IO, Jakarta – Monday, 14 January 2019. When Independent Observer arrived at the Jakarta Convention Center, there was a dominance of pale blue and white as far as the eye could see. These two colors are strongly associated with Presidential Candidate Pair Number 02, Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno. The queue snaked around the entrances to the Plenary Hall, proof that supporters were enthusiastic to hear Prabowo Subianto’s National Address. The other dominant color combination at JCC that day was red and white – the identity colors of our nation. No party flags were visible at sight. This is a clear message that when elected, Prabowo-Sandi would work for the interest of the Indonesian people, and not for the interest of their supporting parties. Prabowo-Sandi’s commitment for the people is no newly-created stance. Ever since their days in the military and business, the pair has always thought and acted in the interest of the many.
Thousands of people witnessed Prabowo’s Address, which he presented with Sandi standing by his side. He started the address by reading out a poem his uncle, First Lieutenant A. Soebianto Djojohadikusumo, wrote. First Lieutenant Soebianto was an officer of the Indonesian Republic Army (Tentara Republik Indonesia – “TRI”) who fell in the Lengkong battle, Serpong, on 25 January 1946.
We are not alone.
Thousands of people depend on us.
Citizens whom we never know,
People whom we might never know.
But what we do now, will determine what will happen to them.
Prabowo said that this election is not Prabowo’s election, not Sandiaga Uno’s election, but the election of the Indonesian people. Therefore, the victory that we will achieve on 17 April 2019 would not be Prabowo’s victory. Nor will it be Sandiaga Uno’s victory. It will be the victory of Indonesia.
Prabowo went on to express his anger, what caused him to remain in the political arena, and offer himself to lead the United Republic of Indonesia:
“Recently, I had a report that a farmworker, a father called Pak Hardi who lived in in Tawangharjo Village, Grobogan, died hanging himself from a teak tree that grew behind his home. He hung himself, leaving his wife and children behind, because he was too deep into debt and could not repay his loan, because he was overwhelmed by the economic burden that he had to carry was just too much for him. Within the past few years, I have gotten reports of many tragic tales like that of the late Hardi. For example, a schoolteacher in Pekalongan hung himself, and on 4 January, a Mrs. Sudarsi of Watusigar Village, Gunung Kidul, also hung herself.
I have recently come back from Klaten. The rice farmers were sad there, because during harvest time two months ago, foreign rice flooded in. I have also visited East Java recently. Many sugar farmers complained also because there was also a flood of sugar imports during harvest time. On the other hand, many housewives complained that sugar prices in Indonesia were 2-3 times higher than that of the average world price. This is ironic, because the Archipelago once exported sugar in huge quantities. Is this the country dreamed of and fought for by our founding fathers? By Bung Karno and Bung Hatta, by Bung Syahrir, by General Sudirman, by K. H. Hasyim Ashari and K. H. Wahid Hasyim? By K. H. Agus Salim, by Bung Tomo?
This country with many hospitals has to reject the Social Security Administrator for Health care (Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Sosial – “BPJS”) because BPJS has not been paying the hospital’s expenses for months, meaning that these hospitals are operating at a loss, and have to reduce the quality and quantity of their services. 1 out of 3 toddlers in this country fail to grow, because they do not have enough protein, because their mothers also lack protein and other nutrients during pregnancy. This country continues to increase its borrowings to pay existing debts, and to pay routine Government expenditures such as civil servants’ wages. This country allows the financial condition of our primary State-owned Enterprises to fall into dire straits. Garuda, Indonesia’s flagship airline, a company that was born during our struggle for independence, sustains great losses. Pertamina, the petroleum company that acts as the primary support for the development of the Republic of Indonesia, is now in financial trouble. Such is also the case with PLN, the State electric company, and Krakatau Steel. Even if any State-owned Enterprise gains profits, there is only a little margin to be made.
This condition is what I call the “Indonesian Paradox”. It is a rich country, but most of the people are still poor. If we are not careful, if we are not wary, if we do not change and act immediately, the situation will worsen.
