Urban development, like all nature, is a delicate balance between demand and supply. Indonesia had a high population, yet limited land. For this reason, sparse development was never acceptable. We need to rise, not sideways (Tumbuh ke atas, bukan ke samping).​

Apartment blocks in Petojo Barat, Jakarta

With the power, balance shifted from the military towards intellectuals, urban planning had been shifted with the minds of the PPP. Accustomed to European terraced homes, intellectuals like Hatta’s faction had pushed for these types of housing in urban development. Subandrio formulate it as rumah susun, the popular social housing that was used as a political promise. It garnered much criticism from housing developers who mostly were ex-military officials, but the Housing Crisis silenced them by popular demand for higher-density housing. Because of this, non-road public transportation became more prevalent. By this era, urban public transportation was emphasized as the metropolitan’s top priority. MRT, LRT, Tram and Monorail had become basic conversations on the annual budget debate.

Proposed 2000 Prediction of Mass Rail Transportation of Jakarta and the surroundings

LKY’s premiership, after Subandrio’s ascension to the presidency, announced the radical version of Subandrio’s analysis. A native city inhabitant, LKY had seen Singapore’s urban demands, with all its setbacks in improving those. Impressed with how effective MRT was on highly concentrated developments, LKY implemented radical methods of urban railway expansion. However, the main principle of LKY came from Indonesia’s unwillingness to give any federal funds to Singapore during the Nasution administration. These cities in former British Malaya, had suffered bitter discrimination from Indonesia’s Java-centric focus. In addition to it, in efforts to circumvent Singapore’s already existing dominance in the Malacca Strait, Nasution had subsidized Batam, Singapore’s island neighbour, as the new Singapore of the Malacca Strait. From these intense adversities, Malay and Singaporean politicians adopted a highly efficient system that altered the regular life of citizens. Adopting the simple method of increasing land usage for agriculture and industry, these politicians were strong advocates of concentrating residential development into apartment blocks, reducing land use. Consequent with high concentration, they also promote Satellite Cities, second-class metropolis, functioning as lesser business centres so people wouldn’t need to commute far from their hometowns.

There is also the money issue, as debt had risen uncontrollably for infrastructure growth. The PPP’s grand coalition had understood fiscal austerity as a priority. By this, the LKY administration opened doors for possible industrial investment, the best economic growth stimulant, towards Indonesia. Industrial zones had been opened on all sides of Indonesia with reasonable regulations on necessities. To withstand the pressure from employment demand, Indonesia must attract more population by creating housing excess as well as relaxing immigration. The wars in Southeast Asia had alleviated much of the demand, but the government should control this flow so as not to incite social tension.

The results of urbanism under LKY’s governance were the explosive sprawl of clustered medium-density in city centres, a reduction of single-family homes boom, with targeted improvements that cost less money. Ironically, from Nasution’s push on underground construction, LKY’s government had pushed for a massive underground sewer system that costs less than it should have, mostly because the existing underground maze formed by Nasution for trains, service tunnels, and many others can be repurposed as sewers. Highway construction, besides the enormous plan from Nasution, had not been expanded. Instead, railway construction was expanded massively, forming alternatives for industrial and residential demands.

[1] Mentioned previously as TJIP (Trans-Java Infrastructure Program), TSIP (Sumatra) and TPIP (Papua)
[2] Since funding is limited, mostly resorted to green spaces instead of full concrete plazas, but later developments have pushed for the latter.

First time giving graph charts custom made. I guess those are necessary for immersion.

This chapter's example has been Jakarta-centric since this explains the general changes in each administration's headings on urbanization. The next post will focus more on the where places and more numbers.

As always, criticism, comment and discussion are always welcome.

Final note, Happy Idul Adha everyone :D
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22.3. The Great Urbanization: Expansive City-Building
The Great Urbanization: The Blue Belt Cities

During the transitional government, president Wilopo established a collection of blueprints and documents which had been established by the previous administration. The documents were old transcripts of the Djuanda Declaration, also the UNCLOS efforts. However, Wilopo’s archives contain a grand masterplan on Java’s northern cities, a group paper that coined the term “Sabuk Biru”. Inside the document, the infamous words were written, a sentence discussed for the upcoming decades.
Upaya menghasilkan bangsa yang unggul merupakan usaha yang harus dilakukan saksama. Dengan dialog antara generasi sekarang, dengan generasi yang akan datang, kita perlu merancang dunia dari sekarang, memikirkan jangka yang panjang, mewujudkan Sabuk Biru sebagai mestinya.
- [Translation] The efforts to achieve a superior nation should be a collective effort. With a dialog between our current and future generations, we should design the world from now, thinking long term, fulfilling Sabuk Biru
as it should be.​

Nasution’s administration interpreted Sabuk Biru as Indonesia’s population core of the nation, contributing to the political dominance of this region for centuries, probably eternity. However, as decades passed, Sabuk Biru evolved as the bulk of Indonesia’s core, coined from the region's dominance in population, technology, and politics. In Japan, Taiheiyō Belt can be its mirror example. Evolved beyond a concept, Sabuk Biru became a trans-regime term, a government’s focus throughout the second half of the 20th century.

