POLITICS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA: 

WHO GOVERNS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA? 

FROM REACTIONARY, CONSERVATIVE, COMMUNITARIAN, LIBERTARIAN, LIBERAL, RADICAL TO REVOLUTIONARY HEGEMONY AND COUNTER-HEGEMONY

Rey Ty

The approach used here is thematic across the region, not chronological or historical.

Themes:  respect for gods, nature spirits, order, elders, authority, community, monarchs, religious leaders, democrats, semi-democrats, tyrants, military in power, women in politics, nationalist and communist anti-colonial reformists and revolutionaries, mass democratic movements, NGOs, resistance and rebel groups, religious rebels, Nobel Prize winners, political parties, terrorist groups

Questions:

1.  What patterns help explain why the Southeast Asian leaders became leaders?

2.  Do you find any of them particularly heroic?  Why?

3.  What produced the conditions for the rise of counter-hegemonic movements and leaders?

I.  Respect for Gods, Nature, Spirits  
Duty vs. Rights Priority of responsibility over liberty Southeast Asia
Community Communitarianism, Communalism, Fellows, Other-centeredness SEA
Bayanihan Helping each other in the community Philippines
Nitu, Anito Gods and nature spirits (Austronesian) Insular Southeast Asia
Nat (Burmese) Gods Burma
Phii (Thai) Spirits Mainland Southeast Asia
Deva, Devata, Diwata (Sanskrit) Goddess, spirits SEA
Brahma (Sanskrit) Indian God the Creator important in Therevada Buddhism that supplements Brahamanistic practices Mainland SEA
Angkor Thom Brahma image in temple Cambodia
Shaman Informal village religious leader;  medium between the visible and spirit worlds; involves in healing and divination Southeast Asia
Amulets Philippine Anting-Anting, Buddha images SEA
Aswang A sort of human vampire the top part of whose body flies at night to feed on human blood and internal organs Philippines
     
II. Respect for Customs, Traditions, Order, Elders and Authority  
Mandala (Sanskrit) Hindu-Buddhist concentric centers of power Hindu-Buddhist SEA
Raj, Raja, Rajah (Sanskrit) King SEA
Deva Raj (Sanskrit) God King Mainland SEA except Vietnam
Datu, Dato (Austronesian) Pre-Colonial Indigenous Animist King Insular SEA
Sultan (Arabic) Moslem King Insular SEA
Confucius and Mandate of Heaven Confucianism Singapore; Vietnam
Ancestors Respect for living and dead ancestors SEA
Patron-Client Relations Hierarchical society based on networking and social ties SEA
Compadrazgo (Spanish) Status of godparents: linking and formalizing hierarchical social relations Philippines
Compadre (Pare) (Spanish) Godfather Philippines
Comadre (Mare) (Spanish) Godmother Philippines
Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce Power bloc that influences the presidency and policy makers alike Philippines
     
III.  Religious Leaders    
Buddhist Monks Even the king has to “wai” to monks and monks do not “wai” back to the king Theravada Mainland SEA
Three Jewels Sangha, Dharma, and Buddha Therevada MSEA
Sangha Monastic order Theravada MSEA
Dharma Religious Teachings Theravada MSEA
Brahmin Priests Brahminism supplements Theravada Buddhism; they perform the Brahminic (Hindu) Bai Sii string ceremony Theravada MSEA
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Powerful religious voice on societal matters Philippines
Cardinal Sin Outspoken Bishop of Manila Philippines
Bishop Belo Nationalist and democratic church leader fighting for the rights of the people East Timor
     
IV.  Rebel Priests & Nuns    
Self-Immolating Monks Act of Protest by Mahayana Buddhist Monks Vietnam
Gregorio Aglipay Anti-Spanish colonial; founded the Philippine Independent Catholic Church (“Aglipayan Church”) Philippines
Conrado Balweg A revolutionary Tingguian R. Catholic priest; rebel surrenderee Philippines
Luis Jalandoni Roman Catholic priest; International spokesperson of the National Democratic Front Philippines (based in the Netherlands)
Coni Ledesma Roman Catholic nun; International spokesperson of the National Democratic Front Philippines (based in the Netherlands)
Edicio de la Torre Roman Catholic priest; Founder of the underground Christians for National Liberation; rebel returnee Philippines
     
