Merdeka - An Alternate History of Indonesia

Well having lived in Jakarta for a year and witnessed the corruption there I'm very interested to see how this pans out.
Ah Cmon! Give some love to Musso's Crew!

I'm more of a Murba fan, sorry :p

So Sukarno is dead, the nationalists are chastened by their battles with the Japanese, and the Dutch seem willing to compromise. It looks good, but hopefully the Dutch will make better proposals than they made in 1945-46 OTL - I doubt the nationalists would find those proposals acceptable even if they're committed to a cooperative path.

The OTL proposals were made with haste, resulting in vague and broad concepts. Their main aim was to lure the republicans to the bargaining table and/or appease the world. In addition the hostile position between the Dutch and the Republic meant there can be nothing more than exchange of proposals, but not conferences. This was also what lead to the sad state of the states of the United States of Indonesia, it was aimed to weaken the Republic, as many of these states existed only on paper. All three NICA officials I have introduced, van der Plas, Abdul Kadir and van Mook had genuine sympathies on an independent Indonesia, on their terms of course, and we will see where this goes.

This looks good indeed. Sure looks smooth.

Well having lived in Jakarta for a year and witnessed the corruption there I'm very interested to see how this pans out.

Very interesting.

Thanks! Here, have an update :D

EDIT: P.S. try searching van Mook in google images.
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The Great Calm

The power vacuum left behind after Japanese surrender in the Netherlands East Indies was remarkably different than in other places in Asia. While other places saw violence, here there was silence. It was not stability as thieves and bandits were rampant, but overall there was eerie atmosphere of lifelessness in Java and Sumatra. The Eastern portion of the archipelago had long been wrested from the Imperial Japanese Navy by the Allies, while the takeover of Borneo by Australian armies were swift and relatively bloodless. The rest of the East Indies, were most of the population reside however, was a different story.

Historians attributed the Great Calm of Java and Sumatra to two three reasons. First was the ignorance of the locals of the Japanese surrender. All means of communication has been banned by the military occupation, and life simply continued as if the war was still in progress. What the people did notice was the loosening of restrictions and the demoralized looks of the Japanese soldiers. But everyone was cautious, not many people dared the risk, although there were several reports of lootings taking place. Knowledge of the recent turn of events was exclusive to the soldiers and the Europeans and Eurasians under internment, and a small number of defiant people.

Second was the Djakarta Uprising, the ill-fated revolution that was doomed before it even started. The failure of the uprising, instigated by people who were aware of Japan's surremder, was caused by its lack of a clear chain of command. It can be perfectly described as a result of young men's angst, a crude underprepared action that cost the lives of many. It is arguable that the defeat of the Japan presented an opportunity which the nationalists missed, one can only speculate what would happen if the rebellion had the blessing of the older generation of nationalists. Instead, the many deaths had convinced the more influential older nationalists to shy from any military option.

Third, was the death of Soekarno to Malaria. His death left him a martyr, and if his speeches indoctrinated the masses when he was alive, it is now as if it was divine in origin. A cult of his personality soon emerged, thousands attended his burial ceremony in East Java, including his successor, Mohammad Hatta. Soekarno, just like Thamrin before him, could have been the face of the revolution. Nobody else in the Netherlands East Indies had as much power and charisma in steering the masses. But as his letters to Hatta he wrote in the final days of his life, he had written off armed revolution. He believed Indonesian independence was just around the corner, the world would see how ready the Indonesian people are, and violence would undo that. What was his belief became the belief of many people, and though Soekarno himself would not see Indonesia gain independence, many people waited, and finally tasted independence years later.

The Dutch return was smooth, with the advance team arriving with the allied forces tasked to release Allied prisoners of war and internees. The team, lead by Charles van der Plas and Raden Abdul Kadir Widjojoatmodjo were successful in establishing contact with the local nationalists. The local reaction to their arrival was not jubilant, but also not resistant. Part of what made this happen was Hatta's speech via radio broadcast, which careful choice of words convinced the native populace that the Dutch are only here to help Indonesia with its birth and baby steps as a nation.


