Speech of the Ambassador on the Occasion of the Commemoration of Indonesia’s 73rd Independence Day

Distinguished elders of the Indonesian community and my fellow Indonesians in the Netherlands,
Dear Veterans, Friends of Indonesia, media colleagues and distinguished guests.


Assalamualaikum Wr. Wb.
May Peace be upon us all.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om,
Namo Buddhaya

Let us together express our gratitude to God Almighty, for His blessings and compassion as we gather at the Indonesian School in The Hague to commemorate the 73rd Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Indonesia.

At first, allow me to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in The Hague, to express my sincerest gratitude to all Indonesians, Indonesian Diaspora, and the people of the Netherlands for their sympathies and attention to the victims and their familes of the recent earthquake calamity which took place in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.

Even in the midst of this tragedy, our spirit remains in celebrating, together with all Indonesians from Sabang to Merauke, the Indonesia’s Independence Day.

For 73 years, Indonesia has been able to reach achievements in various fields. Since the wake of Indonesia’s reformation in 1997, Indonesia becomes the third largest democratic country in the world whilst having a more mature democratic process.   

Indonesia also becomes one of the largest economies in the world and is a member of G20, thus enjoying an equal standing with developed and economically large countries.

All these achievements emphasize a common belief: that Indonesia is on its track towards a better future; a future that can only be realized through solidary of hard work in order to achieve and create a fulfilled nation.
In this regard, my distinguished guests, allow me to convey excerpts from Indonesian President’s speech during the Joint Session of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia and the Regional Representatives Council of the Republic of Indonesia, which was held yesterday, the 16th of August 2018, as follows:

For 73 years, we have demonstrated ourselves to be a strong and resilient nation, a nation eager to succeed in achieving triumphant and advancement.

In its 73 years of age, we continue to work, to endure more efforts, and to struggle to reach our achievements for the nation, because we have to admit that there are other countries that have advanced faster than our country. However, we also have to be grateful that we fare better than many other countries.

We are grateful that we have Pancasila as a force of Indonesia’s nation ideology that guides all the people in realizing their dreams of independence. Pancasila is a star that directs, moves, becomes a source of inspiration and becomes a unifying force of all Indonesian people with its Bhinneka Tunggal Ika.

We have dispelled the fear of threats of instability and political violence in every leadership succession at both national and regional levels. One hundred and one simultaneous regional elections in 2017 and 171 others in 2018 were successfully conducted in a peaceful and orderly manner.

The people has welcomed the expressions of democracy with great joy and enthusiasm, as well as increasing political maturity. I believe, that with a broad experience in democracy, insya Allah, the simultaneous Legislative Election and Presidential Election in 2019 will run peacefully, orderly, and democratically.

Despite of those achievements, we cannot afford to become complacent. Indonesia has to catch up with other nations that have advanced more than what we are now in pursuit of progress.

Hence, we have to be bold in drawing up policies of which the results are not only to be enjoyed but would accelerate our steps forward.

We must not be comfortable for short-term pragmatism, that would only mean slowing down our steps towards the future.

We must not be comfortable to remain as a middle-income country.

We must not be caught under a middle-income trap. Instead, we must transform our nation into a developed country, to become a developed Indonesia.

Distinguished guests,

Indonesian economy continues to grow at around 5 percent per year, amidst the ongoing global economic uncertainty.

Inflation hovers around 3.5 percent. This has been an extraordinary achievement to maintain people’s purchasing power. We have managed to curb the inflation rate in June 2018 at 0.59 percent (month-to-month) or the lowest compared to the inflation during national religious festivities in the past seven years.

The unemployment rate has also been reduced by 5.13 percent in February 2018. For the first time, Indonesia’s poverty percentage has dropped to a single digit, into 9.82 percent in March 2018. We managed to reduce the poverty rate from 28.59 million or 11.22 percent in March 2015 to 25.95 million or 9.82 percent in March 2018.

Economic justice receives our utmost attention, especially serving justice for the 40 percent of the underprivileged. We are grateful for having achieved the lowest disparity level in the past six years as our Gini ratio dropped to 0.389.

The quality of life of Indonesian people also continues to improve in the past four years as demonstrated by the improvement in our Human Development Index (IPM) that is already under the category of High Human Development. Our IPM in 2014 was at 68.90 and jumped to 70.81 in 2017.

