The Kiai’s Power in the Oligarchy Power Vortex in the “City of Santri” Tasikmalaya’s Position and Role


Mohammad Ali Andrias1, Muradi1, Wawan Budi Darmawan1, dan Caroline Paskarina1

1Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia

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The presence of religious leaders (Kiai) who have the authority and resources to influence voters’ political views indirect electoral competitions is a feature of studies in the “Kota Santri” area. However, it is unclear if this religious elite serves as a local strongman or merely a political partner and is subordinate to other powerful local elites. Meanwhile, other powerful local elites with financial clouts, such as the Mayasari family of businesspeople, play a role in this region. Its funds form socio-political alliances with Islamic and nationalist party leaders and bureaucratic elites. The financial strength of this corporate family plays a significant role in determining governmental policies that serve their business interests and allow them to dominate lucrative economic resources in the region.

Researchers will uncover profound meanings and truths by employing qualitative research methodologies. Will use a collaborative research approach with various case studies to develop the hypothesis by demonstrating more facts and evidence. Local elites and community groups serve as research analysis units. Interviews, observations, and research documentation are used to acquire data. Triangulation techniques are used to validate research data.

The findings of this study refute numerous studies conducted in Tasikmalaya, claiming that the Kiai’s charismatic leadership symbolic and cultural influence can influence people’s political opinions in electoral politics. In truth, the Kiai’s potency is restricted to the community-level network. It is impossible to use power as a decisive factor in selecting political direction or candidates for government political office. The Mayasari entrepreneur family, on the other hand, plays a prominent power role as a local strongman. In local politics, the Kiai’s role is confined to that of a political partner and the family’s subjugation in the struggle for regional power and boosting the electability of the Muslim community’s voice.

Keywords: Local Strong Businessman Family, Oligarchy, Kiai