IV. “Semi-Democrats,” Authoritarian and Totalitarian Rulers, Dictators and Tyrants
Ne Win Military guy who deposed U Nu in 1958 and ruled until 1988;  dominated the government from 1962 to 1988, first as military ruler, then as president, and later as political kingmaker Burma
Ferdinand Marcos Dictator; more than 10,000 documented cases of human rights victims; ruled 1965-1986 Philippines
Lee Kuan Yew Long-time prime minister 1963-1990; now Senior Adviser Singapore
Suharto Crushed the 1965 coup; took over presidency from Sukarno; President from 1965-1998; Smiling General; forced to resign by protests; under house arrest and charged with corrpution Indonesia
Mahathir Long-time Prime Minister Malaysia
Lon Nol 1970 rightist coup against Sihanouk Cambodia
Suphanuvong Anti-French and Anti-American “Red Prince” Laos
“Fine City” The city with so many fines for all kinds of illegal acts Singapore
Hun Sen Khmer Rouge member 1970; fled to Vietnam 1977; returned with Vietnamese invasion as Foreign Minister 1979-85; Premier 1985-93; second premier, 1993-98; sole premier since 1998; most powerful person Cambodia
Fidel V. Ramos Dictator Marcos’ Constabulary chief; joined coup 1986 to oust Marcos; president 1992-1998 Philippines
Joseph “Erap” Estrada Former movie actor; president 1998; People Power ousted him 2001 Philippines
Prince Ranariddh President of the National Assembly Cambodia
Chea Sim of the CPP President of the Senate Cambodia
Gen. Than Schwe Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council Sr. Gen. Than Shwe (since 23 April 1992); the prime minister is both the chief of state and head of government Burma
Goh Chok Tong Prime minister; Head of government since  28 November 1990 Singapore
President Chief of state;  Sellapan Rama (S. R.) NATHAN (since 1 September 1999) Singapore
     
V. Military in Power    
SLORC State Law and Order Restoration Council Burma
SPDC State Peace and Democracy Council Burma
Fidel Ramos Constabulary Chief; coup against Marcos; later President Philippines
Gringo Honasan Coup plotter; later Senator Philippines
General Wiranto Komnas Ham claims that he is responsible for human rights abuses in East Timor Indonesia
     
V.  Reformists, Revolutionaries and Nationalists  
Jose Rizal Chinese-Filipino reformist; national hero Spanish Philippines
Andres Bonifacio Nationalist revolutionary; founder of the Katipunan; national hero Spanish Philippines
Katipunan (KKK) The anti-Spanish-colonial nationalist revolutionary movement Philippines
Ho Chi Minh (“Uncle Ho”) Revolutionary nationalist Vietnam
Benigno Aquino Former senator; assassinated anti-dictatorial democrat Philippines
     
VI.  Political Systems  
“Democracies” Multiparty system, elections (contestation and participation) and civil liberties Philippines, Thailand
Transition to Democracy Move from authoritarianism to democracy Cambodia, Indonesia
Newly Independent States Victory in the struggle for national independence; international recognition  in 20 May 2002 East Timor
“Semi-Democracies” Vestiges of democracy (elections) but same parties or leaders are not replaced Malaysia, Singapore
One-Party States No elections or no civil liberties or both Burma, Laos, Vietnam
Constitutional Monarchy Democratically governed Thailand
Monarchy A sultanate ruled by the same family for 600 years Brunei
     
VII. Monarchs    
Datu Lapu-Lapu Limasawa king who killed Magellan Philippines
Prince Souphanouvong Headed the nationalist communist Pathet Lao and sided with the Vietnamese communists Laos
King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) Son of the king in “the King and I”; modernized Thailand Thailand
Raja Solaiman Last King of Manila up to 1570 until Spain captured Manila Philippines
King Bhumiphol Beloved constitutional hereditary king of Thailand Thailand
Sultan Bolkiah Hereditary monarch;  Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah (since 5 October 1967); he  is both the chief of state and head of government Brunei
King Norodom Sihanouk Hereditary monarch; later coalesced with Khmer Rouge; then opposed Vietnam-installed Hun Sen; then allied with Hun Sen against Khmer Rouge; a realist political survivor Cambodia
Prince Ranariddh Hereditary heir apparent Cambodia
     
VIII.  Mass Democratic Movements  
National League for Democracy (NLD) NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi won; struggle against SLORC (and SPDC) which did not recognize NLD electoral victory & held on to power Burma
People Power I 1986 ouster of Dictator Marcos Philippines
People Power II Ouster of corrupt President Joseph Estrada 2001 Philippines
Anti-Suharto Demonstrations Ouster of Suharto in 1997 Indonesia
     
