Rumor Has It: Political Turmoil In A Faraway Utopia



Should a newly-elected Regent weigh in a nonuniversal political interest?


Disclaimer: This article may contain unfamiliar situation, too narrowed coverage, even not an interesting case for some people.


Sumbawa Regent is signing a petition (image source: findonews)

The island of Sumbawa is nowhere and synonymous to utopia when it comes to political discourses. Even the most recent regency-level election held until the newly-elected regent commenced his assignment in office, it was never a news or yet not too astonishing to be broadcasted by national scale media. The only source I could discover was and is until now from locally-established online news portal, covered by local journalists. The other way, paying attention on Facebook timeline where fellow natives voluntarily expressed their political tendency in a non-formal manner. 

The island has been long time associated - in a careless defending word, judged - to unfavorable poverty, low human development index, to some extent, an insignificant player in national arena, resulting in unstaggering bargaining position. Not a surprise, even if national agenda could have diminished priority given to the local government in the island (in this case in particular, Regency of Sumbawa) against the favor of most of local's interests.

The most recent, a persona applauded by some fellow natives - or in the other rough assumption most of them - as a prominent representative and antithesis of the deliberate aid-needed locals, has made a national headline, one of few rare events. Fahri Hamzah (FH), the island-hailed figure, a politician who once successfully sat at high seat in a hierarchical political party he associated to, is now detached from membership of Prosperous Justice Party (in Bahasa abbreviated as PKS), an Islamist-line party who often comes up with controversial debate against pluralists.

The public reaction mixed, as seen on Twitterland and Facebook page, although some of them do not care about. However, the most striking concern is that how the people in his home island react to. 

In reaction to FH's political dismissal, the island's town of Sumbawa has expressed their dissatisfaction through an unusual demonstration. His sympathists gathered up, marched along the town's main street, occupied PKS-room in the House of Regional Representative, and turning stance against the party, a political organization once they were attached to. (This information is presented based on insight from FH's supporters' Facebook fanpage www.facebook.com/Kami-Bersama-Fahri-Hamzah)

More surprisingly, the newly elected Regent (HM Husni Jibril) also expressed the same feeling as he led the demonstrators signing for petition (source: findonews), giving a stance that he is disappointed by PKS's decision to detach FH's membership. The reason behind this is rather reflexive common sense, a brotherhood emotion, than a political rationale.

The question is, "Is it necessary for a newly-elected Regent to weigh in an nonuniversal political interest?". Given the people of Sumbawa he is representing is not entirely associated to PKS-party, the fact that there are some other people in the regency belong to other parties, independent and even not associated to any political party. Those people might put aside interest on this issue, rather they probably scream out their stomach that they might need food, healthy sanitation, proper education, medical aids, and other urgent basic needs for living. Why not he bother himself with people-oriented political agenda (tackling chronic social-economic issues) that every citizen in the regency can benefit from, those who voted for him and paid him with their taxes.

As a leader with immense authority governing majority part of the island, - a hidden treasure that might pay growing attention of outsider for its mesmerizing and beautiful landscape - the regent could start with a strategic development plan that every citizen can monitor, respond, participate and give feedback in a transparent and democratic way. Rather juggling himself with petition and support for one person, hundred of thousands in the island are waiting for a change, a real change initiated by the Regent.




2 Response to Rumor Has It: Political Turmoil In A Faraway Utopia

April 13, 2016 at 2:10 PM

I for one DO think this is an interesting article. (And for some obscure reason I think the author is in love with Sumbawa ;-) )

July 19, 2016 at 4:59 PM

i honestly don't know what turmoil means :D

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