Blog, Politics

The Independence Thoughts

This posting is the 100th articles that have been posted in TAP (The Aroengbinang Project). What is so important then about the 100 number and the independence? The first one is only a mark, a good one, the latter is the sacred word, with a big question mark on it.

Every August 17, and during the month of August, Indonesians celebrate the Independence Day, proclaimed by Soekarno - Hatta on behalf of the people of Indonesia in 1945. In this 62th of the anniversary, let's share and exchange a few thoughts.

Sunrise on August 17, 2007, taken from Purbalenyi tollroad towards Jakarta.

To be fair, Indonesia has shown encouraging improvements in many sectors. For sure there are discouraging indicators as well, as we can't escape from the law of the paradox, where good and bad things exist eternally side by side.

In terms of ideology, Pancasila is hopefully final. Although not many homes have the Garuda Pancasila hung on their walls, neither the Pancasila text nor the flag, no one will ever fail to mention the five principals, I hope. The realization of the principals, as we know, is still problematic, especially the last one.

In politics, muscle, heart and diplomacy are essentials. Muscle, the military power, is stronger and more respected when we are not merely buyers of military equipments. Pindad, BPPT, Bahana, Dirgantara, LAPAN, PAL and other military related research, development and production units shall be heavily supported with enough funds and political will from the government and private sectors alike.

In economy, we are still fragile. Just recently there were fears that we are going to experience another economic disaster such as the one that hit us during the 1998 economic crisis. Enough is enough. The question is how we can give bitter pills to speculators if they dare to strike again. One thing I do believe in, if there’s ever another strike, Indonesians will act and react more positively compared to 1998 crisis.

To date, we are still loyal consumers of world products, be it genuine or fake ones, not yet give significant support to locals. In automotive, we do not know yet as to when we can see local brands appearing proudly on Jakarta’s streets. We are doing a little bit better in drinks and foods, with brands such as Sosro, Extra Joss, Sederhana, Mbok Berek, Indomie, and in other product categories as well.

In some cases it maybe possible to use the modified 80:20 rules to strengthen our economic muscles, i.e. to use 80% of our spending to buy or enjoy local products or services. Let’s use ex-Cibaduyut shoes, non-branded or local brand apparels; fly Garuda for overseas trips; enjoy more local foods and drinks; watch more local movies and cultural events; visit more museums and use them for parties or other events.

Culturally, we are still struggling. The attention and the appreciation of the people towards cultural products, performances, events and places are closely related with the level of prosperity of the nation, which in turn will further improve their qualities.

Almost all museums in the country are not well maintained or are poorly managed. Why would the government and the people bother to spend money to improve the museums while there are so many school buildings are nearly collapse because there are not enough funds available to fix them?

Government commitment to improve the country's education sector is still quite disappointing. Even the president didn’t talk about it in his State of the Union address. We are seemingly in dire need for a more visionary leader.

Movie, theater, literature, painting, carving, music are still fighting to be the masters in their own homes. Let’s support them by watching and or possessing the products legally, and accept their imperfectness for a while.

Mentally, Indonesians need to have different mindset in dealing with natural disasters and other myriad problems. We shall not feel that we are cursed, and have a belief that mass prayers will bring eternal peace on earth. I’m not saying that mass prayers are useless, but we are really cursed when we do not use our brain and logical thinking to do relevant scientific research to anticipate the occurrence of the natural phenomena and create tools and infrastructures that will mitigate the impact of the disasters when they strike.

With correct mindset, a lot of hard works and sacrifices, Indonesia will certainly become another "the awakening giant" in the region. Hopefully in another decades.

Have a Happy Independence Day to Indonesia and its people. MERDEKA!!!

, seorang pejalan musiman dan penyuka sejarah. Penduduk Jakarta yang sedang tinggal di Cikarang Utara. Diperbarui: August 19, 2007.

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