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The colonial municipal council in Padang (Sumatra) as political arena.

The experiment with administrative decentralization in Indonesia started with a new law that was enacted in 1903. The European civil servants believed that this law would protect their position, and they did not foresee two processes that were to gradually undercut this very position. First, the citizens in the municipal councils seized the opportunity to acquire a real degree of autonomy. Secondly, the council became a platform where the Indonesian members voiced their grievances from the 1920s onwards.(1) After the Dutch colonial era, and in particular during the Japanese period and the years of Guided Democracy, the municipalities lost most of their leeway for formulating an autonomous policy and devising budgets to the central government. Now, starting with Law 5 issued in 1973, the New Order government of Indonesia has again embarked on the path of administrative decentralization.

During the last decade or so researchers have shown a growing interest in the Indonesian municipality. William Frederick makes occasional remarks about the municipal administration in his study of Surabayan society.(2) In a pioneering study of Batavia, Susan Abeyasekere shows how the municipal administration there favoured the European citizens. Large sums of money that benefitted the European population were accepted in the budget by the council without debate, whereas smaller amounts for kampung improvement, from which Indonesians would profit, evoked heated discussion. The Indonesian councillors vigorously promoted the interests of their ethnic group, but were regularly outvoted by the European majority. Abeyasekere explains the disproportionate European representation on the ground of their tacitly assumed social and intellectual superiority.(3) James Cobban came to a similar conclusion for Semarang, where kampung improvement was eventually undertaken because the squalid hygienic conditions threatened European citizens. The Indonesian residents found that the many regulations were nothing but a nuisance, and therefore they resisted the abolition of kampung autonomy and the encapsulation of the kampung into the municipality.(4) Jan-Michiel Otto gives an overview of the administrative structure of the municipality of Bandung and then vividly describes the emancipation of the Indonesian members of the council from compliant yes-men to assertive critics. He focuses on one debate during which Councillor Ratulangi demanded that more funds should be spent on kampung improvement. Ratulangi commanded respect for his skill in debating, but his proposal was nevertheless rejected by the European majority.(5)

Despite these highly valuable articles, there are still reasons to undertake further research. Firstly, the Law on Decentralization allowed room for local variation in the implementation of the law. For instance, Padang differed from most towns in the sense that for a long time it had neither direct local taxes nor a mayor. Secondly, the above-mentioned articles may leave some misconceptions, to wit that the municipalities enjoyed autonomy from the start; that the Chinese always followed the European vote; and that Indonesian emancipation and kampung improvement were the main political items.

The topic of this article is the administration of the colonial municipality in Indonesia, in particular of Padang between 1906 and 1942, from the time the town became a municipality till the occupation of Sumatra by Japanese forces. The central question is how politicians played the game in order to get their way in the municipal council. I wish to emphasize that a great many political activities took place outside the municipal council will not be dealt with here. Moreover, my discussion focuses on decentralization in Padang and does not deal with Minangkabau modernism or Chinese nationalism in West Sumatra.

The first decade of the municipality has been described in a special report.(6) The primary source of information, however, has been the Dutch language newspaper Sumatra Bode. The Sumatra Bode provides more extensive reports of the meetings of the council than other dailies; it covers the whole research period and an almost complete set has been retained in Dutch libraries. In a comparison between the newspaper reports and the few surviving minutes of the meetings of the municipal council, the newspaper was found to give virtually complete accounts.(7) The Sumatra Bode used a "tropical style" (tropenstijl), which means that it followed the administration critically and happily exposed administrative abuses. For information and editorials about important events I have checked journals with Minangkabau and Chinese editors for divergent opinions, but unfortunately these journals paid little attention to the municipal administration.

In the rest of this article, I will set out the historical and regional context and give an overview of the pecuniary problems of the municipality before turning to the actual topic of this article, the politics in the council. I have analyzed this political arena with the help of F.G. Bailey's old, but still useful, game-theory, though I will not always refer explicitly to his concepts.

The Padang Council in the West Sumatran Context

For those who are not familiar with West Sumatra a brief historical sketch may be helpful. Padang became the principal port on the west coast of Sumatra because the Dutch colonizers made it their headquarters, and during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries strangled the trade in other west coast ports. In the early nineteenth century the Dutch subjugated the hinterland, in what they call the Padri War, and forced all trade to and from the Highlands to pass through Padang. In the period under consideration, Padang had become a transport hub, on which roads, railways, and shipping lines converged. Its main function was the export of cash crops, coal, and cement. Although Padang fared fairly well, it had gradually been outpaced by its more prosperous rivals on the east coast of Sumatra: Medan and Palembang. In 1930 Padang was the third town of Sumatra with a population of 52,000 souls, of whom 66 per cent were Minangkabau; there were substantial Chinese, European, Niasan, Tamil, Batak, and Arab minorities.(8)

Padang was a multi-cultural society, but the rest of West Sumatra, particularly the Highlands, was clearly the homeland of the Minangkabau. The Minangkabau, who are well known for their matrilineal kinship system, belong to clans which are subdivided in lineages and sublineages. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the Minangkabau world was very dynamic with the old tension between adat (customary law) and Islam, now further complicated by commercialization, new economic opportunities, and growing economic inequality.(9) The social processes resulted in the Tax Revolt of 1908, the Kaum Muda reformation, the communist uprising of 1927, and the nationalist movement. Of these the Tax Revolt had little consequences for the urban life.

The Kaum Muda (the "Young Group") initially wanted the restoration of the "true" democratic Minangkabau adat of the Highlands in the coastal area, where clan heads had developed aristocratic pretensions. The ideal of democratization went hand in hand with a modernist vision of progress. The Kaum Muda soon also adopted a religious programme, aimed at purifying Islam from mystical practices. Initially, Datuk Sutan Maharadja was its leader, but after 1910, when the Dutch dismissed the Regent in Padang from his semi-hereditary position and the Kaum Muda began to develop into a Muslim reformist movement, he changed sides. Dt. St. Maharadja then became leader of the Kaum Tua (the "Old Group") consisting of traditional teachers of Islam and clan heads. The Kaum Tua, ideologically committed to the notion of social harmony, sought cooperation with the Dutch in order to contain the social changes wanted by the Kaum Muda. The Kaum Muda - Kaum Tua conflict aroused a lot of tension in the Minangkabau world until Dt. St. Maharadja's death in 1921.(10)

In the 1920s members of some Muslim organizations began adopting communist ideas. The centre of the communist activities was in the Highlands, although there were communist-inspired strikes in Padang too. An uprising which has been the focus of extensive research broke out in 1927, but was crushed at once. In Padang there was only one belated assault and forty bombs were discovered. Political activities resumed in the 1930s. Several nationalist parties, most importantly the Permi (Persatuan Muslim Indonesia, the Union of Indonesian Muslims), the Partai Sarekat Islam Indonesia, and the PNI-Baru (Pendidikan Nasional Indonesia, known as the New PNI because its initials intentionally echoed those of the defunct Parti Nasional Indonesia), were active in West Sumatra. These organization were banned in 1933 and their leaders were imprisoned in Boven-Digul.(11)

The leaders of these political groups - Kaum Muda, Kaum Tua, communists, nationalists - rarely used the municipal council as a forum in which to express their ideas, and preferred, for instance, the Ganting mosque. They discussed fundamental political issues, or planned action, and were not interested in the problems of urban management, involving such mundane matters as the annoyance caused by dogs or dust in the street. Conversely, the council of Padang, which after all served a plural society, was not very concerned with the events that were considered to be the internal, political affairs of only one ethnic group, albeit the biggest one in town.(12) Minang-kabau politicians of national stature, such as Mohammad Hatta, Sutan Sjahrir, Tan Malakka, and Haji Agus Salim never occupied a seat on the Padang council. It is no wonder that in the extensive literature about Minangkabau society in the late colonial period the municipal council is not mentioned.(13) I will, however, pay special attention to those occasions on which municipal and Minangkabau politics did touch each other.

The Municipal Budget

In 1829 the idea of decentralization was launched as a means to relieve the central government in Batavia of the financial burden of the towns.(14) Nevertheless, towns were still financially dependent. The municipality of Padang had to acquire an autonomous financial base if it were to operate independently from the central government. In the beginning, the revenues consisted of a lump sum from the government together with the rodigelden, retributie, and subsidies. The amount of the government lump sum was fixed annually by Batavia and remained more or less the same until the Depression.(15) Rodigelden were payments made by indigenous residents to buy exemption from their corvee labour duties on the roads; the rodigelden had to be spent on roads only. Retributie were for payments services rendered, like the establishment of the alignment. Subsidies were funds given by Batavia outside the regular budget for large infrastructural works like building a flood-channel and repairing severely damaged roads.(16) Rodigelden, retributie and subsidies were all earmarked for specific purposes, so only the lump sum from the government allowed Padang the possibility to initiate any policy of its own, but even for this lump sum Padang was dependent on the central government.

Soon the municipal administration sought additional funds to give itself more financial scope. Potential new sources were surtaxes of a certain percentage (opcenten) on the state income-tax and property-tax, local taxes, earnings from public undertakings, and, outside the regular budget, loans. Most citizens abhorred the idea of new taxes, and this was an on-going controversy between ambitious administrators, wanting to strengthen the tax-base, and the council. For a long time the European majority in the Padang council successfully warded off surtaxes and direct local taxes. The European councillors favoured indirect taxes instead. The most important indirect tax, on entertainment (movie-shows and football matches), placed the burden on the common people, of whom the majority were Indonesians.(17) These taxes were all the more profitable, because the central government doubled the taxes levied by the local administration.

