President Jokowi: Indonesia is Home for Plurality
Indonesia is blessed to have a long history of plurality. Indonesia is home for plurality, according to President Joko Jokowi Widodo in his remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the 9th Bali Democracy Forum on Thursday (8/12), at the Bali International Convention Center (BICC), Nusa Dua, Bali.
According to the President, around 85 percent of more than 250 million Indonesian population are Muslims. In the 7th century, Islam entered the archipelago and based on Indonesias history, Islam spread to Indonesia through peaceful means.
The value of peace continues to be upheld to this day by the Muslims in Indonesia, the President said adding that besides a home for Islam, Indonesia is also a home for Christian, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, and Confucian.
President Jokowi asserted that the value of peace is also upheld by all Indonesian people. Therefore, the President appreciated the plan of Bali Democracy Forums participants to visit Bina Insani Islamic Boarding School in Tabanan Regency on Friday (9/12). You can only imagine how, without the value of high tolerance, can an Islamic Boarding School possibly live securely and serenely in the midst of a society that predominantly consists of Hindu adherents. All of these values have promoted a natural synergy between religion, tolerance, and democracy in Indonesia, the President stated.
President Jokowi went on to say that the Indonesian people have ardently continued to fight for democracy, because with democracy, every person possesses equal rights and obligations, the checks and balances will function, and every single voice matters. The Indonesian people believe that through democracy, Indonesia will become a better country, President Jokowi added.
The President asserted that democracy is also a process which means that we continue to learn from the process we experience in practicing democracy, and we, the President added, ought to learn from the experiences of other countries in practicing democracy.
Therefore, President Jokowi affirmed that Indonesia is strongly committed to making the Bali Democracy Forum as a forum where every country can comfortably share about experiences in practicing democracy, challenges in practicing democracy, and also about developing cooperation to mutually assist in the practice of democracy.
This forum is not a forum for finger pointing exercise. This forum should instead be utilised to mutually reinforce each other, President Jokowi said adding that through the Institute for Peace and Democracy, Indonesia stands ready to develop concrete cooperation in the fields of democracy and peace.
The Opening of this years Bali Democracy Forum was attended by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung. The 9th Bali Democracy Forum was also attended by several world figures, Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Minister of Foreign Affairs and delegates from 94 countries, as well as international organizations. (UN/ES) (RAS/MMB/YM/Naster)