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Jakarta Post

Urgent use of cartohypnosis in border dispute settlement

  • I Made Andi Arsana

Wollongong, Australia   /   Wed, October 26 2011   /  08:00 am

The border issue between Indonesia and Malaysia in Camar Bulan, Tanjung Datu, has made its way into national headlines. In terms of popularity, the issue seemed to be competing with the Cabinet reshuffle.

Along with other documents, maps are always involved in explaining what is happening in such incidents. Interestingly, maps do not always serve their purpose to clarify issues. They may instead worsen the problem. Maps can be deceptive.

The use of maps in border issues reminds me of my experience teaching a group on Indonesians in a short course hosted by the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) in Wollongong. I displayed a map depicting a shaded area of water around the Indonesian Archipelago and asked participants whose water this was. As anticipated, they said “Indonesia’s” and they were surprised when I said “No. At least, not ye...