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Dossier : Paradoxical Southeast Asia

Constructing Heritage Through State Architecture in Indonesia’s Riau Islands

Sarah Moser et Alyssa Shamsa Wilbur

Résumés

Depuis la mise en place d’une politique de décentralisation à la suite de la chute de Suharto en 1998, les provinces indonésiennes ont joui d’une autonomie accrue, qu’elles ont su employer pour mettre davantage en lumière certains aspects de leur identité culturelle. Dans le contexte de cet affaiblissement d’une volonté centraliste nationale, la Province des îles Riau, nouvellement créée en 2004, a encouragé la création d’une politique privilégiant le regain de la culture malaise dans différentes sphères de la vie, don’t l’éducation, les arts et l’environnement bâti. Cet article examine la politique culturelle de projets architecturaux publics réalisés depuis une quinzaine d’années dans la capitale provinciale de Tanjungpinang et aux alentours, tous conçus pour éveiller un sens d’appartenance à l’identité culturelle et religieuse malaise. L’architecture étatique récente cherche à incarner et à exprimer un passé « authentique », souvent à travers un amalgame savant de diverses références historiques reconnaissables. Dans le contexte actuel de dynamiques politiques, ethniques et religieuses, nous analysons la manière dont l’État s’approprie certaines versions de l’identité malaise, comment celle-ci se manifeste dans l’architecture publique récente dans la Province des îles Riau, et les exclusions sociales variées auxquelles cette politique contribue.

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Notes de l’auteur

The authors would like to thank the reviewers, the journal editor, and Caroline Herbelin for their thoughtful and constructive feedback, which have strengthened the paper. Research for this paper was funded over the years by several sources: a National University of Singapore graduate fellowship, a post-doctoral fellowship at the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT, a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Urban and Global Studies at Trinity College, a SSHRC grant (Fund #241686), and a McGill University Graduate Research Enhancement and Travel award. We would also like to thank the many people in the Riau Islands who generously gave their time and shared their knowledge and insights.

Texte intégral

  • 1 Anthony King, “Worlds in the City: Manhattan Transfer and the Ascendance of Spectacular Space,” Pla (...)
  • 2 Wade Shephard, Ghost Cities of China: The Story of Cities without People in the World’s Most Popula (...)
  • 3 Sarah Moser, “New Cities in the Muslim World: The Cultural Politics of Planning an ‘Islamic’ City,” (...)

1Asia’s unprecedented urban growth and accelerated globalization over the past several decades have had a significant impact on architecture in the region. While a great deal of recent architecture adopts a generic global corporate style that produces ostentatious spectacles of capitalism,1 architecture in many parts of Asia is increasingly used to express cultural identity as a political, populist, or marketing strategy. Recent architecture that is intended to communicate cultural identity often looks to other cultures for inspiration. In China, many new urban projects directly copy iconic historical western architecture, even recreating European town centers (Venice, Paris, Amsterdam, and so on) in new themed developments that engage in architectural mimicry.2 Similarly, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia have adopted architectural idioms from what are widely considered the great historical Islamic civilizations, located far away and bearing no relation to Emirati or Malaysian history or culture except for a shared religion.3

  • 4 Vivienne Wee, “Ethno-Nationalism in Process: ethnicity, atavism and indigenism in Riau, Indonesia,” (...)
  • 5 Nicholas Long, “Fruits of the Orchard: Land, Space, and State in Kepulauan Riau,” Sojourn: Journal (...)
  • 6 Lyn Parker, From Subjects to Citizens: Balinese Villagers in the Indonesian Nation-State, Copenhage (...)

2The conscious architectural borrowing from past and distant civilizations in other parts of Asia contrasts sharply with the current investment in heritage revival architecture in Indonesia’s recently formed Riau Islands Province, where a selective version of local history is being revived strategically. Since the formation of Indonesia’s Riau Islands Province in 2004, there has been a surge of interest among the ruling elite to explore, define, revive, and project Malay identity. The development of the petroleum industry in the Riau Islands and the sense that residents were not benefiting from it sparked a separatist movement in the archipelago during the 1980s and 1990s.4 After the fall of President Suharto and the subsequent introduction of national decentralization policies, several new provinces were formed, including Riau Islands Province (Propinsi Kepulauan Riau, or Kepri), in an attempt to satisfy widespread calls to decentralize power. Motivated in part by economically fueled ethno-nationalism,5 the formation of the new province has served as an opportunity for local elites to reinvent and reassert the Riau Islands’ cultural polity while consolidating power. Recent assertions of Malay identity can be seen in school curricula, which now provide expanded lessons on local history and instructions on village games, crafts, and songs.6

  • 7 “Metamorphosis Manillay Dompak Island,” TanjungPinang Pos, 2011, URL: http://www.tanjungpinangpos.c (...)
  • 8 There has been a great deal of intermarriage between these groups, which is not reflected in these (...)
  • 9 Nicholas J. Long, Being Malay in Indonesia: Histories, Hopes, and Citizenship in the Riau Archipela (...)

3The formation of Kepri has stoked key tensions between the dominant populist ethno-nationalist Malay politics and the diverse reality of the province’s residents. The archipelagic province consists of over 3,000 islands and was previously part of Riau Province, the bulk of which was located on Sumatra. Today, the self-governing Riau Islands Province has approximately two million residents, comprising eight main ethnic groups: Malay (35.6%), Javanese (18.2%), Chinese (14.3%), Minangkabau (9.3%), Batak (8.1%), Buginese (2.2%), and Banjarese (0.7%).7 8 While local Malays consider the Riau Archipelago as a sort of ancestral homeland for Malay culture, the region has a history of ethnic diversity, intermarriage between ethnic groups, and cultural syncretism. Over the centuries, the provincial capital of Tanjung Pinang, founded by Chinese migrants9 and subsequently developed by the Dutch, attracted various minority communities including Arabs, Indians, and various groups from across Indonesia. Tanjung Pinang continues to be a multi-religious and multi-ethnic city, which is reflected in the eclectic architecture and variety of urban fabrics. Dutch colonial neighborhoods that use the modernist Indische style, raised wood Malay houses, Chinese shophouses (rowhouses with shops on the ground level and residences above), various styles of Chinese and Malay housing on stilts over the sea, and more, can all be seen just walking around the city. The main period of growth has been over the past two decades; many new homes, offices, malls, and hotels have been built in a variety of syncretic forms and outnumber the pre-Independence buildings in many districts of the city.

  • 10 Abidin Kusno, “Tropics of Discourse: Notes on the Re-invention of Architectural Regionalism in Sout (...)

4Despite the many significant social, political, and economic changes brought about by decentralization policies, the recent surge of architectural regionalism and the built manifestation of ethno-nationalism in Indonesia have received relatively little critical attention.10 In particular, the power relations and cultural politics of state architecture in provinces that were formed as a result of decentralization have not been the subject of any scholarly investigations to date. Our examination of recent state architecture in and around Tanjung Pinang, the previous capital of Riau Islands Province, provides insight into current political, racial, and religious dynamics, as it demonstrates how and why various interpretations of Malay identity are appropriated by the state, often with the consequence of excluding others. Our essay emphasizes that ethno-nationalist state architecture in Riau Islands Province is not merely a revival or simple transfer of architectural types, but is a syncretic reinterpretation of many circulating architectural forms and ornamentation, past and present, from South Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and other parts of Indonesia. While the state seeks to deploy an “authentic” and “pure” Malay architecture that masks syncretism for political reasons, this paper demonstrates that, despite recent attempts at ethno-nationalistic architecture and the policing of boundaries between Malays/Muslims and non-Malays/non-Muslims, a variety of changing local, regional, and global elements continue to shape these efforts.

