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Tuesday, April 28, 2009



Indonesia is an archipelago in Southeast Asia consisting of 17,000 islands (6,000 inhabited) and straddling the equator. The largest islands are Sumatra, Java (the most populous), Bali, Kalimantan (Indonesia's part of Borneo), Sulawesi (Celebes), the Nusa Tenggara islands, the Moluccas Islands, and Irian Jaya (also called West Papua), the western part of New Guinea. Its neighbor to the north is Malaysia and to the east is Papua New Guinea.

Indonesia, part of the “ring of fire,” has the largest number of active volcanoes in the world. Earthquakes are frequent. Wallace's line, a zoological demarcation between Asian and Australian flora and fauna, divides Indonesia.


The 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia were home to a diversity of cultures and indigenous beliefs when the islands came under the influence of Hindu priests and traders in the first and second centuries A.D. Muslim invasions began in the 13th century, and most of the archipelago had converted to Islam by the 15th century. Portuguese traders arrived early in the next century but were ousted by the Dutch around 1595. The Dutch United East India Company established posts on the island of Java, in an effort to control the spice trade.

After Napoléon subjugated the Netherlands in 1811, the British seized the islands but returned them to the Dutch in 1816. In 1922, Indonesia was made an integral part of the Dutch kingdom. During World War II, Japan seized the islands. Tokyo was primarily interested in Indonesia's oil, which was vital to the war effort, and tolerated fledgling nationalists such as Sukarno and Mohammed Hatta. After Japan's surrender, Sukarno and Hatta proclaimed Indonesian independence on Aug. 17, 1945. Allied troops, mostly British Indian forces, fought nationalist militias to reassert the prewar status quo until the arrival of Dutch troops.
Dutch Recognize Indonesia's Independence


In Nov. 1946, a draft agreement on forming a Netherlands-Indonesian Union was reached, but differences in interpretation resulted in more fighting between Dutch and nationalist forces. Following a bitter war for independence, leaders on both sides agreed to terms of a union on Nov. 2, 1949. The transfer of sovereignty took place in Amsterdam on Dec. 27, 1949. In Feb. 1956, Indonesia abrogated the union and began seizing Dutch property in the islands.

In 1963, Netherlands New Guinea (the Dutch portion of the island of New Guinea) was transferred to Indonesia and renamed West Irian, which became Irian Jaya in 1973 and West Papua in 2000. Hatta and Sukarno, the cofathers of Indonesian independence, split over Sukarno's concept of “guided democracy,” and under Sukarno's rule the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) steadily increased its influence.

Sukarno was named president for life in 1966. He enjoyed mass support for his policies, but a growing power struggle between the military and the PKI loomed over his government. After an attempted military coup was put down by army chief of staff, General Suharto, and officers loyal to him, Suharto's forces killed hundreds of thousands of suspected Communists in a massive purge aimed at undermining Sukarno's rule.
Suharto Assumes Control and Brings a Measure of Stability

Suharto took over the reins of government and gradually eased Sukarno out of office, completing his consolidation of power in 1967. Under Suharto the military assumed an overarching role in national affairs, and relations with the West were enhanced. Indonesia's economy improved dramatically and national elections were permitted, although the opposition was so tightly controlled as to virtually choke off dissent.
Indonesia Annexes East Timor

In 1975, Indonesia invaded the former Portuguese half of the island of Timor; it seized the territory in 1976. A separatist movement developed at once. Unlike the rest of Indonesia, which had been a Dutch colony, East Timor was governed by the Portuguese for 400 years, and while 90% of Indonesians are Muslim, the East Timorese are primarily Catholic. More than 200,000 Timorese are reported to have died from famine, disease, and fighting since the annexation. In 1996, two East Timorese resistance activists, Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo and José Ramos-Horta, received the Nobel Peace Prize.

In the summer of 1997, Indonesia suffered a major economic setback, along with most other Asian economies. Banks failed and the value of Indonesia's currency, the rupiah, plummeted. Antigovernment demonstrations and riots broke out, directed mainly at the country's prosperous ethnic Chinese. As the economic crisis deepened, student demonstrators occupied the national parliament, demanding Suharto's ouster. On May 21, 1998, Suharto stepped down, ending 32 years of rule, and handed over power to Vice President B. J. Habibie.

