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Antje Moeljani in 2019
|Prime Minister of Hindia Belanda|
|Assumed office |
22 June 2018
|Governor General||Maryam Rahmadisoerja|
|Preceded by||Marcus Overstraten|
|Leader of the National Indies Party|
|Assumed office |
|Shadow State Secretary for Rural Development|
April 1993 – January 1998
|Preceded by||Agung Apriantana|
|Succeeded by||Maya Soerjokartodjo|
|Shadow Minister for Interior and Kingdom Affairs|
January 1998 – August 2002
|Preceded by||Teuku Kaban|
|Succeeded by||Gerhard Heijman|
|Shadow Foreign Minister|
August 2007 – August 2015
|Preceded by||Soedarsono Witoelar|
|Succeeded by||Theo de Vroome|
|Leader of the Opposition|
|Preceded by||Djoewana Tjokrohadikartodjo|
|Succeeded by||Marcus Overstraten|
16 March 1963
Sembilanratu, Hindia Belanda
|Political party||National Indies Party|
|Domestic partner||Ilias Atmosoegih|
|Relatives||Ranti Moeljani (grandmother)|
|Residence||Istana Nusantara, Jakarta|
|Alma mater||University of Jakarta|
Antje Moeljani (Jawi: انچعع مولياني; Javanese: ꦄꦤꦕꦼ ꦩꦸꦭꦪꦄꦤꦶ; Balinese: ᬎᬌᬕ ᬯᬣᬠᭊᬽᬭᬬ), is a Hindia Belandan politician and singer-songwriter who has been the 21st Prime Minister of Hindia Belanda since 2018. Moeljani has been the Member of Parliament for Serang North since 1993. She has also served as the leader of the National Indies Party since 2017, having replaced Djoewana Tjokrohadikartodjo.
Born in Sembilanratu, she read metaphysics and political science at the University of Jakarta in 1984 before moving to Koninstad to work briefly for the secretariat of the Royal Union as a policy analyst during the tenure of Secretary-General Aminah Amaluddin. There, she met and befriended Marcus Overstraten, the current Leader of the Opposition and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, who was also working for the Royal Union as a liaison officer between the organisation and the monarchy. In 1985, she joined the National Indies Party.
She led the National Indies party to power in the 2018 General Elections, ousting Marcus Overstraten and the decade-long rule of the Liberal Democratic Party by successfully moving a motion of no confidence in the Dewan Deputi which dissolved the parliament. After the resignation of Marcus Overstraten and the announcement of the elections results, Moeljani and her cabinet appointments kneeled at Buitenzorg Palace, the principal residence of the Governor-General, and formed a government in a coalition with the Aliansi Merdeka. Moeljani is a self-described progressive and insulindist, a Hindia Belandan political term denoting a person who follows and keeps alive the values of the Commonwealth's founding fathers and mothers. Her government has placed a great emphasis on issues relating to education, the environment, social inequality and rural development. She has stated numerous times that her government does not tolerate Islamism or any form of radicalism and that she would introduce strong measures to quell Islamists, particularly those in frontier areas. Concerning the issue of Southeastern Malayan separatism, she has declared that no future independence referendum may take place in the autonomous territory. In recent times, Moeljani has voiced support for universal basic income which she has included in the Throne Speech of 2020 delivered by Governor-General Maryam Rahmadisoerja. 
