Sumbawa to revive sultanate, return to traditional values

People in Sumbawa regency, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), intend to revive traditional and Islamic values, as practiced during the previous Sumbawa Sultanate period.

The sultanate revival will be marked by crowning Muhammad Abdurrachman Kaharuddin, 70, as Sultan Kaharuddin IV on April 5, making him the 17th Sultan of Sumbawa.

The coronation ceremony would be attended by sultans and rulers from a number of provinces in Indonesia, said the Sumbawa regency secretary, Mahmud Abdullah, who is also the head of the Sumbawa sultan inauguration organizing committee.

“Yogyakarta’s Sultan Hamengkubuwono X is also scheduled to attend the event, along with rulers from Bali, Lombok and Timor,” Mahmud said at the Sumbawa Sultan’s residence.

He said the coronation will be carried out along the rites of former sultans. A series of cultural and religious rituals, including cultural performances, will be featured.

“The Sultan of Sumbawa will be inaugurated and take his oath at the Nurul Huda Mosque,” said Mahmud.

Tana Samawa Cultural Institute (LATS) head Diyanul Rayes said Kaharuddin had been appointed as the sultan at the Musakara Rea cultural conference early this year.

Based on the outcome of the conference, attended by a number of cultural figures, leaders and community figures in Sumbawa and West Sumbawa regencies, the people of Sumbawa intend to revive the sultanate concept to protect and preserve Sumbawa’s traditional values.

“Pak Muhammad Kaharuddin has been appointed the Sumbawa Sultan in the traditional conference, as he is the crown prince of the Sumbawa sultanate based on an authentic letter signed by 15 demung traditional leaders in the Sumbawa sultanate in 1941,” said Mahmud.

The Sumbawa sultanate stalled in 1975 when the 16th Sultan of Sumbawa, Kaharuddin III, Kaharuddin’s father, died.

The palace, located in Sumbawa Besar district, locally known as Dalam Loka, has been converted into a museum and the office of LATS.

Another building became the Wisma Sumbawa, managed by the NTB provincial administration, and the Sultanate Mosque became the Nurul Huda Mosque.

Kaharuddin, who will be the 17th Sultan of Sumbawa, emphasized that the Sumbawa sultanate would not be an alternative administration.

“This is purely to preserve Samawa cultural values. We will not meddle with political matters,” he said.

According to Kaharuddin, the sultanate, which he will devote himself to later, represents the Sumbawa community aspirations of working with the administration.

His obligations as sultan, he added, were input and recommendations on the administration, relating to development in Sumbawa.

“The sultan is not an alternative administration, but will work with the government and provide input and recommendations, such as developmental concepts based on our culture,” he said.

He reiterated that the sultanate concept would no longer propagate feudalism, but rather the development of Sumbawa society into a modern, religious democracy.

He said his policies and programs would focus more on preserving and developing the Samawa culture so younger generations could maintain the positive values they contained.


Panca Nugraha, The Jakarta Post, Sumbawa | The Archipelago | Tue, 03/22/2011

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