June 7, 1999, marked Indonesia's first free parliamentary election since 1955. The ruling Golkar Party took a backseat to the Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P), led by Megawati Sukarnoputri, the daughter of Sukarno, Indonesia's first president.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (born September 9, 1949), is an Indonesian retired military general and the sixth and current President of Indonesia. Yudhoyono won the 2004 Indonesian presidential election defeating incumbent President Megawati Sukarnoputri. He was sworn into office on October 20, 2004, together with Jusuf Kalla as Vice President.

The day of his inauguration, Yudhoyono announced his new cabinet, which would be known as the United Indonesia Cabinet. Consisting of 36 ministers, it included members of the Democratic Party, Golkar and the PPP, PBB, PKB, PAN, PKP, and PKS. Professionals were also named in the cabinet, most of them taking on ministries in the economic field. The military were also included, with five former members appointed to the cabinet. As per Yudhoyono's promise during the election, four of the cabinet appointees were female

Wednesday, April 22, 2009



Thailand occupies the western half of the Indochinese peninsula and the northern two-thirds of the Malay Peninsula in southeast Asia. Its neighbors are Burma (Myanmar) on the north and west, Laos on the north and northeast, Cambodia on the east, and Malaysia on the south. Thailand is about the size of France.

Kingdom of Thailand
Ruler: King Bhumibol Adulyadej (1946)

Prime Minister: Abhisit Vejjajiva (2008)

Current government officials

Land area: 197,595 sq mi (511,771 sq km); total area: 198,455 sq mi (514,000 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 65,068,149 (growth rate: 0.7%); birth rate: 13.7/1000; infant mortality rate: 18.9/1000; life expectancy: 72.6; density per sq mi: 329

Capital and largest city (2000): Bangkok, 6,320,174 (city proper)

Other large cities: Nonthanburi, 304,700; Chiang Mai, 175,500

Monetary unit: baht

Languages: Thai (Siamese), English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects

Ethnicity/race: Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11%

Religions: Buddhist 95%, Islam 5%, Christian 1% (2000)

Literacy rate: 96% (2003 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $519.4 billion; per capita $7,900. Real growth rate: 4.8%. Inflation: 2.2%. Unemployment: 1.4%. Arable land: 28%. Agriculture: rice, cassava (tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans. Labor force: 36.9 million; agriculture 49%, industry 14%, services 37% (2000 est.). Industries: tourism, textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing such as jewelry and electric appliances, computers and parts, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics, automobiles and automotive parts; world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer. Natural resources: tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable land. Exports: $105.8 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.): textiles and footwear, fishery products, rice, rubber, jewelry, automobiles, computers and electrical appliances. Imports: $107 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.): capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials, consumer goods, fuels. Major trading partners: U.S., Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan (2004).

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 5.6 million (2000); mobile cellular: 3.1 million (2002). Radio broadcast stations: AM 204, FM 334, shortwave 6 (1999). Radios: 13.96 million (1997). Television broadcast stations: 5 (all in Bangkok; plus 131 repeaters) (1997). Televisions: 15.19 million (1997). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 15 (2000). Internet users: 1.2 million (2001).

Transportation: Railways: total: 4,071 km (2002). Highways: total: 64,600 km; paved: 62,985 km; unpaved: 1,615 km (1999 est.). Waterways: 4,000 km principal waterways; 3,701 km with navigable depths of 0.9 m or more throughout the year; numerous minor waterways navigable by shallow-draft native craft. Ports and harbors: Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Pattani, Phuket, Sattahip, Si Racha, Songkhla. Airports: 111 (2002).

