Monday, November 29, 2010

Bung Karno and the Bintang Muhammadiyah: A Political Affair

Drakeley, S. 2009. "Bung Karno and the Bintang Muhammadiyah: A Political Affair". NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES. 11 (1): 208-221.

On 10 April 1965 a little known event took place in Jakarta when a delegation from the Muhammadiyah, Indonesia's massive modernist Islamic organisation, attended the Presidential Palace for an audience with President Sukarno. The entourage of forty-five, led by Chairman K.H.A. Badawi, consisted of the Muhammadiyah national leadership, together with members of its various councils. Also included was Oei Tjeng Hien (Abdul Karim) a former adviser to Muhammadiyah with whom Sukarno had been closely associated in his Bengkulu days (1838-42). The ostensible purpose of the delegation was to bestow on Sukarno the Bintang Muhammadiyah (Muhammadiyah medal) in recognition of his service to the organization. Beyond certain circles this event attracted only modest attention at the time and since then has almost disappeared from history. Perhaps now, however, a re-examination of this affair can shed some additional light on its chief protagonists and on the politics of 1965 Indonesia.

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