State of the Nation Address of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Annual Session of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) of the Republic of Indonesia and the Joint Session of the Regional Representative Council (DPD) of the Republic of Indonesia and the House of Representatives (DPR) of the Republic of Indonesia on the Occasion of the 76th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Independence of the Republic of Indonesia, 16 August 2021
Assalaamu ‘alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh,
May Peace be Upon Us All,
Greetings of Virtue.
Distinguished Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, Bapak Professor K.H. Ma’ruf Amin and Ibu Wury Estu Ma’ruf Amin;
Honorable Speaker, Vice Speakers, and Members of the People’s Consultative Assembly of the Republic of Indonesia;
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 Representative Council of the Republic of Indonesia;
Honorable Chairpersons, Vice Chairpersons, and Members of State Institutions;
Distinguished Ibu Hajah Megawati Soekarnoputri, the Fifth President of the Republic of Indonesia;
Distinguished Bapak Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Sixth President of the Republic of Indonesia;
Distinguished Bapak Try Sutrisno and Bapak Hamzah Haz;
Distinguished Bapak Muhammad Jusuf Kalla and Ibu Mufidah Jusuf Kalla;
Distinguished Bapak Boediono and Ibu Herawati Boediono;
Distinguished Ibu Hajah Shinta Nuriyah Abdurrahman Wahid;
Your Excellencies, Ambassadors of Friendly Countries and Heads of International Agencies and Organizations;
Distinguished Ministers of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet, Commander of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) and Chief of the Indonesian National Police (Polri);
Distinguished Chairpersons of political parties;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
My Fellow Indonesians,
Crisis, recession, and pandemic are like fire. If we can avoid them, we must avoid them. However, if they do occur, there are many things we can learn from them. Fire does burn us, but they also cast light on us. If it is under control, it can be inspiring and motivating. It hurts but strengthens us. We want this pandemic to cast light upon us to reflect, improve, and strengthen ourselves in facing future challenges.
A pandemic is akin to a testing ground that tests us, teaches us, and strengthens us. The pandemic has placed a heavy burden upon us that is full of risks and forces us to face and manage it. All pillars of our lives are being tested and our strength is being sharpened. Our fortitude, patience, endurance, togetherness, intelligence, and responsiveness are being tested and bettered at the same time.
Testing and betterment are like two sides of the same coin. We not only carry the burden, but also have an opportunity to better ourselves. As the test becomes increasingly difficult, the betterment process is also getting faster. We must become a nation that is more resilient, stronger, and capable of winning the battles.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
My Fellow Citizens,
The history of the Indonesian nation has undergone difficult times. Alhamdulillah, we have made it through. The independence of the Republic of Indonesia is neither a present nor a gift. We gained our independence through struggles on all fronts. People’s wars, guerrilla warfare, and diplomacy on all fronts finally earned Indonesia her independence.
We have overcome recessions and crises come and go in the wake of Indonesia’s independence. Every test strengthens social, political, and economic foundations of the Indonesian nation. Each stage provides lessons as well as betterment in various aspects of our lives.
The COVID-19 pandemic has galvanized us to change, to develop new ways, to leave irrelevant old habits behind, and to make the impossible possible. We are forced to build a new normal and to do things previously considered taboo. Wearing a face mask, keeping a distance, refraining from shaking hands, and avoiding crowds are new habits that were once considered taboo. Working from home, online shopping, distance learning, online meetings, and online court have become new habits that we used to be hesitant to do.
Amid today’s disruptive world, the spirit to change, the spirit to make changes, and the spirit to innovate have become the foundation to build an Advanced Indonesia. We have made efforts to change our habits in the Industrial Revolution 4.0 era in order to work more effectively, more efficiently, and more productively. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the acceleration of innovation has become an integrated part of our everyday lives.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
For one and a half year during the pandemic, we have made significant progress in our health-related habits and health infrastructure as well as improvement in our national institutions. Public awareness, participation, and mutual cooperation have been increasingly stronger. Cross-sectoral and cross-state government institutions as well as cooperation between the Central Government and regional governments up to the village level are also undergoing consolidation. This helps the capacity of the health sector to undergo a significant acceleration and to be able to face high uncertainty amid the pandemic.
