Causes of lingering communist movement after Indonesia’s September Thirtieth Movement: the case of border area between Sarawak and West Kalimantan

Toshio Matsumura

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This article focuses on the communist movement on both sides of the border in Sarawak and West Kalimantan around 1965 when the September Thirtieth Movement (abortive coup) took place in Jakarta. The people in Sarawak were seeking independence and opposed to being integrated into the Federation of Malaysia in the first half of the 1960s. However, after the September Thirtieth Movement, the communist movement in Sarawak started losing support both domestically and internationally (especially support from Indonesia). Nevertheless, even with the persecution by Suharto’s army, the Sarawak guerrillas and the Indonesian Communist Party in West Kalimantan cooperated in their struggle for a few years after 1965. This situation was aided by the remoteness of these areas from the centers of the nation-states (Malaysia and Indonesia) and also by the cooperation between the guerrillas and the local Chinese in West Kalimantan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalAsian Ethnicity
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2017 Apr 30



  • communist guerrillas
  • Indonesia
  • Sarawak
  • September Thirtieth Movement
  • West Kalimantan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science

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