JK: “Our army will be strong if we have a strong economy”

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Vice president of Indonesia, Jusuf Kalla. (photo: Yoichi Iwata)

IO, Jakarta – Outgoing Vice President Jusuf Kalla (JK) has observed that radicalism is a persistent safety issue in Indonesia. He warns that what we need to watch for is radicalism in action, not in thought. “Our people’s security, our national defense, is also an issue tending towards radicalism and even terrorism. Radicalism in thought is really not an issue, but radicalism in action is the true problem,” JK stated during a briefing to Candidate Youth Officers (Calon Perwira Remaja – “capaja”) at the Ahmad Yani Sports Hall, Armed Forces Headquarters, Cilangkap, East Jakarta, on Monday (15/07/2019).

JK stated that what he means by “radicalism in thought” is “Thinking only for oneself, not becoming part of an effort to convince others to become radicals, or to perform acts that violate law and order. This is what you all must understand,” he said.

JK further stated that economic progress is related to military power. The stronger a country’s economy, the stronger its military. “There are always people who say that in order to maintain our economic power, we must have strong forces to guard it. However, we can only achieve military strength if the economy itself is sufficiently strong. In other words, they are mutually dependent,” he explained.

JK admit that there are still insufficiencies in the provision of military budget. However, he ensures that Army and Police budgets are increased every year. “It is true that the budget for our army and police is not as big as that of other countries. However, there is constant progress even though that depends on our budgetary ability. Combined army-police budget is more than Rp 200 trillion. Armed forces budget only is more than Rp 100 trillion,” he said. (dsy)