Tag Archive | "indonesia 2020 2030"

Indonesia: in Comparison with Vietnam

I happened to read a great book about Vietnam War against United States. Trust me, I love history books more than any book, I have huge collection of World War II books, and I can spend all night to share and discuss about historical events, especially about historic wars. Now, let me share with you a bit about Vietnam. Vietnam is one country whose economic growth is among the highest in the world since few years back. Vietnam now enjoys global confidence in its efficiency and steady economic condition. For a nation which was hardly smashed with wars (note the ‘s’), this is really really an outstanding achievement. Do you know their secret?

Well, this might not be the only recipe behind their great performance abovementioned. This is a true story; there was a family with 7 children, and faced difficulty in sending their children to schools and university.  In times like that, you’d never find the head of the family complained or despondent. You’d simply get this answer :”We kicked out the French, Americans, Chinese, and the Khmer Rouge, so this is a tiny problem.”

“No, this is not a problem”, say Vietnamese

In March 1954, the Vietnamese guerrillas defeated France army in Dien Bhin Phu, and ended French colonial rule in the whole Indochina region. In January 1973, the Vietcongs humiliated US army/navy/air force, by defeating them in all fronts, and this was one of the bloodiest war on earth. In 1979, Vietnamese army repulsed Chinese army in a short border war. Also in 1979, the Vietnamese expelled the Khmer Rouge monsters from Phnom Penh and ended the suffering of the Cambodian under 3-year of the rule of  heartless Khmer Rouge.
Got the point?
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The Aceh soldiers, true warriors

Not so many Indonesians know that Indonesia also has remarkable stories in terms of getting our invaders bloody-noses. The Acehnese repeatedly defeated the Dutch invaders in their bid to rule the west tip of Sumatra Island, since 1873. Many thousands of Dutch soldiers killed or captured. The Minangese in West Sumatra, the Jogjanese in Yogyakarta, as well as those in the Mollucas Islands,  Makassar, Bali, and Banjarmasin. Countless victories. Not many Malaysian, as well as Indonesians, know that in 1521, Adipati Unus a Javanese warrior from Demak (Central Java) sent troops to Malaka and dog-fought with Portuguese navy. Fatahillah from Batavia (now Jakarta), was finally the one who expelled the Portuguese for good.

The bloody battle in Surabaya, where the Surabayans defeated the Allied forces in 1945

Not only the Dutch and Portuguese, Indonesia also managed to send the Spaniards and the Allied forces home!

So, I only say, Indonesians have all the reason to be highly motivated as the Vietnamese. I am really proud of being Indonesian. Are you?

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A Letter From Maryland

Indonesia’s missing essential ingredient

Tasa Nugraza Barley,  Maryland, US

I believe every relationship requires at least three elements in order to succeed. Those three elements are love, trust, and communication.

Imagine if one of these elements is missing from a relationship, say, between a husband and a wife. They may have love and trust but without enough communication their future will be in jeopardy because they can’t express their feelings properly.

And the presence of love and trust is even more crucial. Without love, how could you give the best of yourself to someone or something? And without trust, love is useless and tasteless.

Now, as citizens of this beautiful country, Indonesia, it may sound weird to say we also need these three elements in order to make things better here. Nonetheless I think we do, and it’s something the government should acknowledge if they want its people, especially the young ones, to achieve greater things in life.

I believe we all do have a love for this country. We love Indonesia, don’t we? As our President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono loves his Javanese heritage, we all love where we’re from. I’m proud, for example, of my origin which combines four different cultures; of Java, Sunda, West Sumatra and Riau.

Batak people are also proud of their culture and traditions, wherever they might be. Without hesitation they announce to others where they’re from, and give you a big smile if you say, “Horas!” Even my Chinese Indonesian friends are proud of how Indonesian they are.

Some may complain, however, saying the level of love for our country is decreasing — especially among the younger generation. But it’s a fact that young Indonesians in Java and other provinces still speak their local languages proudly. And when Malaysia “insulted” us by claiming that batik and Rasa Sayange were theirs, we stood together bravely and proudly as one nation. It’s good news batik is still fashionable among women young and old. So, I believe the love is still there.

Second, it’s such a relief to be able to say we have the best track record in Southeast Asia as far as freedom of speech. Since the ’98 tragedy, Indonesians have been enjoying this privilege which no other people in Southeast Asia can enjoy to the same degree. We can say anything about anything without being afraid the government will arrest us. We can easily criticize our government in newspapers, magazines or TV shows.

The fact is, Indonesia is the third largest democracy in the world. Our system of democracy may not be perfect, but everyone should agree that creating a good democratic system takes time. The United States needed more than 200 years to develop the democratic system now in use there. We’re still learning, and I think we’re progressing quite well.

We have the love and we communicate, but what we don’t have is trust. We don’t trust our government. We don’t trust our members of parliament. We don’t trust our police. We don’t trust our judges or prosecutors. We don’t even trust other people. We don’t trust the whole system. We believe all government officials are corrupt. When we see a big house owned by a pejabat (public official), we say without hesitation, “No wonder you have a nice house”.

What our officials should understand is that without trust, we don’t contribute. Without trust we don’t act effectively as part of a society. How can the government expect us to be good citizens when we don’t believe they do good things for us?

How can the government expect us not to corrupt when we all believe they corrupt and use other people’s money for their own pleasure?

Without a doubt, gaining public trust should be the number one priority for the current government and any other politicians wanting to win people’s hearts in the 2009 election: Because we are tired of broken promises.

Gaining public trust is essential because there’s a limit to everything. If our officials can’t figure out how to make us believe, I fear, the love will all be gone and we won’t want to talk anymore. Let’s avoid that from happening.

From the Jakarta Post

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