Jakarta, IO – Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto said national unity is the key to building a strong Indonesia because a pluralistic society can turn into a boomerang if the divisions are not properly managed.
“We are a very diverse country. Heterogeneity can become our vulnerability if we are not good at managing it,” Prabowo said in a keynote speech at the MNC Forum LXX (70th) at the Inews Tower, Central Jakarta, Tuesday night (30/5).
This immense diversity can be seen from the numerous tribes, religions, races and ethnicities Indonesia has.
Prabowo said Indonesia’s founding fathers are great figures because they can unite all these differences.
According to him, this can be seen from the brilliant choice of Bahasa Indonesia as the national language of unity.
“We are grateful that our founding fathers are so great. They chose the national language not from the language spoken by the majority,” said Prabowo.
“Indonesian is derived from the Malay language spoken in parts of Sumatra by a minority population,” he explained.
The chairman of the Gerindra Party further said Indonesia’s founding fathers are not primordialistic figures. Soekarno and many of the prominent Javanese leaders never considered designating Javanese, the language of the majority, as the national language.
“If Indonesian leaders only thought about ethnicity and primordialism, they could have declared Javanese as the national language because it is the language of the majority. But they didn’t.”
“We can see other countries who still find it difficult to be united because they don’t have a national language. This is what the future leaders of Indonesia must preserve, national unity from Sabang to Merauke,” said Prabowo.