The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) seems to have found itself in the news lately. What with their members turning up in massage parlors, threats to prosecute Jaipongan under the porn law, and its support of the porn law itself, seem to contradict their stated appeals to be a more inclusive political party. In light of this I really did not know what to make of the PKS's Depok branch recent operasi valentine initiative , a program to deliver chocolates and flowers to young people in the hope that this largess will garner votes in the upcoming election. Now its a pretty cynical assumption on the critical powers of the electorate if you think that you can sway them with candy, but what really surprised me was the words valentine's day and PKS being mentioned in the same sentence. I thought that the PKS didn't like valentines day. Were they turning over a new leaf of was this whole operasi Valentine just another cynical ploy?
Miraculously my musings were answered today when the chairman of the PKS put the official kaybosh on the Depok chapters little plan. To quote party chairman Tifatul Sembiring “The plan has been aborted because the Shariah Council bans it. The reason is because [Valentine’s Day] is related to Jewish culture (wtf?? Jewish culture?). We would never celebrate anything that is not in line with Islamic culture..So it turned that the PKS Depok branch were not being cynical or inclusive - they were merely simpletons who acted on their own before checking with the big bosses. All of this begs the questions:
a) How can the PKS claim to be inclusive when their leaders repeated claim the contrary;
b) If their own cadres don't know what the PKS represents then how can they sell a platform to the electorate?
It will be interesting to see how the PKS fares in the upcoming election.
The PKS has their own site here (in indonesian)
Their mission statement along with summaries of other political parties can be found here (in english)
Jaipongan - A dance form from West Java