By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation
Date 16 Agustus 2018
Category: Speech Transcript
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Unofficial English Translation

Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

May Peace be Upon Us All,

Om Swastiastu,

Namo Buddhaya,

Honorable Speaker, Vice Speakers, and Members of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia;

Honorable Speaker, Vice Speakers, and Members of the Regional Representatives Council of the Republic of Indonesia;

Honorable Chairpersons, Vice Chairpersons, and Members of State Institutions;

Honorable Ministers of the Working Cabinet and Heads of Non-Ministerial Institutions;

Distinguished Bapak BJ Habibie, the Third President of the Republic of Indonesia;

Distinguished Ibu Hajjah Megawati Soekarnoputri, the Fifth President of the Republic of Indonesia;

Distinguished Bapak Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Sixth President of the Republic of Indonesia and Ibu Ani Yudhoyono;

Distinguished Bapak Try Sutrisno;

Distinguished Bapak Hamzah Haz;

Distinguished Bapak Boediono and Ibu Herawati Boediono;

Distinguished Ibu Sinta Nuriyah Abdurrahman Wahid;

Distinguished Ibu Karlina Umar Wirahadikusumah;

Excellencies Ambassadors of Friendly Countries and Heads of International Agencies and Organizations;

Fellow Countrymen,

Let us together express our gratitude to God the Almighty, for His blessings and compassion we are able to attend the Joint Session of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia and the Regional Representatives Council of the Republic of Indonesia in the Commemoration of the 73rd Anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Indonesia.

For 73 years, we have demonstrated ourselves to be a tough and resilient nation, a nation eager to succeed in achieving victory and advancement.

At 73 years of age, we continue to work, to make efforts, to struggle to make achievements for the nation, because we have to admit that there are some other countries that have achieved faster advancement than our country. However, we also have to be grateful that we fare better than many other countries.

We are grateful that we have been able to make the best of our plurality, each comprising distinct cultural characteristic and local wisdom to become energy sources for advancement of the nation, to become a rich source of energy, to become a source of inspiration for all citizens, to become a source of creativity for Indonesia in winning global competition and bringing glory for the country and the nation in the global competition.

We are grateful that we have Pancasila as an energy source of the Indonesian nation ideology that guides all the people in realizing the promises of independence. Pancasila is a star that directs, moves, becomes a source of inspiration and becomes a unifying force of all Indonesian people with its Bhinneka Tunggal Ika.  By upholding Pancasila, I believe we will become a sovereign and dignified nation in relation to other countries and to be on a par with other countries.

We are thankful to be a predominantly Muslim nation in the world and we are also as the fourth largest democratic nation in the world. We have dispelled fear of threats to instability and political violence in every leadership succession in both national and regional levels. One hundred and one simultaneous regional elections in 2017 and 171 others in 2018 were successfully conducted in a peaceful and orderly manner. The people welcomed this fiesta of democracy with joy, a high enthusiasm, and a better political maturity.

I believe, with an extensive experience in demoracy, insya Allah, the simultaneous Legislative Election and Presidential Election in 2019 will run peacefully, orderly, and democratically.

My Fellow Countrymen,

Despite the many achievements, we cannot afford to become complacent. Indonesia has to catch up with other nations that have moved faster than we have in achieving progress. Indonesia has to become an advanced nation that can stand equal with other developed countries in the world. Indonesia must become a sovereign, dignified nation respected by other countries in the world.

For this reason, we have to strengthen our foundation and gather our energy to make a big leap for advancement. We have to be bold in making breakthroughs to leap forward. We have to be bold in drawing up policies which results are not only to be enjoyed now, but would accelerate our steps forward. We must not be trapped in a short-term pragmatism that would slow down our steps in the future. We must not be trapped in the status as a middle-income country. We must not be stuck by a middle-income trap. Instead, we must be able to transform into a developed country, to become a developed Indonesia.