Moeljani is an established musician and singer-songwriter who has released five albums and an EP, but since pursuing a political career and especially after becoming Prime Minister she has been focussing less attention on her musical career. Nevertheless, she still gives impromptu performances and occasionally headlines music festivals. With the help of Hindia Belandan producer Jasmin Grasdijk, Moeljani released an alternative rock-influenced EP Don't Talk in 1993, a move which propelled her musical career and turned her into one of Hindia Belanda's renowned musicians.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 University and early career
- 3 Early political career and musical breakthrough
- 4 Prime Minister (2018-present)
- 5 Musical career (1993-present)
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Honours and accolades
- 8 Discography
- 9 Concerts
- 10 References
Early life and education
Born to a middle class Esoteric Shia Javanese Family on 1 February 1963, Antje Moeljani grew up in Sembilanratu, a coastal town of 3,000 in the province of Bali, where she attended the Koning Willem School te Sembilanratoe, a boarding school famous for being a former prison for republican activists in the early 1920s. Her father, Gema Moeljani, worked as an artisan whilst her mother, Maya Zahira-Moeljani, worked as a music teacher. She has an older sister, Novita Moeljani, a successful Hindia Belandan violinist who is currently the head of the Buitenzorg Conservatory. Her grandmother, Ranti Moeljani was the first woman lawyer in the former Colony of Hindia Belanda. At the time of her birth, Moeljani's mother and father had just finished their university education at ages 21 and 22 respectively. Antje Moeljani's love of music started early in her childhood when she picked up the guitar and was taught to play it by her mother. She started writing songs as early as 10 and was briefly a student at a conservatory in the Balinese resort town of Bandar Kunti. She did not finish her training at the conservatory, but has decribed her time there as a 'wonderful and transformative' experience where she learnt to play the piano and honed her musical skills.
In Sembilanratu, Moeljani lived in a dilapidated, Grade C listed tea estate belonging to her paternal great-grandparents who were high-placed functionaries in the former colony. The estate, which was restored to good repair in 2005 with the supervision of Heritage Hindia Belanda, is still owned by the Moeljani family and it is where Moeljani spends her summer every year. She has stated in an interview that she has always felt that the Moeljani tea estate was "as though a living entity and not just a house with acres of trees."
Upon starting secondary school, she moved with her parents and sister to Jakarta and attended the prestigious Gymnasium Prinses Juliana, a senior secondary school, where she formed a band with her lifelong friends Pertiwi Notopoetri and Renaldi Assegaf. During her time at Gymnasium Prinses Juliana, she formed a school club that advocated against the systematic persecution of Melanesians in the province of Papoea and led a student march that drew almost 7,000 students, shutting down an avenue in Weltevreden, Jakarta, where government buildings are situated. For this reason, she has been popular amongst the Melanesians of Papoea who continue to call her with the Papoean term of endearment "Big Mama Antje". Her secondary school friends have all described her as 'royaal', an Indonesian term denoting a person generous enough with their wealth. As a teenager, she was known for hosting house parties at her parent's house in Rivas, Jakarta and it was at one of these parties that she met Budiwati Asang who now serves as one of her policy advisors in her current cabinet.
At 17, Moeljani earned her bakalaureat nasional with a final research on the role social clubs played in the development of colonial era music industry, entitled "Terang Boelan: Music as Developed by Social Clubs in the Colony of Hindia Belanda" and graduated from secondary school, whereupon she spent six months travelling around Hindia Belanda, Valkea and Lorecia.
University and early career
Her first experience in politics came in 1981 when she served as a junior intern at the office of Eliana Kaliahutapa, the-then Queen's Commissioner for Jakarta. Following her brief internship, she enrolled at the University of Jakarta in 1982 and read metaphysics and political science. She has described her study of metaphysics as instrumental in helping her seek spirituality and comprehend "what it means to be human, a being who is worthy of addressing the divine and consequently being addressed to by it". She began to be involved with the Shia Convocation headquarters during her time at university, serving briefly in one of the religious institution's sacred musical groups that provide musical accompaniments to religious rituals.
In her fresher year at the University of Jakarta, she joined the Music Production society where she learnt songwriting and song-mixing techniques, both skills that would later prove important for her budding music career. It was at this time that Moeljani started to show interest in politics after attending a National Indies Party rally in Jakarta.
Early political career and musical breakthrough
Upon graduating from university with honours in 1985, Moeljani briefly worked for the Royal Union in Koninstad as a policy analyst for the Hindia Belandan delegation. The following year, she joined the National Indies Party, initially serving a leadership role in the party's youth wing before going on to unsuccessfully contest the constituency of Jakarta 33 against the Liberal Democrat Farah Amali. When a writ of by-election to the Serang North constituency, a National Indies Party safe seat, was issued following the resignation of Julius Dremawan in 1987, she was selected as the party's candidate and ran successfully, becoming one of the youngest MPs in Hindia Belandan parliamentary history at 24. She has since been the MP for Serang North.