5This paper begins with a brief overview of the history and geography of the Riau Islands, from its position as a cultural crossroads and commercial hub, to its slide into a neglected backwater after Indonesian independence, and its re-emergence as a strategic national economic region in recent decades. We focus on the metropolitan area of Tanjung Pinang, a major city in the Riau Islands, which served as a colonial administrative base, regional trade hub, and the provincial capital since the formation of the province. We then examine how state architectural projects, from modest individual buildings to a new master-planned capital city for the province, manifest a variety of elite interpretations of Malay heritage. Finally, by critically analyzing whose history and culture is projected in state architecture, we examine how various projects serve to challenge and maintain particular configurations of power, often exacerbating patterns of social exclusion based on socio-economic status, race, and religion.

Riau Islands: From cultural crossroads to neglected backwater, and back again

  • 11 Anthony Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce 1450-1680. 2. Expansion and Crisis, New Haven, (...)

6In order to understand the significance of recent appropriations of Malay identity in state architecture in Kepri, some background about the geography and history of the region is necessary. The Riau Islands are located in the South China Sea, between the east coast of Sumatra and the tip of the Malay Peninsula in a narrow strait through which all shipping between China and India/the Arab world must pass (fig. 1). The nearby port of Melaka, located across the strait from Sumatra on the southwest coast of the Malay Peninsula, emerged as the most vibrant trade center in Southeast Asia in the 1400s, particularly for the spice trade,11 and was the base for the powerful Melaka sultanate. While Europeans knew about the existence of the great trade entrepôt of Melaka, and some spices and other goods found their way to European markets through Arab merchants, the route to Southeast Asia was unknown to them until the sixteenth century. The Portuguese were the first to reach Melaka in 1511 and promptly burned it down and took control of the city. As a result, the Melaka Sultanate split into a number of smaller sultanates that spread out around the Malay Peninsula and the Riau Islands, including the Tanjung Pinang area. The Riau-Lingga Sultanate (18241911) controlled the Riau Islands and part of Sumatra, and the sultan’s palace and royal tombs were located on Pulau Penyengat [Penyengat Island], a small island off the west coast of Bintan Island that today forms part of metropolitan Tanjung Pingang.

Figure 1: Map of the Riau Islands and surrounding region.

Figure 1: Map of the Riau Islands and surrounding region.

Source: Authors’ picture.

  • 12 Vivienne Wee and Cynthia Chou, “Continuity and Discontinuity in the Multiple Relations of Riau,” Bi (...)
  • 13 Virginia Matheson, “Pulau Penyengat: Nineteenth Century Islamic Centre of Riau,” Archipel, vol. 37, (...)

7By the early 1800s, the Dutch and British divided most of Southeast Asia between them in a power-sharing arrangement, with the British taking the Malay Peninsula and Borneo, and the Dutch taking the archipelago that is now Indonesia. Both the British and the Dutch played significant roles in establishing urban administrative centers around their colonies,12 which evolved into major cities across the region. Over the nineteenth century, Tanjung Pinang served as the Dutch military base and administrative center for the Riau Islands, while the Riau sultanate on nearby Pulau Penyengat continued to grow in importance as a Malay cultural, religious, and administrative center. While Tanjung Pinang today has about 200,000 residents and Pulau Penyengat has 2,000, in the mid-1800s the population of Pulau Penyengat was 9,000 with just 4,000 in Tanjung Pinang.13

  • 14 Nicholas Long, Being Malay in Indonesia, op. cit. (note 9).
  • 15 Virginia Matheson, “Pulau Penyengat: Nineteenth Century Islamic Centre of Riau,” op. cit. (note 13)

8In the days of the sultanate, the royal mosque of Pulau Penyenget became a center for Islamic education where Arab scholars and local elites came to learn, and it functioned as a base from which to disseminate Islamic teachings in the region.14 Today, it is the only royal structure still in use and is a source of pride as well as an iconic symbol for the province. The island was home to several political and cultural figures that have been awarded “national hero” status and are locally considered akin to founding fathers of Malay culture in Indonesia. Raja Haji Fisabilillah, from Pulau Penyengat, led a victorious battle against a Dutch invasion in 1784 and was later killed while attacking Dutch fortifications in Melaka. Raja Ali Haji, a was a Bugis-Malay poet who wrote the first Malay dictionary, started a Malay language printing press, published the Gurindam Dua Belas (one of the most famous literary works in the Malay language) in 1847, and is widely viewed as a luminary of high Malay literary culture. He was only officially declared a national hero in 2004 after the formation of the province. The era of Kepri functioning as a hub of Malay power and culture came to an end in 1911, when the sultan was forced to abdicate to the Dutch. He refused, and chose instead to flee to Singapore with his retinue. Most of the grand royal buildings on Pulau Penyengat were destroyed to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Dutch, although half a dozen remain, as well as the royal tombs.15

  • 16 Vivienne Wee, “Ethno-Nationalism in Process,” op. cit. (note 4).

9The Riau Islands, like other regions of Indonesia that were considered peripheral in the early- to mid-twentieth century by the colonial and nationalist elite, experienced independence rather differently than Jakarta and other more central areas. Many in the Riau Islands supported the restoration of the Riau sultanate over being part of an independent Indonesia, an ambition that many Malays nurtured since the sultan’s departure.16 In the decades following independence, the region was relatively neglected by Jakarta and was relegated to the third and most remote geographical designation in the hierarchy of Indonesian territory (Outer Island Category 2), reflecting its minimal importance to the national economy.

  • 17 Joseph Stiglitz, Globalization and Its Discontents, New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 2002.
  • 18 Ehito Kimura, Political Change and Territoriality in Indonesia: Provincial Proliferation, New York, (...)

10In the 1970s, President Suharto’s economic policy shifted towards a tacit accommodation of American global activities, eliciting support from regional elites for the extraction of Indonesia’s resources.17 In particular, the Suharto Administration began to invest in the offshore petroleum industry, causing the Riau Islands region to become increasingly profitable to Jakarta. The gains from this investment mainly benefited the central state and thus fostered resentment at the local and regional level.18

  • 19 In 1994, sijori became the ims-gt (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore Growth Triangle) as more Indonesi (...)
  • 20 Leo Van Grunsven, “The Sustainability of Urban Development in the sijori Growth Triangle: A Social (...)
  • 21 Ehito Kimura, Political Change and Territoriality in Indonesia, op. cit. (note 18).

11At the same time, Singapore was emerging as the strongest economy in Southeast Asia in the 1970s and 1980s. Consequently, as the Indonesian territory located closest to Singapore, the Riau Islands, and Batam Island in particular, grew in importance in the late 1980s under the Suharto Administration’s national economic strategy. In 1989, the Riau Islands became part of the “SIJORI Growth Triangle”19 with Singapore and Johor Bahru in Malaysia, a partnership that sought to leverage the assets of the three regions: land, natural resources, and labor in Johor and the Riau Islands and the capital and expertise of Singapore.20 Soon after, by 2006, Batam Island, located just 30 minutes by boat from Singapore, was designated as a “free trade zone” and transformed into an industrial area to serve as a base for offshore drilling and manufacturing, further attracting foreign investors as well as migrant workers from across Indonesia to the region.21 In the past 20 years, the population of the Riau Islands has doubled. It is now the second-fastest-growing province in Indonesia, and has thus regained its position as a region of strategic importance.

  • 22 Vivienne Wee, “Ethno-Nationalism in Process,” op. cit. (note 4), p. 13.
  • 23 Al Azhar, “Malayness in Riau: The Study and Revitalization of Identity,” Bijdragen Tot de Taal-, La (...)
  • 24 Lian Kwen Fee, “The Construction of Malay Identity across Nations: Malaysia, Singapore, and Indones (...)

12The economic “Growth Triangle” consolidated the central government’s power by “remapping the region at will without consulting local populations or recognizing the region’s historical and cultural heritages,” and made Riau Malays feel “dispossessed and marginalized”22 while depriving them of “economic opportunities and their rights to their land and culture.”23 Furthermore, the actions of the state during Suharto’s regime (1967-1998) created a shared aversion to Javanese dominance and a wide sense of disenfranchisement throughout Indonesia, including the Riau Islands.24 The growing national economic importance of the Riau Islands, the increasingly close ties to Singapore, and the sense that economic benefits were flowing to distant Jakarta fostered resentment and stoked calls for independence that eventually led to the creation of the province.

