Thursday, December 30, 2004

Monarchies In Modern Politics.

In the old days the Sultans and Rajas of Indonesia were seen as rulers put on the earth as such by God. A perception, which was also shared by the peoples in Europe.

Unfortunately not all of these monarchs fullfilled their royal/princely duty with dignity and dedication, at the time of the Indonesian independence struggle some were seen by the nationalists (later also an idea labelled on most of the Indonesian monarchs) as counter - revolutionists.

After Indonesia gained her total independence in 1949 most, of the monarchs were deprived of their real political power.

The (so-called) democratic representatives being human and thus not perfect beings were in the course of the time seen by the people as not always good representatives of their areas.

When some years ago it was politically right to speak more freely about political issues even voices were heard amongst the people of Indonesia that the old monarchs were not so bad at all, because they really tried to be a father/mother figure to their people.

Royal/princely power in Indonesia was always restricted by traditional rules,so were for a part dependent of the continuous support of their people.

In the mean time 2 new generations were grown up among which much thought,that monarchs were something of the past.

It is not really disliking by them but more a lack of knowledge.

Since local autonomy laws in 1999 the royal/princely dynasties were allowed to return slowly but surely in the social systems of Indonesia.Politicians began to see them also as persons,which had to be included into the new political system of Indonesia,to be sure of votes of the people,but also people began to reorientate partly on the monarchs,who at least always had remained as cultural centres of local culture.Unity in diversity(under the coats of arms of Indonesia:Bhinneka Tunggal Ika.).

Since the last elections of april 2004 in Indonesia some local monarchs returned rapidly and perhaps astounishingly into the political system of Indonesia. Some monarchs were already members of local government before 2004.

The coming to political power of the "traditional rulers"/monarchs in the political system of present Indonesia was from the highest political level until the more local levels.

New parliament system

To let represent the regions of Indonesia better in the national parliament a new legislative body was made:the House of representatives New Style.550 members were elected by normal elections.They were joined by the 128 members of the Dewan Perwakilan Daerah:the Regional Representatives Council.These members were elected not as members of political parties,but as individuals,although for a part (high)members of political parties. For each of the 32 provinces 4 members were elected for this DPD.Among them were 4 very high Indonesian royals.

For Yogyakarta area Sultana Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Hemas was elected. She is the queen of
Sultan Hamengku Buwono X of Yogyakarta (ruler since 1989),who is also Governor of Yogyakarta-area. By the way Pangeran Paku Alam IX of Pakualaman(ruler since 1999)is also vice-governor of this area. The Sultana was also seen on posters in Yogyakarta as a much respected person. She received 1/2 of the total votes in here!

For West-Java one of the 4 members was the crownprince of Cirebon-Kasepuhan (always a very central person in the network of Indonesian royalty);son of Sultan Dr. Pangeran Raja Adipati Haji Maulana Pakuningrat,SH(Gusti Sultan Sepuh XIII since 1969) the 39-years old
Pangeran Raja Adipati Arief Natadiningrat. He was the 2nd of the 4 W.-Java members.


Raja Muda Kuno said...

From North-Maluku province 2 rulers came 1st it was Sultan Haji Djafar Yunus Sjah of Tidore(crowned 1999),who is a political newcomer on the political scene.He can be seen as the representative of the more "pure kind of islam". Very interesting it is,that the 4th wife of his local political (and historical) "rival"; Sultan Drs. Mudafar II Syah of Ternate (crowned as Sultan 1986 and former chief of local parliament and House of Speakers); Sultana Dra. Nita Budhi Susanti;was also elected to the same parliament in Jakarta. Even with slightly more votes as the Sultan of Tidore. The Sultan of Tidore had played some years before a certain role in the temporary political correction of the Sultan of Ternate,who was seen as to much a to close friend of Christains, but also in fact to political ambitious.