Is a country with a national petroleum reserve of only 20 days, with a rice reserve of less than 3 million tons, able to withstand an attack or security crisis? Even the current Minister of Defense stated that if Indonesia goes to war, it would only last 3 days, because that’s the amount of firepower that we have – just enough to withstand 3 days of battle. It is not something we say, but it is something that the Government itself admits. We must remember that competition between nations is harsh. The history of human civilization for thousands of years has been a harsh story. We must never be dependent on other nations. We must never hope that other nations will be kind to us, will be merciful towards us.
If we obtain the mandate to lead Indonesia for the upcoming 5-year period, what we must do is to reorient development and management of the Republic of Indonesia, with a vision and mission that “Indonesia Wins”. Indonesia must win. We must not be a losing country, a country that begs and is trapped in debt. We must not be the kind of nation that does not defend its own people. In order to realize “Indonesia Wins”, we must execute a special strategy that I call the “Big Push Strategy”. We can realize this strategy through:
Food independence; Energy independence, in this case fuel independence; Clean water independence; and Strong Government institutions.
In order to achieve all these goals, we have set five main focuses for our national work program. The first focus is to realize an economy that prioritizes the people – a fair economy that brings prosperity to all Indonesians, and that preserves Indonesia’s environment. In this case, we will create job opportunities for our people. We are going to raise the people’s purchasing power. If people have enough money, all of our economic gears will turn properly. Our factories will run. Our production will rise. Our people’s needs will be fulfilled.
We once produced sophisticated airplanes, high-technology products. I ask you now, can we or can we not continue what we did before? I believe the answer is “yes”. We must produce our own national cars, helicopters, trading ships, transportation ships, warships.
We must create these technologies by ourselves, because we as a nation are the fourth-largest in the world. Industrialization is a must for our country. We must build Indonesia’s industry to match that of India, of South Korea, countries that have world-class industrial companies – unlike what we have now. Economic experts say that Indonesia is currently undergoing deindustrialization. Therefore, we will also ensure that our crucial State-owned Enterprises, such as Krakatau Steel, Pertamina, and Garuda become strong again, and not sustain continuous losses.
It is not that we are not open to other nations, it is just that we can no longer remain at the bottom of the pyramid! We want our children to become pilots, sea captains, entrepreneurs, not just domestic servants in other nations! We are going to stop the leakage of our money abroad by implementing correct and fair policies for all Indonesian citizens. We are going to empower Small and Medium Businesses and provide incentives for them. We are going to provide subsidies and social aid programs for the lowest among our people who need them, to ensure that all Indonesia citizens are able to satisfy their basic needs.
We are going to construct effective infrastructure, beneficial for all groups of people without causing the prices of our projects to balloon uncontrollably. We are going to ensure that Government debt will not continue to swell, let alone endanger the Country’s financial position. We are going to transform the millions of hectares of damaged forest into productive forest for food production, energy, and clean water, and open job opportunities for our people. We are going to establish a Farmer and Fisherman Bank to help farmers and fishermen get access to capital and technology. For all soldiers, police officers, and officials in remote areas: we are going to raise their income. We will provide for the needs of judges, prosecutors, and other law enforcement officers, raising the pay rate because they are vital for the running of the Government of the Republic Indonesia.
The second focus is the improvement of the quality of life and social welfare. In this case, we are going to fight poverty, improve health services, and advance the quality of education. We need to respect and care for the quality of life of health and education of workers. We must improve their wages. We must accommodate the needs of teachers, especially contract teachers. We must improve the quality of their lives. With effective programs such as athletic scholarships, santri (Islamic religious study) scholarships and free transportation for students, the elderly, and the disabled, we are going to make sure that the gap between the rich and the poor does not widen.
We are going to improve the governance of BPJS and other social networks in order to avoid deficits and improve the quality of health services. We are going to fight to ensure that all Indonesian citizens have health security and other social security. We are also going to strengthen the Planned Family program, in order to prevent Indonesia from suffering a population boom that keeps us marching in place. We are going to fight for the provision of free milk and free lunches in all schools that require them. We hope that this will reduce stunting (abnormal growth due to bad nutrition). For the disabled, we are going to construct disability-friendly infrastructure and ensure the availability of proper and respectable job opportunities for disabled people.