  • 25 Benedict Anderson, Language and Power: Exploring Political Culture in Indonesia, Ithaca, NY: Cornel (...)

13Javanese dominance during the Suharto regime was manifested in the built environment in a number of ways. On a national level, state architecture became infused with a style drawn from Javanese nobility, in keeping with Suharto’s blatant attempt to fashion himself as a Javanese sultan with all the associated symbolic power.25 In the Tanjung Pinang area and elsewhere in Indonesia, the highly recognizable pendopo, a form of architecture used in elite Javanese homes, was adopted in some state buildings, including health centers, post offices, and other structures.

The Rise and Appropriation of Malay Identities

  • 26 Jamie Davidson and David Henley, The Revival of Tradition in Indonesian Politics: The Deployment of (...)
  • 27 Edward Aspinall and Greg Fealy, Local Power and Politics in Indonesia: Decentralisation and Democra (...)

14In the years leading up to the fall of the Suharto regime in 1998, the longing to express “Malayness” was important to activists in the Riau Islands, who argued that a “new province must above all be a Malay province.”26 Soon after the fall of Suharto, various national decentralization policies were introduced, including the Regional Autonomy Law (Otonomi Dareah), passed in 1999, which resulted in the formation of several new provinces, including Kepri in 2004. The Regional Autonomy Law has given provincial elites an opportunity to distance themselves economically, politically, and culturally from Jakarta, and take greater control over their affairs.27 In Kepri, the law has empowered local elites to assert versions of Malay identity in various aspects of daily life.

  • 28 Sherry Errington, “The Cosmic Theme Park of the Javanese,” in Claire Farago and Donald Preziosi (ed (...)

15In addition to local calls for Kepri to take on a distinctly Malay character, there were also expectations from the central government that newly formed provinces were to find ways to fit into the unique and rather rigid Indonesian pantheon of ethnic groups. The Indonesian state’s conceptualization of ethnic and cultural diversity is based on Dutch colonial administrative boundaries left largely intact after independence. While the Dutch sought to group their colonial subjects into “natural” units based on cultural and linguistic similarities, the provincial boundaries that resulted are artificial geopolitical designations that group highly diverse people into one administrative unit. In independent Indonesia, Dutch boundaries and their associated ethnic connotations were maintained and further articulated in Taman Mini Indonesia Raya (Beautiful Indonesia in a Miniature Park), an ethnographic theme park that came to President Suharto’s wife in a dream after a trip to Disneyland.28

  • 29 John Pemberton, On the Subject of “Java,” Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994.

16In Taman Mini, each province is represented by a suite of “authentic” cultural heritage items: a “traditional” house, weapon, a bride and groom wedding costume, and a dance. These are often not reproductions of specific cultural forms but are amalgamations of architecture found among the indigenous people of the province.29 Notably, Indonesia’s ethnic Chinese population, despite having contributed to the cultural and economic life of many parts of Indonesia for centuries, are excluded from official province-based conceptualizations of ethnic and cultural diversity, and are not featured in each province’s display. In the early 2000s, spaces in Taman Mini were allocated to accommodate new sections for each recently added province. The challenge was then for each new province to come up with a housing type, weapon, wedding costume, and dance that showcased their culture and was sufficiently distinct from the provinces of which they were formerly a part.

  • 30 Ju Lan Thung and Leolita Masnun, “Melayu-Riau: Dari Isu ‘Riau Merdeka’ Sampai Persoalan Riau Kepula (...)
  • 31 Sarah Moser, “Creating Citizens through Play: The Role of Leisure in Indonesian Nation-Building,” S (...)
  • 32 Nicholas Long, Being Malay in Indonesia: Histories, Hopes, and Citizenship in the Riau Archipelago, (...)
  • 33 Sarah Moser, “Educating the Nation: Shaping Student-Citizens in Indonesian Schools,” Children’s Geo (...)

17Both at Taman Mini and at home, the Kepri state has sought to revive the “essence” of Malay cultural heritage and identity in the Riau Islands over the past fifteen years. This has been attempted through various conferences, forums, and publications related to Malay culture,30 through the creation of various programs for the performing arts,31 tourism efforts,32 education,33 and, as this paper examines, architecture and the built environment. This quest for “essential” Malayness is marked by a desire for authenticity and for parsing out impurities that serve to contaminate Malayness, an approach that fails to acknowledge or appreciate the inherent syncretism of Malay identity and the rich multicultural history of the region. The search for “authentic” Malayness resonates with broad ethno-nationalist movements emerging around the world that seek to assert local identity and autonomy in the face of globalization.

  • 34 Timothy P. Barnard, Contesting Malayness: Malay identity across boundaries, Singapore: Singapore Un (...)
  • 35 Sarah Moser, “Educating the Nation: Shaping Student-Citizens in Indonesian Schools,” op. cit. (note (...)

18The Kepri state strategy of resurrecting and appropriating Malayness in provincial identity poses a number of challenges. First, “Malayness” is a flexible identity based not on ethnicity but on three attributes: following Islam, speaking Malay, and adhering to adat or Malay cultural traditions.34 Malays are a diverse and hybrid group that were traditionally highly mobile seafaring people.35 As a result, people who self-identify as “Malay” are found throughout the region in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, and Indonesia, particularly in Sumatra, Borneo, and the Riau Islands. Within Kepri, those who identify as Malays have varied cultural practices and material culture. Second, there are many symbols that convey “Malayness” but, like, any social identity, Malayness is intersectional, with a variety of hierarchies and signifiers. Therefore, resurrecting a sense of “Malayness” is never neutral; it is inherently a political statement that inevitably favors some, while marginalizing other segments of the population.

  • 36 Bryan Graham, G.J. Ashworth and J.E. Tunbridge, A Geography of Heritage: Power, Culture and Economy(...)

19The notion of “heritage” describes a selective and qualitative determination of historical achievements considered valuable enough to be kept and maintained.36 In Indonesia, cultural heritage, including Malay heritage, is defined almost exclusively by ruling elites. A study of what is selected as “heritage” and by whom provides insight into what is determined as worthwhile and by whom. The top-down national designation of cultural groups and the determination of what constitutes cultural heritage has been controlled and promoted by the state for over 40 years through a variety of platforms, including school textbooks, monuments, national day activities, televised national programming, architecture, and more. As a result, this process of determining and way of conceptualizing cultural heritage has been normalized for many Indonesians.

  • 37 Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger (eds.), The Invention of Tradition, Cambridge: Cambridge Universit (...)

20What is unique about Kepri is that the province is now in the position of having to develop a series of official symbols, architectural idioms, dances, and so on to gain legibility on the national stage in Taman Mini and other venues. This process is described as “the invention of tradition” in Eric Hobsbawn and Terence Ranger’s classic text,37 which refers to a set of practices that constructs heritage by invoking a sense of “pastness,” with a tendency to occur during times of rapid social transformation. The current struggle to determine Kepri identity is highly dynamic and draws on a number of sources, as will be explored in the following section.

  • 38 Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, Londo (...)

21The Riau Islands’ adoption of Malay heritage in state architecture serves a variety of purposes. First, it is a way for local Malays to reassert local power over the Riau Islands that were long seen as dominated by outsiders. Second, it is a way to showcase local culture according to the Indonesian state’s official province-based categories as conceptualized in Taman Mini in order to achieve national legibility. Third, creating ties with the past is a way for provincial elites to construct an “imagined community”38 in order to consolidate power and legitimize their rule. Finally, as we demonstrate in this paper through the lens of architectural projects in the Riau Islands, the appropriation of “pure Malay” aesthetics creates and exacerbates social exclusions, wherein Malay elites are given precedence over non-elites and non-Malays.

Reviving “Malayness” Through Architecture

22In the context of Kepri’s significant political, economic, and social transition, examining state architecture provides insights into the variety of official ideologies and conceptualizations of Malayness. In this section, we group recent state architecture that aims to project a sense of authentic Malayness into three main themes: Malay cultural revival, royal heritage, and Arab revival-meets-global Islam. The problems of conveying the identity of a highly diverse and complex group become evident through the construction of these three themes, as expressed in state architecture, and demonstrates the intersectionality of Malay identity.

