An Analysis of the Power Structure in Southern Border Provinces Reflected through the Capital Accumulation of a Malay Muslim Politician: The Case Study of Abdullateh Yagad
lecturer, The Faculty of Political Science, Prince of Songkla University, Pattani Campus.
This article employs the concept of capital of Pierre Bourdieu as a tool to analyse the power structure of three southern border provinces. The methods of data collection include in- depth interview and life histories of the researched. The accumulation, categorization, and analysis of capitals have revealed the political power structure in the region, and how politician in the area entering into such power. The chosen case study is the Malay Muslim politician named Abdullateh Yagad, who was the first Chief Executive of the Provincial Administration Organization of Yala, Thailand. He was from a poor family and had climbed up to leading positions in business and a political arena in the province. This study shows that an educational institution in his youth was an initial sphere that supported him to accumulate diverse capitals. In particular, social capital was his early accumulation that reinforced him to acquire other types of capitals later on.
The life history of Abdullateh Yagad has reflected the political situation in southernmost area in the post -Cold War era. The Order of the Office of the Prime Minister No. 66/2523 patronized him to build up relationships with Thai military elites. This encouraged him to create immense social capitals, leading to a symbolic capital which was considered charisma in the patronage system. However, due to the political conflicts, he was accused of being involved in security-issued crime, which with the consequently struggled for more than seven years. The accusation had eventually waned his accumulated symbolic capitals or charismatic power over time.
Yet, Abdullateh Yagad was different from most of his contemporary politicians or the current ones in the southern border provinces. He was not born to an influential politician family, or a Malay Royal one, or was not a son of any Islamic leaders; different capital accumulation had been achieved by himself. This study all in all considers his life path and capital accumulation contributed to the understanding of the relationship of state agencies in southern border area where political power structure was contextually appropriated.