Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Commemoration of the 2023 Santri Day at the Heroes’ Monument, Surabaya City, East Java Province, October 22, 2023

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 22 Oktober 2023
Category: Remarks @en
Read: 142 Views

Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim,

Alhamdulillahirabbil ‘alamin, washalatu wasalamu ‘ala asrafil ambiya’i wal mursalin, sayyidina wa habibina wa syafiina wa maulana Muhammadin, wa ‘ala alihi washahbihi ajma’in. Amma ba’du. [This is opening of remarks in Islamic fashion]

Distinguished leaders, heads of state institutions in attendance,

Speaker of the House of Representatives Dr. Puan Maharani;

Distinguished ministers of the Onward Indonesia Cabinet, many of whom are present,

Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto, Minister of State Secretary Pratikno, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Erick Thohir, Minister of Trade Zulkifli Hasan, Minister of Investment who Bahlil Lahadalia who is here from Papua, Commander of the Indonesian National Defense Forces, Chief of the Indonesian National Police, Minister of State Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucratic Reforms Pak Anas, Minister of Religious Affairs,

I was surprised because I thought Commander of the Special Forces was here.

Distinguished Rais Aam (Supreme Leader) of Nadhlatul Ulama, Katib Aam (Secretary) of Nadhlatul Ulama Executive Council (PBNU), and Chairperson of PBNU Kiai Yahya Chalil Staquf;

Distinguished santri (Islamic students),

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Praise be to God. Thanks to His grace, we can gather and meet here at the commemoration of the 2023 Santri Day. I just returned from Saudi Arabia yesterday at dawn and this morning I am here at the 2023 Santri Day [commemoration] to meet with ulemas and all santris across Indonesia, especially across East Java. Santris are a pillar of the nation’s strength. Santris are a foundation of the nation’s solidity. It has been proven since the independence period. As a country with the largest Muslim population in the world, we have more than 36,000 Islamic boarding schools. It is a huge power that determines the future of the nation, the advancement of the nation, and the achievement of the national goals.

I remember that in 2015, I visited East Java and went to an Islamic boarding school in Malang regency. At that time, there was an idea from kiais (elders) and santris to establish Santri Day. However, I was not yet a president. After I was elected president, we studied and followed up the proposal that I remembered clearly from an Islamic boarding school in Malang regency. Thereafter, we decided to establish Santri Day based on Presidential Decree Number 22 of 2015. Since then, we have Santri Day.

Are you pleased? If you are not, raise your hand. I will give you a bike. Those who are not pleased, please raise your hand. I will give you a bike. Is anyone raising their hand?

Once again, the establishment of October 22 as Santri Day is based on the call to action, the jihad (struggle against evil) resolution as the PBNU Chairperson has mentioned. It is related to the jihad resolution stated by Kiai Haji Hasyim Asy’ari as the Rais Akbar (Founder) of the PBNU. He stated that fighting against colonizers is an obligation, that it is an obligatory act, and that to die while fighting against enemies will make one a martyr. This was an extraordinary ruling because everyone at that time, including santris, fought for the interest of the nation, the state, and the ummah (Muslim community).

We must uphold the spirit of Santri Day in accordance with the current context. In this current context, there is an economic crisis due to wars, there is a food crisis due to wars, and there is an energy crisis due to wars as well. There was only one war, in Ukraine, but now there is another war in Palestine and Israel.

I forgot to mention that during my visit to Saudi Arabia on Friday, I was invited to have lunch by His Royal Highness Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) Al-Saud. I was pleased not because of the lunch. At that time, he spoke many things related to the relations between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. I noticed that the Prince seemed elated, then I said, “Your Royal Highness, Indonesians must wait 47 years to go to hajj. Some people must wait 47 years.” The Prince was taken aback, “Is that true, President Jokowi?” “Yes, Your Highness. Some must wait up to 47 years.”

I made a proposal because he seemed happy. “If possible, Your Highness, please give us extra hajj quota.” It is very difficult to increase the hajj quota. Because he seemed happy, I had the courage to ask for it, to ask for additional hajj quota for Indonesia because the population is 278 million. I stated it and the Prince spontaneously answered, “Tomorrow morning, I will inform you, President Jokowi, the additional hajj quota.”

Alhamdulillah, the next morning I was informed that the Prime Minister, Crown Prince MBS has decided to give an additional quota of 20,000. This is a huge number, so the waiting time may decrease from 47 years to 45 or 40. It is still a long wait indeed, but at least it is not as long as it used to be. We need to be grateful. Twenty thousand is not a small figure.

I suppose that concludes my statement in this auspicious occasion.

Also, if anyone can answer, please come up here. What is far from the eyes but close to the heart? The one shouting just now, please come here. Introduce yourself.

Santri (Zainal Arifin from Pamekasan)

Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Wa’alaikumsalam…

Santri (Zainal Arifin from Pamekasan)

My name is Zainal Arifin. I am from Pamekasan.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Zainal Arifin from Pamekasan, Madura. What time did you leave from Pamekasan?

Santri (Zainal Arifin from Pamekasan)

At 22.00, Sir. I arrived here at 00.30 in the morning.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

At 22.00 and arrived here at 00.30 in the morning. I arrived here at 22.30 last night. It’s around the same time. What is far from the eyes but close to the heart?

Santri (Zainal Arifin from Pamekasan)

The gall.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

That is correct. Do you want a bike?

Santri (Zainal Arifin from Pamekasan)

I do, Sir.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Well, because the answer is correct, I will give you a bike.

Santri (Zainal Arifin from Pamekasan)

Thank you, Sir.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

I suppose that concludes my statement on this auspicious occasion. Yes, one more. Female santris, please raise your hand. What is Indonesia’s new capital? Mention your name.

Santri (Devina from Sidoarjo)

Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Wa’alaikumsalam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

Santri (Devina from Sidoarjo)

Let me introduce myself. I am Devina from Sidoarjo. Devina.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Devina? Devina from Sidoarjo. Devina, what is Indonesia’s new capital?

Santri (Devina from Sidoarjo)

Nusantara.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

That is correct. A bike for you as well.

Santri (Devina from Sidoarjo)

Masyaallah, thank you very much, Sir.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

That is all. I suppose that concludes my statement on this auspicious occasion to commemorate the 2023 Santri Day.

I thank you.

That will be all.

Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

(DH/MMB)

Latest Remarks @en