The Government has accelerated its national development, be it in the form of physical infrastructure development or social infrastructures. The Government has been working to create a just and economic equitability for the whole Indonesian people. The Government has accelerated the development of Indonesian human resources as the main priority of the national development.

Greater connectivity spurred by infrastructure development will not only improve the efficiency and competitiveness of our economy but will also unite us as a nation.

We continue to strengthen the connectivity of sea tolls by building and developing seaports in 477 locations from 2015 until 2017. In the period of 2015 until 2017, we built railways with the accumulative length of more than 369-kilometer lines, 11 new airports, and 397 kilometers of operational toll roads. We continue to build and integrate Trans Sumatera road, Trans Java, and Trans Papua that open up new opportunities for the people.

Apart from infrastructural development, the ease of doing business is also a key factor to boost investment. If investment increases, economic growth can even be attained at a higher level.

A host of structural reform programs have significantly improved the competitiveness of our national economy. Indonesia’s Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) index has soared by 48 points in three years into 72 in 2018. Our rank under Global Competitiveness Index has risen by 5 points from 41 in 2016 to 36 in 2017.

Trust from the international world for the resilience and positive prospect of Indonesia’s economy is also evidenced by Indonesia’s success in gaining investment grade from reputable international ranking institutions such as Moody’s, Fitch, and S&P.

Distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen,

With a population of 260 million people, or the fourth largest in the world and is predicted to enjoy the demographic bonus between 2020 – 2030, Indonesia will have an abundant productive age population.

We must consistently direct the strength of our human resources to win the competition, to become a winning nation to be on par with developed countries.

Indonesia must not be afraid. We must be confident. We must not underestimate ourselves. Indeed, our capacity and reputation are respected by the world.

The recognition speaks volumes that on 8 June 2018, Indonesia was elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2019-2020. We have to uphold the trust we have earned from the community of nations.

In June 2018, we made an important achievement in building Indonesia’s reputation. The European Commission has officially lifted the ban on all Indonesian airlines.

In the midst of increasing uncertainty in the world, Indonesia has contributed its views on the importance of promoting Indo-Pacific cooperation.

Indonesia’s concept is to prioritize ASEAN centrality, cooperation, habit of dialog, and respect to the international laws.

Indonesian diplomacy also continues to promote the Palestine cause. The Palestine issue will remain a main priority of Indonesia during Indonesia’s tenure as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Indonesia will continue to be at the forefront with the Palestinian’s struggle to achieve its independence and rights.

Equally important, Indonesian diplomacy strives to focus on the protection for Indonesian citizens living abroad, including setting up a Safe Travel and Smart Embassy mechanism.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Bear in mind that tomorrow, Indonesia will have a golden opportunity to show to the world our excellence and achievement through Asian Games 2018, the biggest sports event in Asia. After 56 years, for the second time, Indonesia will host the Asian Games, followed by the Asian Para Games.

Indonesia is going to host delegates from 45 countries, more than 11,000 athletes and 5,500 officials, the biggest in the history of the Asian Games, while the Asian Para Games will involve 5,000 delegates.

Indonesia, as a big nation and one of the most beautiful jewels in Asia and the world, must make use of the Asian Games and the Asian Para Games to show the world that Indonesia is a gracious host, a winning nation, a triumphant nation, that upholds a fair play. We have to show that Indonesia is ready to be at the forefront to boost Asia’s position in the world.

Distinguished guests, allow me to cite the achievements and progress of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia to the Kingdom of the Netherlands as part of our accountability to the people of Indonesia,

To date, we are currently enjoying a constructive relationship and cooperation between the two countries, as a result of the 2013 Indonesia – Netherlands Comprehensive Partnership.

In 2018, stronger relations between our two countries was marked by the recent visit of Queen Maxima, in her capacity as UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), to Indonesia and met President Joko Widodo in February 2018.

In July 2018, H.E. Stephanus Abraham Blok, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands visited Indonesia and held bilateral talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, and other related Indonesian high rank officials. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

In the economic field, the Netherlands is one of our most important partner in Europe. In 2017, for the first time in the last five years, the trade value between our two countries reached USD 5.06 billion, or a growth of 27% compared to 2016 which was USD 3.98 billion. 

