Graduate School of Global Studies Doshisha University - Doors


Graduate School of Global Studies Doshisha University

Observation of Democratic Decentralization in Indonesia during 2009–2014: Political Dynasty in Banten Province and Populism in Jakarta Province

A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Doctoral Degree at the Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha University

Abdul Hamid



First, I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor, Dr. Eiji Oyamada. Since I first considered applying to the Graduate School of Global Studies, he has continually provided me with his expertise, understanding, and patience. I would also like to thank my examiners, Dr. Nathaniel Agola Imai and Dr. Anne Gonon, for their suggestions and challenging questions in the preliminary examination and final defense, and the staff at the Graduate School of Global Studies for their valuable support and help during my study. I also owe thanks to Masaaki Okamoto and Jafar Suryomenggolo—your friendship and support in Kyoto and Indonesia made my intellectual growth. I would also like to thank the Journal of Current Southeast Asia and Asian Politics (GIGA Hamburg) and Asian Politics and Policy for publishing material from Chapters 3 and 4 of my dissertation, which helped me to qualify for my final defense. My thanks also go to the Directorate General of Higher Education Republic of Indonesia for their financial support during my study in Doshisha University. I also thank my friends with whom I studied at Doshisha University under Profeesor Oyamada, especially Ishaq Rahman, Yoshihiko Ono, Mihoko Watanabe and



Novri Susan, who generously shared their time and ideas. I have learned much though our conversations. I offer my sincere thanks to those who helped me obtain valuable and meaningful data during my field work in Banten, Jakarta and North Sulawesi. To Stevanus Sumampouw, even though I did not include North Sulawesi in this dissertation, our trips to various regions in North Sulawesi contributed to my understanding and love for Indonesia. The campus where I teach, Universitas Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa, has also provided valuable support (both in terms of research and administration) during my study in Japan. I would also like to thank my family for their ongoing support, and in particular, I must acknowledge my wife, Aulia, without whose love, encouragement and editing assistance I would not have finished this thesis.




Table of Contents

List of Tables...…………………………………………….…………………...….........iv List of Figures.….....………………………………………………….…………………v List of Abbreviations………...……...…..…………………………………….……… Abstract ...………………………………………………….…………………...…….....ix

Chapter 1. Introduction: Reformasi and Decentralization in Post-Suharto Indonesia…...1 1.1.!

Political Reforms and the Beginning of Decentralization in Indonesia.……….1

1.2. Implementation of Decentralization in Indonesia…………………………………10 1.3. Study Rationale.……………………………………………………..…...………...21 1.4. Research Questions.…………………………………………………….…….……22 1.5. Research Objectives.……………………………………………………………….23 1.6. Scope and Limitations.………………………………………………..……………24 1.7 Methods.……………………………………………………………………………24

Chapter 2. Literature Review on Democratic Decentralization and Local Politics: Political Dynasty and Populism………..……………………………………….....28 2.1. Understanding Decentralization…………………………………………………...28 !


2.2. Democratic Decentralization and Local Politics in Indonesia …………………….36 2.3. Political Dynasty.…………………………………………………………………..40 2.4. Populism.………………………………………………………………………......47 2.5. Democratic Decentralization, Dynasty and Populism in Indonesia……………….56

Chapter 3. The Establishment of Political Dynasty in Banten Province………………58 3.1. Brief Profile of Banten Province………………………………………………......58 3.2. Historical Background: Local Politics and Jawara Group…………………….......60 3.3. Establishment of the Sochib Dynasty………………………………………….......69 3.4. Impact of Political Dynasty on Governance: Family Corruption……………….…78 3.5. The Fall of the Dynasty?..........................................................................................90 3.6. Conclusion…………………………………………………………...…...………..95

Chapter 4. The Rise of Populism in Jakarta Province.…………………………………97 4.1. Brief Profile of Jakarta Province………………………………………………….97 4.2. Evaluation of Governor Foke’s Administration………………………………….101 4.3. The Emergence of Jokowi……………………………………………………….104 4.4. The 2012 Jakarta Gubernatorial Election………………………………………...107



4.5. Jokowi’s Populism……………………………………………………………….110 4.6. Impact of Populism on Governance……………………………………………...132 4.7. Conclusion……………………………………………………………………......139

Chapter 5. Assessing Democratic Decentralization in Indonesia 2009–2014: A Comparison of Political Dynasty and Populism……………………………………142 5.1. Assessing Democratic Decentralization in Banten……………………………….143 5.1.1. Other Dynasties………………………………………………………………...151 5.2. Assessing Democratic Decentralization in Jakarta……………………………….157 5.2.1. Other Populist Leaders…………………………………………………………164 5.3. Future of Democratic Decentralization in Indonesia……………………………..166

Chapter 6: Conclusion………………………………………………………………...172 6.1. General Conclusion………………………………………………………………172 6.2. Suggestions for Further Research………………………………………………...178

Bibliography ………………………………………………………………………….181



List of Tables

Table 1.1. Number of Autonomous Regions in Indonesia 1999–2004………………..15 Table 1.2. Number of Autonomous Regions in Indonesia 2005–2014……..…………19 Table 3.1. Seats held by Political Political Parties in the Banten DPRD 2009–2014…74 Table 3.2. Organizations Led by Sochib Family as Recipients of Social Aid Funds….83 Table 3.3. Companies Affiliated with/Owned by Members of Sochib Family…...……87 Table 4.1. Seats held by Political Political Parties in the Jakarta DPRD 2009-2014…100 Table 4.2. Seats and Votes for Each Candidate, First Round, July 11, 2012…………107 Table 4.3. Seats and Voters for Each Candidate, Second Round, September 20, 2012………………………… ……..………………………109 Table 5.1.The Domination of Political Families in Local Government Units in Banten (2009–2014)………………………………………………………..156 Table 5.2. Requirements for Democratic Decentralization Present in Banten and Jakarta, Indonesia (2009–2014)…………………………………... ……….169



List of Figures Figure 2.1. Research Framework……………………………………………………….57 Figure 3.1. Map of Banten Province…………………………………………………….60 Figure 3.2. Family Tree Outlining the Political Power Held by the Sochib Family (2009–2014) ………………….……………………..…77 Figure 3.3. Family Tree Outlining the Political Power Held by the Sochib Family after 2014 Election…………………………………..…94 Figure 4.1. Map of Jakarta Province……….…………………………………………...98



Abbreviations and Glossary

BAPPENAS: Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional (National Development Planning Agency) BPPKB: Badan Pembina Potensi Keluarga Besar Banten (Agency to Develop the Potentialities of the Bantenese) BPK: Badan Pemeriksa Keuangan (State Audit Agency) BPS: Badan Pusat Statistik (Statistics Indonesia) DPD: Dewan Perwakilan Daerah (Regional Representative Council) DPR: Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (National Parliament) DPRD: Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah (Local Parliament) GAPENSI: Gabungan Pelaksana Konstruksi Nasional Indonesia (Indonesian Association of Construction Companies) Gerindra: Gerakan Indonesia Raya (Great Indonesia Movement) Golkar: Golongan Karya (Functional Group) ICW: Indonesian Corruption Watch IDR: Indonesian Rupiah JASMEV: Jokowi–Ahok Social Media Volunteers. KADIN: Kamar Dagang dan Industri (Chamber of Industry and Trade)



KPK: Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (Corruption Eradication Commission) KPU: Komisi Pemilihan Umum (General Elections Commission) LPJK: Lembaga Pengembangan Jasa Konstruksi (Institute for the Development of Construction Services) LSI: Lembaga Survey Indonesia (Indonesian Survey Institute) LSI: Lingkaran Survey Indonesia (Indonesian Survey Circle) NGO: Non-governmental organization NU: Nadhlatul Ulama (Islamic Scholar Awakening) PAN: Partai Amanat Nasional (National Mandate Party) Partai Hanura: Partai Hati Nurani Rakyat (People’s Conscience Party) PD: Partai Demokrat (Democratic Party) PDI: Partai Demokrasi Indonesia (Indonesian Democratic Party) PDIP: Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) Pemda: Pemerintah Daerah (Local Government) Pilkada: Pemilihan Kepala Daerah (Local Leader Election) PKB: Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (National Awakening Party)



PKNU: Partai Kebangkitan Nasional Ulama (Party of the National Awakening of Muslim Scholars) PKP: Partai Keadilan dan Persatuan (Party of Justice and Unity) PKS: Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (Justice and Prosperity Party) PPP: Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (United Development Party) PPPSBBI: Persatuan Pendekar Persilatan Seni Budaya Banten Indonesia (Indonesian Union of Bantenese Masters of Martial Arts, Arts and Culture) RBB: Relawan Banten Bersatu (Unified Banten Volunteer) UNDP: United Nation Development Programme UU: Undang-undang (Law)




Observation of Democratic Decentralization in Indonesia during 2009–2014: Political Dynasty in Banten Province and Populism in Jakarta Province

After the fall of Suharto’s 32-year regime in 1998, Indonesia’s political system has transformed from an authoritarian centralistic regime to a democratic decentralized government. A key pillar in the decentralization process in Indonesia was the enactment of Law Number 22 in 1999 that stimulated a “big bang” (quick and comprehensive) implementation of the decentralization process. It promoted the transfer of political, financial and administrative powers and responsibilities to subnational government units. For the first time, local electorates were directly involved in the election of their local officials without intervention from central government. After almost 15 years of decentralization, the results are mixed and several studies have explored and highlighted the negative aspects of the decentralization process. These studies have focused on decentralization deficits, notably conflict regarding the election of regional leaders, tensions between the executive and legislature at a local level, the significant growth of new autonomous regions, and the emergence of



undesirable and undemocratic local political leadership during the decentralization era, including the rise of local bossism, the emergence of dynastic power, and the surfacing of vigilante groups. However, the mixed results of the decentralization process have also produced innovative and populist leaders, especially after the implementation of the direct election for the local leader since 2005 by law 32 2004. During the past five years, decentralization has become a breeding ground not only for dynastic leaderships in some areas but also populist leaders in others. This study was inspired by this phenomenon, where leaders with the ability to lead local authorities in the democratization and decentralization process have become known, accepted, supported and even promoted or elected to national leadership. In contrast, local political leaders entangled in corruption and as the creators of dynastic political regimes are slowly indicted for their offenses and misconduct. Based on this rationale, this dissertation made a scholarly inquiry of the following questions: (1) Were the necessary requirements for democratic decentralization present in Indonesia during the 2009–2014 decentralization era? In this case, the provinces of Banten and Jakarta were selected. (2) How did the presence of those requirements shape



political dynamics at a local level in Banten and Jakarta? (3) What was the impact of each political dynamic (dynasty and populism) on local governance? The research method used in this study is purely qualitative inquiries, via literature reviews, field observations and intensive interviews. The provinces of Banten and Jakarta were selected for the case studies because of the perceived contrasts in local political dynamics. In the case of Banten, the emergence and formation of its political dynasty was traced from the late patriarch Chasan Sochib, and started after the implementation of the new law on local government in 2004 (Law Number 32/2004). During the early years, Sochib relied on violence to achieve and maintain his political power. When his political machinery was in place, he consolidated his political power using his family. He took advantage of the political changes to extend his dominance by exerting influence on family members and utilizing his kinship network to penetrate and, eventually, control the political arena. From 2009 until 2014, Sochib family members occupied the position of provincial governor and four (of eight) local government units in Banten. This study found that the proliferation of the political dynasty in Banten occurred because the following factors were lacking: (1) party competitiveness; (2) professional civil services; (3) free local



media; and (4) a culture of accountability with strong law enforcement and civil society participation. These four factors are essential for democratic decentralization, and were clearly absent in Banten. In the context of democratization efforts in Indonesian politics, the Banten case shows how a political family became the single most important actor to determine the distribution of political power and economic resources at the local level. The family became a predator that used state resources for their interests.. Their political domination and curtailment of expression and transparency was further reinforced with their control of the local newspaper. In 2014 on charges of corruption, the national corruption eradication commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi; KPK) arrested the Governor of Banten and his brother. Despite these indictments, members of the Sochib political dynasty were still elected as members of both national and local parliaments in the 2014 election. The situation in Jakarta also provides an interesting case study. The local political situation in Jakarta in the last five years is quite different from other areas in Indonesia, especially to that in Banten. Jakarta is characterized as being a very urbanized city, heterogeneous and with a high educational level. Furthermore, the number of poor (relative to Banten) is low, social ties are considered weak, and there is a higher level of



autonomous and pluralistic political participation than elsewhere in Indonesia. Importantly, media literacy and independence is also high. These factors provided opportunities for the rise of a populist leader through free and fair gubernatorial direct election, a positive outcome in the democratization and decentralization process. Joko Widodo (Jokowi), an outsider to Jakarta’s politics, was elected governor in 2012. Jakarta’s citizens were becoming increasingly frustrated with their government, and they saw in Jokowi the potential to provide an alternative (innovative and transformative) political leadership. Thus, this situation can be seen as a populism phenomenon. Jokowi’s populist leadership had a positive impact on governance practices in Jakarta. When first in office, he practiced transparency and responsiveness in governance. He also introduced policies to protect the lower-middle classes, such as increasing the regional minimum wage. Thus, the requirements for democratic decentralization appear to exist to a greater degree in Jakarta than in other areas in Indonesia. That is, the region displayed solid (1) party competitiveness, (2) efforts to enhance professional civil servants, (3) a free and strong media, and (4) a culture of accountability with effective law enforcement and active civil society participation.



Based on these two cases, it can be concluded that Indonesian local politics is heading towards democratic decentralization. Furthermore, recent laws have been introduced to stamp out corruption within political dynasties. A new law on local head election was implemented regarding the direct election of regional leaders, and it included a section restricting political dynasties. As mentioned above, and mainly in urban areas, the conditions are now right for the emergence of populist leaders. They have proven themselves and have received much public and media support. The influence of the rise of the populist leader is not restricted to local politics but also extends to national politics. When Jokowi was elected president in 2014, this was also is seen as a response to the development trajectory of Indonesia. Local leaders now have the opportunity to be elected to the highest seat in national leadership. The era of local political dynasties is over and there is now hope that populist leaders can transform their leadership to fill the promises of decentralization. In addition, besides the improvements of the system (e.g., law enforcement by local law enforcement agencies and the anti-dynasty article in the local election law), it is also need changes in society, especially improve the education. Such efforts must also be



followed by the guarantee of a free media, active participation by citizen, enhance the quality of public services and improvements of political parties.



Chapter 1 Introduction: Reformasi and Decentralization in Post-Suharto Indonesia

1.1. Political Reforms and the Beginning of Decentralization in Indonesia Suharto came to power in Indonesia in 1966. In 1997, Indonesia (and Southeast Asia) was hit by an economic crisis, and this was quickly followed by a political one. In Jakarta and other Indonesian cities, thousands of students rallied to demand political changes, so-called reformasi, and riots erupted in various regions. On May 21, 1998, Suharto resigned after 32 years as president. That date marks the start of democratization in Indonesia. Suharto transferred his power to his vice president, Baharuddin Jusuf Habibie. In response to the political changes, Habibie immediately introduced several policies and actions. At least eight of these policies can be seen as milestones for democratization, the transition from an authoritarian regime to a democratic one:




Habibie introduced a policy creating opportunities to establish new political parties. 1 Following this policy, hundreds of political parties were founded between 1998 and 1999, and 48 parties participated in the 1999 general elections.


The Habibie government conducted a free and fair election, the first election since the 1955 general election.2


Habibie supported a free press.


Habibie released many political prisoners.


The new administration endorsed a referendum on East Timor.


Habibie committed to reduce the role of the military in politics.3


Habibie attempted to ensure that bureaucracies were politically neutral (in 1999, Habibie issued Government Decree 12

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1

Previously, Suharto had ensured that only three political parties could exist in Indonesia: Golongan

Karya (Golkar: The Party of the Functional Groups), Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP: United and Development Party) and Partai Demokrasi Indonesia (Indonesian Democratic Party). 2

The election was held on June 7, 1999, electing 462 members to the House of Representatives. Partai

Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (PDIP, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) won the election with 33.74% of votes, followed by the Golkar Party (22.44%) and the PPP (12.55%). 3

During the New Order era (under Suharto), the military was an important part of Suharto’s political

machine, as was Golkar. At both national and local levels, active military officers became part of the executive and legislature.



prohibiting civil servants from concurrently serving as party functionaries). (8)!

Habibie’s administration introduced a decentralization policy. Indeed, decentralization became an important policy as part of the political reforms. This policy has subsequently changed the face of Indonesia, from the most centralized country in Asia to the most decentralized.

Freedom House, an independent watchdog, describes Indonesia as a partly free country between 1998 and 2005 (Freedom House, 2006). It was an era characterized by the implementation of reform policies, but also accompanied by various conflicts in a number of regions including Aceh, Papua, Ambon and Kalimantan. However, since 2006, Freedom house declares that Indonesia has been a free country “due to peaceful and mostly free elections for newly empowered regional leaders, an orderly transition to a newly elected president that further consolidated the democratic political process, and the emergence of a peace settlement between the government and the Free Aceh movement” (Freedom House, 2006). One of the paradoxes of Indonesian democratization is that of the political party. The ability to establish political parties was one of the main results of



democratization in Indonesia after a long period of restrictions under Suharto. However, some scholars argue that one of problems with Indonesian democracy is in fact the political parties. Political parties tend to have low competitiveness and play the role of a cartel. A study on political parties by Ambardi (2008) explains that political parties have developed a pattern of cooperation that can be best described as a cartelized party system. The reason for the cartelization is the parties’ shared interest in maintaining sources of rents in the executive and legislative branches of government for their own survival as a group. However, Ambardi focuses on the issue at a national level, whereas it must be examined at the local level under decentralization. Some experts and observers have described Indonesia’s decentralization policy as a “big bang” policy, because it dramatically changed the situation in Indonesia, both politically and economically. For example, during the first year of decentralization, the local share of government spending jumped from 17% to 30%, in sharp contrast with the average of 15% in the 1990s. In addition, over two million civil servants, almost two-thirds of the central government’s workforce, were transferred to various regions. The landscape of local politics also changed, from being under the total control of central government to greater independence, and a very dynamic situation in Indonesia’s regions (Hofman and Kaiser, 2001, p.15).



As a wide archipelago country, the New Order (Suharto’s so-called regime) ruled Indonesia in a centralistic manner to ensure state consolidation and national integration. In practice it resulted in economic concentration, a suppressed civil society, and a central government that controlled regional and local governments. Even though central–regional relations were described in terms of regional autonomy, the rhetoric was not supported by the facts. Over time, approximately 90 percent of government revenues were distributed to central government (Ferrazzi, 2000, p. 68). Under a centralistic regime, there were a number of official principles of autonomy, as stated in Garis-garis Besar Haluan Negara (GBHN: the Official Paper of State Policy Guidelines) by the Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat (MPR: People’s Consultative Assembly) 1993–1998: To strengthen the unitary state and smooth national development, the implementation of government in the region is based on autonomy that is real, dynamic, harmonious, and responsible, and in conformity with the capability of the region in undertaking decentralized, deconcentrated and assistance tasks (Ferrazzi, 2000, p. 68). Ferrazzi (2000, p. 69) states that the term “real” in the above quote meant that autonomy would only be given in accordance with capabilities to handle such



autonomy. By “harmonious”, policymakers meant that autonomy should strengthen rather than dissolve or corrode the bonds between central government and Indonesia’s regions. By being “responsible”, the regions recognized that autonomy is more of a duty than a right: the duty to achieve national goals and strengthen the unity of the nation. However, according to Erawan (1999, p. 605), there were some criticisms of the implementation of the decentralization policy under Suharto (Law Number 5/1974). First, autonomy was seen as a responsibility rather than a right, so local government was more concerned with their responsibilities to central government than with their rights as the decision maker at the local level. Second, local governments consisted of both executive and legislative branches. Thus, the legislature could not control the executive because they were essentially the same body. Third, only those with government experience could participate in local leader elections. Thus, only civil servants and military officers could be chosen. Finally, several sections of Law Number 5/1974 were neither specific nor clear, requiring follow-up regulations from central government; such drafting slows down the government process and makes the law ambiguous. However, the centralistic system was fragile when the 1997 economic crisis hit Indonesia. Rasyid (2004, p. 65) notes that an awareness of the importance of



decentralization in Indonesia developed because the rigid and centralized system was unable to respond to the financial crisis. Rasyid (2004, p. 66) comments on this point: This failure was mainly caused by the lack of time to observe, learn and understand the global financial and economic tendencies. Our excessively centralized administration had taken most of our time and energy to deal with domestic and local affairs. Another reason leading to decentralization was the threat of separatism from some richer regions in Indonesia. Regions with rich natural resources such as Papua and Aceh attempted to become independent from Indonesia, mainly for economic reasons, and military operations in Aceh and Papua failed to quell the separatist movements. Greater autonomy and balanced revenue sharing from natural resources were expected to put a halt to the desire for separatism. The decentralization policy was introduced in the democratization process when Habibie (as interim president) and his political party sought recognition from the region that they were true democrats. Thus, Habibie asked a number of experts—the so-called Team 7—to create a draft law on decentralization. Team 7 then presented the draft to the Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR: National parliament), and the draft law



was accepted.4 Under the label of democrats, they thought that they would receive an electoral payoff in the general election against the other new political parties (Smith, 2008). In detail, autonomy means that central government’s control of some domestic affairs is transferred to provincial, regency and municipal administrations. Full autonomy was implemented at regency and municipality levels, while provinces were given limited autonomy. Full autonomy meant that they have their own discretion to create and implement local policies in so far as they do not violate national law and disturb public interest. Limited autonomy means that the authorities of provincial government are limited to what is promulgated in the law and can only make and implement domestic policies within that limit. At the same time, a wider area for central government operation at the provincial level is provided through the principle of deconcentration, placing the governor as a representative of central government (Rasyid, 2004, p. 66). The main reason why full autonomy occurred in the smaller second-tier (regency/municipality) level was to provide an opportunity for “the closer-to-the-people !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4

Originally, Team 7 was in charge of designing Indonesia’s new electoral system. The Team 7 members

were: Hamid Awaluddin, Djohermansyah Djohan, Afan Gaffar, Andi Malarrangeng, Ryaas Rasyid, Ramlan Surbakti and Anas Urbaningrum (Smith, 2008).



government” to make policies and decisions based on problems specific to each region. It was also to make the government more responsible for local problems and to increase citizen participation. However, the political reason was to prevent the growth of the separatist movement, which usually occurred at the larger first-tier (provincial) level. The decentralization policy was viewed as a panacea for several governmental problems such as corruption, unresponsive government and a lack of citizen participation. It was hoped that decentralization would increase political equality, local accountability and local responsiveness. In the context of leadership, decentralization was also viewed as a political training ground for local leaders. Decentralization requires mutual cooperation between central and local governments. The decentralization policy has reduced the authority of central government and the extended authority of local government. Local government can now initiate policies and improve conditions for local people. In other words, local government can now solve local problems, which will reduce the burden on central government. It is expected that central government will have more time and energy to deal with globalization, and to observe and creatively promote the interests of Indonesia. Central government is also obliged to protect the unity of the country,



maintain national integration and to guide, supervise and control the implementation of its decentralization policy (Rasyid, 2004, p. 67).

1.2. Implementation of Decentralization in Indonesia Law Number 22/1999 (local governance) and Law Number 25/1999 (fiscal balance between national and local government) were passed in May 1999 and came into force on January 1, 2001. According to these laws, “autonomy” means “the authority of an autonomous region to regulate and take care of the interests of the local community in accordance with its own initiative on the basis of the aspirations of the community pursuant to the laws.” Based on these laws, various authorities are being devolved from central to local government, with the exception of national defense, international relations, justice, police, monetary, religion, finance and development planning. Local government must perform important functions (Art. 11) including in the areas of health, education, environmental, and infrastructure services. The provinces, as autonomous regions, only have minor roles, mainly in coordinating activities and supporting districts and cities that cannot perform such



functions themselves. The provinces will also continue to perform deconcentration tasks as central government representatives in the regions. In contrast to the previous era, local councils can now directly elect local leaders, although the election requires confirmation from the president (Art. 40). The local leader must provide an annual report to the Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah (DPRD: Local Parliament), and if it is rejected, the DPRD can also dismiss that leader (Art. 16). Central government can annul regional and regulation laws that conflict with national laws and regulations (Art. 114); however, the regions can appeal to the Supreme Court against such decisions. In addition, the law also recognizes the desa (village) as a self-governing community, based on the diversity of each region (Chapter 11). During the New Order era, based on Law Number 5/1974 and Law Number 5/1979, all Indonesian villages were required to be uniform in terms of functions and structures. However, every region has its own form of villages, like nagari in Minangkabau, desa in Java, or gampong in Aceh. The establishment of Law Number 22/1999 means the state recognizes the diversity of villages. The very first step of implementing Law Number 22/1999 was a change in the administration, including the drafting of regulations to support the policy, institution



building, the reallocation of civil servants, fiscal decentralization and the redistribution of assets. At least 197 presidential decrees were required to support the implementation of that law. Institutional building required the downsizing of central government structure and more effective organization at local levels. In August 2000, the central government shut down 11 ministries, and by the end of January 2001, close to two million central government officials had been transferred to local government departments. The redistribution of assets was also completed by mid-2001 (Rasyid, 2004, p. 70). The first phase of the implementation of decentralization had various impacts in Indonesia (1999–2004). The first was the spread of corruption from central to local government. In the New Order era, most corruption occurred in central government. The centralistic system meant that government management and decision-making processes occurred in Jakarta, even though the loci of the policies were at the local level. In the reformasi era, both the authority and money were transferred to the local level, resulting in the significant spread of corruption. The empowering of the DPRD meant that those involved in such practices were not only limited to local leaders and bureaucrats (the executive), but also included members of the DPRD.



