top of page

Chapter 8





Abangan: (uh bun gun) Indonesian form of religion which combines elements of animism. Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.

GOLKAR: From golongan karya, "functional group," a part of Sukarno's Guided Democracy which was retained by Suharto. Representing Indonesian political value as "functional" rather than competitive, GOLKAR emphasizes social mobilization for projects with broad national import by channeling mass energies. The concept, originally introduced during Sukarno's tenure, proclaimed the unity of all Indonesians, regardless of their location in the archipelago. While promoting nationalism, on the one hand, italso has as its intended effect the legitimation of military rule; both Sukarno and Suharto have manipulated the concept for this purpose. Initially, GOLKAR established the authority of the military and civil bureaucracy over all other groups and was thereby used to quash the growing popularity of the Indonesian Communist Party in the mid-1960s. In 1969, Golkor was declared a political party and it has exerted considerable influence in government and politics since then.


Guided Democracy: The political form developed by Sukarno in 1959 to resolve the basic conflicts in national politics (e.g., role of religions, military/civilian divisiveness, tensions between Java and the outer islands) through utilizing the Javanese concept ofmusyawarah. Indonesian presidential power shifted from dealing directly with these problems to developing consensus and guiding national policy.


Mufakat: (moo fuh cut) "Consensus." A part of the political process in Indonesia derived from traditional Javanese thought.


Musyawarah: (moose yuh wuh ruh) "Deliberation." A political process also derived from traditional Javanese thought.


Abdul Haris Nasution: (uhb dool huh reese nuh soo tea own) Born 1918. Nasution received military training from the Dutch. After WWII, he rose to the rank of general and held various commands. Nasution's support of Sukarno was instrumental in establishing Guided Democracy. Though a critic of Suharto, Nasution was active in post-1965 politics. In1966, he was elected chairman of Parliament, a post he held until 1972.


New Order: Suharto's government, the main features of which was Pancasila, political stability, economic growth, and a restrained international profile.


Pancasila: (pun kuh see luh) The "five pillars" of state ideology developed by Sukarno. Consists of: 1, belief in One God; 2, nationalism; 3, international cooperation; 4, democracy; and 5, social justice.


Suharto: Born 1921. Took power from Sukarno in 1966 after the unsuccessful PKI coup. Suharto led the drive to eliminate the PKI after the coup. He copied many of Sukarno's tactics, but applied them in a rightist manner, as opposed to Sukarno's leftist inclination.


Wayang kulit: (wuh yuhng koo lit) The traditional shadow puppet theater of Indonesia. Flat puppets, hand operated with sticks, are placed on the inside of a backlit screen. Just the shadows of the puppets are seen by the audience. The stories are performed in classical language, deal with traditional themes, and usually have a moral.




Alliance Party: Led by UMNO, this united front was created to satisfy British demands in the 1950s and was a necessary step in the process of gaining independence from Britain.


BN: "Barison National," the National Front. Developed from the reorganization of the Alliance Party in 1971.


Bumiputera: (boo me poo truh) Literally "sons of the soil," this is the official term for Malays and the indigenous peoples of the outer Malaysian areas, Sabah and Sarawak, on the island of Borneo.


Communal Politics: A term reflective of the Malaysian plural society, which developed from 1800 on, as each major ethnic group tended to settle in separate areas-Malays in the villages, Chinese in the towns, and Indians on the plantations. Each community is a tight-knit ethnic structure, grouped by language, religion, and educational system. Each community has developed separate political organizations to reflect their ethnicity; this has resulted in ethnic factionalism.


MCA: The Malayan Chinese Association, a political party whose members are ethnic Chinese.


MIC: The Malayan Indian Congress, an ethnic political party consisting of Indians.


Dahik Seri Mahathir Mohamad: (duh took sree muh huh tier) Born 1925. The fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia who concurrently headed UMNO (see below), Dr. Mahathir succeeded to the office from the position of Deputy Prime Minister in 1981. Coming from a commoner background with no apparent ties to any of the Malay royal house and training as a medical doctor rather than a lawyer, Mahathir broke the precedents set by the first three Malaysian PMs. Although a bumiputera and an advocate of Malay rights, Mahathir spoke out strongly against UMNO leadership after the 1969 riots and was temporarily ousted from the party. His leadership resulted early-on inincreased government efficiency and reduced corruption in the public sector, but his confrontational political style caused schisms within his party and resulted in fewer political freedoms. In the economic sphere, Mahathir stressed development of heavy industriesbased on Malaysian energy and raw material resources, as well as some technology sectors, and attempted to invigorate the bumiputera work ethic with the challenging examples of Japan and South Korea. In foreign relations, Mahathir's "Look East" policy resulted in closer cooperation with regional partners Japan and South Korea at the expense of ties with Great Britain.


Tunku Abdul Rahman Alhaj: (tune coo uhb dool ruh muhn ul huhj) Bom 1903. Son of a sultan (tunku means "prince"), Rahman led the Malayan independence movement and served as first prime minister (1957-1970). Honored as Bapa Malaysia-"Father of Malaysia."13 May Rioting: An eruption of communal rioting in reaction to the apparent loss of ethnic Malay primacy in the 1969 elections, these bloody ethnic clashes resulted in a high death toll (several hundreds of Chinese). By 1971, the issue had been resolved by guaranteeing Malay political dominance and preservation of Malay cultural heritage.


UMNO: The United Malays National Organization. The dominant political party of Malaysia, consisting of ethnic Malays, who constitute an ethnic majority and an economic minority in Malaysia. Malaysia's four prime ministers have all come from UMNO.