Hence, what we did yesterday and what we are doing now is not merely the solution to today’s problems or to address problems that may arise in one or two years to come. However, all will become part of that great leap to respond to our problems in the future. The success of the U-16 Indonesian Football National Team to win the ASEAN Football Federation tournament on 11 August 2018 is one of the examples. A team consisting of under 16-year-old players is the future of Indonesian football. They are the future of Indonesia.

The seeds of hope for the glory of Indonesia will grow day by day. More Indonesian boys and girls will be waving the Red and White flag on the international stage. Glorious achievement that brings us pride that were made by Indonesian boys and girls in various world class competitions such as in science and technology competitions, in Al-quran memorization contests, art and cultural festivals, sport competitions, and many other competitions. We successfully grabbed prestigious positions.  Those young generations must be supported by a favorable ecosystem so that they can give a bigger contribution for a progressive Indonesia.

My Fellow Countrymen,

Democratic ecosystem, strong Pancasila ideology, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, and the spirit of close cooperation must be shored up by good governance. Attempts to free Indonesia from corruption that betray the trust of the people and eat away the national budget and endanger pillars of national economy must continue to be made. Corruption is an extraordinary crime that must be dealt with by extraordinary means. The Government will continue to support measures taken by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to combat corruption. The Government will prioritize on both preventive action as well as punitive measures. To that end, the Government has issued a National Strategy on Corruption Prevention through Presidential Regulation Number 54 of 2018 as a direction of the national policy stipulating on the focus and target of corruption prevention. The Government also continues to follow-up on the initiative to empower the Illegal Levy Eradication Central Task Force (Saber Pungli), which, up to the first semester of 2018, has carried out 2.911 red-handed arrests.

We also have to give a special attention to the effort to respect, protect, fulfill, and reinforce human rights. This is the underlying drive of the Government to issue Presidential Regulation Number 33 of 2018 on the Amendment to the Presidential Regulation Number 75 of 2015 on the National Action Plan on Human Rights (RANHAM) for the period of 2015-2019. The Government has made efforts to accelerate the settlement of human rights cases of the past and continued to promote the protection of human rights to prevent the recurrence of similar cases in the future.

We need to have great courage to make various progressive leaps. We have to be firm in making the best decision for the interest of Indonesian people, including our firmness in protecting our forests and land. These efforts have paid off. Forest and farmland fires have significantly decreased compared to those in the previous years. However, all of these efforts will be of no avail without the support and public participation. I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI), the Indonesian National Police (Polri), regional governments, and the people who have done their best to take preventive measures to fight the threats of forest fires.

Firmness is also needed in combating drugs that can ruin the future of the nation. These efforts need our collective efforts to save the lives of tens of thousands of youths who have fallen victims of drug abuse every year.

Firmness is also required in protecting our natural resources so that we have sovereignity over our natural resources. We continue to maintain our maritime sovereignity encompassing the seas, bays, and oceans. We are very serious in dealing with illegal fishing that used to be rampant in our waters. We do not stop there. After decades run by others, the  Mahakam Oil and Gas Block, Sanga-Sanga Oil and Gas Block, Rokan Oil and Gas Block were finally reverted to the owner, and the majority of Freeport shares returned to our country, all is utilized for the welfare of the people.

In addition, we have to be firm in protecting the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, redefining the pledge of Unity in Diversity (Bhinneka Tunggal Ika), preventing and eradicating terrorism once and for all. We appreciate the efforts made by clerics, prominent figures, educators, religious organizations, social organizations, and families to stem the exposure of radical doctrines to our young generation. We support the synergy of the Indonesian National Police (Polri), the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI), State Intelligence Agency (BIN), the National Agency for Combating Terrorism (BNPT), and elements of Indonesian nation for preventing and combating terrorism.

To that end, the Government will continue to ensure security and stability by using modern defence weaponry system (alutsista) and improving the capability, professionalism and welfare of the TNI and Polri personnels. As a big country, we have to protect the sovereignity of our country by building a modern defense system and professional TNI. We continue   designing police reform programs to improve public trust in  the police. We  will gradually improve the welfare of TNI and Polri personnels as an effort to improve their performance.

