PKS Social Services

Sep 23rd, 2008, in News, by

Some of the ways the PKS attempt to win the hearts and minds of ordinary people and voters.

Some of the recent pseudo campaign/electioneering tactics that the Justice Party (PKS, Partai Keadilan Sejahtera), has carried out, many of which their rivals don't seem to attempt, or be even capable of.

For Women

In early July 2008 at Pasar Induk, Kramat Jati, East Jakarta, the PKS launched a program to fund womens' small business activities (Program Pembiayaan Modal Kerja Perempuan (PMKP)).

At the launching PKS cadres distributed 500 Muslim headscarfs, which were contained in plastic bags which included a PKS pamphlet.

Spokesman Dwi Septiwati Djafar said the free jilbabs were a way of showing the party's support for women, a symbolic statement that the PKS would protect women. okezone

Community Centres

In Sumenep, Madura in early July the PKS launched the first of their "Care Houses", or community centres, in the town. The first services provided by the centre were 60 free circumcisions and the sale of 50 heavily discounted packages of rice and cooking oil, all set aside for poor families. beritasore

Other services offered by PKS community centres:

  • exorcisms, help with jinn problems
  • health and dental check ups
  • religious mentoring for teenagers
  • books for young readers
  • religious study groups for women and teenagers


A PKS community centre in Sidoarjo.


A few streets away, the dilapidated office of what some say is the PKS's keenest rival, PAN, but no services offered.

Additionally, in Makassar, South Sulawesi the PKS is said to have 467 vehicles, 23 to each district, dedicated to providing mobile health services. The cars were paid for by PKS members. inilah

Flag Waving

To mark Independence Day in August women activists from the PKS were said to have distributed one million Indonesian flags at or near the Hotel Indonesia roundabout in Jakarta. Along with the flag came a leaflet that read: detik

A million red and white flags for my Indonesia. PKS women are committed to guarding the integrity of the Indonesian state, national prestige, the nation's natural wealth for the people, and respecting local culture.

Role Models

At the same time in August the party staged 178 "Bazzar Merdeka", markets at which cheap produce was sold. This month, for Ramadan, a similar effort is being made, with the holding of "Bazzar Sembako Murah dan Takjil on the Road", to provide cheap meals for fast breakers.

Triwisaksana of the PKS says: okezone

The people need good role models in politics, people who show that they care about providing the basic needs of the people.


13 Comments on “PKS Social Services”

  1. avatar timdog says:

    That’s how you win elections, plain and simple. You can hardly blame them for knowing how to play the game; other parties simply need to follow suit…

    exorcisms, help with jinn problems

    I want me some of that…

  2. avatar djoko says:

    PKS really are something which Indonesia has not seen since (I dare say, ironically) the communist party. It was actually funny the other day watching a TVOne documentary about the PKI and in some ways a lot of what was being said could be interchanged with the PKS today (strong cadre system and the aforementioned social programs in particular).

    They really are a different kind of beast than just a regular political party. With the exception of the NU/PKB (though in all honestly, while the latter is meant to be the political representation of the former, there tends to be some differences between the two such that they can be considered distinct entities) PKS appears to be the only real political party which is at the same time completely merged with a social movement. Such that for its members and supporters it seems to be more than just a party (at the moment). As an example, across the road from a mosque near my place there are two shops which sell PKS ‘attributes’ (jackets, stickers, badges, jilbabs (!), and different kinds of uniforms). Let alone like what patung mentioned

    Additionally, in Makassar, South Sulawesi the PKS is said to have 467 vehicles, 23 to each district, dedicated to providing mobile health services. The cars were paid for by PKS members.

    It says something about the members’ dedication to the party if they’re willing to make a financial investment in things like that.

    On a side note, I’ve noticed a few times patung that you’ve posted articles to do with the PKS (whether its to do with elections, or some of your recent posts on social inclusion and so forth), but they tend to draw very few if no comments at all. Considering that despite being small the PKS draws reactions from people as either being the greatest threat to Indonesia’s democracy ever, or otherwise being the best chance for a merger between Islam and democracy in politics (both of which are very distinct possibilities considering members and divisions within PKS itself), why do you think people (at least on IM) don’t appear to be really interested in them?

  3. avatar David says:

    On a side note, I’ve noticed a few times patung that you’ve posted articles to do with the PKS (whether its to do with elections, or some of your recent posts on social inclusion and so forth), but they tend to draw very few if no comments at all. Considering that despite being small the PKS draws reactions from people as either being the greatest threat to Indonesia’s democracy ever, or otherwise being the best chance for a merger between Islam and democracy in politics (both of which are very distinct possibilities considering members and divisions within PKS itself), why do you think people (at least on IM) don’t appear to be really interested in them?

    Yes, the PKS ones don’t generally get much attention – my thinking has been that ordinary political stuff is boring for most people, even here, but, with this post as well there is nothing to get excited or offended about. If I quote a PKS guy talking about Jews or conspiracies or something, that’ll get a reaction…But I don’t really know.

    Anyway a part of me is really hoping they do great next election, I sure hope they don’t flop, because then all of this attention I’ve been giving them will have seemed off and a waste of time.