International disputes: completion of boundary demarcation with Cambodia hampered by accusations of moving and destroying boundary markers, encroachments, initiating border incidents, and sealing off Preah Vihear temple ruins, awarded to Cambodia by ICJ decision in 1962; demarcation complete except for a 1 kilometer segment at the mouth of the Kolok River in dispute with Malaysia; demarcation with Laos complete except for certain Mekong River islets and complaints of Thai squatters; despite continuing border committee talks, significant differences remain with Burma over boundary alignment and the handling of ethnic rebels, refugees, and illegal cross-border activities.

Constitutional monarchy.

The Thais first began settling their present homeland in the 6th century, and by the end of the 13th century ruled most of the western portion. During the next 400 years, they fought sporadically with the Cambodians to the east and the Burmese to the west. Formerly called Siam, Thailand has never experienced foreign colonization. The British gained a colonial foothold in the region in 1824, but by 1896 an Anglo-French accord guaranteed the independence of Thailand. A coup in 1932 demoted the monarchy to titular status and established representative government with universal suffrage.

At the outbreak of World War II, Japanese forces attacked Thailand. After five hours of token resistance Thailand yielded to Japan on Dec. 8, 1941, subsequently becoming a staging area for the Japanese campaign against Malaya. Following the demise of a pro-Japanese puppet government in July 1944, Thailand repudiated the declaration of war it had been forced to make in 1942 against Britain and the U.S.

By the late 1960s the nation's problems largely stemmed from conflicts brewing in neighboring Cambodia and Vietnam. Although Thailand had received $2 billion in U.S. economic and military aid since 1950 and had sent troops (paid by the U.S.) to Vietnam while permitting U.S. bomber bases on its territory, the collapse of South Vietnam and Cambodia in spring 1975 brought rapid changes in the country's diplomatic posture. At the Thai government's insistence, the U.S. agreed to withdraw all 23,000 U.S. military personnel remaining in Thailand by March 1976.


It can be said that there were three layers of culture overlapping each other during the history of Vietnam: local culture, the culture that mixed with those of China and other countries in the region, and the culture that interacted with Western culture. The most prominent feature of the Vietnamese culture is that it was not assimilated by foreign cultures thanks to the strong local cultural foundations. On the contrary, it was able to utilize and localize those from abroad to enrich the national culture.

The Vietnamese national culture emerged from a concrete living environment: a tropical country with many rivers and the confluence of great cultures. The natural conditions (temperature, humidity, monsoon, water-flows, water-rice agriculture ...) exert a remarkable impact on the material and spiritual life of the nation, the characteristics and psychology of the Vietnamese. The Vietnamese nation was formed early in the history and often had to carry out wars of resistance against foreign invaders, which created a prominent cultural feature: a patriotism that infiltrated and encompassed every aspect of life.

With the Declaration of Independence on September 2nd 1945, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the first independent republic in Southeast Asia, was born. On January 6, 1946, the first universal suffrage general election was held to elect the National Assembly, the supreme organ of power of the new Vietnam.
In November 1946, the National Assembly adopted the first Constitution of the Republic. The Constitution clearly pointed out that "Vietnam is an indivisible and monolithic bloc; it is a democratic republic; power belongs to the whole Vietnamese people irrespective of race, gender, property, social class and religion."

Most visitors to Vietnam are overwhelmed by the sublime beauty of the country's natural setting: the Red River Delta in the north, the Mekong Delta in the south and almost the entire coastal strip are a patchwork of brilliant green rice paddies tended by women in conical hats.
There are some divine beaches along the coast, while inland there are soaring mountains, some of which are cloaked by dense, misty forests. Vietnam also offers an opportunity to see a country of traditional charm and rare beauty rapidly opening up to the outside world.

Despite its ongoing economic liberalization and the pressures of rapid development, this dignified country has managed to preserve its rich civilization and highly cultured society.
It has discarded its post-war fatigues and the boom in budget traveling, coupled with the softening of government control, have enabled more contemporary and relevant portraits of the country to gain currency in the West.