Malay Cultural Revival

  • 39 Lian Kwen Fee, “The Construction of Malay Identity across Nations: Malaysia, Singapore, and Indones (...)
  • 40 Sarah Moser, “Educating the Nation: Shaping Student-Citizens in Indonesian Schools”, op. cit. (note (...)

23A variety of factors have contributed to the urge to revive Malay culture in and around Tanjung Pinang. As mentioned, the impulse to have more autonomy from Jakarta has fueled Malay ethno-nationalism. Also, increased globalization and exposure to neighboring Batam Island’s massive growth and many social problems as a frontier border zone have prompted many residents of Tanjung Pinang to look to local traditions for guidance and stability during this time of rapid change. Furthermore, there is an emerging sense of pan-Malay identity in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, and a widespread understanding among Malays that colonial and national boundaries have arbitrarily split up a once united group.39 All of these forces have mobilized members of the ruling elite to adopt various interpretations of “Malayness” in architecture both in Malaysia40 and other parts of the Malay world.

  • 41 Yohannes Firzal, Reconstructing Socio-Cultural Identity: Malay Culture and Architecture in Pekanbar (...)
  • 42 Hotels are the main private sector buildings that adopt a Malay idiom, largely to attract tourists (...)
  • 43 In 2006, a choreographer was brought from Jakarta to Tanjung Pinang to create a new provincial styl (...)

24While aspects of Malay material culture have been expressed in architecture in the Riau Islands for several decades, usually as modern office buildings topped with a recognizably Malay roof,41 there has been a recent increase of predominantly state42 buildings constructed in Tanjung Pinang with an overt and recognizable Malay idiom. Such buildings feature design elements that are widely understood to be shorthand for Malay culture and include Malay floral motifs derived from wood carving or fabric, design elements that draw from what is widely viewed as “traditional” architecture, or the use of “traditional” materials such as bamboo or wood, or even concrete or plaster imitations of bamboo or wood. State buildings that adopt a Malay idiom have a variety of purposes including government offices and state transportation infrastructure, as well as venues to foster and promote Malay performing arts.43 Several performance stages have been constructed in and around Tanjung Pinang to encourage Malay dance and music with the intention of creating a strong Kepri identity through the performing arts, particularly to represent the province at national televised extravaganzas and at Taman Mini (personal communication with provincial government official, 2014) and are designed in a recognizably Malay idiom. These performance stages do not replace or replicate past structures; they are entirely new structures that use modern materials to create decorative elements and rooflines to signify their Malayness (fig. 2).

Figure 2: Performance stage for Malay arts, Pulau Penyengat constructed in 2007.

Figure 2: Performance stage for Malay arts, Pulau Penyengat constructed in 2007.

Source: Authors’ picture.

25In recent years, the Kepri state has prioritized the preservation and particularly the creation of “traditional” Malay structures and villages in key locations. A rumah adat, or traditional community house, was constructed in the late 1980s on Pulau Penyengat in an attempt to revive a sense of community spirit and tradition (fig. 3). While the structure was broadly intended as a venue for “traditional cultural practices” and weddings, locals prefer to have weddings next to their houses for the sake of convenience, and social activities tend to be centered around the island’s mosque. The structure stands empty and neglected, and serves primarily as a brief stop for tourists exploring the history of the island.

Figure 3: A rumah adat (traditional community house), Pulau Penyengat.

Figure 3: A rumah adat (traditional community house), Pulau Penyengat.

Source: Authors’ picture.

  • 44 Interview with island official, 2014.
  • 45 Interview with island official, 2014.

26Similarly, in 2006 a kampong air, or a cluster of homes on stilts over the sea, was created by the Tanjung Pinang government on Pulau Penyengat as part of a general push to enhance the island’s Malay features in order to fulfill its role as the Malay cultural heartland44. While many Malays throughout the region built wood homes, mosques, and other buildings on stilts over the sea for centuries, this practice has waned as it has become associated with poverty and backwardness, and concrete houses built on land, associated with modernity and progress, have gradually become the norm. The kampong air project carries symbolic weight as an attempt to revive and update a vernacular building form (fig. 4). Inspired by a visit to Brunei’s famous water village, the kampong air is the pet project of a city official who secured the funds to create what he viewed as a project of “Malay pride”45. Other sea-based housing projects have not been attempted in the Tanjung Pinang region since then, and current government housing is all land-based, including all housing built in Kepri’s new capital of Dompak. This project highlights the idiosyncrasy of state projects and their dependency on a single person who has his or her own priorities and who may champion certain projects over others and have his or her own interpretations of what architecture constitutes Malayness.

Figure 4: Kampung Air, Penyengat Island.

Figure 4: Kampung Air, Penyengat Island.

Source: Authors’ picture.

Royal Heritage

  • 46 Carole Faucher, “Regional autonomy, Malayness and power hierarchy in the Riau Archipelago,” in Mari (...)

27In addition to the common ties of language and religion, a key aspect of Kepri residents’ sense of “Malayness” is their relation to the former sultanate and the archipelago’s role as a historic center of royal power.46 There is a widespread sense among residents in the Tanjung Pinang region, particularly as regional tourism has grown in recent years, that the royal history makes the area unique and is a source of pride and authenticity. Enhancing the visibility of royal heritage is now a key part of current provincial tourism strategies, and architecture is an important medium through which the sultanate is being branded and revived.

  • 47 Virginia Matheson, “Pulau Penyengat: Nineteenth Century Islamic Centre of Riau,” op. cit. (note 13)
  • 48 The mosque on Pulau Penyengat, now treated as a key symbol of the current Malay cultural revival, w (...)

28As the center of the Riau-Lingga sultanate, Pulau Penyengat was home to various royal figures, administrative buildings of the sultan, mosques, royal residents, and a printing press.47 Given the island’s status by government officials and many residents as the “heartland of Malay culture” and a “living museum,” particular care has been taken to preserve, enhance, and promote the royal heritage. This has been accomplished mainly through modifying existing architecture and adopting particular features in new architecture to convey a sense of royalty. Bright yellow and gold, once the signature of the sultanate, has been adopted to broadly signify royal heritage, and Malay high culture in general. On Pulau Penyengat, all structures that were built for the sultanate have been painted bright yellow, although none of the buildings were in fact yellow during the sultan’s time. For example, old photos from the early 1900s of the sultan and his retinue in front of the island’s Grand Mosque48 demonstrate clearly that the mosque was whitewashed. Despite archival evidence and the memories of old-timers on the island, most local residents and government officials are convinced that yellow carries special significance and a sense of cultural authenticity (fig. 5).

Figure 5: The mosque on Pulau Penyengat.

Figure 5: The mosque on Pulau Penyengat.

The mosque (Masjid Raya Sultan Riau Penyengat) was white since its construction in 1844 but was recently painted the royal yellow for the first time to brand it as being associated with the Riau sultanate.

Source: Authors’ picture.

29Design that conveys a sense of Malay royal heritage is frequently deployed by the Kepri state for temporary events in central and highly visible parts of Tanjung Pinang. While these events have no relation to the sultanate once based in the region, the ruling elite adopt royal heritage to project a sense of authenticity and heritage, and to reference a glorious past, while legitimizing their own power. A temporary performance stage is often constructed in the heart of Tanjung Pinang for Malay cultural events near the jetties, City Hall, the colonial governor’s office, and the city’s Chinese district (fig. 6). The stage integrates a variety of elements all recognizable to Kepri residents as Malay and taken from a variety of architectural sources. The lattice that trims the stage and the roof reproduces the decorative trim widely used in Malay wood homes, while the staircase at the front of the stage references concrete staircases used in many raised wood Malay houses. The Malay floral patterns are drawn from intricate wood carving found in vernacular mosques and fabric. The minarets on either side of the stage replicate those of the royal mosque on Pulau Penyengat. The colors chosen also convey a syncretic royal/Malay/Muslim identity: the green is widely used in the Muslim world to represent Islam, while the yellow is the signature color of the local sultanate. The structure embodies the syncretism both of the past and the ongoing syncretism found in recent ethno-nationalist architecture in Tanjung Pinang.

