Friday, May 31, 2024 | 05:08 WIB

A Mistaken Impression that must be corrected

Jakarta, IO – Several days ago, I was interviewed by Rosianna Silalahi from Kompas Television, discussing my four new books recently published by Kompas Gramedia Publisher. The first, “My Story as a teacher and educator”, written in English, as I lectured in the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia, Jakarta, and S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. The second, “Pasang Surut Kehidupan” a biodata in Indonesian, the third “Pondering Issues in a World full of Risks and Uncertainties”, a collection of 31 columns written in English, and the last one, “Tantangan dan Peluang Pembangunan Nasional”, a collection of 25 columns written in Indonesian. 

Unfortunately, even before it went on air, but due to the title chosen to announce the interview as “Free Lunch is more important than the IKN (the building of new Capital to replace Jakarta)”, there had been some wrong interpretation among the public that I had somehow divided the priorities of development programs between President Joko Widodo and President-Elect Prabowo Subianto. Here, from the bottom of my heart I would like to stress that that was a wrong interpretation. I did not say that at all, and I would not in any way try to separate the development priorities between them; nor did I. Who am I to be doing such an evil thing? 

So, if there is any accusation or even suspicion that I tried to do that, I would like to say here very specifically, that there is no inkling even slightly on my part to say that. And I hereby categorically refuse to accept such an interpretation, since it is wrong. I know their close working relationship, and I do believe that is beautiful and good for the country, and I am in full support of that. A very commendable respect for each other, working relations from two previous competitors in Presidential Elections. 

J. Soedradjad Djiwandono
J. Soedradjad Djiwandono. Emeritus Professor of Economics, FEBUI, Jakarta, and Adjunct Professor of International Economics, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

In fact, that is an excellent example of two competing leaders in an election that every one of us should look up to. I hope, if there is any wrong or faulty interpretation from the title of my interview, it is corrected by now, with this earnest statement from me personally. I am very sorry that this had to happen, and with this it is corrected, since there was not any slight ill will on my part from the start. My intention is clear: there is no ill will at all. 

I know that writing weekly two columns the way I did so far, I would once a while experience this kind of thing, but please believe me, I did not have any intension at all for that. I do not know how I could say more than what I just wrote here. And thank you for believing in what I wrote. I will continue writing columns in this paper, and others, since from feedbacks of my readers I dare say that there is a need for such writings and good or bad many things I discussed in my columns are subjects of importance in our lives, living in society as multi-ethnics, religious beliefs and customs as we are as Indonesians, also to understand what others are doing or discussing, not just for general knowledge, but for human interest. 

And for me, writing these, I felt like I am doing something for the good of others, bonum commune, as my motto in life as a teacher and educator who writes on human interest, due to my concern for them and my wanting to share what I learn with others. 

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I hope more people will be willing to watch and listen to the discussions I had with my interviewer, my good friend the professional journalist I have known for many years, Rosianna Silalahi, a fine and healthy professional relationship I do not want to ruin, and find that there is nothing in my discussion that had any inkling or hidden agenda to separate between the development priorities of President Joko Widodo and President-Elect Prabowo Subianto. 

I have known President-Elect Prabowo Subianto personally for a very long time, and I would certainly not intentionally jeopardize his work for the country he loves so much. I will continue writing so you all will ultimately find that what I claim here is correct. So, any different interpretation is wrong or faulty, and must be corrected. This column is by the Lord’s grace, meant to make that correction.

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