Prosperous and Justice Party (PKS) : An Overview of Their Competitiveness and Strategies after 2004 Elections
This paper provides an analysis on the PKS Competitiveness, their strategies and its interaction with the Government of Indonesia (GOI) using Porter’s Diamond and J Curve frameworks with effort to smooth and to sustain their policy reform process. In the first section, it will analyze the background of PKS movement and analyze their competitiveness and their strategies movement in Indonesia political world. The second part will examine the PKS interaction and their impacts to the GOI. The third section will give recommendation for the PKS activities in the future to overcome and to sustain the PKS movement and conclude their role in the Indonesian political development.
- PKS Background
During the 2004 legislative elections with Dr M Hidayat Nur Wahid as its second president (now is the Chairman of the MPR RI), using “clean and caring” campaign with their constant incorruptible legislators and their active involvement in providing community service, the PKS won 7.3% of the popular vote and 45 out of 550 seats, making it the seventh-largest party in Indonesia parliament. For the 2009 elections, with Ir Tifatul Sembiring as its third president, the PKS set their target to get at least 20 % of the popular vote legislative election which will act as a base to support its own president candidate in the presidential election.
PKS (also its former party: PK) declares from the beginning that their party is different from other party because PKS is “dakwah party” which means their primary goal is the promotion of Islam and uses it as a foundation of their policies . Besides that, they also states that PKS organization principle is “al hizb huwal jama’ah – al jama’ah huwal hizb” which means that the party is jama’ah (religious organization) and jama’ah is the party.
Different from other Islamist parties, PKS leaders have often spoken of their support for a society based on “the Madinah Charter”, an agreement between the Muslim community led by the Prophet Muhammad and the non Muslim citizens of the Madinah city. They believed that the Madinah Charter is preferable to the Jakarta Charter because it has been proven to work in a pluralistic society and provides guarantees for non Muslim citizens base on the same principles as a Muslims citizens like equality, rule of law, and justice.
- PKS Competitiveness and Strategies
Elizabeth Collins argues that PKS leadership has largely succeeded achieving good image as the party of moral reform while engaged in pragmatic politics and good choice as moderate Islamist party, but they have not yet found a way to extend their base to organized labor, peasants and unemployed poor. This paper will show that after 2004, her judgment about PKS success is not accurate anymore, PKS has change in terms of their decreasing image as the party of moral reform (as a result of their involvement in the ruling government); constant as a moderate Islamist party but has expanded their base to organized labor, peasants and unemployed poor.
PKS have a strong Islamic ideology which inspired from MB movements (especially their ideology and recruitment strategies) and they had about 500 000 members in 2005 with special characterized: clean, young, educated, loyal, and committed members. They also had broad organizations structure in every province and district in Indonesia and every “kecamatan” in Java. Differ fro other parties, PKS had many regular activities including continuous recruitment, training, development social and humanitarian service which not depend on election term cycle.
PKS members are known of their homogeny style as a result of their “tarbiyah” (refers to the Islamic education process in which PKS member join a small circles groups (halaqah) where they taught about the Islamic values and its implementation in their daily life including discuss party programs) activities and mostly have urban background as a result of their higher education, less in the rural areas.
Their organization weaknesses are: first, they tend to be a modern party organization but they do not use performance base and activity base costing in their activities. Secondly, their ideology has been perceived as transnational ideology which not base on Indonesian culture or tradition. Thirdly, they only have a little funding, mainly from members and only a little portion from private-public sectors. Fourth, there is little involvement of a new prominent person from outside party organization. As a result, they only have modest expertise to plan and implement their movement to the “real world”.
After Soeharto era, GOI regulation has been favoring democracy with permitting “multy party” model and “free press” in their democracy. There is competition between political parties with different ideology. PKS gain benefit from the weaknesses in others political parties which still deal with old problems: their corrupt culture; “traditional” party; and least activities (only have activities during election campaign). Compare to other parties, PKS relatively well organized in their “fighting programs” (program perjuangan) which change every five years following Indonesia election cycle.
PKS always has been suspect of their possibility to implement Sharia law to move Indonesia in the direction towards Islamic state. After 2004 election, PKS clear and caring platform has been diminish, not only because their involvement in the ruling government (where it took unpopular decision to raise fuel prices and its association with the GOI’s ineffectiveness and corruptibility), but also their zigzags towards governor, mayor or regent candidates election with no visible common political and no common standard track records background . PKS starting act as an opportunistic political party which supports anyone who might get into power.
