The Jakarta Post
Yogyakarta Sultan Hamengkubuwono X named the eldest of his five daughters, Gusti Kanjeng Ratu (GKR) Pembayun, as crown princess on Tuesday, an apparent effort to prepare for royal succession in Yogyakarta province, which enjoys special status from the central government.
The 69-year old king, who became sultan in March 1989, issued a sabdaraja (king's proclamation) making Gusti crown princess and giving her the title GKR Mangkubumi. The sabdaraja was issued during a closed procession at the kraton (royal palace), attended by just a few members of the royal family and abdi dalem (royal servants).
The palace compound was even closed to tourists during the occasion. Apparently none of the sultan's brothers attended, and there are rumors they disagreed with their eldest brother's decision.
'It was very brief,' said KRT Yudhaningrat, a member of the royal family.
'Let Ngarso Dalem give the explanation,' he said, referring to the nickname of the sultan, who has served as Yogyakarta governor since 1998.
Previously in March, the sultan also issued a sabdotomo (royal decree), hinting at some of the qualities his successor ought to possess, and warned all parties against interfering with the naming of his successor.
The royal decree was issued in response to deliberations by the Yogyakarta Legislative Council (DPRD I) on a special draft bylaw regarding the posts of governor and deputy governor in Yogyakarta province.
Deliberations have continued since early February, and councilors have not agreed on whether the governor and deputy governor candidates need to be males, as implied in Article 18 of Law No. 13/2012 on Yogyakarta's special status.
Article 18 (c) of the same law also states the governor and deputy governor candidates are the ruling sultan of Yogyakarta and the duke of the Pakualaman principality,respectively.
This is taken by some to mean that both candidates must be male.
Many fear that the lack of clarity on the matter could sow confusion among Yogyakartans and have urged the sultan to give an explanation as soon as possible.
Sulistyo Atmodjo of the association of Bantul villages called on the sultan to explain his decision to appoint his daughter as successor.
He said the sabdaraja represented the sultan's final say, but added that further elaboration was urgently needed to inform the public.
'We do hope the sultan will give a public explanation soon,' he said.
Meanwhile, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said the central government would not interfere in the royal family's affairs. 'We cannot intervene. It is an internal matter of the kraton,' Kalla said on Tuesday.