My Fellow Countrymen,

We make the most of this favorable ecosystem to strengthen the stability of our macro economy and improvement of growth quality; to ensure the fulfillment of the goal of economic justice, to prepare sustainable economic development in a long term as well as to carry out structural reforms to improve economic competitiveness.

Our economy continues to grow at around 5 percent per year, amidst the ongoing global economy uncertainty. Inflation hovers around 3.5 percent. This has been an extraordinary achievement to maintain people’s purchasing power. We have  managed to curb inflation rate in June 2018 at 0.59 percent (month-to-month) or the lowest compared to the inflation during national religious festivities in the past seven years.

To our relief, stable economic growth and controlled inflation have improved the quality of the growth. The number of open unemployment has also been reduced by 5.13 percent in February 2018. For the first time, Indonesia’s poverty percentage has dropped to one digit, into 9.82 percent in March 2018. We managed to reduce poverty rate from 28.59 million or 11.22 percent in March 2015 into 25.95 million or 9.82 percent in March 2018. To provide social security for the underpriviledged, we continue to expand the coverage of the Aspiring Family Program (PKH) from just 2.7 million families in 2014 into almost 6 million families in 2016 and gradually increase into 10 million families in 2018. The number of recipients of the National Health Insurance (JKN) has gradually increased from 86.4 million from 2014 into 92.4 million people in May 2018. The total participants of the Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) have exceeded 199 million people and we will continue to increase so that no Indonesian citizen is deprived of healthcare due to financial constraints.

My Fellow Countrymen,

Economic justice receives our utmost attention, especially justice for 40 percent of the underprivileged. We are grateful for having achieved the lowest disparity level in the past six years as our Gini ratio dropped to 0.389. However, the efforts to bring social justice for the entire Indonesian people will never cease. The Government has devised many programs to improve the people’s welfare so that equitability of income can be realized. The Government has resolved the issue of land certificate for people so that they can be spared from getting implicated in land ownership conflicts and they can have legal certainty of asset ownership, which they can utilize for conducting productive economic activities and for improving the welfare of their families. These measures have accelerated the process of land certificates issuance from only 500 to 800 thousand certificates per year, up to currently more than a million of land certificates every year. Last year, the target of 5 million land certificates was met and the target will continue to increase in 2018 and 2019.

Along with land certificates, the Government continues to intensify agrarian reforms and land redistribution. Up to 2017, some 977 thousand of hectares of land from state forestry areas have been appropriated. Similarly, as regards to social forestry, some 1.7 million hectares of forest areas have been given access to the people for cultivation purposes.  The government will asssist the  management process of forestry areas so that the main goal of improving the people’s welfare and life quality can be achieved.

Another pro-people policy that the Government has implemented is building one million houses. To meet the basic needs of the people, the Government has also widened housing access to low-income families.

In the past four years, the Government continues to cut micro credits (KUR) interest from previously at 22 percent into just 7 percent. Final income tax (PPh) for micro, small, and medium enterprises (UMKM) was also slashed from 1 percent into 0.5 percent so that Indonesia’s micro, small and medium enterprises can upgrade their business classes, so that small enterprises can become medium enterprises and medium enterprises become large, strong and resilient enterprises.

For ultra micro businesses and for the empowerment of the people’s economy, the Government has intensified the establishment of a financial institution called Micro Wakaf Bank as one of the solutions needed to support the people’s business and underprivileged people. The Government has also revitalized traditional markets to compete with modern markets and become medium for UMKM to drive local economies.

The Government has also relentlessly taken various breakthrough measures to ensure social justice for the whole Indonesian people. One of the realizations is one-price fuel policy program so that our brothers and sisters in Papua’s mountainous areas, in outermost islands, in border areas no longer have to purchase fuel at a higher price than fuel sold in Java.

Another breakthrough is by increasing the amount of Village Funds from 2015 until 2018 with the total allocation amounting to Rp187.65 trillion. We focus Village Funds to improve basic infrastructures for villagers and improve productive economy driven by Village-Owned Enterprises and UMKM enterpreneurs in villages so village fund can become a stimulus to improve welfare of the villagers or in efforts to alleviate poverty.

