Reasons why Britain bombed Surabaya


Darul Aqsha


“10 November ’45, Mengapa Inggris Membom Surabaya?” (“10 November ’45, Why Did Britain Bomb Surabaya?”)
By Batara R. Hutagalung; Millenium Publisher, Jakarta; (Oct. 2001), first edition, xiv + 472 pp; Rp 59,900,-

THIS book analyzes the simultaneous sea, land and air campaign by British forces against the defenders of the East Java capital of Surabaya in November 1945.

To this day, it remains a bitter memory for older Indonesians.

In the author’s opinion, there are two main reasons why Britain, which did not hold colonial authority over Indonesia, launched the invasion.
First, there were psychological and emotional reasons at play, since Britain was victorious in World War II. Second, the British were bound by a treaty with the Dutch stemming from the conference at Yalta on Feb. 11, 1945, and the Postdam Declaration, which took place on July 26, 1945.

The objectives of the treaty were “to reestablish civilian rule, and return the colony to Dutch administration,” as well as “to maintain the status quo which existed before the Japanese invasion”.

They can be found in a letter dated Sept. 2, 1945 by the Allied Forces’ Supreme Commander South East Asia Vice Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten. British assistance was also in line with the Civil Affairs Agreement between the Dutch and Britain in Chequers, Britain, on Aug. 24, 1945.

The author also outlines the violations committed by British troops. They include infringements upon the sovereignty of the fledgling nation of Indonesia, human rights abuses — including crimes against humanity and forced displacement — and war crimes.

Apart from its thorough dissection of this bloody chapter of Indonesian history, this book carries something else of equally important historical significance: an official apology from the British government. It was expressed by British Ambassador to Indonesia Richard Gozney in the name of the British government during a seminar on the Battle of Surabaya in Jakarta in October 2000.

It was a sympathetic act — one which has yet to be offered by the Dutch who, as a colonial power, ruled Indonesia for centuries.–

The Jakarta Post
Sunday, December 30, 2001




Malaysia bans Indonesian book of Ahmad Wahib’s Diary




THE Home Affairs Ministry (KDN) has banned four books containing elements which contradict with true Islamic teaching and present false facts on the country’s security agency.

Secretary-general of the ministry Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim said the books were titled Pergolakan Pemikiran Islam: Catatan Harian Ahmad Wahib (Islamic Thought Upheaval: Diary of Ahmad Wahib),  Malaysia And The Club Of Doom: The Collapse Of The Islamic Countries, Torture In Malaysia Prisons: Who You Didn’t Know And Need To Know To Ac’ and The Qoran: A Very Short Introduction.

The books were issued a prohibition order in accordance with Section 7(1) of the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984 (Act 301) for containing elements that could disrupt harmony, alarm the public, cause harm to the public, and contradict with laws that upheld the nation’s well-being, Alwi said.

Meanwhile, three of the books contained elements that could confuse Muslims in the country on the implementation and practice of Islam as according to Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah, while another book if left unmonitored could mislead the public’s view on the country’s security agency, he said.

“It is an offence for any parties to print, import, produce, reproduce, publish, sell, issue, circulate, distribute or to possess these banned publications,” he said in a statement today.

Alwi said, according to Section 8(2) of the act, if found guilty for the offence, the offender could face imprisonment not exceeding three years or a fine of not more than RM20,000, or both.

Bernama/Borneo Bulletion

Friday, September 9, 2016



Home Ministry bans four misleading books



The Quran and Modern Science: Religion and Science & Al-Quran and Science

By Dr. Maurice Bucaille (Edited by Dr. A. A. Bilal Philips)


There is, perhaps, no better illustration of the close links between Islam and science than the Prophet Muhammad’s often-quoted statements:

“Seeking knowledge is compulsory on every Muslim.”

“wisdom is the lost property of the believer.”

“whoever follows a path seeking knowledge, Allah will make his path to paradise easy.”

These statements and many others are veritable invitations to humanity to enrich their knowledge from all sources. It comes as no surprise, therefore, to learn that in Islam religion and science have always been considered as twin sisters and that today, at a time when science has taken such great strides, they still continue to be associated. Nor is it a surprise to learn that certain scientific data are used for the better understanding of the Qur’anic text. What is more, in a century where, for many people, scientific truth has dealt a deathblow to religious belief, it is precisely the discoveries of science that, in an objective examination of the Islamic scripture, have highlighted the supernatural nature of revelation and the authenticity of the religion which it taught.

