Posts filed under ‘News’

Kemelut Indonesia akibat Hilangnya Budaya Asli Bangsa

Palembang – Kemelut yang terjadi di Indonesia disebabkan hilangnya budaya asli bangsa yang terkontaminasi budaya Barat, sehingga negara ini kehilangan arah dalam mengimbangi kemajuan zaman.

Staf pengajar Jurusan Sejarah dan Ketua Pusat Kajian Sosial-Budaya dan Ekonomi (PKSBE) Fakultas Ilmu Sosial (FIS) Universitas Negeri Padang (UNP), Dr Mestika Zed, mengatakan hal itu di Palembang, Senin (26/7), dalam seminar sehari bertajuk Sejarah dan Budaya Palembang.

“Bangsa ini banyak durhaka terhadap warisan tradisional milik leluhur, sehingga Indonesia menjadi terpuruk,” katanya.

Menurut ahli sejarah penulis buku-yang diangkat dari disertasinya-berjudul Kepialangan Politik dan Revolusi, Palembang 1900-1950 ini, masyarakat zaman dahulu memiliki sikap sosial yang tinggi antarsesama dan memiliki kesadaran untuk menaati peraturan yang ditetapkan pemerintah. Akan tetapi, sekarang hal itu sangat sulit ditemukan.

“Kalau dulu, khususnya di era tahun 1930-an, rakyatlah yang datang secara sukarela menyumbangkan sebagian penghasilannya untuk pemerintah, tetapi sekarang hanya sedikit rakyat yang punya kesadaran tinggi seperti itu,” ujarnya.

Selain sikap sosial yang tinggi, rakyat zaman dulu juga memiliki kepedulian yang tinggi dalam menjaga lingkungan di sekitarnya, sehingga kondisi alam pada era tersebut sangat cantik dan menawan. Sebaliknya, pada zaman modern seperti sekarang, sikap seperti itu tampaknya sudah “luntur” di hati rakyat Indonesia, sehingga alam menjadi panas dan tidak bersahabat lagi dengan manusia karena telah tercemari.

Pada abad ke-20, kata Mestika, kondisinya tidak separah sekarang, karena saat itu nilai-nilai religius masih dijaga dan dipatuhi dengan baik. Namun, sejak masuknya pengaruh Barat di negeri ini hal itu perlahan-lahan mulai luntur.

“Saat itu nilai-nilai religius, khususnya Islam, sangat kental di Indonesia. Sekarang? Generasi muda kita mulai seperti orang bule,” ujarnya.

Pergaulan bebas, narkoba, dan tawuran telah menjadi ciri khas generasi muda di era milenium sekarang, sehingga kalau dibandingkan dengan zaman dahulu ibarat Bumi dengan langit. Untuk mengatasi hal itu, maka pemerintah perlu menghidupkan kembali budaya asli bangsa, karena hanya dengan cara tersebut Indonesia bisa keluar dari krisis multidimensi.

“Jadi, zaman boleh maju dan orang bisa pergi ke Bulan, tetapi adat-istiadat yang menjadi ciri khas bangsa ini harus tetap dijaga dengan baik dan tidak boleh luntur oleh zaman,” kata Mestika Zed mengingatkan.

Sumber: Kompas, Selasa, 27 Juli 2004

February 17, 2006 at 6:05 am Leave a comment

Orang Minang Kini ‘Terkurung di Luar’

PADANG – ”Orang Minang kini terkurung di luar.” Begitu menurut sejarawan Dr Mestika Zed. Ini, bisa terjadi, karena tradisi intelektual Minangkabau kian hari kian merosot dan tumpul.

Kenapa semua itu bisa terjadi? Tak lain karena mereka tidak konsisten dengan komitmen kultural yang dibangun pendahulunya. Mestika Zed, mengemukakan hal itu, ketika peluncuran buku bertajuk Sejarah Masa Depan; Percikan Pemikiran Soedjatmoko, di Padang, Ahad (30/4).

Peluncuran buku karya Budi Putra ini, merupakan bagian dari rangkaian HUT pertama Harian Mimbar Minang, sebuah surat kabar yang didirikan oleh koperasi. Kata pemiliknya, Irman Gusman, inilah koran pertama milik koperasi di Indonesia.

Bahwa orang Minang, ‘terkurung di luar,’ bukan hanya disuarakan oleh Mestika Zed. Tapi, jauh sebelumnya, sastrawan Taufik Abdullah sudah mensinyalirnya. Malah menurut Taufik, Minang dewasa ini, adalah sebuah habitat yang ‘hening tapi hiruk-pikuk’. Mestika yang dosen Universitas Negeri Padang (UNP)dan Universitas Andalas, Padang itu, memiliki keprihatinan yang sama dengan Taufik. Katanya, orang Minang sedang berhadapan dengan ‘dakwaan kultural’ ketika masyarakatnya sedang berada di persimpangan jalan. Orang Minang, kemudian menjadi tawanan bagi dirinya sendiri. Mereka hanyut dengan kejayaan masa lalu, karena memang hanya itulah yang bisa dilakukan.