My Fellow Countrymen,

Economic development is not only to be enjoyed for the present but must also be felt in the long run. Development must be sustainable. One of the pillars of sustainable development is availability of infrastructures. In the past four years, we have massively and equitably built infrastructures all over Indonesia.

The Government has accelerated national development, be it physical infrastructure development or social infrastructures. The Government has been working to create just economic equitability for the whole Indonesian people. The Government has accelerated the development of Indonesian human resources as the main priority of the national development.

We continue to push for the birth of new centers of economic growth in line with the building of various infrastructures. Seaports, airports, railways, roads and toll roads are constructed in an integrated manner with centers of regional economies so that they can give added values for regional developments and UMKM.

Greater connectivity spurred by infrastructure development will not only improve the efficiency and competitiveness of our economy but will also unite us as a nation.

The construction of modern mass transportation in cities such as LRT and MRT will develop a new culture and civilization that is beyond compare in the history of our country as it was never done at all. Once again, construction of physical infrastructures is also part of our cultural strategies in facing current and future challenges.

We continue to strengthen the connectivity of sea tolls by building and developing seaports in 477 locations from 2015 until 2017. In the period of 2015 until 2017, we built railways with accumulative length of more than 369 kilometer spoors, 11 new airports, and 397 kilometers of operational toll roads.

We continue to build and integrate Trans Sumatera road, Trans Jawa, and Trans Papua that open up new opportunities for the people. Those roads are parts of the success of the management of Eid homecoming traffic this year that went smoothly, comfortably and was full of happiness.

We will also continue to undertake electricity projects using new and renewable energy all over the country such as Sidrap Wind Farm in South Sulawesi province to meet the need for electricity and to improve electrification so that border areas and outermost villages can eventually enjoy power after waiting for 73 years since Indonesia gained independence.

The Government has also built dams, reservoirs, and irrigation systems so that farmers all over Indonesia can reap harvest more than once in a year to help the nation reach food self-sufficiency.

My Fellow Countrymen,

Apart from infrastructure development, ease of doing business is also a key factor to boost investment. If investment increases, economic growth can be even higher.

The Government continues to boost ease of doing business in various scales through structural reforms, including through permit system reforms. The Government has already implemented the Online Single Submissions (OSS) as a system that integrates all business permit services that are within the authority of Ministers/Head of Institutions, Governors, or Mayors/Regents done electronically. Through the reform of permit system, we push for standardization, making permit bureaucracy at the central level and at the regional level easier, faster and more integrated.

A host of structural reform programs have significantly improved competitiveness of our national economy. Indonesia’s Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) index has soared by 48 points in three years into 72 in 2018. Our Global Competitiveness Index rank has risen by 5 points from 41 in 2016 into 36 in 2017. Trust from the international world for the resilience and positive prospect of Indonesia’s economy is also evidenced by Indonesia’s success in gaining investment grade from reputable international ranking institutions such as Moody’s, Fitch, and S&P.

The trust from the international world is a momentum for us to increase investment and push our exports, including to non-traditional countries. Increase in investment and exports are the key if we aspire to have a robust economy.

My Fellow Countrymen,

The future of Indonesia’s economy lies in the hands of the youth. Nowadays, many of young generation aspire to become new entrepreneurs with new types of business that were unheard of in the previous generations. They established various start-ups with ideas that can change the world. They establish social entrepreneurship with noble goals, blending business skills with sincerity in helping others. This is demonstrated by social entrepreneurs, who employ the disabled, set garbage banks. They, too, preserve Indonesia’s biological ecosystem. What they have done has become a source of inspiration for many people, they deserve our support and we have to pave the way for them

Therefore, energy and spirit of the progress of the youth and the Indonesian people must continue to receive our support. The extraordinary aspiration of the Indonesian people to become new entrepreneurs must receive empowerment to grow and develop.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

The quality of life of Indonesian people also continues to improve in the past four years as demonstrated by the improvement in our Human Development Index (IPM) that is already under the category of High Human Development. Our IPM in 2014 was at 68.90 and jumped to 70.81 in 2017. Nevertheless, efforts to improve human development still need our serious attention and hard work.