Full country name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Area: 329,566 sq km
Population: 81.62 million
Capital City: Hanoi (pop 3.5 million)
People: 84% ethnic Vietnamese, 2% ethnic Chinese, also Khmers, Chams (a remnant of the once-great Indianised Champa Kingdom) and members of over 50 ethnolinguistic groups (also known as Montagnards, 'highlanders' in French)
Language: Vietnamese, Russian, French, Chinese, English
Religion: Buddhism is the principal religion but there are also sizeable Taoist, Confucian, Hoa Hao, Caodaists, Muslim and Christian minorities
Government: Communist state
Head of State: President Tran Duc Luong
Head of Government: Prime Minister Phan Van Khai

GDP: US$24 billion
GDP per capita: US$300
Annual Growth: 8%
Inflation: 8%
Major Industries: Rice, rubber, food processing, sugar, textiles, chemicals
Major Trading Partners: China, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan

Facts for the Traveler
Visas: Bureaucratic hassles will be your first problem in getting a visa - expect delays of five days or more; Bangkok is the best place to get one. It's usually best to get your visas through a travel agency. Expense is the other problem; tourist visas valid for a single 30-day stay cost about US$40 in Bangkok.
Health risks: Dengue Fever, Hepatitis, Malaria, Rabies, Typhoid, Tuberculosis
Dialing Code: 84
Electricity: 220V ,50Hz
Weights & Measures: Metric

hierarki sosial masyarakat tradisional di Negara Thai dan Vietnam sebelum campur tangan barat.

Umumnya masyarakat di Asia Tenggara pada awalnya mengamalkan sistem sosial yang bercorak tradisional berasaskan sistem feudal
Sistem feudal membawa maksud satu bentuk kerajaan yang hanya dijalankan oleh individu tertentu yang bebas dari kawalan kerajaan pusat
Hierarki sosial masyarakat dalam sistem feudal adalah berbentuk piramid

Negara Thai

- Raja menduduki lapisan teratas diikuti oleh golongan bangsawan(nai),rakyat
yang bebas (phrai) dan hamba (that)
golongan sangha (sami Buddha) berperanan penting dalam sistem feudal Thai
raja Thai mempunyai kuasa mutlak dalam pemerintahan
golongan nai berperanan sebagai pemimpin masyarakat dan memberi perlindungan kepada golongan phrai.
phrai menjadi symbol kekayaan dan kekuasaan politik golongan nai
that pula merupakan hamba kepada golongan nai dan phrai yang kaya
dua kelas that yang penting iaitu hamba berhutang dan hamba tawanan perang
golongan sangha mendapat pengiktirafan yang tinggi di kalangan masyarakat Thai dan menjadi penggerak agama Buddha dengan menjadi tenaga pengajar utama kepada ahli masyarakat Thai
kedudukan mereka lebih tinggi dan mulia di sisi masyarakat


sistem pemerintahan berasaskan sistem pemusatan kuasa melalui birokrasi pusat
hierarki sosial masyarakat Vietnam terdiri daripada maharaja, golongan cendikiawan (quan atau mandarin) dan petani
golongan cendikiawan mempunyai kedudukan paling tinggi dan berpengaruh dalam masyarakat Vietnam , kerana mereka merupakan pemerintah sebenar yang bertanggungjawab menjalankan tugas2 maharaja
golongan quan atau mandarin mendapat pendidikan tinggi berdasarkan ajaran Confucius

rakyat biasa yang pintar serta berpengetahuan dalam ajaran Confucius secara mendalam berpeluang menjadi pegawai2 tinggi awam
golongan bangsawan tidak mendapat tempat dalam perkhidmatan awam kesan daripada pembaharuan Maharaja Gia Long yang menamatkan keistimewaan dan pengaruh politik golongan bangsawan dan keluarga diraja
golongan petani menduduki hierarki sosial yang paling rendah di mana mereka menjalankan kegiatan ekonomi sara diri iaitu menanam padi sawah

Sistem feudal yang diamalkan oleh masyarakat Asia dimansuhkan setelah berlakunya imperialisme kuasa barat pada abad ke – 19 dan awal abad ke-20.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Perjanjian Bowring ditandatangani oleh raja Mongkut dengan British bertujuan untuk mengekalkan kedaulatan Thailand.Perjanjian Yandaboo dimeterai pada februari 1826 akibat kekalahan Burma dalam perang Inggeris Burma 1 Kedua –dua perjanjian ini memberikan implikasi yang besar terhadap Thailand dan Burma terutama dalam soal pemerintahan dan politik

