Not much that is good. That’s what the Singapore-based ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute found in a survey titled Chinese Indonesians in the Eyes of the Pribumi Public,
If the survey is accurate it suggests that after decades of living cheek by jowl with the pribumis, they still harbor stereotyped perceptions about the Indonesian Chinese.
Among the most glaring stereotyped are that the Chinese Indonesians tend to be more wealthy than the pribumis. Over 60 percent of respondents in the survey felt this.
Astoundingly almost half of the respondents, 47.6 percent, believe that the Indonesian Chinese harbor divided loyalties between Indonesia and China.
The survey, which was conducted in May 2016 after the anti-Ahok protests, did not say whether these sentiments were as intense before the demonstrations.
Several questions come to mind from the survey results:
- Does this mean that no Chinese Indonesian can ever stand for high office and win, because all the opposition has to do is to fan the racial flames?
- Can pribumis be so oblivious of the many, many walthy-off Pribumi officials and businesspersons that are so visible in everyday Indonesia?
- Does it mean that Indonesian Chinese should prepare for a difficult year ahead and until the 2019 presidential elections are over before letting out their breath? Will Indonesia be a racial powder keg all primed?
- Should Indonesian Chinese try harder to disabuse their pribumi counterparts of their prejudices? Or are they better off letting things lie than run the risk of stirring things up?
- The would the results of a similar survey, if conducted in neighboring Malaysia, show a lower, similar or higher level of prejudice?
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