As Padang did not impose surtaxes at first, the local administration had to look for another source of revenue. It accidentally found this source in public undertakings. In 1907 the poor sanitary conditions in a private Chinese slaughterhouse spurred the municipality to establish an abattoir of its own. The council was quick to draw the conclusion that the municipality must have a monopoly in order to make its slaughterhouse really profitable. It was only for technical reasons that it was not until 1912 that the municipality bought an abattoir, and passed the by-law which gave it a monopoly.(18)

Although the returns from the slaughterhouse were modest, this marked a major shift in policy, for after this initial step Padang would depend more and more on its public undertakings. In 1917 the municipality bought the central market from a private firm and then used its administrative power to acquire a virtual monopoly in order to assure a big profit. The next step taken by the municipality was to construct public utilities, like electricity and waterworks, with the dual aim of improving living conditions and increasing municipal revenues. For more than a decade the administration turned down several private applications for a concession to supply Padang with electric power before it started the Municipal Electricity Company (Gemeente Electriciteits Bedrijf) in Padang in 1922. The electricity company was an instant financial success. Waterworks were put into operation in 1927, but remained a problem and never came out of the red.(19)

Padang contracted several loans for these enterprises, f 1,910,000 in total between 1917 and 1929. The government lump sum in these years was f 74,000 per annum.(20) In 1923 the municipality seemed about to succumb to the towering interest and the repayments of the big loans, when the government reduced the lump sum for Padang and it was discovered that the books showed a mistake of f 137,000. However, the financial crisis turned out to be much ado about nothing, when the public enterprises proved to be healthy.(21)

It is worth having a closer look at the decision-making process to develop waterworks, because waterworks are very important in themselves, and they became a major theme in Padang politics. At the beginning of the century people got water from wells in their gardens, artesian bores and the river; short pipes had been laid from the ten separate artesian wells to make some extra hydrants.(22) Although this state of affairs had been deemed unsatisfactory for sanitary reasons since 1912, nothing was done about it, probably because of lack of both funds and real interest. On 26 July and 2 August, 1923, two conflagrations ravaged the business district and could not be extinguished by the fire engines because there was no water available. After this disaster it became impossible to get a fire insurance in some parts of Padang, and import firms provided wholesalers in areas of high fire-risk with only small amounts of cloth in advance. This state of affairs crippled trade. In a joint meeting of the municipal council, the Chamber of Commerce, and leading trading firms, the Chamber argued in favour of the provision of waterworks. The municipal administration agreed with the need for waterworks but rejected the idea of private exploitation.(23)

In 1925 two financial institutions offered the assistent-resident and chairman of the municipal council, Ch.Chr. Ouwerling, a loan, but demanded a quick decision. However, to make the waterworks, to be fed from artesian wells, profitable, the connection of houses to the mains would have to be obligatory.(24) The headstrong Ouwerling, urged on by the financial institutions, put the councillors under pressure to approve the measure. The obligation to be connected to the mains became a political issue which also attracted the attention of the citizens themselves, stimulating them to write letters to the editor of the Sumatra Bode or to the Governor-General.(25) The main argument put forward in these letters was that the waterworks would be advantageous to the firms with an interest in insurance premiums (that is, the rich Europeans and Chinese), while the common Eurasian (and Chinese) men had to bear the heaviest burden as they formed the majority of the people who had to be connected. Furthermore, as many people used wells in their own gardens without problems, the need for the waterworks was not greatly felt, and doubt was cast on the expected quality of the water. Ouwerling, who had to quell the doubts in the municipal council, even published an extensive refutation to cool down the public uproar, and, as was found out seven years later, held back information from a government report which was negative about the use of artesian wells.(26) Eventually, under the pressure of Ouwerling and the influential councillor and entrepreneur, W.P. Veth, the council gave in and decided to accept the loan for the waterworks.

After the waterworks had been put into operation with a fire hydrant every 100 metres along the pipes, the sceptics were soon proved right. The artesian wells did not supply enough water and by 1929 the situation had become precarious. What is more, because of the low pressure in the pipes, dirt entered the water from the soil and it did not meet the standards for drinking.(27) Under these circumstances it was impossible to enforce obligatory connection and people were trapped in a vicious circle: poor quality prohibited the forced connection; lack of subscribers caused deficits; deficits made it hard to invest in improvements; without improvements the quality of the water remained poor. From 1929 onwards there were discussions about how best to improve the water quality and the profitability of the waterworks. Time and again the technical suggestions spurred on a renewed discussion in the council and the newspapers about the topic of the obligatory connection, which was never realized.(28)

Padang differed from other municipalities in the absence of surtaxes and its heavy reliance on public undertakings.(29) During the Depression, when the government stopped paying lump sums, the councillors of Padang congratulated themselves on their ability to draw on a fairly stable income from their enterprises, whereas other towns were thrown back on declining surtaxes. For several years the Padang administration managed to balance the budget, which was drawn up according to the financial scope allowed by the expected profits. Nevertheless, the profits of the public enterprises gradually declined, and by 1937 it was apparent that direct taxes had finally become inevitable. Now the procedure for drawing up the budget was reversed: first it was established what needed to be done, and then it was decided where to look for funds. In this way surtaxes were introduced at the end of 1937.(30)

The financing of the municipality of Padang had consequences for those who carried the financial burden. The long postponement of surtaxes and direct local taxes was an advantage to the well-to-do. The indigenous townsmen continued to pay the rodigelden. The money which the administration earned from the slaughterhouse and the marketplace came mainly from Minangkabau and Chinese butchers and petty traders. Most of the persons connected to electricity and water were European and Chinese residents, but they were also the ones who profited from these utilities. Electricity and water were at first only supplied along the main roads and in the Chinese ward, and not in the common kampung. The conclusion is that the poorer people, in particular the indigenous citizens, had to bear a disproportionate burden of the municipal costs. The reliance on public undertakings not only put the heaviest burden on the lower economic strata, but also hindered municipal works which did not pay for themselves, like kampung improvement. Spending on kampung improvements increased after the introduction of surtaxes.

The Rules of the Political Game

The game-theory of F.G. Bailey is a fruitful theoretical tool with which to analyze the question of how the politicians tried to get their way.(31) Bailey sees politics as a competitive game played for a prize. A political structure is a set of rules for regulating competition, and stating how to play the game. Normative rules are general guides to conduct and determine what is fair play. Pragmatic rules recommend tactics; they are about the most effective line of conduct for winning, regardless of whether that conduct is normatively right or wrong. The distinction between normative and pragmatic rules is that normative rules can be used publicly to justify a line of conduct.

Critics have remarked that Bailey unjustly presupposes one single normative system embraced by all; some parts of society have these norms forced upon them, and alternative norms might exist alongside the dominant norms. Bailey's theory is best suited for arenas with fairly well regulated rules understood by everybody.(32) This criticism confirms rather than denies that game-theory is suited to our present analysis, since the council had clear norms of conduct. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that the political culture was Dutch, which put the Indonesian councillors at a disadvantage. Indonesians were used to a decision-making process of deliberation until consensus was reached and had to adjust to a system in which, after some debate, majority-votes were taken.

Certain rules, which also applied in Padang, can be deduced from the debate in Bandung in which Ratulangi excelled.(33) A councillor had to speak eloquently to earn the attention of his fellow councillors. Sound arguments from Indonesians could be ignored by the European majority, but the Europeans did have to come up with arguments to legitimate votes in their own interest. No matter how big the difference of opinion, the discussion was held according to strict procedural rules, and the debate should preferably end in harmony.

Some of the normative rules in Padang were about who was allowed to join the political game. The electoral system reserved a number of seats for certain racial categories. The European, Chinese, and indigenous groups were allotted thirteen, two, and four seats respectively in the Padang council in 1906; and ten, two, and five after 1917.(34) Europeans were thus assured of a majority, the indigenous residents were grossly under-represented, and Tamils and Arabs were excluded completely. General elections were held at varying intervals, but by-elections recurred very often because the councillors, who were mostly civil servants or employees of trading houses, were frequently transferred and had to be replaced.(35) Enfranchisement was limited to males aged 23 or more, who were assessed for a certain income tax, had a certain mastery of the Dutch language, and answered some other minor criteria. The suffrage excluded all women, youngsters, poor men and Indonesians without a western education.(36)

Initially, both the civil servants and the citizens who constituted the council were uncertain about the roles that they were allowed to play according to the formal normative rules. The chairmanship of the council and the executive of the municipality fell to the assistent-resident, the head of the district of which Padang formed a part. The assistent-resident played a double role as the representative of the central government in Padang and the foreman of the municipal council. Usually he, assistent-residenten always being male, gave priority to the interests of the central government, for instance, when the council disagreed with Batavia about which government, the local or the central, owned the public roads.(37) The assistent-residenten, who before 1903 could disregard the opinions of citizens, had to learn to take notice of the council. P.L.Ch. Lesueur, for instance, refused to ask advice from the legislative committee of the council on a proposed by-law which he had drafted himself, considering any advice "superfluous".(38) The behaviour of Ouwerling, who withheld information in the discussion about the waterworks, is another example. The councillors also had to learn to claim their rights. The first member to realize this was a lawyer, J.J. Smits, who once withdrew from a committee in protest because the assistent-resident ignored the committee's advice without explanation.(39)

In Bailey's view a political structure can be encapsulated in a higher-order political structure. This higher order structure provides both resources for political action and puts constraints upon this political action. As far as the Indonesian municipalities were concerned, the higher- order structure was, of course, the national government in Batavia (and eventually the Minister of Colonies in The Hague). As we have seen, Batavia provided an important part of the budget and laid down many rules for the council (about the composition, the elections and so forth). The Governor-General's "Advisor for Decentralization" monitored all municipal administrations and the Director of Justice had to approve new by-laws.

