Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia during the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of PDI-P, at Hall A, JIExpo Kemayoran, Jakarta, January 10, 2023
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May prosperity be upon us all,
Greetings of virtue,
Greetings of Pancasila
Honorable the Fifth President of the Republic of Indonesia and Chairperson of Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Ibu Prof. Dr. Hj. Megawati Soekarnoputri;
Honorable Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia Bapak Kiai H. Ma’ruf Amin;
Honorable Ministers attending the event today;
Honorable Secretary-General and all Members of Central Executive Board, Chairs and Members of Regional Executive Boards, Chairs and Members of Branch Executive Boards, Chairs and Members of Sub-Branch Executive Boards, Chairs and Members of Sub-Branch Executive Boards at the lower level, Chairs and Members of Sub-Branch Executive Boards at the lowest level, and all the party’s wings, and Chair and all Members of PDI-P that I love and I am proud of;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, on behalf of the government, the people, the nation and the state, happy 50th anniversary to Chairperson Ibu Megawati Soekarnoputri and all PDI-P cadres from Sabang city to Merauke regency, from Miangas island to Rote island.
At the golden age, the semicentennial or the 50th anniversary, PDI-P has been a mature party because it has gone through a long journey, bitterness, ups and downs to be a big party today, as has been described in depth by Ibu Megawati. It is a party that has the power of uniting the people living in diversity, a party that has been consistent in guarding the four pillars of the nation: the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, the state ideology Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution, and the state motto Unity in Diversity.
Honorable Bu Megawati, Ladies and Gentlemen, all PDI-P cadres,
The year of 2022 was a very tough year, a very tough year for the world and all countries in the world. However, it seemed that it did not really affect Indonesia because our economy still grows in normal position. Last year was a year of economic turbulence, incalculable and unpredictable, and this year it is going to be tougher for the world. Therefore, this year would be a real test for us.
If we recall in 1997 – 1998, many countries including Indonesia became the patients of IMF. This year, I just called Minister of Finance this morning to ask how many countries become the patients of IMF as of today, 16 countries have been the patients of IMF due to economic crisis, and 36 countries are in the queue because they do not have domestic economic power anymore.
What should I say in this case? Well, we all have to be careful. We all must work harder. Although our economy grew well in 2022, we must be careful because the Managing Director of IMF Kristalina Georgieva said that in 2023, a third of the global economy is predicted to face a recession. And, for the countries that are not hit by recession, hundreds of millions of the citizens will be impacted by the recession. Therefore, I am not trying to frighten you, but we all must be careful and cautious. Do not make poor policies that lead us to big mistakes. We have to prevent that.
Once again, alhamdulillah, Indonesia can still pull through because we have built a foundation, namely the infrastructure for an advanced Indonesia.
Furthermore, the next strategy is industrialization, downstreaming. I have stated this many times about the importance of industrialization and downstreaming. For more than 400 years since the era of VOC, we had been sending our raw materials, exporting our raw materials abroad that gave us no added value. Do not let it happen again. Therefore, some of our great assets, such as Freeport, owned by Freeport McMoRan from the USA for more than 50 years, is owned majorly by Indonesia up to 51.2 percent of its shares in the last three years.
What we aim from the taking over is industrialization. The mine is in our country, in Papua, so do not let the smelter, the industry, is established in Japan or Spain. We get nothing, low tax rates, low royalties, low dividends, and no job opportunities. We have to turn it over. The raw materials that we have, be it mining or farming, all of them should be in downstream processing in order to have domestic added value. And, I am glad, I just came from Grasberg, Freeport, and found out that 98 percent of the workers are Indonesian citizens, 98 percent as of now, and 41 percent of them are from Papua. It is enormous.