We are going to improve the quality of schools, from universities to pondok pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) and madrasah (ordinary Islamic schools). Other than strengthening the institutions, we are going to improve the welfare of teachers and educators, including that of contract teachers in ordinary schools, pesantren, and madrasah. We are also going to establish a Hajj Savings Institution to manage our hajj and umrah applicants, reducing the load of our ummat who want to perform hajj and umrah. We want to negotiate with Saudi Arabia so that they will construct buildings belonging to Indonesia in the holy cities, in order to reduce the costs required for performing the hajj pilgrimage.
Our third focus is to ensure legal justice and to run a high-quality democracy. In order to ensure democracy, we are going to guarantee the independence of creating unions and expressing opinions, and the freedom of the press. We are going to stop the threat of persecution against press individuals, organizations, and agencies that are of opinion opposed to the Government. We are going to ensure that our ulema are respected and free from threats of criminalization. This is extremely important, as the role of the ulema in our people’s struggle for independence was a significant one.
It is true that the Republic Indonesia Proclamation of Independence was read out in Jakarta. Yet I tell you here that our spirit of independence was strongest in East Java. The peak of our struggle to obtain our independence was the rejection by the people of East Java of foreign ultimatums, supported by the resolution of jihad by the ulema. Therefore, Indonesians must never disrespect our kiais (elder Islamic scholars), our ulema, and the other religious figures who lead us. We are also going to ensure that no organization that adheres to Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution gets stigmatized or judged without due process in court. We are going to ensure that the law in this country is not discriminatory and fickle. Justice must apply to all, even to those who are strong and have money.
In order to eradicate corruption, we are going to strengthen the Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – “KPK”), the police, the public prosecutor’s office, and the courts. We are going to ensure that there will be no intervention or politicizing of law enforcement and corruption eradication in our homeland. We are also going to improve accountability and transparency in the State’s financial management, all the way from the center to the regions.
Our fourth focus is to transform Indonesia into a safe and comfortable home for all Indonesian citizens.
National security and the sovereignty of the United Republic of Indonesia (Negara Kesatuan Republic Indonesia – “NKRI”) is the perquisite for development, progress, and prosperity. Therefore, we are going to ensure that the Indonesian National Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – “TNI”) becomes a strong, world-class defense unit. We are also going to improve the ability of the police force in order to enable them to anticipate and resolve new-type crimes such as cyber-crime, human trafficking, international drug trafficking, money laundering, etc. Furthermore, we are also going to improve the State’s capacity in cases of natural disaster to anticipate, detect, mitigate, rehabilitate, and rebuild.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Our fifth focus is the strengthening of the nation’s characteristics and personality. We believe that the most fundamental quality Indonesians must have is a strong character and mentality. We are going to instill and practice the best Indonesian attitudes and philosophies that we have inherited from our ancestors:
The attitude of a warrior who never surrenders and never gives up;
The attitude of sabdo pandito ratu (tan keno wola-wali). This is literally translated as “The words of a priest or a royal does not slither back and forth”, meaning that a true leader goes by his or her words and do not act fickle;
The attitude of rame ing gaweh, sepi ing pamrih (active in working, free from ulterior motives) prioritizing the greater good;
The attitude of a leader who works hard in order for wong cilik iso gumuyu (“the little people” or commoners to be able to laugh in happiness and peace);
The attitude of trusting in one’s own powers, in standing on one’s own two feet; and
The attitude of preferring death to enslavement.
We must realize security for all. Justice for all. Prosperity for all. We must not provide security for the rich only, justice only for those who can pay, nor prosperity for a small number of people (less than 1% of the total population of Indonesia). As what Bung Karno stated during the Investigating Committee for Preparatory Work for Independence (Badan Penyelidik Usaha-usaha Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia – “BPUPKI”) assembly on 1 June 1945, which I quote as follows:
“We want to establish a country for everyone. Not for one person, not for a single group, not for the royalty and nobility, not for the rich, but for everyone. This country, the Republic of Indonesia, does not belong to a group, nor to a religious faith, nor an ethnic group, nor to a specific culture, but to all of us from Sabang to Merauke.”