PKS’s legislators and executives have weakness in making, implement, evaluate public policy concept. They tend to have difficulties in transform their Islamist and populist idea to be a bills, laws, and regulations. PKS also have weakness in making stable alliance with others institutions including Islamic base organization like Nahdatul Ulama, Muhammadiyah, Hidayatullah, and Persatuan Islam which perceive that PKS will take their “traditional” grassroots and infiltrate their institutions.
At the same time, PKS has more intense competition from other Islamist base organization like Hizbut Tahrir and Salafiy movements which tend to do the same mass recruitment in the schools and campuses that has been base of PKS movement’s. This condition has been worsen with terrorism issues and Islamist radicalism in which PKS still do not have clear position. Another issues is unity of others political parties especially nationalist parties to challenge PKS movement in the provincial and regional elections. The last but not the least is PKS less capability in dealing with mass media relation and public opinion which resulted in their decreasing image.
PKS Demands Condition
Again, after Soeharto era, Indonesian tends to have more demand to stop the “KKN” (acronym of Corruption, Collusion, and Nepotism) which benefit PKS as a new party who perceived consistent to fight the KKN. Besides that, Indonesian also tends to say enough to status quo element which again benefit PKS as a new party who consist of “new kids in the block” in the political arena. But these advantages can not easily combine to be a winning factor for PKS because they also have less capability to overcome the Indonesia social economic problem and have problem with their consistency in fighting the KKN. After 2004 election, massive publication about PKS legislators and PKS executives who succeed in fighting against corruption is not heard anymore, compare to its successive campaign about it before 2004 election.
PKS platform and program only understood by a moderate professional in middle class. Their platform also not been actively discuss in the public arena and challenge with other political parties platform. Except their intention to act base on Islamic values, their platform can only have little portion that really distinguished them from their competitors and rarely fought around the issues of fiscal policy and economic management that often dominate political debate in the West. Another challenge is “temptation” to tolerate other PKS members who became legislators and executives in the ruling government and to maintain stable alliance. At the same time, PKS social activities have been copied by other parties and institutions. As a result, to gain more voters and support from citizens, PKS need to act not only base on “charity” activities, but also “advocating” and “empowering” activities like continue to fight the KKN and be professional in their public roles.
PKS Supporting and Related Institutions
As a dakwah party, PKS had many direct or indirect affiliate dakwah institutions in campuses, schools, and many social services institutions in society which act as sources of recruitment and activities. Its ranging from KAMMI, LDK (Lembaga Dakwah Kampus or Campus Dakwah Institution) and LDS (Lembaga Dakwah Sekolah or School Dakwah Institution) which PKS only have indirect influence from its activist (they activist always change every years) to dakwah institutions like Khairu Ummah, Ma’had al Hikmah in Jakarta or Ma’had al Qud’wah in Depok which PKS have direct influence. PKS also controlled the student councils of many Indonesia’s largest and most prestigious state universities.
PKS also have many cadres and members who active in PKPU (Pos Keadilan Peduli Ummat or the National Humanitarian Foundation), BSMI (Bulan Sabit Merah Indonesia or Indonesian Red Crescent), JSIT (Jaringan Sekolah Islam Terpadu or Integrated Islamic School), and ISTECS (Institute for Science and Technology Studies) which spread across Indonesia. They not only use these dakwah network to provide social service but also used and continued to be used as the key in recruiting members for PKS.
Despite have affiliation with many institutions above, PKS only have a little and small professional organization and think-thank institutions which is not the case in other Islamist movement like MB in Egypt who have a lot of it. Their dakwah institutions mostly consist of homogeny institutions not heterogenic institutions, therefore its influence is limited. They also weak in the business network empowerment which base on professionalism not base on politics/KKN.
PKS membership is open to Indonesian but new member should oath to the God and to the Prophet to be a good activist in their activities. They also have non Muslim at their regional board in a largely non Muslim province like Irian Jaya, Sulawesi Utara and Nusa Tenggara Timur which demonstrates that PKS is tolerant of non Muslims and their right to express their views and be involved in politics.
