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Thoughts on a Modern Civil Society: The Indonesian Case

Thoughts on a Modern Civil Society: The Indonesian Case

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Published by The Habibie Center
BJ Habibie's speech in Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, 25-27 June 2012, Bonn - Germany.
BJ Habibie's speech in Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, 25-27 June 2012, Bonn - Germany.

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Published by: The Habibie Center on Jun 26, 2012
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  Thoughts  on  a  modern  Civil  Society:     The  Indonesian  Case1  
  Bacharuddin  Jusuf  Habibie2     There   are   some   common   basic   principles   for   any   modern   Society   that   must   be  fulfilled  such  as:     • Freedom     • Independence     • Pluralism     • Human  Rights  balanced  with  Human  Responsibilities   • Values     • Justice  and  Prosperity       The  question  is,  how  to  achieve  this  today  in  a  Well-­‐informed  Global  Society   that  is:   • Low  Cost  and  Low  Risk,   • High  Quality  and   • Constitutional.     Whether   a   society   lives   within   a   Kingdom,   Republic   or   a   Common   Market   like  Europe,  ASEAN  or  any  other  form  of  State  depends  on  various  cultural,   historical,  political  and  pragmatic  considerations.     As   enshrined   in   the   Charter   of   the   United   Nations,   it   is   the   interest   of   “peace”   among   people   and   nations,   not   to   interfere   in  the   Internal   Affairs   of   any  other  nations/society.  With  the  accumulated  experience  of  more  than  6   decades  in  a  fast  changing  world,  the  United  Nations  and  its  network  should   give   more   attention   to   adjusting   its   system   with   the   Globalized   World   of   today.       In  the  work  of  the  UN,  concerns  about  Human  Rights  must  be  balanced  with   Human   Responsibilities.   The   impact   of   global   changes   and   the   need   for   appropriate   adjustments   must   be   given   special   attention.   The   UN’s   organizational  mechanism  deserves  special  attention  too.    
                                                                                                                1  Deutsche  Welle  Global  Media  Forum:  „CULTURE,  EDUCATION,  MEDIA  shaping  a   sustainable  world”,  INTERNATIONAL  CONFERENCE,  25  –  27  June  2012  Bonn,  Germany.   2  Prof.  Dr.-­‐Ing.  Dr.  Sc.  h.c.  mult.  ,  Former  President  oft  he  Republic  of  Indonesia  (1998,   1999)     1  


The  world  and  its  problems  today  is  totally  different  to  the  time  when  the   United  Nations  and  its  network  were  founded.     Currently   states   and   societies   have   their   own   systems   or   mechanisms   for   developing,   adjusting   and   improving   their   respective   Constitutions   for   a   better  and  higher  Quality  of  Life,  according  the  will  of  their  own  people.     The   people   create   and   it   is   also   the   same   people   that   have   to   solve   their   own   problems   and   make   the   flow   of   objective   and   subjective-­‐appropriate   Information  for  getting  high  quality  decisions,  as  fast  as  possible.       Where  and  how  to  get  the  right  Information  at  the  right  time,  fast  and  with   high  quality?       Freedom  of  the  Press  might  be  the  solution.  The  local,  as  well  as  domestic   and  international  news  through  E-­‐Paper,  E-­‐News  or  other  Social  Network  s   like   YouTube,   Twitter,   Facebook   etc.   are   Information   Networks   available     through     the   high   quality   hard-­‐   and   software   of   “Smart   Phones”,   “Smart   Pad”,  “Smart  Notebook”  and  other  “Smart  electronic  equipment”  at  low  cost.       The   technology   innovation   and   development   will   exceed   the   power   well   beyond  nano  technologies.     How   can   we   guaranty   the   quality   and   objectivity   of   incoming   Information?   How   can   we   rely   on   them?   Will   freedom   of   the   press,   free   competition   and   transparency   help?   How   can   we   avoid   manipulation   of   Information?   How   can   we  prevent  Money  politics  misusing  the  freedom  of  the  Press?     There  are  many  more  questions  to  be  answered.  An  exchange  and  transfer   of  experience  among  societies  could  contribute  to  increasing  the  quality  of   Information.       An  Intercultural  Dialogue  will  trigger  and  could  give  more  information  and   understanding   about   Cultural   Values   like   Morals   and   Ethos.   Tolerance   between  people  and  societies  is  better  for  supporting  a  win-­‐win  sustainable   cooperation   in   science,   technology   and   economic   development   interdependency   and   productivity   to   increase   competitiveness   in   sharing   and   creating   jobs   needed   for   a   sustainable   equity   distribution   of   income   and   wealth.   Because   of   that,   political   stability   and   economic   growth   will   increase   Human   Security   needed   to   sustain   progress   towards   justice   and   prosperity.    