We are currently in a race against time. Every year, our population increases by 3.5 million. That means that in 10 years, we must prepare additional housing, schools, and employment for an additional 35 million citizens. If we do not do something meaningful, if we do not implement major transformations today, we might get trapped in a situation worrisome for our people.
If we obtain a mandate from Indonesian voters on 17 April 2019, in order to be able to execute our programs we are going to organize our ranks from the best sons and daughters of Indonesia. We are not going to consider their political backgrounds. We are not going to consider their ethnicity or religious faith. We are not going to assess them based on their party attributes. We are going to choose intelligent sons and daughters of Indonesia – those with integrity, honesty, and cleanliness who are able to run the State apparatus the best way they can. We are going to establish a cross-identity unit, the Bhinneka Tunggal Ika or unity in diversity unit. A smart unit able to execute development programs for the interest of the common people, able to realize the aspiration of ‘Indonesia Wins’.”
At the conclusion of his speech, Prabowo reminded all that there is no power in the world can last if its own people do not love it. Please believe that we are on the right path. We defend justice, truth, and honesty. We are certain that Most Powerful God is with us, because God is always on the side of truth.
Prabowo Subianto’s National Address lasted 1.5 hours. Cheers and shouts of “Prabowo President” continued to echo loudly throughout his speech.
State Administration Law expert Negara Margarito Kamis concludes that that Prabowo Subianto’s National Address shows that he understands the great issues of the nation. Prabowo has shown himself to be the person who can deliver the solution for great issues faced by this nation. “As I see it, Pak Prabowo wants to make sure that there is no citizen who becomes hungry, miserable, and desperate in this nation. Pak Prabowo also said that nobody who criticizes him is going to be punished by him if he comes into power; I think that it’s amazing. It is obvious from his speech that he is free from hatred, but shows inclusion instead. It is more than enough to say that Pak Prabowo is the solution for the nation’s problems,” he said proudly.
Margarito agrees with Prabowo’s assessment that the distribution of resources is concentrated in the hands of only a few people. “You see what the law is like in our current Government. It is impossible for us not to say that the law nowadays is not just vague – we must also admit that the law moves according to the Government’s political direction. This is dangerous, because if there is this view that “no matter what our friends do, it is right and no matter what the opposition does, it must be wrong”, there is a very real danger that the law will become twisted,” he said.
Law cases that drag on with a suspicion of interference include cases in the Ministry of Public Works and People’s Housing, Ministry of Youth and Sports, and Ministry of Transportation, among many others. The Government’s decisions are so capricious that even the Vice President criticizes the high cost and inefficiency in building LRTs. “Even JK criticizes the decisions… Can we then say that the current Government is good? Government staff must properly be included in decision-making, but JK in fact criticizes projects. How then can we say that the Government is reliable? With this fact, how can we say that the Government is good? Another sad example is the fate of our contract teachers. The Preamble of the 1945 Constitution states that the Government must make its people intelligent for the purpose of daily living, but our teachers have been neglected for years,” stated Margarito.
If we want our nation to be well-organized, many regulations must be upgraded. For example, the Constitution Court has rejected the Petroleum and Natural Gas Law and Coastal Area Law because these laws are used by crooked capitalists to monopolize and exploit our natural resources, as a tool for accumulating natural resources and shift them to the ownership of a small number of people. “If Pak Prabowo comes into power, we hope that he would change or reorient our economic laws and regulations to promote equal distribution, according to the mandate of Article 33 and Article 28 of the 1945 Constitution,” he said.