Moeljani spent the first six years of her parliamentary career on the opposition backbench before being promoted to the frontbench by Hayat Arionotosoemarna, the-then Leader of the Opposition and leader of the National Indies Party, as the Shadow State Secretary for Rural Development. As an opposition frontbencher, she set aside time for her musical career which was then taking off. She released the single Don't Talk from an extended play of the same name in 1993 that charted in the Hindia Belandan top 100 for three years whilst serving as MP, a move which earned criticism from the government frontbench but propelled her popularity amongst the Hindia Belandan youth and creative community. The next year, Moeljani released an album entitled Ranti, named after her grandmother, with titles sung in Indonesian, Dutch and English
Shadow State Secretary for Rural Development
As Shadow State Secretary for Rural Development, Moeljani was fiercely critical of Indah Limbong, her counterpart on the government frontbench, when a reportage of Radio-Televisi Hindia Belanda shed light on the rampant inaccessibility of basic healthcare in many parts of Papoea. Moeljani, appearing on RTHB's morning programme Gooie Pagi Hindia Belanda, described the Papoean situation as a result of "gross negligence on Indah's part" and said that the Hindia Belandan people "will never forget the horrific scene in which Melanesian minorities are forced to walk hundreds of kilometres through the jungle to get access to what should've been available to them all in the first place".
On 29 February 1993, Moeljani was struck by the mace for calling Indah Limbong a "monumentally incompetent, corrupt and traitorous fool" and refusing to withdraw her statement. She was suspended for five parliamentary sitting days.
Shadow Minister for Interior and Kingdom Affairs
Shadow Foreign Minister
Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition (2017-2018)
After her assumption of the National Indies Party leadership following the resignation of Djoewana Tjokrohadikartodjo, the National Indies Party enjoyed a sudden surge of public support. The Hindia Belandan press, notably The Jakarta Tribune and the Weltevreden Review, predicted that Moeljani would become the next Prime Minister "should the Liberal Democrats lose their hold of the political landscape".
Prime Minister (2018-present)
On 22 June 2018 at 11 p.m, the National Indies Party emerged victorious in the 2018 General Elections, winning 267 of the 790 total seats in the Dewan Deputi, a majority with a six-seat margin. She met with all twelve Aliansi Merdeka MPs and convinced them to form a coalition with her party. Moeljani named Brega Wardana as Foreign Minister, Wilma Koenraad as Defence Secretary, Louis Wouters as Finance Minister, Angga Visser as Minister for Interior and Kingdom Affairs and Wibowo Asselman as Minister for Security and Justice. All of these senior cabinet positions are held by members of her own party, with the exception of Brega Wardana who is an independent. In addition, she gave the Aliansi Merdeka two seats in her cabinet. The next morning, after Marcus Overstraten tendered his resignation as Prime Minister, Antje Moeljani and all of her 21 ministerial-level appointees as well as other officials invited to her cabinet went to see Governor-General Maryam Rahmadisoerja at Buitenzorg Palace and kneeled before her to form a new government.
She began her premiership by delivering a speech on the steps of Istana Nusantara, the headquarters of the Hindia Belandan government, promising to "unify a divisive society and seek broad consensus with other political parties". In her government's first Throne Speech delivered by Governor-General Maryam Rahmadisoerja, she wrote that her first legislative agenda was "based upon the principle that all powers should be derived from the Hindia Belandan people and not just the select few who are born into privilege and who undeservedly gained their seats in this Parliament," a statement which stirred controversy and earned Moeljani the scorn of a number of hereditary peers in the Dewan Bangsawan, the unelected upper house of the Hindia Belandan parliament. In a statement which she issued after the Throne Speech, she also promised to combat the "rampant racism" toward the Melanesians of Papoea.
