Indonesia 2025

Anand Krishna*
In his address to the nation on August 15, 2009, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono mentioned Self-Dependency (Kemandirian), Competitiveness (Daya Saing) and Excellence in Civilization (Peradaban yang Unggul) as three important factors in nation building.

Nationalism and Internationalism
Self-Dependency, or Nationalism in the language of our first president Soekarno, can no longer sustain outside the larger framework of Internationalism. Our National Self-Dependency must also recognize the Interdependency of Nations. Our world has already become a global village, where anything happening in any corner of the village, or to any villager, affects the entire village and all villagers. In response to the J. W. Marriott and Ritz Carlton bombing recently, some of our “knowledgeable” experts, analysts and activists remarked that the bombers had no reason to attack our country, for Indonesian state was not at war with them, and that instead they could have bombed some other country at war with them, “for instance the United States of America”. It is very disheartening to note that even our “knowledgeable” lack intelligence. What happens to America, or to any other country in the world, has a ripple effect on the entire world. We cannot escape it too. Similarly, our government’s stand on Myanmar is also regrettable. While we can have a Palestinian Mission in our country, why can’t we allow the activists for peace and democracy in Myanmar to meet here? Why can’t we have Dalai Lama visit our country and talk about the plight of his people?

Co-operative Based Economy
While talking about Competitiveness, I believe that the Machiavellian and Sun-Tzuian concept is no longer relevant. It must be replaced with a more human approach based on Togetherness (Kebersamaan) as pointed out by Business Week in its excellent

special report (30/10/2006). I have briefly discussed this in one of my earlier articles (Jakarta Post 04/05/2007). Interestingly, such human approach was already envisioned by our founding fathers. Soekarno called it Gotong-Royong (Sharing our Burden), and Hatta translated the concept into Co-operative Based Economy. Unfortunately however, President Yudhoyono did not, even once, mention the word in his entire speech. He did, however, suggest taking into account our resources (certainly both, human and natural), knowledge (=skill), and culture for our economic development. I fully endorse to this, as I also do to the “limited role” of government (not intervention), for we have just witnessed the failure of totally decentralized and liberal western economy.

Uniqueness and Creativity
President Yudhoyono suggested productivity, adaptability, and innovation (most importantly in the field of technology), as important factors to excel. I presume, by innovation he meant creativity. For, innovation could also mean growth, or simply improvement on something already created; whereas, creativity is originality. Creativity is unique. We must believe in our “uniqueness”. This country, as any other country in the world, is unique. We have our share to contribute to world civilization as other countries do. We must be more selfconfident.

Spiritual Platform
President Yudhoyono reasserted his commitment to the state ideology of Pancasila as an “open and living ideology, source of inspiration and solution for nation building”; and, the national theme Bhinneka Tunggal Ika or “Unity in Diversity” as our uniting factor. Thank you, Mr. President. Now, let us for once and all time end the discourse on khilafat and religion-based government system. And, with that, also end the threat to our national unity and integration. It is now your duty, Mr. President, to ensure that Hizbut Tahrir, Basyir, and others, no longer engage themselves in activities that could disintegrate our nation. What is most important, Mr. President, is to closely watch the movements of your supporters, some of them clearly have hidden agendas and vested interests, closely related to Hizbut Tahrir’s and

Basyir’s aspirations. Our culture is deeply rooted in spirituality and humanity, not in the dogmas and doctrines of a particular religion. We do not believe in politically motivated barriers in the name of religion. Our founding fathers used Ketuhanan or Godliness for spirituality. This is the foundation upon which we can build a World Civilization of your dream, Mr. President, where our individual identities mingle harmoniously.

Indonesia to Come
President Yudhoyono also shared his vision of “Indonesia 2025”, when, in his opinion, we would no longer be a developing nation, but mature into a developed nation. This could be his wise response to a report prepared by the National Intelligence Council of the United States in November 2008. I have written on the subject earlier (Jakarta Post, 02/06/2009). The report and ensuing studies as well as scenarios prepared by several experts indicate that by 2025 the Indonesian State could be fragmented. The threat came from the religious fanatics, radicals, and extremists, and not only from the terrorists or from their violent activities. President Yudhoyono seems to have understood this threat clearly. As such, he pointed out ten goals to achieve by 2025: 1. Unity and Social Harmony, 2. National Stability, 3. Democracy and Transparency, 4. Law and Order, 5. Economic Growth, 6. Prosperity, 7. Good Governance, 8. Protection of Environment, 9. National and Regional Development, and, 10. Global Co-operation. I must say, not so easy, and very ambitious, but achievable goals, Mr. President. Together, we can achieve them. But, as we talk of togetherness, let us also not forget the “checks and balances”, the most oft quoted phrase in your speech, without which democracy would mean nothing. Let us have the opposition, your Excellency. Let us not be afraid of them. “Those who point out your mistakes,” said the great 14 th century Sufi Mystic Kabir, “are your true friends and well wishers.” For, it is because of them, that we can improve, and grow further. I wish you all the best, Mr. President!

*Spiritual Activist, author of more than 130 books (