When all is said and done, scientific knowledge seems, in spite of what many people may say or think, to be highly conducive to reflection on the existence of God. Once we begin to ask ourselves, in an unbiased or unprejudiced way, about the metaphysical lessons to be derived from some of today’s knowledge, (for example our evolving knowledge of the smallest components of matter or the questions surrounding the origin of life within inanimate matter), we indeed discover many reasons for thinking about God. When we think about the remarkable organization presiding over the birth and maintenance of life, it becomes clear that the likelihood of it being the result of chance lessens quite considerably.

As our knowledge of science in the various fields expands, certain concepts must seem increasingly unacceptable. For example, the idea enthusiastically expressed by the recent French winner of the Nobel prize for medicine, that living matter was self-created from simple chemical elements due to chance circumstances. Then from this point it is claimed that living organisms evolved, leading to the remarkably complex being called man. To me, it would seem that the scientific advancements made in understanding the fantastic complexity of higher beings provides stronger arguments in favor of the opposite theory: that the existence of an extraordinarily methodical organization presiding over the remarkable arrangement of the phenomena of life necessitates the existence of a Creator.

In many parts of the Book, the Qur’an, encourages this kind of general reflection but also contains infinitely more precise data which are directly related to facts discovered by modern science. It is precisely this data which exercise a magnetic attraction for today’s scientists.

The Qur’an And Science
islam_science_buku-MBFor many centuries, humankind was unable to study certain data contained in the verses of the Qur’an because they did not possess sufficient scientific means. It is only today that numerous verses of the Qur’an dealing with natural phenomena have become comprehensible. A reading of old commentaries on the Qur’an, however knowledgeable their authors may have been in their day, bears solemn witness to a total inability to grasp the depth of meaning in such verses. I could even go so far as to say that, in the 20th century, with its compartmentalization of ever-increasing knowledge, it is still not easy for the average scientist to understand everything he reads in the Qur’an on such subjects, without having recourse to specialized research. This means that to understand all such verses of the Qur’an, one is nowadays required to have an absolutely encyclopedic knowledge embracing many scientific disciplines.

I should like to stress, that I use the word science to mean knowledge which has been soundly established. It does not include the theories which, for a time, help to explain a phenomenon or a series of phenomena, only to be abandoned later on in favor of other explanations. These newer explanations have become more plausible thanks to scientific progress. I only intend to deal with comparisons between statements in the Qur’an and scientific knowledge which are not likely to be subject to further discussion. Wherever I introduce scientific facts which are not yet 100% established, I will make it quite clear.

There are also some very rare examples of statements in the Qur’an which have not, as yet, been confirmed by modern science. I shall refer to these by pointing out that all the evidence available today leads scientists to regard them as being highly probable. An example of this is the statement in the Qur’an that life has an aquatic origin ( “And I created every living thing out of water” Qur’an, 21:30 ).

These scientific considerations should not, however, make us forget that the Qur’an remains a religious book par excellence and that it cannot be expected to have a scientific purpose per se. In the Qur’an, whenever humans are invited to reflect upon the wonders of creation and the numerous natural phenomena, they can easily see that the obvious intention is to stress Divine Omnipotence. The fact that, in these reflections, we can find allusions to data connected with scientific knowledge is surely another of God’s gifts whose value must shine out in an age where scientifically based atheism seeks to gain control of society at the expense of the belief in God. But the Qur’an does not need unusual characteristics like this to make its supernatural nature felt. Scientific statements such as these are only one specific aspect of the Islamic revelation which the Bible does not share.

Throughout my research I have constantly tried to remain totally objective. I believe I have succeeded in approaching the study of the Qur’an with the same objectivity that a doctor has when opening a file on a patient. In other words, only by carefully analyzing all the symptoms can one arrive at an accurate diagnosis. I must admit that it was certainly not faith in Islam that first guided my steps, but simply a desire to search for the truth. This is how I see it today. It was mainly the facts which, by the time I had finished my study, led me to see the Qur’an as the divinely-revealed text it really is.