The budgeting process was also affected by the growth in corruption. Law Number 22/1999 assigned DPRD members with budgetary authority, and thus many used funds for personal use. Regarding local executive bodies, corruption mainly occurs in the procurement process, public services, licensing process and in the use of state resources for private business (Chaniago and Iskandar, 2004). Data from the Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) in 2004 shows that of the 432 corruption cases at the local level, 124 of these involved the DPRD, followed by local leaders (83), bureaucrats/civil servants (57) and directors of Badan usaha Milik Daerah (BUMD: Local Government Own Enterprises) (36). Another important phenomenon was the opposition to the anti-corruption movement in some regions. Those in opposition resorted to five key methods to quell the movement: intimidation, bribery (of activists and law enforcement agencies), mass mobilization based on religious and ethnic sentiment, criminalizing whistleblowing and anti-corruption actions and inciting opposition to the anti-corruption movement (ICW, 2004, p. 5). The second effect of decentralization was conflict in local elections. Local elections in the DPRD became an arena for vote buying and conflict. In some cases, the



DPRD members voted for candidates who bought their votes (Chaniago and Iskandar, p. 20–30; Piliang et al., 2003, p. 33). During the implementation of the law, Indonesia experienced widespread tension, not only among candidates but also DPRD members and both local and central political party committees. Such tensions also resulted in the splitting of political parties, with 14 cases between 2001 and 2013 in Indonesia during the election processes, both at provincial and regency/municipality levels (Piliang et al., 2003, p. 42). Third, decentralization also resulted in tension between local leaders and the DPRD, created by the “legislative heavy” system. According to the concept of the balance of power, the executive must be controlled by the legislature, in the name of the citizens. The annual reports of local leaders also became an opportunity for DPRD members to blackmail said leaders, because the DPRD had the power to reject the report and remove the leader. However, in addition to such tension, there were instances of collusion between local legislative and executive branches in the making of local law and the budgeting process, which required the agreement of the two (Piliang et al., 2003, p. 34).



Finally, the move towards decentralization encouraged the creation of many new autonomous regions. In 1999, there were only 26 provinces and 303 regencies/municipalities in Indonesia. By 2004 there were 32 provinces and 416 regencies/municipalities (See Table 1.1).

Table 1.1. Number of Autonomous Regions in Indonesia 1999–2004 Autonomous
















Regencies/ 303 Municipalities













Source: UNDP and National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) (2007).

Research by the Indonesia Rapid Decentralization Appraisal (IRDA) (2004, p. 20) identified a number of reasons for such growth: (1) the need to equally distribute economic development; (2) existing regions were too geographically large to effectively administer the area; (3) the desire of ethnic groups to establish their own local government in certain areas; and (4) public service delivery (the last two are political and historical issues). Furthermore, the above reasons are interrelated. For example, the separation of



Banten from West Java was based on: (1) ethnic issues (the Bantenese have a different ethnicity than the West Javanese); (2) economic development (some of the regencies of West Java located in Banten were the poorest and most underdeveloped regencies in Indonesia); (3) history (the Bantenese believe that the Banten area in West Java is the historical home of Banten Sultanate); (4) geography (West Java was the second largest province in Java); and (5) politics (the political elites in the new province hoped to obtain power under the new political structure in both the legislative and executive branches). Because of the problems that arose with decentralization, there were a number of serious discussions regarding amendments to Law Number 22/1999. The main objective was to give the people the opportunity to directly elect their local leaders. Under Law Number 22/1999, leaders at the local government level (provincial and regency/municipal) were not elected directly. In contrast, village leaders had been elected by villagers since the Dutch colonial era. Furthermore, the president had been citizen-elected since 2004 (with the amendment of the Indonesian Constitution). Supporters of direct election also believed that this method could minimize the practice of vote buying and conflict, as usually occurred with the DPRD. Pemilihan



Kepala Daerah Langsung (pilkada: local direct elections) then became one of the most important aspects of Law Number 32/2004. In addition to pilkada, a further aim of the new law was to reduce tensions between the local executive and legislature. The obligation of the local leader to provide an annual report was abolished under the 2004 law. The new law stated that some local leaders (local governors) had to provide a governmental report to the president, while others (regents/mayors) submitted a report to the Ministry of Home Affairs; an accountability report was still required to be sent to the DPRD and to be made accessible to the people (Art. 27). However, the main idea of the new law was a clearer function of each government level in the context of decentralization. Thus, the official meaning of “local autonomy” had changed to “local autonomy is the right, authority, and duties of the autonomous regions to set up and manage their own affairs and interests of local communities in accordance with the law.” Furthermore, the term “local authority” has been replaced by “affairs.” However, the change could be seen as “recentralization” or as a decrease in autonomy. Thus, “affairs” refers to a diverse range of affairs: national, provincial and



regency/municipality. Regarding provincial and local/municipality affairs, these are further categorized as either mandatory affairs or not. As with the previous law, several key departments remained under the national government: national defense, international relations, justice, police, monetary, religion and finance. However, several areas were placed under regency/municipality control (Art. 14): (1) planning and development; (2) planning, utilization and control of spatial planning; (3) implementation of public order and peace; (4) provision of public facilities and infrastructure; (5) handling of the health sector; (6) provision of education; (7) prevention of social problems; (8) employment services; (9) facilitating the development of cooperatives and small and medium-sized enterprises; (10) environmental control; (11) land services; (12) public records; (13) general administration of government services; (14) investment administration services; (15) implementation of other basic services; and (16) other obligatory functions mandated by law. Those affairs that fell under the control of provincial government were similar to those to be controlled by the regencies, but covered a wider area and included inter-regency–municipal affairs (Art. 13). In contrast with other regions in Indonesia, Jakarta’s autonomy is regulated by



Law Number 29/2007 on the Provincial Government of the Special Capital Region of Jakarta as the Capital City of the Republic of Indonesia (Pemerintah Provinsi DKI Jakarta sebagai Ibu Kota Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia). There are two main differences. First, the locus of autonomy in Jakarta is only at the provincial level. Regencies and municipalities are only administrative regions under Jakarta’s governor without any autonomy (Art. 9). Second, local leader elections are only conducted at the provincial level to elect a governor, whereas mayors and regents in Jakarta are appointed (from local bureaucrats) by the governor (Art. 11) However, there were still some problems with the implementation of Law Number 32/2004. Despite the 2009 government moratorium for further autonomous regions, political pressure from regions and national parliament was difficult to address. In 2012, the number of autonomous regions increased to 529 (from 524 in 2011), and to 539 by 2013 (See table 1.2).

Table 1.2. Number of Autonomous Regions in Indonesia 2005–2013 Autonomous Regions

Years 2005



















Regencies/ Municipalities




















Source: Bappenas quoted in Jaweng (2013).



Corruption also continued to be a serious problem in the second phase of decentralization. From 2004 to 2012, the Ministry of Home Affairs noted that 277 local leaders (governors, mayors and regents) were involved in cases of corruption. In addition, 1,500 staff member at local government departments were similarly charged. Even though its power was decreasing, the DPRD remained a breeding ground for corruption. At the provincial level, 431 DPRD members were involved in cases of corruption, with 2,553 at regency and municipality levels (Badudu, 2012). An ICW Annual Report (2011) shows that local governments represented the most corrupt sector in Indonesia. In 2011, there were 264 cases of corruption in regency governments, 56 in municipal governments, and 23 cases in provincial governments. It was originally thought that pilkada would prevent the emergence of money politics in the DPRD. However, such practices have only moved from DPRD members to voters. For example, in one of the first pilkada held in 2005, the incumbent candidate in Sleman used the allure of government projects as part of his campaign. Political parties also used the candidacy process to collect large amounts of money from the candidates (Kumorotomo, 2009, p. 14). Additionally, ICW research on pilkada in Jayapura, Pandeglang, Kampar and Banten provinces (2011, p. 8) shows that there were six key problems with direct elections: (1) manipulation to obtain citizen support; (2)



use of state resources for campaigns, especially by incumbents; (3) mobilization of bureaucracy as a political machine; (4) involvement of businesspeople to financially support candidates to get a government project as a kickback; (5) vote buying; and (6) influencing and bribing the election committee.

1.3. Study Rationale While some studies have focused on the negative aspects of Indonesian local politics, the aim of this research is to present a more balanced view on the situation between 2009 and 2014. In reality, local politics in Indonesia is more than just the rise of a local boss (Sidel, 2005), dynastic power (Buehler, 2007), or vigilante groups (Hadiz, 2010; Masaaki, 2008)—it also includes the emergence of populist leaders. Moreover, these specific political characteristics concern not only the leader, but must also include the voters. This research will compare two extreme cases of local politics in Indonesia to describe the mixed results of the country’s decentralization policy. The first is the domination by a political family in Banten Province. In the early phase of the decentralization era (and during the founding of Banten Province), Banten was dominated by a vigilante group known as jawara. They used violence to dominate the



political arena, as they did in the first governor election in 2001. Furthermore, the leader ofjawara created his own dynasty by appointing family members into various political positions (e.g., into the executive via local direct election and the local legislature via the 2009 general election). The second case studied here is populism in Jakarta. As the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta is not only an arena for national politics, but is also characterized by the dynamics of its own local politics. The present research will explain the phenomenon of Joko Widodo, a former mayor of Surakarta, who was elected as governor of Jakarta in 2012. Thus, two questions arise: What conditions led the way for populist leaders? What were the impacts of the processes along the way? This research will also study those factors required for democratic decentralization: a competitive party system, professional civil services, a free press and a culture of accountability formed by a strong judicial system and civil society participation (Crook and Manor, 1998, pp. 302–303).

1.4. Research Questions The following research questions are asked:



1.! Were the necessary conditions for democratic decentralization present in Indonesia during the 2009–2014 decentralization era? Banten Province and Jakarta Province are selected as case studies. 2.! How did the presence of those conditions shape political dynamics at a local level in Banten and Jakarta? 3.! What was the impact of each political dynamic (dynasty and populism) on local governance?

1.5. Research Objectives By answering the above-mentioned questions, this research aims to: 1.!

Examine the presence of the necessary conditions for democratic decentralization (a competitive party system, professional civil services, a free press and a culture of accountability formed by a strong judicial system and civil society participation) and its relations with the dynamics of local politics between 2009 and 2014 in Banten and Jakarta.


Provide comprehensive descriptions about the political processes in establishing these dynamics (dynastic and populist).




Explain the impacts of the different dynamics (dynastic and populism) on governance practices, especially regarding the issues of policy and corruption.

1.6. Scope and Limitations This research will analyze those factors that helped to shape the form of local political leadership in Banten and Jakarta under Law Number 32/2004 between 2009 and 2014. In Banten, the focus will be on the establishment of a political dynasty at provincial and regency/municipality levels, and in Jakarta, it will be on the rise of populism in the 2012 Governor Election. This study examines the political process in contemporary Indonesia. Thus, political change continues, involving the political actors mentioned in this research.

1.7. Methods A qualitative methodology is used in this research. Qualitative research is defined as an inquiry process of understanding based on distinct methodological traditions of inquiry that explore a social or human problem (Creswell, 1998, p. 15). The researcher builds a complex, holistic picture, analyzes words, reports detailed views of informants and conducts the study in a natural setting.



Specifically, this research is categorized as a case study, an exploration of a “bounded system” or a case over time via detailed, in-depth data collection involving multiple sources of information that is rich in context. “This bounded system is bounded by time and place, and it is the case [multiple cases here] being studied—a program, an event, an activity, or individuals” (Creswell, 1998, p. 61). Because this research aims to explore more than one case, it categorized as a collective case study, a study of a number of cases jointly to inquire into a phenomenon, population, or general condition (Stake. 1998, p. 89). It is believed that collective case studies lead to a greater understanding of the topic; perhaps better theorizing about a still larger collection of cases. As this study combines two cases in a single study, it can be categorized as a comparative method (Gerring, 2007, p. 27). This research will compare the development of local politics between 2009 and 2014 in two areas, Banten and Jakarta. The aspects compared in this research are as follows: 1.! The competitiveness of political parties; 2.! Professional civil services; 3.! Free press, and;



4.! The culture of accountability formed by a strong judicial system and civil society participation. The comparison is very important to obtain a comprehensive picture of Indonesian local politics between 2009 and 2014. In fact, there is no one single face of local political dynamics in Indonesia. Even though political families have become common in some areas in decentralized Indonesia, another trend has also emerged: populism. This research from Banten and Jakarta will examine those factors behind the mixed results of political dynamics in Indonesian local politics. The collection of data was based on multiple sources of information: literature, documents, observations and interviews. Observations and interviews were conducted with key figures including political activists, representatives from cadre parties, members of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), bureaucrats, journalists and academics. The two field studies were conducted in Banten and Jakarta in February–April 2013 and February–April 2014. To reduce the likelihood of misinterpretation, this research follows a triangulation procedure, a process using multiple perceptions to clarify meaning, verifying the repeatability of an observation or interpretation.



To analyze the data, this research used the four forms of data analysis and interpretation used in the case study by Stake (as cited in Cresswell, 1998, pp. 153–154): 1.! Categorical aggregation: seeks a collection of instances from the data, hoping that issue-relevant meanings will emerge. 2.! Direct interpretation: looks at single instances and draw meanings from them without looking for multiple instances. 3.! Establishes patterns: looks for a correspondence between two or more categories. 4.! Naturalistic generalization from analyzing the data.



Chapter 2 Literature Review on Decentralization and Local Politics: Political Dynasty and Populism

Decentralization in Indonesia has opened the door for greater political dynamics at the local level. These dynamics are based on, for example, each region’s characteristics, people, culture, and interactions.

2.1. Understanding Decentralization The basic meaning of decentralization is the transfer of authority to perform various services to the public from an individual or an agency in central government to some other individual or agency that is closer to the public being served (Turner and Thulme, 1997, p. 57). There are four main forms of decentralization (Cheema, 2010, pp. 4–5): 1.! Administrative decentralization: the deconcentration of central government structures, delegation of central government authority and responsibility to semi-autonomous agents of the state and the decentralized cooperation of government agencies performing similar functions.



2.! Political decentralization: changes in the structure of the government via the devolution of powers and authority to local units of government; power-sharing institutions within the state via federalism; institutions, organizations and procedures to increase citizen participation in the selection of political representatives; and procedures allowing freedom of association and participation of civil society organizations in public decision making. 3.! Fiscal decentralization: mechanism for fiscal cooperation in sharing public revenue among all levels of government; fiscal delegation in public revenue raising and expenditure allocation; and fiscal autonomy for state, regional or local governments. 4.! Economic decentralization: market liberalization; deregulation; privatization of state enterprises; and public–private partnership. Decentralization provides an institutional framework to promote a system-wide participation of individuals, communities and groups in economic and political decisions affecting them. Thus, participation is essential to gain the benefits of decentralization. According to Smith (1985, pp. 20–30), democratic decentralization has a number of benefits: political education for the people, training in political leadership, securing political stability, promoting political equality, enhancing accountability and



improving the responsiveness of local government. Other benefits based on public administration and management framework include tailor-made local plans, achieving inter-organizational coordination at the local level, fostering experimentation and innovation to increase more effective development, enhancing motivation of field-level personnel and workload reduction at central government agencies (Turner and Thulme, 1997, p. 57). Decentralization plays a central role in new public management (NPM). This represents one major strand of public reform, both as management decentralization and political decentralization (Polidano, 1999, p. 19). The basic foundation of NPM is the use of the economic market as a model for political and administrative relationships. The NPM movement is driven to maximize productive and allocative efficiencies hampered by public agencies that are unresponsive to the demands of citizens and led by bureaucrats with the power and incentives to expand their administration empires (Hope and Chikulo, 2000, p. 27). As an aspect of NPM, decentralization is an attempt to, among other things, improve the delivery of public services and increase the productivity of the public sector. It entails a fundamental value change leading to the debureaucratizing of the public sector (Cheung cited in Hope and Chikulo, 2000, p. 27).



In the context of NPM, Hope and Chikulo (2000) describe decentralization as follows: 1.! Government is able to provide high quality services that citizens` value. 2.! Increases managerial autonomy, particularly by reducing central administrative control. 3.! Demands, measures and rewards both organizational and individual performances. 4.! Enables managers to acquire human and technological resources to meet performance targets. 5.! Creates a receptiveness to competition and open mindedness about which public purposes should be performed by public servants as opposed to the private sector (Borins cited in Hope and Chikulo, 2000). 6.! Empowers citizens through their enhanced participation in decision-making and development planning and management. 7.! Improves economic and managerial efficiency and effectiveness. 8.! Enhances better government. In the case of Indonesian, decentralization was one of the main results of democratization stemming from the 1998 reformasi, aided by the presence of a free



press, military neutrality, constitutional amendment, free and fair elections, and the freedom to establish political parties. Furthermore, decentralization could be a means to promote democracy at a local level, as the successful implementation of the decentralization policy does require a democratic system. To ensure a responsive and accountable government, it is essential that a close and active relationship exists between citizens and the elected leader. To ensure the presence of an elected leader, free and fair elections at the local level must also exist, both for the executive and legislature. Pollit (2009, p. 8) explains that in a political context, decentralization has some benefits: 1.! Places political power closer to the citizen. 2.! Politicians are less remote and are more visible and accountable. 3.! More citizens play an active role in the democratic process (e.g., voting, attending meetings or even standing for office). 4.! Allows for the greater expression of legitimate local and regional differences. Furthermore, the establishment of democratic decentralization can lead to number of outcomes (Crook and Manor, 2000, p. 23–24): 1.! Provides government with a sense of ownership of more consensual approaches



to governance by persuading it that it now has more information and can perform more effectively. 2.! Offers ordinary citizens a greater sense of ownership of both locally designed development projects and higher-level programs. 3.! Contributes to greater coordination of policies and personnel from numerous line ministries. 4.! Reduces bottlenecks and delays in decision-making. 5.! Enhances local political participation and quickens local associational activity. 6.! Encourages partnerships between government agencies and the private sector. 7.! Makes government processes more transparent to ordinary citizens. 8.! Ensures government institutions are more open by providing opportunities for elected representatives at lower levels to influence official decisions and the design and implementation of government programs. 9.! Enhances the accountability of bureaucrats to elected representatives and the accountability of elected representatives to citizens. 10.!Reduces overall corruption in the political system via greater transparency and accountability (however, this has only happened in a few cases; this effect may become more widespread as decentralized systems take root and are better



understood by citizens). 11.!Enhances citizens’ understanding of government health, education and sanitation programs. Local elected representatives can explain these details better than government employees. 12.!Helps programs to be more responsive and appropriate to local conditions. Furthermore, Cheema (2010, p. 5) states that while decentralization policies have been adopted in many countries, the results are mixed. Successful experiments in decentralization have yielded benefits such as improved access to services, citizen participation and the mobilization of local resources, as well as the institutionalization of democratic political processes at the local level. In contrast, the limitations of decentralization are marked by the “elite capture” of local governments, the weak financial and administrative capacity of local governments, widening economic and social disparity between regions and increased levels of local corruption and nepotism. Based on some of the above explanations, decentralization could be described as a panacea for many problems in developing countries. However, Kuliposa (2004) explains that decentralization does not intrinsically foster democracy, participation and empowerment at the local level. Only when complementary policies and favorable



national and/or local conditions are in place can decentralization contribute to the promotion of democracy, participation and empowerment at the local level (Kulipossa, 2004, p. 778). Similarly, Hadiz (2004) argues that decentralization does not always work in the way it is supposed to. Thus, neo-institutionalist perspectives can sometimes fail to explain that the decentralization process more fully incorporates the factors of power, struggle and interests (Hadiz, 2004, p. 703). Based in their research in Karnataka, India, Crook and Manor (1998) conclude that there are several requirements towards democratic decentralization: a competitive party system, professional civil services, a widely distributed free press, and a culture of accountability shaped by a strong judicial system and civil society participation. It is these four criteria that this research focuses on to better understand the current dynamics of Indonesian local politics. Hadiz (2004) claims a free press and competitive party system do indeed exist in Indonesia but the country lacks a culture of accountability. Thus, this must be examined at the local level. As country of wide-ranging variations, it is inappropriate to generalize Indonesian local politics as a single form. Different situations in each area can lead to different local political dynamics.



2.2. Democratic Decentralization and Local Politics in Indonesia The establishment of decentralization enabled local politicians to exercise their power. The holding of a political position in local government meant that a local politician could become a “little king,” with the authority to allocate local government budgets and to make decisions, accompanied by the opportunity to become—via legal or illegal means—rich. The decentralization era has seen a dramatic rise in the number of studies on Indonesian local politics. Hence, studies are not restricted to Indonesian politics in Jakarta, but have focused on different phenomenon across Indonesia. The law gave greater autonomy to the regions, so local politics became competitive in the desire to gain economic and political power, the new format of politics based on local identity widened and grassroots civil society rose (Aspinall and Feally, 2003, p. 1). Antlov (2003, p. 83) states that Indonesia still has some way to go to improve the quality of local democracy, seeking greater growth via a vibrant civil society, ideological variation, educated citizens and political support from particular sections of the elite. Unfortunately, the change from a centralized to a decentralized government



does not necessarily mean a shift from authoritarian to democratic rule, or a shift from a strong state to a strong civil society (Nordholt, 2005, p. 30). During the first phase of decentralization, the study of the “local boss,” the “vigilante group” and the “local strongman” became favorites among scholars. For example, Sidel (2005) investigated the negative effects of Indonesia’s decentralization process including the emergence of money politics and gangsterism local elections in regencies, municipalities and provinces across Indonesia (Sidel, 2005, p.51). In addition, Hadiz (2010) wrote about the relationship between politicians and vigilante groups. For example, in North Sumatra, the former member of a famous vigilante group, Pemuda Pancasila (Pancasila Youth), joined the Satuan Tugas (Work Squad) of some political parties and played a significant role in the bloody power competition between local elites. In Jakarta, a number of local politicians had close ties with certain vigilante groups, such as Forum Betawi Rempug (Betawi Brotherhood Forum) and Front Pembela Islam (Islamic Defender Forum). A study on Banten Province described the power held by the vigilante groupjawara in local politics; that particular group had held control since the establishment of the province.jawara with their capacity for violence, pressured



parliamentary members to choose candidates who were supported the jawara leader. Jawara also dominated large government projects (Masaaki and Hamid, 2008). Since the implementation of direct elections for local leaders in Indonesia, the transfer of power among family members has become an important topic. Early discussions about the dominance of families in local politics featured in a study about the Yasin Limpo family in the first gubernatorial direct elections of South Sulawesi (Buehler, 2007). In his research, Hadiz (2004) explains that decentralization and democratization in Indonesia have been characterized by the emergence of new patterns of highly diffuse and decentralized corruption, governance by predatory local officials, the rise of money politics and the consolidation of political gangsterism. Once nurtured by a highly authoritarian regime that has since unraveled, these local predatory interests are now thriving under Indonesia’s newly decentralized and democratized political system. Such actors have found that the local institutions of democratic governance, once captured, can protect their interests, interests that previously required centrally organized authoritarian control and a repressive military apparatus. They have also found that the politics of money and political violence can be potent tools in securing their position (Hadiz, 2004, pp. 711–712).



In 2013, the Ministry of Home Affairs stated that 57 families dominated local politics in various Indonesian regions. These families hijacked democracy and used local elections to maintain their domination; their power transferred from one family member to another (Wedhaswary, 2013). However, decentralization did not only result in the establishment of political dynasties and the spread of corruption. In some areas, local leaders were elected based on their ability to govern. A preliminary study by Hamid (2010) shows a relation between good performance and the re-electability of local leaders at both regency/municipality and provincial levels. For example, local leaders re-elected by 80% of voters were those recognized as good leaders via their best-practice performances in their regions. Joko Widodo (Jokowi), the mayor of Surakarta (2005-2012), gained 90.09% of the votes in his re-election in 2010. Jokowi went on to become a good-governance example in Indonesia because of his anti-corruption achievements amid reports of increasing local-government corruption. Herman Sutrisno, the mayor of Banjar (2004-2013), and Wahidin Halim, the mayor of Tangerang (2003-2012), were also re-elected with 92.19% (in 2008) and 88.22% (in 2009) of the votes, respectively; both were also recognized as good leaders.



