Partai Tionghoa Indonesia

The Partai Tionghoa Indonesia (English: Chinese Indonesian Party; Chinese: 印尼中华党) was a left-wing political party in the Dutch East Indies during the Great Depression. Influenced by the growing Indonesian nationalist movement, it proposed a third way beyond the pro-China and pro-Dutch parties which had existed among the Indonesian Chinese until then. The PTI advocated for Indonesian citizenship for Chinese Indonesians and closer political ties to Indigenous Indonesians (pribumi or bumiputera).

Partai Tionghoa Indonesia

印尼中华党
LeaderLiem Koen Hian
Ko Kwat Tiong
Kwee Thiam Tjing
Ong Liang Kok
Tan Ling Djie
Tjoa Sik Ien
PresidentLiem Koen Hian (1932–1934)
Ko Kwat Tiong (1934–1939)
SecretaryKwee Thiam Tjing
FounderLiem Koen Hian
Founded1932
Dissolved1942
Succeeded byPersatuan Tenaga Indonesia
HeadquartersSurabaya, Dutch East Indies
IdeologyIndonesian nationalism
Socialism
Political positioncentre-left

The party was created in September 1932 as a result of the dispute over whether Chinese Indonesians should aspire to Dutch citizenship or whether they should remain citizens of the Republic of China.[1] This debate had been going on since the birth of the Chinese republic in 1911. As well, the drive to found the PTI came from the lower classes of Indies Chinese who felt excluded from politics.[2] By the 1930s Peranakan Chinese politics in the Dutch East Indies were dominated by the Chung Hwa Hui, a rightwing political party seen as a mouthpiece of the pro-Dutch and conservative colonial Chinese establishment.[3] The party's leaders, H. H. Kan and Loa Sek Hie, advocated cooperation with, and participation in, the Dutch colonial state.[4] The Sin Po faction, which advocated allegiance to mainland China, wanted to stay out of Indies politics altogether. However, a small faction in the late 1920s and early 1930s led by Liem Koen Hian, editor of the papers Sin Tit Po and Soeara Publiek, influenced by the Indische Partij, advocated for Indisch Burderschap (Dutch: Indies citizenship) for the Indies Chinese. By 1932 he was calling it Indonesiërschap (Dutch: Indonesian citizenship).[5]

So, in 1932 Liem along with Kwee Thiam Tjing, Ong Liang Kok and other Surabaya Peranakan Chinese founded the PTI with the support of some moderate Indonesian nationalists such as Soetomo and Suroso. Their platform aspired to reform the Dutch East Indies to the point where there was racial equality between the Dutch, Pribumi and Indonesian Chinese. However, like the Chung Hwa Hui they excluded Totok Chinese (foreign-born Chinese) from voting rights in the party.[6]

In 1934, the Leiden-educated lawyer Ko Kwat Tiong, hitherto chairman of the PTI's Semarang branch, was voted to succeed Liem as president of the entire party.[7] The PTI elected Ko, its only member to the Volksraad in the 1935 election.[8] Ko opened up the PTI to Totok Chinese members, and as the party's representative in the Volksraad, was one of the six initiators and signatories of the Soetardjo Petition of 1936, which requested Indonesian independence as part of a Dutch commonwealth.[7]

Liem Koen Hian had a falling out with his Indonesian nationalist ally Dr. Sutomo in 1936 after the later visited Japan and praised its government. As a Chinese nationalist, Liem accused Sutomo of spreading Japanese propaganda.[9] A personality clash between Liem and Ko Kwat Tiong also arose, causing Liem to leave the PTI in 1939 for the Gerindo party. With the Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies in 1942, the party essentially ended and was not recreated after Indonesian independence in 1949.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Leo Suryadinata. Peranakan Chinese Politics in Java, 1917–1942. Singapore University Press, 1981.
  2. ^ Govaars-Tjia, Ming Tien Nio. Dutch colonial education: the Chinese experience in Indonesia, 1900–1942. Chinese Heritage Centre, 2005.
  3. ^ Leo Suryadinata. Peranakan Chinese Politics in Java, 1917–1942. Singapore University Press, 1981.
  4. ^ Leo Suryadinata. Peranakan Chinese Politics in Java, 1917–1942. Singapore University Press, 1981.
  5. ^ Leo Suryadinata. Peranakan Chinese Politics in Java, 1917–1942. Singapore University Press, 1981.
  6. ^ Leo Suryadinata. Peranakan Chinese Politics in Java, 1917–1942. Singapore University Press, 1981.
  7. ^ a b Suryadinata, Leo (2012). Southeast Asian Personalities of Chinese Descent: A Biographical Dictionary, Volume I & II. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 978-981-4345-21-7. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  8. ^ Willmott, Donald E. (2009). The National Status of the Chinese in Indonesia 1900-1958. Singapore: Equinox Publishing. ISBN 978-602-8397-28-5. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  9. ^ Lohanda, Mona. Growing pains: The Chinese and the Dutch in colonial Java, 1890–1942. Yayasan Cipta Loka Caraka, 2002.