Figure 6: Temporary performance stage for a Malay cultural festival in the heart of Tanjung Pinang.

Figure 6: Temporary performance stage for a Malay cultural festival in the heart of Tanjung Pinang.

Source: Authors’ picture.

Arab Revival Meets Global Islam

  • 49 Keith W. Taylor, “The Early Kingdoms,” in Nicholas Tarling (ed.), The Cambridge History of Southeas (...)
  • 50 Chun Wai Wong, “Stop Trying to Be like Arabs, Ruler Advises Malays,” The Star Online, 24 March 2017 (...)
  • 51 Sarah Moser, “Circulating Visions of ‘High Islam’”, op. cit. (note 3).
  • 52 Eric Tagliacozzo (ed.), Southeast Asia and the Middle East: Islam, Movement and the Longue Durée, S (...)

30The era widely perceived to be the Malay world’s golden age is inextricably tied to the emergence of Islam in the fifteenth century, which marks the beginning of Malay history as it is remembered in recent centuries.49 Those who spread Islam are considered heroes, and Arabs in the Malay world are held in particularly high esteem.50 In the Riau Islands, it is prestigious for Malays to be able to trace their family lineage back to an Arab ancestor.51 Reviving a glorious past, therefore, means looking to a time when Malays had adopted Islam, were at the peak of their economic power and influence, had not yet been colonized, and when the Malay world was a destination for Arab immigrants. The promotion of Islam and Arab culture as authentically Malay overlaps with the strengthening influence of global Islam and the increasing connectedness (and the sense of a revived pre-colonial connection) among Muslims in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.52

  • 53 Margaret Sarkissian, “‘Religion Never Had It so Good’: Contemporary Nasyid and the Growth of Islami (...)
  • 54 Charlene Tan, Islamic Education and Indoctrination: The Case in Indonesia, London; New York, NY: Ro (...)
  • 55 Greg Fealy and Sally White, Expressing Islam: Religious Life and Politics in Indonesia, Singapore: (...)
  • 56 Hamim S. Ahmad Mokhtar, Naziruddin Abdullah and Syed M. Al-Habshi, “Efficiency of Islamic Banking i (...)
  • 57 Sarah Moser, “Educating the Nation,” op. cit. (note 33); Sarah Moser, “Putrajaya: Malaysia’s New Fe (...)

31These factors have contributed to a broad turn to the Middle East and Arab culture among Southeast Asian Muslims, affecting popular culture,53 education,54 politics,55 banking,56 and the built environment.57 Since Malays are Muslims, the expression of Islam (even an imported Arab version of it) is seen by many Malays as authentic Malay culture.

  • 58 Sarah Moser, “Globalization and the Construction of Identity in Two New Southeast Asian Capitals: P (...)

32In the context of Malaysia, Islam serves to unify a diverse group of people without favoring any one subgroup. It relates to a golden age of Malay history but also alludes to the great Islamic civilizations that preceded the colonial era and the influx of Chinese and Indian immigrants. Islam is seen as an “authentic” and pure way to connect with a defining aspect of Malay identity, and overt Islamic idioms have been employed increasingly in architecture in Kepri and the Malay world more broadly.58

33The surge of interest in promoting Islam as a proxy for Malay identity has influenced state architecture in the Riau Islands, particularly state-built mosques, but also some government buildings, which have increasingly adopted a generic Arab idiom in the past 5-10 years. The Grand Dompak Mosque is a state project designed to be the main place of worship for Dompak, the new master-planned capital city of Kepri (fig. 7), features of which are borrowed from the Nabawi Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia. There are, for example, drawings and photos of the Nabawi Mosque displayed inside the Grand Dompak Mosque as well as texts that create a connection between the two buildings. While the Grand Dompak Mosque is clearly not an exact replica and the quality of materials and craftsmanship are more modest, the photos and drawings establish a distinct connection to the Saudi mosque, and provide a sense of legitimacy and authenticity to a brand-new mosque in a new city seeking to broadcast its Malayness, particularly in contrast to Tanjung Pinang’s diversity and large Chinese population.

Figure 7: The Grand Dompak Mosque (Masjid Raya Dompak).

Figure 7: The Grand Dompak Mosque (Masjid Raya Dompak).

Source: Authors’ picture.

34Similarly, recent city government buildings have been constructed near Senggarang, the Chinese village on the outskirts of Tanjung Pinang, in a syncretic Arab-inspired style characterized by Islamic domes, arches, and other Islamic design motifs (fig. 8). Such buildings represent a new attempt to encroach on land designated by the state for the Chinese community, particularly as they are built along a ridge that is highly visible from a great distance. The domed buildings along the ridge above Senggarang create an Islamic silhouette and mark the territory as Malay.

Figure 8: Arab-inspired government architecture in Senggarang, near Tanjung Pinang.

Figure 8: Arab-inspired government architecture in Senggarang, near Tanjung Pinang.

Source: Authors’ picture.

(Re)creating Malayness: Emerging Social Exclusions

  • 59 Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger (eds.), The Invention of Tradition, op. cit. (note 37).

35Expressions of Malayness in recent state architecture in and around Tanjung Pinang illustrate currents of Malay chauvinism and classism that serve to exclude a large portion of the province’s residents, both symbolically and materially. The quest for reviving a pure “authentic” Malay culture that predates colonialism overlooks the region’s rich syncretism and the overlap between ethnic and cultural groups. Instead, the quest for Malayness invents tradition59 and mobilizes specific narratives that serve present political purposes. Examples of Malay revival in state architecture in the previous section illustrate the politicization of race and religion and how the syncretism of the past is glossed over. State architecture treats Malayness and the province’s many cultures in a simplified, homogenizing Taman Mini way, not as an endless series of hybrids.

  • 60 Scott Schaffer, “The Past as a Product in the Present: Disney and the Imagineering of Histories,” i (...)

36Malayness is presented as something timeless, unchanging, and representable through architecture. According to state conceptualizations, Malayness is something historical rather than contemporary, that has been eroded or lost and is in need of reviving and commemorating. In Malay revival architecture, Malay culture is stripped of its politics, its diversity, and its internal tensions and reduced to a harmless building type. Similar to Disney’s Main Street, USA,60 an idealized recreation of a small town main street in a theme park that is supposed to represent “American culture,” recent state architecture iconizes and mythologizes Malay culture, while presenting a simplified version of that culture that lacks any allusion to its complexity and rich history. Recent state architecture in Tanjung Pinang also demonstrates that official conceptualizations of ethnicity and culture, at least in Kepri, have not evolved since the 1970s when Taman Mini was created.

  • 61 Cynthia ChouThe Orang Suku Laut of Riau, Indonesia: The Inalienable Gift of Territory, London: Ro (...)

37In these examples of revived Malayness, no differentiation is made between Bugis and Malays, two groups that were historically distinct. Over time, these distinctions have lost meaning, as divisions between Muslims and non-Muslims have grown sharper in recent years. Similarly, ethnic groups from other parts of Indonesia are rendered invisible in state architecture, despite a strong presence of Javanese and others living in Tanjung Pinang. Malays are positioned as having a unique symbolic and material claim to the land in Kepri that non-Malays can never have. Other groups indigenous to the region, particularly the Orang Laut, or nomadic sea people, who have lived in the Riau Islands for over a millennium, are also excluded from recent Malay revivalism.61

  • 62 John Pemberton, On the Subject of “Java,” op. cit. (note 29).

38The revival of Kepri’s role as a royal seat of power is expressed through recent state architecture and is driven by local elites who benefit from their association to the sultanate. Malay elites, many of whom are descendants of the local sultan or who are connected to other important historical figures, use the built environment as a way to assert and legitimize their claim to power in top government positions. Reinforcing ties between the government and the royal past is similar to General Suharto’s adoption of many symbols of a Javanese sultan62 and serves to construct a lineage of power that excludes those from lower socio-economic brackets, who have no path to leadership within this system.

