The undying value of the Youth Pledge, backbone of our unity

House Deputy Speaker Sufmi Dasco Ahmad is in a seminar titled “Keeping the Flames of the Youth Pledge spirit Burning in Sustainable Development” held at Gren Alia Hotel, Cikini, Central Jakarta, on Wednesday (30/10/2019). (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – The General Chairman of the Nationalism Movement Association’s Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat Perkumpulan Gerakan Kebangsaan – “DPP PGK”), Bursah Zarnubi, reiterates that the spirit of the Youth Pledge of 1928 must be kept burning amid our diversity. This will be the base of our efforts to propel Indonesia into a brighter future. The statement was delivered during a seminar titled “Keeping the Flames of the Youth Pledge Spirit Burning in Sustainable Development” held at Gren Alia Hotel, Cikini, Central Jakarta, on Wednesday (30/10/2019). “We must defend the values of the Youth Pledge, in order to strengthen the unity of the nation, as well as encouraging us to become a winning country in an era of technological advances and harsh global competition,” he said.

Bursah believes that a collective awareness that Indonesia is a highly-diverse country is necessary. Not many countries in the world embody such diversity in its citizenry as Indonesia, with its diverse tribal languages, tribes, races, customs, traditions and faiths. “With such diversity, Indonesia’s primary asset is its spirit of unity, tolerance of difference, harmony, solidarity and brotherhood. Everyone is united amid the diversity, as per our motto of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika,” he said. “We owe it to our founding fathers, who at a tender age held the Second Youth Congress in Jakarta on 27-28 October 1928.”

The Youth Pledge is an historic landmark that guides the direction of our people’s struggle towards independence. It is clear evidence of the pioneering spirit of the young, in the effort to release Indonesia from the chains of colonialism. It is a formulation, a vision of Indonesia as an independent, sovereign, prosperous country whose citizens advance together amid diversity. Many of the world’s leaders and figures are amazed that Indonesia can maintain its unity and live harmoniously amid the extreme diversity of its citizens.

However, Bursah stated that nowadays many incidents are threatening our nation’s unity and integrity. Threats to divide us come from both the outside and inside of our country. Internal threats are mostly triggered by unequal development among the regions. “Thankfully, the leaders of our nation are supported by the solidarity between the military, the police, and the civil citizenry. Everyone jointly maintains the integrity of NKRI and the unity of the nation,” he said.

Bursah believes that the younger generation, as heirs to the nation’s future, must be able to preserve the unity that their elders have fought for in the past. After all, threats towards the people’s unity, integrity, and peace can come from anywhere: “Starting from poverty, development injustice such as the domination of a certain group or region in enjoying the fruits of development, foreign interests intent on controlling Indonesia’s economy, and even the entry of new ideologies that conflict with Pancasila, due to globalization,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Member of Commission I of the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR” from the National Mandate Party (Partai Amanat Nasional – “PAN”) Faction Farah Puteri Nahlia stated that Indonesian youths must have the spirit to grow and develop, so that they can contribute to their country and nation. She believes that there are three things that must be prioritized among youths that will continue, no matter how much time lapses and changes. They are “education,” “empowerment”, and “entrepreneurship.”

Education is important, as scientific knowledge and ethics are important for developing one’s own character and that of the nation. Entrepreneurship is important, because no matter what, we will always face economic challenges and competition. Entrepreneurs are known to be brave and creative in order to build up and maintain their business, no matter what risk they may take. Finally, empowerment is related to human resources. Farah considers empowerment to be a combination of education and entrepreneurship. “We must be able to empower our abilities and achieve our aspirations,” she said.

Meanwhile, DPR Deputy Speaker Sufmi Dasco Ahmad stated that Indonesia was actually born through the Youth Pledge. This vow is the first phase of our country’s history as a republic. Our nation as a unity was born in 1945 through the Proclamation of Independence of the Republic of Indonesia and straightened as NKRI in 1950 through Natsir’s Motion of Integrality. The unification project continues with the announcement of the Djuanda Declaration in 1957, which confirms that the entirety of Indonesia’s territory is a single unity. “In 2020, we estimate that 52% of Indonesia’s citizens are of productive age, and this number will increase and continue until the 2040s. This demographic composition is naturally something we must not waste in terms of setting the trajectory of our national development,” he said.

Therefore, the Government needs to formulate correct policies to optimize the potentials of such a demographic bonus and prevent it from degrading into a demographic disaster. Such a disaster may occur if productive age citizens are not engaged in appropriate jobs, and if there are no spaces set aside for them to channel their potential. Other than domestic conditions, global conditions must also be considered when setting the directions of our development. “We must be able to correctly read the latest technological inventions and technologies within the scope of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as well as changes in the global balance of power, in order to prevent our nation’s policies from heading to the wrong direction,” he said. (des)