Locals welcoming the arrival of Governor General Hubertus Johannes van Mook

The belief of the natives towards the Dutch had changed the last three year, not only the Japanese occupation as a comparison made the pre-World War 2 police state look desirable, but the quick campaign which preceded it made the people believe that the Dutch were not as strong as they thought they were. While the educated locals doubted the sincerity of the promise, they were confident that the Dutch would not risk departing with their most precious jewel on bad terms, so at least they would be willing to listen. Though any sort of dialogue had to wait for a couple of weeks. The Governor General, Hubertus Johannes van Mook had stayed behind in Brisbane, and his return to the Netherlands East Indies was delayed as he had to wait for a response from the Netherlands. Finally on October 1, he arrived with the approval of Queen Wilhelmina to start talks with the natives.
9. The Buitenzorg Conference, pt. 1 - The Assembly

Governor General Hubertus Johannes van Mook had a busy September in 1945. He was still in Brisbane, but he had to keep in touch with his men in Djakarta and with his superiors in The Hague. At least, the situation in the ground was going well. The release of allied prisoners of war did not require any pointless bloodshed, and the people were not militant. However, van Mook realized that this calm will not last forever, and he had to act fast to stay on the locals' good side.

On 17 September, he spent the whole day in his study in his Brisbane, alone, drafting a proposal of the terms of Indonesian Independence. His proposal was then telegrammed to The Netherlands, but could not be immediately processed. It could only be passed by the Dutch government, busy with plans of rebuilding after the devastation of World War 2, ten days later. After receiving the signature of the Queen, the conference was allowed to be held, and van Mook and the rest of NICA operatives flew to Djakarta.


Buitenzorg Palace, resident of the Governor General prior to World War 2, was chosen as the venue of the conference

The resulting conference was to be held in Buitenzorg[1] one week later, with 90 representatives of the various regions of the archipelago, as follows:
1. Aceh: 2 delegates
2. North Sumatra: 4 delegates
3. West Sumatra: 6 delegates
4. East Sumatra: 3 delegates
5. South Sumatra: 2 delegates
6. Bangka Belitung Islands: 2 delegates
7. West Java: 5 delegates
8. Central Java: 17 delegates
9. East Java: 10 delegates
10. Bali: 4 delegates
11. Lesser Sunda Islands: 6 delegates
12. West Borneo: 3 delegates
13. South Borneo: 4 delegates
14. East Borneo: 2 delegates
15. North Celebes: 6 delegates
16. Central Celebes: 2 delegates
17. South Celebes: 5 delegates
18. North Moluccas: 3 delegates
19. South Moluccas: 2 delegates
20. Papua: 2 delegates​


The short time van Mook had given Raden Abdul Kadir Widjojoatmodjo, his right hand man, to assemble the delegates is apparent from the names in the list. Abdul Kadir had three places to look for people. The first were the nobility, the Sultans and Rajahs whose sovereignity is only nominal within the Dutch East Indies. Notable is the Lesser Sunda Islands delegation, composed exclusively of the Sultans and Rajahs of each constituent island. Second were organizations that were once illegal or suppressed under Japanese rule, such as the Indische Partij and the Independence Fraction of the Volksraad. The third was from the BPUPKI, where thirty six delegates were members of. Those who were chosen were either former Volksraad*members or had undergone education in the Netherlands. Notable among them were Mohammad Hatta, widely regarded as the successor of Soekarno.

The members began arriving in October 8, staying in Binnenhof Hotel nearby. On the first day, Governor General Hubertus Johannes van Mook opened the assembly with a speech, welcoming the delegates and greeted them as comrades with the same goal of Indonesian Independence. However, it was the following days that proved that many differences had to be put straight, if Indonesia were to emerge united.

[1] OTL Bogor, West Java
Part of what made this happen was Hatta's speech via radio broadcast, which careful choice of words convinced the native populace that the Dutch are only here to help Indonesia with its birth and baby steps as a nation.
Hmmm.... I'm sure that Hatta's speech could be heard across Indonesia (correct me if I'm wrong), but is the said speech broadcasted from Jakarta?
Hmmm.... I'm sure that Hatta's speech could be heard across Indonesia (correct me if I'm wrong), but is the said speech broadcasted from Jakarta?