The councillors in Padang had to learn to take an independent stand from Batavia. In 1912 Councillor A.E. Simon Thomas proposed the reclassification of the entries in the annual budget. When the assistent-resident objected that the entries were classified according to guidelines from Batavia, Simon Thomas rightly stated that it was not necessary to follow all the suggestions of Batavia slavishly.(40) In an extended conflict between 1916 and 1919 Padang tried to have a by-law concerning building regulations accepted by the Director of Justice, who refused his approval as long as some amendments had not been made. In the end the council asked the Governor-General to arbitrate. The latter managed to persuade the council to adjust the draft in line with the Director's wishes. This episode was unnecessarily prolonged by the hurt feelings of the architect of the by-law, Councillor M.A.H. Harthoorn, towards the Director of Justice and his personal adversary in the council, Simon Thomas.(41)

The above-mentioned draft concerning building regulations was drawn up according to examples from Bandung, Magelang and Amsterdam.(42) This shows that other municipalities also formed part of the environment of the Padang council. The municipalities were united in an association (Vereeniging voor Locale Belangen), founded in 1912, that studied urban problems and defended municipal interests against the central government. The urban affairs were discussed in a special journal, Locale Belangen, and in a beautiful book published on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the oldest municipalities.(43) The association also organized the so-called "Decentralisatie-congres", that each year addressed one particular problem of interest to the local administrations.(44) Padang was no trendsetter and took good note of what happened in other towns, especially in progressive Semarang, although Padang did take the lead when it sounded out other municipalities about the possible legalization of brothels.(45)

Bailey indicates several ways to change normative rules. Competition becomes a fight when the objective is no longer to defeat opponents within the accepted normative rules, but to replace one set of normative rules with another set. One pragmatic rule is that if a player or actor cannot win a competition by the existing rules, he must introduce a new rule in order to take the other party by surprise, and thus competition becomes a fight. Normative rules can be changed more peacefully when there is a growing number of pragmatic breaches in the norm, so that the norm gradually loses its validity. When the ratio of pragmatic to normative rules reaches a critical point, the normative rules can no longer be sustained and must be adjusted to the new situation. However, it is also possible to bring the situation into line with the old norm and put an end to pragmatic violations.(46)

In Padang the primary normative rule was that it was not done to "politicize" issues, that is, to defend the interests of any one group. The pragmatic rule held that politicizing was allowed, as long as it was not admitted in public. Here we see a clear difference between Bailey's normative rules, which can be professed in public as fair play, and pragmatic rules about how to win a game. The assumption that the common interest of the whole citizenry was served already seemed naive to some contemporaries, who acknowledged that the members of the municipal council could not but politicize in their own particular interests.(47) The Sumatra Bode used the municipal heraldic device Salus populi suprema lex ("The welfare of the people is the supreme law") as ironic commentary on meetings. The rule against politicization was eroded step by step with the formation of electoral associations, the emergence of political parties, the holding of preliminary talks between party members leading in the end to joint voting by party members and to coalitions between parties.

Electoral Associations and Conflicts between the Council and Its Chairmen

During the first decade councillors were elected as individuals, a process consistent with the idea that the most competent citizens took care of the benefit of all. The council was then dominated by rich Europeans of the trading firms, as the suffrage excluded the less than well-to-do.(48) Gradually the council became an arena for overtly organized groups. Returning to game-theory for a moment, Bailey states that the political game is played by teams of leaders and supporters. Teams with supporters who are united by a shared ethic or ideal form a moral team, while supporters bound by hopes of practical gains are a contract team. To maintain or expand his group, a leader must reward his supporters with scarce resources. The size of a group can be extended beyond a leader's resources by a bureaucratic organization, which is stronger than moral and contract teams. A leader can also expand his base by seeking allies.(49)

The 1916 decision to establish the Volksraad, a national advisory body that was expected to be more politicized than any previous organization in the country, encouraged the creation of electoral associations in Padang. In 1917 a branch of the Nederlandsch-Indische Vrijzinnige Bond, which advocated a gradual development towards self-government, was founded. The next year the Padangsche Kiesvereeniging was founded to defend the interests of the permanent European residents in Indonesia, who were mostly the Eurasians. The two associations did not have clearly differentiated political programmes; their memberships partly overlapped and included Indonesians. They did little more than nominate candidates for the council and in this they proved highly successful: all fifteen seats contested in 1918 were won by candidates nominated by one or the other of the electoral associations, whereas all eight independent candidates were beaten.(30)

The Padangsche Kiesvereeniging formed a challenge to the dominance of the trading firms. The changing balance of power became apparent in a controversial by-law that forbade the storage of copra in residential areas; the councillor Simon Thomas, director of a trade firm, argued in vain that no measures should be allowed to stand in the way of Padang's development as a big trading town.(51)

In 1919 the Nederlandsch-Indische Vrijzinnige Bond and Padangsche Kiesvereeniging were succeeded respectively by branches of the Politiek Economische Bond (PEB), which would not play an important role in Padang, and the Indisch-Europeesch Verbond (IEV) both founded on national level in that same year. The IEV did not aim to serve the interests of all permanent residents, but was explicitly for Eurasians, and as such reflected a weakening of the rule that councillors must work for all citizens. Initially the IEV was an electoral association, and it only gradually developed into a party with a political programme; eventually it even became a social organization at the local level with balls, races, and a youth and women's department. In the 1920s the elections for European seats were dominated by the IEV, for Eurasians formed the majority in the electorate. However, the IEV and trading firms made a pre-election pact to share the seats.(52) The pre-election alliance was effective and at most elections the seats were uncontested for many years.

Put in Bailey's terms, an important change in the teams playing occurred between 1917 and, say, 1920. The trading firms, which dominated the council during the first decade, formed a contract team, with elements of a moral team. The firms were united by joint practical interests, like being allowed to have copra-stores in all areas, supplemented by some ideals like loyalty to the Dutch queen. A leader like Simon Thomas was not assured of support and was beaten in the 1918 election. A bureaucratic team entered the arena with the IEV, which was better organized and attracted a stable following.(53) IEV councillors could feel assured of being re-elected. The bureaucratic organization of the IEV, and later parties like the Vaderlandsche Club and Indische Katholieke Partij, guaranteed continuity despite the frequent postings of the members to other towns.

At first sight, the generosity shown by the IEV by entering into a pre-election pact is surprising. The electoral system, in which votes were counted separately for each seat, would have enabled the IEV to sweep the board with its adversaries if it had so wished. Possibly, the IEV was constrained by the norm against politicization but, following Bailey's line of reasoning, a more plausible explanation is that the dividing line between those out of and those in power did not cut through the council itself, but ran between the council and its chairmen. In that situation the IEV had more to gain from seeing the trading firms as allies in a broad coalition. Party politics came to the forefront later after the chairman of the council had been cut down to size in the late 1930s.

In the 1920s the main concern of the council was to get a grasp on municipal affairs. The rise of the IEV coincided with the appointment of a series of headstrong assistent-residenten, like W.A. Hovenkamp, who confronted the council with faits accomplis by presenting them with prepared decisions. At the first sign of resistance Hovenkamp called the councillors to order and adjourned the meeting.(54) Hovenkamp was succeeded by the ambitious Ouwerling, who also took policy-making into his own hands, pushed through the waterworks, and argued in vain for a surtax. During Ouwerling's term, the most opposition came foremost from the councillor S. Osinga, who argued that Ouwerling could not lead the council as he held the double function of chairman and member of the civil service; the solution would be to have a mayor, who had no other tasks outside the municipality, and was expected to be less subservient to Batavia.(55)

In 1926 the government approved the appointment of a mayor for Padang, and on 23 November 1928 the first mayor, W.M. Ouwerkerk, took office.(56) For the council this appointment seemed a great step forward on the way to autonomy from the civil service, but it proved a disappointment. Ouwerkerk and the council held divergent opinions on a mayor's function, which made clashes inevitable. The councillors viewed the mayor as the chairman of the council, which was the major institution of the municipality; Ouwerkerk believed that he was the executive whose role was to keep the council out of daily affairs. Ouwerkerk's character - he was energetic, ambitious, vain, and autocratic - did the relationship no good.(57)

Ouwerkerk used four tactics, not all within the accepted rules of the game, to exclude the council from policy-making. First he spent funds not budgeted for and the councillors rightly remarked that in this way their right to approve the budget was being circumvented. Secondly, he convened the council as little as possible, and bypassed committees. Councillors repeatedly asked Ouwerkerk to call more meetings, and committees had to insist on being consulted. Thirdly, councillors complained that Ouwerkerk shelved unwelcome decisions made by the council. Fourthly, by adding topics to the agenda at the last minute, Ouwerkerk attempted to take the council by surprise, for example, on market plans and surtaxes.(58) When he had to discuss matters, Ouwerkerk tried to play the councillors off against each other by pre-arranging things with committees or, later, aldermen. The mayor frequently put proposals voted down before back on the agenda and, tried to win over the council by speaking verbosely about topics under discussion.

The advisory function of the town planner Thomas Karsten is an extended case, which shows how the game was played by both sides. It is important, as Karsten has left his traces in Padang to this very day. Ouwerkerk was very enthusiastic about Karsten's abilities and his status as a developer of major cities, whereas the council feared the high costs of an external consultant might make a surtax necessary, when the head of the municipal public works could do the job just as well. This controversy about Karsten developed into a battle of competencies.

