Forty years after his death, two of Bruce Lee's siblings reminisce about their famous brother's life and a legacy that is inspiring a whole new generation of fighters. Jo Baker reports.
On May 18, 1999, amid ongoing violence in Indonesia's strife-torn province of Aceh, the Indonesian military (TNI) declared the young student Aguswandi, then a human rights activist, an enemy of the state. At the time, Aceh was riven by clashes between the TNI and rebels fighting for independence under the banner of Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (GAM).
Eight years on, much-heralded elections have brought democracy to the area and Mr Aguswandi, 29, is now the reluctant leader of Partai Rakyat Aceh (PRA), or the Acehnese People's Party, the first regional political party in Indonesia. 'Getting involved in politics has never been my ambition. But I want a better Aceh and, at the moment, this is the best way to stand against the rise of conservatism and push for further changes,' he said.
Having fled Aceh to study international relations in London during the tumultuous days of violence between the TNI and the rebels, he returned after the 2004 tsunami. When hostilities ended under an agreement two years ago, GAM dropped its quest for independence and Jakarta granted the province considerable autonomy, including the right to have local political parties, a privilege still unique in Indonesia.
Peace ushered in a new era - former rebel Yusuf Irwandi was elected provincial governor and GAM became a political organisation. In recent months, Aceh's blossoming democracy has gathered pace, with the democratic election of Mr Aguswandi by 400 participants at PRA's first congress in Banda Aceh earlier this year, and the forming of several other parties.
The Gabthat Party was established in March, a few days after Mr Aguswandi's election, by Islamic scholars and members of GAM. Meaning brave or strong in the local language, Gabthat is led by Tengku Muhammad Merdu and aims 'to improve the economy and safeguard the local culture and religion from the crises of morality, spirituality and ethics'.
The plight of Acehnese women is at the core of the emergence of the Alliance Party for Women's Concern (PARAPP). 'We will fight for the civil and political rights of Aceh's women, neglected during the conflict,' said leader and veteran activist Zulhafah Luthfiah. Another branch of Aceh's fledgling democracy movement emerged last month when the Prosperous and Peace Party (PAAS), was established. Led by lawmaker Ghazali Abbas Adan, the party draws most of its ideology and moral stances from Islam and plans to fight corruption, money politics and what its chairman called 'bandit politics'.
Mr Aguswandi, a moderate Muslim who as a student went on hunger strike to protest against the province's martial law status, lauded the political developments, but warned that a new series of challenges awaited newcomers.
'It's obvious that Aceh has come a long way in the last few years. Back in 1999, it would have been difficult to predict that a GAM member was going to govern the province one day, and that we would be allowed to establish political parties. This is something we can be happy and proud of,' he said.
'A different kind of hard work starts now. We have to strive to consolidate peace and improve the living conditions of the local people.'
Situated at the northern tip of Sumatra, 1,770km from the nation's capital, Jakarta, Aceh is famous for its coffee, is rich in oil and gas, and sits at the mouth of one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. Yet the province is among Indonesia's poorest. 'Around 70 per cent of its 4.2 million people live on less then US$2 a day,' said Mr Yusuf.
Local difficulties were compounded by the destruction wrought by the 2004 tsunami. Many Acehnese are jobless and still living in temporary barracks. Of the US$7 billion promised after the disaster shocked the world, an estimated US$5 billion has been spent and the rest will run out by 2009.
Acehnese also have to deal with psychological scars left by conflict. An International Organisation Migration study conducted last year found that 65 per cent of residents in high-conflict areas displayed high levels of depression, 69 per cent ranked high on anxiety symptoms, and 34 per cent had symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Mr Aguswandi said he was aware of the problems and sound politics was the best way to tackle them. 'We need a progressive approach in every facet of society and a clean break with the past,' he said, noting that although PRA's core team consisted of local intellectuals, activists, human rights lawyers and progressive religious leaders, the party's main constituents were young people living in rural areas.
The party has enlisted representatives in 18 of the province's 21 regencies and more than 100 of its 274 districts. The funds come from more than 3,000 registered members and donations from supporters, details of which he said would soon be made public to enhance transparency. Mr Aguswandi said PRA aimed to be Aceh's second party after GAM.
'PRA's progressive vision will be the key to our success. We are the only party in Aceh offering a different approach to be applied in the realm of governance, economy, societal life and even religion,' he said, mentioning the work of Bangladeshi banker and Nobel laureate Mohammad Yunus as an example.
'The business world and the private sector tend to be seen as right-wing, leaning in the general concept of political ideology, but as Yunus has demonstrated, they can also be incorporated in a progressive vision of so-called 'social business'.'
PRA advocates a corruption-free local administration that would 'actively, promptly and cleanly' serve the people. 'The government should be in place to serve the people and not the other way around,' said Mr Aguswandi. 'The budget for development should be higher than the cost of running the administration.'
Aceh has often been regarded as the most corrupt province in a nation rated among the world's most corrupt by international watchdog Transparency International. The province is also weighed down by a gargantuan bureaucratic system.
The new governor, Mr Yusuf, campaigned on an anti-corruption ticket, but his commitment is still being assessed. In his first five months in office he's been praised for his role in promoting Aceh as a destination for foreign investors as well as gaining support from environmentalists for announcing a five-year ban on logging.
On the sensitive subject of religion, Mr Aguswandi said the present interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law, applied in Aceh was against Acehnese culture and tradition. 'It's even against Islam itself,' said PRA's chairman.
Known in Indonesia as the 'Veranda of Mecca', Aceh was allowed to legislate on provisions of sharia when it was granted special status in 1999, under the presidency of Abdurrahman Wahid.
In what Mr Aguswandi defined as 'an attempt by Jakarta to create religious fundamentalism in Aceh', former president Megawati Sukarnoputri strengthened the position of sharia by establishing a special Aceh autonomy law in 2001, allowing the creation of Islamic courts.
In the past two years, nearly 150 people have been flogged for crimes such as drinking alcohol, gambling or having illicit sexual relations. Women also face the lash for not wearing their headscarves properly in public. A draft law proposes that thieves should have their hands chopped off.
Although a recent survey found that 90 per cent of Acehnese favour sharia, voices against the strict way it is interpreted and implemented are growing louder.
'Different types of sharia can be developed and what we're aiming for is a sharia that deals with issues that matter more to the people. For example, corruption issues, good government, the protection of the forest and protecting women instead of subjecting them,' said Mr Aguswandi.
PARAPP's leader Ms Zulhafah said her party would only support sharia 'as long as it also supports women's interests'.
'We've been collaborating with women clerics in Aceh to make 'corrections' to the Koran's interpretation of women's issues. And to achieve this, we're going to push to include more women in the local religious agency,' she said.
Both Mr Aguswandi and Ms Zulhafah confirmed their parties would run in the 2009 local legislative elections, although PRA's chairman said he may hand over the party leadership beforehand.
The election will be the first in which local parties compete and is deemed a landmark in the nation's democratisation and decentralisation processes.
'The vote will be very important, but it's still far ahead,' said Mr Aguswandi. 'Now we should concentrate on strengthening our support base. The rest will follow, with or without me.'