Sabuk Biru/Blue Belt's region

The common description states the Blue Belt [1] is a gigantic 2,750 km strip from Penang to Bali. It stretches on the Western coast of Malaya, the Eastern coast of Sumatra, from Medan to Lampung, then the Northern coast of Java, from Jakarta to Surabaya. The region was so great that Western scholars prefer to split this belt into Malaya Belt and Java Belt for consistency. Yet, the government persisted in Blue Belt’s true etymology because of how delicate planning has been made on this region, even for decades to come. It holds nearly 77% of Indonesia’s population, 81% of Indonesia’s economy, and most importantly an enormous political dominance on the Federal Republic. Before the formation of Indonesia, these regions had been mere townlets with significant hubs like Singapore, Penang, Jakarta, and Semarang. However, with intentions of progress from ruling regimes, these “centres” increased dramatically, forming new population hotspots and secondary cities to the older, much larger, metropolitans. For intricate descriptions, the Blue Belt will be explained as cities from East to West, starting at the bay of Tanjung Perak.

Kota Sepuluh November - City of 10th November

Surabaya CBD, 1988

Since the early 1900s, this estuary city of Surabaya has been one of the busiest trading city ports in Asia. Famous for sugar, tobacco, and coffee exports, its rich history is influenced by strong financial institutions and the invitation of foreign investors. Still, the city suffered extreme devastation from Dutch Aggression, and Australian Aggression, both who have invaded this city but endured heavy resistance from locals. Post-war era, Surabaya attracted foreign investors due to its high potential, as well as Majapahit State’s continuous attempts to put the city as the Islamic financial centre of Indonesia.

Surabaya’s potential was noticed by the ulama of the NU (dominance in Jombang Region), as the proposed “Islamic” capital of traditional Islam belief (syncretizing Islam and local culture). As the economic capital of NU’s dominated Majapahit State (administrative capital is Mojokerto), Surabaya has been incentivized to grow business centres, financial districts, and trading hubs. Located near the Lombok Strait, the Federal Republic of Indonesia has made Surabaya (along with Makassar) a trading transit between the East and West of Indonesia proper. Moreover, with Australia’s increasing freight to East Asia, the Lombok Straits also had increased traffic flow from cargo from the state, and Indonesia has wished to capitalize on this. Surabaya is also part of Jalur Dalam Selatan Tol Laut, the government’s national logistic lane for the entire state of Indonesia. Surabaya’s growth also happened because of inland growth, neighbouring towns like Mojokerto, Madiun and Malang, Surabaya’s importance as a port city increased dramatically. Moreover, with more convenient transportation by Trans Jawa Toll Road, Surabaya’s urbanization had pushed into numbers greater than should have. The historical population projected a 41.5% increase from 1970 to 1980, which was the highest-ever growth in the city’s contemporary history.

Surabaya also possesses significant industrial output, coming from raw materials provided by Majapahit and Banyuwangi State. Plantation outputs such as sugarcane, tobacco, coffee, chocolate, and tea, will be exported outside of Surabaya. Mineral resources like limestone, coal and oil have been extracted within Surabaya’s surroundings. From these minerals, factories regarding the processed value of these raw resources have been built close to their source. High-tech commodities, such as transistors, compressors, condensers, thermostats and heaters, have established their industries on Kawasan Industri Surabaya (government-invested industrial zone).

Maspion (Surabaya's most powerful group) equipment factory in Gresik, 1988

The city is not entirely Javanese, a good proportion of ethnic minorities (Madura, Chinese and Arabs) strived together as these groups have grown substantially with public prosperity increased. Politically, Surabaya was a PNI-R stronghold (before the split of NU and Parindra), yet the city is now a strong supporter of PPP’s intellectual wing, then the second and third position was fought closely between NU sympathizers and PNI nationalists. The remaining Indonesian parties hold small percentages of voters. By the year 1988, Surabaya’s municipality reached 2.56 million people (within city limits), with additional 8 million inhabitants in several cities spread over noncontiguous urban areas within Surabaya’s influence.

Kota Pekerja Jawa - Java Workers' City

Flour mill in Semarang, 1989

Semarang has a similar role as Surabaya, a trading hub connecting the inner parts of Java to the outside world. The city is also famous for exporting crops (rice, clove, ginger, turmeric). But Semarang’s similarity to Surabaya ended there. First, located at the centre of Java, all of the goods from Banyumas, Demak, Surakarta and Jogjakarta State would be going here. Although Semarang is not part of Jalur Dalam Selatan Tol Laut, Semarang is located conveniently on the shoreline between Jakarta and Surabaya. These affected smaller vessels in transit, part of the strategic location of Semarang.

