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COUNTRY PROFILE

National Flag
Sang Saka Merah Putih

National Anthem
Indonesia Raya

National Crest
Garuda


Map of Indonesia
Source : World Fact Book

Over 13,000 islands with hundreds of different dialects, unified in one state, the Republic of Indonesia, using one common language, Bahasa Indonesia.

The country proclaimed its
independence on August 17, 1945, at the end of World War II, after centuries of Dutch colonialization.


Population 238 million (est. 2004)

Archipelago of over 13,000 islands spread over a distance of more than 3,000 km from east to west

Capital: Jakarta, located in West-Java

Language: Bahasa Indonesia, local dialects in different provinces and/or islands. Sukarno, the first President, , succeeded in making Bahasa Indonesia the main language used in schools all over the archipelago, unifying a nation speaking multiple languages and dialects with one common language.

Indonesia is the 4th most populous country in the world.
It is predominantly Moslem but other religions like Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism, have solid roots in diverse areas.

Source: Indonesia Monitor

 

 

Introduction to Indonesia
Background:
The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century; the islands were occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945. Indonesia declared its independence after Japan's surrender, but it required four years of intermittent negotiations, recurring hostilities, and UN mediation before the Netherlands agreed to relinquish its colony. Indonesia is the world's largest archipelagic state. Current issues include: alleviating widespread poverty, preventing terrorism, continuing the transition to popularly-elected governments after four decades of authoritarianism, implementing reforms of the banking sector, addressing charges of cronyism and corruption, holding the military and police accountable for human rights violations, and resolving armed separatist movements in Aceh and Papua.

Geography Indonesia

 

Location

Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean

Geographic coordinates

5 00 S, 120 00 E

Map references

Southeast Asia

Area

total: 1,919,440 sq km

land

1,826,440 sq km

water

93,000 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly less than three times the size of Texas

Land boundaries

total: 2,830 km

border countries

East Timor 228 km, Malaysia 1,782 km, Papua New Guinea 820 km

Coastline

54,716 km

Maritime claims

measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines

 territorial sea

 12 nm

exclusive economic zone

200 nm

Climate

tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands

Terrain

mostly coastal lowlands; larger islands have interior mountains

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

 

highest point: Puncak Jaya 5,030 m

Natural resources

petroleum, tin, natural gas, nickel, timber, bauxite, copper, fertile soils, coal, gold, silver

Land use

arable land: 11.32%

permanent crops

7.23%

other

81.45% (2001)

Irrigated land

48,150 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards

occasional floods, severe droughts, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, forest fires

Environment - current issues

deforestation; water pollution from industrial wastes, sewage; air pollution in urban areas; smoke and haze from forest fires

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified

Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note

archipelago of 17,508 islands (6,000 inhabited); straddles equator; strategic location astride or along major sea lanes from Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean

People Indonesia

 

Population:

238,452,952 (July 2004 est.)

 

see also People

Nationality

noun: Indonesian(s)

adjective

Indonesian

Ethnic groups

Javanese 45%, Sundanese 14%, Madurese 7.5%, coastal Malays 7.5%, other 26%

Religions

Muslim 88%, Protestant 5%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 2%, Buddhist 1%, other 1% (1998)

Languages

Bahasa Indonesia (official, modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, local dialects, the most widely spoken of which is Javanese

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population (2002)

87.9%

male

92.5%

female

83.4%

Government

 

Country name

 

conventional long form

Republic of Indonesia (August 17, 1945)

conventional short form

Indonesia

local long form

Republik Indonesia

local short form

Indonesia

former

Netherlands East Indies; Dutch East Indies

Government type

Republic

Capital

Jakarta

Administrative divisions

27 provinces (propinsi-propinsi, singular - propinsi), 2 special regions* (daerah-daerah istimewa, singular - daerah istimewa), and 1 special capital city district** (daerah khusus ibukota); Aceh*, Bali, Banten, Bengkulu, Gorontalo, Jakarta Raya**, Jambi, Jawa Barat, Jawa Tengah, Jawa Timur, Kalimantan Barat, Kalimantan Selatan, Kalimantan Tengah, Kalimantan Timur, Kepulauan Bangka Belitung, Lampung, Maluku, Maluku Utara, Nusa Tenggara Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Papua, Riau, Sulawesi Selatan, Sulawesi Tengah, Sulawesi Tenggara, Sulawesi Utara, Sumatera Barat, Sumatera Selatan, Sumatera Utara, Yogyakarta*

 

with the implementation of decentralization on 1 January 2001, the 357 districts or regencies became the key administrative units responsible for providing most government services
note: following the 30 August 1999 provincial referendum for independence that was overwhelmingly approved by the people of Timor Timur and the October 1999 concurrence of Indonesia's national legislature, the name Timor Leste (East Timor) was adopted as the name for the political entity formerly known as Propinsi Timor Timur; East Timor gained its formal independence on 20 May 2002