IX.  Women in Politics    
Trung Sisters In 40 AD, Elder Trung Trac & younger Trung Nhi gathered an army of 80,000 people to drive the Chinese from their lands. They chose thirty-six women, including their mother. Vietnam
Gabriela Silang revolutionary who fought against Spanish colonials Philippines
Melchora Aquino (or “Tandang Sora”) Secretly helped the anti-Spanish-colonial nationalist revolutionaries by providing them with medical treatment, food and accommodation Philippines
Kartini Reformist; education for girls Indonesia
Cut Nyak Dhien Acehnese anti-Dutch colonial heroine Indonesia
Imelda Marcos Extravagant wife of Marcos the Dictator Philippines
Queen Sirikit Wife of King Bhumiphol Thailand
Princess Sirinthon Daugther of Thai King & Queen Thailand
Aung San Suu Kyi Leader of National League for Democracy; Nobel Prize winner; Daughter of Aung San; under house arrest for a long time until international pressure helped lifted the house arrest order Burma
Corazon “Cory” Cojuangco

Aquino

President 1986-1992; Wife of slain Senator Benigno Aquino Philippines
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo President; daughter of President Diosdado Macapagal Philippines
Dewi Sukarno Japanese socialite; nth wife of Sukarno Indonesia
Megawati Sukarnoputri President; Daughter of President Sukarno Indonesia
Nikki Coseteng Active anti-Marcos and nationalist Chinese-Filipino activist; now Senator Philippines
Corazon “Cory” Cojuangco

Aquino

President; Wife of slain Senator Benigno Aquino Philippines
     
X.  Nobel Prize Winners    
Aung San Suu Kyi Daughter of Aung San; Leader of National League for Democracy Burma
Bishop Belo Important church leader who fought for national freedom and democracy East Timor
Jose Ramos Horta Professor; International spokesperson for national liberation East Timor
     
XI.  NGOs Non-governmental organizations Southeast Asia
     
XII.  Communist Parties    
Pathet Lao Aligned with Vietnam; established the current state Laos
Khmer Rouge hegemonic then Cambodia
PKI, CPM, CPT counter-hegemonic (underground armed resistance against those in power) then Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand
CPP counter-hegemonic (underground armed resistance against those in power) now Philippines
LPRP The ruling Lao People's Revolutionary Party Laos
     