Semarang is also the workers' capital of Indonesia. Since the early 1920s, Semarang’s intensive labour demand had never been satisfied by increasing factory demand around the city. From textile industries, the agriculture industry (flour, beans, rice, and coffee) and the newest food processing complex. Semarang has become the agricultural capital of Indonesia, contributing nearly 60% of agriculture logistics. By population, Semarang is nowhere near the population levels of Surabaya (1.647 million by 1988), yet its growth might catch up to that, an urban growth of nearly 55% every decade.

Semarang’s position was weird administratively. Although it was part of the Demak State, Semarang is inseparable from Banyumas State, which has made the city their port of export (their city Tegal and Pekalongan remains too small for cargo). Semarang has also started to engulf the surrounding cities and improve connectivity to the nearest neighbour towns of Demak, Kendal and Salatiga. It is one of the most concentrated areas of Java, thus local governments have been constructing apartment blocks to increase density. Strategically, Semarang is very fortunate as it holds the train depot for the Trans Jawa railway connecting the whole stretch of Java. Semarang has become the choke point between Rel Jalur Utara linking Jakarta and Surabaya (through Demak), as well as the new shortcut connecting Semarang to Jogjakarta. (through Salatiga). Trans Tol Jawa also passed through Semarang, as well as a proposed branch to Demak that the Nasution administration had planned (prepare for Tuban, Bojonegoro and Kudus’s growth).

Krapyak-Jatialeh Route, part of Trans Jawa Toll Road of Semarang Portion, 1988

Semarang had a vast majority of workers that were involved in the agricultural sector, but a relatively weak religious presence. Because of this, Semarang has been the perfect communist voter bloc. Since the 60s, PKI (later PPI) has dominated this region with strong pro-farmers and pro-workers tendencies. Moreover, it has also been a fanatic Sukarno-clan supporter, voting to a staggering 75% for Guntur at the 1988 Election. Ethnically, Semarang is dominated by Javanese settlers, but it also has a large Chinese population that has been growing (15% by 1988).

Jaya Raya - Greater Jaya [Nickname of Jakarta, derived from Jayakarta]

The capital city of Jakarta had extensive care from the Federal Government, but its surrounding neighbours have been planned for agricultural, maritime, and industrial capabilities. As the nation’s capital, Jakarta and the surrounding region have become the new hub of innovative industries that aim to catch up with the developed world. From pharmaceuticals, chemicals and electronics, Jakarta has become central for all advanced industries the world has encountered, except Singapore usually competes. Jakarta has also become the liberal capital of Indonesia, contributing free-minded thinkers to Asian society. Being the centre also has its negatives, as its attention made Jakarta very susceptible for critics of the government to protest (sometimes riots) in the city.

IBM Factory in Pulo Gadung, Jakarta

Jakarta, unlike Semarang and Surabaya, comprised on a diverse ethnic group of Indonesia. It comprises of ethnic Javanese, Betawi, Sundanese, Chinese, Bataknese, Minang, and Melayu and a growing bule in its population. Since the wars in Indochina, Jakarta has also accepted Vietnamese immigrants seeking asylum. Due to its high minority population, Jakarta has been a strongly polarized city, with conservative Javanese or Sundanese defected to more Salafist ideologies (sometimes adhering to the jihad movement) and the remaining moving far liberal into the classic liberal ideologies from the United States. Strangely, moderate voters came from the ethnic minorities (Chinese, Minang, Melayu), who dispute with conservative’s anti-multiculturalist policy against too-Western attitudes of the liberal movement. Jakarta has a growing number of nonaffiliated groups that grew within universities, much to the anger of the religious groups. In religion, Jakarta was the first city to establish a Jewish community (protected by the liberal group, and disdained by the conservative group).

Position as the centre of education, Jakarta has been the creative centre of architecture, urban planning, and various other studies beyond basic amenities. Scholars, researchers, and scientists in Jakarta have written papers, journals, and articles more than the entire Java combined. Many of Jakarta’s novel ideas (such as Jakarta-ism urban planning) have started to spread worldwide. Jakarta, unsurprisingly, is dominated by the PPP’s coalition of liberals, ethnic minorities, and intellectuals. Yet, Jakarta is home to growing Islamic fundamentalism (Depok particularly) and many anti-establishment politics that were dissatisfied with the city’s growing liberalism. Currently, Jakarta’s city limits have 8.573 million in population, with a high potential of competing with Tokyo as the largest metropolitan in Asia.

