Mahfud M. D. beseeches youngsters to champion nationalism & national defense

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Mahfud M. D., Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal, and Security Affairs. (Photo: Rayi Gigih/IO)

IO – Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud M. D. is concerned that a person’s sense of nationalism or love towards their homeland may diminish if the leaders of their country are perceived as corrupt. “The sense of nationalism will fade if the people who rule are corrupt and egotistical. Loyalties can shift in such cases,” Mahfud said in the virtual Entry Ceremony of the March Eleventh State Uni- versity, broadcast on the Universi- ty’s YouTube channel on Monday (14/09/2020).

Mahfud stated that many of Indo- nesia’s highly potential and achiev- ing young graduates nd it hard to obtain work or secure business per- mits in their own country, because nepotism has extremely deep roots in our society. “If you are not a family member, if you don’t pay “fees”, your application will be rejected. If you want to get your business permit processed, you must pay a bribe,” he said. “Many of these potential young- sters prefer to seek employment and open a business abroad. For exam- ple, it is easier for young Indonesian entrepreneurs to get business per- mit in Singapore than in Indonesia. This causes nationalism to fade from the hearts of young Indonesians. It takes only two hours to get a busi- ness permit issued in Singapore. They do their business in Indonesia but get their permit from Singapore. What does this mean? Nationalism is faded due to bad leadership, corrupt leadership.”

Transparency International is- sues a “Corruption Perception Index” annually. Indonesia is perceived as being 40-point corrupt in a 10-100 corruption-level scale in 2019. Indo- nesia is ranked 90th most transpar- ent out of the more than 180 coun- tries it rated. This is much worse than the Corruption Perception Index of our two closest neighbors, Malay- sia and Singapore.

In view of the issue, Mahfud re- quests that the new college students

maintain the principle of anti-corrup- tion from early on. Love towards the Homeland must also be inculcated in order to prevent nationalism from fad- ing easily among young Indonesians in the future. “If you love this country, you will naturally have the feeling of wanting to defend it. This feeling must be supported by conducive leadership and Government,” he said.

National Defense

Mahfud further reminds the new students of the importance of nation- al defense awareness for the young- er generation. After all, they will be handed the baton of national leader- ship in the future. “According to the provisions of Article 27 and Article 30 Paragraph 1 of the Constitution of 1945, all Indonesian citizens have the right and obligation to enjoy na- tional defense, whether when we are facing a threat of war against another country or other types of intervention that disturbs our sovereignty. There- fore, if the State suffers from such conditions that require the interven- tion and defense of our citizens, we can oblige citizens to do their part in national defense,” he said.

According to Mahfud, “Imple- menting national defense properly is an expression of gratitude towards the independence of the Republic that our forefathers successfully achieved. All citizens must prioritize proper willpower, attitude, and com- prehensive, integrated, and sustain- able action, based on their love for the homeland, for the people and the nation; based on faith in Pancasila and the Constitution of 1945, in or- der to maintain and preserve the in- tegrity and development of the NKRI.”

Quoting the PEW Research Cen- ter study on the characteristics of the Millennial generation, Mahfud stated that it has the unique characteristic of intense use of the internet as a pri- mary need. With massive progress in science and technology, the form of national defense must change ac- cording to the situation and condi- tion being faced, and the form of the threat being faced now and in the fu- ture. “The threat looming over Indo- nesia nowadays is not just military or physical threats. We also face other threats, such as global competition, free trade, efforts to weaken our HR, socio-cultural destruction, elimina- tion of diversity, the appearance of intolerance and dissolution of na- tionalism, and the ood of informa- tion. The Millennial generation must respond to all these challenges wisely and carefully,” he said. (dan)