Karsten's involvement with Padang started in 1930 when Ouwerkerk sent him a small reallotment plan for the mayor's house for correction. When this came out, members of the technical committee of the council complained that they had not been heard, but still glossed over the matter.(59) In May that year, before he opened the meeting formally, the mayor asked those councillors who had already come in whether they liked the idea of inviting Karsten to draw a plan for the market area. The councillors present approved of the suggestion, but this informal decision already carried in it the seeds of conflict. The councillor W.A. Uiterwijk warned the mayor not to incur expenses for the market as there had been no formal decision regarding the matter. In November, however, the mayor got formal consent and Karsten visited Padang for the first time in May, 1931, to draw up this plan for the market area.(60)

The councillors, who held two meetings with the town planner, were impressed not only by Karsten's capabilities, which were beyond dispute, but also by his high fees, especially during the Depression when it was hard to balance the budget. The mayor, who had proposed a permanent consultancy but sensed that the council would not consent, stated angrily that two councillors who were pro-Karsten "understood the matter, while the others did not wish to see it as it was". The proposal to make Karsten an advisor was rejected by thirteen votes to two. The emotional aspect of this meeting was clearly revealed again in the next meeting, when the mayor and councillors raked over the old ground when they had to approve of the minutes.(61)

A new issue put Karsten back on the political agenda: the central government wanted to install a provincial government for the whole of Sumatra, and Padang was in the race for capital. The indefatigable mayor started negotiations with Karsten about a building plan and only got the consent of the council after the fact. The significance of becoming the provincial capital justified the expense: the visit of the famous town planner not only served practical purposes, but it had propaganda value as well for Karsten's advisorship was a prestigious fact in itself, which enhanced Padang's chances of becoming the capital. The technical committee of the council insisted on being involved and prepared a list of 91 questions to get their money's worth.(62)

Karsten paid an extensive visit in March and April 1932. Apart from the long list of questions prepared by the technical committee, Ouwerkerk had asked Karsten's advice on one additional topic, for which the municipality was charged extra. This did not go down well. Councillor W.L.J. Huyer insisted that the mayor should pay the extra charge out of his own pocket, for he had asked this advice without the consent of the council. Huyer's anger was fuelled more by the mayor's high-handedness than Karsten's bill. As mutual trust had now completely evaporated, the technical committee held preparatory meetings at Huyer's home, and the next month the quarrel escalated into a frontal collision during two meetings, one secret and one public, where outright insults like "maniac" and "Raging Roland" (Razende Roeland) were exchanged. Huyer, as chairman of the technical committee, reproached Ouwerkerk for acting in such a high-handed fashion in so many matters, of which Karsten's consultancy was just one example, and demanded that the mayor delegate some of his responsibilities to the technical committee. The cocksure mayor refused: a committee from the council could not become part of the executive and he felt that the council had seized the opportunity to tackle the mayor. By 1 vote to 12 the council decided not to make the mayor pay the additional bill, but to refer the whole affair to the Governor-General.(63) After the mayor had thus been forced to eat humble pie, he subsequently asked advice of the technical and financial committee.

In 1933 the design of the townhall and new market plans became the next issue for which Karsten was commissioned. The fact that Karsten was once again invited shows that the clash of the previous year had been more an issue of the competencies of the mayor and the council than about the consultancy of Karsten. In 1934 Ouwerkerk was on leave in the Netherlands and the council, led by the deputy-mayor, M. Passer, simplified Karsten's design of the townhall in order to lower the building costs.(64) Upon his return, Ouwerkerk assembled the technical and financial committees and pressed them to accept Karsten's expensive original design after all. For a long time, in order to carry out Karsten's original plan as far as possible, Ouwerkerk did not call the plenary council. The original design was carried out quickly, grossly exceeding the budget of f 85,000 by about f 30,000.(65) Ouwerkerk achieved a tactical victory in this round by playing the councillors off against each other. First, he won over the committees by deliberating with them after he had neglected them so often; then the committee members could not let the mayor down when resistance arose in the plenary meeting; by postponing a new meeting he presented the council with a fait accompli and circumvented the council's right to approve the budget.

The affair of the market played its part parallel to the problems about the townhall. Karsten had been assigned to elaborate his earlier sketches for the market-area, with the provision that an agreement with the council about his honorarium still had to be reached. During Ouwerkerk's leave, the council cancelled the idea of elaborating the market plan. After his return Ouwerkerk stated that the assignment could no longer be withdrawn. He attempted a coup by putting this issue on the agenda at the last minute, so that the councillors could not prepare themselves. The council refused to be taken by surprise and demanded time to study the matter. However, on further reflection, the councillors had to admit that even though the honorarium still needed to be negotiated there was indeed a contract.(66) In 1938 Karsten was finally given the assignment of permanent advisor for a term of four years with a twelve-day visit per year.

Until the salary affair of 1936, with which I shall deal shortly, the controversy with the mayor and the front against Indonesian claims united the European parties. The last year in which the European parties co-operated smoothly was 1935, when Ouwerkerk was on leave and the council was led by the deputy-mayor, Passer. Before we go on with the phase of party politics, I shall map out the course of the Indonesian emancipation which had steadily been gaining ground.

Emancipation of the Indonesian Councillors

The first Chinese councillors remained quiet; they were well-to-do, and their positions were more or less protected and articulated by the rich European councillors. However, in 1924 Yap Gim Sek, chief editor of the daily Sinar Sumatra, was elected to the council, defeating the candidature of the captain of the Chinese.(67) Yap Gim Sek became spokesman for the ordinary Chinese, which opened the way to an alliance with other councillors speaking for the masses. For example, when Ouwerkerk proposed a moderate surtax on income and the Minangkabau councillor, Mohamed Taher, asked for a surtax of no less than 25 per cent to replace the rodigelden, Yap Gim Sek supported Taher. The latter explicitly said that in previous discussions about a surtax only rich Chinese, who were against it, had made their voice heard, but that he spoke for the majority of ordinary people, who liked the idea of the surtax. The surtax was rejected, with all European councillors against and all indigenous and Chinese councillors for it.(68) This joint indigenous-Chinese voting was a remarkable event.

As has already been said, the social and political events that upset Minangkabau society did not become big issues in the municipal council. Nevertheless, there were sometimes clear echoes perceptible in the council. Until 1917, indigenous councillors were appointed by the government, and these councillors were usually subservient civil servants and clan heads. At first the Minangkabau councillors, like some of their Chinese counterparts, could not follow the discussions which were held in Dutch, let alone speak for themselves, and when it came to voting, only the nub of the proposal was briefly translated for them without the considerations. One of the Minangkabau councillors was the Regent, who voted "appropriately" (begimana patoet), which meant as the assistent-resident wished.(69)

The first Minangkabau councillor who dared to speak up was Dt. St. Maharadja, the leader of the conservative Kaum Tua, who has been referred to earlier. He was appointed in 1909 (when he was still in sympathy with the Kaum Muda) and stayed a member until his death in 1921. Dt. St. Maharadja was a strong supporter of the colonial government and, for example, urged the council to spend a lot of money to celebrate the centenary of Dutch independence (after the Napoleonic period) "as all indigenous residents were pleased with the Dutch overlordship". This led a Dutch councillor, Z.H. Kamerling, to remark that he could not consider him the spokesman for the indigenous community. Indeed, sixty Minangkabau residents, no doubt Kaum Muda followers, wrote a letter to the council asking it to dismiss Dt. St. Maharadja.(70) Dt. St. Maharadja did not bring up matters related directly to the Kaum Tua in the council. The Kaum Muda did not hold a seat in the council.

During the first decade the Indonesian interests were expressed better by enlightened Dutch councillors. In 1912 a bizarre debate was held about the maximum penalty for speeding. The proposed penalty was a fine of f 100 or eight days in prison for Europeans, and f 100 or eight days forced labour for indigenous residents. One European councillor commented that eight days convict labour for indigenous residents was a milder penalty than eight days in prison for Europeans and suggested an amendment to raise the maximum penalty for indigenous residents to one month of forced labour. Dt. St. Maharadja supported the suggestion to increase the penalty to a month, but a European majority rejected the amendment. Two months later the discussion was reopened by a letter from the governor of West Sumatra who disapproved of the "low" penalty for indigenous offenders. Kamerling seized the opportunity and remarked, in direct opposition to the governor, that f 100 did not have the same value for European and indigenous people; he proposed lowering the fine for indigenous residents to f 50. Eventually the penalty for indigenous residents was settled at f 100 or 30 days forced labour.(71)

From 1918 onwards, indigenous councillors were elected and as a consequence they became more representative and took better care of the interests of their own group. As a rule the elected councillors were professional men rather than civil servants: doctors, lawyers, engineers, and editors or reporters for periodicals. The journalists especially stepped into the breach. Their power-base in the electorate was different from that of the European councillors. It seems that the indigenous councillors were, in Bailey's terms, leaders of contract teams, in which the followers had little in common and only gave the leader support in return for rewards.(72) The councillors built up a clientle from their broker position. Accordingly, they were more often visited at home by citizens with requests than were the Europeans.(73) To retain a following, these broker-councillors put particularistic issues forward in the council,(74) but, as the indigenous councillors were outnumbered by the Europeans, the brokerage often failed and the councillors quickly lost credit among their following. This is what made the election for indigenous seats so fierce and lively? Even a brilliant politician like Roestam glr. St. Palindih suffered a defeat when he stood for a second term.