Out of the population of 260 million people, or the fourth biggest in the world and is predicted to enjoy the demographic bonus between 2020 – 2030, Indonesia will have abundant productive age population. We must consistently direct the strength to win the competititon, to become a winning nation to be on par with developed countries.

I still recall my visit to Asmat, Papua carrying two Papuan children. In their eyes, I see the future of Indonesia; the future that we must protect by ensuring that every Indonesian child is born healthy. We must ensure that Indonesian children are free from stunting or stunted growth. We have to ensure that they have adequate nutrition intake and live a healthy life. For that reason, the Government has designated 100 regencies as the priority locations to tackle stunting in an integrated manner – an undertaking jointly conducted by several ministries and institutions.

We have to ensure that Indonesian children can have access to education without financial constraints through the distribution of the Smart Indonesia Card (KIP). The realization of its beneficiaries in 2017 has reached more than 20 million students aged between 6 to 21 years old. I am also able to convey that school life expectancy among our young generation in 2017 has almost reached 13 years.

We are equally focused on improving the quality of our equitable elementary and secondary education throughout Indonesia. The number of teachers in the outermost regions from 2016 until 2017 rose by 7,094 teachers. The improvement of sustainable competence has also been made for more than 1 million teachers. The realization of the School Operational Assistance (BOS) has also increased annually, with the latest in 2017 reaching 47 million students.

However, merely honing skills and intelligence is not enough. Indonesians must also have a strong character, a noble deed, akhlakul kharimah, so that they will not give up easily, they do not despair easily and they continue to be optimistic to reach their goals and achievement. We must build Indonesian persons who are of noble character and deeds.

Therefore, the Government highly appreciates the important role played by religious institutions in building the character of the nation, such as Islamic Boarding Schools, Dayah, Mualimin-mualimat, Seminaries, Ashrams, and Monasteries. They are part of the ‘central pillar’ of the community in their socio-religious life, education, and the development of human resources.

Those institutions have played an important role in preserving faith, diversity, national values, as well as in increasing quality human resources with distinct character, so that the castle of Indonesian harmony will be fortified in preventing the spread of intolerance, radicalism, and terrorism.

This success, strength, and togetherness need to be maintained, and constantly nurtured, so that Indonesians can grow in an environment that provides them with values of intelligence and nobility to step forward with greater certainty into the future.

My Fellow Countrymen,

We need to improve the quality of education so that more Indonesians become competitive, such as by strengthening vocational education and professional certification to ensure that our manpower is ready to work upon completion of their education. Moreover, the Government encourages link and match between the subjects taught at Vocational High Schools (SMK) and the need for expertise in the development of leading industries in the respective regions. In addition, the Government will also establish Job Training Centers in various Islamic Boarding Schools as part of our efforts to enhance the expertise of the human capital in Indonesia.

At the level of higher education, we need to have the courage to make breakthroughs to brace our people to compete in the future. Universities in Indonesia have to be bold to shake off old habits. Bold to establish new study programs that reflect the reality of the need for expertise in the fields of today and tomorrow. I am convinced that the breakthrough measures taken by those higher education institutions will be welcomed by our younger generation, who are primed and ready to make a big leap of progress.

Through human-centered development, we will revive the fighting spirit to become a winning nation, so that Indonesia can face any major challenges, such as the Industrial Revolution 4.0 that is beginning to change the face of human civilization.

We need to have the capability of talking about Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and various advanced technologies that emerge by the second.

Indonesia must be swift to adapt to changes. Indonesia cannot afford to be left behind of other competing nations, who are vying for the fastest speed, besting others to gear themselves up toward advancement of digital era, an era that is rapidly changing the present human civilization.