From public perspective, awareness of health has significantly improved. Washing hands, wearing a face mask, and keeping a distance have become a new habit. By the same token, a healthy lifestyle, maintaining environmental hygiene, exercise, and consuming nutritious food have become a culture. This is a valuable asset to build a healthier society and in developing high quality human capital.
Public awareness and enthusiasm for getting vaccinated, accessing health services, receiving treatment, and caring for each other have also seen improvement. The pandemic has taught us that health is our shared goal. The pandemic has strengthened social institutions in our communities and further strengthened our social capital. If you want to be healthy, others must also be healthy. If someone is infected with COVID-19, it will pose risks to others. Disease is a shared problem and being healthy is our shared goal.
The capacity of state institutions in responding to the pandemic is also increasingly consolidated and is working in a more responsive manner. We are aware that the pandemic should be solved swiftly and in a consolidated manner by referring to data, science, and technology. We also understand that our democracy, accountability, and good governance must be upheld. Inter-institutional cooperation as well as responsive and consolidated leadership is key in tackling the pandemic.
Since the onset of the pandemic, legislative institutions and audit institutions provide support to the Government to quickly consolidate its fiscal capacity. The Indonesian National Defense Forces (Tentara Nasional Indonesia/TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (Kepolisian Republik Indonesia/Polri) and bureaucracy from the national to village levels are working hand in hand with bureaucratic structure at all levels of the Government in enforcing health protocols and in taking testing, tracing, and treatment measures as well as vaccination and preparation of centralized isolation facilities.
Almost all regional leader forums are working hand in hand to address health and economic problems. On-the-ground management in testing, tracing, treatment, and vaccination has shaped leadership capacity in all government levels. I am confident that our response capacity to uncertainty in health sectors and in other sectors has improved.
The provision of health services by both the Government and the private sector has also seen a heartening improvement. The number of health services in many regions has significantly increased, be it additional hospital beds or supporting facilities. We also take pride in and are thankful for the hard work and dedication from doctors, nurses, and other health workers.
Self-sufficiency in our pharmaceutical, vaccine, and medical equipment industries remains a major drawback that we must address. However, the pandemic has spurred development of our domestic pharmaceutical industry, including the development of Red-and-White vaccines as well as medical oxygen. The availability and affordability of medicines should be guaranteed and there is zero tolerance to anyone who obstructs our humanitarian and national missions.
Moreover, the Government continues to work hard to deploy all resources to secure vaccine supplies to meet the national demands. However, at the same time, Indonesia also leaves no stone unturned to provide equitable access to vaccines for all nations because the battle against COVID-19 will be futile if unequal access to vaccine still persists. Through vaccine diplomacy, we have shown the world that Indonesia continues to actively “participate toward the establishment of a world order based on freedom, perpetual peace, and social justice”.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
While we turn our attention to tackle health issues, we have not overlooked our big goals toward an Advanced Indonesia. Development of quality human capital remains a priority. Completion of infrastructure development, which pushes down the price of logistics to develop our country from the periphery and to unite Indonesia, continues to be pursued. Structural reforms to promote inclusive and sustainable economic development remain Indonesia’s main agenda.
The pandemic has taught us to find a balanced policy, to strike a balance between health and economic interests. In making decisions, the Government must stay current with the latest data and science and technology. We have to be responsive to the developing situations, day by day, with caution.
Policy objectives and directions must be followed consistently. However, strategies and management on the ground must be dynamically consistent with problems and challenges. The tightening and relaxing public movements, for instance, must be imposed on a weekly basis with reference to the current data. It may be perceived as an ever-changing policy, an inconsistent policy. In fact, it is imperative to find the best combination between public health and economic interests. Since the virus constantly transforms and mutates, the handling should be done with adaptive strategies.
