Indonesia’s strongman Soeharto stepped down 25 years ago this week after protests and unrest across the archipelago, some of which targeted the country’s ethnic Chinese minority.

Soeharto’s departure – after more than 30 years in power – brought new freedoms not only for Indonesians, who are mostly Muslim, but also for Chinese Indonesians who had endured government-sponsored discrimination since colonial times and often been the focus of violence for their perceived wealth.

Soeharto called his administration the New Order to underline its focus on strong, centralised government closely aligned with the military.

He also adopted a policy to try and assimilate the ethnic Chinese minority and make them more “Indonesian”, but effectively turned them into second class citizens.