  4. avatar timdog says:

    Hell, Patung, be careful what you wish for…

    Do you think that the lack of comments on this and other non “event” political stories could simply be because lots of people simply don’t know much about – let alone engage with – Indonesian parties? Personally I try very hard to make myself pay attention to such things and to figure out who thinks what and has links with who, but I don’t get very far before acronym-overload kicks in and I wander off in search of infotainment 😉
    How about putting together an “explainer” post, a sort of glossary of key parties and figures, who they are and what their outlook is?
    It would, naturally, need to be impeccably impartial, detached and dispationate 😉
    Don’t ask me to do it though…

  5. avatar David says:

    Hell, Patung, be careful what you wish for…

    Oddly or not I don’t fear them “winning” (whatever winning means) much at all – it’s a big old complicated country, that may force them to be awfully reasonable, or if they’re not reasonable, it may defeat them, who knows.

    Do you think that the lack of comments on this and other non “event” political stories could simply be because lots of people simply don’t know much about – let alone engage with – Indonesian parties? Personally I try very hard to make myself pay attention to such things and to figure out who thinks what and has links with who, but I don’t get very far before acronym-overload kicks in and I wander off in search of infotainment

    Yes well, there are more than a few parties that I don’t know much about even, I went past the Partai Demokrat office the other day, big shiny new building, on Kertajaya, damn expensive area that…, and they’re one that baffles me a bit, who they are, and who votes for them and why. Djoko might know I suspect. Didn’t know you were an infotainment man though btw, don’t mind a bit of it myself. 🙂 I really draw the line at actual sinetron though if we’re talking tv.

    How about putting together an “explainer” post, a sort of glossary of key parties and figures, who they are and what their outlook is?
    It would, naturally, need to be impeccably impartial, detached and dispationate 😉
    Don’t ask me to do it though…

    I have thought in the past about installing a wiki on the site for that kind of thing, also for trying to deal with some topics that often come up but people always argue about (like rapes in 1998), because posts can go out of date and get buried in the archives, and because actual wikipedia articles on Indonesia can be really poor quality and scanty.. so a group effort sort of thing, hopefully not just me, although it might get argumentative in the edits…

  6. avatar Mets says:

    Superficial social care looks to me…very dangerous game …

  7. avatar Rob says:

    PKS would be Prosperous Justice Party, right?

  8. avatar Rob says:

    PKS and their success in 2009 will depend on how they can translate the grassroots caderization model that they have traditionally used in Jakarta to places outside of Jakarta. The sings would seem to be pretty good for Banten. They also seem to have worked it out in West Java.

    I would tend to agree with Patung. It is one thing to be in the mix as a party, but it is a completely different ball game if they have to govern.

    If they get the numbers to govern then this is where it gets interesting, particularly in light of the idea of whether of not the PKS is secular or non-secular.

  9. avatar timdog says:

    Patung:

    it’s a big old complicated country, that may force them to be awfully reasonable

    I just have an innate negative reaction towards any party with “religious motivation” anywhere in their makeup making it into government (for my reasons see my first post on the “Socially inclusive” thread). Of course, in some places it’s a given that most parties have enshrined “religious values”, but in places where it’s not – be that Turkey, India or Indonesia – I feel very uncomfortable…

    Funnily enough, I have driven past that Partai Demokrat office on Kertajaya many, many times. It does indeed look pretty impressive (thought there are all manner of monstrosities in that neck of the woods that rather leave it in the shade). Anyway, much to my shame, I’ve never felt suficiently interested to find out who they actually are…

    I like the idea of an internal wikipedia, but as you say, edits could turn into mayhem. How about making it a sort of “cuttings file” where you could cut particularly informative bits from articles or even from replies under specific headings? Obviously they would need to be relatively impartial cuttings, but I think I would just about trust your judgement in selecting them 😉 …

    Infotaintment? Hell yes, even a bit of sinetron from time to time (but in a self-aware, post-modern ironic kind of way I assure you). And I read Memo as often as Kompas (and I’m not fooling anyone when I claim it’s only because i find it easier to understand 😉 )…
    I am, you see, a man of profoundly cATHOLIC tastes (that is a very, very, very small “c” please note)…

  10. avatar Rambutan says:

    I, too, hope that PKS will fare well at the 2009 polls. PKS is the most modern and best organised party in Indonesia (maybe Golkar comes close with regard to the level of organisation and management) and certainly has the strongest grass root links. Other parties might want to learn from PKS if they continue to be successful and the overall quality of parties might improve.
    Furthermore, PKS might be able to inject some much needed integrity into the parliament. Plus, the pressure on PKS to deliver some tangible, substantial results will rise with a good election result and the party might be forced to look beyond mere symbolic politics, like the RUU Pornografi business.

  11. avatar Sylvester says:

    Why prefer PKS? If I am not mistaken, PKS may still silently supports few radicals such as Hizbut Tahrir, Majelis Mujahidin, etc. Is it becoming less radical now?

  12. avatar Rambutan says:

    As far as I can judge an internal struggle between conservatives and more liberal-minded figures is ongoing. There are certainly elements within PKS that are close to more radical groups. However, overall, PKS seems to move towards the middle.

    I’m not a fan of PKS’ ideological outlook but they unquestionably do a lot of things right with regard to party management and organisation. PKS proves that modern parties, which are not build on patronage networks, can actually work and be successful in Indonesia. This might serve as a good example for other parties and contribute to much needed party (and parliamentary) reform.

  13. avatar ahmad says:

    Dear Sylvester, i think PKS doesn’t support radicalism. but they try to keep good relation with other Islamic Organitations (Hizbut Tahrir, Majelis Mujahidin, Laskar Jihad, etc). just that simple.

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