Benigno Aquino: 1932-1983. Born to a renowned political family, he was the "wonder boy" of Philippine politics. A war journalist at seventeen, governor at twenty-nine, senator at thirty-three, Benigno was the leading candidate for president in the 1973 Filipino election, which was cancelled by Marcos' imposition of martial law. Aquino wasarrested by Marcos in 1972, tried, and sentenced to death by a Marcos military court in 1977. However, he was released in 1980, to go to the US for heart surgery. Upon returning to his homeland in August 1983, he was immediately assassinated by Marcos' security forces.


Corazon Aquino: Born 1933. Born in the provinces, "Cory" moved with her family to the US, where she completed high school and college. In 1954 she married Benigno Aquino in Manila and became a homemaker. After her husband's arrest in 1972, she became his liaison to those who opposed Marcos. After Benigno's assassination, Cory became the symbol of his democratic reform policies and the opposition candidate to Marcos in the 1985 elections. Buoyed by enthusiastic popular support and the "people power" revolution, Corazon Aquino claimed victory in the contested election of February 1986 and became the seventh president of the Philippines. Initially, Cory Aquino, who represented defined political party, enjoyed widespread popular support. That support declined amid several attempted coups by dissident military factions and worsening Filipino economic conditions.


Ferdinand Marcos: 1917-1990. A member of the Philippine establishment elite, Marcos served as Philippine president from his election in 1965, and as virtual dictator after his 1972 imposition of martial law, until his forced relocation to Hawaii in 1986. Marcos and his powerful wife, Imelda, became increasingly supportive of repressive and corrupt practices by their regime, propped up by massive US aid, amid worsening political and economic conditions in the country. His miscalculation of the strength of the opposition "people power" movement led to his hasty evacuation by the US to Hawaii.


People Power: Reference to the 1980s development of a grassroots movement among "commoners" against the increasing political repression and economic oppression of Marcos and the "Crony Capitalists." This combination of groups united in a call for honesty in the 1986 election, which was Marcos' first major political defeat.


Peso: The unit of Philippine currency.




Political Action Party (PAP): The ruling party of Singapore.


Korean Peninsula


Chuch'e: (chew cheh) "Self-reliance." The official political philosophy of North Korea, it is a mix of independence and Marxism-Leninism blended to suit North Korea.


Chun Doo Hwan: (chun doo hwahn) Born in 1931. Chun was elected president of the Fifth Republic of Korea in 1981. His achievements include lifting martial law, reducing inflation, promoting a new constitution which included a limit on presidents to a single seven-year term, and turning a negative-growth economy around. On the negative side, he suppressed independent publishers and sent more than 30,000 people to jail on political charges.


Roo Tae Woo succeeded Chun as president in the elections of 1987.Democratic Liberal Party (DLP): The political party in South Korea that generally hasrepresented big business, the bureaucracy, the military, and some left-wing elements. The DLP is modeled after Japan's LDP.


Kim Dae Jung: (kim deh joong) A prominent opposition politician, he has been imprisoned several times, and in 1980 escaped death at the hands of the South Korean government due only to international pressure (primarily the US). He ran for president in 1969, stunning the repressive Park regime by winning 43.6% of the vote, and ran a dose third in the 1987 presidential elections.Kim Young Sam: Born 1927. Educated at Seoul National University. During martial law, he was banned from politics. A prominent opposition politician who finished second in the 1987 elections, Kim joined the coalition party formed by President Roh Tae Woo in 1990.


Kwangju Incident (kwahng jew) Also known as the Kwangju Massacre. After the assassination of President Park Chung Hee on 26 October 1979, there were enormous student-led demonstrations in the eastern coastal city of Kwangju. The army moved in to suppress the demonstrations, and more than 200 students were killed. The Kwangju Incident continues to serve as a rallying point in Korean politics, particularly for the opposition led by Kim Dae Jung.New Korea Democratic Party: Formed in 1985, this party is a combination of smaller opposition parties.


Roh Tae Woo: (no teh woo) Born 1932. A former general, Roh, representing the DLP, was elected president in 1987. A protégé of Chun Doo Hwan, his presidency marked the first peaceful transfer of presidential power in South Korea’s history.




Chiang Ching-kuo: (Jahng jing gwoe) 1910-1988. Eldest son of Chiang Kai-shek; educated in the Soviet Union. Chiang Ching-kuo held various posts in the KMT government in China. After the Nationalist retreat to Taiwan in 1949, he was groomed to be his father's successor. He became vice-premier in 1969, premier in 1972, and president in 1978, a post he held until his death. Although unwaveringly dedicated to the Nationalist cause, he was also concerned with the lot of common people. During his rule, the number of Taiwanese (i.e., those not bom on the mainland) participating in politics increased markedly.


Democratic Progressive Party: Long the main opposition party in Taiwanese politics, the DPP grew within the democratic evolution of Taiwan to take control of the presidency under Chen Shui Ban in 2000.


Lee Teng-hui: Lee dung hway) Bom 1923. Became the third president of Taiwan after Chiang Ching-guo's death in office in 1988. Lee was the first native Taiwanese to become president of Taiwan. Political liberalization continued under Lee.




Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX): Born in 1927 in Cambridge, Massachusetts; grandson of Chulalongkorn. Crowned in 1950, King Bhumibol has been a source of political stability amid the passage of many civilian and military Thai governments. His reign has increased the prestige of the monarchy to a degree that has made him the most respected and revered figure in Thailand.

bottom of page