  • 63 Ross King, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya: Negotiating Urban Space in Malaysia, Singapore: NUS Press, 2 (...)
  • 64 Interview with government official, 2014.

39While the relationship between ethnic Chinese and Malays in the Riau Islands has traditionally been peaceful compared to the tension and violence in other regions, there are troubling signs of creeping Malay chauvinism similar to what is currently emerging in Malaysia. The belief that Malays (and Muslims more broadly) have a unique claim to the land63 is reinforced and normalized through architecture and planning. While the Malay idiom adopted in some state projects pays homage to vernacular culture and creates a sense of place that is recognizably Malay, it also ignores and renders invisible the large ethnic Chinese communities in the region. Soon after the creation of Riau Islands Province, the provincial government determined that Pulau Penyengat would be a sort of “living museum” for “pure” Malay culture in the hopes of attracting tourists from dunia Melayu, or the broader Malay world, namely Malaysia, Singapore, and other parts of Indonesia. While tombs and remaining buildings of the Riau sultanate were renovated and preserved, the presence of Chinese families on the island and a Kampung Cina (Chinese village) on the island was deemed inappropriate by the Riau Islands government64. As a result, in the 2000s, all but one long-term ethnic Chinese family residing on Pulau Penyengat were relocated to Senggarang, a designated ethnic Chinese village a fifteen-minute boat ride away. As the island has been purged of ethnic minorities, the Malayization of Pulau Penyengat’s built environment has increased dramatically in recent years, and “Malay”-style welcome gates have been constructed on the jetties (figs. 9–10).

Figure 9: Jetty on Pulau Penyengat facing the open sea projects a royal Malay identity.

Figure 9: Jetty on Pulau Penyengat facing the open sea projects a royal Malay identity.

Source: Authors’ picture.

Figure 10: Jetty on Pulau Penyengat facing Tanjung Pinang projects a Malay identity through reproducing a recognizable Malay architectural form in concrete.

Figure 10: Jetty on Pulau Penyengat facing Tanjung Pinang projects a Malay identity through reproducing a recognizable Malay architectural form in concrete.

Source: Authors’ picture.

40The exclusion of ethnic Chinese can further be seen in the absence of physical and symbolic space for them in the new capital. As discussed, the Arab-inspired Grand Dompak Mosque is a main feature of the new provincial capital, yet no facilities have been built or are planned for worshipers of other religions, leaving the Chinese community to practice only in private or household temples. The lack of accommodation of non-Malays sends a clear message that Malays/Muslims have a unique claim to the land and to power that no other race has. As is manifested in state architecture, a Malay/Muslim–Chinese dichotomy has been recently sharpened and reified in the built environment. For example, the Malay performance stages are meant to foster only Malay culture and are not intended to celebrate the diversity and syncretism of Kepri’s population. Moreover, separate performance stages that use recognizably Chinese motifs and colors (i.e. dragon symbols in bright red) have been created by the state in recent years, a move that generates new material and symbolic divisions.

  • 65 Sarah Moser, “Circulating Visions of ‘High Islam,’” Urban Studies, vol. 49, no. 13, 2012, p. 2913–2 (...)

41The political motivations behind this heritage revival echo similar dynamics in Malaysia, in which ethno-nationalism is expressed through state architecture.65 While Malay culture and history are presented as a depoliticized set of aesthetic components, state architecture in and around Tanjung Pinang presents a highly politicized and race-based nationalism that excludes portions of the population from representation. The ongoing exclusion of ethnic Chinese Indonesians from the long and prestigious list of national heroes indicates a reluctance to acknowledge their contributions. The current populist movement against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (locally known as Ahok), the ethnic Chinese former governor of Jakarta, illustrates ongoing tensions and the widespread belief that ethnic Chinese, as non-Muslims, should be lesser citizens than Muslims.

42In Kepri, these top-down efforts have been met with a great deal of support from many Malays and little open resistance, due in part to the various ways in which protestors can be punished by a strong and corrupt state. However, some residents—both Malays and Chinese—have expressed criticism of recent Malayization. The sole remaining ethnic Chinese family on Pulau Penyengat claims that while they were asked to move, they will never leave. They feel that it is typical of the current political climate that ethnic segregation is being practiced on the island, and, while they are not surprised, they are disappointed in the government and frustrated that the other Chinese families did not have the will to resist the state’s relocation of them to Senggarang and fight harder to remain on Pulau Penyengat. Other ethnic Chinese in Senggarang echo the state when they say that Senggarang “has always been Chinese” and that it is somehow their natural home.

43Some Malays are frustrated that the state’s attempt to revive Malay heritage is superficial and historically inaccurate and they are critical of the lack of local input in decision-making. One resident of Pulau Penyengat felt that, if the island is a “living museum,” the state should not add new “heritage” structures, but rather should properly maintain existing historical buildings and perhaps rebuild some of the sultan’s buildings that he ordered to be destroyed before his departure. While Malays generally feel the new Malay structures are a positive development, some feel that the architecture is inauthentic and feels somewhat like a theme park.

Conclusion

44Over the past decade, the interest in reviving Malay culture has been manifested in a variety of policies and programs, the most visible of which is through public architecture. As our paper demonstrates, state architecture is a highly public tool for the state to communicate ideology. A critical examination of this architecture reveals the variety of ways in which a sense of “authentic” Malayness has been revived and how government agencies and individuals are able to shape projects according to their own views of what constitutes Malay heritage.

45While architecture in the Riau Islands continues to be syncretic, albeit with different reference points and a more self-conscious referencing of particular aspects of the past, there is more careful policing of boundaries between Malays/Muslims and non-Malays/non-Muslims. This is evident through the conscious effort to imbue state architecture with a sense of history and culture, albeit a highly selective revival of the past that excludes non-Malays. While the Riau Islands have a diverse and eclectic history as a crossroads for many cultures, recent and centrally located state architecture in Tanjung Pinang serves to silence and gloss over complexity and syncretism in favor of a narrative in which there is one set of heroes to celebrate: Malays/Muslims and, in particular, those associated with the Riau sultanate. As such, the formation of Riau Islands Province has provided an opportunity for the Riau Islands elite to consolidate power and use the elite Malay past to legitimize their own sphere of influence.

  • 66 Yohannes Firzal, Reconstructing Socio-Cultural Identity: Malay Culture and Architecture in Pekanbar (...)

46The manifestation of Malay chauvinism in Tanjung Pinang’s state architecture parallels similar trends elsewhere in the Malay world.66 As citizen groups supporting political Islam grow stronger in the Malay world, debates about Malay culture and identity and the identification of “impure,” non-halal, or un-Islamic elements may continue to lead to a more overt adoption of Arab idioms in public buildings. However, recent criticism of Malays’ tendency to ape Arab culture has resulted in a small resurgence of architecture that seeks to revive syncretic and vernacular forms. No matter what the direction of state architecture, discussions about how to revive and represent culture in public buildings continue to exclude ethnic Chinese, indigenous people such as the Orang Laut, and other non-Malays, rendering them invisible in the state-produced urban landscape.

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Notes

1 Anthony King, “Worlds in the City: Manhattan Transfer and the Ascendance of Spectacular Space,” Planning Perspectives, vol. 11, no. 2, 1996, p. 97–114; Yasser Elsheshtawy, Dubai: Behind an Urban Spectacle, London; New York, NY: Routledge, 2010 (Planning, history and environment series); Davide Ponzini and Michele Nastasi, Starchitecture: Scenes, Actors and Spectacles in Contemporary Cities, Turin: Allemandi, 2011.

2 Wade Shephard, Ghost Cities of China: The Story of Cities without People in the World’s Most Populated Country, London: Zed Books, 2015; Bianca Bosker, Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China, Honolulu; HI: University of Hawaii Press, 2013 (Spatial habitus).