The Sultana of Ternate (born as descendant of the Susuhunans of Surakarta on Java) is mother of 2 quite young children.The 3rd of the 4 Sultans of the N.-Moluccans; the businessman Sultan Gahral Adian Syah MBA (crowned 1996,or 1998?) was given a political price, when the Sultans of Ternate and Tidore were more or less fighting among themselves for a certain political goal. He became some years ago district ruler (Bupati) of Central-Halmahera (Halmahera-Tengah).

Raja Muda Kuno said...

Local "lower level" ... But also on the local level the monarchs came back. Especially this was seen on the island of Timor, where Indonesian traditions are very well preserved. Fettor Gideon Amabi (see photo, right) (18th ruler of Amabi);one of the member-monarchs in the Kupang Royal federation in West-Timor;a sincere religious royal;was elected as member of parliament of district (Kabupaten) Kupang. Probably his Ratu; from Java originating H.Y. Mintarningsih; will become one of the camats (sub-districtrulers) in which the remaning part of former Amabi-principality will be divided soon.

Usif (Raja) Drs. Theodorus (Olis) Taolin of Insana (installed as Raja 1991;already was camat of Insana before)became member of parliament of North Middle Timor (Timor Tengah Selatan). Usif Alfons Kono of Miomaffo(dynasty chief since 1986) was already member of that parliament for years.

Fettor Ir. Esthon W. Leyloh Foenay; MSi of Foenay (also one of the members of Kupang Royal federation;dynasty chief) tried to become as quite influential local politician in Nusa Tenggara Timur province; to become the new Governor (in which he failed).He is now the chief of the Planning and Development Department of the province.

Raja Muda Kuno said...

The highly respected Raja of Kupang; Usif Leopold Isu Nisnoni (also Liurai of Sonbai Kecil since 1992), who is seen as the representative of one of the 2 sub-empires on Timor-island; was asked to become some years ago as chief of the local branch of a national Christian democratic party, who was quite succesfull in that province. Because always filled with all kind of other activities, he chose to become one of the 4 vice-presidents.Later on he choose to focus more on charitable things, where his heart always is. This from his 12th until his 20th year lived King has a big international network, which he uses to promote his province outside the province, and also to accompany all the time all kind of international scholars,who are interested in the local history and culture.He is also much active to work in the process of explaining to the international political systems,that the oil rich Timor sea for instance was used in the older generation time also by West-Timor people (international boundaries!)

Drs. Daniel Banunaek (the silent pretender to the Rajaship of Amanatun) is from 2003 the Bupati of South Middle Timor(Timor Tengah Selatan).Pretender-Raja Prince Don Yesriel Y.Kusa Banunaek is important man in the local development-board of that area. Drs. Daniel Banunaek followed as Bupati of TTS Prince Willem Nope, brother of Usif Nesi Nope of Amanuban (Raja since 1980), who also became in 2004 member of the parliament of TTS.

Raja Drs. Mochammad Kinanggi of Kui on Alor island(also in NTT province;became heir of the Raja-dignity in 1959) was chief of the parliament of NTT in 2000 already. Shortly thereafter he got a light stroke because of the well-known all-Timor political problems at that time in West-Timor.I don't know, if he still is on this same high political level.

But also crown princes

Not all chiefs of dynasties in Indonesia are already installed as nominal-monarchs. In nearby province of Nusa Tenggara Barat ( Western South East Little Sunda-islands) there is the candidate-Sultan of Bima from Sumbawa-island: (heir to the dignity since 2001) is vice-president of the provincial parliament.
Pangeran Ratu Haji Winata Kusuma (installed as chief of the Sultan's dynasty officially in 2001 of Sambas/W.-Kalimantan) has plans to become Bupati of Sambas. He is now functioning on high political level.

The same kind of plans has the high political ambitious Pangeran Ratu Dr. Ir. Mardan Adiwijaya Kesuma Ibrahim of Mempawah (installed as Panembahan in 2002) (for Kabupaten Pontianak). (His father (still alive) Pangeran Drs. Haji Jimmi Muhammad Ibrahim (heir to the dignity since 1945 but abdicated as heir because of stroke)was vice-governor of West-Kalimantan province 1987-1991.

