Indonesia Study Group
Date & time
According to many observers of Indonesian politics and society, anti-Chinese sentiments are on the rise. While the scholarly literature on the subject is extensive, we lack accurate data on the extent of anti-Sinicism in the Indonesian mass public and its variation across various population segments. Furthermore, our knowledge of the implications of anti-Chinese prejudice for how people conceptualise and evaluate public policy is limited. In this presentation, I address these open questions by leveraging on a national survey commissioned by ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. I start by presenting a novel approach to measuring anti-Chinese prejudice in public opinion, which finds overall high levels of prejudice toward this ethnic minority. I then analyse how such prejudice is associated with sociodemographic variables and various attitudinal factors, such as preferences over the role of Islam in public affairs and support for democracy. In the second part of the talk, I present results from a survey experiment designed to measure the effect of anti-Sinicism on policy preferences on foreign investment, an area in which Chinese Indonesians have historically played a prominent role. Implications are discussed with reference to current debates on democratic consolidation in Indonesia.