Khaerul Amri1, Ilham Daeng Makkelo2, Amrullah Amir3

Universitas Hasanuddin, South Sulawesi, Indonesia


[email protected]1, [email protected]2, [email protected]3



This study focuses on the ideological struggle in the 1955 elections in South Sulawesi. The practice of democracy made SARA the main menu of its implementation. Collected in electoral district twelve, South Sulawesi was in a tense political situation�the relaxation of the rules for organizing elections added to the dark traces of organizing this democratic party. The historical method is used in this research, which formulates research problems from a historical perspective. The procedures include searching and collecting sources (heuristics), source criticism (selection of materials), interpretation and comparison, and presenting or writing history (historiography). The results of this study show that the Masyumi party benefited from the pre-election situation in South Sulawesi. First, political campaigns were organized under the guidance of religion. Second, several Regional Heads affiliated with the Masyumi Party and election organizers facilitated Masyumi's interests toward the peak of power. Third, the interpretation of government regulations and circulars gave birth to the struggle strategy of the Star Moon banner. Fourth, Muhammadiyah's bipolar role in the Election Winning Action Committee.


Keywords: islam, masjumi, election, campaign.


Corresponding Author: Khaerul Amri

Email: [email protected]



Democracy is seen as a political system or the best way of organizing life in society (Suryana et al., 2022). For newly democratic countries, the challenge is how the practice of democratic institutions can be strengthened. Democracy must be consolidated to withstand the test of time, political conflicts, and crises. General elections are the embodiment of a democratic country. Elections function as the foundation of democracy, allowing citizens to exercise their right to vote or participate in the political process in Indonesia (Putri et al., 2023). Political parties will be the spearhead in its implementation. Political parties will be the guardians of the government in carrying out these wishes. Political parties must represent and articulate the wishes of their cadres and voters spread across several regions (Dahl & Zainuddin, 2001).

Indonesia's political landscape is characterized by continuous ideological battles between various political parties (Pamungkas et al., 2020). This ideological battle is rooted in the beliefs and principles upheld by each political party. Ideology is the basis for the party's agenda, policies, and actions, usually echoed in major party activities. The most significant movements of political parties are ahead of elections. Elections themselves were held for the first time in Indonesia in 1955. When people today talk about the 1955 elections, the image that always emerges is democratic elections, an ideal democratic party, and is even believed to be a clean, honest, and fair election. This first election will always be remembered for the beauty of Taufik Ismail's poem entitled "When Indonesia was Respected by the World ."This poem describes the 1955 election as the most "clean and beautiful" election that occurred in the history of this nation. This may be because the election law does not regulate the rules for organizing a campaign, including time limits, costs, and places where campaigning is prohibited. Therefore, it is not uncommon for friction to occur between political parties participating in elections. Except in some areas, for security reasons, a final period for the implementation of the campaign is then regulated (Salam, 1998).

The presence of Masyumi as an Islamic party has colored Indonesian political life, especially in South Sulawesi. Any discussion of politics in South Sulawesi from the beginning of independence to guided democracy will not be complete without seeing the political upheaval of the Masjumi Party in raising the banner of the moon and stars amidst various changes in form and governance in Sulawesi Province (Achmad, 2014). This party appears powerful by showing the true style of democracy. The Masyumi Party in South Sulawesi, which is the focus of this study, shows this. It can be said that the Masyumi Party is the mouthpiece for democratic practices in this area. Masyumi, through its administrators spread across various regions of South Sulawesi, started practicing democracy by developing strategies ahead of the elections. Several Masyumi branches that have been formed have prepared themselves from an early age to welcome the approaching elections. This is done to gain people's sympathy through various agreed programs. This program is an initiative of the party's branches and other programs on the Bulan Bintang command line by the Masyumi Party's Articles of Association and Bylaws (AD/ART) or other party regulations (Winahyu, 2014).

A party structure that is strong and rooted in remote areas, supported by the Muhammadiyah movement and the role of ulama, who are members of Masyumi, are important elements for the party in achieving its glory (Chusnunia, 2017). The role of several regional heads who are party cadres also influences Masyumi's superiority. This is because regions that already have a regent or definitive regional head also serve as chairman of the district election committee. Furthermore, the political narrative with various issues promoted by the Masjumi Party during the campaign became the ultimate weapon in crushing its political opponents. There are so many problems related to the campaign that the government wants to regulate its implementation. During a campaign, it is common to misuse religious symbols to bring down or discredit political opponents. Considering this, the government wishes to regulate the implementation of campaigns, especially those related to religious symbols. The population of South Sulawesi, which is predominantly Muslim, coupled with the DI/TII movement, complemented Masyumi's victory in the first election contestation in this country (Jafar, 2009).

To look at the elections in South Sulawesi, Burhaman Djunedding's thesis at the Postgraduate Program at the Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Gadja Mada University, Yogyakarta in 2010. In his writing, Burhaman described the 1955 elections as showing fundamental changes in local political dynamics in South Sulawesi. This is reflected in the election results, which show how little support "clients" (voters) have for "patrons" (nobles). Thus, according to Burhaman, the opinion that Masyumi's victory in the 1955 elections in South and Southeast Sulawesi was due to the strength of the aristocratic group could not be maintained.

With political studies, Barbara Sillars Harvey (1983) tried to trace the Permesta incident using the "Center Periphery" theory. This theory attempts to look at the factors of weak bureaucratic and economic integration, a legacy of the general conditions of the colonial era, as the main elements that give rise to tensions between the center and the regions. Although this study looks at the Permesta movement, it includes local dynamics and political struggles of which Masyumi in South Sulawesi is an important part. The second study from Barbara Sillars Harvey (1989) highlighted Kahar Muzakkar's DI/TII movement. This study examines in detail the regional dynamics of South Sulawesi leading up to and ending the DI/TII Kahar Muzakkar Movement. Barbara Sillars Harvey's two studies provide important information about political dynamics in South Sulawesi. Masyumi's struggles in local politics can also be found in Anhar Gongong's (1994) study, Kahar Muzakkar: From Patriot to Rebel. Even though this study looks at Kahar Muzakkar as the focus of the study, the Masyumi political struggle in South Sulawesi is closely related to DI/TII Kahar Muzakkar.