Thus, it seems that one of the purposes of decentralization, to ensure political training for local leaders, has indeed been proven in some regions in Indonesia. However, Carada and Oyamada (2012, p. 25) show that the results of decentralization in Indonesia have been mixed: there have been good practices and areas of excellence as well as failures and shortcomings. As mentioned in Chapter 1, local political dynamics in the post-Suharto era in Indonesia can be characterized by two polarizing styles: dynastic and populist. Both emerged in the era of Indonesia’s democratic decentralization, where local leaders are directly elected by voters.

2.3. Political Dynasty Of course, the domination of local politics by dynastic powers also occurs outside of Indonesia. In some democratic countries, families become important sources of power. Families, compared with other groups, are better able to cooperate and solve collective action problems because of two main features: hierarchical structure and high levels of trust. They allow for coordinated decisions concerning issues of succession and the intergenerational transmission of economic resources across time. Families have the capacities to exercise their power outside the formal institutions of government, to



take over such institutions and to capture the political system. Political dynasties refer to families whose members have exercised formal political power for more than one generation (Querubin, 2010, p.2). McCoy (2009, p. 10) explains that in a political context, the word “family” does not simply mean household, as defined narrowly by demographers, nor does it solely mean kinship, as more broadly used by ethnographers. Seeking a term that describes the political role of family we might use kinship network, that is, a working coalition drawn from a larger group related by blood, marriage and ritual. Kinship itself is not only built upon blood ties known as actual kinship, but also interaction; thus, a cousin can be elevated to the status of sibling, known as fictive kinship. The phenomenon of political domination by a single family has been evident for many generations in a number of democratic countries. In the United States, for example, after the 1960s, 7% of legislators had a dynastic link with past parliaments. In Mexico, 20%–40% of all national politicians have family ties to other politicians. Furthermore, in Japan between 1970 and 2000, approximately one-third of legislators in the lower house had relatives who had been members of parliament. In the Philippines, the share of political dynasties is estimated to be between 50% and 70% if links to local



government units are included in the count (Mendoza et al., 2011, p. 2; Asako et al., 2010, p. 2). Querubin (2008, p. 5) wrote that in the Philippines, the establishment of political dynasties could be traced from the period of Spanish control, when a small number of mestizo (mixed race) elites known as the principalia dominated economic and political power. These families had rights to hold land, vote and serve in positions of local political power, especially to hold the position of gubernadorcillo (petty governor). In 1899, when the United States acquired the Philippines from the Spanish after the Spanish–American War, the power of those families was further consolidated. The land and armies were controlled by families that fought the Spaniards between 1896 and 1898 and the United States from 1899 until 1902. To gain support and loyalty to control the islands, the Americans introduced local mayoral elections in 1901, elections for national legislature from single-member districts in 1907, and elections for the senate in 1916. The continuation of family power persisted because the right to vote and run relied on the principalia or satisfactory literacy and property requirements. Then, the influence of the families’ spheres increased because of the subsequent introduction of elections at a higher level of government. As a result, the local dynamics of power



constituted national politics that prevented the establishment of strong national political parties (Querubin, 2010, p. 5). In the Philippines, the family, as the strongest unit of society, demands the deepest loyalties of the individual and colors all social activity with its own set of demands. Sometimes, the communal values of the family are often in conflict with the impersonal values of the institution of the larger society (Grossholtz as cited in McCoy, 2009, p. 1) Within the political landscape of the Philippines, a family name is a valuable asset. Along with their land and capital, elite families are often thought to transmit their characteristics to younger generations. Although new leaders often emerge via elections, parties and voters consider that candidates with a “good name” have an advantage. The kinship system in the Philippines is that of bilateral kinship: ancestry is traced through both the mother’s and the father’s lines. Effective kinship ties are maintained with the relatives of both parents. Bilateral kinship widens social networks and narrows generational consciousness, not only for real kinship but also fictive kinship (McCoy, 2009, p. 9). The structure of kinship means that family becomes important political capital. Once a stable “kinship network” is formed, such familial coalitions bring some real



strength to the competition for political office and profitable investments. A kinship network has the unique capacity to create an informal political team that assigns specialized roles to its members, thereby maximizing coordination and influence (McCoy, 2009, p. 10). Coronel (2007) states that in the Philippines, dynasty building is characterized by the “seven Ms”: money, (political) machine, media and/or movies, marriage, murder and mayhem, myth and merger. Collaboration among the seven Ms determines the endurance and survival of the political dynasty. Corazon “Cory” Aquino was a prime example. She was born to the powerful Cojuangco family, and married Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., a descendant of the rival political family in Cory’s home province of Tarlac. The principal sponsor of their marriage was President Ramon Magsaysay, and Salvador “Doy” Laurel (the groom’s closest friend and the bride’s future vice president) was a secondary sponsor. Her family inherited Cory’s substantial wealth and provincial power. From her husband, she acquired the aura of association with the nation’s most charismatic leader. Through these family ties, she was related to nine other oligarchic families, including the Cojuangcos, who owned the nation’s telephone monopoly, the Yabuts, who held power in Makati City, the Tanjuatcos, who combined business and political office and the



Oreats, involved in real estate and local politics in suburban Malabon (McCoy, 2009, p. xvii). In fact, the making of political dynasties has already occurred in Indonesia, at the national level anyway. There are currently a number of political families in national politics, such as the Soekarno family, the Soehartos, and the Yudhoyonos. Megawati Soekarnoputri, the fifth president of the Republic of Indonesia, is Soekarno’s daughter. She inherited Soekarno’s charisma and name to become the leader of the Indonesia Democratic and Struggle Party (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan: PDIP), perceived as the successor of the Indonesia National Party led by Soekarno. Megawati is now preparing her daughter, Puan Maharani, to become the next leader of the PDIP. Soeharto, Indonesia’s second president has also established the so-called “Cendana Dynasty,” and has dominated Indonesia’s politics for 32 years. Under Soeharto, Indonesia operated as a centralistic system and he prevented the establishment of local power unless it was under his control. His children became business tycoons and dominated many business sectors privileged by their father’s policies. His son-in-law, Prabowo Subianto, became a rising star in the military. At the end of his reign, Soeharto named his daughter Siti Hardiyanti “Tutut” Rukmana as the Minister of Social Affairs. Previously, Tutut had been the head of Woman Empowerment of the



Golkar party. Other siblings also hold political positions in both parliament and Golkar Party. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia’s sixth president, has also built a family dynasty, the “Cikeas Dynasty” (named after his private residence). Yudhoyono’s family has dominated important positions in the Democratic Party. His brother-in-law, Hadi Utomo, was the second chairman of the party. Yudhoyono himself is the chairman of the Advisory Board, and after the third chairman Anas Urbaningrum resigned, he was elected into that position. Currently, the Secretary General of the Democratic Party is Edy Baskoro Yudhoyono, Yudhoyono’s second son. Both of Yudhoyono’s sons married women from influential families: Aulia Pohan, former head of the Indonesia Central Bank, and Hatta Rajasa, chairman of the National Mandate Party and Economic Coordinator Minister under Yudhoyono. Another of Yudhoyono’s brothers-in-law, Pramono Edhie Wibowo, was an Army Chief of Staff. However, as a point of difference with dynasties in the Philippines, Indonesian dynasties have no real roots at the local level—they have no area basis at all. The foundation of their power lies in political parties at the national level. Thus, in Indonesia, local-level dynasties represent a separate phenomenon compared with those at the national level. Moreover, local political dynasties only emerged during the era of



decentralization. The creation of each local dynasty is also different, dependent on the political dynamics in each region. The creation of local dynasties has emerged in various areas in Indonesia since 2005. This occurred not only because of changes to local leader elections, but also because of the arrival of the second round of local elections during the decentralization era. During that phase, some local leaders who had completed their first term in office then promoted family members to replace them.

2.4. Populism As stated previously, political dynasty is not the only platform for local political leaders in Indonesia. In some areas, ordinary citizens have become local leaders despite having no familial ties with the political elite. Such leaders use the support of their voters, who admire a fresh and populist leader, as their main source of power. Research on populism is usually conducted at the national level. However, in Indonesia, democratic decentralization has meant that it is possible for a leader to emerge from below, from the local level. Local direct elections present the opportunity for a candidate to become a local leader despite lacking the majority support of the DPRD. In addition, these elections also provide the opportunity for people to vote for



their leader based on their own preferences. Hence, subnational populism is only just emerging in Indonesia. Populism has long been used as a tool of analysis, particularly in Latin America and Southeast Asia. In Latin America, several leaders have been categorized as populist leaders including Hugo Chavez and Alberto Fujimori. In Southeast Asia, populism has been used to explain the rise of Estrada in the Philippines and Thaksin Sinawatra in Thailand. Thaksin Shinawatra was a populist leader and prime minister of Thailand, coming to power in 2001 and ousted by military coup on September 19, 2006. Thaksin took office with his redistributive platform: cheap healthcare, agrarian debt relief and village funds. Regarding his healthcare scheme, a workshop was held in February 2001, a pilot scheme launched in April, and the full system implemented by October. The agrarian debt relief scheme was made available to 2.3 million debtors in the same month, with the village funds scheme extended to the majority of the country’s 75,000 villages in September 2001 with 5.3 million loans approved (Phongpaichit and Baker, 2009). If Estrada used his “movie star” status to gain popularity, then Thaksin used his money to appear in media. However, early in his political career, the role of media was



not so important, as he initially only appeared on private free-to-air TV channels. In contrast, after his election Thaksin used the mass media more effectively: suppression of opposition, inflation of his own image and presentation of the work of government. He used the media in very intensive and systematic ways. For example, Thaksin established a weekly radio broadcast program entitled “Premier Thaksin Talks with the people.” The 30-minute program (later extended to 60 minutes) was broadcast on Saturday mornings and networked countrywide. Thaksin conducted the program by phone, and the show was always live even though he was often overseas. He explained the work of the government, in the words of the prime minister, directly to the people. A transcript was placed on the government website within a couple of days of the airing of the show (these were later made into a series of books that sold well while Thaksin was at the height of his popularity). Newscasts on television and radio would repeatedly broadcast key passages from the program. In 2004, near the end of his first tenure and close to the next election, Thaksin started a campaign “getting close to the people,” using the media to complete the transition from “businessman” to “man of the people” (Treerat, 2009). Joseph “Erap” Estrada, a populist leader and president of the Philippines (1998– 2001) started his political career as mayor of San Juan in Metro Manila, in 1969.



Previously he had starred in action movies, a career that made him very famous in the Philippines. As mayor, his performance was very good, improving services and meeting the needs of his constituents. He held that position for 20 years until he was removed by President Corazon Aquino (Aquino acquired decree-making powers and dismissed many local government officials). Estrada then won a seat on the senate in 1987, was elected vice president in 1998; he won the presidential election in 1998 with a large majority. During the presidential campaign, he used the slogan Erap para sa mahirap (Erap is for the poor). He took on the role as champion of the poor among the rich and politicians. Estrada’s position between the poor and the rich was viewed by many as him “taking action,” and considered a “Robin Hood-style of politics,” taking from the rich to give to the poor. However, an unpopular policy to amend the constitution and rising oil prices saw Estrada’s popularity fall from 67% in March 1999 to 28% in October 1999, and then to just 5% in December 1999. In January 2001, Estrada was impeached by the senate and was removed as president. He was then jailed, accused of the non-bailable crime of plunder (Rocamora, 2009).



Mude and Kalwatser (2012, pp. 3–7) state three main approaches to populism. The first is populism as a particular type of political movement. In this perspective, populism is a multiclass movement organized around a charismatic leader (Germani, 1978). The main ingredient is not only the presence of a strong leader but also the formation of a movement that appeals to heterogonous social groups. This approach is mainly used to explain Latin American populism and fascism in Europe when regarding the emergence of extremist mass movement. The second approach is populism as a political style, characterized by the promotion of a particular kind of link between political leaders and electorate, a link structured around a loose and opportunistic appeal to “the people” to win and/or exercise political power. The third approach is that used in this research: populism as a discourse. Concerning this perspective, Laclau (2005, p. 18) explains that populism is characterized by confronting the existing hegemony by means of a discursive construction capable of dividing the social into two categories: “the power bloc” versus “the people.” Following this category, Panizza (2005, pp. 3–4), defines populism as “an anti status-quo discourse that simplifies the political space by symbolically dividing society



between ‘the people’ (as the underdogs) and its ‘other’.” Furthermore, he argues that the identification of “the people” and “the other” are political constructs, symbolically established through the relation of antagonism, a mode of identification in which the relation between its form and its content is given by the process of naming—that is, of establishing who the enemies of the people, and therefore the people itself, are. As Indonesia has been a democratic state since 1998, populism in this paper refers to Canovan’s (1999) explanation of a populist movement within a mature, well-established democratic system. She argues that in modern democratic societies, populism is best seen as an appeal to the people against both the established structure of power and the dominant ideas and values of the society. Populists claim legitimacy on the grounds that they speak for the people, to represent the democratic sovereign, not a sectional interest of a specific economic class. Populist values also vary according to the context, depending upon the nature of the elite and the dominant political discourse (Canovan, 1999, P. 3). Unbalanced power relations place elites and oligarchs as the biggest shareholders in government and political parties, two of the most important institutions in democracy, while on the other side, the “ordinary people” have limited access to the policy-making process. In such situations, populist leaders usually rise and claim that



they speak for the silent majority of ordinary, decent people, whose interests and opinions (they claim) are regularly overridden by arrogant elites, corrupt politicians and strident minorities (Canovan, 1999, pp. 4–5). Populist leaders mainly come from outside the established political system, capitalizing on widespread political distrust of politicians’ evasiveness and bureaucratic jargon. Populist politics are not ordinary, routine politics. They have the revivalist flavor of a movement, powered by the enthusiasm that draws normally unpolitical people into the political arena. This extra-emotional ingredient can turn politics into campaigns to save the country or to bring about a great renewal. The condition leading to a populist rupture is a situation in which a plurality of demands coexists with the diminishing ability of the institutional system to absorb or accommodate them. In this process, a populist identity emerges out of the dislocation of the specific identities of the holders of particularistic demands and their reconstitution in the imaginary unity of the people. The process that transforms these demands into an antagonistic relation with the established order thus becomes an aggregation of discontents that crystallizes in a new popular identity. There are some circumstances in which relations of representations become dislocated and populism is more likely to become a dominant mode of identification.



The first is the breakdown of social order and the loss of confidence in the ability of the political system to restore it. The second is the exhaustion of political traditions and the discrediting of political parties. The third is characterized by changes in economy, culture and society (through processes such as urbanization, economic modernization, and globalization), which shift the demographic balance between local and ethnic groups. Social turmoil and social mobility alter established identities, loosen traditional relations of subordination and open up new forms of identification. Finally, emerging forms of political representation outside traditional political institutions can also influence populism (Panizza, 2005, p. 9–13). However, according to Mudde and Kaltwasser (2012, pp. 20–25), populism is a double-edged sword for democracy: it has both positive and negative impacts. In a democratic country like Indonesia, populism in the hands of the opposition is corrective for democracy. Populism provides the opportunity to criticize the various problems of the new democracy, including corruption, inefficiency and exclusion. Thus, populism can push forward democratic reform. Populism also enables the “new representation” of the silent majority, previously abandoned by the elite. In contrast, populism can also be a threat for democracy. The negative impacts include undermining checks and balances and populism can lead to polarization. Consequently, this can result in defensive



measures from the government that can threaten the strength or development of liberal democratic institution and protections. Significant support directly from the people can sometimes legitimize the leader’s actions, as was seen in Venezuela in 2009 when Chavez used a referendum to amend the constitution to extend his time in power (Roberts, 2012, p. 150). Populism does not just occur at the national level. The above example of Estrada in the Philippines shows that his time as a populist leader started at the local level. He always combined his popularity as a movie star and as a champion of the poor in his political campaign. Bruhn’s (2012) research on populism in Mexico shows populism at the subnational level. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was a populist leader and mayor of México City between 2000 and 2005. His popularity as leader was very high and he implemented various populist programs for the poor and the marginalized. However, Obrador failed by a very close margin when he ran for president (Bruhn, 2012). The same situation occurred in Austria. Governor Jog Haider was a populist leader and the governor of Carinthia, one of the nine provinces in Austria. He used the issue of immigration and the demands of the Slovene minority for bilingual signage to win a relative majority for his party in the 1999 and 2004 general elections. He



implemented the “Carinthian model” to assist struggling populations. The model included direct subsidies for low-income earners and provided them with cheaper oil and free kindergarten for their children (Fallend, 2012, p. 132). Muddle and Rovira Kaltwasser (2012, pp. 212–213) claim that subnational populism has had positive impacts for democracy for two reasons. First, the local populist leader represents a powerful position, a position that is inevitably under the control of certain institutions at the national level. Second, the populist local leader usually aspires to obtain greater power and, as a consequence, the subnational position is merely a stepping stone towards achieving a more powerful position. Accordingly, populist leaders might show more respect for the rules of public contestation at the subnational level, as this would permit them to demonstrate their “democratic credentials” and hence improve their chance of obtaining a political position at the national level in the future.

2.5. Democratic Decentralization, Dynasty and Populism in Indonesia In this research, decentralization enabled the emergence of democracy at the local level. This research focuses on several requirements for democratic



decentralization: a competitive political party, professional civil services, a free press, and a culture of accountability. It will be used to analyze two recent cases in Indonesian local politics: the establishment of a political dynasty in Banten Province, and the rise of populism in Jakarta. This research also will examine the impact of both phenomena on governance practices, such as policy and corruption issues. The framework of the research is shown below:

Figure 2.1. Research Framework !

Democratic!Decentralization!in!Indonesia! ! (2009!–!2014)!

Requirements for Democratic Decentralization Dynasty in Banten



A competitive party system;


A professional civil services;


A widely distributed free press; and


Accountability culture.

Populism in Jakarta



Source: Adopted from Crook and Manor (1998)



Chapter 3 The Establishment of a Political Dynasty in Banten Province

3.1. Brief Profile of Banten Province Banten was one of the first provinces established after the 1998 reformasi and Law Number 22/1999, separating from West Java Province in 2000. Banten originally consisted of six autonomous regions, but today it comprises four regencies and four municipalities: Pandeglang Regency, Serang Regency, Serang Municipality, Lebak Regency, Cilegon Municipality, Tangerang Regency, Tangerang Municipality and South Tangerang Municipality. Banten has a population of 11,005,518, and is home to the following ethnic groups: Bantenese (41%), Sundanese (23%), Javanese (16%), Betawinese (13%) and others (8%) (Badan Pusat Statistik [Statistics Indonesia], 2010). Bantenese mainly live in southern areas (Serang, Pandeglang, Lebak and Cilegon) and the Betawinese in the north (Tangerang Regency, Tangerang Municipality and South Tangerang Municipality); the other ethnicities are found in both areas. Southern Banten and northern Banten also enjoy different levels of economic development: the north is more developed than the south. Regencies and municipalities in



the northern region share their borders with Jakarta and have become a buffer for Indonesia’s capital city. Hence, many people employed in Jakarta actually live in northern Banten. Cilegon (in south Banten) also employs many Bantenese; it is an industrial city with many factories including Krakatau Steel (a steel producer) and Chandra Asri (a chemical company). In terms of social welfare, only 1.5% of Tangerang’s total population are considered to be living in poverty, followed by Cilegon (3.98%), Serang Municipality 5.63%), Tangerang Municipality (6.14%), Serang Regency (6.25%), Tangerang Regency (6.42%), Lebak (9.2%) and Pandeglang (9.8%). In total, 6.26% (690,874) of Banten’s population live in poverty. Regarding religion, Islam is the major religion with 87.73% adherents, followed by Christianity (5.89%), Catholicism (1.42%), Hinduism (0.97%), and Buddhism (0.4%). In Banten, only 7% of Bantenese aged over 15 years have graduated from university, 27% from senior high school, 24% from junior high school, 25% from elementary school, with 17% having received no education at all (BPS, 2012).



Figure 3.1. Map of Banten Province


3.2. Historical Background: Local Politics and Jawara Group The local elite in Banten were very dominant in the establishment of the province. One of the most important and powerful was Chasan Sochib. After the province was established, Sochib created an extensive network covering many activities in which he held various positions. He received significant personal benefits from such



involvement. As the leader of Pendekar Banten (Banten’s jawara group),5 Sochib mobilized a vigilante group to intimidate (via violence) Banten’s Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah (DPRD; local parliament) members to ensure the appointment of his daughter, Atut Chosiyah, as vice governor of Banten in 2001.6 This situation also showed that Sochib had control over the political party. Although he was not a board member of Golkar, the party followed Banten to nominate Chosiyah (who was not an active cadre of Golkar Party) for vice governor. Some Golkar Party senior cadre failed to run as governor or vice governor candidates. Sochib also asked Joko Munandar (vice mayor of Cilegon Municipality) to run for governor. Sochib knew how to use violence to control the political party as well members of parliament to achieve his political needs. By placing Chosiyah in a key government post, Sochib was able to influence the provincial political decision-making processes. At the same time, he treated the appointed governor, Djoko Munandar, as a puppet who

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5

Jawara is a local term for thugs/vigilante group. During the New Order era, some jawara and the

Satuan Karya Jawara (Satkar Jawara, Jawara Work Squad) were organized by Golkar, the dominant political party under Soeharto. Later, the organization changed its name to Persatuan Pendekar Persilatan Seni Budaya Banten Indonesia (PPPSBBI; Indonesian Union of Bantenese Men for Martial Arts and Culture). 6

During an official meeting discussing the gubernatorial appointment, jawara members were present

inside the parliament building. Under Law Number 22/1999, the governor and vice governor were not directly elected in local elections, but were instead elected by members.



would officially approve his plans on the province’s development projects.7 Sochib also led various business associations, such as Kamar Dagang dan Industri (KADIN; Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and the Banten branch of Gabungan Pelaksana Konstruksi Nasional Indonesia (GAPENSI; Indonesian Association of Construction Companies); both institutions are notorious for their closed networks and their ability to obtain lucrative government contracts. 8 Using group violence, Sochib fostered and intensified his business lobbying for government construction projects (Hidayat, 2007). Thus, since the creation of the province in 2000, Sochib has transformed himself into a dominant political figure in Banten. Sochib also used violence to assert political power in local society and threatened anyone who questioned his monopolistic financial networks in Banten (Hidayat, 2007). Any public criticism or social protest was easily silenced through the deployment of jawara members. In July 2001, jawara members raided the office of the local newspaper Harian Banten (now the Radar Banten) after a report on the presence !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 7

In an interview conducted in the Tabloid Mimbar Daerah (Saya memang Gubernur Jenderal, 2003),

Sochib proudly claimed that he had a hold over Djoko Munandar and was ready to topple him if he made any mistakes. 8

Hicks (2012, p. 6) notes that “Since their establishment, INKINDO, GAPENSI, ARDIN and KADIN all

became known as clubs where their senior members worked in partnership with government officials to extract a share of the value of a government contract as payment for their recommendation to win a tender. It has been reported that this share usually amounted to around two to five per cent of the total value of the contract.”



of jawara in the DPRD offices. They intimidated MA, the managing editor by placing a machete to his neck, pressuring him to write a favorable news article casting them in a more favorable light (Hamid, 2004). Jawara members were also deployed to assault and disperse students protesting in front of parliament after reading the report. In February 2004, two journalists from a local newspaper Satellite News were publicly beaten by jawara members in front of Sochib himself at the Rau market; this was their punishment for writing an article about a conflict between jawara and Rau market vendors (Akbar, 2004). In none of the cases reported above was the jawara violence investigated or prosecuted. Regardless of public dissatisfaction with Sochib’s domination, there was virtually no room left to challenge his aggressive leadership. As such, political power and economic resources in Banten became concentrated in his hands. This was the situation in 2005 when Chosiyah became the acting governor of Banten after Djoko Munandar was detained on corruption charges.9

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 9

There is a strong indication that Sochib played a crucial role in deposing Djoko Munandar by

mobilizing jawara to demonstrate in front of the government office, as if it were a social protest by civil society. In 2006, Djoko Munandar was convicted in the State Court (Pengadilan Negeri). In 2008, however, the Supreme Court (Mahkamah Agung) acquitted him, just five months before he passed away (“MA Nyatakan Djoko Tidak Bersalah”, 2009).