Seharusnya, kata Mestika, kejayaan masa lalu bisa dijadikan pelecut bagi membangun kemuliaan masa depan. Tapi, seperti dikatakan Prof Mursal Esten, kekuatan intelektual dan budaya Minang, tidak akan pernah muncul lagi, jika daerah ini, tidak diberi kepercayaan untuk melaksanakan otonomi pendidikan.

Berbicara kepada Republika di tempat yang sama, Ketua STSI Padangpanjang ini menyebutkan, kebijakan pendidikan nasional yang serba seragam dan terpusat, telah menimbulkan kesenjangan di tengah-tengah masyarakat. ”Yang nomor satu itu selalu Jakarta dan pulau Jawa, sementara daerah selalu nomor berikutnya,” paparnya. Karena itu, menurut Mursal, otonomi pendidikan, sesuatu yang tak bisa lagi ditawar.

Dalam orasi ilmiahnya, Mestika Zed, menuturkan, buku atau kitab, bagi bangsa Indonesia belum dijadikan indikator peningkatan SDM. Indikasi kemajuan SDM lebih sering diukur dengan jumlah lembaga pendidikan, tamatannya, nilai formal semisal NEM (Nilai Evaluasi Murni), IP (Indeks Prestasi), jumlah doktor, profesor dan sebagainya. Malah peningkatan SDM dengan suka cita diukur pula dengan penggunaan komputer, kemampuan bahasa asing. ”Tapi amat sedikit yang mengukur peningkatan SDM dari produk buku yang diterbitkan,” ujarnya.

Hal yang lebih celaka lagi, dikemukakan oleh Mestika. Menurut dia, di fakultas tempat ia mengajar, tiap jurusan punya televisi, tapi tidak ada perpustakaan. ”Kalau pun ada, tidak terurus dan merana,” katanya. Namun Mestika mungkin lupa, untuk memiliki sebuah pesawat televisi, tak perlu ada perpustakaan dulu.

Memungut data-data dari penelitian Gibbs dalam bukunya Scientific American (1995), ternyata untuk urusan pertambahan buku, Indonesia hanya 0,010 persen. Bandingkan dengan Amerika yang 30,81 persen, Jepang 8,224 persen, Inggris 7,93 persen, Jerman 7,184 persen, Prancis 5,302 persen. India 1,643 persen, Singapura 0,179 persen, Thailand 0,084 persen, Malaysia 0,0664 persen. Angka itu sangat memprihatinkan.

Tapi, menurut Mestika, ke depan bisa lebih baik, jika daerah bergiat mencetak buku. Saat ini, di Padang telah muncul penerbit Citra Budaya Indonesia (CBI) dan terakhir penerbit Pustaka Mimbar Minang.

HUT pertama Mimbar Minang juga diwarnai orasi oleh Direktur Eksekutif Yayasan Soetjadmoko, Murdianto. Tak hanya itu, harian ini juga menyerahkan award kepada sejumlah pengusaha kecil dan menengah. Mereka yang menerima award itu: Suparman, pemilik rumah makan (Padang), Nelson Septiadi, penyalur (Bukittinggi), dan Koperasi Pasar Abuan Ikatan Pedagang Tetap (AIPT) Padangpanjang. ”Kami memang memberikan perhatian pada sektor ekonomi kecil dan menengah,” cetus Pimred Mimbar Minang, Hasril Chaniago. — khairul jasmi

Sumber: Republika, 2 April 2000

February 17, 2006 at 5:55 am Leave a comment

Can Indonesia sue the Netherlands for history?

JAKARTA, 14 May 2002 – Major celebrations are underway in the Netherlands to commemorate the Dutch East India Company’s (VOC) 400th anniversary this year. This commemoration is especially targeted at Holland’s younger generation, to instill a sense of pride in their history. However, nations that have suffered under colonialism, such as Indonesia, would surely have a different perspective on the VOC, the trading company with political and military power.

The Indonesian Embassy in the Hague and Maluku descendants there have expressed a strong reaction. Indonesia’s State Minister of National Development Planning Kwik Kian Gie even made a strongly-worded speech at a recent VOC 400th anniversary commemoration at the Hague, with Queen Beatrix in attendance. A non governmental organization called the National Committee for the Indonesian Nation’s Dignity went to the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta on March 20, 2002.

They demanded that the Netherlands apologize for the oppression and severe human rights violations committed against Indonesians, especially after Indonesia’s declaration of independence on Aug. 17, 1945; to cancel all our debt owed to the Netherlands and Dutch institutions; and to compensate for Indonesia’s drained assets and the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Indonesians. Merely protesting the celebration of the VOC is easy.

