Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Inauguration of the Nahdlatul Ulama Executive Board (PBNU) for the 2022-2027 Period and the Commemoration of 96th Anniversary of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) at Balikpapan Sport and Convention Center in Balikpapan City, East Kalimantan Province, January 31, 2022

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 31 Januari 2022
Category: Remarks @en
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Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Bismillahirrahmanirrahim. Alhamdulillahirrabbilalamin, wassalatu wassalamu’ala ashrafil anbiya i wal-mursalin, Sayidina wa habibina wa syafiina wa maulana Muhammaddin, wa’ala alihi wa sahbihi ajma’in amma ba’du. [Introduction of a remarks in Islamic fashion]

Distinguished Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia who is also Mustasyar (Advisory Board) of PBNU Prof. Kiai Haji Ma’ruf Amin and Second Lady Ibu Wury Ma’ruf Amin;
Distinguished Speaker of the House of Representatives Puan Maharani;
Distinguished 10th and 12th Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia Drs. Haji Jusuf Kalla;
Distinguished Minsters of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet and the Indonesian National Police (Polri) Chief;
Distinguished Rais Am (Supreme Leader) of PBNU Kiai Haji Miftachul Akhyar and all ranks;
Distinguished Chairperson of PBNU Kiai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf and all members of executive board of PBNU for 2022-2027 period;
Distinguished Governor of East Kalimantan and all ranks of Forkopimpa (regional leadership coordination forum);
Distinguished all regional board of NU all over Indonesia, NU members joining here and via online;
Distinguished religious leaders, community leaders;
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Earlier last night I was confused. I asked Minister of State Secretary, “Mr. Minister, what should I wear for tomorrow?” He replied, “Mr. President, Syuriyah (executive board members) will wear sarong, while Tanfidziyah (acting board members) will wear trousers.” I said to the Minister, “Okay, I will wear what Syuriyah wear; sarong.”

First and foremost, on behalf of the Indonesian Government and nation, I would like to congratulate all members of the Executive Board of Nahdlatul Ulama for the 2022-2027 period under Supreme Leader (Rais Aam) of PBNU Kiai Haji Miftachul Akhyar and Chairperson of PBNU Kiai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf.

I would like to express my appreciation to NU for its contribution in safeguarding the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia and preserving the noble values of state ideology Pancasila. The way it implements the value of Hubbul wathan minal iman (nationalism) and NKRI Harga Mati (Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia is Undisputed) has fostered national unity and integrity. The NU also keeps promoting religious moderation, tolerance, and nationalism. Moreover, the NU has shown the world the friendly, peaceful face of Islam, Indonesia and shown that religion and culture can coexist and complement each other. All of these things have made Indonesia a nation that is unity in diversity and a pilot for other countries.

Once again, on behalf of the Indonesian people, nation, and state, I would like to express my gratitude to all Kyais (male leaders), Nyais (female leaders) and the big NU family for today’s, future’s contribution.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The NU has enormous power. The NU has power to contribute to both Indonesia and the world. With the huge number of NU members, more than half of Indonesian Muslims, as well as strong organization networks throughout Indonesia and abroad, the NU is the country’s huge potential. The number of great youth talents of NU who work in diverse sectors has also increased.

The main contribution of NU is the important role of the leaders (Ulama; Islamic leaders) who provide guidance to ummah. Moreover, the increasing number of NU members in education, professional, entrepreneurship, and technology sectors will make the NU more diverse in facing the changing world.

The NU has large organization networks. The NU has board members and affiliated organizations in all provinces, regencies, cities, even in districts, subdistricts, and villages. The number of NU members abroad has significantly increased. That what I have noticed. The organizations have spread in more than 100 countries. If this network can be optimized, consolidated to implement national strategic agendas, it can be a huge potential power to accelerate problem solving on nation and humanity.

All potential things must be connected, fostered under the NU so that the NU can keep involving in national independence and advancement, can keep involving to the world that is full of changes and disruption, the world that is full of knowledge and technology.

The current world situation demands new creative ways [to survive]. Rapid changes due to the industrial revolution and COVID-19 pandemic also demand innovative ways [to survive] so that modernization, digitalization, and automation can be avoided.

I expect that with the use of technology, in the future NU will have valid, modern database on the number of its members. It is possible. I also expect that it will optimize blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and so on. It is possible because NU has qualified human resources.

I expect that NU will have its own proper marketplace as a platform for NU’s producers and consumers to have transaction as well as to sell NU members’ products in order to enter global supply chain. It is also possible.

I expect that it will be done in a short time. It is expected that NU will have edutech platform that has proper learning management system that can facilitate million of santri (Islamic students) anywhere and anytime to learn in an easy and affordable manner from all Great Kiayis, scientists, technologists, and entrepreneurs.

I know one person. He has been working in Singapore for seven years. I know him. All of these things (related to technology). He can do everything. He is still young, his name is Ainun Najib. He is NU member. However, in Singapore he has high salary. So, if he is invited to return to Indonesia, we have to be able to give him higher salary. It is a duty for Kiayi. If Kiayi asked him, how much the salary he would earn, bismillah, he is willing to go home.

We have to facilitate opportunities for the millennial, Gen-Z generation of NU members to perform and play an important role in the development of the new Indonesia. There are a lot of youth NU members who are working in creative industry, fashion design, graphic design, and so on. There are a lot of youth NU members who are working as IT specialist, programmer, IT security expert, web developer, and much more. All must be empowered. There are also a lot of youth NU members who are working at big international companies, startups, global consultants, and so on. It is important to have a strong platform under the PBNU to gather them.

In order to support the innovations, it is important for the NU to have effective center of incubator for innovation. It is also expected that the NU has own venture capital that can achieve Sovereign Wealth Fund so that the NU has strength to fund priority programs and innovative programs.

Therefore, as I have said at the previous Muktamar of NU (NU’s national meeting), the Government is ready to professionally grant concession lands (for NU) immediately. I have prepared it. I make sure it is a big one. It is impossible for me to give small land to NU. I ensure that it is a big one. Insyaallah.

All of this aim to strengthen the independence and social entrepreneurship of NU. Moreover, it is a vital part of the transformational policy that is being carried out by the Government, especially sustainable and inclusive green transformation, digital economic transformation, and the improvement of MSMEs.

With the support from the PBNU, all NU members will be more enthusiast to attend international fora in various sectors including religious, social, humanity, economic, entrepreneurship, knowledge, and technology sectors.

The construction of mosques and NU Islamic schools in a number of countries is expected to be more expanded. It is also needed that NU can have several universities and hospitals abroad, send Islamic educators to several countries in order to promote peace, tolerance, and unity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For Kiai Haji Miftachul Akhyar and Kiai Haji Yahya Chalil Staquf and all ranks, I would like to congratulate all of you on your new duty. May Allah SWT give all of you (all ranks of executive board and all people in all over Indonesia) guidance, strength, and ease. Aamiin yarabbal ‘alamin.

That concludes my speech on this auspicious occasion. Once again, I would like to congratulate you all on the inauguration of the Executive Board of PBNU for 2022-2027 Period.

I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

(AP/MUR)

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