The interprets that to increase the number of sympathizers in the 1955 election, the efforts made by political parties were through discourse battles (Ahmad, 2016). Each party has its approach and goals mapped out in its way. The PNI, with its Marhaenist understanding, prioritizes independence. Meanwhile, Masyumi carries the discourse of God's truth. At the same time, NU, also an Islamic party, brought the concept of Nationalist Islam, while the PKI brought democratic discourse into a Marxist framework. Judging the opinion of other parties who see Masyum as a tough competitor often results in attacks continuing to come before the elections in Central Java (Ahmad, 2016).

Based on this literature review, the focus of this study in depth discusses the Masyumi ideological battle leading up to the first elections in South Sulawesi in the 1950s. This study attempts to fill the space in local political history in South Sulawesi after independence. The discussion was directed at the Masyumi party's preparations for the elections and campaign strategies to attract the sympathy of the people of South Sulawesi. These two discussion points are also the problem formulation for this study, which aims to explain the party's preparations for Masjumi welcoming the election. K story journey Masjumi parsed with compile periodization And described motion its history. Dynamics politics is analyzed as Good as reality history nor as a draft. Discussion tries to elaborate peculiarity in various forms. In theory, this is important in the current debate about the "appropriateness" of identity politics for Islamic Parties. Conflicts of interest in the name of Islam in politics are now commonplace. Methodologically, this research examines political history by considering ideological aspects and society's social and cultural city using historical methods. This study discusses the political dynamics of the Masyumi Party in managing elections in South and Southeast Sulawesi by considering the party's organizational and political vortex, as well as the social life of its members. So, this study changed the paradigm regarding implementing the first election in Indonesia.

This research aims to explore the political history focusing on its ideological aspects and the socio-cultural life of the society. Historiographically, this study seeks to contribute to the references on a comprehensive study of political history, which is not only worth reflecting upon and understanding but also wise to engage in dialogue with the past. It advocates for an honest and tolerant approach, so this study attempts to demonstrate that "history is always relevant.


The method employed in this study is descriptive historical analysis using a perspective from the field of political history. To present the historical account, a systematic critical historical analysis involving several stages is necessary. The initial stages begin with the synthesis and antithesis of the determinants of political dynamics in the past through a dialogue with the past utilizing archives and newspapers. After conducting further research, the author acquired archives related to politics in South Sulawesi at the Archives and Library Office of South Sulawesi Province to support this study, including: Inventory of Secret Archives of South Southeast Sulawesi Province (Sulselra), Inventory of Secret Archives of Sulawesi Province 1946-1960, Inventory of Archives of Sulawesi Province Government 1950-1960, and Inventory of Secret Archives of Sulawesi Province 1946-1960, Inventory of Personal Collection Archives of Muhammad Saleh Lahade 1937-1973, and Reports of Muhammadiyah Congresses. This stage is often referred to as heuristic or literature review in historical studies. Sources relevant to this study are analyzed in depth and compared with other sources to identify valid facts. Once various sources are obtained, critical analysis is performed on the collected sources. Their credibility is tested by questioning when the source was created, ensuring it aligns with the period under study, where it was created (location), who created it (author), the material the source was made of (analysis), whether the source is in its original form (authentic), and what evidentiary value it holds (credibility). The results of this critical analysis are interpreted into a Historiography note titled "The Ideological Struggle Leading to the First General Elections in South Sulawesi.



Masyumi's Preparation for the Election

Masyumi's power nationally has decreased since Nahdatul Ulama, as a special member, left the Masyumi Party and declared itself a political party in 1952. Nahdatul Ulama's departure from Masyumi caused Muhammadiyah to be concerned even though Muhammadiyah's position within the Masyumi Party was getting stronger. This particularly affected the preparation and implementation of the 1955 elections and even afterward. This also did not dampen Patai Masyumi's enthusiasm to prepare for the elections. The pledge stating that Masyumi is the only Islamic political party in Indonesia still applies to Masyumi cadres and sympathizers. This pledge is also still adhered to by Muhammadiyah as a special member of Masyumi (PP Muhammadijah, 1995).

At the tower session in 1952, the Muhammadiyah leadership again reminded the leaders of Islamic organizations of the first Masyumi Mukhtamar in Yogyakarta. This pledge was revived at the Muhammadiyah Tanwir session in Solo, 12-14 February 1953. At this answer session, election preparations were discussed for the first time. Please note that the Tanwir Session is a deliberation held under the responsibility of the central leadership, and its position is under the Mukhtamar. Tanwir members consist of members of the central management, regional leaders, deputy regional leaders, and deputy leaders of central-level autonomous organizations according to Articles 16 and 24 of Chapter VI of the Muhammadiyah Articles of Association. Therefore, each region sends its representatives to participate in the tanwir, held at least three times during the leadership period. At that time, South Sulawesi was represented by Andi Sewang Daeng Muntu. Daeng Muntu has attended Tanwiri meetings since South Sulawesi became part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. Daeng Muntu successively represented South Sulawesi from 1950 to 1957. Daeng Muntu was only Alpha in 1956 due to illness, while in 1958, South Sulawesi was represented by Quraisj Jaelani (Asriana et al., 2021).

