Friday, October 29, 2010

The nation’s dignity

The nation’s dignity

Al Makin, Yogyakarta | Tue, 10/26/2010 10:14 AM | Opinion, The Jakarta Post
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Each epoch has its own spirit to define what “dignity” is. Throughout the history of this nation, the term renders many meanings.

Our first president Sukarno, one of those who laid the foundations of this country and incited the people’s spirit to love this nation and have more self-confidence, had good taste and therefore set a high standard for the nation’s self-esteem. For Sukarno, no matter how much it costs and what should be at stake, the nation’s honor and pride are the prime priority.

Sukarno’s fame rests in his brave (sometimes without forethought) decisions such as pulling Indonesia out of the UN in 1962. Various powerful slogans — such as anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism, anti-neo-colonialism and “go to hell with your aid” — added flavor to his many burning speeches.

Sukarno’s emotional campaign “crush Malaysia” clearly showed how thick his rhetoric of anti-imperialism was.

Just imagine, what Sukarno would do, when facing today’s Indonesia-Malaysia tricky relation in regard to the border disputes and issues related to Indonesian migrant workers. Imagine how harshly he would condemn the neighbor and how ruthlessly he would deliver his speech.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono seems to be president at the right time. His wisdom is shown in that he did not incite the people’s hostility toward Malaysia. Instead, he cooled the tension down.

He tried as much as possible to call upon people to use reason and consider that Malaysia is Indonesia’s close neighbor.

Many interests are sacrificed, when the crisis is not handled prudently. That is what he sought to convey in his TV appearance.

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