3 Sarah Moser, “New Cities in the Muslim World: The Cultural Politics of Planning an ‘Islamic’ City,” in Peter Hopkins, Lily Kong and Elizabeth Olson (eds.), Religion and Place: Landscape, Politics and Piety, London; New York, NY: Springer, 2013, p. 39–56; Sarah Moser, “Circulating Visions of ‘High Islam’: The Adoption of Fantasy Middle Eastern Architecture in Constructing Malaysian National Identity,” Urban Studies, vol. 49, no. 13, 2012, themed issue Global Urban Frontiers? Asian Cities in Theory, Practice and Imagination, p. 2913–2935.

4 Vivienne Wee, “Ethno-Nationalism in Process: ethnicity, atavism and indigenism in Riau, Indonesia,” The Pacific Review, vol. 15, no. 4, 2002, p. 497–516.

5 Nicholas Long, “Fruits of the Orchard: Land, Space, and State in Kepulauan Riau,” Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, vol. 24, no. 1, 2009, p. 60–88.

6 Lyn Parker, From Subjects to Citizens: Balinese Villagers in the Indonesian Nation-State, Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2003 (Democracy in Asia series, 9); Sarah Moser, “Educating the Nation: Shaping Student-Citizens in Indonesian Schools,” Children’s Geographies, vol. 14, no. 3, 2016, p. 247–262.

7 “Metamorphosis Manillay Dompak Island,” TanjungPinang Pos, 2011, URL: http://www.tanjungpinangpos.co.id/2011/34817/metamorfosis-manillay-di-pulau-dompak. Accessed 19 July 19 2017.

8 There has been a great deal of intermarriage between these groups, which is not reflected in these statistics.

9 Nicholas J. Long, Being Malay in Indonesia: Histories, Hopes, and Citizenship in the Riau Archipelago, Singapore: NUS Press, 2013.

10 Abidin Kusno, “Tropics of Discourse: Notes on the Re-invention of Architectural Regionalism in Southeast Asia in the 1980s,” Fabrications, vol. 19, no. 2, 2010, p. 58–81.

11 Anthony Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce 1450-1680. 2. Expansion and Crisis, New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 1993.

12 Vivienne Wee and Cynthia Chou, “Continuity and Discontinuity in the Multiple Relations of Riau,” Bijdragen Tot de Taal-, Land- En Volkenkunde, vol. 153, 1997, p. 527–541.

13 Virginia Matheson, “Pulau Penyengat: Nineteenth Century Islamic Centre of Riau,” Archipel, vol. 37, no. 1, 1989, p. 153–172.

14 Nicholas Long, Being Malay in Indonesia, op. cit. (note 9).

15 Virginia Matheson, “Pulau Penyengat: Nineteenth Century Islamic Centre of Riau,” op. cit. (note 13)

16 Vivienne Wee, “Ethno-Nationalism in Process,” op. cit. (note 4).

17 Joseph Stiglitz, Globalization and Its Discontents, New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 2002.

18 Ehito Kimura, Political Change and Territoriality in Indonesia: Provincial Proliferation, New York, NY; London: Routledge, 2013 (Routledge contemporary Southeast Asia series, 46).

19 In 1994, sijori became the ims-gt (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore Growth Triangle) as more Indonesian and Malaysian states beyond Riau and Johor joined.

20 Leo Van Grunsven, “The Sustainability of Urban Development in the sijori Growth Triangle: A Social Perspective,” Third World Planning Review, vol. 20, no. 2, 1998, p. 179–201.

21 Ehito Kimura, Political Change and Territoriality in Indonesia, op. cit. (note 18).

22 Vivienne Wee, “Ethno-Nationalism in Process,” op. cit. (note 4), p. 13.

23 Al Azhar, “Malayness in Riau: The Study and Revitalization of Identity,” Bijdragen Tot de Taal-, Land- En Volkenkunde, vol. 153, no. 4, 1997, p. 14.

24 Lian Kwen Fee, “The Construction of Malay Identity across Nations: Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia,” Bijdragen Tot de Taal-, Land- En Volkenkunde, vol. 157, no. 4, 2001.

25 Benedict Anderson, Language and Power: Exploring Political Culture in Indonesia, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1990, p. 36 (The Wilder House Series in Politics, History and Culture).

26 Jamie Davidson and David Henley, The Revival of Tradition in Indonesian Politics: The Deployment of Adat from Colonialism to Indigenism, London: Routledge, 2007 (Routledge contemporary Southeast Asia series), p. 18.

27 Edward Aspinall and Greg Fealy, Local Power and Politics in Indonesia: Decentralisation and Democratisation, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2003 (Indonesian update series).

28 Sherry Errington, “The Cosmic Theme Park of the Javanese,” in Claire Farago and Donald Preziosi (eds.), Grasping the World: The Idea of the Museum, Farnham: Ashgate, 2004, p. 340–360.

29 John Pemberton, On the Subject of “Java,” Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994.

30 Ju Lan Thung and Leolita Masnun, “Melayu-Riau: Dari Isu ‘Riau Merdeka’ Sampai Persoalan Riau Kepulauan,’” Etnisitas Dalam (Re)konstruksi Identitas Lokal Dan Nasional, Jakarta: PMB-LIPI, 2002.

31 Sarah Moser, “Creating Citizens through Play: The Role of Leisure in Indonesian Nation-Building,” Social & Cultural Geography, vol. 11, no. 1, 2010, p. 53-73.

32 Nicholas Long, Being Malay in Indonesia: Histories, Hopes, and Citizenship in the Riau Archipelago, op. cit. (note 9).

33 Sarah Moser, “Educating the Nation: Shaping Student-Citizens in Indonesian Schools,” Children’s Geographies, vol. 14, no. 3, 2016, p. 247–262.

34 Timothy P. Barnard, Contesting Malayness: Malay identity across boundaries, Singapore: Singapore University Press, 2004.

35 Sarah Moser, “Educating the Nation: Shaping Student-Citizens in Indonesian Schools,” op. cit. (note 33).

36 Bryan Graham, G.J. Ashworth and J.E. Tunbridge, A Geography of Heritage: Power, Culture and Economy, London: Arnold, 2000.

37 Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger (eds.), The Invention of Tradition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

38 Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, London; New York, NY: Verso, 1991.

39 Lian Kwen Fee, “The Construction of Malay Identity across Nations: Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia,” op. cit. (note 24).

40 Sarah Moser, “Educating the Nation: Shaping Student-Citizens in Indonesian Schools”, op. cit. (note 33).

41 Yohannes Firzal, Reconstructing Socio-Cultural Identity: Malay Culture and Architecture in Pekanbaru, Indonesia, Ph.D. dissertation, Newcastle University, 2015.

42 Hotels are the main private sector buildings that adopt a Malay idiom, largely to attract tourists seeking Malay culture.

43 In 2006, a choreographer was brought from Jakarta to Tanjung Pinang to create a new provincial style of dance and teach locals who would then represent Kepri at national events. The choreographer drew on Balinese dance and a hybrid of local Malay dance for the Kepri dance style. The construction of Kepri’s provincial dance form is explored in depth in a forthcoming paper (author, forthcoming).

44 Interview with island official, 2014.

45 Interview with island official, 2014.

46 Carole Faucher, “Regional autonomy, Malayness and power hierarchy in the Riau Archipelago,” in Maribeth Erb, Carol Faucher and Priyambudi Sulistiyanto, Regionalism in Post-Suharto Indonesia, Hoboken, NJ: Taylor and Francis, 2005 (Routledge contemporary Southeast Aisa series), p. 125–140.

47 Virginia Matheson, “Pulau Penyengat: Nineteenth Century Islamic Centre of Riau,” op. cit. (note 13).

48 The mosque on Pulau Penyengat, now treated as a key symbol of the current Malay cultural revival, was built in the mid-1840s and has a typically syncretic design that stems from a variety of sources, including Arab, Malay, Javanese, and Dutch.

49 Keith W. Taylor, “The Early Kingdoms,” in Nicholas Tarling (ed.), The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia. 1. From early times to c. 1800, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992 (Cambridge histories online), p. 137–182.