Civil  Society  plays  a  very  important  role  in  developing  a  modern  society  as   it   becomes   more   transparent   and   predictable.   Economics,   educational,   science  and  technological  infrastructure  development  will     systematically   increase   the   productivity   and   competiveness   of   the   people   and  society  and  so  on……     To   prepare   the   people   of   the   Civil   Society,   each   family   has   to   be   informed   and  “re-­‐educated”,  so  that  they  have  access  to  healthy  drinking  water,  food   and   a   better   understanding   for   an   upbringing   process   compatible   to   their   culture  and  religion.     Please   allow   me   to   tell   you   about   the   implementation   of   the   above-­‐ mentioned   thoughts   during   my   Presidency   between   21   May   1998   and   21   October   1999.   More   detailed   report   and   data   are   available   in   my   book   “Decisive  Moment”   or   “517  Tagen”,   the   English   and   German   translations   of   the   original   book   in   the   Indonesian   language,   “Detik-­‐Detik   yang   Menentukan”,  published  in  2006.     In  March  1998  The  People  Assembly  of  the  Republic  of  Indonesia  re-­‐elected   President  Suharto.  I  was  elected  a  day  after  the  election  of  the  President  as   Vice  President.     Two  month  afterward  on  the  21  of  May  1998,  President  Suharto  resigned.   Constitutionally   I   became   the   third   President   of   Indonesia   and   had   the   duty   to   convene   a   “Special   People’s   Assembly”   for   electing   a   new   President   and   Vice  President.     Instead   I   organized   a   “Special   People’s   Assembly”   to   revise   the   People’s   Assembly  decree  from  March  1998,  comprising  inter  alia  of  the  decisions  to:     • To  bring  forward  the  next  general  election  from  2003  to  1999.     • Open   participation   in   the   next   election   to   any   political   party   as   long   as   it   meets   the   criteria   for   becoming   a   political   party   and   adhere  to  the  existing  Constitution     • Hold  the  People’s  Assembly  of  the  Republic  of  Indonesia  3  months   after   the   election   in   October   1999   to   elect   a   new   President   and   Vice  President     • To   make   other   necessary   new   social-­‐political   and   social-­‐ economical  People’s  Assembly  decrees  as  the  bases  and  start  of  the   Reformation.     What   was   the   secret   and   reason   that   in   spite   of   the   high   political   instability   –  marked  by  daily  demonstrations  in  almost  all  big  cities;  the  free  fall  off  the   Indonesian   currency,   the   rupiah;   high   inflation   rate;   high   unemployment  


