He was the first communist-revolutionary activist who declared and popularized term "Indonesian Republic must be 100% free from colonialism and imperialism". One of his masterpiece, Naar de Republiek Indonesia
( Towards Indonesian Republic
, published in 1924 ), had strong influence on Sukarno and other national movement leaders' idea about nationalism and communism. Short Biography
Born in West Sumatra, June 2 1897 from a religious family. Tan Malaka was smart, well-educated person. At the age of 17, Tan got opportunity to study abroad in Netherland. There he getting acquainted with Marxism, socialism and revolutionary theories through books, brochure and discussions.
From Netherland, he started to travel around the world, fight for Indonesia's independence and spent a large part of his life in exile from Indonesia and was constantly threatened with arrest by the Dutch authorities and their allies such as British intelligence service and Americans (for example, in Philippine, Tan was arrested by American Police at the request of the Dutch). Dutch colonialist government labeled him as a "dangerous Bolshevik agitator".Revolutionary and Political Activities
1. Nominate himself in Tweede Kamer
(parliament) as a delegation for colony countries, but failed.
2. Became Indonesian Communist Party agitator when he back to Indonesia.
3. March 1922, exiled to Netherland because of his "dangerous activities".
4. October 1922, from Berlin, Tan went to Moscow, joined Communist party education program.
5. November 5 - December 5, 1922 : the fourth congress of Komintern was held in Moscow. Tan attended the congress as a delegation for Indonesia. He got opportunity to delivered his speech about Communism and Pan-Islamism
in 7 minutes, while another delegations only got 5 minutes to speak. Tan Malaka's speech was actually criticize Lenin's idea on "struggle against Pan-Islamism". Tan offered a positive approach to collaborating communist movements with Islamic movements.
6. With Karl Radek's order, he wrote Indonezija, Ejo Mesto Na Proboezdajoesjtsjemsja Vostoke
(Indonesia and Its Place on the East which is Rising
7. Became the chairman of Indonesian Communist Party ( PKI )
8. 1926 Failed Coup
- Tan Malaka rejected PKI leadership's plan to made a coup against colonial government. As Komintern representative for Southeast Asia, Tan Malaka argued that he had authority to reject the PKI's plan and criticize it as " premature, adventurist coup " . But most of PKI leaders refuse Tan's prohibition. The coup itself was poorly prepared, with lack of coordination, logistic supplies and ended with mass execution of communist revolutionaries.
9. 1927 - He committed to split from Moscow and became an independent nationalist-communist. As the result, Tan Malaka's friends in PKI labeled him as a "Trostkyist-Revisionist traitor".
10. July 1927 - With some fellows Tan founded PARI ( Indonesian Republican Party
) in Bangkok. But ironically, the party was easily crushed by the colonial government.Relationships with Nationalist Government after the Proclamation of Independence
1. 1942 - After being exiled for a long time, Tan Malaka decided to went back to Indonesia, disguising as Ramli Husein in Padang City.
2. 1943 - In Java Island he worked in a Japanese coal mine as a clerk named "Ilyas Hussein".
3. August 17 1945 - Proclamation of Independence
4. 19 September 1945 - Tan Malaka mobilized all youth nationalist movements from any ideological background to attend national meeting against fascism in Ikada Square. Sukarno delivered his speech at that meeting and walking side by side with Tan Malaka.
5. September 1945 - Sukarno gave a political testament to Tan Malaka. In the testament, Sukarno gave the mandate to Tan Malaka if he (Sukarno) couldn't lead or continue the national revolution.Clash with the Nationalist Government and His Death
1. Tan rejected Prime Minister Syahrir's policy to make a "diplomacy" and "negotiation" tactics with the Dutch aggressor. Tan believed in armed struggle tactics and began to create his own militia.
2. His statement against government's "negotiation" policy was interpreted by The National Army as a subversive action against the republic.
3. Lieutenant Colonel Surachmat gave special orders to Lieutenant Sukoco to eliminate Tan Malaka and his followers.
4. February 21 1949 - Tan Malaka was arrested in his base in Selopanggung village. He was executed by a soldier named private Suradi Tekebek.