On the first day of the opening tanwir session, Deputy Chairman I of PP Muhammadiyah KH Fakih Usman, also the Masyumi Central Executive, delivered a report including strategies for facing the election. The trial continued with Mr. Burhanuddin Harahap as chairman of the General Election Action Committee (KAPU). KAPU is a body within Masyumi formed by the central management of the Masyumi party. KAPU is tasked with winning elections and has branches and branches throughout Indonesia, including South-Southeast Sulawesi. This was explained by Burhanuddin, who said that KAPU is an institution that specifically handles winning elections from the center to the regions (PP Muhammadijah, 1995).

The initial socialization of KAPU was discussed in the fifth session on February 14, 1953. This session obtained information about KAPU and its cooperation system with Muhammadiyah in remote areas. The Muhammadiyah Central Executive said they had agreed to work with KAPU, but the agreement could only be finalized five months later. Muhammadiyah's AD/ART explains that all decisions must go through the Mukhtamar the highest decision-making room. So, KAPU's collaboration with Muhammadiyah can only be established at Muhammadiyah's 32nd Mukhtamar. At that time, Muhammadiyah also considered that the legal basis for elections had not yet been established (PP Muhammadijah, 1995).

The government made the legal basis for the election about a month after the Muhammadiyah tanwir session. On April 4, 1953, the government issued Law Number 7, 1953, concerning the Election of Members of the People's Representative Council and Members of the Constituent Assembly. This law is an amendment to the Election Bill (RUU), promulgated on March 30, 1953, with the approval of the House of Representatives. This law regulates the holding of democratic parties from the center to the regions and is a reference in holding elections. This law regulates all election elements, from election outreach to announcing candidates for DPR and Constituent Assembly members. Apart from that, this law also regulates electoral districts throughout Indonesia. In its implementation, the government made the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Justice responsible for the elections. The two ministries prepare legal instruments and election committee structures at the central and regional levels. Therefore, these two ministries collaborate with the Central Election Office (KPP). The KPP itself was formed by realizing Law Number 17 of 1948. During its journey, the Ministry of Justice issued several policies to develop this election committee's structure. One of them issued instruction No. JB.2/9/3 dated July 7, 1953, concerning changing the name of the Central Election Office (KPP) to the Indonesian Election Committee (PPI), the Election Office to the Election Committee , and the Voting Office (KPS) to the Committee Voting (PPS) (BPAD: Registration No. 235).

The Ministry of Justice also issued Circular No. JB.2/9/4 Und. Dated April 23, 1953, and second circular no. 5/11/37/KDN dated July 30, 1953, which regulates the committee's composition in elections. In principle, the circular letter contains the duties, membership structure, and term of office for the election executive committee at each level. Election committees from the center to the sub-districts are each tasked with preparing and holding elections for Constituent Assembly members and DPR members following their work areas. The circular explains that the PPI has a minimum of five members or a maximum of nine people with a term of office of four years. Likewise, the PP formed in each electoral district also has a minimum of five members and a maximum of seven members. PP's working period is also the same as PPI, namely four years. This is different from the PPK, which is formed in each district. This PPK was formed directly by the Minister of Home Affairs, who was tasked with facilitating the work of the PP or election committee in each electoral district. The election committee formed in each sub-district is named PPS. The PPS is responsible for validating the voter list and assisting with preparations for the election of the Constituent Assembly and DPR members. Another task of the PPS is to organize voting. PPS also has a minimum of five members. However, he acts as chairman of the local sub-district PPS. The President followed up the circular letter with the issuance of government regulation Number 39 on November 27, 1953. The Perpu contains instructions on how to take an oath as an Election Organizer. This Perpu serves as a guideline for implementing the inauguration of PP, PPK, and PPS in the regions.

The rules set by the government became the subject of debate at the 32nd Mukhtamar of Muhammadiyah. This Mukhtamar was held on June 14, 1953 in Purwokerto. This mukhtamar produces all decisions regarding the election, including recommendations from the previous tanwir session. The Muhammadiyah Central Leadership report confirmed that Muhammadiyah agreed to collaborate with KAPU. The Muhammadiyah Central Leadership has prepared guidelines for implementing cooperation. These guidelines relate to Muhammadiyah's attitude in facing elections by synergizing with KAPU. The synergy actively displays the ideals and banner of Masyumi's struggle through future parliamentary seats. Furthermore, after successfully occupying seats in the constituent assembly and the central DPR, efforts were made to form an Islamic front (PP Muhammadiyah, 1953: 8).

The Muhammadiyah Central Leadership also regulates guidelines for Muhammadiyah's cooperation with KAPU at branch and sub-branch levels. PP Muhammadiyah formulated cooperation guidelines in two periods, namely the preparation period and the implementation period. During the preparation period, what Muhammadiyah carried out was to increase Muhammadiyah activities, increase the number of members, intensively mobilize Muhammadiyah's charitable efforts, especially tabligh and educational activities, intensively mobilize the formation of the composition of the KAPU management at the branch and branch level, study the law regarding elections seriously and provide the broadest and most in-depth information regarding the law, actively fill the bodies of the election committee, voting committee and registration committee established by the government, form a planning body that regulates struggle strategies, strengthen relations with each other and look for resources finances for election costs (PP Muhammadijah, 1995).

Meanwhile, in carrying out elections, Muhammadiyah branch and branch leaders are obliged to mobilize Muslims, both men, and women, to register themselves in sub-districts, sub-districts, villages, nagari, clans, and other regional units, devote attention to struggles in sub-districts, sub-districts, villages, nagari, clans, and other regional units; deepen the sense of discipline in the KAPU's guiding instructions, and pay attention before the nomination of constituent and DPR members with warnings for them to maintain their honor and that of their leaders. Muhammadiyah, through the Wisdom Council, which handles all matters related to politics, has also decided on four work programs. The work program is to mobilize the energy of all members of the Muhammadiyah family to achieve victory in the elections, organize special officers to handle elections, and activate the Council of Wisdom in determining the style and direction of Islamic politics while keeping in mind the connection with Masyumi, and provide political education for Muhammadiyah members. Thus, the decision of the 32nd Muhammadiyah Congress in 1953 focused more on strategies and practical steps to face the 1955 elections.