rate;   and   chaotic   conditions   -­‐   the   Reformation   went   mostly   according   to   plan  in  a  systematic  manner?     Ideally  in  the  modern  history  of  Indonesia  the  three  branches  of  Power,     1. Legislative  Power  (People  Assembly  and  Parliament)   2. Executive  Power  (Represent  by  the  President  and  Vice  President)   3. Judicative  Power,   would  never  controlled  by  one  Man.     During  the  New  Order  period  of  President  Suharto   1. In  the  People  Assembly  the  GOLKAR  Fraction,  The  Province  Delegate   Fraction   and   the   Armand   Forces   Fraction   for   the   last   30   years   prior   to   1998   formed   a   coalition,   representing   more   than   60%   of   the   Votes   in   the   Parliament   as   well   as   in   the   People’s   Assembly.   This   coalition   was   coordinated   and   chaired   by   a   Chairman   and   several  alternating  chairmans.     2. Because   of   the   resignation   of   President   Suharto,   constitutionally   the   Vice  President  became  the  President   3. In   the   53   years   of   authoritarian   Leadership,   President   Sukarno   and   President   Suharto   had   made   the   judiciary   subordinated   to   the   President.       Three  months  before  I  was  elected  as  the  Vice  President,  I  became  the  only   Chairman   without   any   alternating   Chairman   of   the   traditional   Coalition   with  more  than  80  %  votes  in  the  Parliament  and  in  the  People  Assembly.     Immediately  after  the  resignation  of  President  Suharto,  “one  man”  suddenly   controlled   the   Executive   and   Legislative   branches.   The   influence   of   the   same  man  in  the  Judiciary  was  also  very  high.     I  was  very  much  aware  that  this  development  was  “unhealthy”  and  against   the   principles   of   “Trias   Politika   of   Montesquieu”   and   could   trigger   a   revolution,   chaos   and   anarchy!   If   this   happened,   the   victim   will   be   many   innocent  people.  Indonesia  could  dissolve  into  many  New  States!  The  world   will  have  an  additional  “unstable  region”,  South  East  Asia!           “Trias   Politika”   introduce   by   Montesquieu   in   1748   was   applied   250   years   later   in   May   1998   by   adding   another   dimension   of   Power   to   become   “Quadra  Politika”:     1. Legislative  Power     2. Executive  Power     3. Judicative  Power     4. Media  Power  


  Never  to  be  controlled  by  one  Man.     The  situation  at  the  time  was  highly  unpredictable  and  had  a  very  negative   influence  on  the  daily  life  and  political  stability.     Many   confusing   so   called   top-­‐secret   reports   from   the   Intelligence   of   the   Armed   Forces,   Foreign   Minister,   Ministry   of   Internal   Affairs   and   others   added  to  the  uncertainty.     Could  I  trust  them?  Whom  to  be  trusted?  Some  Reports  were  contradictory     The  problems  started  to  become  more  unpredictable  and  dangerous.    There   were   many   concerns   expressed   by   international   observers   that   Indonesia   might   suffer   disintegration   like   the   former   Soviet   Union   and   Yugoslavia   during  their  difficult  political  transitions.       Based   on   facts   and   analysis,   I   recognised   the   “People’s   Power”   expressed   through   demonstrations   and   through   a   Free   Press   should   form   the   fourth   pillar  that  can  assist  in  changing  unpredictability  to  become  predictable!       That   was   the   only   reason   why   in   the   first   day   after   the   resignation   of   the   President  I  official  allowed  the  people  to  demonstrate,  discuss  etc.  As  long   as   they   did   not   commit   criminal   acts!   In   spite   of   many   contrary   advices,   I   declared   the   freedom   of   Press   and   freedom   to   speak   and   freedom   to   demonstrate.  I  instructed  the  release  of  all  political  prisoners  except  those   who  acted  against  the  Constitution.     All   the   People   of   Indonesia   contributed   directly   and   indirectly   to   prevent   the  worst  chaos  and  anarchy  from  happening!     In   517   Days   of   my   Presidency   we   made   every   day   an   average   of   1,3   new   Law,  new  Presidential  Decree  etc.  that  became  the  bases  of  our  reformation   for  a  better  future.     Please  allow  me  to  give  you  all  the  following  Information.   The  Population  distribution  of  Indonesia  based  on  inhabited  islands  are  as   follows:   58%  in  Java,     20%  di  Sumatra,     7  %  in  Sulawesi,     6%  in  Kalimantan,     6%  in  Bali  &  Nusa  Tenggara   3%  in  Maluku  &  Papua.    


  The  total  land  territory  of  the  Republic  of  Indonesia  is  1.910.931  km2  with   an  average  population  density  of  124  people  /  km2,  where  the  most  densely   populated  province  being  DKI  Jakarta  (14.440  people  /  km2)  and    the  least   densely  populated  being  West  Papua  (8  people  /  km2).     Based  on  the  2010  National  Census,  Indonesia's  population  is  237,556,363,   with  119,507,580  (50.31%)  male  and  118.048.783  (49.69%)  female     Based   on   the   2010   National   Census,   the   citizens   of   Unitary   State   of   the   Republic  of  Indonesia  can  be  categorized  based  on  their  ethnic  groups,    as   follows:     41,7  %  ethnic  Javanese,     15,4  %  ethnic  Sundanese,  and   42,9  %  otherethnicgroups.      