Sochib’s use of violence to consolidate his power since the establishment of Banten Province was extensive. Violence was used to intimidate any potential contender and to repress social discontent. Its use also symbolized the power he had seized, carried out as a spectacle for all to see. This drove home the message that Sochib’s power could be wielded with impunity, anytime and anywhere. There was little doubt that this episode was intended to show the public that he was above the law. Once political power was consolidated, however, Sochib became more moderate in his public displays of violence. It was also during this time that there was a change in the law on local government: Law Number 22/1999 was replaced by Law Number 32/2004. Under the new law, the governor and vice governor were no longer appointed by the DPRD but instead elected directly by the people (pilkada/direct election). With the shift to direct elections, public shows of political violence were not only considered unacceptable, but they would harm the efforts of the ruling elite to create a positive public image and thereby gain votes. Sochib learned that with direct elections, he required popular support from local communities. The last recorded case of violence was in August 2006 when Sudarman, the chair of the Prosperous Justice Party faction of Banten’s DPRD, was threatened by a number of jawara after he questioned (in the



parliament plenary session) the capability of Sochib’s company to handle government projects. It is in this context that the role of jawara pendekar banten was slowly replaced with Relawan Banten Bersatu (RBB; Unified Banten Volunteers), a semi-autonomous civilian organization initiated by Sochib in 2005 and formally established in May 2006. With the RBB, Sochib wanted to establish a different image that accommodated the participation of the people in politics. However, it was no surprise to find that the main activity of the organization was in fact the flagrant promotion of Sochib’s achievements and leadership in Banten. Another significant change as a result of the new law was the pattern of control over the media. After 2005, there were no reports of violence against local journalists as had previously occurred. Since then, control over media has been in the form of financial rewards: the provincial government under Chosiyah would purchase newspaper columns for advertising purposes. 10 Should a newspaper choose to

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 10

At the same time, the provincial government under Chosiyah took a different approach to national

media. Their “good news policy” targeted Banten-based news correspondents, “encouraging” them to report favorable news with the promise of financial rewards for their media outlets. This approach proved less effective as these journalists were not afraid to critically and accurately report the dire situation in Banten, especially when there was a big push for reform at a national level.



cooperate by writing favorable articles, the provincial government would purchase advertising space. For local newspapers, advertisements are an important income source as they are unable to solely rely on reader subscriptions. Thus, what is clear here is that influence over the media directly impinges upon the financial condition of newspapers themselves. Newspaper editors are likely to self-censor any news so as not to upset the provincial government and therefore impede the flow of advertising income. Furthermore, local journalists are made aware that investigative and critical articles are not encouraged, and may even cost them their jobs. In 2012, ESL, a senior journalist led a journalists’ discussion group in Serang and was then dismissed from the local newspaper he worked for. There is a strong indication that he was reprimanded because his writings and activities criticized of the ruling elite of Banten Province. He also allegedly support the competitor of Chosyah in 2011 gubernatorial election, Wahidin Halim. The establishment of the RBB also aimed to support Chosiyah’s candidacy for governor in the 2006 direct election—the first in the province since its establishment. Although the RBB was initiated by Sochib, it was later headed and led by Sochib’s eldest son, Tubagus Chaeri Wardana. It was Wardana who organized the old jawara



group and consolidated them with another semi-autonomous organization Badan Pembina Potensi Keluarga Besar Banten (BPPKB; Agency to Develop the Potentialities of the Bantenese)11 into one alliance under the RBB. The RBB was formally established in May 2006, and was marked with a ceremony that demonstrated the political alliances and support for Chosiyah’s candidacy. For that purpose, the organs of the RBB reached into the villages via its “village coordinator” (koordinator desa), to develop a constituency at the village level to promote Chosiyah’s name. The RBB also actively distributed pamphlets and erected banners on Banten’s main roads. The establishment of the RBB demonstrates a shift in Sochib’s political approach, from employing vigilante groups to incorporating family and kinship networks in politics; from very violent to less violent but nonetheless persuasive approaches. With the success of Chosiyah’s candidacy for governorship, the RBB has become the backbone and political machine for the consolidation of power in the hands of Sochib and his children. Sochib then tried to expand his control over other local government units in Banten. In late 2007, in preparation for the 2008 Tangerang regent election, Sochib nominated Airin Rachmi Diany (his daughter-in-law) as vice regent in !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 11

Founded on July 8, 1998, the main business activity of the BPPKB is security, in both formal and

informal senses. Its main figure is Haji Dudung Sugriwa, a jawara from Pandeglang, Banten, who lives in Tangerang. Its formal leader is Noer Indradjaja, a property businessman based in Jakarta.



Tangerang Regency. Sochib proudly announced to the press that her “candidacy was under my instruction and not her husband’s, Tubagus Chaeri Wardana, or Atut Chosiyah [because] both of them are from the Golkar Party” (“Pencalonan Airin Atas Perintah Saya”, 2007). This statement showed that as a patriarch, Sochib had control over his family members and thus could direct them to enter the political arena to strengthen his position, regardless of the political party. The fact that both his son and daughter, Wardana and Chosiyah, were members of Golkar Party did not stop him from directing his daughter-in-law, Diany, to enter the arena through the support of another party. Diany’s candidacy was indeed supported by Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP; United Development Party) as Golkar Party supported the incumbent regent, Ismet Iskandar. Diany’s running mate was Jazuli Juwaini from the Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS; Justice and Prosperity Party). The party was the strongest competitor against Chosiyah in the previous gubernatorial election. This alliance with the party demonstrated how the Sochib family has successfully penetrated and neutralized the party’s elites.12 Whether or not Sochib understood the political situation well, it was common knowledge that political parties at that time of change were still developing grassroots !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 12


Interview with Sudarman, April 2014.


constituencies. Thus, one’s candidacy for any political post would not depend so much on the party itself, but more on the eminent figures who gave their blessings to the candidate. Such was the norm in Banten—it was the jawara group and kinship network that offered stronger and better political support than the political parties themselves. As a relatively unknown figure in politics, Diany’s candidacy was put forward by Sochib. In that case, her entry into the political arena was similar to Chosiyah’s. Although in the end Diany lost the election, this experience provided a lesson for the RBB to develop more constituents in areas where it was not well known.

3.3. Establishment of the Sochib Dynasty Nonetheless, it did not take a long time for Sochib to consider the next move for his family members. In May 2008, Khaerul Jaman, Sochib’s son with his second wife, stepped forward as the candidate for vice mayor of Serang. As the capital of Banten Province, Serang is the most important political site for any political actor to dominate bureaucracy and influence decision making. With persistent support from Sochib and the RBB under the direction of Wardana, he was successfully elected to the post and in February 2009 was inaugurated by his stepsister Chosiyah, the governor of



Banten Province (as will be seen later, Jaman’s political success created momentum for other family members to enter the political arena). In January 2011, the mayor of Serang, Bunyamin, died suddenly and Jaman became interim mayor. This gave him the perfect opportunity to strengthen his position to assert power over the city’s bureaucracy and prepare more campaign material for the next elections in September 2013. In that election, Jaman stepped forward as a mayoral candidate, gaining support from 12 political parties. He won a landslide victory and was inaugurated as the mayor of Serang in December 2013. Following Jaman’s success in May 2008, Sochib presented his second daughter, Tatu Chasanah, as a candidate for vice regent in Serang Regency in 2010. Chasanah was successfully elected as vice regent in May 2010. Soon after, Sochib supported Heryani, his fifth wife, as a candidate for vice regent in the Pandeglang Regency election in December 2010. Heryani was elected to the post and inaugurated in March 2011 by Chosiyah, her stepdaughter, the governor of Banten Province. In November 2010, Sochib supported Diany as a mayoral candidate in the South Tangerang Municipality. Diany was successful and inaugurated as mayor in April 2011. These examples illustrate how Sochib actively extended his family’s political power within the executive branch of local government by aiming for the seat of its



head or vice head. As he trusted his family members more than non-family members, this political targeting of executive seats was important to maintain his grip over local bureaucracy. He set a pattern that made familial affiliation the basis for the extension of political power. Adjacent to this extension within the executive body, a number of family members were entering the political arena as members of the legislative body—both at local and national levels. In this regard, it is important to note that in 2009, Chosiyah’s husband, Hikmat Tomet, was elected as a member of national parliament (DPR-RI), with a 5-year term. As a member of parliament, he was the head of Banten’s local committee of Golkar Party. This important position provided uninterrupted contact and access between family members and decision makers in the party. Although Tomet died in November 2013, such access and contact remained intact as the party still considers the family an important political hub in Banten Province. In line with the creation of this political network, both Chosiyah’s son and daughter-in-law, Andika Hazrumi and Ade Rossi Chaerunissa, were elected members of the DPRD in 2009 with strong support from the party. Up until 2005, the couple had spent a number of years living in Australia, and thus their lives did not receive the same level of scrutiny from local media outlets as did those of other family members.



Being outside of the public eye afforded them the opportunity to withhold information regarding their background profiles, especially after 2008 when members of the family were gradually assuming and consolidating important political posts in the province. Thus, they entered the political arena as “young politicians” and as part of their political campaign, highlighted their religious profiles to rally the strongly religious Banten population. 13 Hazrumi gained a political seat as a member of the Dewan Perwakilan Daerah (DPD; Regional Representative Council) representing Banten Province. Chaerunissa won a seat as a member of the Serang Municipality DPRD and was later appointed as vice head. In addition to Chosiyah’s conjugal family, a number of her extended relatives also entered the political arena with Sochib’s support as DPRD members. Sochib’s sixth wife, Ratna Komalasari, entered politics at the same time as Chaerunissa, and was elected a member of the Serang Municipality DPRD. Sochib’s son-in-law, Aden Abdul Khaliq, was also elected in 2009 as a member of the Banten DPRD.14

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During the elections, a number of large banners were erected on the main road in Banten depicting

Hazrumi in religious attire. 14

Khaliq went on to become a candidate in the 2012 local leader elections in the Tangerang Regency; he

was unsuccessful. He continued without the support of Golkar, as he believed that his family background (as the son of K.H. Asmuni, a respected figure in the region) was enough to deliver him the political seat.



However, Sochib’s family faced a number of challenges in the 2011 Banten gubernatorial election. The election was conducted soon after Sochib had passed away, and since that time, Wardana, had been in charge of the family’s political affairs. In that election, there were three pairs of governor–vice governor candidates. The first were Atut Chosiyah, the incumbent, and Rano Karno, a popular movie star. They were supported by the majority of political parties in the provincial parliament: Golkar Party, PDIP, Hanura Party (Partai Hati Nurani Rakyat, People Consciousness Party), Gerindra Party (Partai Gerakan Indonesia Raya, Great Indonesian Movement Party), PKB (Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa, National Awakening Party), and PBB (Partai Bulan Bintang, Crescent Star Party). The second pairing comprised Wahidin Halim (mayor of Tangerang Municipality) and Irna Narulita, with support from the Democrat Party. The final couple were Jazuli Juwaini (a member of the DPR from PKS) and Achmad Muzakki (a member of the Banten DPRD) with support from PKS and PPP (Partai Persatuan Pembangunan, United Development Party). Thus, Chosiyah had the support of 51 seats in parliament under the “United Banten Coallition,” while Wahidin had the support of 18 seats and Jazuli 16 seats in the DPRD. Table 3.1 below outlines the composition of Banten’s provincial parliament.



Table 3.1 Seats held by Political Parties in the Banten DPRD 2009–2014 No

Name of Parties



Democrat Party



Golkar Party



Justice and Welfare Party






Hanura Party






Gerindra Party































Source: Badan Pusat Statistik (Statistics Indonesia, 2012)

Chosiyah was not only fully supported by the majority of the political parties in the provincial parliament, but she also had the support of the bureaucrats in the provincial and municipal/regency governments under her family’s control. Through her brother Wardana, Chosiyah instructed all the heads of the provincial offices (Kepala Dinas Provinsi) to attend a meeting at the Banten Office of Development Planning. During that meeting, Wardana ordered the leaders to support Chosiyah’s campaign.



Moreover, he also asked those bureaucrats to clearly state how much money they could contribute to his sister’s campaign.15 In addition to financial assistance, the various bureaucracies supported Chosiyah via their programs and budgets. For example, one provincial office used its grant program to campaign for Chosiyah in local villages.

Furthermore, the person

responsible for implementing the program and grant was also recruited from Chosiyah’s campaign members.16 Chosiyah also exploited civil servants for a mass mobilization. A YouTube video showed the head of the Banten Food Resilience Office (Kantor Badan Ketahanan Pangan), Eneng Nurcahyati, demanding attendees at an official meeting to support Chosiyah.17 However, in addition to members of parliament and bureaucracies, the main political machine for Chosiyah was the RBB. The RBB’s campaign team cooperated with the political parties’ official campaign teams to support Chosiyah. That particular gubernatorial election is associated with many underhand tactics, including money politics, the mobilization of bureaucracy, and citizens denied the right to vote. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 15

Interview with SHM, former head of a provincial office, April 6, 2014.


Interview with SD, former head of a provincial office, April 8, 2014.





Ultimately, Chosiyah won 49.64% of the votes, followed by Wahidin with 38.93%, and Jazuli with 11.42%. Her re-election as governor strengthened her family’s position as the most powerful political power in Banten, far exceeding that of formal political institutions such as political parties or government institutions. During her time in power, many political positions were held by other family members. Figure 3.2 outlines the Sochib family tree.



Figure 3.2. Family Tree Outlining the Political Power Held by the Sochib Family (2009–2014)

Source: Author’s own compilation.



Although the family does not seem to conspire to work toward a certain political goal or objective within the legislative body, they do form a network—regardless of how loose or weak it is—that determines the degree of their political influence in the province. This factor is particularly important as a number of Sochib’s other sons and daughters who are not in politics hold key positions in business associations and have been awarded various government projects.18 Thus, the political power of the family also extends to the family’s financial network. The issue of plundering the state’s budget is central to the discussion of the Sochib’s family in Banten. While Chosiyah as governor played a crucial role (representing the family hub) in the family’s political network, Wardana was the coordinator of the family’s financial network, as discussed below.

3.4. Impact of Political Dynasty on Governance: Family Corruption Under Chasan Sochib, the family was consolidated as a political unit and within a relatively short time it rose to become the dominant player in local politics in Banten Province. Whether or not it was a well-planned step by Sochib alone, the political rise of his family, as described above, required Machiavellian intelligence in coordinating a !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 18

Heni Chendrayani and Wawat Cherawati are Sochib’s daughters from his third marriage with

Chaeriyah, and hold key positions in KADIN. Meanwhile, their brother Tubagus Ari Chaerudin is active in the Serang branch of GAPENSI.



social group to gain political support and, moreover, relied on violence to silence any opposition. In effect, Sochib mobilized all his resources to become the “ruler” of Banten after the establishment of the province in 2000. After 2004, however, the political family adjusted to the change of rules in the political game for power, and there was, as previously noted, a marked decrease in the use of violence (or, cases of physical intimidation) in the province. At the same time, when the family was consolidating its political support, it expanded and established its financial resources by relying on its political positions and networks. As family members secured government posts, it provided them with wider and extensive access to the local government’s budget. In this regard, it is important note financial access to local government budgets that were exploited by the family to maintain their political power in the province. The lack of hard evidence and the secrecy surrounding the matter have made it difficult to conclusively describe how the family was able to exploit local government budgets. A number of NGO investigative teams have tried to uncover this issue in Banten, and their reports have detailed the amount of money involved. One notable case is the allegation of the misuse of Dana Hibah dan bantuan (Grants and Social Aid funds) from



the local government’s budget.19 This fund is often overlooked in public evaluation, as it is not considered a vital item in the state’s budget. However, what is evident in the Banten case, is that there was a sudden change in the allocation of the annual budget at a time when the family was consolidating resources (2009–2010). Starting in 2010, the amount of dana hibah (grants) increased dramatically while the amount of bantuan (social aid funds) reduced so that the share of funding for grants was, in fact, becoming larger than the share available for social aid funds.20 This single financial irregularity illustrates the tip of the iceberg in the issue of transparency of government budgets and, also, the suppression of hard evidence. What was stated in a local government report was that social aid funds were distributed to approximately 160 recipients, with just 30 organizations named and identified as recipients (see Pemerintah Provinsi Banten, 2011). However, the other 130 recipients were never identified and simply noted as “bantuan sosial daftar terlampir” (social aid funds as in the attached list)—a vague description that did not provide any !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 19

Dana Hibah dan Bantuan is actually part of the local government’s annual budget that targets members

of society, either individuals or public organizations “to support the local government’s program and to protect recipients from any social risk.” See Peraturan Menteri Dalam Negeri (Regulation of the Minister of Home Affairs) Number 32/2011. 20

In 2009, the amount of grants totaled IDR 14 billion, 239.3 billion in 2010 and 340.5 billion in 2011.

Meanwhile, the amount of social aid funds was 60 billion in 2009, 51.52 billion in 2010 and 51 billion in 2011.



detailed information. The attached list was never produced or provided despite constant requests from the DPRD (see Asosiasi Independen Peduli Publik [ALIPP], 2011). This lack of transparency in the distribution of grants and social aid funds shows that there are problems regarding the accountability, credibility and appropriateness of recipients. Based on the nature of the recipients’ organizations, one can identify six categories of recipients: organizations led by the governor’s family members (see Table 3.1); 21 organizations with suspicious names, that exist in name only or are nonexistent; 22 organizations sharing the same address; 23 organizations that did not receive the full amount of funds as reported in the list; 24 semi-governmental organizations, officials’ wives’ organizations;25 and religious organizations.26 As the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 21

These organizations claim to work in/for local communities with specific social agendas. They

received grants ‘accidentally’ and of large amounts. 22

These include Forum Dosen (Lecturers’ Forum): IDR 100 million; Yayasan Darul Huda Islam (Darul

Huda Islam Foundation): IDR 400 million; Lembaga Riset Banten (Banten Research Institute): IDR 400 million; and Konsorsium Becak dan Ojek Tangerang (Consortium of Tangerang’s Becak and Ojek drivers): IDR 87 million. 23

There were at least eight recipients with the same address (Jalan Brigjen Sjamún No. 5) and they

received a total of IDR 22.55 billion. Four other recipients also share the same addresses (Jalan Syeikh Nawawi Al Bantani) and received IDR 6.4 billion. 24

According to ICW and ALIPP reports (2012), two organizations signed the receipt for a grant with an

amount less than actually received: Lembaga Kajian Sosial dan Politik (Laksospol, Social and Political Research Institute) in Pandeglang Regency was reported to have received IDR 500 million but in reality only received IDR 35 million; Forum Pencatat Nikah (Marriage Registrar Forum) should have received IDR 1.5 billion but only received IDR 27 million. 25


Semi-governmental organizations that received the grants include: Forum Camat (Sub-district Head


selection process of these organizations, as grant recipients, was not clear or open for public evaluation, there was a strong suspicion that these organizations were selected for grants in exchange for their expected support for Chosiyah’s candidacy in the 2011 Banten governor election. The issue here was not merely financial mismanagement in local government administration, but also the abuse of power and money politics. If true, Chosiyah as incumbent governor violated the basic principle of good governance and unjustly used the public budget for her own interests, to maintain her political power in the province.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Forum): IDR 930 million; Asosiasi Perangkat Desa Seluruh Indonesia (APDESI, Village Head Association): IDR 600 million; and Forum RW (Community Unit Forum): IDR 7.8 billion. Officials’ wives’ organizations that received grants include: Adhayaksa Dharmakarini (Prosecutors’ Wives’ Organization); Bhayangkari (Police wives’ Organization); Persit Kartika Chandra (Army Wives’ Organization); and Dharmayukti Karini (Judges’ Wives’ Organization). These organizations received various amounts of grants, ranging from IDR 50 million to IDR 150 million. 26

This group includes Silaturahmi Pondok Pesantren (Islamic Boarding School Meeting Forum), and

Majelis Ulama Indonesia (Indonesia’s Ulama Forum). The grants also supported some leaders to attend short pilgrimages to Mecca (umroh) at IDR 7.5 million each.



Table 3.2. Organizations Led by Sochib Family Members as Recipients of Social Aid Funds No

Name of Organizations


Family Member/



(IDR) 1

Komite Nasional Pemuda Indonesia Banten

1.85 billion

(Indonesia National Youth Committee,

Aden Abdul Khaliq (Chairperson)

Banten office) 2

Taruna Siaga Bencana (Tagara) Banten

1.75 billion

(Disaster Preparedness Youth, Banten

Andika Hazrumy (Chairperson)

office) 3

Palang Merah Indonesia Banten (Indonesian

900 million

Red Cross, Banten office) 4

PW GP Ansor

Tatu Chasanah (Chairperson)

550 million

(Regional Committee of Ansor Youth

Andika Hazrumy (Treasurer)

Movement) 5

Himpunan Pendidik dan Tenaga

3.5 billion

Kependidikan Anak Usia Dini (HIMPAUDI)

Ade Rossi (Chairperson)

Banten (Association of Teachers and Education Staff of Early Childhood, Banten office) 6

Pusat Pelayanan Terpadu Pemberdayaan

1.5 billion

Perempuan dan Anak (P2TP2A)

Ade Rossi (Chairperson)

(Integrated Services Center of Women and Children ) 7

Gerakan Kewirausahaan Keluarga Sejahtera

700 million


Tatu Chasanah (Chairperson)

(Entrepreneurship Family Welfare Movement) 8

Karang Taruna

1.5 billion

(Local youth organization) 9

Dekranasda Banten

(Chairperson) 750 million

(National Craft Council, Banten office) 10

Dekopinwil Banten (Indonesian Cooperatives Board, Banten


Andika Hazrumy

Hikmat Tomet (Chairperson)

200 million

Tatu Chasanah (Chairperson)


office) 11

Forum Paguyuban Rakyat Banten Bersatu

500 million

(People United Forum of Banten) 12

IMI Banten

Tatu Chasanah (Chairperson)

200 million

(Indonesian Motorcycle Association, Banten

Tb. Khaerul Jaman (Chairperson)

office) 13

Kaukus Politik Perempuan Indonesia

200 million

(Indonesian Woman Politicians Caucus)

Tatu Chasanah (Chairperson)

Sources: Compiled by Author from List of Grant Beneficiaries from Banten Province Government (2011); Tempo (2011); ICW (2011); ALIPP (2011).

As noted above, this issue has received considerable attention from members of the DPRD, concerned academics, independent local journalists and NGOs.27 Although the issue has been investigated by the Badan Pemeriksa Keuangan (BPK; State Audit Agency), its report does not note anything peculiar in the financial transactions of the Banten local government (BPK, 2012). It does note, however, that a number of recipients did not submit their financial accountability report as required and some had not even received the grants as promised.28

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 27

A formal report by two national-level NGOs, the ICW and ALIPP, was submitted to the Komisi

Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK; Corruption Eradication Commission) on August 23, 2011. Subsequent reports were submitted on September 8, 2011, and September 28, 2011. 28

BPK (2012) notes that “there were some recipients who have not submitted their accountability report:

53 recipient with total amount of IDR 11.7 billion in 2010 and 39 recipients with total amount of IDR 56.6 billion in 2011.” It also notes that in 2011, a total of 197 recipients had not received their grants, totaling IDR 3.87 billion.



Aside from the issue of the distribution of grants and social aid funds, there is also the matter of the allocation of government projects with certain companies related to the Sochib family. This is not a new issue because since the establishment of the province in 2000, Sochib dominated the political landscape of Banten and was high-handedly “awarded” government projects, especially those related to construction. This situation, however, was exacerbated when the family extended its political power after 2004. This extension moved (and evidently required) to a higher level of financial exploitation of the state budget. As mentioned above, Sochib had held important positions in KADIN (Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) since 2000 until his death in 2011. After his death, Wardana “inherited” this coordinating position via his position as chairperson. He has consolidated family members by placing them in important posts in the trade association.29 This shows the importance of KADIN as it provides the family with an extensive business network and access to bidding for local government projects. The family’s main company, PT. Sinar Ciomas Raya Contractor (later changed to PT. Sinar Ciomas Raya Utama) has dominated the association and won major local !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 29

Hikmat Tomet held the chair of its advisory board (until he died) together with Khaerul Jaman and

Tatu Chasanah as members. Tatu Chasanah was the chairperson of the Banten branch of Lembaga Pengembangan Jasa Konstruksi (LPJK; Institute for the Development of Construction Services) (2009– 2012).



government construction projects.30 In this regard, the connection between the family, local government political posts and KADIN as a trade association has shaped the politico-economic contours of Banten Province.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 30

All of Sochib’s children own 45 shares (worth IDR 1 million) in the company: Atut Chosiyah, Chaeri

Wardana, Tatu Chasanah, Khaerul Jaman, Lilis Karyawati, Tubagus Chendru Zaman, Ria Mariana, Heni Chendrayani, Wawat Cherawati, Tubagus Hafid Habibullah, Tubagus Ari Chaerudin, Ipah Chudaefah, Tubagus Aan Andriawan, Tubagus Erhan Hazrumi, Ratu Riyanti, Tubagus Bambang Chaeruman, Febi Feriana Fahmi, Aeliya Nurchayati, and Taufik Hidayat.



