Gov’t Must Adopt Unpopular Policies to Face Future Challenges, the President Says
Indonesia will face tougher challenges such as the global economic slowdown, trade war between the United States and China, and other challenges that pose as threats to the country including radicalism and intolerance, according to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
“Thus, my task as the President in the second term for the period of 2019-2024 will be harder. We (the Government) must introduce unpopular policies for the sake of the people if necessary,” President Jokowi said in his introductory remarks at the opening ceremony of the 5th Congress of Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) in Sanur, Bali, Thursday (8/8).
The President cited a few examples of unpopular policies, among others, the policy of cutting fuel subsidy which was implemented in 2014. He said that 70 percent of subsidies were merely enjoyed by middle and high classes thus the Government made that policy with the aim of shifting 40 percent of the subsidy to social assistance programs, including the Family Hope Program (PKH), Rice for Prosperity (Rastra), Village Funds, and other programs.
In addition, the Government must also improve investment climate and increase our competitiveness in order to stimulate economic growth and create more job opportunities.
The Head of State went on to say that the key to rapid economic development is a sustainable human resources development as proved by the United Arab Emirates which made great leap and achievement in only 40 years.
During the first 10 to 15 years, the country hired foreign experts; big enterprises including the State-Owned Enterprises were also managed by foreign experts with assistance of local workers. Afterwards, the local workers were sent abroad to study and once they returned, they replaced the foreign experts.
“That’s why human resources are really important for the development,” President Jokowi said adding that his next term will be focused on human resources development.
“When oil and woods are no longer export commodities and we cannot depend on natural resources, competent human resources who have broad knowledge and excel in technology become our asset for the future. Therefore, we must prepare the quality of human resources since birth,” the President said.
In that consideration, the Government must eliminate stunting and ensure that children can grow healthily particularly during their golden ages.
“We must also increase the quality of education from elementary school to university. Besides having broad knowledge, the future generation must also uphold the values of tolerance, mutual cooperation, and other values contained in the state ideology Pancasila since we need to implement noble values of the nation and upholding the ideology in this rapidly-developed world,” the President stated.
To conclude his remarks, President Jokowi expressed hope that this congress can generate the best outputs for the party, the state, and the nation. (GUN/FID/ES)
Translated by : Rany Anjany Subachrum
Edited by : Mia Medyana Bonaedy