The titular-Raja of Badung-Pemecutan on Bali (not installed according to full tradition, so still crown prince technically;since 1986); Cokorda Ngurah Gde Manik Parasara (Dr. Ida Cokorda Pemecutan XI;SH) was chief of the Bali-branch of the earlier all national powerfull Golkarparty.He became intermingled in a case of the tragic death because of tradition reasons of a younger brother,so that he is now for a little time political out of the arena.

After a sede-vacante of 178 years in 2003 a new Sultan was installed in Palembang(S.-Sumatra):Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin III.

He was police officer and later also became member of local parliament,but had to give up later his police function,because a new law in Indonesia don't allow police - and military officials to be elected as civil members of national/local parliamants and other local governments.

In 2003 a candidate-Raja of Gorontalo in N-Sulawesi, Drs. Haji Medi Botutihe S.E, became the mayor of the quite large town of Gorontalo.

In the Banjarmasin (S.E.-Kalimantan)(once a very powerfull sultanate with influence stretching along the coast at least from N.E. present East-Kalimanatan via the south until the half of W.-Kalimantan)a candidate for the Sultan's dignity; Haji Ir. M.M. Gusti Khairul Saleh, is a very high official of the large town of Banjarmasin in irrigation and waterworks.

The Dewa Agung of Klunkung (before the most hierarchical powerfull dynasty on Bali,who were known before as Emperors of Bali and Lombok and who are heirs of the former Emperors of Majapahit,who had influence (in some times at least in theory)in the total area of present day Indonesia(and a bit beyond), Cokorda Gde Agung SP PK is member of local parliament of Kabupaten Klungkung.

Raja Muda Kuno said...

Longer list ...I could make my list longer with royal and princely persons, who were ruling before recently on high local level,or are still doing like a member of Raja-dynasty of Pelauw on Saparua,who was Governor of Maluku,member of Moutong dynasty in N-Sulawesi,who was 2003 chief of parliament of Kabupaten Donggala,the grandson of the last Magau of Palu,who is the present Bupati of Parigi-Moutong, a member of the Raja dynasty of Toli-Toli(middle -Sulawesi),who is mayor of the important town of Poso,a descendant of pre-war Magau of Sigi-Dolo and grandson of last pre-war Magau of Tojo,who is present mayor Palu(other important town in middle-Sulawesi),a member of the Sultan's dynasty of Serdang(N.-Sumatra province),who is the present Governor of N.-Sumatra,a vice-governor of Riau-island area,who is member of the heriditary vice-royal dynasty of Riau-Lingga,or a member of the dynasty of Pelalawan(Riau-area;Eastern-Sumatra),who is the present Bupati of Pelalawan, but that would make the list to long.

Temporary conclusion;:royals have the positive talent to really know their people.Their respect is/was grown in history.

But of course they can spoil that also:temporarily, or ... forever.

Raja Muda Kuno said...

When I was visiting the 4th Indonesian Royal Festival /Festival Keraton Nusantara IV in Yogyakarta in 2004/september I was surprised,that Majapahitdynasty delegation also was present there;a dynasty,who ceased to rule as Emperors of Majapahit nearly 5 centuries ago.But now I understand.The remnant of the Majapahit Empire was the Balambangan area,where descendants of the Majapahit Empire ruled until 1768,followed by members of the same dynasty/rulers of Balambangan as regents of Banyuwangi(with 1 interval)until 1889,or 1895 under Regent Raden Tumenggun Aria Soeringrono.
So not only on Bali arer descendants of Majapahit-dynasty left as monarchs,bit also in Banyuwangi area in East-Java.

Raja Muda Kuno said...

Majaphit dynasty also went on ruling in the dynasty of the rulers of Pamekasan in middle Madura until begin 19th century.
The rulers of (Sukadana-)Matan also were directly descended from a Majapahit ruler and even the Rajas of Soya on Ambon are descended from a close family of a former Majapahitemperor.

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