Ethnic tensions may flare as Kalimantan polls loom

History of violence, Islamist groups gaining ground, spark fears over gubernatorial race

Voters in Kalimantan will pick their next governor from a slate comprising the popular Dayak-Christian pairing of Karolin Margret Natasa (pictured) and Suryadman Gidot and their rivals, who include a duo of Muslim candidates.
Voters in Kalimantan will pick their next governor from a slate comprising the popular Dayak-Christian pairing of Karolin Margret Natasa (pictured) and Suryadman Gidot and their rivals, who include a duo of Muslim candidates. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/KAROLIN MARGRET NATASA

West Kalimantan is the ancestral home of the Dayak, a tribal people who have thrived in the hinterland of Borneo for centuries.

Today, they live alongside the Bugis, Chinese, Javanese, Madurese and Malays, in one of Indonesia's most diverse provinces.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2018, with the headline 'Ethnic tensions may flare as Kalimantan polls loom'. Print Edition | Subscribe