From Djakarta, yes, but it was broadcasted live only in Java. Only the most anti-Japanese owns a wireless actually, study groups and pesantren madrasahs for example.
So the Dutch are proposing independence right away, rather than starting with some kind of imperial-federation plan or a long transitional period? That's a good sign.
10. The Buitenzorg Conference pt.2 Conflicts of Interest


Governor General Hubertus Johannes van Mook delivering the Ten Point Proposal

A three day period, 9 - 11 October, was devoted for a thorough investigation of interests. Each group of delegation was given a chance to speak upon the podium to state their ideas of independence. The first to start was van Mook, stating what he on behalf of the Dutch Crown propose to the people of Indonesia in 10 points:
  1. There shall be an independent Government of the Indies, consisting of a democratically elected representative body with a substantial Indonesian majority and an executive Council of Ministers under a Governor General chosen by the Dutch Crown.
  2. The Government of Indonesia shall be a constituent part of a United Kingdom of the Netherlands. The exact machineries of the Kingdom is to be decided after the Government has been formed.
  3. There shall be a separate Constitution of Indonesia.
  4. There shall be established an Indonesian citizenship for all born in Indonesia.
  5. There shall be universal suffrage, without discrimination. Steps shall be taken to ensure every group is represented.
  6. There shall be an increase of Indonesians in the civil service. Regulations based on race shall be abrogated, and there will be no distinction between the Netherlands and Indonesian civil service.
  7. The Indonesian language shall be accepted as an official language of the Government along with Dutch.
  8. There shall be reforms on education to cut down illiteracy and to ensure that the citizens will be fluent in both official languages to maximize people participation.
  9. There shall be no separate penal laws.
  10. A strong armed force of Indonesia shall be established, built upon militia defense.

The reaction of the conference was overall negative. Many delegates expressed their beliefs that this was an invitation back to the old colonial relationship. The general setback was clear, both parties involved had different interpretations of independence. Mohammad Yamin of West Sumatra replied that independence will only come when Indonesia and the Netherlands will be in equal footing. Radjiman Wedyodiningrat of Central Java, a former Volksraad member, recall the Special Powers of the Governor General in the past where in a state of emergency the Governor General may act without consultation. The state of emergency is for the Governor General himself to decide. Mohammad Hatta expressed that he is willing to compromise, that this may be the political makeup of the transitional period. Upon the end of the transitional period, the power to chose a leader should lie in the people of Indonesia, not the Netherlands. This was agreed upon unanimously by the local delegates.

The tenth point also caused a reaction, but one of applause. There were even calls for the nationalization of the KNIL. This shows the distrust of the Indonesian people towards the Dutch military. Their relatively quick defeat against the Japanese was perceived as weakness in the eyes of the locals. Apparently, van Mook was in agreement, but he also feared that the Indonesian military be too strong.

Following the proposals by van Mook, Teuku Mohammad Hassan of Atjeh took the podium , sparking another debate. He expressed the desire of the Atjehnese to see the sharia law upheld, something granted in the BPUPKI meetings. However, this sparked statements by Christian delegates, including van Mook that Indonesia shall not be an Islamic state, but a pluralistic one where freedom of religion is ensured. Teuku Mohammad Hassan was willing to concede, but requested a department within the government to issue fatwas. Van Mook still refused the idea, instead proposing that such an institution should be made separate from the government to avoid politization. Islamists within the conference argue that such a department will not be much different than the religious raad*established within the nation. This department of Islamic Affairs, as coined by Wahid Hasjim, the son of the Nahdlatul Ulama[1] president and founder KH Hasjim Asjarie, would give statements on the position of the state on a certain matter of Islam, such as the date of Ramadan. Muslims who were not Islamists also supported an Islamic department within thengovernment, but insisted that said government would assume a guiding role, not an arbitrary one. They also courted the idea of the establishment of departments for other religions. A clear divide was seen as young delegates like Soetan Sjahrir promoted secularism while older ones believed in freedom of religion with faithfulness to the God of their choice in return.

The idea of federalism was first stated by teacher and lawman Mr. Mohammad Salleh of Riouw, the only member of the East Sumatra delegate not to be a Sultan. This received mostly positive reaction, including from van Mook himself. Mohammad Hatta countered by stating the need of a strong federal government and a single constitution to bind the nation together. The States that shall make up this federal government, proposed Mohammad Salleh, should not be based on race, but on regional ties just like the delegations of the conference. Dr. Soumokil of South Moluccas referred to the bicameralism of the United States of America to accompany the Indonesian brand of federalism. This was one of the easier debates of the three days, as federalism seemed like the perfect solution for the plural society of Indonesia.