Tol Becakayu (Bekasi-Cawang-Kampung Melayu), under construction, connecting Jakarta Inner Ring Road to Bekasi, a growing city near Jakarta, 1990

Jakarta’s expansion, with intense long-term planning, has made the surrounding cities involved. Outside of the capital’s region, the government has announced Balaraja, Cirebon, Indramayu, Subang, Purwakarta and Karawang as points of interest. To withstand Jakarta’s demand for the advanced industry, these towns had begun improving their capabilities to distribute Jakarta’s weight. Cirebon, beside the heart of the sultanate, was made as the fishery town encompassing the northern section of Java by the LKY premiership (to alleviate Jakarta’s fishing industry slowly decline from Tanjung Priok vessels polluting the bay). Purwakarta and Subang will function as transit towns between Jakarta and Bandung, improving productivity by establishing factories near resources (for example the tire industry from rubber plantations in Subang). These ‘future’ industrial zones have been drafted in the early 80s, as the current growth of Jakarta had feared politicians of ‘overcrowding’ and forced a mass exodus of the industry to be necessary. For example, the storage facilities around Kampung Bandan have been relocated to Kapuk and Cilincing due to the high demand for residential neighbourhoods that the Tamansari municipality has failed to deliver. Another, sometimes insane, long-term plan drafted by the government, was the reconstruction of Karawang and Balaraja as Jakarta’s new industrial city when Tangerang and Bekasi had become uptowns of Jakarta (Prophecy was fulfilled in 2025 when Tangerang and Bekasi had been incorporated as an inseparable part of Jakarta’s growing megapolitan).

Bandung Lautan Asap - Bandung Sea of Smoke

Positioned at the edge of Sabuk Biru, Bandung’s potential as the centre of Pasundan State was noticed by the federal government. Located in the valleys of mountains, Bandung is fertile with possible mining sites (sulphur, limestone, metals). However, Bandung’s abundance of freshwater made the city’s residential appeal the highest. Walini City, the government foreign city planned during the early Wilopo Administration of the 1950s, had outlined the region’s suitable climate for residential homes. As Walini City began to expand faster than Bandung could, the Pasundan State government enacted serious reforms to make Bandung more appealing, increasing competitiveness to the Federal District of Kota Walini. Moreover, Bandung’s location near Purwakarta and Subang, part of Jakarta’s long-term program, might make Bandung much more integrated into Jakarta’s expansion, giving Pasundan State larger power as both industrial and residential power.

Bandung downtown, 1986

Bandung was not part of Trans Jawa Jalur Utara that connected Jakarta to Surabaya, but the city was given a branch of the toll road which was then named Tol Padaleunyi (Padalaran-Cileunyi). Still, Bandung was not neglected as Nasution’s government had made Trans Jawa Jalur Selatan, a second toll road connecting Jakarta and Surabaya that travels through the southern cities of the Java island, including Bogor, Cilacap, Jogjakarta and Malang. However, until Mahathir’s premiership, these plans remain unconstructed, possibly from the region’s lack of demand. Train-wise, Bandung’s railway capabilities were improved as it has the vital Southern route that links many cities in Southern Java. However, the hilly terrain made government plans expensive, and federal administrators were reluctant to invest in such a risk at that time.

Bandung’s industrial might expanded when LKY’s administration opened multiple textile factories across the city. Impressed with the city’s cheap retail clothes, Musa Hitam subsidized clothing companies to open factories around Bandung, improving the workforce. Moreover, Kota Walini might aid Bandung in its growth, as advanced science companies involved in telecommunications and electronics have pulled many of Bandung’s inhabitants into workers. In 1988, Bandung reached 1.539 million in population, a weaker showing than other cities, even Walini City which almost reached 128 thousand from nothing in the 30 years.

Bandung is the largest Sunda-dominated city, behind Bogor whose growth was aided primarily by Jakarta’s expansion. Their slight friction towards Walini City [2] made the city restless. Low-class workers criticized the industry’s reluctance to promote pro-labour policies pushed by Mahathir’s faction. But many of them were still satisfied that these industries in Kota Walini (from minimal regulation rules) made unemployment non-existent for these people, even improving their lives dramatically. Middle-class intellectuals in Bandung, however, showed their disagreement with LKY and the liberal policies, many because of the population shock that pushed Pasundan State with significant Javanese, Chinese, and most importantly, Bule minority. Bringing along their majorly non-Islam beliefs, many of those intellectuals and middle-class incomes became disillusioned with the LKY establishment and slowly drifted for Muhammadiyah (Amien Rais Wing) and PRD for the opposition.

Tiga Kota Kehutanan - Three Forestry Cities

On Sumatra Island, cities on this portion of the Blue Belt have only one industry that propelled them into prominence: forestry. Due to its sheer size, Sumatra owned the third-largest tropical rainforest in Indonesia (before Kalimantan and Papua). Because of this, the government has made increasing leases to forestry companies to establish related industries (logging, paper, furniture, and palm oil) which all of which were suitable for this island. These made three cities: Palembang, Jambi and Pekanbaru main government priorities.

These cities have native populations but have received significant migration from Java to support the industrialization of these regions. Adding to the colonial history when Javanese were transported here as farmers by the Japanese, the Nasution and Subandrio administration continued the influx of Javanese as a means to fill the employment sector of the rapidly growing forestry blocs in eastern Sumatra. Moreover, with the Chinese population increasingly growing, it reached significant population percentages (10% in Pekanbaru while <6% in Palembang and Jambi).