Independence

17 August 1945 (proclaimed independence)

note

on 27 December 1949 the Netherlands recognized Indonesian independence

National holiday

Independence Day, 17 August (1945)

Constitution

August 1945, abrogated by Federal Constitution of 1949 and Provisional Constitution of 1950, restored 5 July 1959

Legal system

based on Roman-Dutch law, substantially modified by indigenous concepts and by new criminal procedures and election codes; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage

17 years of age; universal and married persons regardless of age

Executive branch

 

chief of state

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Jusuf Kalla (since 20 October 2004)

note

the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Jusuf Kalla (since 20 October 2004)

cabinet

Cabinet appointed by the president

 

Current: United Cabinet 2004

 

Previous Cabinets

elections 2001

president and vice president previously were elected separately by the People's Consultative Assembly or MPR for five-year terms;
next election held 20 September 2004; in accordance with constitutional changes, election of president and vice president to be by direct vote of the citizenry

election results 2001

MEGAWATI Sukarnoputri elected president, receiving 591 votes in favor (91 abstentions); Hamzah HAZ elected vice president, receiving 340 votes in favor (237 against)
note: the People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat or MPR) includes the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat or DPR) plus 195 indirectly selected members; it meets every five years to approve broad outlines of national policy and also has yearly meetings to consider constitutional and legislative changes; constitutional amendments adopted in 2001 and 2002 provide for the MPR to be restructured in 2004 and to consist entirely of popularly-elected members who will be in the DPR and the new House of Regional Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah or DPD); the MPR will no longer formulate national policy
Legislative branch:
unicameral House of Representatives or Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR) (550 seats; members serve five-year terms

elections 2004

elections: last held 5 April 2004 (next to be held in April 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - Golkar 21.6%, PDI-P 18.5%, PKB 10.6%, PPP 8.2%, PD 7.5%, PKS 7.3%, PAN 6.4%, others 19.9%; seats by party - Golkar 128, PDI-P 109, PPP 58, PD 57, PKB 52, PAN 52, PKS 45, others 49

note

because of election rules, the number of seats won does not always follow the number of votes received by parties

Presidental elections september 2004 results

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono elected President with 915.594 votes (69.562%) versus Megawati Sukarnoputri 400.632 votes (30.4379%). Next elections will be in 2009.

See Elections 2004 results
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Vice President Jusuf Kalla

Judicial branch

Supreme Court or Mahkamah Agung (justices appointed by the president from a list of candidates approved by the legislature); a separate Constitutional Court was invested by the president on 16 August 2003; in March 2004 the Supreme Court assumed administrative and financial responsibility for the lower court system from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights

Political parties and leaders

Crescent Moon and Star Party or PBB [Yusril Ihza MAHENDRA, chairman]; Democratic Party or PD [Budi SANTOSO, chairman]; Functional Groups or Golkar [Akbar TANDJUNG, general chairman]; Indonesia Democratic Party-Struggle or PDI-P [MEGAWATI Sukarnoputri, chairperson]; National Awakening Party or PKB [Alwi SHIHAB, chairman]; National Mandate Party or PAN [Amien RAIS, chairman]; Prosperous Justice Party or PKS [Hidayat NUR WAHID, chairman]; United Development Party or PPP [Hamzah HAZ, chairman]

Political pressure groups and leaders

NA

International organization participation

APEC, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, BIS, CP, FAO, G-15, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, MONUC, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Flag description

two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and white; similar to the flag of Monaco, which is shorter; also similar to the flag of Poland, which is white (top) and red

Economy - overview

Indonesia, a vast polyglot nation, faces economic development problems stemming from recent acts of terrorism, unequal resource distribution among regions, endemic corruption, the lack of reliable legal recourse in contract disputes, weaknesses in the banking system, and a generally poor climate for foreign investment. Indonesia withdrew from its IMF program at the end of 2003, but issued a "White Paper" that commits the government to maintaining fundamentally sound macroeconomic policies previously established under IMF guidelines. Investors, however, continued to face a host of on-the-ground microeconomic problems and an inadequate judicial system. Keys to future growth remain internal reform, building up the confidence of international and domestic investors, and strong global economic growth

Miltary

 

Miltary Branches

Indonesia Armed Forces (TNI): Army (TNI-AD), Navy (TNI-AL, including Marines, Naval Air arm), Air Force (TNI-AU)

Military expenditures - dollar figure

$1 billion (FY98)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP

1.3% (FY98)

 

Source: World Fact Book 2004

 

Useful links

Map and Quick Facts

Indo Streets

 Indonesian Bureau of Statistics (BPS)

 

 

 Links to Government sites

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Information Resources

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Country Information

Indonesia Monitor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books on Indonesia