Cultural Heritage, Politics and Labour Migration
Routledge – 2014 – 256 pages
Drawing on social media, cinema, cultural heritage and public opinion polls, this book examines Indonesia and Malaysia from a comparative postcolonial perspective. The Indonesia–Malaysia relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships in Southeast Asia, especially because Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country and third largest democracy, is the most populous and powerful nation in the region. Both states are committed to the relationship, especially at the highest levels of government, and much has been made of their ‘sibling’ identity. The relationship is built on years of interaction at all levels of state and society, and both countries draw on their common culture, religion and language in managing political tensions. In recent years, however, several issues have seriously strained Indonesia’s once cordial relationship with Malaysia. Among these are a strong public reaction to maritime boundary disputes, claims over each country’s cultural forms, the poor treatment of Indonesian workers in Malaysia, and the widespread belief that Malaysians regard Indonesians as their poor cousins. Comparing the two nation’s engagement with cultural heritage, religion, gender, ethnicity, citizenship, democracy and regionalism, this book highlights the social and historical roots of the tensions between Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as the enduring sense of kinship.
1. Uneasy Neighbours 2. Language and Mythology 3. Cultural Contestations 4. Museums 5. Islam 6. Ethnicity 7. Citizenship 8. Regionalism 9. Democracy Conclusion
Marshall Clark is a Senior Lecturer in the School of International and Political Studies at Deakin University, Australia.
Juliet Pietsch is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University.