Table 3.3. Companies Affiliated with/Owned by Members of the Sochib Family


Company name

Family members

Government Project (IDR)

PT. Sinar Ciomas Raya

Chasan Sochib (President Director);

1.! Banten's DPRD construction project


Tubagus Aan Andriawan (Director); Ratu Rafiah (Chief Commissioner); Tubagus Hafid Habibullah (Commissioner);


PT. Profesional


2.! Security of Pasauran Beach, Serang regency (24.5 billion) 3.! Land Clearing for Banten's

Tubagus Ari Chaeruddin

government office center (41.2



Tatu Chasanah (Owner)

Indonesia Lantera Raga 3

(2004-2006) (74.4 billion)

Pontang-Kronjo road construction project (2012) (9.8 billion)

PT. Glindingmas

John Chaidir (President Director);

Balaraja hospital construction project

Wahana Nusa

Tatu Chasanah (Director)

(2006) (15 billion)

PT. Bali Pacific

Tb. Chaery Wardhana (President

1.! Serang-Tangerang city border road



widening (2012) (28.4 billion) 2.! Periodic Maintenance of Serang-Tangerang city border (2011) (52.8 billion)


PT. Putra Perdana Jaya

Airin Rachmy Diany (shareholder); Tb. Ghifari Al Chusaeri (shareholder)

1.! Rehabilitation and normalization of Ciputat river (2013) (11.3 billion) 2.! Tangerang-Serpong sidewalk construction project, Phase I (2013) (17.8 billion)


PT. Sinar Ciomas

Atut Chosiyah (Owner)

Wahana Putra 7

PT. Trio Punditama

Security Project for Tirtayasa beach, Serang regency (2012) (6.2 billion)

Tb. Erhan Hazrumi (Director); Ratu

Landscape of Banten's government

Ipah (Commissioner)

office center (19.6 billion)

Hj. Wasiah (Commisioner) 8


PT. Citraputra Mandiri

Chaeri Wardana (President,

Ciruas-Petir-Sorok road widening


Commissioner, shareholder)

(2011) (4.3 billion)

PT. Buana Wardana

Chaeri Wardana (shareholder)

Sempu-Cilaku road widening (2011)

Utama 10


(15.8 billion)

PT. Sinar Ciomas

Atut Chosiyah and some of family

Kronjo coastal protection project (2013)

Wahana Putra

members (shareholders)

(4.6 billion)



PT. Ratu Hotel

Andiara Aprilia Hikmat (President

Main place for almost all offsite


Director); Tanto Warsono Arban

activities of Banten's government

(Director); Andika Hazrumy (Commissioner); Ade Rossi Chaerunissa (Commissioner) 12

PT. Radio Bahana

Tubagus Ghifari Wardhana

Main media partner for Banten's

Banten/ Polaris FM

(shareholder); Ratu Ghefira

government's advertisements

Wardhana (shareholder) Source: Compiled by Author from Tempo Magazine (2013), Detik Magazine (2013), ICW (2013), Lembaga Pengembangan Jasa Konstruksi (LPJK) (2013).

Based on the connection of the family to such companies, the allocation of government projects to the family business can be classified in three streams. The first is a direct stream, where companies owned by family members won certain government projects and supervised their implementation. These are mainly construction projects in the province, which have increased in number since 2000,31 and the family dominates the industry. There are at least 12 companies that are directly owned by the family (i.e., family members sit as president, director or shareholders of the company) and have received major construction projects from local government since 2000 (see Table 3.2). Aside from local government projects, the family’s companies have also acquired some infrastructure projects from central government, mainly from the Ministry of Public !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 31

There has been a steady increase in the number of construction companies in Banten: 1,285 companies

in 2003 and 2,973 companies in 2010. The value of the construction industry in the province is also experiencing a boom: IDR 804,106 million in 2003 and IDR 4,184,909 million in 2010 (Statistik Banten, 2010).



Works. According to ICW (2013), between 2008 and 2013, there were at least 33 projects undertaken by the family’s companies. The main problem regarding this stream of allocation of government projects is not just the ethical practice of good governance (the integrity of officials in public procurement), but also issues of corruption and the mark-up of the value of the projects. There is no doubt that this stream of allocation is the main financial contributor to the family’s business empire and helps to strengthen their dominance within the construction industry. The second stream of government projects goes to companies under the control of family members. These companies are owned or directed by close confidantes of the family. For example, the director of PT. Marbago Duta Persada is Umar Said, a member of Wardana’s inner circle; the director of PT. Buana Wardhana Utama is Yayah Rodiyah, who shares a close relationship with Wardana; and the director of PT. Ciboleger Indah Baduy is Jahadi Permadi, who has collaborated with Ratu Irma Suryani and is a close ally of Wardhana and a KADIN associate. This stream of allocation results in the awarding of government projects, as Wardana (and other family members) has strived to cultivate support among his cronies as well as business associations. The third stream of allocation refers to companies who are willing to pay kickbacks to family members to win government projects. This is due to the fact that



decision making regarding the allocation of projects is in the hands of family members who hold government posts. One example is the case of PT. Gunakarya Nusantara (owned by Nilla Suprapto and Nurdjanah); the company won the Al Bantani mosque construction project from the Serang municipality after paying Wardana a fee equaling 20% of the project cost (the total project was valued at IDR [Indonesian rupiah] 94.3 billion) (Selingkuh Politik-Bisnis Dinasti Keluarga Atut, 2013). Although the value derived from this stream of allocation is relatively small (i.e., the illegal kickbacks), it does provide cash flow for the family and they can use it for other (illegal) activities to advance their interests.

3.5. The Fall of the Dynasty? After an intense investigation in December 2013, the Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK: Corruption Eradication Commission) officially named and detained both Wardana and Chosiyah as suspects in a bribery case involving a Lebak district election dispute at the Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi), and on further charges of corruption relating to equipment procurement projects in the province between 2010 and 2012.



Wardana, under Chosiyah’s instruction, allegedly bribed the chairman of the Constitutional Court to annul the victory of winning candidate (Iti Jayabaya) in the 2013 Lebak Regency election. Chosiyah and Wardana had supported Amir Hamzah, the regency candidate from Golkar Party and Jayabaya’s competitor. In September 2014, panel of judges at the Jakarta Corruption Court sentenced Wardana to five years in prison, and he was fined IDR 150 million (US$12,505). The verdict left open the possibility of Wardana spending an additional three months in jail instead of paying the fine. Chosiyah was sentenced to four years in prison and fined IDR 200 million (Four year sentence Banten governor condemned, 2014). Various court cases against Chosiyah and Wardana are still pending, including those regarding the use of grants, government procurement cases both in Banten and North Tangerang Municipality and money laundering. Moreover, Chosiyah’s sister-in-law, Lilis, was also detained on charges of infrastructure corruption in Serang Municipality. During the investigation process, questionable alliances between the dynasty and some Banten DPRD members were also revealed. Via their roles in the budgeting process, some members of parliament helped to ensure that the dynasty was awarded large government projects. In exchange, they received big-ticket items from Wardana



including luxury vehicles and high-class entertainment (although some returned these “gifts” to the KPK after the scandal was exposed).32 While Chosiyah resides in jail, Rano Karno is now the acting vice governor. Although this development has caused a degree of upheaval to the family’s political position, the family has been quick to consolidate, placing Tatu Chasanah at the hub of the familial network. She gained full support from the family to run for office under the Banten Golkar Party in competition with Iman, the mayor of Cilegon: Tatu Chasanah won the chair on December 27, 2013. Furthermore, Wardana’s wife, Diany, while implicated in some of the corruption cases, has been subsequently appointed to lead Golkar Party in the North Tangerang Municipality. These victories show the family’s continual loyalty to Golkar Party and its control over local politics. The family is an important ally to Golkar Party in its quest to maintain its political popularity in the province. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 32

The members of parliament include: Habib Ali Alwi from the PKB (Honda CR-V), Taufik from Golkar

Party (Mini Cooper), Adang Supandi from the PDIP (Honda CR-V), Eddy Yus Amirsyah from the Democrat Party (Jeep Rubicon, Moris, Mercy E and R series), Aeng Haerudin, Chairman of Banten’s DPRD from the Democrat Party (Mercy E300 and Toyota Alphard), Media Warman (Head of the Budgeting Body of Banten’s DPRD from the Democrat Party (Honda CR-V and Mercy C200), Sonny Indra Djaya from the Democrat Party (Honda CR-V), Thoni Fathoni Mukson from the PKB (Land Cruiser Prado and Toyota Alphard), Agus Puji Raharjo from the PKS, (Mercy C200 Hitam), Suparman from Golkar Party (Toyota Alphard), Hartono from Golkar Party (Honda CR-V), and Jayeng Rana from the PDIP (Mercy E300 dan Red Jaguar). See Ulum (2012).



Thus, it should come as no surprise that in the 2014 parliamentary election, some members of the Sochib family were successfully elected into various political positions: Andika was elected as a member of the national parliament, his position in regional representative assembly was replaced by his sister, Andiara. Andika’s wife was also elected as member of the Banten provincial parliament along with Andiara’s husband.



Figure 3.3. Family Tree Outlining the Political Power Held by the Sochib Family after the 2014 Election

Source: Author’s own compilation.



3.6. Conclusion This chapter has discussed the political contours of Banten’s ruling elite and the economic base of the distribution of political power. It described the formation and emergence of a political family under the late patriarch Chasan Sochib, who undeniably dominated the local political landscape, especially after the implementation of the new law on local government in 2004 (Law Number 32/2004). In the early years, Sochib relied on violence to achieve and maintain his political power, but after 2004 he took advantage of the political reform to extend his dominance by exerting influence over family members and using his kinship network to penetrate and, eventually, control the political arena. Appointing Chosiyah as vice governor and then governor of Banten was the beginning of Sochib’s control of political power. From 2009 until 2014, Sochib family members held real power. They occupied various positions including governor and four (of eight) local government units in Banten. However, such domination undercuts the decentralization policy originally meant to empower local civil society in the province. The establishment of the dynasty occurred amid a number of characteristics particular to Banten at that time: lack of party competitiveness; unprofessional civil servants; the absence of free local media; and lack of a culture of accountability with weak law enforcement and civil society participation.



In the context of democratization efforts in Indonesian politics, the Banten case shows how a political family became the single most important actor to determine the distribution of political power and economic resources at the local level. The dynastic domination has had a negative impact on governance practices. It became a predator that used state resources for self-interest. The dynasty used public budgets as personal tools to win elections and for personal enrichment. The family’s power was confirmed when they gained control of the local newspaper, aided by a weak system of law enforcement. The change in local politics occurred because of the national anti-corruption agency, the KPK, finally reaching Banten. The key to dismantling the dynasty was found not via a big corruption case but with a bribery case involving a relatively low amount of money. However, despite the various charges and the corruption cases becoming public knowledge, members of the Sochib family were still successful in the 2014 election.



Chapter 4 The Rise of Populism in Jakarta Province

I am stupid. And I wonder, why Solo people chose a stupid person like me to be the Mayor for two periods. Joko Widodo


4.1. Brief Background on Jakarta Province Jakarta—Indonesia’s capital city—consists of five municipalities (Central Jakarta, South Jakarta, West Jakarta, North Jakarta, and East Jakarta) and one regency (Kepulauan Seribu). In contrast with other regions in Indonesia, Jakarta’s autonomy is regulated by Law Number 29/2007 on the Provincial Government of the Special Capital Region of Jakarta as the Capital City of the Republic of Indonesia (Pemerintah Provinsi DKI Jakarta sebagai Ibu Kota Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia). This law creates two main differences between Jakarta and other areas. First, the locus of autonomy in Jakarta lies at the provincial level. Regency and municipalities are only administrative regions under Jakarta’s governor and have no autonomy (Art. 9). Second, local leader !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 33


Zainuddin (2012). Jokowi, Dari Jualan Kursi Hingga Dua Kali Mendapatkan Kursi. Jakarta: Ufuk.


elections are only conducted at the provincial level to elect governors, whereas mayors and regents in Jakarta are appointed by the governor from the selection of available bureaucrats (Art. 11). Figure 4.1. Map of Jakarta Province

Source: Modified from Google Maps (2015b) and World Port Source (2015)



In other regions across Indonesia, governor and vice governor candidates, as a pair, need to secure the majority of the votes, being 30% or more.34 Furthermore, in Jakarta, Law Number 29/2007 regulates that to become a governor, a candidate must gain more than 50% votes. If no candidate gains more than 50% votes, then the two candidates with the most votes go forward to compete in a second round of elections. During the New Order era, Golkar found it very difficult to secure any political dominance in Jakarta (and in Aceh). In 1977, the PPP (Partai Persatuan Pembangunan; United Development Party) won the national elections in the Jakarta area. However, Golkar was successful in all elections between 1982 and 1997. In the 1997 elections, Golkar won 60% of the votes. In other areas in Indonesia, Golkar (as the main force behind the New Order regime) was the dominant power in every election, usually winning more than 50% of votes. In the post-Soeharto reformasi era, the electoral landscape in Jakarta constantly shifted and was fiercely contested. In the first national election after the fall of Soeharto in 1999, the PDIP (Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle; Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan) gained power in Jakarta. The PKS (Justice and Prosperity Party; Partai

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 34

Originally Law Number 32/2004 only required more than 25% of the votes; however, this was

amended with Law Number 12/2008, stating that to be elected, candidates must gain more than 30%.



Keadilan Sejahtera) was then successful in the next election in 2004. Then, in 2009, the Democratic Party won the election.35 Below is the composition of Jakarta’s provincial members of parliament based on the 2009 general election.

Table 4.1. Seats held by Political Parties in the Jakarta DPRD 2009–2014 No

Name of Parties

Number of Seats





Democrat Party






Golkar Party









Gerindra Party



Hanura Party




Source: BPS (Indonesia Statistics, 2012).

Jakarta, with its own local politics, is an ideal subject with which to use populism to analyze the rise of Joko Widodo (Jokowi), a Jakarta outsider who won the 2012 Jakartan gubernatorial election. In Indonesia, the concept of populism is relatively new and is rarely utilized to analyze Indonesian politics (both national and local). Using !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 35


See Pemilu 2004–2009;


populism in this case can be a springboard towards new trends in Indonesian politics, especially those in the 2014 national election. Furthermore, it is also useful to view local politics in decentralized Indonesia from another perspective, especially in urban areas such as Jakarta.

4.2. Evaluation of Governor Foke’s Administration Fauzi Bowo (Foke) won the governor’s seat in the 2007 election. Foke received significant support from 20 political parties, compared with Adang Daradjatun with the support of just the PKS: Foke received 57.87% of the votes and Adang Daradjatun 42.13%. Compared with Adang, a former police general, there were high hopes for Foke, represented as having the knowledge and experience to efficiently govern Jakarta. In his 2007 governor campaign, Foke used the slogan “Give Jakarta to the Expert (Serahkan pada ahlinya),” boasting of his own “licenses” to be an expert on Jakarta. For example, he had been involved in Jakarta’s bureaucracy for more than 20 years. His latest position was as the regional government secretary (Sekretaris Wilayah Daerah)—the highest position in Jakarta’s bureaucracy—before becoming vice governor in 2002, and governor in 2007. In terms of educational background, he had completed both master and doctoral degrees, majoring in regional planning from a



German university. Via his experience and education, he had claimed he had the necessary expertise and capabilities to solve Jakarta’s problems. In addition, Foke also exploited his religion and ethnicity as an indigenous “son of the region” (putra daerah), one of the more popular discourses in the decentralization era. In Jakarta, this idea arose during the reformasi era, creating an opportunity for Betawi people, the indigenous ethnic group, to become leaders in Jakarta. Even though Foke was “only” half Betawi (his mother was Betawi), as a leader of the Betawi Consultative Body (Badan Musyawarah Betawi), Foke was an icon of Betawi emergence. Foke also represented Islamic culture as a former leader of the Jakarta Regional Committee Nadhlatul Ulama (commonly referred to as NU). This position and his networks in Islamic communities represented important political capital for Foke. However, Foke’s administration did not perform well. A survey conducted by the Center of Political Studies, University of Indonesia (2012), showed that only 0.13% of the total respondents were very satisfied with Governor Foke’s performance, 5.53% were satisfied, 37.06% unsatisfied, 3.37% very unsatisfied and 53.5% considered his performance mediocre. Respondents stated that there were three main problems in Jakarta under Foke’s administration: flooding, traffic congestion and the environment.



The survey results posed a serious threat against Foke’s ability to retain his post in the second term. The political situation in Jakarta heated up before the election when Jakarta’s vice governor, Prijanto, resigned from his position on December 23, 2011. Prijanto’s main reason was the poor relationship between him and the governor. In his resignation, he stated that the governor did not delegate any tasks to him throughout 2011. Prijanto was also concerned by the lack of transparency in Jakarta’s government and the questionable appointment of some high-ranking positions in the bureaucracy and local government-owned enterprises (Badan Usaha Milik Daerah; BUMD). He even wrote a book titled, “Why I Resigned as the Jakarta Vice Governor” (Kenapa Saya Mundur dari Wagub DKI Jakarta), and sent a copy to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on February 24, 2012.36 On March 6, 2012, his resignation was accepted by Foke, but rejected by the local legislature, the DPRD. Prijanto was then reinstated as Foke’s vice governor, but his actions just before the election significantly undermined Foke’s power and image.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 36

The book was also available online in, but the site seems to have




4.3. The Emergence of Jokowi Before his election as governor of Jakarta, Jokowi was “merely” the mayor of Surakarta (Solo), a small town in Central Java with 500,000 residents (in comparison, Jakarta has a population of more than 10 million). Nevertheless, he became a good governance icon because of his anti-corruption achievements amidst rampant corruption at all levels of government in Indonesia. Jokowi has won numerous awards for his achievements. In 2008, Tempo magazine named him a “Star Figure” who had made significant changes in government practices. He established a promotional tagline for Solo, “Solo, Shining without Corruption” (Solo Berseri Tanpa Korupsi), and was validated by winning the Bung Hatta Anti-Corruption Award in 2010. In the same year, he was also awarded as a Figure of Change (Tokoh Perubahan) by the Republika newspaper. Before, and during the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election, he was also nominated for the Best Mayor award from the World Mayor Foundation, winning third place. Jokowi’s name registered in people’s consciousness as a potential governor of Jakarta when the Cyrus Network, a political consultancy body, and the Political Psychology Laboratory from the University of Indonesia conducted an Elite Survey “Looking for the Best Jakarta Governor Candidate” between November 24 and



December 1, 2011. This survey did not measure the popularity of potential governors, but nominated figures considered to possess the necessary capabilities and qualities to become an excellent governor. The survey respondents comprised 100 experts who assessed several names recommended in focus group discussions. The survey results showed that Jokowi was in the first position with a score of 6.98, followed by Faisal Basri (6.7) and Fadel Muhammad (6.53). As the incumbent, Foke only scored 5.44, placing him 7th (Cyrus Network and Lab. Psikologi Politik UI, 2011). Jokowi received high national media exposure as a potential leader in his support for the Esemka, a national car project produced by vocational high school (Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan) students in Surakarta. He campaigned for the Esemka and drove it as his official car in January 2012, even though the car had not yet passed any feasibility tests. This action received widespread approval and national media coverage. He received further media coverage when he rejected a plan by the Central Java governor, Bibit Waluyo, to build a shopping mall on the site of the old Saripetojo Ice Factory, a cultural heritage site. Enraged, Bibit stated, “The mayor of Solo (Surakarta) is stupid, he is against Governor’s policy.” The people of Solo rose in protest against Bibiit’s comment, to which Jokowi responded, “I am stupid, and I wonder why Solo



people chose a stupid person like me to be the mayor for two periods” (Zainuddin, 2012, pp. 36–37). The media exposure Jokowi received from the Esemka and Cyrus survey was likely created by his supporters to boost his run for the governor of Jakarta. Later, the Cyrus Network became Jokowi’s main consultant in the Jakarta election and played a main role in organizing Relawan Jakarta Baru (New Jakarta’s Volunteers). Later, Jokowi was nominated by the PDIP, a decision made directly by the PDIP leader, Megawati Soekarnoputri. Hence, the nomination thwarted Taufiq Kiemas’ (Megawati’s husband) plan to pair Adang Ruchyatna (a PDIP cadre) as vice governor with the incumbent, Foke. Jokowi’s nomination was also strongly influenced by Prabowo (the founder of the Gerindra Party), who persuaded Megawati to nominate him and promised that he would fund Jokowi’s campaign costs. Prabowo then paired Jokowi with Ahok (a lawmaker from Golkar Party) to become vice governor candidate. Ahok resigned from both the national parliament and Golkar Party and joined the Gerindra Party (Hidayat, Megarani & Pramono, 2012).



4.4. The 2012 Jakarta Gubernatorial Election Six candidates competed for the governor’s seat in the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial elections: (1) Fauzi Bowo (incumbent); (2) Hendardji Soepandji (retired general); (3) Joko Widodo (mayor of Solo); (4) Hidayat Nurwahid (member of parliament); (5) Faisal Basri (a well-known economist and lecturer); and (6) Alex Noerdin (South Sumatera governor). Jokowi won the election after a fierce political battle, particularly against Foke in the second round. Tables 4.2 and 4.3 below outline the support for each candidate, and the results of the election in both the first and second rounds, respectively.

Table 4.2. Seats and Votes for Each Candidate First Round, July 11, 2012 No 1







Support party (-ies)/ Supporters



Democrat Party, PAN, Hanura, PKB



(41 DPRD Seats)

(34.05 %)





(419,416 Supporters)

(1.98 %)


PDIP, Gerindra Party



(17 DPRD Seats)

(42.60 %)





(18 DPRD Seats)

(11.72 %)





487.150 (Supporters)

(4.98 %)


Golkar Party, PPP, PDS, Non Seat




(4.67 %).

(18 DPRD Seats)

Source: General Elections Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum) (2012)



In the first round, Jokowi’s victory defied almost all surveys on Jakarta gubernatorial elections. Most pollsters had forecast Foke to be the winner. Indobarometer had announced its survey results in May 2012, stating that Foke would receive 49.8% of the votes, Jokowi 16.4%, Alex 5.7%, Hidayat 4.5%, Faisal 2.3% and Hendardji 0.2%. (A total of 5.7% respondents refused to answer, 6.8% were undecided, and 2.3% answered, “I don’t know.”) The last survey by Lingkaran Survey Indonesia (the Indonesian Survey Circle) in June 2012 before the first round of balloting, predicted that Foke would earn 43.7% of the votes, Jokowi 14.4%, Hidayat 5.3%, Alex 4.6%, Faisal 1.8% and Hendardji 0.5%. However, 29.7% of respondents stated that they were either undecided or that their choice was “secret” (Riyadi, Manuputty & Wuri R.A, 2012). The actual result of the first round of balloting (as mentioned in Table 4.2 above) shows that Jokowi won with 42.60% of the votes, followed by Foke with 34.05%, Hidayat with 11.72%, Faisal with 4.98%, Alex with 4.67% and Hendardji with 1.98%. The surveys had failed to anticipate where the floating voters—those who had not disclosed their preference and/or were undecided in the surveys—would vote. In the Lingkaran survey, floating voters totaled 29.7%. Based on these results, the floating voters seemed to have voted for any candidate other than Foke, but the majority selected



Jokowi. Additionally, there was also a decrease in Foke supporters that was not measured several days before the election day. As no candidate received more than 50% of the total votes, the first and second place getters entered the second round. The results of the second round are shown in Table 4.3 below.

Table 4.3. Seats and Votes for Each Candidate Second Round, September 20, 2012 No 1


Support party(-ies)/ Supporters



Democrat Party, PAN, Hanura Party, PKB, PKS,



Golkar Party

(46.18 %)

(77 DPRD Seats) 3


PDIP, Gerindra Party



(17 DPRD Seats)


Source: General Elections Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum) (2012)

In the final round, Jokowi was elected governor of Jakarta with 2,472,130 votes (53.82%); Foke received 2,120,815 (46.18%). Tables 4.1 and 4.2 show that the number of supporters was similar in both the first and second rounds, regardless of the results of the elections. Jokowi received substantially more votes beyond his supporting parties,



the PDIP and Gerindra Party. In contrast, other candidates, both party-supported and independent candidates, received far less votes than their political capital in candidacy.

