Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago. It proclaimed its independence on 17 August 1945 soon after Japan’s surrender in the Second World War. Until the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the country had progressed to become a strong economy in East Asia. At the time of writing, issues in Indonesia include implementing IMFmandated reforms of the banking sector, and effecting transition to a popularly elected government after four decades of authoritarianism. Strong commitment was implemented for good governance initiatives by combating cronyism and corruption, resolving human rights violation and separatist movements in Aceh and Irian Jaya. On 30 August 1999, East Timor province, a former Portugal colony integrated into Indonesia in 1976, was given a referendum for independence which was then overwhelmingly approved by its people. Concurrence by Indonesia’s national legislature followed and after a transition period of UN administration, East Timor’s independent status was finally established in 20 May 2002. With a population of 228,437,870 (July 2001 est.) people, Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation behind China, India and the United States. In the past decades, Indonesia’s population has been increasing at the rate of 1.6 per cent. The island of Java is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with more than 107 million people living in an area the size of New York state. Indonesia is a multiethnic country with Javanese constituting 45 per cent of the total population while Sundanese, Madurese, coastal Malays and others constituting 14 per cent, 7.5 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 26 per cent respectively. Indonesia includes numerous related but distinct cultural and linguistic groups, many of which are ethnically Malay. Since independence, Bahasa Indonesia (the national language, a form of Malay) has spread throughout the archipelago and has become the language of most written communication, education, government and business. Many local languages are still important in many areas, however. English is the most widely spoken foreign language.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities(all)