The legal steps Prabowo must take when he gets elected include quick identification and verification of law according to the urgency of existing problems when amending statutes. The role of KPK must be reset in order to allow it to properly pinpoint the roots of problems or the source of corruption. “I think the source of corruption is future payments for projects and bribery during development of projects. This is the root of our problems and this must stop. This is where KPK must hammer. Furthermore, we need administrative organization, including the empowerment of administrative sanctions against deviant apparatus. It would be good if Pak Prabowo ensures that imprisonment is not the only weapon used to push back corruption. We must acknowledge that administrative weapons hit corruption equally harshly. Such administrative weapons might include monitoring during planning. Before implementation, it is necessary to review all Government projects for their feasibility, and to ensure that there is no excessive markup.
The Dignity of the People
Meanwhile, Economic Observer Ichsanuddin Noorsy concludes that Prabowo must win, because he yearns to represent the will and aspirations of the people, to lead this country where the people wish him to lead. In a context of statesmanship, Prabowo wishes to express through his speech that this people must not remain oppressed and must show its dignity. Therefore, he speaks of food, energy, and natural resource sovereignty; a strong TNI; and fair law enforcement.
Prabowo’s speech reiterates the need to reorient development within a framework that declares independence as the right of all nations, and that colonization must be eliminated from the face of the Earth. Therefore, reorientation is an urgent necessity because our country is low down in the international arena. “I think this should take the form of universal development of the people, which allows top-down and bottom-up interaction, based on a community approach,” Noorsy said. “In order to become a “winning nation”, I conclude that we require the ‘4 F’s’: Food, Fuel, Finance and Frequency. Prabowo added to this mixture the armed forces and law enforcement. If we want to talk about food empowerment, the basis for this is irrigation and land conversion. Let us not change zoning from agricultural to commercial zoning.”
The keyword for the solution to resolution of the people’s problems is “ownership structure”. Ownership of production and distribution should be in the hands of the people, in order to ensure fairness and prosperity, as well as to maintain pride as a nation. This is necessary in order to cut in half deindustrialization that has taken place in Indonesia, a downward spiral trending in as early as 2010. This deindustrialization results in trade balance deficits. Another cause of this deficit is that Indonesian industrialists feel that they lack proper protection, so that they prefer trading then to production. For example, Maspion has had such a hard time maintaining domestic production. Several other manufacturers have given up and went on to trading imported goods.
Indonesia does not have solid relations between upstream industries, processing industries and final industries. The systemic structure of our industry is in a poor condition. An example is the mining business. Unfortunately, while the Jokowi Government promised to raise the conditions of our industries using a Trisakti (“Three Great Principles”) concept, it has failed entirely to deliver on this promise. Indonesia has not executed any industrial revolution to speak of. As proof, even our food is still imported. This means that our food industry is a mess, our energy industry is a mess, and that we need only to wait for the next indicators to appear: a negative trade balance and lack of growth in manufacturing.
Prabowo should have been clearer when he refers to the national automotive industry in his speech. What kind of national automotive industry is he talking about? The one based on fossil energy sources, or on electricity? This must be clarified, because we are talking about energy sovereignty that remains unseen despite Indonesia’s being rich in potential new and renewable energy sources. However, the electricity-based automotive industry is closely related to IT, which is still heavily dependent on imports. A country that has already developed an automotive industry actually has a strategic economic defense. This was why Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir got upset when Proton was sold to China, and today seeks to revive the national automotive industry.
In terms of reviving the Family Planning program, Noorsy thinks that the approach Prabowo takes is not quantitative but qualitative. This means that educating the people on the importance of family planning is necessary. It must be noted that Prabowo has been thinking about our national educational strategy, which the West has degraded for years.
In terms of quality upholding of justice, law, and democracy, Article 27 Paragraph 1 of the 1945 Constitution states that “all citizens have equal stature before the law and the Government”. This means that the administrators of the State must uphold principles of equality before the law, to ensure that no citizen should feel harassed when the law is being upheld. Yet in reality, law enforcement in Indonesia nowadays confounds the people’s sense of justice. It disturbs ulema, activists, and laborers. The fact remains that nowadays, the higher a person’s position and the richer they are, the less the law is applicable to him or her, and the more favorable verdicts they can “arrange”. “Therefore, it is not just a matter of equality before the law, but it is related to an honest, clean, and neutral set of laws that mesh well with the innate sense of justice held dear by the people. Therefore, it is not just about improving laws and policies, but also improvement in the econo-political situation meeting the social system. We must analyze Prabowo’s speech in 5 dimensions, i.e. ideology, economy, politics, law, and social. This would highlight a culture of mutual trust, one which is sorely lacking in the Jokowi era,” Noorsy complained.
