Pragmatic Politics

Jul 30th, 2007, in News, by

Pragmatic politics versus religious zeal.

The support of the Justice Party, Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS) for the candidacy of Adang Daradjatun in the Jakarta governor's election leads Reform Institute Director Yudhi Latif to believe that the clash between everyday, practical politics and its requirements, and the traditional religious zeal of the PKS's most enthusiastic supporters is coming out into the open.

By supporting Adang the PKS is forced to support his program and policies, Yudhi says, while the ordinary PKS members may well feel that the religious mission of the PKS is being left behind, or even tarnished.

The PKS is becoming inconsistent in its ideology.

Not only PKS cadres, but also regular voters, will become confused about what the PKS stands for, he says. An example - while the party is known for championing religious morality it has turned a blind eye to the source of Adang's campaign funds. Adang has a wide circle of influential supporters, says Yudhi.

Adang Daradjatun
Adang Daradjatun, lower right.

Yudhi says the party is naturally changing its character, moving away from the overtly religious side, because it hopes to increase its share of the vote from about 7% in the 2004 elections to 20% by 2009. The PKS has become tempted by power and influence, it wants to join the big league, and therefore some of its earliest supporters may end up feeling that it has lost its (Islamic) soul.

Another aspect of the PKS's appeal in society, that of being a clean-skin party, without the levels of corruption of the others, may also fall by the wayside, particularly as the older parties pick up their work-rate in facing the challenge of the PKS, he says. detik


3 Comments on “Pragmatic Politics”

  1. avatar Putu Alberto Lee says:

    PKS is doing the “right thing”: get big, get the majority of the votes (no matter how — rob, steal, corruption, etc.), while pushing the “islamic syariah” along the way.

    Everybody’s happy: people (PKS voters) have the “secure-feeling” of living by “god’s law”, and the guys in pks (+some clerics) enjoy the power (and money, of course).

    Is this news?

    Especially in a “moral society” like Indonesia (or maybe southeast asia in general), people will look up to you if you look “moral and religious”.

    That’s not very difficult: show up in “religious events”, stick to the “norms”, appear to be “family oriented”, stay a bit to the right of the center (that means: scream out loud and say no to “weird things” such as: sex education for school kids, gay civil rights, legalization of abortion, you know, those things that “annoys” people’s sense of “morality”), etc.

    So no matter whatever real evil deed you commit (corrupt, steal, etc, etc), people will ignore it all. It’s very easy.

    Appearance matters; much more than anything else.

  2. avatar Djoko says:

    Well what can you do? If you promote any form of syariah (even the ‘syariah-lite’ version from PKS) you are shouted down as being religious psycopaths. If you decide to change and become more open in your direction and policies, you get shouted down as being inconsistent.

    Who would want to be an Islamic party?

  3. avatar Ihaknt says:

    See, in the end it’s about power. These people can’t resist the lure of power and the ‘good things’ it offers, well for now anyway.

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