Muhammadiyah again held a tanwir session nine months later, on April 11-14, 1954. This time the tanwir session decided the basis and objective of the election with the victory of Islam and the integrity and benefit of Muhammadiyah. At this tanwir session, Muhammadiyah also approved the principles of the planned regulations for nominating DPR and constituent members prepared by the Masyumi Central Management. With this regulation, Muhammadiyah in various regions is expected to immediately prepare its best cadres to become prospective legislative and constituent members. As is known in the previous explanation, Sufi Madjidi, Andi Sewang Daeng Muntu, and Ismail Napu are Muhammadiyah officials who are also candidates for legislative members (BPAD: Reg. No. 252)

The Masyumi Party held Mukhtamar VII in Surabaya on 3-7 December 1954. For Masyumi, Mukhtamar is the party's highest decision based on Article VI of the Masyumi Party's Articles of Association. This congress was held when the Masyumi party was an opposition party. As is known, the opposition party did not place representatives in the Indonesian Election Committee (PPI), which was established through Presidential Decree Number 188 of 1953 concerning the appointment of the PPI dated November 7, 1953. Based on this decision, the Masyumi Party did not place its representatives in the PPI. At that time, PPI was led by S. Hadikusumo from PNI. Likewise, Rustam Sutan Palindih was a PPI representative from PNI. Other representatives came from various parties, including Surjaningprodjo from NU, Sudibjo from PSII, Sudarnadi representing PIR-Hazairin, Sumarto from Parkindo, H. Sofjan Siradj from Perti, and Asraruddin from the Labor Party, and Hartojo from PKI. This PPI resulted from a reshuffling of the PPI during the Wilopo Cabinet, which was in limbo due to the lack of an agreement from the coalition parties. PPI was previously chaired by Mr. Asaat (non-party) (Irdaniah et al., 2022).

Natsir, in his report to Mukhtamar, alleged that Masyumi had been prohibited from being part of the PPI by Ali Sastromidjojo's cabinet. Therefore, Masyumi desires that the cabinet's leadership be immediately in Masyumi's hands. The Masyumi Party prepared Burhanudin Harahap's cabinet intending to win the "Panji Bulan Bintang." This can be seen in the Beleid Masyumi report submitted at the VIII Congress in Bandung on 22-29 December 1956. In the report, M. Natsir, as Chairman of Masyumi, conveyed the main ideas for forming the Burhanuddin Harahap cabinet. One of the main ideas for forming the cabinet was that general elections be held under a cabinet led by Masyumi. This aims to ensure that the general election date is not postponed, as explained by several parties. Masyumi's position as cabinet leader is also expected to be able to suppress the number of illegal actions that are detrimental to Masyumi in the elections. All important elements in Masyumi are ready to work together to win the first election in this country. According to Masyumi, only by mobilizing all the party's capabilities down to the smallest branches in the villages and synergy with existing instruments can the general election be held on time with Masyumi's victory (Natsir, 1956).

One of the initial actions taken by Masyumi was to try to include Masyumi representatives in the Central Indonesian Election Committee (PPI). This is intended so that Masyumi has space to reshuffle the central PPI itself and pave the way for including Masyumi members in regional election committees. Abd.'s success Rasjid Faqih as Masyumi's representative in the South and Southeast Sulawesi Election Committee manifests these ideals. Abd. Rasjid Faqih was appointed along with representatives of other parties in this area on March 23, 1954, by Abdul Razak Daeng Patunru as Resident Coordinator for Sulawesi Province on behalf of the Minister of Justice�election committees in the electoral districts of South and Southeast Sulawesi. The membership composition of PP South Southeast Sulawesi at that time was DA Kairupan from PRN as chairman and Sutardjo as deputy, who came from PNI. Meanwhile, the members consist of Abd�awar from PKR and Makmun from the MURBA party (Rakjat Berdjoeang, 1954).

Three weeks earlier, on March 3, 1954, a Regency Election Committee (PPK) was also established based on the Besluit of the Governor of Sulawesi dated January 27, 1954. The Regency Election Committee (PPK) was held by the Regent or Regional Head, while the deputy chairman and other members were appointed and dismissed by the Governor on behalf of the Minister of Home Affairs. Winarno, Acting Governor of Sulawesi, appointed the South and Southeast Sulawesi Regency Election Committee. At that time, the electoral district of South-Southeast Sulawesi was divided into eight Regency Election Committees, including Makassar City, Makassar Regency, Bone Regency, Bonthain Regency, Pare-Pare Regency, Luwu Regency, Mandar Regency and Southeast Sulawesi Regency. In carrying out its duties, the PPK is assisted by a Voting Committee (PPS) of 350 PPS and 1,703 Voter Registration Committees on duty in the village (BPAD: Registration No. 235).