According to Bailey, a leader of a moral team has more credit than the leader of a contract team, because moral rewards can be handed out without being lost to the leader. The instability of the position of the indigenous councillors can be taken as indirect proof that they were not leaders of moral teams bound by ideals like nationalism or Islam. Indeed, it was explicitly stated that they did not stand as candidates on behalf of national Indonesian parties.(76)

The only indigenous councillor with a professed party alliance was Noerdin Rasad, a member of the Sarekat Islam, an organization of Muslim traders. In 1920 sellers of vegetables went on strike on instigation of Noerdin Rasad when they had to move to a smaller market hall. The short-lived strike was discussed in the council, where Noerdin Rasad had no rejoinder to the Dutch councillors' accusations.(77)

In 1926 Roestam Effendi entered the council on the communist tide. He was a Minangkabau, born in Padang in 1903, who worked as a reporter and a teacher. In his maiden speech in the Padang council, Roestam Effendi was the first person to ask fundamental questions about the administrative system that virtually excluded Indonesians from any influence. He also called the municipality a usurer because of the exorbitant rents it demanded for market stalls.(78) He had obviously communist sympathies, but whether or not he was a party member is unclear. He was not arrested after the failed uprising of 1927 and apparently was not involved in it; nevertheless, he left the council soon afterwards. It had been a good training ground for him and later he became member of the Dutch parliament for the communist party.

As already mentioned, the nationalist parties did not try to enter the council. Nevertheless, the councillors in Padang were clearly inspired by and had contacts with nationalist leaders in the Volksraad, like Haji Agus Salim and Mohammed Yamin. In 1929 Councillor Mohamed Taher asked to be allowed to read out a speech in Malay, in which he stated that Europeans only came to Padang to get rich, and had no feelings for the poor. The speech caused a commotion because of the contents and the deliberate and self-confident use of the Malay language. One month earlier a Malay address had passed unnoticed, as on that occasion Mohamed Taher had not explicitly asked permission to speak in that language.(79) Later the use of Malay became more common, which was tactically unwise, since not all Dutch councillors understood that language.(80)

Several indigenous councillors played an especially important role in the emancipation of their people. I have already mentioned Roestam Effendi and Mohamed Taher. The first of these champions was, however, the Batak medical doctor Abdul Hakim, usually referred to as Hakim for short, who was elected councillor in 1921 and held office until the Japanese invasion, except for an interlude of three years. He probably had a relatively stable group of backers because of his profession and his chairmanship of the first Minangkabau football association; he was also active in the Adabiah, an organization that owned schools in West Sumatra. His co-operative stand towards the Europeans (and his membership of the Freemasons), and loyalty to the indigenous people made him popular in both groups. He was important, not so much as a defender of Indonesian interests, but because his person was perfectly acceptable to the European councillors, so that the latter grew more inclined to listen to Indonesian councillors in general.

The most effective politician was Roestam gelar Soetan Palindih, the Minangkabau editor of the journal Radio, and a councillor from 1933 to 1938. In contrast to the harmony preached by others, he overtly said he did not regret conflicts, for "it is exactly the struggle and tension that draws us closer together".(81) This admirable politician revealed something of his sharply analytical and strategic insight in his political testament when he left the council: Roestam stated that the common good had indeed been his aim, but every group gave this concept a different meaning, so that it was hard to find the universal common interest in the middle. Decisions were taken by majority votes, and therefore every group strove to form a majority. As the indigenous councillors were always outnumbered by Europeans, Roestam realized that as a first step they should close ranks and form a bloc (fractie); their unity was not ideologically founded, but based on preliminary consultation, forced upon them by the organization of the European councillors. As a second step, the indigenous bloc had to form a coalition to gain a majority.(82) Roestam managed to carry out this strategy at times. His position in the bloc probably became stronger when the experienced but moderate Doctor Hakim temporarily left the council. Roestam kept strictly to the pragmatic rule that one must profess adhering to normative rules to legitimize one's deeds in public; part of this was his unshakeable politeness. Roestam played a great role in the politicization of the Padang council by the formation of blocs and coalitions.

With the wisdom of hindsight, historians have focused their attention on radical forms of nationalism. More moderate, co-operative nationalists, such as the Indonesian councillors, also deserve attention and admiration for they too had to struggle hard and with courage to promote the Indonesian cause.(83) The indigenous councillors put forward many proposals advancing Indonesian interests, for example, demanding the employment of indigenous officials in the middle ranks of the bureaucracy, and that the obligation for expensive fire-proof roofs be dropped for indigenous residents, and asking that the electricity network be extended into the kampung. Most of these requests were voted down by the European majority.(84) As far as their own position was concerned, on at least three occasions the indigenous councillors demanded that the number of seats on the council be increased. One small victory was the election of Abdul Hakim as second deputy-mayor in 1931.(85) Two recurrent items in the 1930s were the abolition of rodigelden and kampung improvement, but the councillors never achieved any great results. The humiliating rodigelden were at last halved in 1937. From 1931 on, the indigenous councillors used the opportunity of the annual talks on the budget to put forward the issue of kampung improvement, which then basically meant the improvement of roads and ditches.(86) Small sums were eventually made available.

The Development of Overt Party Politics in the Padang Council

The story of Karsten and the awakening Indonesian emancipation has brought us ahead of other developments in party politics. In 1929 the political spectrum in Padang was broadened by the establishment of a branch of the Dutch-nationalist and conservative Vaderlandsche Club (VC), founded in Surabaya that same year, which was not prepared to give up any European privileges. The VC councillors were mostly Dutchmen born and raised in Europe (so-called totok) and employed by trade firms with headquarters elsewhere. The same year the moderately conservative and Roman Catholic Indische Katholieke Partij (IKP), founded in 1918, entered the council for the first time, with a less clearly delineated interest group. The three European parties, IEV, VC, and IKP agreed to an electoral pact in which the IEV would get five seats plus one for the independent Eurasian senior councillor, M. Passer (who gradually grew more conservative), the VC would get two, and the IKP two, one of whom ought to be sympathetic to the IEV. Some VC members felt that they had not got a fair share, but realized that in a state of open conflict with the IEV they would be crushed.(87) The electoral pact informally ensured a system of proportional representation, which reflected the actual distribution of votes fairly well.(88)

Meanwhile, the IEV had gradually developed from an electoral association into a political party, whose delegates formed a bloc of councillors who acted jointly on behalf of their party. Their voting behaviour in the municipal council was coordinated in preparatory meetings. On one occasion in 1933, when the obligatory connection to the waterworks was raised once more and the talks took an unexpected turn, the IEV bloc stated that the new situation had not been foreseen and asked that a decision be postponed until the next meeting of the council in order to consult the IEV leadership. This was obviously against the norm that councillors should vote according to their own conscience without a mandate, but the respite was granted. At the next meeting the preparatory deliberations of the IEV appeared to have been muddled, which led to a debate among the IEV councillors about what actually was the party line, to the amusement of other councillors.(89) It was now crystal clear that the IEV had been "politicized" contrary to the norm, a state of affairs that was exposed by its adversaries in farewell speeches (politieke testamenten) when the VC councillors C.H. Pownall, Huyer, and H.I. Prive, obviously directing their remarks against the IEV, stated their opposition to party politics and made the point that they had served the common interest.(90)

The economic Depression of the 1930s posed a special threat to many Eurasians. Unlike the totok Europeans, they often lacked the formal education to compete on the labour market, and unlike the Indonesians, they were unable to own land to provide them at least with a subsistence livelihood.(91) The Depression forced the IEV into action. The IEV delegates on the Padang council now put many issues which favoured the man-in-the-street on the agenda, including low-cost housing and a technical school especially for Eurasian boys who were not intellectually suited to office work.(92) The IEV also continued its resistance to the obligatory connection to the waterworks.

The increased self-awareness of the IEV coincided with the debut of the VC and the IKP. The organization of other groups forced the IEV to tighten discipline and gave it a clear place in the political spectrum. In the course of the 1930s the VC and IKP established themselves to the right of the IEV, defending the interests of the business firms and the rich, while the Indonesians organized themselves as an ethnic group, but with clearly lower socio-economic undertones, to the left of the IEV. The IEV found itself in the middle of the balance of power, with the ability to determine to which side the scales would dip. The Europeans of the upper and middle class would find themselves grouped together at one end of the scale, while there was a multi-ethnic coalition of middle and lower socio-economic groups at the other end. This comfortable position meant that a decision could no longer be taken without the consent of the IEV, which would become apparent in the matters of salaries and aldermen. As stated, the politicization among the European councillors did not begin before they had jointly succeeded in bringing the mayor down several times.

On 8 August 1936 the headline in the Sumatra Bode read: "Party politics have commenced!" Actually, the break-through was not the fact of party politics itself, but of the public admission of it, and of the alleged coalition of blocs. A committee with representatives of all groups in the council had drawn up a new salary scheme for civil servants, which had been drastically altered by the mayor before it was laid before the council. Roestam glr. St. Palindih, after having complimented the committee politely, proposed many amendments in the name of the "Asian bloc", which consisted of the combined indigenous and Chinese councillors. The initial excitement was generated by the actions of the indigenous and Chinese committee-members who had signed the amendments opposing the committee's proposals. In the committee they had spoken for themselves, but now they acted according to the party line adopted by their bloc even though, as one of them said explicitly, it was against his own convictions. The mayor and the VC councillors, A.G. Crevecoeur and H.M. van Haselen, were furious; in fact they were more indignant about the fact that party discipline had been admitted to in public than about the voting behaviour itself. The amendments put forward by the Indonesians were all immediately rejected, with the exception of the last. During the meeting when it looked as if the IEV would join the indigenous and Chinese councillors on the last amendment about the top salary of one controversial civil servant, the mayor abruptly closed the meeting before a vote had been taken and rushed out of the assembly, leaving the astounded councillors behind. This alleged "bloc", or coalition, between indigenous, Chinese and IEV councillors was the second cause of excitement.(93)

In ensuing letters to the editor, both the IEV members and the Indonesians, refuted the accusation that there had been any previous consultation about forming a bloc, pointing out that nearly all amendments had been rejected; in addition the IEV stated that their representative in the salary committee had not put forward the IEV views correctly in the committee, whereas the indigenous blocs stated that the mayor had changed the suggestions of the committee with his own hand, so that the committee members were no longer bound to their own committee proposals.(94) Obviously, however, there had been consultation between the indigenous and Chinese blocs; the only way Roestam could deny this breaking of normative rules was by introducing a new term encapsulating both blocs: the "Asian bloc".

