This article examines the traditional populist issue of money politics within Indonesian general elections, using Meranti Islands Regency, Riau Province, as its concrete case. Several previous studies indicate that money politics have been integral in the general elections at both local and national levels. This study thus discusses the practice of money politics in the case of Meranti Islands Regency general elections. This study was conducted from July to August 2017 using qualitative methods. The data collection was carried out by interviewing 22 informants who were selected purposively. They were matched with observations and document data followed by qualitative analysis. This research found that the region has complicated problems such as: (1) a high poverty rate, (2) a lack of public understanding of money politics and its effects, (3) a lack of a monitoring system, and (4) a weak justice system. To address these issues, formal and non-formal institutions should be systematically enhanced and empowered. This should begin with election committees, which must be held accountable from the state to the village levels. It is also recommended to establish anti-money politics villages as a means of stimulating political education and ensuring the rule of law.