Directives of President of the Republic of Indonesia to Participants of the 62nd Batch of Regular Education Program (PPRA) and the 23rd Batch of Short Class Education Program (PPSA) 2021 of National Resilience Institute (Lemhannas) of the Republic of Indonesia, 13 October 2021, State Palace, Jakarta
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May prosperity be upon us all,
Greetings of Virtue.
Distinguished Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture,
Distinguished Governor of the National Resilience Institute and all ranks,
Distinguished participants of the 62nd Batch of the Regular Education Program (PPRA) and the 23rd Batch of Short Class Education Program (PPSA) 2021,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First and foremost, let me thank the Lemhannas for the thoughts and inputs regarding our natural resources, our social capital, our education.
We are aware that our natural resources is a gift. Nonetheless, should we fail to manage then properly, they could turn into a disaster. We must strike a balance between sustainability and economic interests, as well as other interests. Fishing must be done for the welfare of the people and it must be carried out in a measurable manner to ensure its sustainability. We must not take do it continuously without calculation and without controlling sustainability.
Mining can be done, but we must do it in a measured, controlled manner, while also managing its post-mining procedures. We can also develop forestry and plantation industries, but it must also be done by ensuring sustainability, while preserving our biological wealth.
Moreover, we must guarantee and increase the added values. These added values are crucial. We must bring maximum added values for our national interest, for our domestic interest, for the benefits of our people. That is why, the Government has taken over the ownership of some of foreign companies operating in our country.
Take Freeport, for example. It has been managed by Freeport-McMoran for 54 years. Two years ago, we took over the company’s shares from 9 percent to 51 percent. There is also the Mahakam Block, which was managed by France’s Total for 43 years. It has been taken over and we transferred 100% of the ownership to Pertamina. Also, the Rokan Block, which was managed for 97 years by Chevron. The ownership has also been transferred to Pertamina 100 percent. Now we just have to see. Can we continue increasing the production following the ownership transfer? It remains to be seen. We will see in a year, two years, three years, four years later. Can we do that?
Furthermore, the most important thing is massive downstreaming. We can no longer export in the form of raw materials with no added value. Yes, we do make money from it and we get income from there. But we want the added values.
What does it mean? When it comes to mining, we should not just be a digger. The resources that have been given to us is truly extraordinary. But the reality is: we dig them, export them to other countries, then they build smelters in their countries, turn them into semi-finished goods or finished goods, and export them back to our country. And we buy from them. This is what we need to start eliminating.
We can no longer be only fish catchers. We must have a processing industry in our country. Or when we have woods, we only cut it but do not have wood industry so we also lose the added value of that opportunity.
Once again, we must produce products that with high added values that combine the use of natural resources with wisdom and technology that can preserve it. We must maintain and uphold this sustainable economy principle through green economy and blue economy. We have to push downstreaming and industrialization of all existing commodities.
For example, we have already mentioned nickel which we can be processed into stainless-steel for battery cathodes into lithium batteries, which will be integrated with automotive industry because we have a big opportunity. The opportunities that lie ahead is electric cars. We must not miss our chance again. We must not export nickel in the form of raw materials. We must stop it. Stop exporting raw materials. We must force our state-owned enterprises, our private sector, or investors to establish their industry in the country.
And later, you can see, in two or three years, electric cars will start to appear in our country, whether it is through cooperation between SOEs and the private sector or the private sector itself. The thing is, we have the added value in the country. We want to integrate Krakatau Steel’s lithium battery from the nickel derivative industry with the automotive industry because Krakatau Steel with its existing updates, the Hot Strip Mill factory, is now able to produce thin sheets that can be used for car bodies. Previously it was only used for the chassis. Now it can be used for the car body. I inaugurated the factory last month.
This is an opportunity. We must not us lose another opportunity. There used to be an oil boom, but we lost it. Then there was a wood boom and we missed it again. We should no longer lose another opportunity. This mineral and coal must be our foundation to advance our country.