4.5. Jokowi’s Populism Jokowi’s victory defied not only the predictions of the professional surveys but also Indonesia’s long-established political logic of organized vote mobilization at election time.37 Clearly, we need to look beyond the traditional paradigm to find the key to Jokowi’s success, and it is in this context that we look at populism as an analytical tool in understanding the changing nature of Jakarta’s local electoral politics. Thus, Jokowi’s victory is evidence that populism is a political phenomenon in Jakarta. Because Jokowi came from Solo, he could be seen as the new kid on the block. He was not a member of the Jakarta elite and its existing problems, and therefore he offered new hope as an alternative for Jakarta’s leadership. However, as a cadre of the PDIP, he was not a total political outsider. Jokowi can be seen as outsider-elite: connected to the elite but not part of them (Mudde, 2004, p. 560). At the same time, as !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 37

The exit poll by Lingkaran Survei Indonesia for the 2007 Jakarta gubernatorial election showed that

the followers of political parties stayed loyal to the order of the elite. For example, 70.8% voters from the party coalition voted for Foke. The highest loyalty was demonstrated by the PKB, with 83.3% voting for Foke, mainly because of Foke’s position as the chairman of Nadhlatul Ulama Jakarta. However, the PKS also succeeded in mobilizing their masses, with 82.8% voting for Adang. See Pilkada Jakarta dan Efektivitas Koalisi Partai, Lingkaran Survey Indonesia (2007, p. 12).



the new kid on the block, there was some concern about his capacity to manage Jakarta’s complex problems. Referring to Panizza (1999), there are four key reasons for the emergence of populism in Jakarta. First, the breakdown of social order and the loss of confidence in the political system’s ability for restoration opened the door to populism. Although Jakarta’s population is made up of a diverse range of ethnic groups, the relationships among these groups are not always harmonious. Ethnic- or religious-based mass organizations are prevalent, conducting both legal and illegal activities. Examples of social organizations or youth groups based on ethnicity include the Betawi Brotherhood Forum (Forum Betawi Rempug), the Children of Betawi Communication Forum (Forum Anak Betawi), the Board of Trustees for the Potential of Banten Family (Badan Pembina Potensi Keluarga Besar Banten), the Ambon Group, the Timor Group and the Flores Ende Group. There are also religion-based organizations in Jakarta, such as the Islamic Defender Front (Front Pembela Islam), which not only actively promotes Islam (dakwah) but also, with its paramilitary group the Islamic Defender Paramilitary Group (Laskar Pembela Islam), freely uses violence against what they consider “immoral” behavior (Wahid Institute, 2012).



Bloody conflicts among ethnic- and religion-based organizations frequently occur in Jakarta. For example, in April 2010, a deadly clash involving thousands occurred between the Public Order Police (Satpol PP), police officers and military officers and the public and members of FPI protesting against the demolition of the Mbah Priok cemetery. Three Satpol PP were killed and 149 people were injured in the riot (Wicaksono, 2011). Another conflict occurred between an Ambon group and a Flores group on September 29, 2010, in the South Jakarta Court. Three people were killed and 10 others were injured, including the commissioner of the South Jakarta Police who was shot in the foot (Margianto 2010). On a smaller scale, street fights (tawuran) among groups are commonplace in Jakarta in defense of businesses and activities. In just one month, between January and February 2012, there were 11 recorded street fights among different groups (Amelia, 2012). Outside of social conflict, everyday chaos and random criminal behavior in the city (e.g., littering, riding on the roofs of commuter trains, riding motorcycles on sidewalks) further contributed to the widespread frustration and to Jakarta’s main problems (e.g., floods and traffic congestion). In short, Jakarta’s government under Governor Foke—with his hollow claims to be an expert on Jakarta—had failed to improve conditions, and instead his reputation was further undermined. After proudly



claiming to have an intimate knowledge of Jakarta during his campaign, Foke had failed to demonstrate any expertise in bringing significant improvements to Jakarta under his administration. Many long-standing problems became frustrating routines with no viable solutions. A survey conducted by Kompas newspaper at the end of 2011 to evaluate the performance of the Jakarta government showed that only 23.9% respondents in 2010 and 35.9% in 2011 were satisfied with the performance of the Jakarta government in solving various urban problems; Foke’s worst rating concerned managing floods and traffic congestion (“Evaluasi Kinerja Pemprov DKI Jakarta”, 2012). At the same time, Jokowi’s image as a good leader—widely promoted by national media—positioned him as a sound alternative for the Jakarta leadership. For example, he successfully relocated 989 Surakarta street vendors to the Klitikhan Notoharjo market, but only after participating in a long series of negotiations (54 meetings) with the vendors. Thus, Jokowi did not resort to the standard practice of top-down extortion (“Ir. Joko Widodo Jadikan Solo Eco Culture City”, 2010). His humanist approach, solving problems without violence, appealed to the people of Jakarta, and was in stark contrast with most dealings in the city. For example, Jakartan Satpol PP fought with citizens in the suburb of Tanjung Priok, whereas in



Surakarta, the head of Satpol PP was a woman, and their batons typically remained sheathed while performing their duties. A second factor in the emergence of populism was the fact that political traditions had become weary and the political parties discredited. People’s trust in political parties was at its lowest. Based on a Kompas newspaper survey in March 2012, 80.4% respondents stated that political parties had poor images, an increase from surveys in 2011 (80.1%) and 2010 (61.13%). Similarly, the percentage of respondents who stated that political parties had good images had decreased to 14.7% in 2012, from 15.3% in 2011, and 30.4% in 2010. Furthermore, 90.2% of respondents were disappointed by the performance of political parties, an increase from 88.9% in 2011, and 81.5% in 2010 (“Survey Citra Partai Politik”, 2011).38 Before and during the gubernatorial election, there was strong national and local media attention on Jakarta. A number of leading magazines and newspapers focused on the election, and on Jakarta’s problems in particular. At the same time, Jakartans paid close attention to the media. A Tempo-Lembaga Indonesia Survey found that 50% of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 38

There was no specific survey among Jakarta citizens on the image of political parties before the

gubernatorial election. However, since most Jakartans have ample access to mass media, news regarding corruption by political party members influenced their choice in the election. For example, there was a black campaign, mostly circulated through banners and stickers, that put Foke in a picture with Nazaruddin, a former treasurer of the Democrat Party implicated in the Hambalang Scandal, with the tagline, “Satu Guru, Satu Ilmu” (One Teacher, One Knowledge).



voters accessed daily local and national social and political news via television reports. The survey also found that 49% of Jokowi voters had some access to daily newspapers (Tempo magazine and Lembaga Survey Indonesia, 2012). With their access to the media circulating frequent disparaging reports about Jakartan politics, it made sense that most people in Jakarta considered political parties to be synonymous with corruption, and why the level of political support in terms of candidacy in the Jakarta gubernatorial election was not proportional with the result. In the last two years, it has been difficult to find a single day without reports on corrupt party officials. There have been some big scandals involving political parties such as Century,39 Wisma Atlet Hambalang,40 and Al-Qurán procurement cases41 and many other similar cases. People grew increasingly aware about the secretive deals between !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 39

The Century bailout scandal refers to corruption in the short-term liquidity support scheme, totaling a

loss of IDR 6.76 trillion for Bank Century, allegedly involving a number of political parties and politicians. The case is still under the investigation by the KPK. For a brief summary see “The Bank Century Bailout Chronology” (2010). 40

The Hambalang scandal concerns the building of a sports complex in Hambalang, Bogor in 2009. The

mark-up in the case totaled approximately IDR 463 billion, distributed to numerous politicians and government officials. Some high-rank politicians from the ruling Democratic Party (Partai Demokrat, PD) have been implicated in this case, including the former chairman, former treasurer and the former Minister of Sport and Youth. For a brief summary see: 41

The Al Qur’an scandal concerns the purchase of Al Qur’an (Islamic Holy Bible) totaling IDR 130 billion

in 2011 and 2012. The money allegedly flowed to some politicians and high-ranking government officials in the Ministry of Religious Affairs. For a brief summary see:



candidates and political parties, and thus chose to focus on the best personality figures, regardless of the affiliated political party. It also explained Jokowi–Ahok’s relative independence from the support of their two parties, the PDIP and Gerindra Party. As a pair, Jokowi and Ahok built their own brand and trademark identities, such as the idea of Jakarta Baru and wearing checkered shirts. Furthermore, the shift of votes from other candidates in the second round did not represent the commitment of the political parties. Despite Foke receiving support from all the political parties (with the exception of the PDIP and Gerindra Party) in the second round, people tended to vote autonomously based on their own preferences. A total of 91.6% of Foke’s voters still voted for him in the second round. He also received votes from the supporters of other candidates: Hendardji (60%), Jokowi (7.3%), Hidayat (66.7%), Faisal (38.1%) and Alex (43.1%). Of Jokowi’s voters, 92.7% still voted for him, while also receiving votes from Fauzi (8.4%), Hendardji (40%), Hidayat (33.3%), Faisal (61.9%) and Alex (43.5%) (SMRC and MNC Group, 2012). These figures show that it was difficult for political party leaders to ensure how their voters would vote, even for an elite and ardent party like PKS. Additionally, there was some criticism



regarding how elite parties and candidates voted; that is, voting autonomously based on their own preferences.42 Third, there were profound changes within the economy, culture and society via a number of processes including urbanization, economic modernization and globalization. As Indonesia’s most urban city, Jakarta attracts many people from around Indonesia. Thus, Jakartans are a very heterogeneous population. The majority of Jakarta voters are young and increasingly educated. For example, 3.8 million voters were aged between 17 and 35 years old (54.98% of votes). Moreover, 914,000 of them were first-time voters aged 17–21 years old. In contrast, 21.08% voters were aged 36–45 years old and 23.94% older than 46 years old (“Profil Pemilih Pilkada DKI, Mereka Muda dan Berpendidikan”, 2012). This change in demography is very visible in the context of education. In 2007, 32.3% of Jakarta’s population had graduated from elementary school. The number decreased to 19.3% in 2012. In contrast, the percentage of junior high school graduates in 2007 and 2012 remained the same at 21.5%. However, the number of Jakartans that had graduated from senior high school had increased dramatically from 36.2% in 2007 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 42

Tempo magazine’s investigation showed that there were financial agreements between the PKS and

Foke after the first round of balloting. Foke agreed to give a significant amount of money, called a “mahar” (literally means dowry) and in return the PKS promised to mobilize 500,000 voters to vote for Foke in the final round. See Hidayat, Megarani & Primartantyo (2012).



to 41.9% in 2012. Moreover, the percentage of the population in Jakarta who earned a bachelor degree is also increasing, from 10% in 2007 to 17.3% in 2012.43 Thus, Jokowi had astutely targeted the voters mentioned above: young, educated voters. During the first-round campaign period, Jokowi visited 77 middle-class kampungs (villages) in Jakarta and succeeded to gain the majority votes. Later, in the second-round campaign, he visited areas that typically supported Foke and widened his target to include poorer populations. However, statistically, as of March 2012, poor citizens in Jakarta represented only 3.69% of Jakarta’s population, far less than the national rate at that time (11.96%).44 In contrast with the loud speeches of other politicians, Jokowi tended to listen to people’s aspirations, limiting himself to just two topics during the campaign: the Smart Jakarta Card (Kartu Jakarta Pintar) as solution for educational problems and the

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 43

The data are comparisons from the database of Lingkaran Survey Indonesia’s Survey “Kemungkinan

Golput dalam Pemilihan Gubernur DKI Jakarta, July 2007, and the basis data for Tempo magazine and Lembaga Survey Indonesia’s Survey, “Pilkada DKI Jakarta, Protes Kelas Menengah,” September 2012. 44

See “Tingkat Kemiskinan di DKI Jakarta” (2012) and compare with national data in Tim Nasional

Percepatan Penanggulangan Kemiskinan, Perkembangan Tingkat Kemiskinan Maret 2011-Maret 2012, 2.



Jakarta Health Card (Kartu Jakarta Sehat) for health problems (Hidayat, Megarani, teresia & Thertina, 2012).45 Typically, young, educated voters have weaker or looser social ties in the context of traditional forms of subordination. Thus, religious and ethnic figures were less influential for Jakarta voters. Their political participation tended to be more autonomous. Their election vote is based on information they access themselves, especially through the mass media. Results showed that suggestions from religious leaders only influenced 1.4% of respondents, both for Jokowi and Foke voters. However, 25.9% of Foke voters chose him because they shared the same religious beliefs, and 4.6% because of shared ethnicity. In contrast, only 0.5% Jokowi voters voted along religious similarities, while 4.9% voted for Jokowi because of a “similar ethnicity with the candidate” (“Golongan Penentu Kemenangan”, 2012).46

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 45

The Jakarta Health Card (Kartu Jakarta Sehat) is a new healthcare concept for Jakartans, adopted from its

successful implementation in Surakarta. The citizens only need to show their Jakarta identity card (Kartu Tanda Penduduk) and family card (Kartu Keluarga) to access healthcare and services. Before, poor citizens in Jakarta needed to obtain a relief letter (Surat Keterangan Tidak Mampu) from the head of the subdistrict (kelurahan) to obtain free health services. The Smart Jakarta Card (Kartu Jakarta Pintar) is a scholarship program awarded to poor students in Jakarta to ensure they complete their 12 years of study until senior high school. See also Memotong Birokrasi dengan Sistem Kartu, Koran Jakarta Baru, May 5, 2012. 46

“Golongan Penentu Kemenangan”(2012), an exit poll by Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting in

Tempo magazine, September 30, 2012.



It is for this reason that religious- and ethnic-based campaigns—which were predominantly directed against Jokowi and Ahok—did not effectively undermine their votes, although such issues were frequently discussed during the campaign period. Jokowi became the direct target of a number of influential Islamic leaders such as the popular dangdut singer Rhoma Irama, who advised Muslims not to vote for Jokowi and Ahok.47 Mobilizations based on ethnicity were also not as effective as hoped. Although Betawi is claimed to be the native ethnicity of Jakarta, there are more Javanese living in the region. Jakarta’s ethnic distribution (based on the 2010 national census) provides the following order: Javanese (36.17%), Betawi (28.29%), Sundanese (14.6%), Chinese (6.62%), Batak (3.42%), Minangkabau (2.85%), and others.48 A number of Chinese organizations such as Lestari Kebudayaan Tionghoa Indonesia Foundation, Forum Masyarakat Tionghoa and Hakka Indonesia had promised that their members (100,000s) would vote for Foke;49 however, this appears not to have happened. The results of the Lembaga Survey Indonesia and Tempo !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 47!

Rhoma claimed that he was not a member of Foke’s campaign team, even though he featured heavily

in the Foke campaign via YouTube videos and performing at campaign meetings.! 48

Data processed from the 2010 National Censuses, the central statistics agency (Biro Pusat Statistik,

BPS), available from 49

At Hakka Museum, September 15, 2012, the Chairman of Hakka Indonesia asked Chinese people in

Jakarta to vote for Foke. See Djibril (2012).



magazine’s exit poll, in the first round of election, show that 100% of Chinese Indonesians voted for Jokowi–Ahok. In the final round, the percentage was 81% for Jokowi–Ahok and 7% for Foke–Nara. Thus, in terms of personal awareness, ethnicity was important but suggestions from ethnic leaders had less influence. In addition to the Chinese, Jokowi also received strong support from the Javanese (53%) and Batak (55%), whereas Foke received support largely from the Betawi (66%), Sundanese (55%) and Minang (50%). Finally, forms of political representation outside of traditional political institutions were emerging. Populism is always marked by the emergence of the mass media to represent people’s aspirations, either naturally or as designed by populist leaders. According to Panizza (2005, p. 15), the first wave of populist leaders in Latin America was associated with the emergence of the radio as a form of mass communication. In the 2001 elections in Thailand, Thaksin also used radio and television to support his campaign as the savior of Thailand, dramatizing Thaksin’s rags-to-riches life from a poor boy to a rich businessman. The media reported Thaksin’s simple, catchy message: “to bring happiness to the majority of the country.” Thaksin also talked on a weekly one-hour radio show about his activities and thoughts on issues of the day. He dominated daily television news, and also appeared in several special



programs, including an evening chat show in which he lamented his predecessors (Phongpaichit and Baker, 2009, pp. 68–73). Thus, the mass media became a “representative institution,” effectively sending and communicating messages from both populist leaders and the people. It also illustrated the failure of parliaments and political parties, both at local and national levels, to perform their duties to represent their public. Nowadays, online media has become one of the most important media channels, acting as a “representative institution.” In particular, social media has grown increasingly popular among Jakarta citizens. Many people, mainly the young and middle classes, can easily access the Internet using cellular phones or at internet cafés (warung internet), using the Internet as “citizens” of Facebook or Twitter. Based on a study by Semiocast in June 2012, Jakarta was the most active Twitter city in the world, followed by Tokyo and London (“Twitter Reaches Half a Billion Accounts”, 2012). Jokowi’s team uploaded a number of videos onto YouTube, including a profile of Jokowi–Ahok, the New Jakarta platform, and Jokowi’s stand-up comedy. One campaign video clip—a parody of the hit song What Makes You Beautiful by the popular English boy band, One Direction—became a hit on YouTube, watched by



hundreds of thousands of people. Facebook and Twitter were also used systematically for campaigns. In addition to the official campaign team, one twitter account @triomacan2000, with hundreds of thousands of followers, systematically attacked Foke and supported Jokowi and Hidayat in the first round. In the second round, however, @triomacan2000 shifted its support to Foke but failed to influence its followers, who were by then suspicious of the sudden change of political stance.50 Jokowi himself was also a “media darling.” People were always eager to view and hear news about Jokowi, in both conventional and social media, and this in turn encouraged journalists and the media to continue their focus on him. According to a survey by Saiful Mujani Research Consulting (2012), in the second round Jokowi featured more than Foke in all mass media reports (except for radio). In other words, the higher the access rate of voters to the mass media, the more likely it was for Jokowi to win the election. This is in line with the Indonesian Journalists Association’s (Aliansi !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 50

@triomacan2000 is a pseudonym twitter account that actively tweets about corruption and scandals

among high-rank officers. Some of the issues tweeted by @triomacan2000 include the corruption in the Budgetary Board of National Parliament (Badan Anggaran), the oil mafia, and also the mark-up in Air Traffic Control Radar purchases in Soekarno Hatta Airport. The account opened on April 1, 2011, and @triomacan2000 became very popular because of its shocking tweets and quickly gained 61,592 followers. At the time of writing this book, the account had 649,000 followers. See: ukhoi.



Jurnalis Independen) study that showed that there were 810 positive and 172 negative news reports on Jokowi between June 1 and September 13, 2012. In contrast, there were 666 positive and 260 negative news reports on Foke (“Jokowi Mendominasi Pemberitaan Media”, 2012). On September 12, 2012, PoliticaWave—a site that claims to monitor millions of conversations in major social media like Twitter, Facebook, blogs, online forums, online news, and YouTube—announced that Jokowi–Ahok led the conversations in social media with a 54.9% share of exposure, while Foke–Nara received 45.1%. Jokowi–Ahok also performed better in terms of net reputation index, achieving 18.51%. In contrast, Foke–Nara produced a negative result, with a net reputation index of −11.38%.51 The media (together with an active civil society) also played a vital role to halt the mobilization of bureaucracy to support the incumbent. Some cases of bureaucratic mobilization were reported by civil society organizations and exposed by media. During the campaign, there were several examples of the role played by bureaucracy in Foke’s political machine. For example, Retno Listyarti from Forum Musyawarah Guru Jakarta !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 51

The PoliticaWave (2012) survey included the following concepts: (1) share of exposure: presentation

of buzz/mention for each candidate in social media; (2) net reputation: index to measure candidates` reputation based on the netizen’s sentiment; (3) buzz: the number of conversations about a candidate in social media; (4) unique user: the number of unique accounts who join the conversation. See Politicawave, Monitoring Pilkada DKI Berdasarkan Social Media (Monitoring Jakarta Gubernatorial Election Based on Social Media), September 15, 2012, and Twitter @politicawave.



(Jakarta Teacher Forum) reported eight examples of Foke’s attempts to mobilize teachers in Jakarta. (1) There was a request from the head of Jakarta’s Education Affairs Office (Kepala Dinas Pendidikan) for all schools in Jakarta to erect banners reading “Thanks Governor for Free Education in Jakarta” during the gubernatorial campaign. (2) Teachers working at the 57 Vocational High School (living outside of Jakarta but eligible to vote in the Jakarta gubernatorial election) were given free transportation to vote for Foke in Jakarta. (3) On September 8, 2012, texts were sent to the Junior High School 85 announcing a meeting (called a Teachers’ Meeting on Civic Education Subjects), which was in fact a Foke campaign meeting—teachers who attended were told to vote for Foke. (4) The Jakarta Education Affairs Office instructed each school to send a minimum 10 teachers to attend Idul Fitri prayers at the office, and the teachers were advised by the Imam during worship to vote Foke for religious reasons. (5) A seminar (“Jakarta People, No abstention!” Anak Jakarta Jangan Golput) was presented at a number of schools, in which pupils were asked to vote for Foke and spread brochures titled “Thanks My Governor.” (6) Books outlining Governor Foke’s achievements were distributed in various schools in Jakarta. (7) Some teachers living in Jakarta attended a three-day training on human rights, and were asked to sign a statement of support for Foke. (8) At a meeting between teachers and bureaucrats after



Idul Fitri, high-ranking bureaucrats requested that teachers vote for Foke in the gubernatorial elections. Retno Listyarti also wrote a report on the mobilization of teachers to the Election Supervisory Committee (“9 Alasan guru laporkan Foke ke Panwaslu”, 2012). Another example is found with the utilization of the Jakarta government’s program to support Foke in the election. In the Kebayoran area, a group of poor people had gathered to obtain free healthcare (Jaminan Kesehatan Daerah). To obtain such services, patients had to swear upon Al Qur’an (Islamic holy book) that they would vote for Foke in the election (Isnaini &Santosa, 2012). However, one of the most damaging reports on Foke that significantly undermined his image as a leader was his provocative, inappropriate statements towards the victims of a fire in Karet Tengsin. Instead of offering his condolences, he made a rather intimidating statement: “Now, who will you choose? If [you] choose Jokowi, you’d better build [homes] in Solo (“Fauzi Makes Offensive Remark to Fire Victims”, 2012). His comment was caught on film by a national television crew and subsequently widely broadcasted in the news; the video was uploaded onto YouTube and was shared



many times among social media users. It sparked many indignant comments from viewers, and became one of hottest issues during the second-round campaign. These four examples enabled Jokowi to successfully capitalize on the disappointment of Jakartan citizens, while also offering hope for a new identity and possible solutions: a New Jakarta. For many Jakartans, the New Jakarta was an answer to their dissatisfaction with Governor Foke and other formal political institutions. Jokowi created an opposing relationship between the “New Jakarta” (as a symbol of his struggle in the election) and the established “Old Jakarta” (as represented by Foke as the incumbent). Furthermore, Jokowi’s victory cannot be separated from the vital role played by his campaign volunteers (relawan). Jokowi’s candidacy attracted the voluntary support of many citizens—and many were young people. Thus, the Jakarta experience proves Cannovan’s (1999) words: “Populist politics are not ordinary, routine politics. It has the revivalist flavor of a movement, powered by the enthusiasm that draws normally unpolitical people into the political arena.” One voluntary group, the Relawan Jakarta Baru (New Jakarta Volunteers), was coordinated by the Cyrus Network. The group consisted of 45,000 registered volunteers, all equipped with a guidebook. As well as supporting Jokowi in his campaign, the



volunteers also acted as witnesses and observers at all polling stations. Hasan Nasbi, the Director of Cyrus, claimed he could mobilize 1,000 volunteers with just by one phone call.52 Another volunteer group was JASMEV (Jokowi-Ahok Social Media Volunteers), who organized Jokowi’s campaign via social media. JASMEV comprised 100,200 volunteers who had registered on the website Thus, Jokowi’s campaign enjoyed an extremely intensive internet operation, especially through social media. The group also dominated a number of internet forums including, the biggest internet forum in Indonesia (Suaedy, 2014). There was also a substantial number of “unofficial” volunteers who supported Jokowi with many ways. One of them was Juwanda, who offered via a PC game. He designed “Jokowi-Ahok Selamatkan Jakarta,” a computer game to help attract the support of young voters. Even before its official launch, the game had been played 450,000 times and became a trending topic on Twitter (Teresia, 2012). Moreover, in the campaigns, Jokowi rarely relied on traditional, overused symbols (e.g., photos of the candidates’ faces or political parties’ logos)—he sparingly used images of his or Ahok’s faces, and the same applied to the party logos. Instead, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 52


Interview with Hasan Nasbi, Director of Cyrus Network, August 2012.