50 Chun Wai Wong, “Stop Trying to Be like Arabs, Ruler Advises Malays,” The Star Online, 24 March 2017, URL: http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/03/24/stop-trying-to-be-like-arabs-ruler-advises-malays. Accessed 20 July 2017.

51 Sarah Moser, “Circulating Visions of ‘High Islam’”, op. cit. (note 3).

52 Eric Tagliacozzo (ed.), Southeast Asia and the Middle East: Islam, Movement and the Longue Durée, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009, p. 20.

53 Margaret Sarkissian, “‘Religion Never Had It so Good’: Contemporary Nasyid and the Growth of Islamic Popular Music in Malaysia,” Yearbook for Traditional Music, vol. 37, 2005, p. 124–152; Bart Barendregt, “The Sound of Islam: Southeast Asian Boy Bands,” ISIM Review, vol. 22, no. 1, 2008, p. 24–25. URL: https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/handle/1887/17266/ISIM_22_The_Sound_of_Islam_Southeast_Asian_Boy_Bands.pdf. Accessed 25 July 2017; Bart Barendregt, “Sonic Discourses on Muslim Malay Modernity: The Arqam Sound,” Contemporary Islam, vol. 6, no. 3, 2012, p. 315–340; Andrew N. Weintraub, Islam and Popular Culture in Indonesia and Malaysia, London; New York, NY: Routledge, 2011 (Media, culture and social change in Asia series, 24); Johan Fischer, Proper Islamic Consumption: Shopping Among the Malays in Modern Malaysia, Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2008 (NIAS monograph series); David D. Harnish and Anne K. Rasmussen (eds.), Divine Inspirations: Music and Islam in Indonesia, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2011 (Oxford scholarship online).

54 Charlene Tan, Islamic Education and Indoctrination: The Case in Indonesia, London; New York, NY: Routledge, 2012 (Routledge research in education, 58); Ali Formen and Joce Nuttall, “Tensions between Discourses of Development, Religion, and Human Capital in Early Childhood Education Policy Texts: The Case of Indonesia,” International Journal of Early Childhood, vol. 46, no. 1, 2014, p. 15–31.

55 Greg Fealy and Sally White, Expressing Islam: Religious Life and Politics in Indonesia, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2008 (Indonesia update series); Robert W. Hefner, Civil Islam: Muslims and Democratization in Indonesia, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 2011; Gerhard Hoffstaedter, “Secular State, Religious Lives: Islam and the State in Malaysia,” Asian Ethnicity, vol. 14, no. 4, 2013, p. 475–489.

56 Hamim S. Ahmad Mokhtar, Naziruddin Abdullah and Syed M. Al-Habshi, “Efficiency of Islamic Banking in Malaysia: A Stochastic Frontier Approach,” Journal of Economic Cooperation, vol. 27, no. 2, 2006, p. 37–70; Jessie P. H. Poon, Jane Pollard, Yew Wah Chow and Michael Ewers, “The Rise of Kuala Lumpur as an Islamic Financial Frontier,” Regional Studies, 2016, p. 1–11.

57 Sarah Moser, “Educating the Nation,” op. cit. (note 33); Sarah Moser, “Putrajaya: Malaysia’s New Federal Administrative Capital,” The international journal of urban policy and planning, vol. 27, no. 4, august 2010, themed issue Cities, p. 285–297; Sarah Moser, “Globalization and the Construction of Identity in Two New Southeast Asian Capitals: Putrajaya and Dompak,” in Xiangming Chen and Ahmed Kanna (eds.), Rethinking Global Urbanism: Comparative Insights from Secondary Cities, London; New York, NY: Routledge, 2012; Sarah Moser, “New Cities in the Muslim World,” op. cit. (note 3).

58 Sarah Moser, “Globalization and the Construction of Identity in Two New Southeast Asian Capitals: Putrajaya and Dompak,” op. cit. (note 57).

59 Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger (eds.), The Invention of Tradition, op. cit. (note 37).

60 Scott Schaffer, “The Past as a Product in the Present: Disney and the Imagineering of Histories,” in Douglas Brode and Shea T. Brode (eds.), Debating Disney: Pedagogical Perspectives on Commercial Cinema, New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2016.

61 Cynthia ChouThe Orang Suku Laut of Riau, Indonesia: The Inalienable Gift of Territory, London: Routledge, 2009 (The modern anthropology of Southeast Asia).

62 John Pemberton, On the Subject of “Java,” op. cit. (note 29).

63 Ross King, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya: Negotiating Urban Space in Malaysia, Singapore: NUS Press, 2008 (ASAA Southeast Asia Publications Series).

64 Interview with government official, 2014.

65 Sarah Moser, “Circulating Visions of ‘High Islam,’” Urban Studies, vol. 49, no. 13, 2012, p. 2913–2935; Sarah Moser, “Educating the Nation: Shaping Student-Citizens in Indonesian Schools,” Children’s Geographies, vol. 14, no. 3, 2016, p. 247–262.

66 Yohannes Firzal, Reconstructing Socio-Cultural Identity: Malay Culture and Architecture in Pekanbaru, Indonesia, Ph.D. dissertation, Newcastle University, 2015; Sarah Moser, “Globalization and the Construction of Identity in Two New Southeast Asian Capitals: Putrajaya and Dompak,” in Xiangming Chen and Ahmed Kanna (eds.), Rethinking Global Urbanism: Comparative Insights from Secondary Cities, London; New York, NY: Routledge, 2012. Josh Lepawsky and Rodney C. Jubilado, “Globalizing Kuala Lumpur and rationalising the street: Hawkers and the aporias of urban renewal along Petaling Street and Jalan Masjid India,” in Yeoh Seng Guan (ed.), The Other Kuala Lumpur: Living in the Shadows of a Globalising Southeast Asian City, London; New York, NY: Routledge, 2014 (Routledge Malaysian Studies series).

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1: Map of the Riau Islands and surrounding region.
Crédits Source: Authors’ picture.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3643/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 148k
Titre Figure 2: Performance stage for Malay arts, Pulau Penyengat constructed in 2007.
Crédits Source: Authors’ picture.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3643/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 368k
Titre Figure 3: A rumah adat (traditional community house), Pulau Penyengat.
Crédits Source: Authors’ picture.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3643/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 452k
Titre Figure 4: Kampung Air, Penyengat Island.
Crédits Source: Authors’ picture.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3643/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 244k
Titre Figure 5: The mosque on Pulau Penyengat.
Légende The mosque (Masjid Raya Sultan Riau Penyengat) was white since its construction in 1844 but was recently painted the royal yellow for the first time to brand it as being associated with the Riau sultanate.
Crédits Source: Authors’ picture.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3643/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 324k
Titre Figure 6: Temporary performance stage for a Malay cultural festival in the heart of Tanjung Pinang.
Crédits Source: Authors’ picture.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3643/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 420k
Titre Figure 7: The Grand Dompak Mosque (Masjid Raya Dompak).
Crédits Source: Authors’ picture.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3643/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 352k
Titre Figure 8: Arab-inspired government architecture in Senggarang, near Tanjung Pinang.
Crédits Source: Authors’ picture.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3643/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 340k
Titre Figure 9: Jetty on Pulau Penyengat facing the open sea projects a royal Malay identity.
Crédits Source: Authors’ picture.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3643/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 380k
Titre Figure 10: Jetty on Pulau Penyengat facing Tanjung Pinang projects a Malay identity through reproducing a recognizable Malay architectural form in concrete.
Crédits Source: Authors’ picture.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/abe/docannexe/image/3643/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 376k
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Pour citer cet article

Référence électronique

Sarah Moser et Alyssa Shamsa Wilbur, « Constructing Heritage Through State Architecture in Indonesia’s Riau Islands », ABE Journal [En ligne], 11 | 2017, mis en ligne le 03 octobre 2017, consulté le 15 décembre 2017. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/abe/3643 ; DOI : 10.4000/abe.3643

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Auteurs

Sarah Moser

Assistant Professor, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Alyssa Shamsa Wilbur

Graduate Student, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

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Droits d’auteur

Licence Creative Commons
La revue ABE Journal est mise à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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