I dont how many Indonesian born Chinese will agree with me. Chinese issue in Indonesian society is a complex one.
One has to accept the unfortunate facts that occured in the past
1. racial stereotypes
2. Legalized or unwarranted massacre of Chinese populace from the Dutch Period till recent 1998 riots
3. All sorts of unwaranted regulations to restrict social life of the Chinese
4. Even glass ceilings for Chinese in the Goverment services and Armed forces.
We can blame even the natives for being one heck a**h***s!!! for all sufferings and indignity that had been imposed on us.
Not to mention " turn coat" individual , Indonesian Chinese muslim ( cant mention name here) that proposed public in his book that all Indonesian Chinese should embrace the religion of majority, IN ORDER TO BE ACCEPTED.
Whether rich Chinese or poor Chinese in Indonesia should realized that our struggle is to be recognized with dignity. Perhaps the most toughest of all that we are willing to fight not only with just arms but brains as well.
For example : maybe we should learn from The Japanese American community who were being interned and discriminated at during the world war two. They changed their society after the war by being more involved in politics, social work, and in all aspect of American way of life to bring down US government to finally apologized for their unjust treatment during the world two.
The Japanese Americans has been lobbying for 40 years or more to make Japanese American regained their dignity for 40 years.
Maybe we Indonesian Chinese should follow their example perhaps harder because the Indonesian government is far from being the enlightened despite its democracy trappings!!! We must put more Indonesian Chinese to study law not just lawyers but law makers too and make more brilliant scientist and technocrats.
Perhaps our struggle may have to fight longer than just 40 years!!!
I have a dream that one day we must rise in the Indonesian society and they recognized us not as " milking cows" but as contributing members of the society.
Despite the openess after the reformation towards the Chinese culture and social life, there are still too many hurdles and invisible barriers which we may or may not aware. We can not allow our children in the future TO BE JUST SATISFIED WITH OPENESS & PLAIN VANILLA RACIAL TOLERANCE. We must try again control our destiny and not allow ourselves to be satisfied watching our future generation looking at street performance lion dances!!!
Also in our Indonesian Chinese culture , there should be a reform on how Indonesian Chinese should be represented.
This is the toughest, because it is all involved language that is Mandarin. I can hardly speak mandarin, thats why I always pressurized my children to be able to speak the mother tongue.
The ability to speak Mandarin and revival of the language will bring a significant change in the way Indonesian Chinese present their culture. Too many natives see Chinese culture in single dimension and very narrow view of Chinese New Year, Lion dances and temple celebration, there are more to that !!!
IMO, that is the main problem it is not about multi-culturalism or respect for ethnicity, it is another form of ethnic cleansing. One have to give up their heritage and tradition and must be muslim before they can be consider to be Indonesian? why, is a catholic, Bhuddist, Hindu, Jew or Atheist less human than muslim?
Same thing is happening in the Philippine with the Muslim seccession problem. The rebels wanted to seperate from the Philippines in order to establish an Islamic State this will translate into "only muslim" will be consider.
I can understand if the rebellion is about social injustice, about fighting for all citizens regardless of religion but it is not.
Just like the Philippines, if Indonesia in fact Malaysia as well must seriously consider if they want religion to dictate their nation's policy or not?
If muslim countries have laws that require all people to be muslim before they can be consider citizens to enjoy all protection of the land, should Christian countries be allowed to do the same?
It will become a very scary thing if this happens, we will see the world revert back to the days of the mohamedans vs. crusades