Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Peak Event of the Commemoration of 98th Anniversary of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Saturday, 27 February 2021 from the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Alhamdulillahirrabbilalamin, wassalatu wassalamu ‘ala ashrifil anbiya i wal-mursalin, Sayidina wa habibina wa syafiina wa maulana Muhammaddin, wa ‘ala alihi wa sahbihi ajma’in amma ba’du.
His Excellency Rais Am (Supreme Leader), Distinguished Kyai (Islamic teachers), and Habib (Muslim clerics);
Distinguished Mustasyar (Board of Advisors) and Syuriyah (deliberation team) of the NU Executive Board;
Distinguished Chairperson of the NU Executive Council and Tanfidziyah (Executive Body);
Distinguished NU Institutes, as well as NU Autonomous Body, Muslimat NU and Fatayat NU (the women’s wing of the NU), GP Ansor (the NU’s youth organization), IPNU (the NU’s students association), IPPNU (the NU’s female students association), PMII (the Indonesian Islamic students movement), Sarbumusi (the NU’s labor union), and the NU’s Fishermen Union;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
On this auspicious occasion, l would like to say Happy 98th Anniversary for the Nahdlatul Ulama which was founded on 16 Rajab (in Hijri calendar). This peak event will serve as a momentum to strengthen brotherhood, be it ukhuwah islamiyah (Islamic brotherhood), or ukhuwah wathaniyah (national brotherhood) as brotherhood is a crucial element of national resilience.
Today’s event also reminds us that we will welcome a century of NU in two more years, a century of Nahdlatul Ulama. The Aswaja (those who adhere to the way of Phophet Muhammad and who unite upon it) has been growing in Indonesia for almost a century by upholding a strong national commitment.
Hubbul wathan minal iman (love for the land of abode is part of faith) is our foremost shield in safeguarding the State Ideology Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution, the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, and the national motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” (Unity in diversity). They always spread the value of tolerance, peace, and harmony in the lives of the nation in Indonesia and the world which is more diverse.
Distinguished Kyai and guests,
The COVID-19 pandemic that hit the globe since last year has greatly impacted Indonesia. Our close ones fall victim to the health crisis, while the economic crisis causes many people lost their jobs and income.
The Government has been making endeavor to curb the spread of COVID-19, to provide treatment to the patients, and to roll out vaccines. Alhamdulillah, we have made a swift action in procuring vaccine doses which is being contested by other countries. Indonesia is able to secure COVID-19 vaccine supply which is being contested by 215 countries. In fact, Indonesia is among the first countries in Southeast Asia that conduct COVID-19 vaccination.
I understand that million of nahdliyin (NU followers) are affected by the pandemic. Thousands of boarding schools, and Islamic educational institutions are also affected. The Government has been striving to ease the burden of the people through social assistance programs, labor-intensive programs, and other economic recovery programs. The Government also provided assistance for the operational of Islamic boarding schools, internet data package subsidy for online learning, incentives for teachers, and the like. Similar asisstance also be given to Takmiliyah (non-formal Islamic education institution), Madrasah Ibtidaiyah (Islamic elementary schools), Madrasah Tsanawiyah (Islamic middle schools), and Madrasah Aliyah (Islamic senior high schools).
In 2021, the Government will support infrastructure development of Islamic boarding schools, provide trainings, and develop business model to manifest economic independency of the boarding schools as mandated by Law on Islamic Boarding Schools.
Distinguished Kyai, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In our efforts in handling the pandemic, we must praise Allah the Almighty for His blessings so that Indonesia is able to survive, to unite, to work together, and to help others regardless our different background in order to ease people’s burden.
Also allow me to extend my gratitude to NU communities across the country and abroad that have played important roles in ensuring the health and safety of the public, as well as in helping the grassroots during the pandemic. Supports from NU and other religious organizations have helped the Government in addressing health and economic issues during the pandemic. We are sharing the same difficulties with all countries in the world. It requires unity, collaboration, cooperation, and new lifestyle to tackle the problem.
I also would like to express my highest appreciation for the organization of tahlil (prayer gathering) and prayers. Tahlil and prayers for the country’s safety and peace amidst the pandemic and natural disasters that hit us, hit our brothers and sisters in several regions in Indonesia.
We are calling for support from the NU ulemas and communities to help the Government in national mass COVID-19 vaccination program and to disseminate accurate information regarding vaccination to the public. Moreover, the NU Executive Council has owned NU TV channel that can reach wider audience; it can be used to spread the teachings of Islam for the public and for all Indonesian people, to strengthen tolerance and brootherhood in the country upholding the value of bhinneka tunggal ika (unity in diversity), and to boost national optimism in facing all challenges.
That concludes my remarks.
Wallahul muwaffiq ila aqwamit-thariq,
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. (RAS/MMB)