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Open Access Contesting boundaries in the Riau Archipelago

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Contesting boundaries in the Riau Archipelago

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates how the idea of 'Masyarakat Kepri' is imagined with a specific focus on the role of the urban middle class. It examines the recent political developments which have resulted in several cases of pemekaran (or administrative fragmentation) since the fall of the New Order, at both district and provincial levels. The chapter explores the problems different groups encountered in trying to formulate a model that would foster a sense of belonging to the Kepri province. It looks at the role of education and the efforts put forward to revive ethnic pride within the context of a wider Malay identity. The chapter focuses on the city of Tanjungpinang on Bintan Island because it has been the most important administrative centre of the Riau Archipelago. It also comprises the greatest number of Malay-Bugis aristocrats in the archipelago and forms as such a centre of Malay identity politics.

Keywords: Bintan Island; contesting boundaries; Malay identity politics; Malay-Bugis aristocrats; Masyarakat Kepri; pemekaran; Riau Archipelago; Tanjungpinang



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