Palm oil plantation on Riau-Jami State, 1988

From the influx of immigrants from Java, the political strength of surrounding Sumatra's great forestry region was not clear-cut in comparison to Java. For example, the high number of forestry regions in Jambi, unlike more diverse industries in Palembang, became PPI’s stronghold. In Pekanbaru, attacks against the incumbency that caused the pollution made Pekanbaru voters reluctant to vote for PPP, instead voting for either PNI-R or PRD. Either way, the politics remain fluid, ranging from opposition to an ardent supporter as local circumstances ensue.

Besides forestry, these three cities also transported mining resources that came from the mountain ranges of the West. Mining minerals such as coal and natural gas have increased as many surveyors found profitable deposits. Newer developments have found significant oil deposits near Palembang and Jambi, but solvent mines like silver and coal have been found in the mountains. From this discovery, these cities evolved as transit hubs for families who accompany their loved ones working in the mines and forestry and accommodate storage for these valuable resources.

Kota Tionghoa Sumatra - Chinese City of Sumatra [3]

The biggest metropolitan in Sumatra, ironically, has a dominant Chinese-Indonesian population. Located as part of Jalur Dalam Selatan Tol Laut, Medan had noted the importance because of the city’s location on the Malacca Strait, along with Malacca, Singapore and Batam, as good transit locations. Unlike other government-planned zones, Medan’s focus has been trading and service sector, with the population comparatively more educated than the rest of Sumatran towns.

Medan skyline under construction, 1988

Medan has developed industries like paper, plan oil, rayon, and processed chemicals. LKY’s administration has focused on Medan as the Jakarta of Sumatra, granting innovative sectors funds to advance science and technology. Different from all cities that focused on industry and capital, Medan’s local government has made tourism part of the new objective, positioning it as the dwelling town for visitors who wish to see Toba Lake.

The demographic composition of Medan has been a tie between ethnic Javanese and Chinese (each 30% and 32%), a town of immigrants as the native Bataknese only constitute of 18% of the city’s population. This voter bloc had been a strong PNI-R from Nasution’s candidacy but moved gradually to PPP from the party’s minority group coalition. Medan is also the city where Islam barely reached 50% of the population, with a significant 25% being Protestant and the other 13% of them Buddhism ethnic Chinese Indonesians. Currently, the population of Medan surpassed 2.187 million inhabitants, projecting to compete with Surabaya shortly.

Raja Malaka - The King of Malacca

Singapore Skyline, 1990

With all the discrimination from the Nasution government, it has not stopped Singapore to become the champion of Asian trading city. Competing with Jakarta in terms of density, Singapore has become the richest city in Indonesia. Located at the tip of the Malayan Peninsula, Singapore attracts as the international trading hub, possibly the busiest port in the world. Overseeing all cargo between East Asia and Europe, Singapore’s income was the reason Indonesia’s perpetual growth continues.

Singapore’s expansion involves the industrial creation of electronic, chemicals, refinery, biomedical and telecommunication equipment. Under LKY’s guidance, Singapore made itself a self-sufficient city with a net positive contribution to the Indonesian budget, all while reducing the cost of living in the nation. Later statistics have suggested that Singapore’s income alone has funded Malaya, Sumatra and Borneo combined. Because of this, the government has carefully pandered with Singapore’s local administration without alienating the remaining Indonesians.

HDB (Housing Development Board) - or Rumah Susun flats of Singapore, 1989

In the early 1970s, Nasution proposed a competing city of Batan located across the Strait, with intentions to reduce Singapore’s dominance on the international hub. Nasution opened expansive ports, a military air base (leased to the United States) and a significant chemical industry to move there. The president also opened a large resort for hotels and entertainment clubs to lease, envisioning the new Casablanca of the Orient. After LKY’s administration, this battle eventually ended with Singapore and Batam local governments joining forces to develop the Straits Megapolitan Area. By making Batam-Bintan and Riau Islands integrated, it released Singapore’s burden while also increasing Batam’s potential.

Rumah Susun flats of Batam (designer of the HDB Singapore's program), 1990
The island of Singapore had a population of 3.7254 million people, 78.3% are ethnic Chinese, with 14.4% ethnic Malays and 6.3% ethnic Indians. The Federal District of Batam Bintan had a population of 958.532 people, with a diverse composition of Malay, Javanese, Bataknese, Minang, Chinese and Vietnamese people intertwining. It could be the most diverse city in Indonesia at that time, should European diasporas in Papua be merged as one entity. The local Singaporean government, afraid of losing dominance to Jakarta and Javan cities, has opted for uncontrolled population growth so the population of Singapore and Batam can reach adequate levels of leverage. The highly diverse ethnic minorities did not stop Singapore and Batam as strongholds of the PPP’s coalition.