In the first few months of her premiership, Moeljani continued to order nationwide crackdowns on Wahhabi muslims and other extremists, a practice which was started by her predecessor the Liberal Democrat Marcus Overstraten. On 26 October 2018, she launched a programme targeted for rural communities bordering Maqtajer that sought to deradicalise "those prone to radicalism". With the launch of this programme, the nationwide crackdowns were stopped and her government's focus turned to deradicalisation efforts through creating economic opportunities and prohibiting certain foreign religious precepts from entering the Commonwealth.
Government and cabinet
Of the 26 members of Moeljani's cabinet, 10 including herself are women. On 23 June 2018, the day she became Prime Minister, journalists outside Istana Nusantara questioned her on why her cabinet appointments were male-dominated, to which she humorously answered that "competence knows no gender and it so happens that many of those who are competent enough to be Ministers of the Crown in my cabinet are humans of the male persuasion."
Musical career (1993-present)
Don't Talk EP (1993)
The Emptiness Beneath My Feet (1996)
Over Ons (1998)
Between Here And There (2001)
Us After Us (2014)
Moeljani met her husband Ilias Atmosoegih at an afterparty in Bali following her concert in 1987. Moeljani, then relatively unknown as a musician, had just become an MP for Serang North and was contemplating abandoning her musical career altogether to focus completely on her political one, but Ilias convinced her to continue pursuing her musical career in tandem with her parliamentary work. They became engaged in 1988 and married the next year in Sembilanratu, Moeljani's hometown. Together, they have a son named Bagas Iliaspoetra Moeljani (born 1990), a writer, and a daughter named Kirana Iliaspoetri Moeljani (born 1994), a fashion critic serving as a member of the Hindia Belandan Fashion Federation. In 2009, two years after becoming Shadow Foreign Minister, Moeljani and Ilias sold their townhouse in Jakarta where they had been living since their marriage and moved to a modern, five-bedroom house in Groot Rijstveld, Jakarta to be nearer to the parliamentary estates and their two children.
In her limited spare time, Moeljani still sings and occasionally performs at impromptu concerts around Hindia Belanda. Her status as Prime Minister of Hindia Belanda means that she can no longer hold planned concerts due to security reasons.
Moeljani has been boating since her teenage years and, by the time she was at university, would go island-hopping around Hindia Belanda with her grandmother Ranti Moeljani. She owns a catamaran, The Ranti, which she named after her grandmother from whom she acquired her love of the sea. She helped co-founded the Emerald Waters Boating Club in Sembilanratu, Hindia Belanda in 1999.
Moeljani is an Esoteric Shia and an official member of the Shia Convocation. In 2003, her faith was put under the spotlight by the Hindia Belandan press when she stated that "God knows no religion" in a speech at a religious gathering marking the martyrdom of the Imam Husayn, the third Shia Imam. She has defended her comment by saying that it was said in the context of the freedom to believe or not believe "which is a fundamental principle of our country". She further defended her speech by quoting the third Shia Imam himself, saying "the Imam said that if you do not believe in any religion, then at least be free in this world. And as an Esoteric Shia, I have a duty to make sure that the Imam's teaching on freedom of religion is reflected in my own life and the way I interact with fellow human beings". In an interview with De Nederlands Indische Standard, Moeljani has said that her faith is an important part of who she is and that it is not for the general public to be concerned with.
Honours and accolades
- Don't Talk (1993)
- Ranti (1994)
- The Emptiness Beneath My Feet (1996)
- Over Ons (1998)
- Between Here And There (2001)
- Us After Us (2014)
- The Viceroyalty of Hindia Belanda. "Governor-General Maryam Rahmadisoerja Has Accepted the Resignation of Prime Minister Marcus Overstraten". Website of the Viceroyalty of Hindia Belanda"
- Wong, Saira (14 December 2018). "Briefings from the Commonwealth". The Jakarta Tribune. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
- (8 January 2020). "The Throne Speech, in Full". The Jakarta Tribune. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
- Claes, Christiaan (9 June, 2019). "Antje Moeljani en haar liefde voor de natuur". De Nederlands Indische Standard. "Mijn geloof is niet iets waar het publiek bij betrokken moet worden. Maar ja, ik ben religieus en ik geloof in een God zoals beschreven door de sjiitische imams. Mijn geloof is een belangrijk onderdeel van wie ik ben."