Brunei Syariah books receive excellent response in Malaysia

The four books sent by the State Mufti Office which won the awards. Photo: BT

The four books sent by the State Mufti Office which won the awards. Photo: BT

Abdul Azim Kassim

BOOK publishers in Malaysia are keen on publishing the State Mufti’s books for the Malaysian market.

Recently Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Hj Awg Abd Aziz Juned had four of his books nominated in the Regional Premier Publishing Category and awarded the ‘Anugerah Perdana Penerbit Nusantara’ at the National Book Awards Ceremony 2014.

These were Qanun Jenayah Syar’iah: Satu Pengenalan (The Syariah Penal Code: An Introduction), Fatwa Mufti Kerajaan 2012 and Perintah Qanun Jenayah Syar’iah: Neraca Allah (Syariah Penal Code Order: Ordain of Allah).

A statement from the State Mufti’s Office said during the Kuala Lumpur International Book Festival this year, the response from the books were beyond their expectations.

The State Mufti's Office’s Director of Administration, Dato Paduka Awang Ahmad Bukhari Pehin Siraja Khatib Hj Abu Hanifah with the award.  Photo: BT/Abdul Azim Kassim

The State Mufti’s Office’s Director of Administration, Dato Paduka Awang Ahmad Bukhari Pehin Siraja Khatib Hj Abu Hanifah with the award. Photo: BT/Abdul Azim Kassim

“The books have gotten great feedback from book publishers and distributors,” the statement read.

“So much so that they would like to reprint and distribute the books in Malaysia – provided there is permission from the Brunei side.”

The State Mufti’s Office’s Director of Administration, Dato Paduka Awang Ahmad Bukhari Pehin Siraja Khatib Hj Abu Hanifah said the books were showered with praises during the awards ceremony organised by the Malaysia National Book Development Foundation (YPBN) in Kuala Lumpur.

“On behalf of the State Mufti’s Office, I feel proud because the efforts invested in coming up with these books are recognised and even awarded by Malaysia,” he said.

“It means a whole lot more when the guest of honour (Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim) personally mentioned and praised the publication.

“All these acknowledgements ultimately are a testament to the author himself, our State Mufti.”

He added that many Malaysians were impressed by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s determination to implement the law this year.

Touching on reasons why the award was given, Dato Paduka Awang Ahmad Bukhari said the quality and technique are important criterion in the competition.

“The State Mufti’s Office has worked hard to reach and sustain such value of quality,” he said.

“But content-wise, I believe the strong impact was the books provided guidance for one to better understand the Syariah Law Penal Code.”

During the trip in Malaysia, Dato Paduka Awang Ahmad Bukhari was accompanied by Head of Technical Publication Osman Abu Bakar. The National Book Award aims to appreciate the hard work of writers in the country and encourage the publishing industry to produce more quality writing instead of quantity.

The Brunei Times
Friday, December 12, 2014

Jakarta to promote Syariah tourism destinations and products

Author Amelia Yugia Masniari (L) and Head of the Jakarta Tourism and Culture Office Arie Budhiman (R) holding Amelia's book on shopping in Jakarta. Photo: BT/Rebecca Oi

Author Amelia Yugia Masniari (L) and Head of the Jakarta Tourism and Culture Office Arie Budhiman (R) holding Amelia’s book on shopping in Jakarta. Photo: BT/Rebecca Oi

Rebecca Oi

INDONESIA’S capital is drawing up plans to attract more Bruneians to the city.

THE Jakarta Tourism and Culture Office is taking steps to promote tourist destinations in the city through the Jakarta Tourism Business Forum (JTBF) 2014.

Speaking to The Brunei Times yesterday, the Promotion Director of Jakarta Tourism and Culture Office, Cucu Ahmad Kurnia, said: “The number of Brunei tourists visiting Jakarta is still relatively low — below 10,000 visitors annually compared to neighbouring countries such as Malaysia with 186,626 visitors and Singapore with 106,406 visitors.

“We have plans to jointly boost tourism between Indonesia and Brunei, however there are challenges due to the relatively small market of the Sultanate,” he added.

“However, there are tentative plans to meet local travel agents and the national carrier from the Sultanate to create an attractive package for Brunei tourists to Jakarta, “ he said.

He went on to say that both countries have many similarities in terms of culture, food and traditions, therefore he hopes Bruneians would include Jakarta as part of their travel plans.