XIII.  Political Parties    
Rak Thai Party Thais Love Thais Party; TRT; party of current Prime Minister Thaksin Thailand
Khwam Wang Mai New Aspiration Party Thailand
Cambodian Pracheachon Party or Cambodian People's Party or CPP; Hun Sen’s and CHEA SIM’s party Cambodia
PKI Partai Komunis Indonesia Indonesia
PNI Partai Nationalis Indonesia Indonesia
PDI-P Partai Demokrasi Indonesia-Perjuangan  (Struggle); Megawati’s party; left membership, center-right leadership Indonesia
Golkar Suharto’s (then) ruling center-right party; Habibie’s center party Indonesia
PKB Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (National Emergence Party); centrist party of  Abdurrahman Wahid or “Gus Dur” Indonesia
PAN Partai Amanat Nasional (National Message Party); Amin Rais’ party; centrist inclusive Islamic party Indonesia
PPP Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (United Development Party) ; centrist Muslim-based inclusive party Indonesia
PBB Partai Bulan Bintang (Star and Moon Party); center-right Muslim-based inclusive party Indonesia
PK Partai Keadilan (Justice Party); center-right Islamic exclusive party Indonesia
NP Nationalist Party; Marcos’ party prior to Martial Law Philippines
LP Liberal Party; Party of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Philippines
KBL Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (New Society Movement); Marcos’ political party during Martial law dictatorial regime Philippines
Laban Party of Cory Aquino Philippines
PMP Partido ng Masang Pilipino;  Party of the Filipino Masses; party of Joseph “Erap” Estrada Philippines
Barisan Nasional National Front Coalition with 14-member parties; in power for more than 40 years Malaysia
UMNO United Malay National Organisation; Mahathir’s ruling party; member of Barisan Nasional Malaysia
MCA Malaysian Chinese Association; member of Barisan Nasional Malaysia
MIC Malaysian Indian Congress Malaysia
Gerakan Party Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia; Malaysian People’s Movement Party; mainly Chinese component of Mahathir’s National Front coalition; 200,000 members Malaysia
PAP The ruling People’s Action Party; in power since 1959 Singapore
DAP Democratic Action Party; Parti Tindakan Demokratik; Chinese based; main opposition party Malaysia
Workers Party Opposition party; its most important leader had been  veteran MP J.B.Jeyaretnam who was its long-time secretary general Singapore
Singapore Democratic Alliance Opposition alliance formed in June 2001. It is an umbrella party which comprises of 4 opposition parties: the Pertubohan Kebangsaan Melayu Singapore (PKMS), the National Solidarity Party (NSP), the Singapore People's Party, and the Singapore Justice Party (SJP) Singapore
FUNCINPEC National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia; FUNCINPEC Prince Norodom Ranariddh’s party Cambodia
Political Parties in the Philippines Meaningless; no clear ideologies; too many party switching; no rules on party switching Philippines
Bayan Muna Party Left-wing legal opposition political party Philippines
Democratic Party DP (Prachathipat Party); Chuan Likphai’s party Thailand
Mass Party or MP; CHALERM Yoobamrung, SOPHON Petchsavang’s party Thailand
National Development Party or NDP (Chat Phattana); KORN Dabbaransi’s party Thailand
Phalang Dharma Party or PDP (Phalang Tham); CHAIWAT Sinsuwong’s party Thailand
Solidarity Party or SP (Ekkaphap Party); CHAIYOT Sasomsap’s party Thailand
Thai Citizen's Party or TCP (Prachakon Thai); SAMAK Sunthonwet’s party Thailand
Thai Nation Party or TNP (Chat Thai Party); BANHAN Sinlapa-acha’s party Thailand
Thai Rak Thai Party or TRT; THAKSIN Chinnawat’s party Thailand
Liberal Democratic Party or LDP (Seri Tham)  no longer exists as a separate party;  elements of the party joined the Thai Rak Thai Party or TRT Thailand
New Aspiration Party or NAP (Khwamwang Mai);  no longer exists as a separate party;  elements of the party joined the Thai Rak Thai Party or TRT Thailand
Buddhist Liberal Party or BLP; IENG MOULY’s party Cambodia
Khmer Citizen Party or KCP; NGUON SOEUR’s party Cambodia
Sam Rangsi Party or SRP (formerly Khmer Nation Party or KNP); SAM RANGSI’s party Cambodia
Associacao Social-Democrata Timorense or ASDT; Francisco Xavier do AMARAL’s party East Timor
Christian Democratic Party of Timor or PDC; Antonio XIMENES]; East Timor
Christian Democratic Union of Timor or UDC; Vicente da Silva GUTERRES]; East Timor
Democratic Party or PD; Fernando de ARAUJO’s party East Timor
Maubere Democratic Party or PDM; leader NA’s party East Timor
People's Party of Timor or PPT; Jacob XAVIER’s party East Timor
Revolutionary Front of Independent East Timor or FRETILIN; Lu OLO’s party East Timor
Social Democrat Party of East Timor or PSD; Mario CARRASCALAO’s party East Timor
Socialist Party of Timor or PST; leader NA’s party East Timor
Sons of the Mountain Warriors (also known as Association of Timorese Heroes) or KOTA; Clementino dos Reis AMARAL’s party East Timor
Timor Democratic Union or UDT; Joao CARRASCALAO’s party East Timor
Timor Labor Party or TRABALHISTA; Paulo Freitas DA SILVA’s party East Timor
Timorese Nationalist Party or PNT; Abilio ARAUJO’s party East Timor
Timorese Popular Democratic Association or APODETI; Frederico Almeida Santos COSTA’s party East Timor
     
XIV.  Resistance Movements & Their Leaders  
Aung San Anti-British colonial resistance leader Burma
Ho Chi Minh (“Uncle Ho”) Anti-French colonial resistance leader Vietnam
Sukarno Father of Indonesian independence; founder of the radical national PNI; after the 1965 coup, Suharto put him under house arrest until his 1970 death Indonesia
Pol Pot Saloth Sar;  leader of Khmer Rouge deposing Lon Nol in 1970; “Brother Number One”; premier of  Kampuchea 1976-79; responsible for the genocide “Killing Fields” Cambodia
Xanana Gusmao Rebel leader; now President East Timor
Jose Ramos Horta Professor; international spokesperson during the struggle; now foreign minister East Timor
Jose Maria Sison Professor; Founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines; now spokesperson of the National Democratic Front Philippines (based in Netherlands)
Nur Misuari Muslim professor; Founder of MNLF; rebel returnee Philippines
Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Muslim underground movement in Mindanao; later joined the government 1996 Philippines
Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Muslim underground rebel movement in Mindanao Philippines
     
XIV.  Terrorist Groups    
Abu Sayyaf Engage in kidnap for ransom, killing, beheading Philippines
Al Qaeda cells International terrorist ring under Osama bin Laden Southeast Asia
     
XV.  Regional Organization    
ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations SEA