The Offer of Solutions
Hendrajit, Global Future Institute’s Executive Director, understands that Prabowo’s speech emphasizes how to resolve economic, political, and legal issues. Economic solutions emphasize independence in law and politics relating to law enforcement, from upstream to downstream. Prabowo has a framework of primary issues, and offers solutions, such as energy independence, food independence, and a focus on agriculture and fisheries. Another part that Prabowo emphasizes is that we are not a “nation of losers” and not a “nation of debtors”. “Yet I think that he has focused insufficiently on culture. “Culture” must be the foundation of all solutions relating to industry, agriculture, defense, science & technology. If Prabowo wants to inspire us with the revival of China, a poor, broken nation that successfully modernized its industry, science & technology, agriculture and defense, all that is founded on cultural strategies,” he said.
Prabowo offers to hold dialogs with those who disagree with him. Such dialogs must address issues that attract tradition-based groups. “Independence” in terms of economic revival, must also involve cultural adjustment. Prabowo also mentioned the specter of deindustrialization in his speech. There must be an emphasis on how to adapt industries in order to align with characteristics of each respective region. Agricultural reform in the regions must involve the culture and characteristics of each, in order to strengthen the people’s motivation in executing reforms.
“I agree that national reorientation should be addressed initially. In fact, I state that we must enjoy national reconstruction. However, I also think that if the agenda is to redesign national policy and development, national security must become a basis and framework for designing a concept for this redesign. If we talk about national defense, geopolitics must become the basis of national security. Bung Karno once admitted something like this in relation to the National Defense Agency (Lembaga Pertahanan Nasional – “Lemhanas”) in 1965. Therefore, I find it interesting that Pak Prabowo quoted a statement that appreciates Bung Karno yesterday. It was a wise step to include elements that sympathize with Bung Karno’s nationalist ideas. This allows them to see Prabowo as an alternative, facing the crucial issues of the national polity today. National security becomes a framework that integrates ideology, politics, economy, law, sociocultural and security issues. These points are expressed in their entirety in Pak Prabowo’s message – whether from the root of the problem, the agenda to be executed or the solution, even if only in basic outlines,” Hendrajit stated.
Prabowo says that integration between KPK, the public prosecutor’s office, and the police is necessary to uphold justice, enforce laws and champion democracy. “I see that other than case discrimination, KPK’s development has been a biased one. Most of the ones getting arrested are minnow-level corruptors, while they leave the sharks alone to escape. It is unfortunately too frequently emphasized that KPK and the police have different views of corruption eradication,” Hendrajit said.
Prabowo discussed more than just corruption issues when he talked about law and politics. Hopefully, that was in order to view corruption as the residue of a corrupt political system. Furthermore, it is true that we must reintegrate the components of law enforcement (KPK, public prosecutors’ office, and police). The basis is legal justice, meaning that we are not allowed to act discriminatively, such as by serving only those with money, connections and power.
The five primary focuses of the national work program are formulated in the strategic issues that are going to become priority programs. They only require integration of these elements, as well an explanation of how it is necessary for Indonesia to revive and become glorious once again. However, the issue is “How do we do this without slavishly copying models used by developed nations such as Europe, America or Japan? How can Indonesia continue to execute programs whose priority is to modernize the nation and earn its independence, while remaining rooted in its own culture?”
Some of Prabowo’s rhetorical points are on target. For example, we appreciate American and Chinese cultures and we respect our cooperation with them, but we do not want to become their slaves. This is the basis of free and active political commitment: our foreign political policies do not lean East or West, while we stay friends with all foreign countries for our common welfare. This is the formulation in a free and active political blueprint, one which will earn us independence and dignity, as well as the respect and appreciation of the world at large.
(Dessy Aipipidely, Ekawati)