Kuala Lumpur [3]

Kuala Lumpur, 1990

Kuala Lumpur is the second largest city in Malaya before Singapore. Located on the Klang River estuary, Kuala Lumpur served as the cultural, financial, and economic centre of Malaya State. Also suffering from no federal funding during the Nasution Administration, Kuala Lumpur adopted the Singaporean approach of efficiency and strived to be the State’s fastest-growing city. Becoming the centre of the Malay State, Kuala Lumpur became the industrial centre of rubber, oil, and petrochemicals. Competing with Jakarta and Singapore, Kuala Lumpur has been attracting foreign investors, especially within the semiconductors, automotive, and telecommunication sectors.

Under LKY’s administration, Kuala Lumpur was part of the nation’s Program Infrastructure Trans Malaya, the newest expansion of the infrastructure program started by Nasution’s administration. Giving the attention it deserves, Kuala Lumpur industrialized quickly with great development from the local government. On the strategic location of the Malay Peninsula, Kuala Lumpur was an invaluable asset of the Indonesian Federal government, thus allowing significant military presence to defend the region in the land assault, mostly fearing Thailand's aggression.

Kuala Lumpur, however, had a crisis of identity, possibly from the racial strife between ethnic Malay and ethnic Chinese. United during Nasution’s presidency, this racial friendship slowly deteriorated under LKY’s administration, which has presented relatively unfair treatment to ethnic Malays. In hindsight, ethnic Malays had worse education backgrounds, achieving less money, and gaining lower prestige than their Chinese counterparts. As envy turns into anger, these Malays demanded Chinese citizens to pay their share from Mahathir’s planned Bumiputera policy. The city divide was more apparent in Kuala Lumpur’s nearly equal split between ethnic Chinese and ethnic Malays, exacerbating the power struggle of the city. After the Labour Law political success in 1986, Kuala Lumpur Malays slowly inching out the ethnic Chinese, giving harsher regulations on Chinese businessmen rather than Malays counterparts.

[1] Long story short, Sabuk Biru is the government's plan for how to capitalize on the strategic location of Malacca Strait, Karimata Strait and Java Sea to its utmost potential.
[2] Walini City, despite being remarkably smaller in population and size than Bandung, was filthy rich from the government's low regulation that attracts capitalists and conglomerates all across the world. Its relatively "exotic" nature and temperate highland climate made it more suitable for temperate societies. Starting as a government-planned city, it became the centre of expatriates. The city contributed to 35% of Bule Indonesians alone (consisting of immigrants). It also had a significant Java population, conflicting with Sundanese people.
[3] Both Kuala Lumpur and Medan were predominantly Chinese cities before the massive growth of urban natives (Malays and Javanese respectively) flocking to the city. ITTL as Bumiputera policies were not implemented in Malaya and no serious ethnic conflict was caused by G30SPKI (communist-labelled), the Chinese minority remained dominant longer than should be, until their birth rates were surpassed by the natives.

Cyberpunk Indonesia might be not far-fetched after all.
There's so much I want to discuss, like Papua, Madagascar, and then the immigration situation. But one by one I will post it.
I really love the nod to the HDB; they're the reason a lot of us can afford quality and affordable housing in Singapore. 😁
Kuala Lumpur [3]

Kuala Lumpur, 1990

Kuala Lumpur is the second largest city in Malaya before Singapore. Located on the Klang River estuary, Kuala Lumpur served as the cultural, financial, and economic centre of Malaya State. Also suffering from no federal funding during the Nasution Administration, Kuala Lumpur adopted the Singaporean approach of efficiency and strived to be the State’s fastest-growing city. Becoming the centre of the Malay State, Kuala Lumpur became the industrial centre of rubber, oil, and petrochemicals. Competing with Jakarta and Singapore, Kuala Lumpur has been attracting foreign investors, especially within the semiconductors, automotive, and telecommunication sectors.

Under LKY’s administration, Kuala Lumpur was part of the nation’s Program Infrastructure Trans Malaya, the newest expansion of the infrastructure program started by Nasution’s administration. Giving the attention it deserves, Kuala Lumpur industrialized quickly with great development from the local government. On the strategic location of the Malay Peninsula, Kuala Lumpur was an invaluable asset of the Indonesian Federal government, thus allowing significant military presence to defend the region in the land assault, mostly fearing Thailand's aggression.

Kuala Lumpur, however, had a crisis of identity, possibly from the racial strife between ethnic Malay and ethnic Chinese. United during Nasution’s presidency, this racial friendship slowly deteriorated under LKY’s administration, which has presented relatively unfair treatment to ethnic Malays. In hindsight, ethnic Malays had worse education backgrounds, achieving less money, and gaining lower prestige than their Chinese counterparts. As envy turns into anger, these Malays demanded Chinese citizens to pay their share from Mahathir’s planned Bumiputera policy. The city divide was more apparent in Kuala Lumpur’s nearly equal split between ethnic Chinese and ethnic Malays, exacerbating the power struggle of the city. After the Labour Law political success in 1986, Kuala Lumpur Malays slowly inching out the ethnic Chinese, giving harsher regulations on Chinese businessmen rather than Malays counterparts.