Profile  of  Indonesian   Population
Ethnic Java (%) 41,7

Others Total  (%)

42,9 100
41.7 %

China 15.4 % Malay Madura Batak Betawi Bugis Arab Others  
42.9 %

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6

% (absolute)

% (relative)

3,7 3,4 3,3 3 2,7 2,5 2,5 2,4 19,4

8,62 7,92 7,69 42.9 % 6,99 6,29 5,83 5,83 5,59 45,22


7 8 9

Total  (%)



  Ethnic   Chinese   at   3.7%   are   the   3rd   largest   after   Javanese   (41.7%)   and     Sundanese  (15,4%).       Between  300  to  500  ethnic  communities  exist  within  the  Unitary  Republic   of   Indonesia   (NKRI)   including   those   who   orinally   came   from   China,   the   Middle  East,  India,  and  Europe  and  have  lived    here  for  centuries  and  have  





assimilated   to   become   part   of   the   community   of   the   Unitary   State   of   the   Republic  of  Indonesia.       Almost   all   migrants   who   came   were   motivated   by   their   desire   to   improve     their   quality   of   life   with   their   skills,   technology   and   hard   work   with   low   cost.   They   were   hard   workers   and   were   willing   to   work   in   any   field   they   could  find  jobs.     Immigrants   with   this   type   of   hard-­‐working   culture   were   then   taken   advantage   of   by   the   colonials   as   "brokers"   who   were   productive   and   apolitical  to  establish  a  trustworthy  and  reliable  middle  class.       According   to   the   Overseas   Chinese   Culture   Center   of   2012,   of   the   Top   20   ethnic   Chinese   in   the   world   (36,965,938),   a   majority   live   in   multi-­‐ethnic   Indonesia,   7,566,200   (20.47   %).   Those   living   in   Singapore   rank   fifth   with   2,684,900   (7.26%)   and   those   living   in   The   Netherlands   with   144,928   (0.39%)  rank  last.  Ranking  in  2nd,  3rd,  and  4th  live  in    Thailand  (19.08%),   Malaysia  (16.74%)  dan  USA  (9.13%)  respectively.    
Overseas Chinese Population in 20 Rank Countries
(Overseas Chinese Culture Center, 2012)

Indonesia Thailand Malaysia U S  A

20.47 19.08 16.74 9.13

1 2 3 4

Russia Australia Japan Kampuchea

2.7 1.66 1.41 0.93

11 12 13 14

Canada Peru Vietnam Philippines

4.36 3.52 3.42 3.1

6 7 8 9

France India Laos Brazil

0.62 0.51 0.5 0.42

16 17 18 19







The  2011World  Factbook  records  that  of  the  overseas  Indian  population  that   live   in   ASEAN,   the   highest   are   found   in   Malaysia   (82.54%),   Singapore   (13.55%)   and   Indonesia   (3.91%)   from   an   overall   total   in   ASEAN   of   2,784,458  ethnic  Indians.      


Overseas Indian Population in ASEAN Countries
(Worl Factbook, 2011)

COUNTRY Malaysia

(%) 82.54


Singapore Indonesia

13.55 3.91

2 3

  The   2011World   Factbook   2011   also   records   that   with   the   overseas   Arab   population   that   live   in   ASEAN,   the   highest   are   found   in   Indonesia   (82,21%),   The   Philippines   (9.4%),   Malaysia   (4.7%)   and   Singapore   (3.69%)   from   a   total  of  298.000  ethnic  Arabs  living  in  ASEAN.    
Overseas Arabian Population in ASEAN Countries
(Worl Factbook, 2011)



