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A commitment to new and innovative work on South East Asia.

ISSN 0967-828X (print); 2043-6874 (online)

Editor: Dr Rachel Harrison,
Dept of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia, SOAS, University Of London

This journal is covered by Thomson Reuters in the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, and Current Contents/Arts & Humanities.

This journal is indexed in Scopus

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Other Sites Of Interest:

AAS Association of Asian Studies

ASEASUK Association of South-East Asian Studies

Cornell University Publications: Southeast Asia Program


Lontar Foundation

Royal Asiatic Society

SEARC Southeast Asia Research Centre

SEAS Society for South-East Asian Studies

SOAS Centre of South East Asian Studies

Editorial coverage

Published quarterly by IP Publishing on behalf of SOAS. South East Asia Research includes papers on all aspects of South East Asia within the disciplines of archaeology, art history, economics, geography, history, language and literature, law, music, political science, social anthropology and religious studies. Papers are based on original research or field work.

SOAS is the leading centre in this field in Europe and one of the most prestigious centres of South East Asian studies in the world.

Submissions - Notes for authors

Please send papers to Dr Rachel Harrison, Dept of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG, UK. E-mail: rh6(at)soas.ac.uk.

Length and presentation of contributions

Papers may be submitted as e-mail attachments in Word or in hard copy. The text should be double-spaced and, for hard copy submissions, an electronic copy in Word should also be supplied on a disk or CD. Papers should preferably be in the range of 6,000-8,000 words long, and no more than 10,000 words.

The title page should contain the full names and addresses of the authors, their professional status or affiliation and the mailing address to which correspondence should be sent. As this page will not be forwarded to referees, the title of the article (without author names) should be repeated on the first page of the text.

An abstract should be provided, comprising 100-150 words. Between 3 and 6 keywords should appear below the abstract, highlighting the main topics of the paper. The text should be organized under appropriate cross-headings (not numbered paragraphs).

A citation should preferably be by footnote, but the Harvard system may be used. The following style should be applied to references:

  • Books:Peter Zinoman (2001), The Colonial Bastille: A History of Imprisonment in Vietnam, 1862-1940, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
  • Journal articles: Martin van Bruinessen (2002), 'Genealogies of Islamic radicalism in post-Suharto Indonesia', South East Asia Research, Vol 10, No 2, pp 117-154.

If the Harvard system is used, the author's surname should appear first (Zinoman, Peter) and textual citation should take the form '(Zinoman, 1990)'. For textual citations, where there are two authors please use the word 'and', not the ampersand (thus: '(Smith and Jones, 2012)'. Where there are more than two authors, please use the first-named author only, followed by 'et al' in italics (thus: Smith et al, 2012).

In the case of a reference in a footnote to a work already cited, the note in which the full citation is given should be stated, with the use of 'supra': for example, 'Zinoman, supra note 9, at p 90'.

Tables and illustrations should be presented on separate pages at the end of the text: they will be placed as close as possible to the first textual reference to them.

South East Asia Research uses British spelling throughout (thus 'colour' not 'color'), with the '-ize' verb suffix (thus 'organize' not 'organise').

Prior Publication

Articles are received on the understanding that they are original contributions, and have not been published officially, either in print or electronic form, or submitted for publication elsewhere. In this respect, ‘discussion’ or ‘working’ papers, conference presentations and proceedings are not considered to be official publications, unless they have been formally deemed so by conference organizers, or presented as edited works through recognized publishing channels. If in doubt, authors are asked to draw the attention of the Editor to any prior dissemination of the paper in their letter of submission. Please note that articles should not be posted on personal Websites or social networking sites before or after submission.


 All papers submitted for publication are subject to a 'double blind' review; that is, the anonymity of both author and referees is maintained throughout the reviewing process.

Author Checklist for Final versions

Editorial Board

  • Editor: Dr Rachel Harrison, Dept of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG, UK.
    E-mail: rh6(at)soas.ac.uk
  • Regional Editor: Professor Tony Day, Independent Scholar, Singapore, and CT, USA.
    E-mail: samdayweiss(at)gmail.com
  • Book Reviews Editor: Dr Ben Murtagh, Faculty of Languages and Cultures, SOAS, London, UK. E-mail: bm10(at)soas.ac.uk.