[1] Long story short, Sabuk Biru is the government's plan for how to capitalize on the strategic location of Malacca Strait, Karimata Strait and Java Sea to its utmost potential.
[2] Walini City, despite being remarkably smaller in population and size than Bandung, was filthy rich from the government's low regulation that attracts capitalists and conglomerates all across the world. Its relatively "exotic" nature and temperate highland climate made it more suitable for temperate societies. Starting as a government-planned city, it became the centre of expatriates. The city contributed to 35% of Bule Indonesians alone (consisting of immigrants). It also had a significant Java population, conflicting with Sundanese people.
[3] Both Kuala Lumpur and Medan were predominantly Chinese cities before the massive growth of urban natives (Malays and Javanese respectively) flocking to the city. ITTL as Bumiputera policies were not implemented in Malaya and no serious ethnic conflict was caused by G30SPKI (communist-labelled), the Chinese minority remained dominant longer than should be, until their birth rates were surpassed by the natives.

Cyberpunk Indonesia might be not far-fetched after all.
There's so much I want to discuss, like Papua, Madagascar, and then the immigration situation. But one by one I will post it.
Hello, it has been a long time since the last update hasn't it.
Overall, it is a relative fine look at the cities of ITTL...Indonesia.
BTW, I would like to ask something very minor. How does the administration of cities /regencies was done ITTL, and how do the 2nd level and below of subdivision of Indonesia works ITTL, now that they also have the additional territories.

For context, IOTL, the 1969 elections (the subsequent hung Selangor state assembly, one of the "reasons" the riot happening) bring about the change of status of Kuala Lumpur into a federal territory, by basically carving out Kuala Lumpur (actually, carving out some parts of the Kuala Lumpur district [daerah or really IMO, Malaysia equivalent of regencies] (that include the city of Kuala Lumpur)and creating two new districts [daerah] from the rest of the KL district (Petaling and Gombak, while also adjusting some of the surrounding districts borders). Meanwhile, there is also the Local Government Act of 1976 which restructure the local government and reduce the amount of local government immensely. which is why there is really no equivalent of a kecamatan in Malaysia.
Current federal body of Indonesia rests between balancing the traditional kingdoms of Indonesia and a more rigorous federation visioned by the Constitution of 1973 Constitution (which itself was the amalgamation of previous constitutional ideas into one compromise). The kingdoms remain powerful throughout the nation because of its cohesion with the people they rule, giving opposition and denouncing "federalists" as radicals.

Currently, the federal division of Indonesia consists of State Republics, Federal Districts and Federal Territories

1) State Republics (Nusantara, Papua, Melanesia and Madagaskar) function as the immediate subdivision (a true model) of the 1964 Consitution and the 1950 Konstituante (during my Election Game of TTL). The State Republics have certain provisions it should obey to the Federal goverment, that being adhering to all of the Federal Constitution and allow the Federal Republic to "standardize" republics under the same monetary, foreign, defense, fiscal and judiciary policies. However, the State Republic's flexibility was allowed on adopting the consensus of the local government on all five of these policies, giving a sense of space on diversity. For example, the Federal Constitution has no restrictions on gambling, but local government may install regional laws that put gambling on a severely expensive ordeal, discourage people on doing so in the process. Another example would be the Labour policies, while the Federal government gives basic protections on labourers, the local government manages on the wages, insurances, and welfare policies (for example, State Republic of Nusantara has the best labour policies in the whole nation, giving large benefits for sick leave, maternity leave and holiday leave). State Republics have representation in DPR (Congress) and DPRD (Senate).

The subdivision of State Republics is regulated to have two lower bureaucratic administration ( provinsi/distrik and kota/kabupaten).  Provinsi used for local state goverment as fund-receivers (proposing local programs, giving detailed planning, and receive the money) while kota/kabupaten is highly administrative (registry). The rest is up to the State government itself. For example, State Republic of Nusantara has evolving Rukun Warga as a smaller subdivision of Kecamatan for neighborhoods. State Republic of Papua uses  desa as subdivision for tribes with chiefs (important in voting purposes).

State Republics have election cycles different to the Federal Republic (but retain 5 year terms), it also allow minor parties to participate in local elections, with the party must allign with federally accepted parties (there is few conditions to be one federal party).