Jokowi created a new identity via new, less ideologically explicit symbols never before used in Indonesian politics, such as his checkered shirts. The checkered shirt became a symbol of Jakarta’s pluralism where many ethnicities and religious groups live together. In addition, as checkered shirts are commonly worn by young people, they felt included in Jokowi’s campaign. This new pathway for Indonesian politics was further proven when Jokowi appointed Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok), a Christian Chinese, as his vice governor running mate. He accepted Prabowo’s offer to be paired with Ahok and rejected other candidates from the PDIP, even though they may have been more popular choices with voters (e.g., Deddy Mizwar, a popular senior actor, or Adang Ruchiatna, a senior PDIP politician). However, the strategy to partner with Ahok was the right choice, successfully attracting votes from the Chinese population in Jakarta. Neither Jokowi nor Ahok represented Betawi as natives of Jakarta; this was in contrast to the incumbent, Foke and his running mate, Nachrowi, who both claimed to represent Betawi. Nachrowi was Foke’s successor as the head of Bamus Betawi, and they were therefore fully supported by large, influential Betawi organizations such as the Betawi Brotherhood Forum (Forum Betawi Rempug), the United Betawi Front



(Front Betawi Bersatu), and the Children of Betawi Communication Forum (Forum Komunikasi Anak Betawi). This showed that Jokowi not only appealed to those who did not support the established structure of power but also those against the dominant ideas and values of society. Jokowi’s background, as a boy from an ordinary family, and his humble, low-profile “common people” appearance, notably different from most politicians, meant that many voters could relate to Jokowi as their representative. Jokowi also won the hearts of the urban middle class with his admission that he was a big fan of popular rock bands such as Metallica, Dream Theatre and Guns N’ Roses. In short, Jokowi built his image as a “unique politician,” an example of Panizza’s definition that a populist leader places him/herself symbolically outside the political realm, by claiming that he/she is not a politician, or at least “not a politician like the others.” Moreover, Jokowi often said that what he gained as a successful leader and businessman came from his own experience and hard work, thus appearing as an ordinary person with extraordinary attributes. He mentioned that his family was evicted numerous times when he was a child in Surakarta. Generally, success in business or other private pursuits are used to legitimize the leader’s political persona by showing that his or her qualities are both different from, and more valuable than, those of



ordinary politicians. However, Jokowi introduced a new concept, where a person with merits and achievements could rise to a high level of leadership. As an outsider who made it to the top of the political ladder, the leader’s journey to political leadership is no different from that of ordinary people who, through their efforts and endeavors, have made it to the top of society (Panizza, 2005, p. 21). Jokowi’s story became a new legend, recoded in many books before, during and after the Jakarta elections. There are at least 20 books on Jokowi sold in Gramedia, Indonesia largest bookstore chain, for example: Jokowi Spirit Bantaran Kali Anyar (Elex Media, 2012); Jokowi: Memimpin Kota Menyentuh Jakarta (PT. Tiga Serangkai Pustaka Mandiri: Jakarta, 2012); Jokowi, From Zero to Hero (Buku Pintar, 2012); Jokowi Si Tukang Kayu (Ufuk Publishing, 2012); Jokowi Politik Tanpa Pencitraan (Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2012); Jokowi: Dari Jualan Kursi Hingga Dua Kali Mendapatkan Kursi (Ufuk, 2012); Spirit Semut Ireng Jokowi (Muka Metal Hati Keroncong) (Penerbit Bangkit, 2012); and Falsafah Jawa Soeharto dan Jokowi (Araska Publisher, 2013). According to the above-mentioned data, several factors have contributed to the rise of populism in Jakarta. Geographically, Jakarta is an urban area. As the economic center of Indonesia, Jakarta attracts many people from all over Indonesia. Thus, in the



context of demographics, Jakarta’s population is very heterogeneous. No single ethnic group dominates in Jakarta. Moreover, political participation is relatively high and is largely autonomous because the education level is high, the number of poor is comparatively low and citizens are not bound by strong social ties. Such a high level of autonomous political participation also stems from the prominent role of the media, especially social media.

4.6. Impact of Populism on Governance Jokowi’s populism did not end after he was elected as governor in September 2012; it had only just begun. Referring again to Panizza (2005, p. 11), populism not only concerns a crisis of representation but also a beginning of representation, allowing those who have never before been represented—for reasons such as their class, religion, ethnicity or geographical location—to be acknowledged as legitimate political actors. The mass media became a new representative institution, connecting Jokowi directly with Jakarta’s citizens, and the larger Indonesian population. During his first 100 days in office, he received special attention from the mass media, and Jokowi’s daily activities were always top news items. His main daily activities as governor were



consistent with his campaign style, “blusukan,” or making impromptu, direct visits to kampungs. Even now, daily reports often cover Jokowi’s activities of the day. Jokowi also tried to gain support from the Jakarta bureaucracy, as a lack of bureaucratic support would make it difficult to fulfill his campaign promises. In October 2012, Jokowi famously forgave a number of subdistrict (lurah) and district heads (camat) who were absent from their office when Jokowi conducted a surprise inspection. In a session widely covered by the media, Jokowi showed leniency at a meeting attended by the anxious district and subdistrict heads in Jakarta. He gave a spontaneous speech: Saya minta tersenyum semuanya. Jangan tegang. Saya lihat tegang semuanya. Saya tidak akan marah hari ini. Camat dan Lurah adalah partner saya. Rekan kerja saya yang berada di front paling depan yang berhubungan dengan masyarakat. Sehingga saya minta semuanya nanti mempunyai visi, budaya kerja, dan budaya pelayanan yang sama. Saya tidak ingin bicara banyak. Yang kemarin (sidak-red) saya nggak ada urus. Sudahlah. Tapi ke depan, saya pengin semuanya punya visi yang sama. Jadi jangan takut yang kemarin saya kunjungi jadi nggak nyenyak tidur. Tidurlah yang nyenyak… (Yustiningsih, 2012)



(I ask you to smile. Don’t be tense. I see everybody is tense. I won’t get angry today. District and subdistrict heads are my partners. [You are] my co-workers at the forefront in dealing directly with society. So I ask all of you to share the same vision, work culture, and service culture. I do not want to talk for long. I don’t care about yesterday (Sidak-ed). Never mind. But in the future, I want us to share the same vision. So [for the subdistrict heads] whom I visited yesterday, don’t be afraid. Sleep well…)

However, in April 2013, he began the restructuring of Jakarta’s bureaucracy, starting with district (camat) and subdistrict heads (lurah) using a merit-based test, “Position’s Procurement” (Lelang Jabatan). The main goal of this “procurement” was not only to put the right person in the right job, it was also seen as an effort by Jokowi to consolidate his power in government.53 Jokowi and Ahok used the media as tools to communicate with people and to build support. Jokowi held a public meeting with stakeholders to discuss Mass Rapid Transport planning, broadcast live on the national television. He created an open public space where ordinary people had unprecedented access to public policy making. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 53

Lelang Jabatan (Position’s Procurement) is an open recruitment for all civil servants meeting certain

requirements to become a camat (district head) or lurah (subdistrict head). See the process and news related to lelang jabatan in Ahok’s official website:



Ahok’s meeting in the Office of Public Works (Dinas Pekerjaan Umum) on November 24, 2012, also became a YouTube hit, showing Ahok sternly castigating and investigating budget mark-ups. The Jakarta local government (Pemerintah Propinsi) has also created a special YouTube channel to publicize its activities, increase support and ensure transparency.54 Soon after Jokowi was inaugurated as the governor of Jakarta, he made a bold decision to raise the regional minimum wage (Upah Minimum Regional) by 44%, from IDR 1.56 million to IDR 2.2 million. His decision pleased laborers, but upset the Indonesian Employers Association (Asosiasi Penguasa Indonesia), to the point that the vice president, Yudhi Komaruddin, publicly stated, “We regret having voted for Jokowi–Ahok” (Dhanny, 2012). This daring move, however, showed that Jokowi was not one to shy away from advancing the lower-middle class, even though it might alienate some of his more affluent supporters. Populism can be viewed as a double-edged sword for democracy. It can provide further substance to the democratic procedure, especially when official institutions do not meet the will and the needs of the people. The representational role of political parties has been replaced by the mass media. However, the emergence of a populist !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 54

The official Jakarta Government YouTube channel can be found at




leader presents the opportunity for the rise of a powerful leader, and mass support can sometimes legitimize the leader’s actions and threaten essential checks and balances. In Jakarta, the DPRD was fast losing the trust of the people. This declining trust towards parliament ensured that Jokowi had the support of the people when he was in dispute with the DPRD. This situation could be seen as unbalanced power relation between the executive and legislative bodies, and a threat to democracy. For example, difficulties surrounding the implementation of the Jakarta Health Card meant that some DPRD members now had ammunition to use against Jokowi. In June 2013, they threatened to use their interpellation rights over the scheme, which could lead to the impeachment of Jokowi. Enraged by this political threat, many people signed a petition to dismiss the members of parliament who initiated the interpellation. Some groups also circulated the names and photos of the members, advising citizens not to vote for them in the 2014 legislative election. Jokowi’s victory in Jakarta has also influenced Indonesian politics. Some politicians became “Jokowi wannabes” by blatantly, if not superficially, copying Jokowi’s style. Some local leader candidates, for example, wore checkered shirts in their campaigns seeking to achieve similar results, hoping to increase their power or popularity by copying Jokowi’s style. Jokowi’s random blusukan visits have also



become a new trend among politicians, including the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. By assigning Jokowi to accompany Megawati to deliver her speech during the campaign, the PDIP also used Jokowi as an attractive prop to gain votes in various governor elections in Bali, North Sumatera and Central Java. Jokowi’s story, from his struggle as a poor child to success as a rich merchant and then as mayor of Surakarta and governor of Jakarta, has also been dramatized on the big screen, featuring a number of famous actors in a movie titled Jokowi. The movie was screened in cinemas across Indonesia in June and July 2013. It garnered special attention, particularly in Solo, where hundreds of people waited in long queues to attend the premiere, strategically held on the day before Jokowi’s birthday (Khalik, 2013). Jokowi’s populism has shown that democratic decentralization has shaped a new generation of leadership in Indonesia after 13 years of implementation. This would have been impossible in an authoritarian–centralistic regime. At the very least, populism in Jakarta is evidence of the two promises of decentralization. First, decentralization is a training ground for political leadership. For the first time, grass-root level politicians are able to rise among the ranks, to achieve success at the very top. Jokowi started his political career as the mayor of Surakarta, and was re-elected by more than 90% of his original voters because of his good



performance. Building on this success, he was then elected as the governor of Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. Second, decentralization provides political education for the people. This research showed that the political change in Jakarta was not only because of Jokowi himself but also because of the characteristics of the voters. Jakartans were frustrated with the performance of the previous governor and were looking for a new alternative. They are more educated than ever before, earn more, have good access to the media and are less bound by ethnic and religious social ties. Thus, campaign strategies using primordial and religious issues had little effect on the outcome of the election. Jokowi received more votes because of his good image (built up by the media), despite coming from outside Jakarta and paired with Ahok, a Christian Chinese politician. Less trust in the political party means that voters will vote autonomously, based on their own preferences and not those of the elite. This explains why Foke (who was supported by the majority of political parties in parliament) failed and why Jokowi (supported by only two political parties) was successful.



4.7. Conclusion Local politics in Jakarta in the past five years is quite different than in other areas in Indonesia. Jakarta enjoys several characteristics: it is an urban city, is very heterogeneous, enjoys high level of education, has relatively few poor, bound by weaker social ties, has a high level of autonomous political participation, and high media literacy. Decentralization has created opportunities for the rise of populist leaders via free and fair gubernatorial direct elections. Jokowi, an outsider in terms of Jakarta’s political sphere, was elected governor. He became a welcomed alternative when Jakartans grew disillusioned with their government. This situation can be seen as a populism phenomenon. Jokowi was elected as governor in the final round of the election; he received 2,472,130 votes (53.82%) while Foke received 2,120,815 (46.18%). In the final round, Jokowi had the support of just two political parties (18.1% of seats in the DPRD); in contrast, Foke received significant support from eight political parties (81.9% of seats in the DPRD). Jokowi’s election as governor was aided by four factors central to Jakarta: (1) social breakdown and the declining capability of government; (2) corrupt, draining



political traditions and poor image held by political parties; (3) changes in the economy, culture and society; and (4) the emergence of forms of political representation outside of traditional political institutions, especially social media. These characteristics ensured that Jokowi’s alternative offer of a “New Jakarta” was indeed accepted by Jakartan voters. Jokowi presented a new identity, one that offered hope against the established regime. Jokowi also challenged the established values in politics by choosing Ahok, a Christian Chinese, as his running mate. Populism is not only useful to explain Jokowi’s victory but also the leadership of his administration. Jokowi’s populist leadership has brought about positive impacts for the practice of governance in Jakarta. During his earlier phase in office, Jokowi created an opportunity for people to become directly involved in decision-making processes or via the mass media. He also introduced policies to protect the lower-middle classes, such as raising the regional minimum wage. Populism fills the gaps of substance within procedural democracy, by allowing people to access and influence government policy, which was unprecedented in previous eras. However, institutionalizing these changes is important to ensure that the populist leader plays within the rules of the game and that these changes continue to be implemented even after a change of leader. These changes cannot be carried out



tactically, merely for the sake of popular support from the public and less control from the DPRD. In the 2014 national election, Jokowi’s populism was important for the PDIP to increase the electability of the party. It also created the opportunity for him to stand as the most likely presidential candidate, thus carrying populism to the national level.



Chapter 5 Assessing Democratic Decentralization in Indonesia 2009–2014: A Comparison of Political Dynasty and Populism

The study of Banten and Jakarta shows that the implementation of decentralization after the Soeharto era produced mixed results in Indonesia. However, the decentralization policy did open the door to democracy at a local level. For example, procedural democracy was introduced in 2005 via regional direct leadership elections. It must be noted though, that the different characteristics of each area produced different results. In the context of democratic decentralization, the various situations in Banten (Chapter 3) and Jakarta (Chapter 4) can be analyzed in terms of political party competitiveness, professional civil services, free media and a culture of accountability. This chapter will compare such differences and analyze the future of decentralization in Indonesia.



5.1. Assessing Democratic Decentralization in Banten The discussion regarding local politics in Banten between 2009 and 2014 in Chapter 3 shows that the Sochib family was the most powerful political power in the province. Concerns about the negative aspects of decentralization (i.e., the potential for the elite to capture political power) were clearly realized in Banten. Although jawara had held a degree of power in Banten politics and business since the establishment of the province in 2000 (Masaaki and Hamid, 2008; Hidayat, 2007), the 2009–2014 period was the worst era yet, with a single family controlling not only provincial government but also four of the eight regencies/municipalities in Banten. This situation can be analyzed via the presence of several requirements for democratic decentralization (e.g., political party competitiveness, professional civil services, free media and culture of accountability) (Crook and Manor, 1998). 1.! Uncompetitive Political Parties Having competitive political parties is the first requirement for democratic decentralization. It becomes the most important question for democracy at both national and local levels in developing countries. For Indonesia, it was true that “freedom to establish a political party” was the most important result of democratization. However, it also created problems with democracy at the local level.



The data in Chapter 3 show that political parties in Banten tended to act as members of cartel to support the government. With their members of provincial parliament, they did not only cooperate with the government, but also supported the dynasty to obtain rent-seeking benefits. In fact, not a single political party acted in opposition towards the Banten government. This was clear in the 2011 gubernatorial election in Banten. Although there were three pairs of candidates, the only real competition existed between Chosiyah (from the established dynasty) and Wahidin Halim (the mayor of Tangerang City). Halim’s political party, the Democrat Party, did not offer Halim solid support. Aeng, chairman of the Banten DPRD, had a very strong relationship with Chosiyah’s family. Halim also faced difficulties in appointing a suitable vice governor candidate. Just before the deadline to register with the Election Commission, he was paired with Irna Narulita, a PPP politician and the wife of Dimyati Natakusumah, the former regent of Pandeglang. Irna’s candidacy was not officially registered with the PPP because the PPP officially supported another candidate, Jazuli Juwaini from the PKS (paired with another PPP politician, Makmun Muzakki). Furthermore, the PKS candidacy targeted the same voters as Halim, and was an attempt by the dynasty’s to reduce Halim’s



support. The strategy was successful, with Chosiyah winning 49.64% of the votes, followed by Halim with 38.93%, and Juwaini with 11.42%. In the early years of Banten Province, the PKS was considered as being in opposition to the government and the dynasty; however, by 2007, the PKS was more cooperative. In the 2011 gubernatorial election, there was an “invisible wall” blocking a coalition between Halim and the PKS. Juwaini’s candidacy, from PKS, was essentially an effort to split the vote of the urban, educated middle class who had previously supported Halim.55 Further evidence of how political parties supported the dynasty can be seen in the investigation process involving Wardana. There was some suggestion a number of DPRD members from various political parties worked for Wardana in the budget allocation process. Moreover, a photo of Wardana and these members attending Formula One racing in Singapore was leaked via social media, just after the budget meeting of the DPRD in Batam. To gain their support, Wardana had also gifted luxury cars to the members of parliament. Thus, the dynasty controlled most aspects of the political arena in Banten and was the dominant political power. (See Chapter 3 for details.) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 55


Interview with Sudarman, April 2014.


In conclusion, there was a lack of political competitiveness among all political parties in Banten between 2009 and 2014. Essentially, Bantenese political parties had created a cartel with the dynasty as the cartel leader.

2.! Restricted Media The mass media was not free in Banten. Before 2009, media members were often targets of violence. Between 2009 and 2014, they were controlled by the government via financial means: the government budget for advertisement purchased direct control of the local media’s pressroom. Typically, the dynasty would place a senior journalist to control journalists directly in the field. Some journalists were also recruited directly by Wardana to support whichever family member was running for office. For example, in 2010, MA, a senior journalist, was asked by Wardana to join the Chosiyah campaign team to cover the gubernatorial election. He refused despite Wardana offering him a significant amount of money. The journalist was then listed as “uncooperative” by his colleagues and boss, and ultimately, he resigned from his position as managing editor of the local newspaper. Another journalist, ESL, was also fired by his company after supporting Halim in the 2011 gubernatorial election (See Chapter 3).



Sometimes, news about the dynasties alleged corruption and violence appeared in national news reports but not local ones. For example, Tempo, a national magazine, was the first to report on Banten’s grants and social funds scandal. No local media did so. Even after Wardana’s arrest by the KPK, national media exposure was greater than local coverage. The absence of a free local media was one of the obstacles to democratic decentralization in Banten. Little exposure about the real situation in Banten made it very difficult for the Bantenese to obtain balanced information with which to make critical decisions.

3.! Unprofessional Bureaucracy In Banten, instead of providing sound public services to the people, bureaucracy was instead a political machine of the dynasty. Promotions were based on politics rather than achievements. This situation began in 2006: facing the 2006 gubernatorial election, Chosiyah as acting governor restructured staff in Banten’s provincial government. Sixteen high-ranking bureaucrats, mainly echelon-two employees, became “special staff” of the



provincial secretary.56 Their original positions were then filled by other bureaucrats who later supported Chosiyah in the gubernatorial election (Hamid, 2011). The highest government position in Banten was regional secretary, and between 2009 and 2014 it was held by Muhadi, the uncle of Airin Rachmi Diany (the wife of Wardana). He was appointed after Hilman Nitiamidjaja resigned because he felt he was “not needed by the Governor.” In the 2011 gubernatorial election, Muhadi was reported by the Supervisory Election Committee (Panitia Pengawas Pemilu) because he instructed all government offices in Banten to display banners reading “With the spirit of the 11th Anniversary of Banten province, We Continue Development Towards a Prosperous People of Banten, Based on Faith and Piety” (Dengan Semangat HUT ke-11 Provinsi Banten, Kita Teruskan Pembangunan Menuju Rakyat Banten Sejahtera Berlandaskan Iman dan Takwa). “Continue development” (Lanjutkan pembangunan) was Chosiyah’s tagline as candidate for governor (“Sekda Banten Dinyatakan Tak Netral Dalam Pilgub”, 2012). Despite Wardana holding no formal position in government, he still had influence in bureaucracy to obtain both projects and political support. One former senior !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 56

Officials who were unable to be accommodated by Chosiyah were given positions with the newly

created “Special Staff of the Provincial Secretary.” Later, the Ministry of Administrative Reform stated that the policy was in violation of the law.



bureaucrat said that in the 2011 gubernatorial election, he and all provincial office leaders met Wardana in the Banten Planning Development Bureau (Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Daerah) and were asked to financially contribute to Chosiyah’s campaign from their office budget. All high-ranking bureaucrats had tasks as informal campaign team members to support Chosiyah in the election, from the lower to upper levels (see Chapter 3 for further details). Instead of performance-based promotions, the bureaucrats’ move up the political ladder relied on their political allegiance and support. For example, one middle-ranked officer in the Agricultural Provincial Office stated that he received a better position after asking Hazrumy (Chosiyah’s son) for the new position and Chosiyah approved the demand.57 This situation made it difficult for the professional operation of bureaucracy and for citizens to receive well-delivered public services. Hence, an unprofessional bureaucracy became an obstacle for democratic decentralization.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 57


Interview with AS, a middle-ranking bureaucrat in the Agricultural Provincial Office.


4.! Lack of a Culture of Accountability A culture of accountability is formed by the active participation of civil society and a strong judicial system. In Banten, a number of important social organizations were led by Sochib family members. These groups and other social organizations received billions of rupiahs via grants and social funds from the Banten government. This made it difficult for organizations to criticize the government and the dynasty (see Chapter 3). Some civil society organizations did in fact attempt to report corruption in Banten. The Asosiasi Independen Peduli Publik (ALIPP; Independent Association of Public Concern) reported the Banten government to the KPK several times in 2011 (regarding the grants and social funds case). However, the KPK did not respond to the allegations.58 Moreover, the leader of the ALIPP, Suhada, received anonymous threats to stop such complaints.59 Indirect interference by the Banten government with local law enforcement agencies resulted in a weak system of law enforcement. Organizations run by the wives of law enforcement officers received huge amounts of money from grants and social funds. Thus, the agencies ignored the potential exploitation of such funds. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 58!

Chosiyah and Wardana were later arrested by the KPK, not because of the grants and social funds

case, but on bribery charges relating to the chairman of the constitutional court (see Chapter 3). 59


Interview with Suhada, Director of the ALIPP, March 2013.


5.1.1. Other Dynasties The situation in Banten Province is not a single phenomenon in Indonesia. In Banten itself, three dynasties other than the Sochib family sought to control local politics: Cilegon, Lebak, and Tangerang. In Cilegon Municipality, the Syafaat family has dominated the political scene for more than 10 years. It began when Aat Syafaat was elected by the local parliament as the first mayor of Cilegon in 2000, and re-elected in 2005. Aat Syafaat had a strong relationship with Sochib. At one time, Syafaat was the head of the Regional Coordinator (Koordinator Daerah) in Cilegon, and Sochib was the head of Pendekar Banten. Currently, Syafaat is the leader of the Cilegon branch of Golkar Party. Iman Ariyadi, Syafaat’s son, was the secretary of Banten Regional Committee of Golkar Party, while Hikmat Tomet (Chosiyah’s husband) was the leader. Considered something of a legend, and despite his administration ending in 2010, Aat received the special title Walisepuh (senior mayor) from bureaucrats in Cilegon. Another honorary title is Father of Development (Bapak Pembangunan), as was given to Soeharto, Indonesia’s former president. Under Syafaat’s administration, a number of his family members received good positions, both in politics and bureaucracy. His first child, Ati Marliyati, became the



Regional Assistant for Administrative Affairs of Cilegon, one of the highest positions in Cilegon bureaucracy. She was also the owner of the Ratu Collection Boutique, which supplied textiles for civil servants and school uniforms in Cilegon. Ati also owns land originally purchased by the Cilegon government for particular projects such as the Kranggot Market Sub-Terminal (Aprianto, Savitri & Ulum, 2012) Syafaat’s “crown prince” is Iman Aryadi. Iman has been mayor since 2010, taking the place of his father. Previously, Iman was a member of the Banten local parliament (2004–2009) and national parliament (2009–2010). He also owns Mangku Putra Group, a holding company that operates various companies such as Gran Mangku Putra Cilegon and Mangku Putra Merak Hotel. Syafaat was charged by the KPK on Friday, May 25, 2012 for alleged corruption involving Kubangsari Port trestles. Later, the court revealed that money obtain via corruption was used to fund his son’s 2010 campaign as Cilegon mayor. The prosecutor stated: Towards the end of his tenure as mayor of Cilegon in mid-2009, at his home in Jalan Bojonegoro 39, Cilegon, Banten, he expressed his intention to Lizma Imam Aryadi as President Director of P.T. Baka Kingdom to build the trestle pillars of Kubangsari where a portion of the funds will be used to fund his son as a candidate for Mayor of Cilegon in 2010 (Bagas, 2012).