The formation of a coalition as such was not the major event of the salary affair, because the European councillors had more or less formed a de facto coalition since 1906, or at least since the electoral pact. The four major changes were the public admission of voting against one's own ideas in favour of those of the bloc, the open coalition of indigenous and Chinese councillors, the shift from ethno-political cleavages to socio-economic boundaries in the council (but only when one particular top-salary was discussed), and the near victory of the indigenous councillors on one issue (only prevented by the mayor running out). Everybody realized that from now on two coalitions were possible: the right-wing one coinciding with the Europeans and the left-wing one crossing ethnic boundaries. Which of these optional coalitions was formed rested in the hands of the IEV.

The meeting on the salaries had an even more turbulent follow-up, when the mayor persisted in the accusation of bloc-forming; this was the straw which broke the camel's back, and the IEV bloc asked for a special meeting to discuss the high-handed administration of the mayor, including his pushing through of the construction of the townhall. A motion of censure proposed by the IEV, to be sent to the national government, the Volksraad, and the press, was accepted by ten votes to six. The VC councillor Crvecoeur expressed the feelings of the opponents of the motion, when he said he agreed with the contents of the motion, but disagreed with the way things had gone. Then the amendment on the top salary was still accepted.(95) A few months later when De Hoog asked questions about this matter in a meeting of the Volksraad, the government replied that the tension had already subsided in Padang.(96)

It seems unlikely that the IEV had really been involved in the alleged coalition about the salary-affair, as it had voted against all amendments of the Asian bloc, except the last one. The next step in the politicization of the Padang council, that of forming majority coalitions, had still therefore to be taken. In 1936 the coalition had been limited to the Asian bloc, but in 1937 the IEV would also join. The issue was the appointment of aldermen as council representatives who could keep an eye on the daily affairs of the administration. On this issue party politics and the struggle of the council as a whole against its chairman became mixed up. The IEV leader, L.A. Jolly, was spokesman for the majority coalition, but it is tempting to assume that Roestam was the architect, as he had pursued this policy longer, and would later explain it in his political testament. However, his Dutch was not one hundred per cent, which could have been one reason to leave the floor to Jolly.

In October 1937, in a small meeting among themselves, the IEV, and the indigenous and Chinese councillors agreed to appoint aldermen in order to have a stronger voice in the executive and at the same time decided on the names of the aldermen (Jolly and J.L. de Weyer for the IEV, Roestam for the indigenous people and Kho Tiauw Tian for the Chinese). The three blocs called for a special meeting, against the wishes of the mayor, and pushed through the important administrative innovation of the appointment of aldermen on 28 October 1937. When the names had to be filled in, the VC, IKP and Passer, seething with helpless anger, refrained from voting on the ground that it was a mock election that had been arranged in advance. It took a year before the government consented to the four aldermen, and in the meantime the VC tried in vain to split the coalition.(97) By the time the first aldermen were finally installed, Roestam had lost his seat in the previous election, and Doctor Hakim took his place on the board of aldermen.(98)

The final success of the coalition of the IEV, indigenous, and Chinese blocs was the introduction of a ten per cent surtax on the income, property, and the poll tax. The surtax was decided upon without much discussion in the same meeting in which the matter of aldermen was settled. Residents with small incomes were exempted.(99) This levy, burdening the better-off, provided funds to extend the kampung improvement for the less well-off, though still on a moderate scale. An IEV proposal for another surtax on the corporation tax became a topic for heated debate. The frustrated VC and IKP councillors were again facing defeat, but an IKP councillor prevented a vote by walking out of the meeting which meant that there was no longer the required quorum. The VC and IKP councillors obstructed the next meeting by staying away completely, with the effect that the final voting had to be once more postponed until the next meeting.(100)

The Council Goes Back to Square One

The appointment of aldermen was the peak of the council's struggle against its chairman, and of the politicization in the council. However, it turned out that the council had won a Pyrrhic victory and in several respects found itself back at square one: the coalition of the IEV and the Indonesian blocs fell apart, the council ceded its competence to the aldermen, and the latter found themselves alienated from their blocs.

As far as the coalition was concerned, one nasty blow was the fact that its primary architect, Roestam, was beaten in the 1938 elections. His successor as chief indigenous spokesman was Abdul Madjid Osman, whose political style was both less courteous and less co-operative. He used the word "Indonesian" (not Malay) assertively for the language used in his speeches, which caused bad blood among the European (including IEV) councillors in the grim atmosphere of growing Indonesian nationalism and the threat of a world war.(101) Abdul Madjid Osman also alienated the Chinese councillors. He had studied at the Meiji University in Tokyo from 1930 to 1936 and was married to a Japanese woman. By protesting against providing poor relief to Chinese citizens as long as they sent remittances to China to support the war against Japan, he turned the Chinese against him.

The split in the coalition became visible in the handling of the last issue of the Dutch colonial period, the street tax (straatbelasting), probably an idea of the mayor. The street tax was a direct tax levied on house-owners, depending on the length of their frontage along the street, and the quality of the street (with a progressive tariff for six categories of streets); it was meant as a substitute for the new surtaxes and half the rodigelden. The street tax would be spent on urban improvements along the roads (surfacing, lighting, sewerage). From the mayor's point of view, the advantages would be twofold; one was that there would be a more solid tax base, which would expand with the improvements along the roads; the other was that in contrast with the surtaxes the return would be immediate.(102)

The dividing line between those who would profit and who would lose cut through ethnic and socio-economic boundaries. The street tax would be disadvantageous to the home-owning middle class, including many Eurasians, but advantageous to both the European totok elite and the poor Eurasians who rented dwellings. The poor Chinese who lived in the densely populated Chinese ward with small fronts were better off than the rich Chinese who had big compounds on the main streets. Minangkabau migrants would be exempted from half of the rodigelden, whereas local clan and lineage heads warned that it was unclear who should be taxed for joint family land and that confiscating land of a defaulter would disrupt Minangkabau lineages.(103)

The proposed street tax evoked a lot of protest, inside and outside the council, and also divided the IEV. Faced with growing opposition, the mayor and aldermen threatened to increase surtaxes if the street tax was voted down. In the council the Indonesian councillors found themselves opposing their own aldermen, Hakim and Kho, and their former ally, the IEV. For a while it seemed that in asking for suspension of the new tax Abdul Madjid Osman had found new allies in the VC and IKP. When it came to the vote, the tax was accepted by the European parties, including the IEV. Protests afterwards in reader's letters to the Sumatra Bode and at a meeting of 1500 Minangkabau who filed a petition with the government were no more than rearguard actions.(104)

After the acceptance of the street tax the political situation in the council remained confused. In 1941 the budget for kampung improvement was increased with the approval of the IEV.(105) That same year, however, Hakim, Kho, and the Eurasian conservative Passer were elected as aldermen, excluding the IEV; considering the number of votes for and against, it is possible that the indigenous councillors voted in favour of Passer against the IEV candidate.(106) Abdul Madjid Osman put forward several points supported by rational arguments, referring to normative rules to appease the Europeans; in particular he wanted more Indonesian councillors, total abolition of rodigelden, and kampung improvements. During this last year before the war, the frustrated Abdul Madjid Osman once more grew recalcitrant and was frequently called to order by the mayor. Despite his eloquence and sound arguments, Abdul Madjid Osman was tilting at windmills.

One reason for his lack of success was that the council had lost power to the aldermen. The aldermen took over tasks from the council committees, and discussed matters with the mayor in closed meetings, so that actually the council had lost control, a fact of which the councillors were well aware.(107) In 1938, shortly after Padang had got aldermen, the town became a stadsgemeente, a new administrative body, in which the mayor and aldermen enjoyed more powers, including in legislative matters, than in a gemeente. Abdul Madjid Osman was the councillor who fulminated most against the new situation.

The last point which marked the decline of the municipal council was the growing alienation between the aldermen and their blocs. Immediately after the aldermen had been elected, the mayor offered them seats beside him, away from their fellow councillors.(108) Soon the aldermen were no longer representatives of the legislative side of the administration, but, conversely, had become the accomplices of the mayor and a part of the executive. After the mayor had cajoled the aldermen to comply with a joint standpoint, the aldermen often preferred to back the executive and opposed councillors from their own bloc instead of siding with them. The mayor, in his turn, sided with the aldermen: he made many efforts to raise their allowance and prevented councillors from making inroads on the competence of the aldermen. Meanwhile, the mayor tried to manipulate the aldermen in the same way as he had done with the councillors: withholding information, ignoring their decisions, waiting as long as possible before convening a meeting, and taking them by surprise with last minute proposals.(109)

After Ouwerkerk retired in 1940, D. Kapteyn became mayor. At the beginning he seemed more willing to communicate than Ouwerkerk. He cited a verse from the Koran in his inauguration speech and he introduced weekly press meetings. However, when the Sumatra Bode and Radio published critical articles, Kapteyn refused to have any further cooperation with the press and quickly acquired a reputation for undemocratic behaviour.(110)


We have seen how the councillors in Padang gained some autonomy from Batavia and how they fought to made the head of the local administration toe the line. The introduction of a mayor and, later, of aldermen seemed like victories, but turned out to be disappointments that curbed rather than strengthened the council's power. At first European totok, employed by trading firms, dominated the council and, for example, succeeded in getting the waterworks. In the 1920s the Eurasians emerged as the most powerful group, with demands like cheap housing, a technical school for Eurasian boys, and a free choice of connection to the waterworks. In the 1930s the indigenous members made their voice heard, but never achieved much result because of their limited number of seats. European councillors were leaders of stable bureaucratic teams of followers, while indigenous councillors were leaders of contract teams, in Bailey's terms. To a remarkable extent politics in the municipal council and the Minangkabau world were dissociated.