Editorial Advisory Board

  • Professor Peter Boomgaard
    KITLV, Leiden, The Netherlands
  • Professor Anne Booth
    SOAS, University of London, UK
  • Professor Chua Beng Huat
    National University of Singapore
  • Dr Angela Chiu
    SOAS, UK
  • Professor Michael Herzfeld
    Harvard University, USA
  • Dr Mark Johnson
    University of Hull, UK
  • Professor Benedict J. Kerkvliet
    Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
  • Professor V.T. King
    University of Leeds, UK
  • Dr Gerry van Klinken
    KITLV, The Netherlands
  • Dr Joseph Chinyong Liow
    Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Dr Tamara Loos,
    Cornell University, USA
  • Dr Michael J. Montesano
    Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore
  • Dr Pavida Pananond
    Thammasat University, Thailand
  • Professor Michael G. Peletz
    Emory University, USA
  • Professor Bambang Purwanto
    Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • Professor Vicente L. Rafael
    University of Washington, USA
  • Dr Kostas Retsikas
    SOAS, UK
  • Professor J.D. Rigg
    National University of Singapore
  • Dr Mandy Sadan
    SOAS, UK
  • Professor Henk Schulte Nordholt
    KITLV, Leiden, The Netherlands
  • Professor John T. Sidel
    London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
  • Dr Thitinan Pongsudhirak
    Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
  • Professor Thongchai Winichakul
    University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  • Dr Ben Tran
    Vanderbilt University, USA
  • Dr Sarah Weiss
    Yale-NUS College, Singapore
  • Dr Jack Yeager
    Louisiana State University, USA
  • Professor Peter Zinoman
    University of California at Berkeley, USA

March 2015 Volume 23, Number 1


5 Walking a tightrope during the war: Leon Ma. Guerrero and the politics of Philippine nationalism

Erwin S. Fernandez

27 Gender harmony and the happy family: Islam, gender and sexuality in post- Reformasi Indonesia

Saskia E. Wieringa

45 ‘Hard-copy rumours’: print media and rumour in Indonesia

Nicholas Herriman

61 The National Anthem: contested and volatile symbol of post-colonial Malaysia, 1957–69

Cheong Soon Gan

79 Cambodia – donor playground? Defeat and doctrinal dysfunction in a hoped- for client state

Adam Fforde and Katrin Seidel

101 Re-imagining the community? Cambodian Cham Muslims – experience, identity, intergenerational knowledge transfer and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Tallyn Gray

121 Preferential trade treatment and industrial development: the case of Cambodia’s garment industry

Yoon Seon Han and Jai S. Mah

Book reviews

137 Violence and Vengeance: Religious Conflict and its Aftermath in Eastern Indonesia, by Christopher R. Duncan
(reviewed by Chiara Formichi)
139 Islam and the Making of the Nation: Kartosuwiryo and Political Islam in 20th-Century Indonesia, by C. Formichi
(reviewed by Alex Grainger)
143 Radical Traditions: Reimagining Culture in Balinese Contemporary Music, by Andrew Clay McGraw
(reviewed by Nick Gray)
145 The Spirit of Things: Materiality and Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia, edited by Julius Bautista
(reviewed by Kathleen Nadeau)

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Title: Walking a tightrope during the war: Leon Ma. Guerrero and the politics of Philippine nationalism

Author(s): Erwin S. Fernandez

Abstract: Part of a larger, in-depth biographical study of the Filipino writer and diplomat Leon Maria Guerrero (1915–1982), this article deals with Guerrero’s wartime activities. Having studied under American Jesuits at the Ateneo de Manila in the 1930s, Guerrero became critical of the Americans during the Japanese occupation. As an officer in the Military Intelligence Service in Bataan, he was disillusioned with America and was forcibly employed by the Japanese. This article explores the reasons behind Guerrero’s transformation during the Japanese occupation. After the war, a People’s Court was established to try charges of collaboration. Guerrero was never indicted in the court and, as one discerning observer, Tomas Santiago, noted, he was able to escape trial despite having served as propagandist for the Japanese Hodobu or Department of Information. Was Guerrero a traitor? And if so, whom did he betray? This article addresses these questions in the context of how Guerrero responded during his work as a radio commentator to the challenges posed by the Japanese occupation – akin to walking a tightrope. The article analyses selected and preserved radio commentaries in addition to taking note of oral and historical accounts. It concludes with a consideration of the wider ramifications of the politics of collaboration in the context of American policy towards the Philippines.