In response to the rapid change of human civilization, it cannot be approached with pessimism and excessive worries. Instead, we must be optimistic that social capital and national energy are strong enough to leap forward. Let us take the example of four young Indonesian Islamic students who won the World Robotic Games at the end of last year.

It is the proof that Indonesia should not be afraid of Industrial Revolution 4.0, nor should it be too worried about the future. We have to make use of recent change to achieve a developed Indonesia. We have to be able to deftly grab an opportunity when it presents itself. Today, it is not the big that wins over the small; it is the quick who wins over the slow.

Indonesia must not be afraid. We must be confident. We must not underestimate ourselves. Indeed, our capacity and reputation are respected by the world. The recognition speaks volumes that on 8 June 2018, Indonesia was elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2019-2020. We have to uphold the trust we have got from the world.

The world also highly appreciates the track record of Indonesian diplomacy, particularly diplomacy for peace and the outstanding humanitarian diplomacy. Indonesia strives to serve as a bridge between differing parties. Indonesia hosted the Indonesia-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral meeting of Ulemas, as part of our contribution to achieve peace in Afghanistan. Indonesia also hosted a High Level Consultation of Ulemas and Islamic Scholars on Wasathiyyat Islam as the main axis of Islamic world, and for the first time Indonesia also convened the Indonesia-Africa Forum. Indonesia has begun exporting primary weapon systems to Africa, and pushed our state-owned enterprises to embark on a joint cooperation in the construction of infrastructure there.

In June 2018, we made an important achievement in building Indonesia’s reputation. The European Commission has officially lifted ban on all Indonesian airlines.

In the midst of increasing uncertainty in the world, Indonesia has contributed its views on the importance of promoting Indo-Pacific cooperation. Indonesia’s concept is to prioritize ASEAN centrality, cooperation, habit of dialog, and respect to the international laws.

Indonesian diplomacy also continues to promote the Palestine cause. Palestine will remain a main priority of Indonesia during Indonesia’s tenure as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Indonesia will continue to be at the forefront with the Palestinian struggle to achieve its independence and rights.

Equally important, Indonesian diplomacy strives to focus on the protection for Indonesian citizens living abroad, including by Safe Travel and Smart Embassy mechanism.

Bear in mind that in the next two days Indonesia will have a golden opportunity to show the world our excellence and achievement through Asian Games 2018, the biggest sport event in Asia. After 56 years, for the second time Indonesia will host the Asian Games, followed by the Asian Para Games. In these two games, Indonesian athletes will compete to raise our red and white flag, echoe our national anthem Indonesia Raya, for the pride of the nation.

We are going to host delegates from 45 countries, more than 11,000 athletes and 5,500 officials, the biggest one in the history of the Asian Games, while the Asian Para Games will involve 5,000 delegates. I call upon the entire Indonesia nation to work together for the success in hosting the Asian Games and the Asian Para Games, in terms of success in hosting the games as well as in achieving performance.

Indonesia, as a big nation and one of the most beautiful jewels in Asia and the world, must make use of the Asian Games and the Asian Para Games to show the world that Indonesia is a gracious host, a winning nation, a triumphant nation, that upholds fair play. We have to show that Indonesia is ready to be at the forefront to boost Asia’s position in the world.

My Fellow brothers and sisters from Sabang to Merauke, from Miangas to Rote Island,

Honorable Members of the House,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Lastly, before this Honorable Session, as President of the Republic of Indonesia, I invite the entire nation to always maintain optimism, to mutually share, to be brave in making breakthroughs, and to always pursue achievement through mutual cooperation.

Insha Allah, the huge works that we have undertaken will become our prayers, will become the devotion of the entire people of the Land of Pancasila, will become our nation’s achievement, and bring about social justice for the entire people of Indonesia.

From Sabang, from Merauke, from Miangas, from the Island of Rote, let us share amongst another, let us make Indonesia a developed country. Our Works are our Nation’s Achievement.

Long Live the Republic of Indonesia! Long Live the Land of Pancasila!

I thank you.


Wassalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om,

Namo Buddhaya.


Jakarta, 16 August 2018




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