The PPK for each district is as follows:

1.    Makassar City Election Committee

Chairman �������������������� : Ahmad Dara Sjahruddin

Deputy Chairman ������ : Ma'mun Daeng Mattiro

Members �������������������� :

a.    A. Muhdi Sjafei Djalawali

b.    Abdul Muin Daeng Tete

c.     Osman Lalang

d.    A. Azis Daeng Situju

e.    A. Tombokan

2.    Makassar Regency Election Committee

Chairman �������������������� : HM Yunus Daeng Mile

Deputy Chairman ������ : Moch Jusoef

Members �������������������� :

a.     Abd. Kadir Daeng Mangung

b.    Makka Daeng Serang

c.     A. Rasjid Leo����������

d.    Andi Mandatjingi

e.    Andi Pakki

3.    Pare-Pare Regency Election Committee

Chairman �������������������� : Maladjong Daeng Liwang

Deputy Chairman ������ : B. Rasjid

Members �������������������� :

a.    B. Daeng Nompo

b.    Affandi

c.     Be honest

d.    Husain

e.    Hamzah Asnawi

f.      HA Tjambolong

4.    Luwu Regency Election Committee

Chairman��������������������� : Abd. Madjid

Deputy Chairman������� : Pattaropura

Members��������������������� :

a.     M. Saleh Daeng Situju

b.    Batjo Tadjuddin

c.     Andi Kaso Topalemmai

d.    KML Pangala

e.    Andi Bintang

5.    Bonthain County Election Committee

Chairman��������������������� : Alimuddin Daeng Mattiro

Deputy Chairman ������ : Mangku Kusumo Hospital

Members��������������������� :

a.     Ahmad Munassar

b.    AMS Karim

c.     Andi Massualle

d.    Abd. Azis Paijo

e.    Muh. Ali

6.    Bone Regency Election Committee

Chairman �������������������� : Andi Pangerang

Deputy Chairman ������ : AMKasim

Members��������������������� :

a.     M. Rauf Husain

b.    Muh. Isaac

c.     J. Izaak

d.    Nurdin

e.    ST Hadidin

7.    Mandar Regency Election Committee

Chairperson ���������������� : Sampara Daeng Lili

Deputy Chairman ������ : Mattotorang

Members �������������������� :

a.     Joesoef S

b.    Umar

c.     Sjukur Rahim

d.    AS Mokuan

e.    Hasanuddin

8.    Southeast Sulawesi Regency Election Committee

Chairman �������������������� : RM Pasundan

Deputy Chairman ������ : La Ode Halim

Members��������������������� :

a.     Abdoel Wahab

b.    Aboenawas

c.     Nuhung Daeng Tali

d.    M. Nur

e.    Halidin (Rakjat Berdjoeang, 1954).

The Regency Election Committee that has been formed has the task of assisting the Election Committee in preparing and holding elections for the DPR and Constituent Assembly members, as well as appointing and dismissing members of the Voting Committee and increasing the number of these committees. Apart from that, the Regency Election Committee is also tasked with collecting data from resident in their respective regions and forwarding it to the Election Committee at the level above. Another task is to determine voting places and assist in counting votes during the election of members of the DPR and Constituent Assembly (PPI, 1958, p. 93).

The VII Masyumi Congress also produced fundamental decisions regarding the course of the next election stages. The Masyumi Central Syuro Council, as the party's advisory council, issued a fatwa on Islamic law regarding communism. The fatwa issued claimed that communism under Islamic law was kufr. For anyone who has knowledge and believes in the truth of communism, the law is infidel. Meanwhile, anyone who adheres to communism or a communist organization without knowledge, awareness, and belief in the philosophy, doctrine, goals, and methods of communist struggle is a heresy. According to the Syuro Council, the fatwa was based on the fact that communism, throughout its history, has conflicted with Islamic Sharia and the Muslim community itself. KH Taufiqurrahman signed this fatwa as chairman of the session, and M. Moh. Saleh Suaidy as secretary. This fatwa was also decided by representatives of ulama from all over the archipelago, including KA Hassan, KRH Badawi, KH Salim Fachry, KRH Hadjid, KH Imam Ghazali, KH Ahmad, K. Danial, KH Prof. Abdulkahar Muzukkir, K. Umar Hubes, KH Ahmad Azhary, and KH Arsjad Lukman (DPP et al. Division, 1955: 64; 12).

The West Java Masyumi Syuro Council also issued a fatwa on October 24, 1954, regarding the party's attitude towards communism. This fatwa considers the teachings and ideology of communism to be an anti-democratic ideology because it eliminates individual rights and advocates class struggle and group roles. This fatwa also initiated the establishment of Anti-Communist Fronts in each region as a form of resistance to the ideology of communism. Therefore, it is unlawful for Muslims to become members of the Indonesian Communist Party. If some Muslims adhere to communism, they will be considered apostates, and when they die, they are not required to be worshiped and buried properly. Islam (Islamic School, 1954: 56-57).

Ideological Battles During the Campaign Period

The general election campaign is one of the concrete steps taken by Masyumi to attract the sympathy of voters to vote for him. At that time, the general election campaign did not have a fixed date regarding when it would start, nor did it make the implementation rules. Herbert Feith thinks the campaign has been going on since April 4, 1953, when the election bill was passed into Law Number 7 of 1953. The next campaign was held when the PPI approved party signs or symbols for election contestants on July 31, 1954. Thus, the way was opened for a campaign based on image sign symbols. Since then, the parties have been busy promoting themselves with various activities in cities and villages. They actively campaign in the hope of winning absolutely so they do not have to form a coalition with other parties (Feith, 1999).

Party methods and strategies in campaigning are very diverse at this time. The campaign was also balanced, differing for each party and region. However, it generally takes the form of community meetings, processions using loudspeakers, posters in strategic places, and distribution of leaflets. Open campaigning took place at every level, in town squares or village halls, with speakers often from Jakarta or local partisan figures. Some hold congresses or member meetings, youth meetings, free speeches, film screenings, birthday parties, and religious festivals. In general, the election campaign in South Sulawesi showed open debate between pro-government and opposition parties. The PNI and Masyumi were the parties that took part in the debate the most, the two main parties at that time. Not to mention that the PKI, as a pro-government party outside the cabinet, is also taking part in the debate. Hot topics always debated are those related to government policies and state principles. Herbert Feith found that in the two years of major campaigning leading up to the 1955 election, there was a fierce social dispute over whether the country was based on Pancasila or the Islamic religion (Feith, 1999).

