Stories from Borneo #6

I remember the 99′ incident. It was a bad time.

Is it true the Madurese are no longer welcomed here?

Yes. But we do have one or two mixed blooded Madurese. They can come back, with the Sambas born father or mother.

What if the husband is Madurese?

They cannot return.


4 thoughts on “Stories from Borneo #6

    1. I can only say one side of the story since I haven’t found a pureblood Madurese willing to admit heritage. From what I can tell, most indigenous Borneans, Malay or Dayak, felt the sudden influx of migrants since the 80s encroachment on native land. Income inequality widened between Dayak and Madurese as they were more involved in high value economic activity like logging and plantations, threatening local livelihood. Many complained the Madurese uncultured, arrogant, aggresive, violent over disputes about women and direspectful of local customs. It’s not a religious conflict since both Malays and Madurese are Muslim. Unlike the Chinese who kept a low profile, the Madurese tended to fight back in disputes (Madura is known as a very impoverished and rough island). Tensions came to boil in West Kalimantan (1996), Sambas (1999) and Sampit (2001). As context in 2001, Madurese made up 20% of Central Kalimantans population.

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      1. During the Suharto regime he also forcefully relocated ethnic groups all across Indo to relieve economic pressure in Java and dilute ethnic political unity. His strict military rule prevented outbreaks of dissent and anger from locals having to share resources with migrants. When his regime fell and democracy was installed, the country started to unravel as separatist movements in Aceh, Papua and Timor Leste erupted, and infighting and corruption in the govt. During most of these racial conflicts, the military and police didnt have the resources to put out all the fires springing all over the archipelago.


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