In the case of a legal suit, however, careful preparation would be needed. For instance, the above Committee cites that “VOC’s establishment in 1602 marked the beginning of an inhumane and unjust oppression by the Dutch. It delivered riches and a golden age to the Dutch, but brought poverty, misery and death to the Indonesians.” Moreover, “none of the serious human rights violations committed by the Dutch have ever been investigated by an international tribunal.” The criteria and data on the wealth and poverty brought about by the Dutch must be supported by comprehensive and accurate figures. There should also be a clear standard and evidence of the heavy violence and violations committed by Dutch soldiers.

According to the scholar Henk Schulte Nordholt, there were two waves of violence during the colonial era. The first occurred during the latter half of the 17th century, when the VOC established a trade monopoly by conquering strategic regions such as Malaka, Makassar and Banten. The second happened during the Dutch East India administration, thanks to expansion by the colonial army (1871-1910), which claimed some 125,000 lives. Obviously, the evidence and surviving witnesses of all these cases have grown extremely scarce. If there is any relevant incident that may warrant a lawsuit, that would be the case of Capt. Raymond Westerling, who allegedly caused the death of 15,000 to 40,000 people in South Sulawesi. A review of the victim count is still possible. The father of senior historian Anhar Gonggong was among those killed.

An interesting item would be the report made by a Dutch historian, Jan Bank. Entitled De Excessennota (1995), it was written under the supervision of an inter-departmental commission (the Netherlands’ Departments of Defense, Home Affairs, Justice, Foreign Affairs, Education and Science). The report, as quoted from Mestika Zed’s book published this year, presents the “excesses” related to the thousands of war crimes committed by Dutch civil and military officers between 1946 and 1950. All kinds of violations are listed, from neglect of professional responsibility, abuse of military authority, threats of violence, pillage, rape, break-in of people’s homes, torture and murder.
The war crimes took place in different locations in Indonesia, and the report is backed by archival sources. The rape case of a woman arrested by two members of the Dutch military intelligence (NEFIS) in Lubuk Alung, West Sumatra on May 28, 1948 was taken from a report to the NEFIS Director in Batavia dated June 2, 1948. Also included are 15 thick bundles of clippings, containing daily news and bulletins, including those from the Netherlands’ official news agency Algemene Nederlands Persbureau. Let us compare the above case to the lawsuit filed in the United States over the past slavery of African-Americans. On March 26, 2002, Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, an attorney, entered a lawsuit at the federal court of Brooklyn, New York. The 36-year-old African-American woman demands a compensation of US$1.4 trillion from three major companies: Aetna Life Insurance, the train operator CSX and Fleet Boston Financial Corp.

Between 1790 and 1860 (slavery was not officially eliminated in the U.S. until 1865), the U.S. economy benefited by $40 million thanks to the eight million unpaid workers. The present value of such an amount is $1.4 trillion. The three companies are deemed to have caused suffering for hundreds of thousands of African-Americans hundreds of years ago. Aetna is accused of selling life insurance for slaves to their masters. Farmer-Paellmann managed to collect 1,852 such insurance policies. CSX employed the slaves for their railway construction, while Fleet Boston financed the project.

Farmer-Paellmann, a graduate from the New England School of Law, conducted a five-year research for this case. Aetna insists that the event took place hundreds of years ago, and as such would be difficult to be brought to trial. Its board of directors claim that they are not responsible since the corporate structure underwent changes in 1980. Moreover, they have previously issued an apology and contributed $36 million to the African-American community. It will not be easy to win this lawsuit, since the African-Americans’ genealogies are hard to trace. Should this lawsuit be successful, however, the compensation would be used to improve educational and health facilities for African-Americans.

Clearly demands of responsibility from the Dutch — through the mere collection of signatures — pales in comparison to the efforts of the above attorney. Has any data been collected about the victims from Indonesia’s side? The conclusions here are that first, history, which used to be linked to sociology, anthropology, psychology and literature, now touches the areas of law and justice. Second, the history of a nation or commemoration of a historical event can no longer escape foreign scrutiny. A country can no longer write her own history as she sees fit, as in the case of Japan vs. China and South Korea.

Thirdly, a human rights perspective should be incorporated into the curriculum of history. Demands for apology from the Dutch can be made, of course, but the extent of its benefit for Indonesians needs to be questioned. A total debt write-off would surely be impossible. However the claim of compensation is feasible. Concerned with human rights, the Dutch government would not object to paying the compensation. This year it has provided an assistance of $6,000 for every Jewish Dutch who was a victim of the Holocaust.

It is legitimate for Indonesia’s NGOs to file a lawsuit against the Dutch government. However, maybe 10 years from now, there might be a similar lawsuit from Dili, the capital of East Timor. The Indonesian government would be requested to pay war reparations, and a few generals who so far have eluded trial would be charged for serious human right violations in that new state, in an international tribunal.

Sumber: Indahnesia.com

February 17, 2006 at 4:53 am 3 comments


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