Trade growth continued to 2018, in January – May the bilateral trade value increased by more than 7% compared to the same period last year, with a value of USD 2.21 billion.

In the field of investment, the Netherlands, for several years in a row, is still the largest benefactor of foreign direct investment (FDI) from Europe to Indonesia. As recorded in the second quarter of 2018, the realization of FDI from the Netherlands has reached USD 283 million in 404 projects.

This positive trend also takes place in the tourism sector in which Dutch tourist arrivals to Indonesia in 2017 has grown about 5.3% from 2016, reaching 205 thousand people.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In the field of social and cultural relations, both nations have been running well. The Indonesian Embassy will continue to promote New Indonesia, especially a modern, positive and advanced Indonesia through culinary, fashion, film, and many others.

The Indonesian Embassy also actively sends selected Dutch youngsters through the Indonesian Arts and Culture Scholarship (BSBI) and Dharmasiswa, to learn Indonesia’s cultural diversities directly. To date, the Embassy has 15 BSBI and 24 Dharmasiswa alumnus from the Netherlands.

There are currently more than 1,600 Indonesians studying in universities throughout the Netherlands that came from various scholarship programs, including from the Government of Indonesia.

This significant number of Indonesian students makes the Embassy’s cultural and educational programs more dynamic. Indonesian students are also means for the advancement of both countries bilateral relations.

The Indonesian Embassy also fosters various community groups that conserve and develop Indonesian culture and traditions in the Netherlands. These positive activities should always be supported so that the Indonesian diaspora are always close to their Indonesian heritage and roots.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The close connection between the peoples of the two countries also contributes to the dynamics of consular and public service provided by the Embassy. Protecting and serving 15,600 Indonesian citizens as well as 1.7 million Indonesian diasporas in the Netherlands makes the Indonesian Embassy a friendly Indonesian home. 

In 2018, protection and service of Indonesian nationals and legal entities programs are continuously being enhanced, including the planned launching of the Smart Embassy application by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic Indonesia. The Indonesian Foreign Ministry innovated this application in order to simplify the protection and service of Indonesian nationals abroad, as well as to strengthen Indonesia’s economy diplomacy.

Ladies and gentlemen,

On this occasion, I am very proud to present respective awards for 3 of our locally recruited staffs and the former Indonesian Embassy doctor who have served the Embassy for more than 20 years. 

In this regard, I, personally and on behalf of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia would like to express my gratitude and deepest appreciation to Mr. Rosyidi M. Hosen, Mr. Radino Bragaputra, Mr. John Lalieveld and Dr. Lany Pradjarahardja for their outstanding work, loyalty, and dedication to the nation and country, and have become part of the Indonesian Embassy Family.

It is also with great pleasure, on the occasion of this Independence Day, the Embassy would like to provide, free of charge, for the renewal of passports to 3 Indonesians that have their birth dates on 17 August 2018.

I would like to congratulate Mr. Bay Shobary Karnata, Mr. Jufri dan Mrs. Jesty Agustiwardani and had the opportunity to receive their renewed passports from the Indonesian Embassy, at no cost.

I would also like to congratulate Mr. Sudarman and Mr. Noorman Effendi in receiving their Satya Lencana Awards from the President of the Republic of Indonesia President for their 30 years and 20 years of government service respectively.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

In quoting President Joko Widodo:

From the Minang region, together we learn: ‘Barek samo dipikua, ringan samo dijinjiang’. If we work together, we can make our job easier

From Tatar Pasundan: ‘Sacangreud pageuh, sagolek pangkek’. We need to work together with a sense of commitment and consistency.

From Bumi Anging Mamiri: ‘Reso temma-ngingi, nama-lomo, nale-tei, pammase dewata’. Let us work together hand-in-hand and let our faith carry us to attain our goals.

From Bumi Gora: ‘Bareng bejukung, bareng bebose’. We work together and enjoy the fruits of our labour.

From Banua Banjar: ‘Waja sampai kaputing’. We work together with conviction that neither of us will give in nor quit.

And from the Netherlands, we learn: ‘If you want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk together’.

Dirgahayu Republik Indonesia!

I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om,
Namo Buddhaya

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