Archive for the 'West Java' Category

Deliberations of the Village Board

I read Jim Johnson’s discussion here of photo series of local bureaucracy and government in action, and thought I would add my bit:

This photo shows the deliberations of the Village Board in Neglasari Village, subdistrict of Majalaya, West Java.

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Selesai!!!

I handed in my PhD dissertation today.

Promoting Pluralism in West Java

I have previously posted on some depressing cases of religious intolerance. Those cases do seem more prevalent than cases of tolerance. Therefore it is all the more heartening to read occassional examples of the latter.

In the latest issue of Inside Indonesia, Joanne McMillan accounts for one inspiring West Javanese example of religious tolerance.

Notably, it is the story of a Kyai – Kyai Maman – who before 1998 found it obvious to side with violent groups against ‘unbelievers’ and people of other faiths than his own. Only after seeing the dreadful incidents of violence – in connection with the Jakarta riots – did he move away from this position.

He now works at both grassroots and more recently political party levels to defend the consitution’s granting of religious freedom in the country.

It will be interesting to follow the work of Kyai Maman and others like him. How will their general view of Indonesia’s political problems and understanding of religion’s place, square with those of other parties? How will voters value this issue in relation to others? At an organisational level, it will be important to see whether there is room for anything like a ‘coalition of religious tolerance’. Will PKB be a lonely champion in this regard, and will it be a strong or weak such? How about PKS, a party that on other issues may have views that are quite close to PKB, and whose constituency is similar also? How about Golkar, who under Suharto favoured a somewhat less dogmatist Ministry of Religion.

He slept on the floor

What news, what news! West Java deputy governor Dede Yusuf, on visiting a village in Sukabumi chose to sleep on the floor in the home a local resident, rather than stay in a hotel.

Viewed as a political strategy it seems highly effective. Former actor, martial arts champion, handsome selebriti now politician Dede Yusuf has glamour by the tonnes about him, yet elicits humility and respect for the common man. Great story; easily written (newspapers don’t need to send out a reporter), easily understood (“now that’s a guy you can trust”), and easily retold.

Therefore I think there are some important potential consequences of PKS and PAN pursuing this strategy.

Related discussion here

PKS and PAN win the governorship of West Java

West Java is the most populous of Indonesia’s 33 provinces. On Sunday gubernatorial elections were held in the province with a somewhat surprising result. According to Indonesian Survey Institute polls, the ‘HADE pair’ Ahmad Heryawan and Dede Yusuf from the Prosperous Justice Party and National Mandate Party, respectively, have won almost 40 per cent of the vote. Incumbent governor Danny Setiawan from Golkar came second with his running mate, Agum Gumelar.

Generally the turn-out for the election was low, only some 35 per cent of the voters, so the party who could move their supporters all the way to the voting booth had a strong hand. Opinion polls prior to the elections had found a much stronger support for Golkar and PDI-P than the final result.
Continue reading ‘PKS and PAN win the governorship of West Java’