Prosperous and Justice Party (PKS) : An Overview of Their Competitiveness and Strategies after 2004 Elections

30 Nov

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Prosperous and Justice Party (PKS) : An Overview of Their Competitiveness and Strategies after 2004 Elections

Diposkan oleh Ahmad Dzakirin On 08.35
*Bachtiar Firdaus

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 Movement 
  1. PKS Background
PKS is based on the campus and school dakwah (the propagation/preaching of Islamic faith) movement which arose in the late 1970s and expand their  movement to NGO social service during 1980s-1990s base on adoption of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) strategy movement. After they  founded KAMMI (Kesatuan Aksi Mahasiswa Muslim Indonesia or Indonesian Muslim Student Action Union), as a one of “avant-garde” of student movement which took active role in the reformation movement during 1998s, they established their “new face” as a new political party, the Justice Party on July 20, 1998, with Dr Nurmahmudi Ismail as its first president. The Justice Party was reconstituted as the Prosperous Justice Party in April 2003 after the Justice Party failed to meet the required two percent of electoral threshold in the 1999 election that it needed to contest the 2004 election.

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.

  1. PKS Competitiveness and Strategies 
PKS’s competitiveness in Indonesia political condition were analyze base on Porter’s Diamond  framework which has been modified and focusing on PKS’s performance in which PKS develop their identity, resources, capabilities, and managerial styles. To sustain its competitive advantage, PKS requires good practice not only in their operational effectiveness, but also in their dynamic advantage that they must broaden and extend the basis of their competitive advantage by constantly innovate and upgrade their performance. The Porter’s Diamond consists of PKS factors condition; PKS strategy and rivalry; PKS demands condition; and PKS supporting and related institution as describes in Exhibit 1. PKS’s openness and stability were analyze base on modified J Curve framework which has been modified and focusing on the notion that PKS are stable either because they are open or because they are closed as describes in Exhibit 2.

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 Factors Condition 

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”.

PKS Strategy and Rivalry 

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 Openness

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.  

PKS Stability 

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.

During his leadership, PKS made several unique characteristic such as: it’s known of their peaceful and well ordered capability in organizing several big mass demonstrations which get more sympathize from public; they also actively engaged in the social activity and “search and rescue” programs such as flood, natural disaster, or accident like fire; and their also actively involved in Sharia implementation at several region like Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, Cianjur, Bekasi and so on.

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.

IV. Recommendation and Conclusion 

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:

1.    Strategy, the PKS leaders has to act quickly and decisive to get public acceptance and public confidence before 2009 election. Besides that, the PKS leaders should establish new internal commission which have strong investigatory powers and also work to prevent internal incompetence and ineffective activities, not just to find but punish those caught at being corrupt. They also have to work closely with PKS members to sustain their effort to take a leading role in Indonesia political in order to implement justice and give prosperous to Indonesian peoples.
2.    Structure, PKS should use of divisional organization form or matrix organization form which designed to react quickly and effectively to threats and opportunities related to its focus (e.g. to overcome PKS incompetent and ineffective management process problems). To achieve its strategy, PKS will focuses on three corresponding functions, which are the operation function which analyze, propose, implement and evaluate daily activities; the internal commission which carry out the vulnerability assessment and deal with it; and the community relation function which gather support and information from the public.
3.    Systems, to insure it’s clear and caring in the internal organization practices, PKS should conduct heavy rewards and punishment systems. PKS should establish renewable contracts of one year and make sure that renewal is base on effective performance of their executive and legislative members. Besides that, PKS should have internal commission unit that have power to scrutiny their officers to raise the risk of being caught and to reduce incentive to do incompetent and ineffective activities.
4.   Staffing, to get public’s support and confidence, PKS should recruit their executives, legislatives, and Central Board members base on solely of their capability (skills) and credibility (honesty and integrity). The new recruits of their executives and legislatives members should be inquiry to intense their background checks.
5.   Skills, PKS officers should be train by the expert from other “best” organizations including business organizations to study and to apply most advanced skills, techniques and equipments in dealing with management of modern organization.
6.   Style, to get involved in something as sensitive as the organization reforms, PKS leaders and officers should act as a truly professional (expert, skilled, and even certified) and work together with other PKS affiliate institutions and with PKS member in doing their job to impress and to get support from all of Indonesian citizenry.
7.   Shared Values, to fulfill its mission to reform PKS incompetent and ineffective management process, PKS should conceptualize their mission in three parts, which are they will raise the risk of being caught on corruption, they will recommend the reorganize of PKS bureaucracies to reduce opportunities of incompetent and ineffective, and they will raise the moral costs of being incompetent and ineffective. PKS also have to spread their anti incompetent and ineffective messages and values to the public with new jargon: “Clear, Caring, and Professional” through of mass media involvement including TV advertisement, radio programs, and special pamphlets.
To support the assessment above, there are several recommendations of PKS incompetent and ineffective management process reform to smooth its implementation base on 3C2M Framework, which are:
1.  Communications, do not forget to prepare information materials about the incompetent and ineffective management reform process in various ways: starts from policy briefs documents, policy options agenda, and press releases in multimedia to assure that their management process reforms can be recognize and get full support from  various stakeholders. To support communications in their management process reform,  PKS leaders should approach their officers, cadres, and members with transparency in providing sufficient background, its technical underpinning and the explanation of proposed management reforms.
2.  Champions, to introduce and get attention in their management process reform justification, PKS need credible spokespersons from various backgrounds including their top leaders, religious key person, prominent management process experts, outstanding “murobbi” (tarbiyah teachers), and even their nasyid (religious singer) stars. These champions can break the initial barriers to communicate their management process reform and to provide more complex and technical information.
3.   Coalitions, in every reform and change, there are supporters of status quo who feel their will lose in the management process reform. If PKS reformists do not prepare to make counter coalition to balance the status quo, PKS reformist will lose the management process reform. After PKS reformists made the management process reform coalition, it will help PKS reformists position in the dialogue and discussion about it. PKS reformists can offer the opponent of the management process reform to be part of the management process reform review committee. This can reduced the tension between proponent and opponent off the management process reform.
4.   Mobilizations, to support and maintain the coalition and management process reform, PKS need an imaginative and participative employment of advocacy groups including various task forces, advisory groups, and steering committees which can build consensus in each province and region. To boost the credibility and capability of the management process reform, PKS need to conduct various meetings such as conferences, seminars, public hearings, summits, consultations, and workshop. These events also can create good publication and public opinion to back up PKS position. 5.  Managements of Perceptions, to make management process reform succeed, PKS need assurance from their top leaders to always support management process reform. These can make mass media role easier in shaping public opinion to support the management process reform because there is unity of view of PKS top leaders.
Conclusion: PKS Role in the Indonesian Political Development 

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

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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


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