Implikasi Perjanjian Bowring

i.Permulaan Dasar Buka Pintu

Selepas Perjanjian Bowring, Raja Mongkut dan Raja Chulalongkorn telah menandatangani satu siri perjanjian perdagangan dengan kuasa Barat yang lain seperti Perancis dan Amerika Syarikat (1856), Denmark (1858), Portugal (1859), Holland (1860), Prusia (1862), Belgium, Norway, Itali dan Sweden (1868).

ii. Hubungan Diplomatik yang erat

Siam menjalinkan hubungan diplomatik dengan British dan kuasa Barat yang lain atas dasar persamaan taraf.
Selepas Perjanjian Bowring, Raja Mongkut telah menghantar utusan yang diketuai oleh Phaya Suriwongse ke Britain. Ini mengeratkan lagi persahabatan Siam dengan Britain.

iii. Kemerdekaan Siam tetap terpelihara

Dasar buka pintu Siam, hubungan diplomatik yang erat dan keistimewaan yang sama dan adil kepada semua kuasa Barat yang ada di Siam telah menjamin kemerdekaan Siam,.

iv. Pembukaan Siam kepada perdagangan antarabangsa

Perjanjian Bowring dan perjanjian dengan kuasa Barat yang lain mendedahkan Siam kepada perdagangan antarabangsa.Perdagangan antarabangsa sangat menguntungkan Siam sendiri di mana sistem ekonomi sara diri digantikan dengan sistem ekonomi komersial.
Bilangan kapal dagang di Siam semakin meningkat Pengeksportan beras, kayu jati dan gulA

v. Britain muncul sebagai pelabur utama

Siam banyak menjalankan perdagangan dengan Britain sehingga Siam dikenali sebagai satelit ekonomi Britain.Pelabuhan British di Singapura dan Hong Kong sibuk menjalankan perdagangan dengan Siam.

vi. Penguasaan perdagangan orang Cina di Siam tamat

Perjanjian Bowring menamatkan penguasaan orang Cina terhadap perdagangan Siam.

vii. Perubahan dalam sistem kewangan Siam

Berikutan dengan perdagangan antarabangsa, kerajaan Siam telah memperbaiki sistem percukaian dan sistem kewangannya.

Implikasi perjanjian Yandaboo

1. Memalukan dan menjatuhkan maruah orang Burma

Raja Bagyidaw berpendapat Perjanjian Yandaboo berat sebelah dan menjatuhkan maruah Burma

2. British berjaya menguasai Hilir Burma

British kehilangan wilayah penting seperti Arakan dan Tennaserim Pengambilan kedua – dua wilayah itu dianggap sebagai satu rampasan terhadap hak rakyat Burma dan Burma menganggapnmya tidak sah

3.Burma tidak menghormati wakil British

Burma enggan menubuhkan pejabat perwakilan Burma di Calcutta Tindakan itu merenggangkan hubungan Inggeris Burma

4. Burma kerugian dari segi Ekonomi

pengambilan Arakan dan Tenneserim merugikan Burma kerana kawasan tersebut kaya dengan pelbagai sumber seperti beras dan kayu jati

5. Meletakkan asas campurtangan British ke seluruh Burma

British mula campurtangan dalam politik Burma dan menguasai Hilir Burma

6.Burma mengingkari perjanjian itu dan enggan membayar ganti rugi sebanyak 10 juta rupee kepada British – menyebabkan British tidak puas hati

7. Membawa kepada Perang Inggeris Burma -II


Perjanjian Bowring membawa kepada Thailand ke arah pemodenan dan mengekalkan kedaulatan Thailand. Manakala Perjanjian Yandabo membawa kepada perluasan kuasa British di Burma iaitu menyebabkan berlakunya Perang Inggeris Burma 11 dan 111 dan seterusnya menjatuhkan dinasti Konbaung.