Dr. Soumokil of the South Moluccas delegation

Several minor conflicts of interest also happened. The delegates of the Lesser Sunda Islands, all Sultans and Rajahs, questioned about their position within an independent Indonesia. The intellectuals believe that they should keep positions as head of adat[2], but not their sovereignity. They would be allowed to keep their wealth and land, but their peasants shall be free men and paid wages according to regulations. The Papuan delegates, although brothers, perfectly shown the differing views of nationalism among educated Papuans. Frans Kaisiepo was representative of the Indonesian nationalists of Papua, while Markoes Kaisiepo was a Papuan nationalist. Regarding federalism, Frans Kaisiepo was even willing to have Papua merged with the Moluccas as a state, while Markoes Kaisiepo was vehemently against it.


Markoes Kaisiepo of the Papuan delegation

On 11 October, the second phase of the conference was over. Several debates were left unresolved, and some delegates were visibly disgruntled. Many started to believe that the Dutch were not fully supportive of independence. However, the Dutch stance would soon change. Another conflict of interest had risen, this time outside of the conference. The Great Calm had reached its expected end.

[1] The largest Islamic Organization in Indonesia OTL and TTL
[2] The procession of traditional ceremonies and the safeguarding of traditional heritage.
Oh, the people in the two pictures there are OTL separatists by the way.
11. The End of the Calm


Daud Beureu'eh

"Allahuakbar! Allahuakbar!" shouted Teungku Mohammad Daud Beureu'eh. The mass of militia in front of him chimed in. The man was towering in stature and full of vigor. He was an Islamic priest, but his attire was nothing different from any of the men before him. He addressed the men in a deep, strong voice in a language they all speak. Atjehnese.

"The dreaded Dutch heathens have returned! They have killed women, children, and God-fearing men, and they are back to spill more blood! My brothers of faith, my people, they think we shall be afraid! They believe we shall run and hide! How wrong they were."

The men all laughed, some sneered and tried to make remarks that was inaudible to Daud Beureuh. But all was in approval.

"It is they who should be cowering in fear!" The masses agreed in unison, " And so were their henchmen plaguing the land!"

"My brothers, our people had once left a mark in history. We were to the Dutch, invincible. We were against the Dutch, resilient. Starting today, we shall prove it once more! We shall protect our homeland like we once before! But this time we shall succeed! This time we are doing this for our families! Our Indonesia! Our one true God!"

The crowd roared, but Daud Beureu'eh did not lose momentum, he picked up his gun and shouted louder than the warcries, "Pick up your weapons, gentlemen. For we shall fight! Allahuakbar! Allahuakbar! Allahuakbar!"



Atjehnese partisans after taking over land from a noble family near Kuta Raja

On October 12, the Great Calm has ended. Earlier that week, allied armies were parachuted into Medan to release prisoners there. News of the operation and rumors of atrocities took no time to reach Atjeh in the north, leaving the people restless. Out of the turmoil, a man had assumed leadership. The man was Teungku Mohammad Daud Beureu'eh.

Daud Beureu'eh was a familiar face among the Atjehnese. He was not a man of the noble class, but instead of he had gained reputation by devoting his life in religion and politics. He was the head of Persatoean Oelama Seloeroeh Atjeh, a nationalistic movement prior to World War 2, and was the regional figurehead employed by the Japanese. It was no surprise that much of his following came from former policemen and militia employed by the Japanese occupational government. These were undereducated men and women of the lower class, angry but with no unanimous agreement in what they were fighting for. Some believed that they were fighting for the nationalist cause of the Atjehan people. Others were under the impression that they were leading the liberation of Indonesia as a whole. What they had was a leader in Daud Beureu'eh, a rallying cause in their Islamic faith, and their hatred for the Dutch and their treacherous bourgeois lapdogs.

The rebellion started in the Pidie region of northern Atjeh where a group of militia seized Japanese weapons facing only token resistance. Their comrades in other locations throughout Atjeh soon followed. At first they had no white men to slaughter, so they launched their crusade at a potential threat. Nobles, landlords and merchants with a collaborationist past were rounded up and executed. The militia took their riches before they regrouped with their loot. Chinese shops were also raided, as were residences of Eurasians. Local Christians were generally unharmed however, although viewed with suspicion. Innocent men were falsely convicted as spies and executed in the streets. For days, Atjeh was in a constant state of turmoil. These atrocities however, were only beginning to spread.
Yes of course, who else ? :p :D

Looks like Indonesian military will grow stronger then intended after all, and nothing can be done about it.