Sahul Maiddin

PhD candidate
Supervisor: Professor Adrian Vickers
Associate Supervisor: Associate Professor Judith Keene, Dr Vannessa Hearman

Propaganda and Indoctrination in Indonesian Politics, 1959-1965
This research will focus on propaganda and indoctrination launched during Sukarno’s tenure in Indonesia especially after the introduction of ‘Guided Democracy’ in 1959 up to 1965. Propaganda is an art of persuasion either to reinforce the courage or to diminish the abilities of target groups. The study will scrutinise the exercises made by Sukarno and his comrades to build a newly independent Indonesia. His collection of speeches with highly skilled phraseology and bombastic language were subtly manipulated to mesmerize audiences. Building the nation became a main objective during this early period of independence, principally after years of ‘Revolution’ that retarded the development of the state. Simultaneously, Sukarno and his allies, namely the Indonesian Communist Party and the military also launched propaganda through mass media, mainly printed. It is to uplift his image and superiority among the people of Indonesia. Absolute empowerment was crucial for Sukarno to portray his image as a ‘supra-leader’ of Malay Archipelago, as he always craved. During this period, Sukarno was also facing conflicts and confrontation with foreign countries like Malaysia and Britain; as well as internal fracas and insurgence of secessionist groups. Hence, actions were carried out to defeat the foes by exploiting and launching propaganda against them. This research will be carried out primarily by using primary sources such as government publications and diplomatic cables, as well as newspapers and magazines.

About the student

Sahul Hamid Mohamed Maiddin is Malaysian and has research interests in Indonesian politics and history. His obtained a Masters degree in History from the University of Malaya, Malaysia with his dissertation, "Propaganda and Psychological Warfare during Malaysia-Indonesia Confrontation, 1963-1965". He is a junior lecturer in the Department of History, Sultan Idris University of Education, Malaysia. In March 2012, he obtained a full-scholarship study leave from the Malaysian Government to pursue his doctoral degree at the Department of Indonesian Studies, University of Sydney, Australia. His research is on “Propaganda and Indoctrination in Indonesian Politics, 1959-1965”, under the supervision of Professor Adrian Vickers, Associate Professor Judith Keene and Dr Vannessa Hearman.

Conference presentations

  • Sahul Hamid Mohamed Maiddin, "Indonesia: The Emergence and Proliferation of Sukarnoism, 1959-1965". A paper presented at the Indonesian Council Open Conference 2013, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia. 11-12 July 2013.
  • Sahul Hamid Mohamed Maiddin, "Cold War Propaganda: Capitalist versus Communist". A paper presented at the 3rd Malaysian Postgraduate Colloquium 2013, Malaysian Consulate Sydney, Australia. 4 July 2013.
  • Sahul Hamid Mohamed Maiddin, "We Were Brothers: A Quest for the Origins of Malaysia – Indonesia Confrontation, 1963-1966". A paper presented at the Eastern Indian Ocean Circulation Workshop, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia. 24 May 2013.
  • Sahul Hamid Mohamed Maiddin, "Indonesia: Anti-Malaysian Propaganda during Konfrontasi, 1963-1966". A paper presented at 6th Indonesia-Malaysia International Conference, Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia. 11 July 2012.