Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Inauguration of the Opening of the XXIII Grand Conference of the Ansor Youth Movement in 2020 (via Video Conference) from the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java Province, Friday, 18 September 2020
Date 18 September 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahI wabarakatuh,
Peace and prosperity be upon us all.
Honorable Ministers of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet, Governor, Deputy Governor, and the Regional Leadership Communication Forum of North Sulawesi;
Honorable Islamic scholars, habaib, kiais, religious leaders, community leaders;
Honorable Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Executive Board;
Honorable Chairman of the MUI (Indonesian Ulema Council);
Honorable Chairman of the Ansor Youth Movement (GP Ansor) Gus Haji Yaqut Cholil Qoumas along with all ranks of the GP Ansor Center, Regional Leaders of GP Ansor throughout Indonesia, participants of the XXIII Ansor Youth Movement Grand Conference;
First of all, we must express our gratitude to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala because, Alhamdulillah, thank God, the Grand Conference of the XXIII Ansor Youth Movement can finally be carried out. When the Chairman of GP Ansor met me last March, I agreed that the Grand Conference should be postponed because at that time we were focused on facing the pandemic. However, it turned out that the pandemic opened up space to accelerate technological innovation so that the Grand Conference could be held in new ways, namely by means of a virtual one. At a time when we are facing a pandemic, like today, the virtual Grand Conference has become a new normal, a new normal. We limit various face-to-face activities and replace them with interaction models using online media. I am sure that these new ways do not dampen our enthusiasm to talk about the people’s problems and national issues that we face.
My esteemed audience,
GP Ansor, who was born from the womb of Nahdlatul Ulama, inherited the spirit of the scholars, hubbul wathan minal iman, loving the country is part of faith. The legacy of the spirit of the scholars is what makes GP Ansor’s presence always needed in the life of the nation and state. And this has been proven by GP Ansor, in its works, for more than half a century by continuing to stand strong in playing the role of a knot of the nation. This is why, for a long time, I really appreciated the work of GP Ansor. GP Ansor has been proven to be the glue in the midst of diversity. Even the presence of the Banser (Multipurpose Ansor Front) of GP Ansor has contributed to a sense of security for the nation’s youth in forging brotherhood. I say my high appreciation.
The historical role of GP Ansor is very relevant to the pluralistic state of the country, which varies in ethnicity, religion, and culture. Diversity and differences are not weaknesses but rather strengths which, when put together, will make our country and nation a developed country that stands equal to other countries in the world. In a democratic life, differences in the plurality are definitely a necessity. The democratic system in our country has provided space for freedom of expression. However, that space of freedom is often hijacked to claim that one is the most righteous, and the others are blamed. Then, the one is entitled to impose the will because one felt the most righteous. Because of that, I hope that all GP Ansor cadres will follow the praiseworthy attitude taken by the scholars to always be tawassuth (moderate), tawazun (balanced), i’tidal (upright), tasamuh (tolerant), without losing the spirit of amar ma’ruf nahi munkar, to command the good and forbid the evil.
My honorable audience,
One of the toughest tests facing humanity around the world today, including Indonesia, is the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of people around the world have tested positive for COVID-19. Today, this morning, I received a report, there are 30,299,000 (people) around the world who have been exposed to COVID-19 and hundreds of thousands have died, to be precise 949,000 (people) have died from COVID-19. This pandemic has also generated tremendous anxiety and fear, having a direct impact on human health and safety, as well as in the economic and social spheres. The supply of goods and services is hampered, economic growth slows down, millions of people lose their jobs, work patterns, and social relations change, as well as various other impacts.
In this situation, our resilience as a nation really faces a test. We have to be on one train, we have to be in one frequency, we have to unify our spirit because we need to work hard. Make a serious effort, both physical and mental endeavors. Physical endeavor includes maintaining a clean lifestyle as taught by Islamic teachings, following health protocols by wearing a mask, maintaining distance, and washing hands frequently, maintaining ablution, eating halal and tayyib food, healthy and nutritious food, performing adequate and regular exercise as well as adequate rest and preventing stress, this is necessary. Meanwhile, mental endeavor includes increasing the frequency of dhikr, seeking forgiveness and repentance from Allah, increasing donations and alms, especially today, many of our brothers and sisters have lost their jobs and need our help. Therefore, I invited all members of the Ansor Youth Movement, wherever they are, both individually and collectively, to intervene together with the Government and other elements of the nation to help ease their burden.
All Ansor Members that I am proud of,
As people who believe in Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, of course, we have to take lessons from every occurence. Because we believe that in every incident and creation of Allah, there is a lesson, nothing is in vain. The pandemic also provides valuable lessons for all of us about the importance of independence, to stand on our own feet. What already happened, what we lacked of, we have to fix them. We must strengthen our weakness.
Therefore, I invite all GP Ansor Members, wherever you are, to be proud of and love domestic products, to buy and promote products of local farmers, local fishermen, as well as micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). I am sure that with this joint movement, we will not only help the lives of farmers, fishermen, and MSMEs but also drive the economy, so that not only our country can recover from the threat of the pandemic spread, but its economy can also bounce back to its normal condition. May Allah immediately erase the pandemic from the land of Indonesia. May Allah protect and save our nation and country, make the Indonesian nation a developed nation, victorious under the forgiveness and pleasure of Allah. Baldatun thayyibatun wa rabbun ghafur, a good land and a forgiving Lord.
I think that is all I can convey on this happy occasion. So, by saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I declare the XXIII Grand Conference of the Ansor Youth Movement.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Translated by Fairuzzamani Inayatillah
Reviewed by Yuyu Mulyani