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Title: Gender harmony and the happy family: Islam, gender and sexuality in post-Reformasi Indonesia

Author(s): Saskia E. Wieringa

Abstract: A renewed global emphasis on ‘traditional culture’ threatens progress in women’s and sexual rights. This article focuses on Indonesia, where concepts such as ‘gender harmony’ and ‘the happy (Muslim) family’ have become state policy and where neo-Salafism is gaining ground. Indonesia’s first President, Sukarno, who managed to balance the army, Communism and Islam, was swept away during the period of mass murder in 1965–67 in which the Communist Party was destroyed. The struggle for women’s rights, as represented by the Communist-affiliated mass women’s organization Gerwani, became associated with sexual licentiousness through the slander campaign waged against the organization by the army. During the military dictatorship of Suharto, political Islam was allowed to grow. After the fall of Suharto, which introduced the so-called Reformasi period (from 1998), conservative Muslim forces gained control over important institutions. They strengthened a backward interpretation of women’s position in society. While a discourse of women’s rights prevailed after 1998, this has since been replaced by a heteronormative discourse on the ‘harmonious family’, in which women are assigned a subordinate position. The Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Children’s Protection actively promotes this concept (at the global level too), asserting that it aims to reduce domestic violence. With the help of a discourse analysis of some key official documents, the passionate aesthetics underlying this emphasis on the reintroduction of patriarchal heteronormativity in Indonesia are exposed. Regrettably, the United Nations Population Fund supports the Indonesian Ministry on this path.

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Title: ‘Hard-copy rumours’: print media and rumour in Indonesia

Author(s): Nicholas Herriman

Abstract: Many scholars have analysed media and communications in Indonesia by focusing on state control and resistance to it. Another approach emphasizes the press and society interacting. This paper analyses rumours spreading through East Java in October and November 1998, which held that ‘ninjas’ were targeting traditionalist Muslims, their leaders, preachers and the whole community. The author argues that these rumours developed through the interplay of the newspapers and local gossip.

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Title: The National Anthem: contested and volatile symbol of post-colonial Malaysia, 1957–69

Author(s): Cheong Soon Gan

Abstract: This article examines the discourse surrounding the disrespect shown to the National Anthem in Malaysia during the first decade of independence. Initially, those who refused to stand silently when the Anthem was played were characterized as rude and/or ignorant of the new responsibilities of citizenship. However, the discourse was eventually submerged into the wider and continuing contestation over the meaning of this newly independent nation, and those showing disrespect for the Anthem were racialized and accused of disloyalty to their nation. This article argues that, while a national anthem may be a symbol that resonates with a citizenry due to music’s potential as a vessel of emotional (and national) expression, it is precisely an anthem’s performative nature that makes it an unstable and malleable symbol of national identity, vulnerable to varying interpretations of the meaning of the nation.

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Title: Cambodia – donor playground? Defeat and doctrinal dysfunction in a hoped-for client state

Author(s): Adam Fforde and Katrin Seidel

Abstract: This paper suggests that we may learn much about mainstream doctrines and practices of governance from watching what happens when they engage with international development issues. Cambodia is an illuminating example. Despite apparent material, organizational and intellectual superiority, Western engagement with poor countries often fails: Cambodia points us towards possible explanations as to why. The paper suggests that the lack of success in development intervention has had much to do with patterns visible in Western policy and governance doctrines: a desire to base the organization of interventions on cause–effect principles; an associated reckless application of imagined generic cause–effect relationships with little robust empirical foundation; and associated tendencies towards sectarianism.

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Title: Re-imagining the community? Cambodian Cham Muslims – experience, identity, intergenerational knowledge transfer and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Author(s): Tallyn Gray

Abstract: This article focuses on the experience of the Cham Muslim minority in the Cambodian holocaust, which almost obliterated them. It explores the impact of the United Nations/Royal Government of Cambodia’s hybrid tribunal system, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), on Cham cultural identity since the fall of the Democratic Kampuchean regime in 1979. In particular, it examines social and historical knowledge transfer between those who survived the regime and the generation born after 1979, and the respective roles of globalized Islam and the ECCC in addressing this knowledge transfer. It uses interviews with a Cham scholar, imams and community leaders, ECCC staff, and a lawyer who represents many Cham civil party clients at the Courts.

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Title: Preferential trade treatment and industrial development: the case of Cambodia’s garment industry

Author(s): Yoon Seon Han and Jai S. Mah

Abstract: The garment industry is important for Cambodia’s economy not only because it generates noticeable export earnings and employment, but also because it contributes significantly to the economic growth of the country. Due to the bilateral trade agreements that exist between Cambodia and the USA, the majority of Cambodia’s garment exports are destined for the US market. The European Union (EU) has also given preferential treatment to Cambodia’s export of garments and this is expected to lead to an increase in the volume of Cambodia’s export of garments to the EU. Thus, the case of Cambodia indicates that preferential treatment by developed countries may contribute significantly to the export expansion and economic growth of a developing country. In terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, China has played a leading role. China’s investment in Cambodia’s garment industry has enabled a strengthening of production capacity.

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