Then, Rokan Block. It had been operated by Chevron from the USA. Freeport is also from the USA. Chevron is also from the USA. It had been operated by Chevron for 97 years. Now, we have taken it over 100 percent and Pertamina operates it. And then, Mahakam Block. Now, Pertamina operates it 100 percent after 43 years operated by Total E&P from France. What have I witnessed in Rokan? A hundred percent of Rokan’s workers are from Indonesia. And yesterday, we employ another 12,500 new workers in Rokan Block because we want to drill more oil wells.
However, that is not our big job. After taking them over, the next big job that we want to do is building a great system, so nickel, bauxite, copper, and tin can be integrated industries that produce finished or semi-finished goods to give added value at the most, especially in creating job opportunities for the people.
We stop exporting nickel ore three years ago. Previously, we earned Rp17 trillion per year from exporting raw nickel. After we stop exporting it in the last three years, we can earn around Rp360 trillion per year. Just from the nickel. We have announced in the last December to also stop exporting bauxite ore as of June 2023, and we will encourage domestically downstream industry for bauxite. I do not know yet how much the earnings will increase, more or less from Rp20 trillion to Rp60 trillion – Rp70 trillion.
Indeed, this is not an easy job, integrating is not easy, because copper mine is in Papua and Sumbawa; nickel in Sulawesi, North Maluku, Maluku; and tin mine is in Bangka Belitung; bauxite mine is in West Kalimantan and Bintan. All of them must be integrated, so we hope it will be an ecosystem for electric vehicles that brings bright future because the markets of all countries need electric vehicles. But, certainly, the first stage is to produce electric batteries.
I just want to give you an illustration from the nickel exports from Rp17 trillion to Rp360 trillion, it is such a huge leap. However, when it is integrated into a battery and electric vehicle ecosystem, it will give added value hundreds of times, not tens of times, but hundreds of times.
The problem is we are being sued by the European Union (EU). Our nickel was sued by the EU. It has been decided that we lost. We lost. However, I said to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, “do not step back,” because this is going to be a huge leap of our country’s civilization. I believe in that. We will continue to appeal, we will appeal. If we lose, I do not know any other effort we can make. But, that is trade. Sometimes, it can give pressure to a country, so the country will follow the rule of the game set by big countries. So, if we only export raw materials, until the end of the world we will only be a developing country.
We all remember when Bung Karno in 1965 said ‘reject dependency on imperialism, expand equal and mutual benefit cooperation.’ In 1965, Bung Karno said that, so we should not be dictated to and not depend on other countries. This is what we want to do, to be independent, independent, independent.
Therefore, although we were discouraged about Freeport, we still carry on. Although, we were also discouraged about nickel and lost at WTO, we still carry on. In addition, we will stop exporting bauxite ore, and maybe in the middle of year, we will stop exporting copper ore. We should have such a courage. We should not step back and be daunted because those natural resources are in Indonesia. This is our sovereignty, and we want it to be enjoyed by our people.
So, when the ASEAN-EU Summit held in Europe, I asserted it in the forum. Since the European Union that sued us, so I took the opportunity during the summit. I conveyed that partnership should be equal and there should be no coercion. No country can dictate, and developed countries should not think that their standards are better than our country’s.
Why do I keep repeating this? Because I want the future president to also have the courage to do so. Not easy to give up, not to be intimidated for the sake of the nation, for the sake of the country.
I am so pleased when the Chairperson Ibu Megawati Soekarnoputri said that her candidates are the cadres from the party. I am also pleased that, I beg your pardon Bu Mega, Bu Mega makes a decision very carefully and calmly, in no hurry like others. Many pressures put on Bu Mega, but she was unfettered. She already had the name. We are patiently waiting for what she will reveal later, certainly with calculations made by the Chairperson Ibu Hj. Megawati Soekarnoputri.
I conclude my remarks. Once again, happy 50th anniversary of PDI-P.
Lastly, this is also the idea of Bung Karno to move the capital city from Jakarta to Nusantara the Capital City, I would like to give some onscreen illustration.
I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Greetings of Pancasila!
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Om santi santi om,
Greetings of virtue.