Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia on the Inauguration of the Central Leadership Council (DPP) and Inauguration of the Opening of the National Working Meeting (Rakernas) of the Indonesian Christian Youth Movement (GAMKI) in 2023 At Banteng Field, Medan City, North Sumatera Province, August 19, 2023

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 19 Agustus 2023
Category: Remarks @en
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President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Good afternoon,
May prosperity be upon us all.

Distinguished Minister of Youth and Sports, Governor of North Sumatra province, Mayor of Medan, along with the regents and mayors in attendance;

Distinguished the TNI Commander, along with the National Police leaders in attendance;

Distinguished the General Chairperson of the DPP GAMKI, Sahat Sinurat’s, along with all the board members;

Honorable Chairman of the GAMKI Organizational Advisory Council, Mr. Willem Wandik;

Distinguished Leaders and Members of the DPR RI.

Ladies and gentlemen,;

The church leaders in attendance this afternoon

I am glad that I can be here in person this afternoon at the inauguration of the DPP Indonesian Christian Youth Movement. From the beginning, I saw that all of you are very enthusiastic. The speech delivered by Mr. Sahat was really an extraordinary welcoming speech. I feel inferior. What do I have to say? Because everything has been said. What I want to say have been said by him.

However, I believe that the National Working Meeting this time in Medan will produce very good things for our nation and country, Indonesia. Like what I said on the State Address a few days ago, that the situation in this political year has started to warm up. It’s heating up a bit, but not hot yet. And, the problem is that it’s already hot among friends, already starting to heat each other up.

So, I ask the DPP GAMKI to help cooling down the situation if things get heating up, to help cool them down. Because in a global uncertainty like today, we really need to focus, need to work together, need to work solidly. Currently 96 countries have become IMF ‘patients’. It’s scary, but it’s the fact.

So, even though we compete in this political year, friends are still friends. If you’re racing, it is ok to race but do not use physical touch. We are brothers, don’t forget that. Agree? So that after the race, we can be friends again and reunite. Don’t let neighbors neglect each other after the election. Don’t let friends not greet each other after the presidential election. I need to remind you, we are fellow countrymen. That is Indonesian political culture, kinship, mutual cooperation, a culture of unity, this is what we must continue to uphold.

Therefore, don’t make a wound that is too deep. Like a match, this is a fraternal match. Sometimes I think, those of us at the top position have had coffee together, have eaten together, but those at the grassroots are still busy and haven’t finished it yet. This is what we often forget, that there must be winners and there must be losers. And, it’s better if the winners invite the losers, to help. And, even if it doesn’t help, don’t disturb. Agree?

Because today, unity is very important, today’s cohesiveness is very important. The European Union countries are fed up to think about economic and inflation. If we see the real conditions and the people are not united, how can leaders solve the big problems. Being united is not just not fighting, but more than that. Unity is the ability to move together. United is the ability to synergize together in achieving the vision of Advanced Indonesia that we aspire to.

I have said many times and never get tired of saying that our country has enormous potential. With the potential we have, we can be listed in the top five strongest economies in the world. But indeed the challenges are also not easy and that, I have also said this many times, the opportunity is only in the next thirteen years, so these future leaders will very much determine whether this country can jump forward or not.

Therefore, I continue, therefore, leadership in the next thirteen years is very decisive, meaning that national leadership in 2024, in 2029, in 2034 is very decisive. Whether this country be trapped in the middle income country or can get out of it and become developed countries. Be careful, leadership in 2024, 2029, 2034 will be very decisive.

I have said this dozens of times and I remind you. Latin American countries in the 1960s and 1970s have entered into developing countries like we are today. However, until now they remain a developing country because when they have the opportunity to leap forward, they did not use it. This is what I constantly remind you, to be careful about leadership in 2024, 2029 and 2034. Therefore, we all have to be very careful in choosing our leaders so that we can leap into a developed country with a GDP that is in line with developed country standards.

I will ask a question. I asked you this morning, but no one could answer. I repeat this again. Far in sight but close to the heart, what is that? Please, come over and answer.

Participant (Representative 1)
Letter I, Sir.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Letter I?

Participant (Representative 2)
Love for Indonesia.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Love for Indonesia, it is important, but it is not the answer.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

So what I said earlier was not just a wishful thinking, because we have formulated a strategy to get there, but it is not easy. We have planned the technical steps we have to work on, everything has been planned and this will be a leap.

As said earlier by Mr. Sahat, we have carried out downstreaming. What is downstreaming? Making our raw goods into finished goods or semi-finished goods. Because for more than 400 years we have always exported raw materials since the VOC. Yes, we get money but it’s very small.

I give the example of nickel. When we exported raw materials before 2020, when we exported raw materials, in a year we only got around US$2.1 billion which means approximately only Rp32 trillion. Once downstreamed, it became US$33.8 billion, from Rp32 trillion to Rp510 trillion more or less. How many times has it multiplied.

Someone said to me, “Sir, what is the benefit for the country then? The profit will be enjoyed by companies.” Don’t forget, when we export raw materials we collect royalties, non-tax state revenue taxes, company taxes, employee taxes.

Before downstreaming, the state collects Rp32 trillion. After downstreaming, the state collects Rp510 trillion, which one do you choose? Before downstreaming, job opportunities and job openings existed in other countries. After downstreaming, jobs are open in the country. The country gets VAT (value added tax), company taxes, employee taxes, royalties, non-tax state revenue, export costs, gets a lot and especially for Freeport because we own the largest share, we still getting more dividends.

So, that’s called downstreaming, that’s just nickel. If we stop bauxite, stop copper, stop tin, stop coal, stop palm oil (CPO), stop seaweed, stop raw seaweed exports, stop raw fish, how much can we create jobs in the country? So I want to ask you, do you agree or disagree with downstreaming? Those who don’t agree, move on. Please go ahead. Those who don’t agree with downstreaming, please come over,  I’ll give you a bicycle.

So back to the question, what is far in sight but close to the heart?

Participant (Representative 3)
My name is Joy Rifael Sinaga.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
What is the answer?

Participant (Representative 3)
Dream or aspiration.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Wrong. Your name?

Participant (Representative 4)
My name is Yesica Prima Banurea, student of Faculty of Law of University of Nomensen, Medan.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
What is far in the eyes but close to the heart?

Participant (Representative 4)
It is you. Because you stay in Jakarta and I am in Medan.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)

Participant (Representative 4)
Bicycle, Sir.

President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Please go back.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
So, once again, if we only export raw materials, this country will not be a developed country at any time. So we must be brave, future leaders must have the courage to continue this, even though there is a risk of being sued at the WTO, pressure from the IMF, maybe other countries will put pressure again, don’t back down. Dare to continue as we will lose a lot if we do  not continue it. Because if we flash back, Indonesia had an oil boom in the ’70s, but we didn’t get added value from there. In the ’80s, I remember we had a timber boom, lots of forests were cut down but we didn’t get any added value from there.

Therefore, once again, that old history must not repeat itself. So, don’t export raw materials. Later please remind the future leader. Do not export raw materials. The people must have the courage to remind them. But once again, all of that requires unity, requires all the strengths of the components of this nation to jointly achieve and to strive together.

And, for that reason, I invite the GAMKI family to appear at the forefront of every major step in the development of this country which can become a locomotive for development, which can attract millions of young people to participate and achieve Indonesia’s progress.

I conclude this remarks. And, with the grace of God Almighty, this afternoon I officially opened the 2023 National Working Meeting of the Indonesian Young Christian Youth Movement (GAMKI).

Thank you. God bless us all.


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