University of Melbourne Associate Professor Charles Coppel presents the Herb Feith Memorial Lecture 2017 hosted by the Monash Asia Institute.
Indonesia has a very large population comprising hundreds of ethnic groups. The ethnic Chinese are one of the largest, but their numbers are much smaller than is commonly believed. Historically, they have been treated differently from other ethnic groups, especially during the three decades of President Suharto’s New Order regime. Since 1998 formal discrimination against them has been repealed. Have the Chinese been ‘normalised’? What does the experience of Ahok in the recent Jakarta gubernatorial election say about this?
Charles Coppel is an Honorary Principal Fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at The University of Melbourne. He has been researching the ethnic Chinese in Indonesia for more than half a century. His publications include Indonesian Chinese in Crisis (1983), Studying Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia (2002), and the edited volume Violent Conflicts in Indonesia (2006). His contribution to the field was recognised in the festschrift edited by Tim Lindsey and Helen Pausacker, Chinese Indonesians: Remembering, Distorting, Forgetting (2005) and his contribution to Indonesian nation-building by a NABIL Foundation Award (2009).