It is hoped that this article has helped to clear up several misunderstandings about colonial municipalities. First, autonomy was never self-evident and the councillors had to conduct an on-going struggle to gain and keep it. Secondly, Chinese councillors sided with the indigenous members against the European majority from the late 1920s onwards. Thirdly, there were many more issues than just kampung improvement and Indonesian emancipation; the most controversial matters in Padang were the sources of income, the waterworks with obligatory connection, and the powers of the head of the administration (assistent-resident and mayor), whereas many other important issues - schools, public horsecarts, football, nuisance caused by dogs, coastal defences, improvement of road surfaces, rents, and so on - have not even been mentioned here.

The central question in this article has been how councillors played the political game. They professed adherence to the main normative rule of observing the common good. Gradually a whole set of pragmatic rules developed, which can be summarized as "politicization" and which broke the norm so often that in the end they became accepted behaviour. The process of politicization consisted of the formation of electoral associations, "blocs" that held preliminary talks, the joint voting by party members, coalitions, and majority coalitions. The last step of forging majority coalitions never became normatively acceptable practice. The mayor employed a whole set of pragmatic rules, like playing off councillors against each other, putting rejected proposals back on the agenda, spending funds not budgeted for, failing to convene the council, shelving unwelcome decisions, and adding topics to the agenda at the last minute.

A strong pragmatic rule to win a game when there seemed no way out was to introduce a new normative rule, which had to appear to fit in with older normative rules. Examples were the introduction of aldermen, the confrontation with Batavia about the by-law concerning building regulations, checking the mayor by filing a protest with the Governor-General, joint behaviour of a bloc, the establishment of a coalition, and leaving the meeting to prevent a vote to be taken. Nearly every time such an innovation was introduced, the order of events was that of an impersonal conflict which had become entangled with personal dislikes (Simon Thomas versus Harthoorn, Huyer versus Ouwerkerk, and so forth), so that contestants dug their toes in and wanted to win at all costs; the person who was facing defeat then desperately and inventively found a way out in a new rule. By this process of inventing new rules the political structure was changed by saltatory mutation.

I wish to express my gratitude to J.Th. Lindblad, and P.J.M. Nas for their valuable comments on a draft of this article. I would like to thank Marjanneke Haasbroek and Rosemary Robson for the correction of my English.

1 P.J.M. Nas, "Ontstaan en ontwikkeling van de Indonesische gemeente in schakelingen-perspectief", in P.J.M. Nas, J.W. Schoorl and B.F. Galjart (eds.), Aanzetten tot een schakelingen-perspectief in de ontwik-kelingssociologie (Leiden: Vakgroep Culturele Antropologie en Sociologie der Niet-Westerse Samenlevingen), pp. 95-116.

2 W. Frederick, "Indonesian Urban Society in Transition: Surabaya, 1926-1946" (Ph.D. diss., University of Hawaii, 1978).

3 Susan Abeyasekere, "Colonial Urban Politics: The Municipal Council of Batavia", Kabar Seberang 13/14 (1984): 17-24.

4 James L. Cobban, "Kampungs and Conflict in Colonial Semarang", Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 19, 2 (1988): 266-91.

5 J.M. Otto, "Een Minahasser in Bandoeng; Indonesische oppositie in de koloniale gemeente", in Excursies in Celebes, ed. H.A. Poeze (Leiden: Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 1991), pp. 185-215.

6 Verslag van de gemeente Padang, 1906-1918 (Padang: Baumer).

7 The few surviving original minutes are to be found in the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. Sometimes councillors referred to the Sumatra Bode as a more accurate source than the original minutes; see, e.g., Sumatra Bode (SB), 21 Aug. 1931.

8 Freek Colombijn, Patches of Padang; The History of an Indonesian Town and the Use of Urban Space (Leiden: CNWS, 1994).

9 Imran Manan, A Traditional Elite in Continuity and Change; The Chiefs of the Matrilineages of the Minangkabau of West Sumatra; Indonesia (Ph.D. diss., University of Illinois, 1984); Akira Oki, "Economic Constraints, Social Change, and the Communist Uprising in West Sumatra (1926-1927): A Critical Review of B.J.O. Schrieke's West Coast Report", in Change and continuity in Minangkabau; Local, regional, and historical perspectives on West Sumatra, ed. Lynn L. Thomas and Franz von Benda-Beckmann (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1985), pp. 207-234; Rapport van de commissie van onderzoek I (Weltevreden: Landsdrukkerij, 1928).

10 Taufik Abdullah, "Modernization in the Minangkabau World; West Sumatra in the Early Decades of the Twentieth Century", in Culture and Politics in Indonesia, ed. Claire Holt (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1972): 179-245; H. Bouman, Enige beschouwingen over de ontwikkeling van het Indonesisch nationalisme op Sumatra's Westkust (Groningen: Wolters, 1949); Joel S. Kahn, Constituting the Minang-kabau; Peasants, Culture and Modernity in Colonial Indonesia (Providence: Berg, 1993); Nico Kaptein, "The Berdiri Mawlid Issue among Indonesian Muslims in the Period from circa 1875 to 1930", Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde 149 (1993): 124-53.

11 Harry J. Benda and Ruth T. McVey, The Communist Uprisings of 1926-1927 in Indonesia (Ithaca: Cornell University, 1960); Bouman, Enige beschouwingen; Colombijn, Patches of Padang, pp. 70-71; Audrey R. Kahin, "Repression and Regroupment; Religious and Nationalist Organizations in West Sumatra in the 1930s", Indonesia 38 (1984): 39-54; Rapport van de commissie.

12 The Dutch civil servants were, of course, very interested in the socio-economic processes that threatened the Pax Neerlandica.

13 For an overview of this literature, see Kahn, Constituting the Minangkabau.

14 Nas, "Ontstaan en ontwikkeling", p. 98.

15 The lump sum consisted of a fixed amount plus a supplement (accres). The amount of the supplement was settled yearly, but in practice remained stable for long periods.

16 Verslag Padang, pp. 38-50. For a detailed overview of municipal sources of income and the annual budget, see the yearly Decentralisatie-verslag (1911-1929).

17 From 1925 to 1927 the average income of the entertainment tax in Padang was f 28,000, of the tax on cars f 25,800, and the tax on other vehicles f 21,900. J.J.G.E. Ruckert, "De ontwikkeling van de financien der autonome gemeenschappen", in 25 Jaren decentralisatie in Nederlandsch-Indie 1905-1930, ed. F.W.M. Kerchman (Semarang: Vereeniging voor Locale Belangen, 1930), pp. 97-123, in particular p. 109. Of course, taxes on cars burdened Europeans more than Indonesians.

18 SB, 11 Dec. 1907, 16 Feb. 1911, 18 Feb. 1911, 27 Mar. 1912; Verslag Padang, pp. 89-94.

19 SB, 9 Sep. 1916, 3 Apr. 1920, 8 Jan. 1932; Verslag Padang, pp. 69-74, 136-51.

20 Decentralisatie-verslag 1929, pp. 260, 270-71.

21 SB, 4 May 1923, 17 Jul. 1923. Otto ("Een Minahasser") describes a crisis for Bandung and it may be that there was a structural weakness in the financial management of the Indonesian cities.

22 H.F. Tillema, "Kromoblanda"; over 't vraagstuk van "het Wonen" in Kromo's groote land I (The Hague: Uden Masman, 1915), pp. 51, 120.

23 SB, 28 Sep. 1923, 23 Nov. 1923.

24 SB, 22-24 Apr. 1925.

25 For example, SB, 7 May 1925, 14 May 1925, 13 Aug. 1925, 11 Sep. 1925.

26 SB, 10 Sep. 1925, 24 Oct. 1925, 23 Sep. 1932.

27 SB, 7 Sep. 1929, 4 Jan. 1930.

28 SB, 26 Nov. 1929, 12-23 Sep. 1932, 25 Mar.-7 Apr. 1933, 7 Jun. 1935, 27 Jan. 1941.

29 Between 1925 and 1927 the share of different revenues in the budget of Padang and of all Indonesian municipalities was respectively: lump sum 21.5 and 21.1 per cent; surtaxes 0 and 11.4 per cent; other taxes 26.3 and 29.8 per cent; public undertakings 50.0 and 33.9 per cent. The other municipalities show great variations. Ruckert, "De ontwikkeling van de financien", pp. 109-110.

30 SB, 19 Feb. 1937, 29 Dec. 1939.

31 F.G. Bailey, Stratagems and Spoils; A Social Anthropology of Politics (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1969).

32 H.J.M. Claessen, Over de politiek denkende en handelende mens; een inleiding in de politieke antropologie (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1988); Joan Vincent, Anthropology and Politics: Visions, Traditions and Trends (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1990).

33 Otto, "Een Minahasser", pp. 201-213.

34 I will use the colonial term "indigenous", since this was at that time the relevant administrative category, with Minangkabau, Javanese, Niasans and others lumped together. Today it is fashionable to reserve the word "Indonesian" for the "indigenous" people. I find this misleading because the Chinese, Arabs, and Tamils are part and parcel of the Indonesian society and must be called Indonesians as well.

