Friday, August 15, 2008

Time to reclaim the spirit of Indonesian nationalism

Opinion and Editorial, The Jakarta Post

Al Makin , Heidelberg | Fri, 08/15/2008 10:57 AM | Opinion

During the heyday of awakening Indonesian nationalism leading to the birth of this nation, there were many stories about making compromises. Most of our founding fathers have, in this regard, set excellent examples.

In the process of establishing the foundation upon which this nation was built, they did not compel others to accept a certain ideology. They instead compromised among their many differences.

Those who regarded nationalism as the basic principle in their movement listened to their counterparts -- socialists, religious leaders and communists -- and vice versa. In many meetings and discussions, they always tried to accommodate differing ideologies.

This becomes apparent when we learn what happened during BPUPKI meetings. This Japanese-organized committee for granting independence to Indonesia, which later became the Committee for Indonesian Independence, held meetings in which prominent figures -- such as Muhammad Yamin, Sukarno and Supomo -- formulated the basic principles of Indonesian nationhood. As the story goes, until Indonesia's independence was achieved, a secular state remained the best choice, which most of our leaders agreed with.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Obama among RI elites

Opinion and Editorial The Jakarta Post

Al Makin , Heidelberg, Montreal | Mon, 07/28/2008 11:01 AM | Opinion

Obamania has now spread throughout the world. Barack Obama -- whom many expect to be an agent of change for the U.S. image in world politics in the wake of the Bush presidency -- has become an icon consisting no longer of merely flesh and blood. Instead, Obama is now synonymous with a new hope not only for the United States but also for the rest of the world.

In Indonesia, unfortunately, only a few realize the significance of this Obamania, and fewer still are taking away a valuable lesson for Indonesia's elections from watching the United States prepare for its. Obamania, I bet, is very limited to a few intellectuals in Jakarta or other major cities in Indonesia.

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