The loosening of campaign implementation regulations opens up opportunities for the Masyumi Party's electability to skyrocket. Why not? During the campaign period of volume one, Muslims in several areas seemed called to fight for the banner of Islam. Masyumi's struggle to "defend Islam" was based on government regulations detrimental to the party, insults to Islam, and attacks by political opponents. These three things triggered Masyumi to move its branches to fight for Islam as the principle of the Masyumi party. Masyumi began to gather strength when the government issued campaign organizing regulations that tended to make religion the main "commodity symbol." The government issued circular No.9/PLK/C4/1652 through the Attorney General on June 17, 1953. This circular prohibits campaigning or discussing politics in places of worship, whether in mosques, surau, or churches. The Attorney General urges the public to report if something like this happens immediately. Places of worship should not be used as political pulpits but as a means of religious education (BPAD, Registration 713)

This circular letter from the Attorney General has sparked a prolonged polemic, especially among Muslims in various regions such as Surabaya, Jakarta, and Makassar. Muslims in the city of Surabaya demanded the revocation of the circular by holding large demonstrations. They are even ready to go to prison if the circular is not withdrawn. The same criticism was also echoed by the Greater Jakarta Islamic Organization Contact Agency under the leadership of Sjarif Usman, the central administrator of the Masyumi Party. This combination of 60 Islamic organizations spread across Jakarta loudly voiced the revocation of the circular. The Islamic Organization Contact Agency believes that the prohibition on discussing politics in places of worship contradicts the Islamic religion. This association of organizations explained three main reasons Muslims opposed the circular: First, in the Colonial era, political speeches were never prohibited in suras or mosques. Second, politics is part of religious teachings in Islam, so politics cannot be separated from religion. This circular limits religious freedom. Third, the basis of the circular letter is not necessarily true ( Voice of the Masjumi Party, July 7, 1953: 31).

Polemics also occurred in South Sulawesi. Several Islamic parties and organizations expressed their rejection of the circular letter. A total of nineteen Islamic organizations and parties, including Masyumi, protested and demanded that the government immediately withdraw the circular. This alliance of organizations and parties surrounded the Governor's office by holding demonstrations. The demonstrators think that politics and religion are an inseparable unity. They believe that every Muslim who believes in their religion must ensure "doing politics because of religion," which is a curse if they hold the opposite opinion. Protesters felt that the Attorney General's circular put greater pressure on all Muslims, both physically and mentally than had ever been experienced and felt by the Dutch and Japanese governments. The protesters also considered that the Attorney General's Circular was not following the aims and objectives of Articles 18 and 19 of the Provisional Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia. This peaceful demonstration ended with a joint prayer for the integrity of the Muslim community in the archipelago.

The polemic about this circular letter is of serious concern to the Indonesian Prime Minister. The Prime Minister will ask the Attorney General for an explanation regarding the purpose and content of the circular letter. The Prime Minister believes that the purpose of the circular letter is not to prohibit discussing politics when preaching in mosques or churches. However, what is prohibited is sermons whose contents lead to hostility, hatred, or insults. The Prime Minister will schedule a special meeting with the Attorney General, the Minister of Religion, and religious leaders to resolve the existing polemic. This is necessary so that the polemic does not spread anywhere. This circular was finally withdrawn after a meeting was held between the Prime Minister and the Prosecutor, also attended by the Minister of Religion. The Attorney General then issued a new circular no. 11/PLK/C4/1652, which no longer prohibits politics in mosques or churches. This circular only takes the form of instructions to all instruments of power to increase supervision and vigilance against expressions of hostility, hate speech, or insults towards the government or other organizations and groups (BPAD, Registration No. 713).

In this way, Masyumi once again united its forces when the second volume of the campaign began. This campaign began when the Indonesian Election Committee approved the party's image on May 31, 1954. At the same time, Masyumi and the PKI also started a feud. Masyumi and the PKI heated up when the last name proposed people who were not party members as legislative and constituent candidates with the image of the Hammer and Sickle. The Masyumi Party protested the submission of this list of names because it was contrary to the Election Law. Referring to Article 41 paragraph (1) of Law no. 7/1953, submissions for party and organization or individual candidate image marks must be differentiated. Government Regulation no. 9/1954 article 23 paragraph (20) also explains that "the name proposed by a party is the name of that party or the abbreviation of that party." Masyumi's protest received support from NU and PSII, who participated as election participants. So, juridically, the ratification of the PPI for non-party people with the PKI image sign contradicts these two rules. Masyumi believes that the PKI's intention to register the names of "non-party people" is a form of manipulation that will be misused in the election. This legalization seemed to violate freedom and independence and sell the foundations of democracy (Suara Masjumi, July 1954: 4; February 1955:1).

The feud between the two parties became increasingly heated when Mei Kartawinata made a controversial statement on the 26th anniversary of the Marhaen Indonesian People's Association (Permai). During the meeting, Kartawinata offended Muslims by saying that the Koran and Islam are foreign teachings and that the prophet Muhammad is a false prophet. This statement aroused the emotions of the Muslim community, resulting in large demonstrations in various regions. In Jakarta, more than one hundred thousand Muslims took to the streets to defend Islam. The demonstrators shouted words such as "Allahu Akbar," "Imprison Mei Kartawinata!", "Get rid of Kartawinata!" and "Kill him!". Sjarif Usman, in his political speech, asked for the government's firmness regarding statements that hurt the hearts of Muslims throughout Indonesia. This Masyumi politician deeply regrets the statement made by Kartawinata. This statement is the same as hurting the Republic of Indonesia, which is based on belief in God as a pillar. The First Pancasila Massive Demonstration also took place in Makassar. This demonstration was organized by the Islamic Defense Committee, a combination of 33 Islamic organizations affiliated with the Masyumi Party. At least 80,000 Muslims of students, clerics, and workers surrounded the office of the Governor of Sulawesi and were welcomed by Winarno as Acting Governor. While giving a speech, this Muslim alliance also signed a statement demanding that the central government immediately take firm action regarding Kartawinata's statement (Java Bode, March 1954: 1; January 1954: 1).