The tourism office also hopes to promote Syariah tourism destinations and products, such as hotels, travel packages, restaurants and spas.

Syariah tourism is leisure and travel that complies with Islamic law. He added: “Syariah tourism looks very promising because spending by Muslim tourists is growing faster than the global rate and is forecast to reach US$192 billion ($251 billion) globally per year by 2020.”

According to the State of the Global Islamic Economy 2012 research that was conducted by Thomson Reuters, Muslims spent US$88 billion ($114.84 billion) on halal food, which is equal to 16.6 per cent of worldwide food spending. The figure is projected to increase to 626 billion in 2018.

In 2012, the global Muslim population spent US$37 billion ($49.29 billion) in travelling (excluding haj and minor haj), which is equal to 12.5 per cent of global spending. This number is forecast to reach US$81billion ($105.71 billion) by 2018.

He added that the direct contribution of travel and tourism to Indonesia’s GDP was 3.1 per cent of total GDP in 2013, and was forecast to rise by 8.1 per cent in 2014, and to rise by 5.3 per cent per annum until 2024.

Speaking on the one-day JTBF 2014 planned for today, head of the Jakarta Tourism and Culture Office Arie Budhiman said: “The introduction of tourism products is now being done in an innovative way through a session called ‘Table Top’.” He said that the session is a concept of business to business (B2B) in which participants can interact personally, exchange information and offer tourism products.

Arie believes that Jakarta does not serve only as the centre of the Indonesian government and the economy but that it had great potential in the tourism sector.

He said that the tourism office will also continue to support Jakarta to increase the number of domestic and foreign tourists, which will increase revenue from the tourism sector.

The one-day forum will be see participation by public and private sector establishments including 100 sellers from Jakarta, 194 buyers from 30 cities all over Indonesia and six ASEAN countries as well as local and international media.

The Brunei Times
Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Masjid Hidayatullah, an old mosque in the jungle of Jakarta's highrise buildings .

Masjid Hidayatullah, an old mosque in the jungle of Jakarta’s highrise buildings .

Books on Hadhramaut and the Hadharem

books_HadhramautWITH all the very learned and well informed Hadharem, within and out of Hadhramout, it is incredible that none has undertaken to write a proper, well researched and informed book – in English – on Hadhramaut or the Hadhramis. Of the many well known books written and read by many who are interested in this part of Arabia, incredibly, none is by a Hadhrami. To mention a few of these books:

The Hadrami awakening: community and identity in the Netherlands East Indies …by Natalie Mobini-Kesheh: is a ‘thoughtful, richly informed study…the fruit of wide reading and painstaking research. It is written with assurance and refreshing lucidity, and is a valuable addition to existing studies on the Hadhrami diaspora.’ Al Bab

Hadhrami traders, scholars, and statesmen in the Indian Ocean, 1750s-1960s…by Ulrike Freitag and W. G. Clarence-Smith: This book ‘covers the long neglected history of Hadhramaut (southern Arabia) during the modern colonial era, together with the history of Hadhrami “colonies” in the Malay world, southern India, the Red Sea, and East Africa. After an introduction placing Hadhramis in the context of other diasporas, there are sections on local and international politics, social stratification and integration, religious and social reform, and economic dynamics.’ Google Books

The graves of Tarim: genealogy and mobility across the Indian Ocean…by Engseng Ho. This book is an impressive piece of scholarship in which Ho traces the history of the Hadhrami Arab diaspora across the Indian Ocean through the longue durée of the last 1,000 years. He traces this history primarily through the construction of genealogies, which established the city of Tarim as the origin from which all genealogies flowed. This leans more toward history than it does anthropology, but is in any case a very interesting take on how a sense of place is constructed such that a disparate diaspora can maintain its identity over a millennium.

On the Edge of Empire: Gender, Race, and the Making of British Columbia, 1849-1871…by Adele Perry: is a well-written, carefully researched, very absorbing and persuasively argued book. It has won the Clio Award, British Columbia Region, presented by the Canadian Historical Association, and is co-winner of the Pacific Coast Branch Book Award, presented by the American Historical Association.