1 2

Philippines Malaysia

9.4 4.7


    The   first   wave   of   ethnic   Chinese   that   came   to   Indonesia   came   around   the   16th   Century,   the   second   wave   (the   biggest)   came   during   the   19th   Century.   Most  left  the  Chinese  mainland  because  of  economic  pressures    where  they   were  not  able  to  develop.  Different  to  the  ethnic  Chinese,  the  ethnic  Indian  


and   Arabs   specifically   came   to   Indonesia   to   trade   and   to   spread   their   religions  (Hindu  dan  Islam).     Although   41.7%   of   Indonesians   are   of   Javanese   descent,   pragmatic   reasoning  was  used  to  determine  that  the  lingua  franca,  Bahasa  Indonesia,   be  based  on  the  Malay  language  (despite  ethnic  Malays  only  being  3.4%  of   the  population).  This  is  one  of  the  reflections  of  high  tolerance  values  of  a   pluralistic  community.     If   we   study   the   development   of   human   resources   in   the   United   States   of   America   and   go   as   far   back   to   when   Christopher   Columbus   discovered   America   in   1492   (520   years   ago),   we   can   see   that   motivated   by   political,   economic   and   religious   problems   in   their   home   country,   immigrants   from   different  ethnicities  came  from  the  east  and  the  west  and  their  population   increased.   Indigenous   peoples   slowly   became   a   minority   and   became   insignificant.   Only   after   284   years   since   the   discovery   of   America,   the   people   of   The   United   States   declared   their   Independence   from   the   the   British  and  the  French  colonialist  powers.       Now,   the   US   has   transformed   into   a   developed   pluralistic   and   free   society   which  is  governed  by  a  modern  democratic  system.       However,  through  their  ups  and  downs,  democracy  and  human  rights  in  the   US  has  developed  via  many  sacrifices:  civil  war,  terrorist  attacks  and  so  on.   What   becomes   interesting   is   that   after   233   years   of   independence,   the   people   of   the   United   States   of   America   elected   Barack   Obama,   a   man   of   African  descent  as  President  for  the  first  time.     The   Unitary   State   of   the   Republic   of   Indonesia   has   always   been   a   pluralistic   State.   Migrants   coming   in   from   other   nations   and   States   have   assimilated   with  the  pluralistic  Indonesia.       In  the  fight  for  our  Nation's  independence  and  freedom,  it  was  not  just  the   ethnic   groups   of    Java,   Sumatra,   Sulawesi,   Papua,   Maluku   and   so   on   that   fought   and   sacrificed   themselves.   The   ethnic   Chinese,   Arabs   and   Europeans   also  gave  their  contributions.     It   is   therefore   just   and   wise   that   after   several   generations,   these   migrants   are   now   treated   like   natives.   So   much   so   that   we   mention   them   as   ethnic   Arabs,   ethnic   Europeans,   ethnic   Chinese   and   ethnic   Indians   alongside   our   ethnic  Bugis,  ethnic  Javanese  and  so  on.  Or  in  other  words  we  simply  know   them  as  Indonesian  citizens.    


The  Indonesian  Nation  has  to  rely  for  its    future  on  this  Renewable  Human   Resources   which   finance   its   level   of   productivity   from   the   income   of   its   Natural  Resources  and  Renewable  Natural  Resources.     The   ability   of   human   resources   to   develop   science   and   technology   as   a   process   that   can   produce   high   quality,   built   on   schedule   and   at   low   costs   value-­‐added   products,   as   demanded   by   the   market,   will   be   largely   determined  by  the  skills  and  productivity  of  the  human  resources.     The   upbringing   process   is   very   much   determined   by   culture,   religion   or   belief   and   influences   the   behaviour   and   character   of   human   resources.   Understanding   the   mechanism   of   science   and   technology   can   be   achieved   through  a  good  education  system.     A  positive  synergy  of  culture,  religion,  science  and  technology  will  increase   the  productivity  and  competiveness  of  the  human  recourses.  Infrastructure   of   Upbringing   and   Education   Network   Systems   has   to   be   developed   and   given  high  priority!     Being   aware   of   the   fast   development   of   Global   Social   Network   technology   and  the  possibility  of  bringing  other  cultural  values  into  the  private  life  of   any   family,   I   took   the   initiative   to   take   measures   by   increasing   Cultural   Resilience  by  giving  Freedom  to  the  Provinces  to  ensure  regional  autonomy   and  empowering  local  Cultural  Resilience.  This  will  also  contribute  to  their   productivity  increase.     The  process  of  upbringing  becomes  predominantly  rooted  and  established   within  the  family,  the  clan  and  the  community.  Local  cultures  and  religions   have  a  major  influence.     The  process  of  Education  takes  place  at  schools  and  the  workplace.  Where   schools  do  not  exist  for  human  resources,  it  is  impossible  that  they  will  be   adequately  skilled.       Even   if   human   resources   are   already   skilled,   but   do   not   have   jobs,   then   it   is   impossible  for  them  to  increase  their  competitiveness.     Only  a  skilled  and  productive  human  resources  can  respond   to  challenges  and   resolve  problems.     Only   skilled   and   productive   human   resources   are     able   to   make   superior   products   that   can   harness   the   "benefits"   and   control   the   "threats"   of   Indonesia’s  natural  assets  such  as  Indonesia’s  Maritime  Continent.  


