Volksraad (Dutch East Indies)

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A People's Council (Volksraad) for the Dutch East Indies was provided for by law in 1916. But was procrastinated until the actual installation of the Council in 1918. It was a hesitant and slow attempt at democratisation of the Dutch East Indies. The power of the Volksraad was limited as it only had advisory powers. Although part of the council was elected only a small proportion of the population had voting rights.[1]

Opening of the Volksraad, Batavia 18 May 1918.

The Volksraad had sixty members: 30 members from various indigenous groups, 25 European and 5 from Chinese and other populations. The Volksraad was reconstituted every four years. The members of the Council were partly chosen, partly appointed by the colonial administration.[2]

History[edit]

The Volksraad was founded in Weltevreden, Batavia, Java, as an infant form of democratic representation on 18 May 1918 by the "ethical" colonial chief executive Count van Limburg Stirum (1873-1948), who was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1916 to 1921.

In 1925 the Volksraad was made a semilegislative body; although decisions were still made by the Dutch government, the governor-general was expected to consult the Volksraad on major issues.

The last election was in 1939. In 1942 the Volksraad was dissolved during the Japanese occupation.[3]

In 1945 the Volksraad building located in Weltevreden was renamed the Pancasila building.

Members[edit]

The term of office for Volksraad members was three years, in 1925 increased to 4 years. Famous Indo-European members of the Volksraad were Karel Zaalberg and Dick de Hoog. Chinese members include Khouw Kim An, Majoor der Chinezen, H. H. Kan, Loa Sek Hie and Chester Sim-Zecha; and indigenous members include the Javanese Tjokroaminoto, Mohammad Husni Thamrin, Sumatran Agus Salim and Menadonese Sam Ratulangi.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

Notes and citations[edit]

  1. ^ Harry J. Benda, S.L. van der Wal, "De Volksraad en de staatkundige ontwikkeling van Nederlandsch-Indië: The Peoples Council and the political development of the Netherlands-Indies." (With an introduction and survey of the documents in English). (Publisher: J.B. Wolters, Leiden, 1965.)
  2. ^ Harry J. Benda, S.L. van der Wal, "De Volksraad en de staatkundige ontwikkeling van Nederlandsch-Indië: The Peoples Council and the political development of the Netherlands-Indies." (With an introduction and survey of the documents in English). (Publisher: J.B. Wolters, Leiden, 1965.)
  3. ^ Volksraad article Britannica.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Palmer and Colton. A History of the Modern World (McGraw-Hill, Inc. 1992). ISBN 0-07-557417-9
  • Ricklefs, M. C. A History of Modern Indonesia Since c. 1300 (Stanford University Press, 2001).[1]

External links[edit]