Kingdoms/Sultanates is essentially state provinces but with a sultan/king as head of state (only in State Republic of Nusantara) Part of why the federation is built, the kingdoms demanded autonomy as a payment of funding the Indonesian Independence (Jogja is one, then Johor and Kedah for defecting to Indonesia during the Australian Aggression). This was a compromise to not pissing off pro-monarchist citizens that still dominate within the kingdoms. However, the federal government does not wish to split these kingdoms outside of State Republic, which would give enormous conflict on Papua, Madagascar and Melanesia (they don't like the special treatment). This had been a clear criticism from the radical liberal wing, and the radical pro-republic wing that doesnt like "special status" of non-elected head of state because it infringes Indonesian democracy. The PNI-R Nusantara Faction (Habibie reformists) have proposed Sultans to join the election campaign ("if the sultan is truly the leader of the kingdom, then the people would vote for him overwhelmingly" argument), it hasn't recive enough traction. Again, the subdivision of State Kingdoms consist of kecamatan.

2) Federal District is much more stranger
This subdivision had never been properly defined by the Constitution. The common goal of Federal Districts is these areas are vital to Indonesia Federal growth, contributing the federal image of Indonesia. At first, only Jakarta has been the sole genuine district. However, it later involves highly profitable areas that goverments wished to "fully" control, such as Kota Walini, Batam, Penang, Malaka (economic purposes), Biak (defense purposes) and Bali (entertainment purposes) that has significant population. It has little to no regulation, direct funding from federal government, and direct control as well. No representation on DPD (Senate) but a small representation in DPR (Congress). However, these districts have immense power of being the center of goverment's attention that most of the wildest/most ambitious projects happen here. The district is led by District Secretary, which appointed by the federal government. But, the Federal Districts have a small congressional body that advises the District Secretary in local affairs, but both governments have panderwd to these region so much that the body has become "yes, please" echo for any federal program.

Much to the weird administration, the mayor of Kuala Lumpur has a smaller status than the Federal District of Singapore, even though the population is the same.

3) Federal Territories is relatively small, unorganized territory that has relatively distant connection to be in part of a State Republic, but retains a significant strategies for the Federal Government. This might be consist of an islands for defense, military dominated, or populations so minuscule it doesn't need to be represented. Those being Christmas Islands, Chagas Archipelago as example. It has no representation in the federal body, but any local programs are directly manage by either the government, or the military commands on that particular area.

Reference of the list here.

I had recheck the map. and oh boy does the border of the district regencies of Malaya is messy (since thee are many regencies that cross the abolished state lines, really hope the 2000 update would slightly fixes this). Not really a big deal, although a major pet peeve for me personally is the fact that considering this statement,

Brunei seems fine. a glance of Perak ITTL seems like Kedah is the one that survives and given additional territories (since there are large chunks of IOTL Perak being given to the Federal State of Malaysia while all of Perlis and almost all of Kedah were being transferred to Perak) and Johor, actually loses territories by the look of it (if you looked closely north of Malacca, it seem as if the border between Johor and the neighboring regencies to be following an old border before parts of IOTL Negeri Sembilan being annexed by Johor.

TLDR: Oh boy how messy is Malaya ITTL.

It was part of how the Indonesian government attempts to brutally "Indo-nization" British Malaya after the war. During Nasution's administration, conflicts had arisen from the Malayan populace. Force-feeding Bahasa Indonesia as the true Malay language did made the Malays pretty upset, with Nasution also ignored the region for years blaming them for "ruining proper Indonesia" but the LKY administration had quell them down by economic growth, better representation, and much fairer federal government.

Who know, when Indonesia doesn't prosper as quickly as it should be, this region can get "hot".
It was part of how the Indonesian government attempts to brutally "Indo-nization" British Malaya after the war. During Nasution's administration, conflicts had arisen from the Malayan populace. Force-feeding Bahasa Indonesia as the true Malay language did made the Malays pretty upset, with Nasution also ignored the region for years blaming them for "ruining proper Indonesia" but the LKY administration had quell them down by economic growth, better representation, and much fairer federal government.

Who know, when Indonesia doesn't prosper as quickly as it should be, this region can get "hot".
Please ignore my previous post: The map has lots of flaws in Malaya, that is not really your fault by the looks of it.
The PNI-R Nusantara Faction (Habibie reformists) have proposed Sultans to join the election campaign ("if the sultan is truly the leader of the kingdom, then the people would vote for him overwhelmingly" argument), it hasn't recive enough traction. Again, the subdivision of State Kingdoms consist of kecamatan.
Considering the time we are approaching, perhaps there could an election coming up in one of the Kingdom if the manners of the some of the members of the aforementioned royal family are as IOTL.
(Bendahara restoration anybody?)
Much to the weird administration, the mayor of Kuala Lumpur has a smaller status than the Federal District of Singapore, even though the population is the same.
It seems like the mayor (and the Federal District administration) would be a direct elected office eventually, which as for the former is much better than the arrangement KL-ites have now IOTL.
Reference of the list here.
This particular map is much better than the pervious map (with the exception of Malacca losing Alor Gajah and gaining Tangkak, while Johor losing the latter and Segamat). But that is an extremely minute detail that would be better to be ignored.