Throughout  the  world  population,  whose  numbers  have  reached  more  than   6.8  billion  people,and  is  continuing  to  grow,  there  are  needs  for:   1. Food,  protein,  carbohydrates  and  cellulose   2. Drinking  water,  industrial  and  agro-­‐industrial  water   3. Medications  and  vitamins  for  health   4. Renewable  and  non  renewable  energy   5. Transport  and  communications.     In   the   Maritime   Continent   of   Indonesia   there   is   a   lot   of   information   about   the   life   and   environment,   data   that   can   be   utilized   for   the   development   of   points  1,  2,  3  and  4  as  mentioned  above.     For   example,   proteins   from   fish   farming   either   from   freshwater   and   seawater   where   the   water   temperature   and   oxygen   content   in   water   has   not   been   contaminated.   Tuna   farming   in   certain   bays   is   very   possible   and   should  be  developed  further.       For   example,   rainfall   in   some   areas   of   the   Indonesian   maritime   continent   such   as   in   Java   and   Papua   should   not   be   returned   to   the   seas,   but   should   instead  be  recycled.     River   waters   like   the   one   in   Brantas   that   flows   into   the   sea   can   be   routed   through  a  large  pipe  to  the  island  of  Madura    for  irrigation  and  so  on.     In   the   area   of   Memberano,   the   water   from   the   river   Memberano   can   generate   electrical   energy   for   energy   intensive   industries   like   aluminum   and   industrial   metals   and   manufacturing   industries.   Also   it   can   provide   irrigation  water  for  agro  industries  growing  in  the  region  of  Memberano.     DNA   and   chromosomal   information   from   all   the   lives   and   environments   found   in   Indonesia's   maritime   continent   can   provide   data   and   innovation   for  the  manufacture  of  new  drugs.     Special  electrical  energy  and  renewable  energy  fuels  can  be  developed  and   utilized   for   transportation   and   communications   industries.   Electricity   industry   of   low-­‐temperature   geothermal   potential   is   high   enough   to   drive   an  electric  rail  transport  networks  in  Java,  Sumatra  and  Sulawesi.  Electricity   from   the   wind   (wind   energy),   ocean   currents   between   the   islands   in   the   straits   of   the   Lesser   Sunda   islands   should   also   be   used   to   increase   the   generation  of  renewable  electricity.     Biofuels   like   bio-­‐ethanol,   biogas   from   animal   waste   at   farms   and   slaughterhouses  can  help  address  the  needs  of  the  local  electrical  energy.  


  The  future  of  indonesia  clearly  relies  on  the  strength  of  the  power  of  human   resources,   with   a   population   structure   that   is   pluralistic,   democratic,   upholding  human  rights  and  human  obligations,  cultured,  independent,  free   and  responsible  is  bright.     This   can   only   be   achieved   if   the   processes   of   upbringing   and   education   continue  to  run  smoothly  and  assuredly.  For  that,  there  are  requirements  to   be  met,  namely:    Families  that  are  prosperous,  peaceful  and  cultured    Equitable  and  affordable  education  for  all  according  to  their  talents    Equal   employment   opportunities   available   to   improve   productivity   and  competitiveness.    Increase  the  Intercultural  dialog  among  the  many  ethnic  groups    Develop  advantages  from  the  cultural  diversity  to  become  excellent  in   making  innovation  and  workmanship.    Make   a   sustainable   progress   towards   justice   and   prosperity   through   an  intensive  win-­‐win  coopertation  with  other  societies  and  countries                



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