Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the 2021 National Chinese New Year Celebration Saturday, 20 February 2021 from the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May peace be upon us all,
Greetings of virtue.
Distinguished Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia Ma’ruf Amin,
Distinguished the sixth Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia Try Sutrisno;
Distinguished Ibu Sinta Nuriyah Wahid;
Distinguished Heads of Government Institutions,
Honorable Ambassadors of friendly countries;
Distinguished Indonesia Onward Cabinet Ministers and Governors who are present;
Distinguished Commander of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI), Chief of the Indonesian National Police (Polri);
Distinguished national figures, chairpersons of Chinese society organizations: Matakin (the Confucian Supreme Council of Indonesia), INTI (the Association of Chinese Indonesian), PSMTI (the Chinese Indonesian Social Association), Permabudhi (the Indonesian Buddhist Association), the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, and PITI (the Indonesian Chinese Muslim Association);
Distinguished national interfaith leaders;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to wish a Happy Chinese New Year 2572 to all Chinese Indonesians across the country. Happy New Year, the year of the Ox. This year reflects strength, courage, determination, and discipline. The year that strengthen our dedication to the country and nation. Hopefully this year Indonesia will be able to overcome the current challenges and to achieve the country’s goal, namely significant leaps of progress.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
We must show the strength, courage, determination, and discipline natures of the Ox in addressing the current problem and crisis. Measures to overcome health issue during COVID-19 pandemic must continue to be carried on. We also need to continue the enforcement of health protocols (washing hands, wearing face masks, and maintaining safe distance), 3T measures (testing, tracing, and treatment), micro-scale Public Activity Restrictions, and vaccination program. We must join hands in putting our strength and cooperate to overcome this problem.
Regarding vaccination, our target is to vaccinate 182 million people and it must be completed by the end of this year. I understand it is not an easy task. Nevertheless, we have 30,000 vaccinators. In addition, TNI Commander and Polri Chief have reported that there are 9,000 vaccinators from both institutions. In total, we have 39,000 vaccinators. If one vaccinator is able to vaccinate 30 people, around one million or 1.2 million of people can be vaccinated each day.
However, vaccine availability poses as a challenge for us because it cannot be procured based on our need and in a short time. We have procured three million doses of vaccines for the first priority group, that is medical workers. While this week, seven million doses of vaccine will be rolled out to public workers including teachers, and to senior citizens, as well as to traders at markets and economic centers. Yesterday, we kicked off vaccination at Tanah Abang Market. It will be followed to the general public.
But, once again, the vaccine is needed by 215 countries. All countries are willing to get the vaccine and starting to fight over the vaccine supplies. Therefore, we will continue to procure the vaccine every month. By far, we have procured 426 million doses of vaccine. However, we do not know when it will arrive. Nevertheless, we are striving to continously procure the vaccine and make it always available.
On economic recovery, we also need to cooperate, work hand in hand to rebuild our national economy. The Government has been carrying out social assistance programs since 2020 to help the grassroots in meeting their basic needs and increase their purchasing power. The programs are, among others, the Aspiring Family Program (PKH), Social-cash Assistance, Pre-Employment Card, and Productive Presidential Assistance for Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs). The programs have been running since 2020 and will be carried on in 2021.
We have to provide ample job opportunities for the public. It is the urgency. I have ordered all ministries to implement labor-intensive programs so that we can create job opportunities by using the State Budget and Regional Budgets. However, the sustainable job creation comes from business players and business sector. The one that holds the key is not the Government. If all business players provide job opportunities, it will be sustainable. This is what the communities need.
Therefore, the Government does the utmost to rebuild the national economy, by reviving the MSMEs to reopen their business, so that small enterprises can start the production again, while medium and big enterprises can boost their production volume. The Government’s spending has also been allocated for purchasing domestic products purchase and creating a conducive ecosystem for new investment as well as helping large-scale businesses to rebound.
In order to revive the manufacturing sector, the Government is planning to relax sales tax on luxury goods (PPnBM) to 0 percent in March, April, and May, 50 percent in the following three months, and 25 percent in the following months. The Government also provided a zero percent down payment for housing. Through these subsidies, we can stimulate demand, as well as people’s consumption and purchasing power.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The handling of health issues and economic recovery is intertwined. We have to prove that health issues can be handled properly so that confidence in our economic revival will increase. We have to prove that social and political situation remains stable and people’s purchasing power continues to increase. Supply and demand must also be raised synergistically. This cannot be done by the Government and monetary authorities alone such as central bank Bank Indonesia (BI), the Financial Services Authority (OJK), and the Deposit Insurance Corporation (LPS). Private and business sectors play a critical role. Once again, cooperation and joint action as a big nation is the key.
I hope in the year of the Ox we can join hands, to work together, to put all of our strength, courage, and discipline in making leaps of progress and breakthroughs to overcome the health and economic crises, to recover faster than other countries, and to achieve our common goal to become a developed country.
I conclude this remarks.
Happy Chinese New Year 2572, Xin Nian Kuai Le, Gong Xi Fa Cai, may you have a happy and prosperous new year.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Om Santi Santi Santi Om,
Namo Buddhaya. (RAS/MMB)