The feud between Masyumi and PKI spread to places of worship. On October 29, 1954, the khatib voiced the fatwa of the Masyumi Central Syuro Council at the Djami Pare-Pare Mosque. In his Friday sermon, he said that communists were against Muslims. The preacher loudly stated that it was unlawful for Muslims to adhere to communism. Muslims who adhere to communist ideology (PKI) are in the category of apostates. Muslims who adhere to this belief are not required to be buried using Islamic methods. The Khatib believes it is haram for Muslims who apostatize and die because praying is not obligatory (BPAD, Registration 713).

This statement caused a strong reaction from the PKI Pare-Pare Committee Section by issuing an open letter the next day, October 30, 1954. The PKI believed the mosque was not a place to insult, vilify, or insult parties and ideologies. No provision in the PKI requires its members to adhere to any beliefs. The PKI does not mind if political opponents vilify "PKI politics," but do not use mosques. The PKI's reaction became increasingly unstoppable by demanding that the government build a new mosque for the party, which was using it as a place of worship for deviant purposes. According to the PKI, parties and ideologies are protected by law; therefore, the government should take firm action regarding this incident. The PKI also appealed to the people and its sympathizers to always be alert to the PKI's political opponents, who seemed to be turning the political fight towards an ideological fight (BPAD, Registration 714).

Anti-communist attacks continued as the general election approached. Sjarif Usman, as chairman of the Suara Masjumi editorial board and chairman of the information division of the Masyumi DPP in front of the Muslim masses in the city of Solo on April 10, 1955, called on Muslims who were members of the PKI, SOBSI or other Communist organizations to leave the Communist party or organization and return to an Islamic party or organization. The call was intended out of compassion and sadness if Muslims continued to drift into error until the end of their lives because they entered a Communist party or organization (Suara Masjumi, April 1955: 3).

The continuous attacks on Communists and the PKI echoed at the Masyumi general meeting on July 24, 1955. This general meeting was held at Ujung Pandang Fort and was attended by tens of thousands of Masyumi sympathizers. This grand meeting began with remarks from Mohammad Noor as General Chair of Masyumi for the Sulawesi region. After that, it was continued by the Masyumi Central Management, represented by Muhammad Isa Ashary, who is also the General Chair of Masyumi West Java. Isa Ashari is known to be so radical and extreme that he is often called a faction of "Muslim extremism" (Compton, 1993).

Isa Ashary, in his political oration, explained several things, including that Indonesia's independence was achieved thanks to the struggle of Islamic heroes such as Sultan Hasanuddin, Diponegoro, Imam Bondjol, and others, not communism. Communism in Indonesia is yesterday afternoon's child who was looking for air and life. Furthermore, Ashary explained that at the time of the Linggarjati Agreement and the Reville Agreement, Masyumi fought all-out against the Dutch. However, the Communists wanted to stop fighting and then reappear. However, after the handover of sovereignty, the PKI emerged and accused Masyumi of being a traitorous party. The PKI accused Masyumi of supporting the Round Table Conference (KMB) and synergizing with the Dutch colonial government. The PKI did not agree with the KMB but forgot that the KMB was part of a government supported by communists. Kyai Isa Anshary believes that such communist politics is "topped politics." The PKI's accusation that the Masyumi leadership accepted bribes and was left alone by the Ali Cabinet is also untrue. Therefore, Masyumi had run out of patience and stated, "Masyumi's main opponent is the PKI," he continued. The Islamic extremist's statement was greeted with great fanfare and loud applause from all Masyumi sympathizers. (People's Guidelines, July 1955: 1).

Approximately two months later, on September 19, 1955, the Indonesian Socialist Party (PSI) also held the same activity and took place in the same place. Sutan Sjahrir, in his speech, explained the importance of equitable development on a large scale. If roads from remote areas are easily accessible, it will be easy for people to sell and buy their needs. The PSI chairman's statement was greeted by thunderous applause from around 12,000 supporters. In the evening, Sjahrir and other PSI administrators discussed with youth, pupils, and students at the State Hotel Makassar to discuss security in South Sulawesi. According to Sjahrir, security in this area cannot be resolved because the government is not serious. The negotiations were only political, so the results were always disappointing ( Guideline for the People, September 1955: 1).

The party that is Masyumi's political opponent also carries out similar activities. The PKI held an activity titled "General Lecture of the PKI Makassar City Committee Section" on September 10, 1955. This public lecture was held in the center of Makassar City and was attended by administrators and several party sympathizers, totaling 600 participants. The PKI then held a campaign in Makale, Tana Toraja, on October 5, 1955. Salawati Daud, in her speech, insulted Masyumi by saying that if Masyumi later won the election, Indonesia would become an Islamic state. In this way, people will be forced to convert to Islam so that livelihoods such as raising pigs will be eliminated. Therefore, Salawati appealed to the people not to vote for Masyumi. He wanted the people to vote for the PKI or PNI, which was analogous to the horn-tedong (a sacred animal to the Torajan people). It should be noted that at that time, the PKI and PNI were in coalition in several campaigns in South Sulawesi (BPAD, Reg. 234).