The Hadhrami diaspora in Southeast Asia: identity maintenance or assimilation?…by Ahmed Ibrahim Abushouk and Hassan Ahmed Ibrahim: any one interested in the Hadhramaut and its diaspora, should read this book. This book ‘originates from the proceedings of an international conference convened by the Department of History and Civilization, International Islamic University Malaysia, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Yemen, in Kuala Lumpur, from 26 to 28 August 2005.’ Google Books

Hadrami Arabs in present-day Indonesia: an Indonesia-oriented group with an Arab signature…by Frode Fadnes Jacobsen: ‘this small book contributes to the growing body of literature on the Hadrami Arab presence in Southeast Asia. While much of the existing literature focuses on the Javanese and, to some extent, the Singaporean Hadrami community, its originality lies in the ethnographic material which the author gathered in Bali. He is thus able to discuss a number of issues which add significantly to our knowledge of the Indonesians of Hadrami-Arab origin in present-day Indonesia—by the regional focus, by the stress on current developments and, finally, by discussing an issue which hitherto no other study of the Southeast Asian Hadramis has addressed, namely a specific group of healers.’ Journal of Islamic Studies

The Hadrami Diaspora: Community-Building on the Indian Ocean Rim…by Leif Manger: in the early centuries of migration, the Hadhrami, traveler was both a trader and a religious missionary, making the migrant community both a “trade diaspora” and a “religious diaspora.” The book is not that absorbing but still worth reading.

The Southern Gates of Arabia: A Journey in the Hadhramaut…by Freya Stark: is most probably the most read most well known book on Hadhramaout. Of the books on Hadhramout, this I find as the most absorbing and most fascinating of all; not because of the subject matter. Freya, a woman, alone, wandering in this foreign uncharted land – is what keeps one reading this book.

As useful, informative, absorbing and interesting these books are or may be, I believe: it needs a person who truly understands Hadhramout and the Hadharem to write a book that is well worthy of this great, very old part of not only Arabia, but the Middle East. It needs a Hadhrami who has the time, the energy, the patience and the words to research and write a truly unbiased, in-depth and objective book on this very ancient part of the world. Not only on and of those dispersed out of it, but mainly of and on Hadhramout proper and its history, geography, people and culture.

Hadhrami farmers riding theri cart over a wady.

Hadhrami farmers riding theri cart over a wady.

Hadhramis palying domino in the evening.

Hadhramis palying domino in the evening.

Suparto Brata’s “Saksi Mata”: Common people can be a hero

saksimataSaksi Mata (Eyewitness); By Suparto Brata; Kompas Book Publisher,
Jakarta, January 2002; ix + 434 pp

Suparto is best known as an author of Javanese literature, having written more than 110 works, half of them in Javanese. For his contributions to regional language and literature, he received the Rancage Award in 2000 and 2001, being honored particularly for his acclaimed Trem, a compilation of short stories in Javanese from the 1950s to 2000.

Saksi Mata, first published as a serial in the Kompas daily from November 1997 to April 1998, tells of a smart, brave boy named Kuntara, living in Surabaya during the Japanese occupation of the country in World War II.

The 12-year-old boy is infatuated with an older woman named Rumsari, a daughter of the Surakarta royal family who is distantly related to him and treats him kindly. He calls her Bulik (Auntie) Rum.

Kuntara unexpectedly spies Bulik Rum making love to a stranger in a bunker, who he later finds out is her husband, Wiradad. The couple are plotting to kill the Japanese military officer Ichiro Nishizumi and destroy his arsenal Ichiro had tried to force Prince Prabu, Bulik Rum’s father, to give him his daughter in marriage. However, the prince married Rumsari to Wiradad, a young man who is a chemistry expert and works at an ammunition factory.

However, Ichiro takes Rumsari to Surabaya, making her not only his office assistant but also a sex slave. Rumsari tells Kuntara all about Ichiro, the situation at the office and her plot with Wiradad to kill Ichiro. However, the next day she is killed and it is Kuntara’s task to fight on against the Japanese officer.

Saksi Mata is a sociological novel with Surabaya as its setting, and shows that the most seemingly common people can perform heroic acts. Unfortunately, there are many instances in the novel when the Surabaya dialect, Javanese and Japanese are used but not translated, which is disappointing for readers who are not fluent in those languages.

However, this novel enriches Indonesian fiction by focusing on a difficult period in our history which has long been neglected by writers.

— Darul Aqsha

On the Shelves
The Jakarta Post
Sun, May 05 2002