After nickel, next time is bauxite. Stop exporting bauxite. It can no longer be exported in the forms of raw materials. It must be exported in the form of aluminum. Indeed, these stages have transitions and we must dare to say no, just like nickel. It is alright even if the WTO sues us. These are our nickels, our goods. It is our right if we want to build a factory and the goods here. We will face anyone who sues us. We must not give up because the opportunity will not come twice. This is an opportunity for us to integrate big industries in our country.
The same goes with palm oil. At some point, the CPO export will stop. We must export it in the forms of cosmetic, butter, biodiesel, and other derivatives. Again, we must have the courage. We must not be discouraged after the WTO sues us. We have prepared international class lawyers, We are not inferior. This is what we all prepare in the process to integrate what we aspire to.
Next month, we will also start building a green industrial park with green products, green energy, all of which are new and renewable energy products. The products from the industrial area are green products because in the future, ten years from now, the European Union and the United States will stop buying goods produced from industries that use coal. Everything will apply a similar policy. We must be ahead of them.
This will be the first in the world. We have 20,000 hectares of green industrial park in which the energy is derived from the Kayan River. This green industrial area is located in North Kalimantan province. Many investors have booked the area because they know it will use green energy.
As for our marine natural resources, they must be used wisely under the blue economy principle. The catch must be calculated and accompanied by planting mangroves, seaweed, and fish cultivation so that everything is sustainable. We must not just ban the fishing activity. So, what is the solution? This is a gift from God. But once again, the use of new technologies, such as aqua culture, must start to be introduced to our fishermen and the people.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Industrial Revolution 4.0, technological disruption, and the pandemic have triggered the wave of change in the world. The world today is experiencing rapid changes, creating high uncertainty. We must stay vigilant. Nowadays there are many countries that have undergone changes, affecting other countries. Once again, the uncertainty of today’s world is very high.
To that end, we truly need science and technology. We must be wiser in developing technology, as well as in actively acquiring new technologies, especially digital technology. Also, data is a very valuable resources that we must protect. This is the importance of data.
Therefore, human capital should be our concern. Our higher education should facilitate students in developing their talents. Don’t be limited by study programs that hinder the students’ talents. Everything will be hybrid – hybrid knowledge, hybrid skills. Hence, the students must understand everything – math, statistics, language, computer science and study language. Not only English, but also the coding language. It is even more important in the future because in the future, many jobs will be lost and new types of jobs will emerge.
Cashiers, for example, used to be very important but now people manage their money with e-payments. There are a lot of credit assessors, but in the future they will turn into fintech. Translating is very easy now and in the future it will be a translation application. Engineers will be replaced later with advanced robotics. Therefore, we must prepare ourselves and our children, our students, to be strong and ready to face any change.
Doctors should start learning hybrid skills, not only about medicine, but also about robotics because surgery can now be done with advanced robotics, even remotely. If we do not anticipate developments like this, we will be left behind. So maybe the medical faculty should start having courses on robotics as soon as possible.
Hence, the skills must always be updated with current technology because skills that are taught today in class may be outdated in the next semesters. Especially now, a lot of knowledge that was taught twenty or thirty years ago, are still being taught today. I already mentioned it to the rectors forum a month ago. There must be fundamental and rapid changes to anticipate the existing global changes. Once again, do not be surprised if a lesson in this semester is new, but in the next semester, it is already obsolete.
Therefore, the task of universities and colleges is to attract and not to let students stuck in routines and to be afraid to try new things. Students should be encouraged to study anywhere, from anyone. It is a must. They do not have to learn only from the lecturers. The portion can be set at 30 percent or 50 percent. We must dare to start it. Put students in a technology company for them to learn about new technology such as Hyperloop, SpaceX, and advanced robotics. Everything is a must because the speed of changes is really fast.
Furthermore, as previously stated by Professor Agus, we must produce graduates who are superior, physically and mentally healthy, with good characters and a spirit of nationalism. The task of higher education is not only to provide education on campus, but also off campus. Do not let the campus teach its students about nationality, about Pancasila, but the students end up becoming extremists or radicals due to teachings outside the campus. Do not let the students get lessons about good manner only to end up becoming drug addicts outside campus. The task of higher education is not easy. Universities have a responsibility both on campus and off campus.
That concludes my remarks.
Once again, I thank the participants for their inputs.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Om santi santi santi om. (EST/EP)