The PNI, a PKI coalition, also carried out a campaign on September 12, 1955, at the SGB Pangkajene building. Thousands of supporters from the Sigeri, Ma'rang, Bungoro, Mandalle, and Labbakkang areas attended this grand PNI campaign. In his speech, Hadji Intje Saleh Daeng Tompo dismissed Masyumi's propaganda, which called PNI members infidels and idol worshipers just because the PNI symbol was a bull's head. Daeng Tompo added that Masyumi had no right to represent the Moon and Star as a symbol of the Islamic ummah but that this symbol was only the symbol of the Masyumi Party (Marhaen, September 1955: 2).

On the other hand, Masyumi continued his political safari by holding a campaign in Makale. According to R. Sarira, who is the Makale/Rante Pao Information Department, the campaign by Masyumi was peaceful. Masyumi campaigners invited people not to vote for the PKI because the party does not know God and religion or moral law. As a symbol of the PKI, the Hammer and Sickle is like a tool for slashing human necks, while the hammer is intended to beat our bodies until we die, he explained. Therefore, never stab the "Hammer and Sickle," stab the "Star Moon" as a useful object for humans. The Moon and Stars can illuminate the world with all its contents. The Star Moon is also a guide in farming to obtain multiple harvests. Likewise, if you want to build, the moon and star symbols show you the way. The statement by the Masyumi campaigner was a reply to the PKI's statement in the previous campaign in this place (BPAD, Reg. 235).

The Masyumi campaign team also attacked the PNI by calling the Bull Head symbol a wild animal ready to gore at any time. According to him, if the PNI wins, the bull will gore the Indonesian people individually. The Masyumi campaign team further accused the PNI of being a field for corruptors and thieves. Several PNI ministers in Ali's Cabinet have been imprisoned for corruption of public money. If you do not want to choose the star headdress, please choose Parkindo. Parkindo and Masyumi are brothers, and both are religious parties that uphold divine principles, he concluded. Masyumi ended its big campaign by showing confidence in facing the election. Masyumi campaigners told their sympathizers that of the fourteen DPR seats being contested, Masyumi had bagged twelve seats. Apart from that, if, in several campaigns, the PKI made the PNI its political friend, Masyumi was not left behind by showing political affection towards Parkindo in Tana Toraja.



The ideological battle played out through the Masyumi-PKI feud provides important insight into the historical conflict between Indonesian parties. The conflict in the 1950s significantly shaped Indonesia's political landscape and broadly impacted the country's social, economic, and cultural development. During this period, tensions between the Masjumi Party and the Indonesian Communist Party were triggered by political differences and competing perspectives in the power struggle. This conflict was further intensified by external factors such as the dynamics of the Cold War and the broader political atmosphere at the time. The Masyumi Party, representing a conservative Islamic ideology, has a strong nationalist stance and advocates an Indonesia based on Islamic principles. The Indonesian Communist Party, on the other hand, adheres to a Marxist-Leninist ideology. This clash of ideologies created a highly polarized political environment, with both sides engaging in intense propaganda campaigns and mobilizing their respective supporters. Politics in South Sulawesi is made noisy by the sensation of sentiment on every political stage ahead of the premiere in this country. Behind the ideal and perfect face of the 1955 election, as is already understood and accepted by all, the election also tells an intriguing reality of its implementation.




Achmad, ZA (2014). Comparison of Press Systems. Lutfansah Mediat.

Ahmad, TA (2016). Campaigns and Political Fights in Central Java Leading Up to the 1955 General Election. Paramita: Historical Studies Journal, 26 (1), 45�61.

Asriana, N., Bacmid, S., Syaifullah, MS, & Jalil, A. (2021). The Influence of Perception and Minimum Capital on Investment Interest in the Sharia Capital Market (Study of Students at the Faculty of Economics and Islamic Business, IAIN Palu). Journal of Islamic Banking and Finance, 3 (2), 82�100.

Chusnunia, C. (2017). Politics and Islamic boarding schools: The Role of the National Awakening Party in Lampung, 1999�2014/Chusnunia. University of Malaya.

Compton, R.B. (1993). The Crisis of Liberal Democracy: Secret Letters. In Secret Letters.

Dahl, RA, & Zainuddin, AR (2001). On democracy: Exploring the theory and practice of democracy in brief. Indonesian Obor Foundation.

Feith, H. (1999). 1955 General Election in Indonesia. (No Title).

Irdaniah, I., Andi Ima Kesuma, AIK, & Ridha, MR (2022). 1955 General Election in South Sulawesi: Case Study of Afdeeling Parepare. Phinisi Integration Review, 5 (2), 454�463.

Jafar, M. (2009). Development and Prospects of Local Political Parties in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province. Diponegoro University Postgraduate program.

Muhammadijah, M. (1995). Mukhtamar Muhammadijah News XXXII No. 5 .

Natsir, M. (1956). In the VIII Congress.

Pamungkas, NL, Widiyantoro, A., & Wicaksono, MA (2020). Political Relations and Religious Issues: PKS Political Dynamics and Action to Defend Islam in the 2019 Simultaneous Elections. Sospol: Journal of Social Politics, 6 (1), 70�84.

Putri, N.H., Laia, A., & Laia, B. (2023). Proportional System Of General Election In A Political Legal Perspective. Arrow Journal Of Justice, 2 (2), 50�60.

People Berdjoeang. (1954). "Inauguration Ceremony of the XII Regional General Election Committee in the Governorate."

Salam, A. (1998). General Elections in Historical Perspective: The 1955 Experience. Syamsuddin Haris et al., Contesting the New Order General Election, Jakarta: USAID & Obor.

Suryana, C., Fatihah, NA, Subki, MT, & Maulani, MI (2022). Government Systems: Democracy and Monarchy. Faculty of Da'wah and Communication, UIN Sunan Gunung Djati Bandung.

Winahyu, R. (2014). The political image of the Gerindra party towards Prabowo Subianto in the 2009 presidential election.

� 2023 by the authors. It was submitted for possible open-access publication under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY SA) license ( -sa/4.0/).