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Nadia Eliora
Elisabeth Pristiwi
Civics 10
17 December 2015
Indonesian Citizenship
Citizenship is the right of every individual. By proclaiming a citizenship, an
individual is agreeing to abide to that countrys constitution and government. However,
before an individual can adopt a citizenship, he or she must fulfill a specific legislation. In
Indonesia, this is Article 27, 28, and 34 of the 1945 Constitution. These requirements and are
essential to ensure that citizens will abide to a countrys law, participate in national acts, and
respect the community as well as contribute to it. Citizenship is a part of an individuals
identity even if he or she is an immigrant and has advantages and disadvantages.
As an immigrant, Jo Tjuan Kin fled China at the age of seven, in the early 1940s, and
entered Indonesia with his father, mother, and siblings (Lioe Ing). As vigilantes, they took
from the rich to feed the poor, which angered the Chinese government, who wanted to
condemn them to prison. After consideration, his family decided to flea to Indonesia, where
they had several contacts and knowledge of a growing Chinese community. His father made
the initial journey, hiding in a coffin to be smuggled into the country. After his fathers
arrival, he and the rest of his family were able to immigrate under better circumstances.
During the time, Indonesia, still colonized, gave the option for immigrants to maintain their
original citizenship. During Indonesias independence, his family was offered citizenship, but
they turned it down and decided to keep their Chinese citizenship, because they thought they
would return to China. However, after thirty years and creating his own family, Jo Tjuan Kin
finally adopted and Indonesian citizenship when he decided that he would not return to
China. The process was not simple, and they were required to remember Indonesian history

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and songs, but after several attempts, he earned it for himself and his family. His citizenship
was considered over his knowledge of nationality and how long he had stayed in Indonesia.
Gaining citizenship is advantageous when seeking refuge. When somebody adopts a
citizenship, he/she is therefore protected under the adopted government, and trialed under the
governments law. Citizenship also gives an individual the right to participate in a countrys
political affairs, which is beneficial for those who have a passion for a nations nationality.
When abroad, citizenship also gives an individual the right to neutral ground when they enter
their countrys embassy, serving as refuge against unfair treatment. Under Indonesian
citizenship, these things are guaranteed in Articles 27-28 of the 1945 Constitution, which
states that all citizens have the right to work, have stable living, freedom to associate,
freedom of expression, as well as rights to life, family, basic needs, education, knowledge,
guaranteed protection, and equality (Hak dan Kewajiban).
Citizenship can be a disadvantage under mandatory laws. An example is military
requirement, or obligations to self-defense. In Indonesia, for example, citizens are required to
participate in self-defense efforts by the 1945 Constitution Article 30 verse 1 (Hak dan
Kewajian). Some countries also have higher tax rates than others, making citizenship in
those countries more economically challenging. Through internationally shared racism, some
citizenship is treated with more weariness than others, because of the trends and prejudices
against that specific race. When adopting a citizenship, individuals may also loose the health
care theyre given by their original countries in foreign land, making living expenses slightly
more challenging. Relocating the entity of ones life also becomes challenging, and a hurdle
to overcome. Changing citizenship also establishes a new set of rules an individual has to
adapt into, and any breaking of those rules would lead to legal action.
In the case study, ones citizenship is decided through knowledge of the countrys
culture and history. Although this is important, in the 21st century it is an ineffective measure,

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as the information is easily accessible through the multitude of resources available. Also, it is
unfair to require foreigners or immigrants wanting to adopt a citizenship to remember these
things, when it cannot be guaranteed that the citizens themselves have knowledge of it. Even
through the civics lessons in class, many of the lessons are forgotten after graduation. Hence,
instead of focusing on memorization of history, the requirement of citizenship should be more
focused on a need or patriotism. Citizenship applicants should understand the essence and
meaning of the history, and should be required to truly find purpose in adopting Indonesian
citizenship. This way, citizens are guaranteed to participate in the betterment of the nation,
which is the purpose of citizens under a government.

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Works Cited
Hak dan Kewajiban Warga Negara Indonesia Dengan UUD 45. Mahkamah Konstitusi
Republik Indonesia. Lembaga Pengawal Konstitusi. 11 August 2015. Web. 16
December 2015. <http://www.mahkamahkonstitusi.go.id/index.php?page=web.
Lioe Ing, Jo. Personal Interview. 16 December 2015.