As a cadre’s organization, PKS’s members should establish strong record of tarbiyah involvement, to service their community and also showing detailed knowledge of PKS ideology and policies. In the PKS tarbiyah process, the new members should start from anggota pemula (beginning member), anggota muda (young member), anggota madya (intermediate member), anggota dewasa (mature member) and anggota ahli (expert member) which each duration length process ranging from 2-5 years for each stage.
As a result of their tarbiyah process, it’s difficult to engage prominent persons into PKS because they have to start from the beginning. To accommodate this situation, PKS leaders established Dewan Pakar (Advisory Council of Expert for the Party) in February 2004 who is to advise the young leaders of PKS on political, economic and social issues . But the tarbiyah processes also have been concern of PKS leaders as a trade off between their position as cadre’s based party or as mass bases party strategies which can change and resulted in different form of their organization process.
As a dakwah party which have “al hizb huwal jama’ah – al jama’ah huwal hizb” as organization principles (it means that for the cadre’s, the party is their jama’ah/religious organization and jama’ah is their party), PKS is well known of their well organized by cadres. Their cadres will follow whatever their leaders decided to which known as “sami’na wa atho’na” principle (we listen and we obey), as long as it do not violate Islamic values which resulted in the militancy of their cadres.
Their highest institution is the Consultative Council (Majelis Syuro) which sets the party vision and elects the party’s Central Board, Majelis Pertimbangan Pusat and Dewan Syariah Pusat. Members of the Consultative Council are in turn elected by senior cadres called “core member” which reflects Lenin’s notion of “the democratic centralism” (whereby rank and file members are strictly subordinate to the leadership, decision making is to be central in formulation with rank and file members copying out orders received but higher bodies are to be democratically accountable to the membership at periodic meetings) to project the power of an ideological perspective into the political arena.
III. PKS Interaction with the GOI and Its Impact
Since founded, PKS and its former party PK, always uses massive dakwah movement in schools and campuses which resulted in new Islamic culture in Indonesia such as many young women wear long headscarves, many children study Al Qur’an and Islamic text and many men in PKS do not smoke. PKS is the first party after “orde baru” which use Islam as ideology. After 1999 election, despite its small votes (only 1.36 % of the vote), they actively involved in the “poros tengah” (central axis) which appeared to prevent Megawati becoming President and succeeded in making Abdurrahman Wahid as a President and Amien Rais as a Chairman of MPR. After that, in October 1999, Dr Nur Mahmudi Ismail was appointed as a Minister of forestry and resigned as a PK President and in their National Syuro on Mei 2000, PKS elected Dr M Hidayat Nur Wahid as a new PK President.
Based on that special characteristics combine with successful campaign of Clear and Caring jargon on issues of corruption and good governance proved by their legislative member and their executive minister (Dr Nur Mahmudi Ismail and Suripto in Minister of Forestry) during 1999-2004 era; their moderate views; also their ability to avoid major corruption scandals or internal party conflict; and their militant members active participation, during 2004 election they was the only party that contested in the 1999 elections who make major gains in the 2004 parliamentary elections, lifting its vote to 7.3 % to have 1100 member of legislative in central and local government.
After that, they involved in the “Koalisi Kerakyatan” which support President SBY and succeeded making Dr Hidayat Nur Wahid as a Chairman of MPR. In the Cabinet, PKS also get several ministerial position: Dr Anton Apriyantono as a Minister of Agriculture, M Yusuf Asyari MSi as a Minister of People’s Housing, and Dr Adhyaksa Dault as a Minister of Youth and Sport.
Recommendation for the PKS activities in the Future Based on analysis above, PKS problem tree analyses are describe in Exhibit 3. To overcome their challenge and problem above, there are several proposals for PKS management process reform to smooth and to sustain its implementation base on the 7-S Framework, which are:
To be effective in dealing with PKS incompetent and ineffective management process reform, PKS must have a high degree of fit or well aligned among these 7-C elements (internal alignment) that is each S is consistent with and reinforces the other S’s. Besides that, PKS also should stay aligned with their external environment including the GOI, other GOI institutions and Indonesian citizenry to get their sustain support to overcome PKS incompetent and ineffective management process problems.
*Alumnus LKYSPP, NUS, Singapore