The Serang District Court sentenced Aat Syafaat to three-and-a-half years in prison and fined IDR 400 million after being found guilty of embezzling IDR 49 billion from the budget for the Kubangsari Port construction project in 2009. The panel also ordered Aat to repay misappropriated funds totaling IDR 7.5 billion. In Tangerang Regency, the predominant family is the Iskandar family. Ismet Iskandar was the regent for two terms, 2003–2008 and 2008–2013. Although both Iskandar and Sochib were supporters of Golkar Party, they were competitive. In the 2008 regent election, Iskandar ran against Airin, Sochib’s daughter-in-law, who was a candidate under Sochib’s order. In 2012, Iskandar’s son, Ahmed Zaky Iskandar, took over as Tangerang’s regent via a direct election. Ahmed was previously a member of the national parliament (with Golkar Party); he is currently the leader of the Tangerang Regency branch of Golkar Party. One of Ahmed’s running competitors in the election was Sochib’s son-in-law, Aden Abdul Khaliq, also a member of the Banten local parliament. Surprisingly, Sochib’s family did not support Khaliq’s candidacy because of internal competition among family members after Sochib’s demise. Another child of Iskandar, Intan Nurul Hikmah, was the vice chairman of the Tangerang Regency’s local parliament between 2009 and 2014. The Iskandar family has



their own local newspaper, the Tribun Tangerang, which became a mouthpiece for their interests. Furthermore, the Lebak Regency is under the control of the Jayabaya family. Mulyadi Jayabaya was the regent of Lebak for two terms, 2003–2008 and 2008–2013. He was also the leader of the Pendekar Banten Lebak branch when Sochib was the leader of the Central Committee. The relationship between Jayabayaand Sochib deteriorated when Sochib supported the separation of southern Lebak Regency to create a new autonomous region in the province. Jayabaya rejected the proposal and never supported the plan. In the 2013 regent election, Iti Octavia Jayabaya, Jayabaya’s daughter (a member of the national parliament) won the regent election, beating another candidates who were supported by the Sochib family. Iti’s brother, Muhammad Hasbi Asyidiki Jayabaya and her niece Vivi Jayabaya were elected as national members of parliament (with the PDIP). Vivi is the daughter of Sumantri Jayabaya, the current head of the Lebak Trade and Industrial Chamber, and the sister of Jayabaya. Jayabaya’s other sister, Mulyanah, was a member of the Lebak local parliament between 2009 and 2014. Mulyanah’s husband, Agus R. Wisas, is a member of the Banten local parliament.



Tangerang Municipality is the only area in Banten Province that remains free from the domination of a single political family. Wahidin Halim served as mayor for two periods: 2003–2008 and 2008–2013. Moreover, Halim ran against Atut Chosiyah in the 2011 Banten gubernatorial election. In the 2013 mayoral election, he tried to continue his power via support for his brother, Abdul Syukur, as mayor (Cipta, 2013). This was not an easy choice for Halim because as the leader of the Democrat Party in Banten Province, he had to support his vice mayor, Arif Wimansyah, who was also a candidate from the Democrat Party. Halim attempted to hamper Arif’s candidacy by not presenting a permission letter to Arif’s running companion, Sachrudin (the leader of the Pinang District). However, Arif won the election and replaced Halim. Halim was then dismissed as the leader of the Banten Democrat Party. Banten was fertile soil for the rise of local political dynasties in 2009–2014. Banten provincial government and four of eight regencies/municipalities were controlled by the Sochib dynasty. Of those not under the control of the Sochib family during that time, three regencies/municipalities had their own local dynasties, with only one under genuine government rule. This is shown in Table 5.1 below.



Table 5.1. Domination of Political Families in Local Government Units in Banten (2009–2014). No

Local Government Units





Banten Province

Atut Chosiyah,


Sochib’s Daughter


Serang Municipalitiy

Khaerul Jaman


Chosiyah’s brother, Sochib Family


Serang Regency

Tatu Chasan

Vice Mayor

Chosiyah’s Sister, Sochib Family


South Tangerang

Airin Rachmi Mayor Diany

Chosiyah’s Sister in Law, Sochib Family


Lebak Regency

Iti Octavia


2nd Generation of Jayabaya Family


CIlegon Municipality

Iman Aryadi


2nd Generation of Jayabaya Family


Tangerang Regency

Ahmed Zaki Iskandar


2nd Generation of Iskandar Family

Source: Author’s own compilation.

Family dynasties also arose in other areas in Indonesia. In Bangkalan Regency, East Java, the family of Fuad Amin Imron dominated local government. Imron successfully transferred his position as regent to his son Makmun Ibnu Fuad in 2013. When his son became regent, Imron became chairman of the Bangkalan DPRD. As one of the functions of the DPRD is to control local government, the Bangkalan Regency was under the total control of the Imron family.



Between 2009 and 2014, local political dynasties were the main obstacle to democratic decentralization in Indonesia. As a dominant political power, they captured the power that came with decentralization and therefore hindered successful decentralization.

5.2. Assessing Democratic Decentralization in Jakarta Although Banten shares its border with Jakarta, their local situations were very different. There was no single-dominant political power in Jakartan politics. Jakarta’s citizens were well educated, active, and well informed. They had the ability to evaluate the candidates for governor and to vote freely based on their own preferences. Below is an assessment of Jakarta’s local politics based on the four characteristics of democratic decentralization (Crook and Manor, 1998). 1.!

(More) Competitive Political Parties As there was no single dominant political power in Jakarta, political parties were

more competitive than in Banten. In fact, Jakarta was a barometer for national politics, where there is typically a different winner every election. In 1999, the PDIP won the election in Jakarta, then the PKS in 2004, and in the 2009 election the Democrat Party was successful.



The 2012 gubernatorial election also showed how the political parties compete to place their cadre as Jakarta’s governor. There were four candidates from the political party coalition and two independent candidates in the first round of the election. Among them were the governor of another province (South Sumatera) and the mayor of a small city in Central Java (Surakarta). This shows how tight the competition was. However, after the first round, when the only two candidates going through to the second round were Foke and Jokowi, the political parties showed pragmatism. All of the parties (except Gerindra Party and PDIP) joined forces to support Foke for no clear reason other than alleged financial gain for such support (Bersatu Padu Untuk Doku, 2012). Thus, although political parties in Jakarta are more competitive, they still lacked ideology and direction.


(More) Professional Civil Service Since 2012, Foke had tried to improve the level of professionalism of Jakarta’s

civil servants by increasing their regional performance allowances (Tunjangan Kinerja Daerah). Based on this scheme, civil servants in the Jakarta government received the highest take-home salary compared with other civil servants in Indonesia (Kumorotomo, 2012).



However, the increasing income did not directly correlate with the civil servants’ performance. According to Jakartans, the quality of Jakarta’s government was very poor. Traffic congestion, flooding, poverty, unhealthy environment, unemployment and poor public services were the main problems by the end of Foke’s period (Puskapol UI, 2012). A survey on the integrity of public services in 2010 showed that four regions in Jakarta provided a poor level of public services, scoring 4.58 (south Jakarta), 5.44 (Central Jakarta), 5.44 (East Jakarta), and 5.45 (West Jakarta), which were well below accepted standards (KPK, 2010).60 Since being elected in 2012, Jokowi had also tried to improve the quality of public services. As governor, Jokowi conducted impromptu near-daily inspections of public services (blusukan). He was attempting to ensure that bureaucrats were properly serving the public. Jokowi tried to create a new professional culture among public servants. Under Jokowi, for the first time in Jakarta’s governmental history, there was merit-based testing for the selection of middle- and high-ranking bureaucrats, especially for the positions of district (camat) and subdistrict leaders (lurah), as they directly served the public. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 60


The scores ranged from 1 to 10, and the KPK minimum standard was 6.


In 2013, Indo-barometer conducted a survey on the new government’s performance. In almost all sectors, that is flooding, waste disposal, education and health services, Jokowi scored well. He received poor evaluations for public transportation and traffic congestions (Indo-barometer, 2013). During the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election, there were some efforts to mobilize bureaucracy to support the incumbent. However, this did not run as smoothly as it had in Banten because of Jakarta’s active civil society and monitoring by the media (see Chapter 4).


Free Media As the capital city of the Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta is not only home to local

media, but to most national media outlets. Thus, the dynamics of Jakarta’s local politics are easily disseminated nationally. Local issues, such as flooding or traffic congestion, often became of national interest. The freedom of the press in Jakarta was in stark contrast with the situation in Banten. The open information accessible to Jakartans ensured that they were well informed about the situation around them. They had adequate information to develop



their own political preferences. The rise of social media also became a new arena for information, with communication flowing via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. In 2012, Jakarta enjoyed the title of the province with the highest rate of internet users in Indonesia (at 66%). These internet users were typically young (58.4% were 12– 34 years old) and well educated (81.1% had at least a high school education) (Asosiasi Penyedia Jasa Internet Indonesia, 2012). Furthermore, social media became a new platform for political competition in the 2011 gubernatorial election. For a populist leader like Jokowi, social media played the role of a “representative institution,” effectively sending and communicating messages between politicians and the people. To support Jokowi in the election, some volunteers organized themselves as Jokowi–Ahok Social Media Volunteers (JASMEV). This was very effective because Jokowi aimed to target young people as potential voters (see Chapter 4). In promoting democracy, the free media played an important role. The media was a means to provide information for citizens and an arena in which to criticize the government. Free media was also important to prevent electoral fraud or the abuse of power by government.



In the 2011 gubernatorial election, examples of the mobilization of civil servants were reported by civil society organizations and exposed by the media. Therefore, it became more difficult for the incumbent to use government power for the sake of politics. If government power was used in such a way, the strategy could backfire, as it did for Foke when he made an inappropriate comment to the victims of a fire in Karet Tengsin. This statement was widely broadcasted via television reports and soon became a hit on YouTube and shared many times on social media. Thus, in that situation, the majority of voters were young, educated and with media access (especially through the Internet), and therefore possessed the ability to significantly undermine the incumbent’s image (see Chapter 4). The free media in Jakarta were an essential component of democratic decentralization. The media did not only feed information to ensure citizens were well informed, but it also prevented government and politicians from conducting fraudulent campaigns during the election; they helped to ensure the elections were conducted in a free and fair manner.



4.! (Greater) Culture of Accountability The culture of accountability in Jakarta was far greater than that in Banten. Media exposure resulted in greater care by both the government and politicians. However, sometimes they used such exposure to garner public sympathy or to promote their images. This could be seen when Prijanto resigned from his position as vice governor before the 2012 gubernatorial election. He made clear his disappointment in Foke via the internet and his book; he even gave a copy of the book to the KPK (see Chapter 4). A culture of accountability was also fostered because of an active civil society. Jakarta is home to many civil society organizations, and they play the role of government watchdog. For example, in 2012 the Indonesia Forum for Budget Transparency issued a press release that Jakarta is the most corrupt province with state losses of IDR 725 billion. When the Jakarta government purchased a fire-fighting vehicle, Pospera (People’s Struggle Post) openly criticized the government, claiming the price was too high: “One firefighter motorcycle costs the same as a luxury car” (Kurniawan, 2012) Once elected governor, Jokowi and Ahok made some effort to create a culture of greater accountability. They involved the public in certain decision-making



processes. For example, Jokowi held a public discussion about plans for Mass Rapid Transport, which was broadcast live on national television. A number of government meetings were also broadcast on YouTube via a special government channel (see Chapter 4).

5.2.1 Other Populist Leaders Populist leaders have also emerged outside of Jakarta, including in Surabaya (capital city of East Java) and Bandung (capital city of West java Province). They have a similar background to Jokowi: new figures in politics and with no strong roots to political parties. Trirismaharini (Risma), the mayor of Surabaya, was a career bureaucrat. She headed the city hygiene and development planning agencies before being elected mayor in 2010 (supported by the PDIP). Risma’s popularity is very high not only in Surabaya but also at a national level because of positive media exposure. Like Jokowi, she often lends her hand at solving problems in the field, and is not confined to her desk. She has also implemented successful changes in Surabaya to improve the environment. Risma successfully exposed the largest prostitution ring in Indonesia, located in Surabaya.



Additionally, she was named second runner-up in the world’s top 10 mayors by the City Mayor Foundation (Hidayat, 2012). Another populist leader is Ridwan Kamil, the mayor of Bandung. Before being elected mayor in 2013, Kamil was a prominent architect responsible for the design of a number of prestigious buildings around the world. He was supported by Gerindra Party and PKS despite not being a member of either parties. Kamil is very active in his use of social media (especially Twitter) to promote his policies in Bandung. He is also very popular nationally, frequently appearing in the media (e.g., national newspaper and television).61 The rise of populist leaders like Jokowi, Risma and Kamil is proof that successful decentralization provides a “training ground for politicians.” Thus, politicians with a good performance at the local level have the opportunity to be promoted to the next level.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 61

For example, the most prominent media outlet in Indonesia, Kompas, presented special online

coverage on Ridwan Kamil, Sepak Terjang Ridwan Kamil (Breakthrough of Ridwan Kamil); this was updated daily at



5.3. Future of Democratic Decentralization in Indonesia The lack of political party competitiveness, absence of a free media, the politicizing of bureaucracy and a lack of accountability meant that democratic decentralization was not successful in Banten. As the biggest political power in Banten, the Sochib dynasty was largely untouchable by law enforcement agencies. The dynasty embraced all law enforcement agencies through social funds and grants for their spousal organizations. The reign of the dynasty finally ended when the KPK arrested Chosiyah and Wardana. This started the momentum for other law enforcement agencies to act against corruption. Later, Karyawati (Chosiyah’s stepsister) was also detained by Banten Police in Serang. She was allegedly involved in corruption connected to the construction of a retaining wall for the Cibinuangeun River worth IDR 19 billion (Ridho, 2014). The law enforcement agencies working to shut down Chosiyah’s family dynasty was a strong sign for other local political dynasties in Indonesia. In Bangkalan, Fuad Amin Imron was arrested by the KPK for accepting bribes from a businessman over a gas contract when he was in office between 2003 and 2013. Later, Imron was charged by the KPK under money laundering regulations (“Ex-Regent Charged with Money Laundering”, 2014).



The collapse of political dynasties in Indonesia was also shaped by the implementation of local leader elections (pilkada). At the end of his tenure as president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (2004–2014) issued Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppus) Number 1/2014 to repeal two controversial laws that revoked direct election for local leaders. This government regulation (Artice 7q) requires that each candidate for regent/mayor or governor “does not have a conflict of interest with the incumbent.” Thus, “does not have a conflict of interest” means “does not have a marriage bond or lineage 1 (one) level straight up, down, to the side with the incumbent unless they have been interspersed for a period of 1 term.” This was a giant leap for the process of democratic decentralization in Indonesia. While a number of areas in Indonesia have been confined by the domination of particular families, Indonesia’s local politics are now heading in a more democratic direction. Comparisons with the neighboring Philippines show that Indonesia is moving forward. The Philippines has been in the grip of political dynasties for more than 100 years and there are no signs that this will change in the near future. An anti-political dynasty bill was introduced after the constitution was amendment in 1987, but was



never passed by Congress. The strong roots of political dynasties from Manila to rural areas make it very difficult for such laws to be established. Approximately 70% of the 15th Congress Members were family members of Filipino dynasties (Mendoza et al., 2012). Nevertheless, Indonesian local politics is not only characterized by political dynasties. Where political dynasties fall in some areas, populist leaders rise in others. Two years after being elected as Jakarta’s governor in 2012, Jokowi was elected President of the Republic of Indonesia in the 2014 presidential election. This was the first time that a leader with local political roots had advanced to become a national leader. The rise of Jokowi has been followed by other populist leaders including Risma in Surabaya and Ridwan Kamil in Bandung. The role of the media, both traditional and social media, has been very significant in the spread of reports on their positive performances as leaders. As populist leaders, these figures are often media darlings and are active in social media. Table 5.2 shows a comparison between the presence of requirements for democratic decentralization in Banten and Jakarta.



Table 5.2. Requirements for Democratic Decentralization Present in Banten and Jakarta, Indonesia (2009–2014) No




Banten Province

Jakarta Province

Party No political party competitiveness.

More competitive political

Competitiveness Political parties play a role as

party, even though still no

member of cartel, controlled by

clear ideology and program.

local political dynasty. 2

Free Media



controlled dynasty 3


Local local


media political





politics not only exposed by local





national media.


No professional public services.

More professional public

Public Services


service. There are some















bureaucracy since Foke era. In Gubernatorial election there were some efforts to mobilize



failed because control by media and civil society. In the new era there are some programs to make public service more professional. 4







More accountability culture.


The free media, active civil

government as well dynasty. Local

society participation and run

civil society organization and local



accountability culture better


culture. can



absorbed by local political dynasty



than other area.

through government grant and social funds. Source: Author’s own analysis.



However, the rise of the populist leader faces obstacles both from within and outside the administration to fulfill their political promises. From within, bureaucrats represent a significant problem for implementing good governance. For example, it was difficult for Jokowi to ensure that the lower levels of Jakarta’s government were working effectively. Thus, a key activity of Jokowi as governor was blusukan, conducting surprise inspections at public service offices to ensure the delivery of services to the people. Furthermore, Jakarta’s government under Jokowi was not free from corruption. During his time in office, corruption concerning the procurement process of TransJakarta Bus was exposed. The head of the Jakarta Transportation Agency, Udar Pristono, was allegedly involved in suspect purchases. He has been detained by the Attorney General’s Office regarding the procurement of faulty TransJakarta buses from China worth IDR 1 trillion. A budget was allocated to acquire 644 buses from China, but so far only 125 buses have arrived and less than half (IDR 400 billion) the budget has been spent. Out of the 125 buses currently in Jakarta, 15 have been found to substandard (Dewi, 2014). In conclusion, the comparison between Banten and Jakarta clearly shows that Indonesian local politics is on the right track. After 14 years of a decentralization policy



and struggles with local political dynasties, the emergence of populist local leaders raises some hope. However, the rise of populist leaders does not immediately produce good government. Thus, there remain several problems that must be addressed.



Chapter 6 Conclusion

6.1. General Conclusion It is expected that democratization at the national level in Indonesia will also encourage local democratization. However, decentralization has produced some mixed results. This research has compared two very different local political dynamics in Indonesia: political dynasty in Banten Province and populism in Jakarta province. These two cases are similar to those in another areas in Indonesia. Political dynasties do not only occur in Banten, but can be seen in Cilegon City and the regencies of Tangerang, Lebak and Bangkalan. Furthermore, the rise of the populist leader is evident beyond Jakarta, with examples in other urban areas such as the cities of Bandung and Surabaya as previously explained. The different regional characteristic of these two case studies produced different results for democratic decentralization. In the first case, local politics in Banten between 2009 and 2014 were dominated by a single family. They occupied not only provincial government, but also half of the regencies/municipalities in Banten. The dynasty then became a predator, seeking and using state resources for their own interests, and they



used governmental power for their own benefit. The examples of corruption involving grants and social funds show how the state budget was used to enrich the family. The Banten case also illustrated the clear absence of the necessary requirements for democratic decentralization. Instead of competing, political parties in Banten cooperated to support the dynasty. Thus, local parliament did not control the Banten government. Banten’s political parties essentially acted as a cartel to engage in rent-seeking behavior under the coordination of the dynasty leader. Moreover, the media was controlled by the dynasty. There was little opportunity for Bantenese to receive reliable information about Banten politics. Local media organizations were dependent on advertising revenue from both the government and the dynasty. Public servants tended to play politics rather than serve people. Bureaucracy was one of the most important political machines of the dynasty. The promotion of public servants did not depend on their achievements, but on their political support in political moments. The final requirement, a culture of accountability, was also absent in Banten. The dynasty penetrated Banten’s law enforcement agencies and a number of civil



society organizations. Furthermore, when such organizations did report alleged corruption to the KPK, no appropriate action was taken. The power of the Chasan Sochib dynasty decreased when Governor Atut Chosiyah and the dynasty leader, Chaeri Wardana, were arrested by the KPK and sentenced to prison. This became a clear sign for another law enforcement agencies investigating cases of alleged corruption by the family. For example, Lilis Karyawati, a member of the Sochib dynasty was prosecuted by the police on a number of corruption charges. However, Sochib family members were still successfully elected as members of parliament both at local and national levels in the 2014 elections. Thus, democratic decentralization must also result in societal changes, especially in the education and economic sectors. The rise of a single dominant power in the process of decentralization, such as the Sochib dynasty, only resulted in bad governance and corruption. At the end of 2014, Indonesia introduced a new law regarding the direct election of regional leaders. This law stated that the candidate must “not have a marriage bond or lineage 1 (one) level straight up, down, to the side with the incumbent unless they have been interspersed for a period of 1 term.” This law was a giant leap for local



democratization, despite the law’s restrictive reference to just regional leaders and not all political positions. In the second case study, Jakarta produced a better result. The majority of Jakarta citizens were young and educated. Thus, they were critical of the government and Fauzi Bowo`s (Foke) poor performance as governor. They expressed their disapproval by voting for Jokowi in the gubernatorial elections. Jakarta is characterized as a highly urbanized city, and one that is home to a heterogeneous population that is highly educated and with a low number of poor (relative to Banten). Furthermore, its citizens are bound by weaker social ties, and enjoy more autonomous and pluralistic political participation, assisted by high media literacy and independence. These factors created the opportunity for the rise of a populist leader via a free and fair gubernatorial direct election. The result was a positive outcome for the democratization and decentralization process. Joko Widodo (Jokowi), as an outsider to Jakarta’s politics, was elected as governor. Jokowi was received by Jakartans as both a person and a leader, one that was able to respond to the mounting issues and problems in Jakarta, including: (1) social breakdown and declining capability of the government; (2) corruption, entrenched



political traditions and poor image of political parties; (3) deteriorating economy, culture and society; and (4) demands for new forms of political representation outside of traditional political institutions, brought about by social media and mounting citizen engagement. Compared with Banten, a number of the requirements for democratic decentralization were present in Jakarta. Its political parties were competitive. Thus, local parliament tightly controlled government. In the 2012 Jakarta gubernatorial election, all political parties actively and genuinely campaigned for their leaders to be named as governor. In the context of professional public services, there was significant development in Jakarta. Foke began the process by awarding civil servants with an extra allowance to encourage good performance. Although the results of the policy are difficult to determine, Jokowi continued this strategy with some important breakthroughs including direct inspections of public service offices and employee testing to fill government positions. Furthermore, free media was an important feature in the move toward democratic decentralization in Jakarta. Jakarta was the home of local and national media and no single dominant power could control it. Thus, Jakarta’s issues and politics not



only became issues for Jakartans but also for Indonesians. The media could present critical reports on the government. In addition, the use and influence of social media has risen in the last five years. As a consequence, news and political rumors could quickly move among Jakarta’s many internet users (66% of the population). The use of social media determined who won the gubernatorial election in 2012. The above factors ensured cultural accountability in Jakarta, more so than in Banten. It was also fostered by very active civil society organizations; these organizations played the role of government watchdog. Together with the media, they not only monitored the government but also political events such as elections. Such engagement greatly contributed to enhance the quality of democracy. Jakarta’s new government introduced various policies to create a culture of accountability, including involving Jakartans in certain decision-making processes and using social media to ensure a level of transparency. Based on the two case studies, it can be concluded that Indonesian local politics is now heading in a better direction toward of democratic decentralization. There are law enforcement mechanisms to address corruption by political dynasties, a clear sign for other dynasties. Indonesia has also established a new law directed at controlling political dynasties (a law that surprisingly survived the parliamentary process).



At the same time, mainly in urban areas, populist leaders have emerged as successful politicians. They have demonstrated good performances and have received support from the public via the media. The rise of the populist leader has occurred not only in local politics but also at a national level. When Jokowi was elected president, the floodgates were opened. It is now possible for local leaders to become national leaders. The era of local political dynasties is over and there is now hope that populist leaders can transform their leadership into the realization of the promises of decentralization. In addition to improvements to the system (e.g., law enforcement by local law enforcement agencies and the anti-dynasty article in the local election law), it is time for decentralization to affect changes in society, especially through education. Such efforts must also be followed by the guarantee of a free media, active participation by citizen, enhance the quality of public services and improvements of political parties.

6.2 Suggestions for Further Research This research focuses on local politics in Jakarta and Banten between 2009 and 2014. Thus, many other possible political scenarios and research opportunities exist in other areas of Indonesia. For example, a thorough investigation into the local political



situation in Papua would be of some benefit—tribalism politics Papua clearly differ with those in Banten and Jakarta. This research studied the political process in contemporary Indonesia; as political change is constant, the political actors mentioned here will also be subject to changing conditions. Surely, further research is required to determine how political actors respond in different situations. For example, how will a local political dynasty deal with the new legal framework restricting the reach of dynasties? It will not be easy for a local dynasty to loosen its grip on local government, as this would mean a loss of valuable resources. However, such research would enrich the literature on contemporary Indonesian politics. Further research could also focus on political party behavior at the local level. As a main actor in the political system, the role of political parties in local politics should be better understood to support democracy. The rise of populist leaders from outside political parties also shows that there are serious problems in the recruitment and regeneration in political parties. Furthermore, the control of political parties by local dynasties in several areas shows a lack of independence. An investigation into the financing of political parties at the local level would be helpful. Last, research on the influence of local change on Indonesia’s new political sphere would also be of value. The new trend in Indonesian politics—the rise of



national leaders from local beginnings—raises concerns about their ability to deal with national problems. Thus, national problems are typically very complex, and the national leader not only needs to deal with national political actors but also with international players.




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