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Sandyka Ari Kurniawan – 016201700099 – IR French2 – Batch 2017

Conflict of West Borneo


In the case of ethnic conflicts occurring in West Kalimantan, Poso, Ambon and North
Maluku, we do not always have to see it as a SARA conflict. But far from it should be examined
in depth from the facets of other causes that eventually gave rise to the conflict of nuanced
SARA. These aspects are as much as the socio-cultural, economic, and governmental aspects.
For more details, we should reflect on some cases of communal conflicts in some of these areas.


The conflict that occurred in Sambas Regency actually involves three ethnic groups,
namely Malay, Dayak, and Madura. Before the arrival of the Madurese, in a regional, the district
of Sambas can be seen as two areas with different cultures. On the west coast there is the Malay
cultural area of Islam, as the dominant ethnic of the past centrally centered in the Sambas
sultanate. While in the hinterland (which is now the district of Bangkayang), which is in the
eastern part of Sambas district, is a region of Dayak dominated culture with egalitarian shades.

Both Malays and Dayaks are aware of the existence and dominance of the ethnic culture in their
respective territories, and mutual respect for it. Therefore the relationship between the two ethnic
groups is in a relatively harmonious relation and symbiotic pattern of mutual benefit. The various
immigrant settlers in Sambas district are aware of the two dominant ethnic cultures, and they
honor them by way of life in accordance with the various guidelines that apply according to their
culture and institutions, so that they tend to be like Malay or like Dayak, depending on where the
area where they live as immigrants. The Bugis, for example, tend to be as Malay and even Malay
as Javanese in Bandung. (Parsudi, 1972)

Madurese come and live in West Kalimantan since 1892. Before World War II, their social and
economic presence in West Kalimantan had no significance. Because, their numbers are small
and because of their low social position which is generally rough labor. In the present, prior to
the 1999 riots, Madurese lived in almost every corner of Sambas district, in villages and in urban
and sub villages. (Utami, 2015)
Madurese live in clusters among the Madurese. Madurese have a tendency to solve problems and
disputes by means of threats and violence. Unwittingly by all members of the ethnic groups in
Sambas, in this way of threat and violence, gradually the dominant culture of Malay and Dayak
in public places in Sambas is shifted and replaced by the dominance of violence from the
Madurese culture.

According to Malays, Dayaks, Chinese, Bugis, Javanese, Bataks and all members of the ethnic
group living in the district of Sambas, living in urban areas and living in rural areas, coexisting
with Madurese is only detrimental. Property loss or honor and self-esteem. The Malays felt that
the Madurese did not value their dignity as human beings and as locals, and Madurese also did
not look to Malay customs that they respected. Madurese have gained excessive profits
(agricultural lands and gardens, homes, monopolies of selling and business activities, monopoly
of stone exploitation and mining of gold, timber and other products) by fraudulent means,
threats, extortion , and violence in the form of mental terror and murder.

From this background, Suparlan explained that the violence that materialized is a product of the
relationships between the local ethnic groups. The various immigrants in Sambas have treated
themselves and the Malays or Dayaks as individuals. And, therefore, when the conflict occurs
among those who are immigrants with members of the Malay or Dayak community then what
happens is conflict between individuals. While the Madurese in Sambas always highlight the
ethnicity of Maduranya and not the people. They always live and work in groups as Madurese,
build social solidarity among their Madurese, and if there is a dispute between a Madurese with a
Malay or a Dayak then the dispute will always be settled by the Madurese group. (Abas, 2008)

Like the fire in the chaff, the traits of the Madurese who are intolerable eventually turn into
conflict. Social frustration is widespread and deep because it feels thattheir lives are fraudulently
dominated and arbitrarily and in a violent way by the Madurese have made the Malays only able
to grumble and complain. None of them, before the Malay-Madurese riots took place, dared to
challenge that domination. They just cheered in the heart during the Dayak-Madurese riots in
Sanggau Ledo in 1996-1997, where the Madurese were killed quite a lot.
What offended the Malay people from the attacking events in the village of SetiaParit by the
Madurese from the village of Sarimakmur was the shout of 'Allah hu Akbar' repeatedly echoed
by the attackers. The shout of 'Allah hu Akbar' was accompanied by shouts of "Malay Cracker"
and "Malay Kalah 3-0" (meaning the Malay people in ParitSetia village died 3 people and none
of the Madurese died or injured in the attack). This event was successfully reconciled, but the
Malays are still hurt because the Madurese have never apologized for their behavior. (Lindbalad,

The Malay youth incident burned the anger of young Malay youths and teenagers who could no
longer be controlled by their elders. At the same day they attacked and burned and destroyed
houses and shophouses belonging to the Madurese in the villages and suburbs in the districts of
Tebas, Pemangkat, and Jawai. A number of Madurese died and wounded, and recorded 60 homes
and ruins destroyed. Activities to destroy the Madurese and their homes and possessions
continued until 27 February 1999.

How to resolve it:

1. In the field of education should develop a pattern of teaching that is more focused on the
ability to appreciate pluralism and see it as a potential resource that needs to be preserved.

2. In the economic field there must be equality of development in all fields to eliminate social
disparities. The most fundamental thing lies in the ability of both central and regional
governments, opening up the widest possible field of employment to reduce unemployment and

3. In the political field, an active role of political parties is required to perform the regeneration
of intellectual, humanist, and pluralist values.

In the case of West Kalimantan riots involving Dayaks, Malay, and Madurese, the rise of the
Dayak and Malay primordialism arose because of the pressure of using violence by Madurese,
who had become their characteristic personality. The ensuing clash came after the violent
Madurese interacted or confronted the Dayak tribe incorporated in the "red bowl" social
movement, which also had a more violent character. Another case with the Malays. They are
essentially patient, but the "Lucky Trench" event has angered them and attacked Madurese along
with their identity attributes. In this case we can underline, the case of conflict in West
Kalimantan as a form of accumulation of the effects of the impact of failed migration byethnic
Madurese who did not successfully blend in the ordinances or habits of Dayaks and Malays who
have long lived side by side.
Abas, M. (2008, August). Konflik Etnis Dayak Dan Madura. Retrieved December 16, 2017, from Scribd:

Lindbalad, C. d. (2002). Roots of Violence in Indonesia. Leiden: KITLV.

Parsudi, S. (1972). The Javanese in Bandung: Ethnicity in an a medium Indonesian city. Bandung:
University of Illinois.

Utami, N. D. (2015, December 15). Konflik Budaya, Analisis Konflik Sampit (Etnis Dayak dan Etnis
Madura). Retrieved December 16, 2017, from vita24:

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