IO – Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto attended the 17th IISS Manama Dialogue 2021 in Bahrain, to deliver an opening address, Saturday (11/20/2021).
In his speech, MoD Prabowo expressed his support for world peace and conveyed Indonesia’s commitment to building good relations with friendly countries. He observed how values such as the desire for peace, freedom of expression, social justice and freedom of creativity have become universal values, because of the revolution in digital information.
“This should and must make those who wield power and strength take pause. They must place more emphasis on values and rules, respect for human rights, protection of minorities, and safeguard against further degradation of our environment,” said MoD Prabowo in his remarks, live-streamed on the IISS Manama YouTube channel.
The Defense Minister, also Gerindra Party Chairman, added that the key to world peace is a balance between power and benevolence.
Thus, leaders must refect the values of compassion and respect.
MoD Prabowo underscored how Indonesia is open to external relations by faithfully abiding by a harmonious atmosphere for peaceful coexistence with all parties.
Regarding multilateral relations with other countries, MoD Prabowo said Indonesia will strictly maintain neutrality and good relations with all countries.
Through ASEAN, together with countries in the Southeast Asian region, Indonesia will try to help resolve problems that arise, with the principle of mutual respect for the sovereignty of each country, said MoD Prabowo, the former Commander-General of the Army Special Forces Command.
MoD Prabowo also said that as the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia maintains very close relations with the Middle East, as can be seen by Indonesia’s commitment to a peaceful resolution in Palestine. In addition, good relations have been maintained with partners in the Middle East in the counter-terrorism sector, as they may affect Indonesia’s national security.
The Minister explained that many Indonesian hardliners and extremists are influenced by like-minded groups in the Middle East. For example, the relationship between Al-Qaeda and Jamaah Islamiyah, and ISIS and its Indonesian affiliate, Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).
Domestically, Indonesia is striving to prevent extremism from thriving at home. “I believe that extremism and radicalism will thrive when there is poverty, when there is inequality and injustice. When people lose hope, when the poor do not get equal treatment in the eyes of the law, when they feel abandoned by those in power. This creates fertile ground for radicalism and extremism,” MoD Prabowo elaborated.
MoD Prabowo believes that the spread of extremism will not be inspired if a country is founded on justice, democracy and accountable leaders. And there should be equal treatment in the eyes of the law for all.
MoD Prabowo also explained that Indonesia’s strategic posture is defensive, meaning that it has no territorial aspirations outside its national borders. Nor does it see the need to project its defense power outside Indonesia.
Indonesia has always embodied the concept of people’s defense, called hankamrata, meaning a total people’s defense system. “For many centuries, this has been the defensive posture of nearly all our kings, our sultans, our princes,” explained MoD Prabowo. In the implementation, Indonesia strengthens all aspects of its territorial commands, starting from villages, sub-districts, districts and provinces to the center. (eka)