Alternative History

Emerald of the Equator

Welcome to the Portal Page for the Emerald of the Equator alternate timeline.

By Khalif Ali Husain2

A reboot of the Demokrasi Liberal alternate timeline.

National emblem of Indonesia Garuda Pancasila


The 20th century was not kind to Indonesia. While the country gained it's independence from the Dutch in 1950, the new parliamentary democratic government that was birthed from this was young and inexperienced to handle the fledgling nation. As the country struggled with regional differences in customs, morals, tradition, religion, the impact of Christianity and Marxism, and fears of Javanese political domination, all of which contributed to disunity. The new country was also mired by poverty, low educational levels, and authoritarian traditions. Various separatist movements rose up to oppose the republic. From the militant Darul Islam ('Islamic Domain') proclaimed an "Islamic State of Indonesia" and waged a guerrilla struggle against the Republic in West Java from 1948 to 1962; in Maluku, Ambonese formerly of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army proclaimed an independent Republic of South Maluku; and rebellions in Sumatra and Sulawesi between 1955 and 1961.

This instability led to the rise of authoritarianism. By 1956, Sukarno was openly criticising the parliamentary government, stating that it was 'based upon inherent conflict' that ran counter to the Indonesian concept of harmony as the natural state of human relationships. Culminating in 1957, when (with the support of the military), Sukarno proclaimed, 'Guided Democracy', and proposed a cabinet of representing all the political parties of importance (including the PKI). Western-style parliamentary democracy was thus finished in Indonesia until the beginning of of the Reformasi era.

But things didn't have to be this way. Indonesia could have been a democratic shining star amid a region rife with authoritarianism. So, this begs the question; What if it actually did occur?

Welcome, to the world of Emerald of the Equator.

Point of Divergence

During the Sukiman cabinet, an incident occurred in Medan which was started by armed men bearing the hammer and sickle badges. This incident were a part of a series of militant strikes likely to have been supported by the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). The government immediately launched a crackdown against the PKI. General Secretary of the Communist Party of Indonesia, D.N. Aidit, who denied that the incident was the work of the PKI, however, Aidit could not stop the government's will. Soon the PKI was banned, and Aidit and the party's leadership went into hiding.

Fortunately for the PKI, the ban was soon lifted. And it was able to participate in 1955 legislative elections. Winning 16% of the popular vote, and won 39 seats (out of 257 seats contested) and 80 of the 514 seats in the Constituent Assembly. But in this alternate timeline, the ban was not lifted. Instead, the PKI remained illegal. What would such a world look like?

See also