|Didi Kwartanada,an expert of Chinese Indonesian history as well as the Director of Nabil Foundation in seminar and book review . (Chandra/Humas UMM)|
Incomplete understanding about the existence of Chinese ethnic in Indonesia makes a great gap with other ethnic groups. In fact, Chinese ethnic also plays many roles and strategies in forming this nation. This was mentioned by Didi Kwartanada, an expert of Chinese Indonesian history as well as the Director of Nabil Foundation when became a speaker in seminar and book review of 'Chinese in Indonesia: Role and Contribution to National Development', at Sengkaling Convention Hall of University of Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM) on Tuesday night (16/5)
According to Didi, for example, until now, there are not many people know that there are four ethnic Chinese descendants who are members of the Indonesian National Procurement Preparation Agency (BPUPKI).
"When Indonesia would be proclaimed at the end of the Japanese occupation, there are four Chinese who participated in pioneering 1945 Constitution in BPUPKI," Those four figures were Liem Koen Hian, Oey Tiang Tjoei, Oei Tjong Hauw, MR Tan Eng Hoa.
Didi said, Liem Koen Hian suggested that Chinese people who were living in Indonesia automatically became Indonesian citizens after independence. He was also the one who proposed press freedom. Meanwhile, Mr.Tan Eng Hoa was the initiator of article association freedom. “ demo and people action came from this idea”.
Besides, there are many Chinese’s roles in contributing the formation of the nation. Didi explained that based to the research of historian Dennys Lombard, there are four major cultures which have fundamental influence to the Indonesian archipelago. One of them is Tionghoa (Chinese). They play a role in creating technology that improves people's lives, especially in the fields of agriculture, foodstuffs, kitchenware, culinary technology, clothing, and mining technology.
On the other hand, Vice Rector I of UMM Prof. Dr. Syamsul Arifin, M.Si as a panelist appreciated the launch of this 1500 pages (3 volumes) book. According to him, the knowledge of Chinese ethnic should be continuously produced, in terms of history, culture, including Chinese contribution for Indonesian nation. "No matter we like or dislike, the Chinese ethnic has a contribution. And this kind of knowledge should be disseminated, so this national relation will be a good thing”.
This agenda was also attended by the administrators of Indonesian Chinese Association of Malang (INTI).(can/han)