35 Among the long standing councillors were Lie Sim Tjoan (1906-1918); Soetan Radjat glr. Masa Boemi (1909-1925); Mahjoedin glr. Dt. St. Maharadja (1909-1921); Lie Tje Thay (1913-26); M. Passer (1920-42); Abdul Hakim (1921-34, 1938-42); and Yap Gim Sek (1924-34). The Europeans were not the only newcomers in town; there were also indigenous councillors from elsewhere, like the Batak doctor Hakim and the Javanese engineer Mas Hoedioro, and many Minangkabau councillors had migrated from the Highlands.

36 Decentralisatie-verslag (1911-12), p. 16, and (1920-21), pp. 9-10.

37 SB, 2 Nov. 1908.

38 SB, 9 Nov. 1909.

39 SB, 22 Dec. 1908.

40 SB, 20 Nov. 1912.

41 SB, 13 Dec. 1916, 21 Feb. 1919, 25-29 May 1919.

42 SB, 15 Jan. 1913, 13 Dec. 1916.

43 Kerchman (ed.), 25 Jaren decentralisatie.

44 J.J.G.E. Ruckert and G. de Raad, "De Vereeniging voor Locale Belangen", in 25 Jaren decentralisatie, ed. Kerchman, pp. 193-204.

45 SB, 2 Jun. 1924, 9 Jul. 1924. The proposal to allow brothels was made by a man considered the joker of the council, and other municipalities were not enthusiastic about the idea.

46 Bailey, Stratagems and Spoils.

47 SB, 5 Apr. 1908, 11 Sep. 1925.

48 The council assembled on Tuesdays because this was a quiet day for trading firms due to shipping schedules (SB, 27 Feb. 1918).

49 Bailey, Stratagems and Spoils, pp. 35-58.

50 SB, 6 May 1918, 20 Jun. 1918, 12 Sep. 1918, 9 Oct. 1918, 22 Oct. 1918.

51 SB, 11-15 Oct. 1918, 28 Nov. 1918.

52 SB, 5 Feb. 1925.

53 Before the IEV was founded, there had been appeals to elect candidates who came from Padang, thus Eurasians, but these appeals did not have much success (see, e.g., SB, 4 Aug. 1909).

54 SB, 21 Jul. 1922, 6 Dec. 1922, 25 May 1923.

55 SB, 5 Dec. 1925, 7 Dec. 1925.

56 SB, 24 Nov. 1928.

57 Ouwerkerk's ambitions were shown by his goal to make Padang rank with Medan, Palembang, and Makassar (Ujung Pandang). It must have been a disappointment to him when on several occasions he missed out on the mayoralty of Makassar, Batavia, Malang, and Semarang. SB, 25 Nov. 1929, 8 Feb. 1930.

58 For examples of these four tactics, see SB, 3 May 1929, 2 May 1932, 10 Aug. 1934, 15 Dec. 1934, 7 Jun. 1935, 2 Aug. 1935, 20 Nov. 1936.

59 SB, 25 Aug. 1930.

60 SB, 9 May 1930, 3 Oct. 1930, 21 Nov. 1930.

61 SB, 13 Jul. 1931, 21 Aug. 1931, 1 Sep. 1931.

62 SB, 9 Jan. 1932, 20 Jan. 1932.

63 Sinar Sumatra (SS), 30 Jul.-3 Aug. 1932; SB, 3 Jun. 1932, 29 Jul.-4 Aug. 1932. The Governor-General's reaction is not known to me.

64 To their outrage the council discovered that Ouwerkerk had not informed council informed about a cheaper design submitted by the local building company Bordewijk-Groenewegen. SB, 10 Aug. 1934.

65 SB, 6-7 Jun. 1935, 14 Nov. 1935.

66 SB, 23 Mar. 1933, 7 Apr. 1933, 6 Jun. 1935, 7 Jun. 1935, 30 Jul. 1935.

67 SB, 21 Feb. 1924.

68 SB, 23-25 Nov. 1929.

69 SB, 13 Apr. 1907, 9 Jan. 1907, 13 Dec. 1922, 8 Dec. 1923.

70 SB, 10 Apr. 1912, 1 Oct. 1913. On several occasions, however, Dt. St. Maharadja pleaded for the poor kampung dwellers (SB, 22 Nov. 1911, 13 Oct. 1915, 23 Jan. 1918).

71 SB, 6 Mar. 1912, 22 May 1912.

72 The indigenous electorate can be divided into ethnic groups, and socio-economic groups (textile wholesalers, petty traders, lower officials, servants, peasants). Unfortunately I do not know whether certain ethnic or socio-economic groups supported certain candidates. Whether, for example, the Depression changed the vote also remains obscure.

73 SB, 14 Dec. 1934.

74 For example, Noerdin Rasad arranged a high salary for one civil servant; Roestam Effendi asked why a building permit had been refused to a certain woman, and so on. SB, 19 Jan. 1924, 5 Oct. 1926.

75 See, for example, Persamaan, 29 May-5 Jul. 1934, 1-11 Aug. 1938; Tjamboet, 29 Aug.-2 Sep. 1933.

76 Persamaan, 7 Jun. 1934, 4 Aug. 1934; Tjamboet, 2 Jul. 1934.

77 SS, 22 Oct. 1920; SB, 14-23 Oct. 1920.

78 Ensiklopedi Indonesia, Vol. II (Jakarta: Van Hoeve, 1980), p. 883; SB, 4 Oct. 1926, 15 Nov. 1926.

79 SB, 31 Oct. 1929, 25 Nov. 1929, 6 Feb. 1939, 2 Jan. 1940.

80 Once a Minangkabau councillor made a sharp Indonesian address with many demands and the mayor provided an abridged Dutch translation, which was weaker and less well founded than the original. The mayor then had no problem rejecting the demands made. SB, 28-29 Dec. 1939.

81 SB, 19 Feb. 1937. For his varied life see Ensiklopedi, Vol. V (1984), p. 2526.

82 SB, 20 Sep. 1938.

83 Hans van Miert, "The 'Land of the Future'; The Jong Sumatranen Bond (1917-1930) and Its Image of the Nation", Modern Asian Studies, forthcoming.

84 For example, SB, 20 Feb. 1919, 15 Sep. 1923, 19 May 1926, 25 Aug. 1930, 11 Jul. 1931.

85 SB, 4 Oct. 1926, 6 Nov. 1931, 21 Sep. 1938, 25 Feb. 1941.

86 SB, 26 Nov. 1931, 3 May 1932, 16 Dec. 1933, 15 Dec. 1934, 14 Nov. 1935, 19 Feb. 1937, 4 Nov. 1938, 10 Mar. 1939, 25 Sep. 1939.

87 SB, 31 May 1930, 12 Jun. 1930.

88 In 1938, at the first elections with a system of proportional representation, the distribution of seats remained exactly the same as under the electoral pact. SB, 11 Aug. 1938.

89 SB, 31 Mar. 1933, 7 Apr. 1933.

90 SB, 19 Jun. 1931, 2 Jun. 1933, 10 Aug. 1934.

91 J.S. Furnivall, Netherlands India; A Study of Plural Economy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1944), p. 444.

92 For example, SB, 10 Feb. 1930, 9 Jan. 1932.

93 SS, 6-8 Aug. 1936; SB, 8 Aug. 1936. The alleged coalition put the electoral pact of the European parties under great strain.

94 SB, 11 Aug. 1936, 12 Aug. 1936.

95 SS, 30 Sep.-2 Oct. 1936; SB, 30 Sep. 1936.

96 SB, 15 Feb. 1937.

97 The VC councillor Van Haselen approached the IEV councillor Jolly two days before the meeting of the council with the suggestion to drop the radical Roestam, together with Kho, for the moderate Aboe Bakar as alderman. The VC probably also inveigled Aboe Bakar beforehand, because in the meeting he voted with the VC, (SB, 20 Apr. 1938).

98 Persamaan, 23 Oct. 1937, 30 Oct. 1937, 8 Apr. 1938, 9 Apr. 1938; SS, 28-30 Oct. 1937; SB, 8 Apr. 1938, 20 Apr. 1938, 4 Nov. 1938.

99 Persamaan, 27 Oct. 1937, 29 Oct. 1937; SS, 29 Oct. 1937, 30 Oct. 1937.

100 Persamaan, 16 Nov. 1937, 30 Nov. 1937; SS, 16 Nov. 1937, 20 Nov. 1937, 23 Nov. 1937.

101 SB, 20 Jan. 1939.

102 SB, 15-17 Nov. 1939.

103 For Minangkabau land rights, see Freek Colombijn, "Dynamics and Dynamite; Minangkabau Urban Landownership in the 1990s", Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde 148 (1992): 428-64.

104 Persamaan, 21-25 Nov. 1939; SB, 17 Nov.-2 Dec. 1939, 18 Dec. 1939, 7-10 Feb. 1940.

105 SB, 27 Jan. 1941, 5 Mar. 1941.

106 SB, 21 Feb. 1941.

107 SB, 18 Sep. 1939.

108 SB, 4 Nov. 1938.

109 For example, SB, 4 Nov. 1938, 26 Jul. 1939, 25 Sep. 1939, 24 Jan. 1940, 1 Feb. 1940, 2 Apr. 1940.

110 SB, 27 Jun. 1940, 19-23 Aug. 1940, 30 Oct. 1940, 5 Apr. 1941.
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Author:Colombijn, Freek
Publication:Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
Date:Sep 1, 1995
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