The inevitable tightening of public movement restrictions has prompted the Government to provide more social assistance compared to normal situations. The Family Hope Program, Basic Food Cards, Electricity Discount, Wage Subsidy, Productive Micro Business Assistance, Village Fund Cash Assistance, and Pre-Employment Card Program have been ramped up. Internet Data Subsidy in regions where the restrictions are in place has also been increased to the maximum possible extent for education staff, school and higher education students, and school and university teachers.
Above all and as a sustainable economic solution, the Government continues to ensure that the people can have decent jobs and we can revive national economy. The pandemic has indeed significantly slowed down our economic growth, but it must not hinder the process of structural reforms of our economy.
Our economic structure, of which more than 55% has been contributed by household consumption, must continue to be refocused in order to be more productive by promoting downstreaming, investment, and exports. The Government’s focus is on creating as many new, quality jobs as possible. The implementation of the Job Creation Law has been accelerated. Last week, the Government launched the Online Single Submission (OSS) which considerably facilitates businesses from all levels and types, particularly low-risk businesses. Licensing, incentive, and tax management can now be done much faster, more transparently, and more conveniently. This opportunity must be capitalized on by Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) players to develop their businesses.
In the span of January and June 2021, Indonesia’s investment realization, excluding the upstream oil and gas sector and financial services, amounted to a minimum value of Rp442.8 trillion, in which 51.5% is outside the island of Java and 48.5% in Java. This investment has provided jobs for more than 620,000 Indonesian workers. We hope that with more investment in the months ahead, we can meet the Rp900 trillion target, create new jobs, and propel the economy more significantly.
Promoting investment must become an integrated part of inclusive and just economic growth. Upgrading classes of MSME entrepreneurs has become our main agenda. Numerous facilities have been provided to grow our MSMEs, including strategic partnership with large companies to immediately enter the global supply chain. It is expected to enhance MSME product competitiveness and boost equity and independence of the people’s economy.
This investment ecosystem and collaboration in the business world is also expected to further strengthen the development of an economy that is based on innovation and technology, especially toward a sustainable Green Economy and Blue Economy. We continue to push for development of the food sector to build food self-sufficiency. Transformation toward new and renewable energy as well as acceleration of an economy based on green technology will be an important change in our economy. We continue to consolidate the capacity of national research to make it in harmony with the national strategic agenda. Synergy between education sector and the industry and entrepreneurship development continues to be accelerated through Merdeka Belajar (Freedom to Learn) Program. This is expected to upgrade the quality of our national human capital and to develop a competitive edge of our domestic industries and products.
The expansion of market access for domestic products is a serious concern for the Government. We continue to intensify the Proudly Made in Indonesia program, while bolstering the competitiveness of local products in the global competition. The Government continues to stimulate the development of digital economy ecosystem to boost community productivity. The digitalization of MSMEs through onboarding to e-commerce platforms and marketplaces continues to grow. As of August this year, more than 14 million MSMEs or 22% of the total MSMEs have joined e-commerce. Participation in the digital economy is vital given its huge potential and the role in facilitating the MSMEs to enter the global supply chain. In 2020, the value of Indonesia’s digital trade transactions reached more than Rp253 trillion. This figure is projected to increase to Rp330.7 trillion in 2021.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
My Fellow Citizens,
The COVID-19 pandemic has also given the Indonesian nation a wisdom that the crisis calls for consolidation of the state’s capacity to serve the people, to promote the well-being of the people, and realize an Advanced Indonesia that we aspire to be. Support from everyone, specifically state institutions, is of utmost importance. Working smart and synergy between state institutions are one of the most important keys to become agile in responding to the changes in the future.
Checks and balances among state institutions is crucial in our governance system. However, collaboration, synergy, and willingness to share burden and responsibilities are, in fact, more important in facing the pandemic. I would like to thank state institutions, Bank Indonesia, the Financial Services Authority (Otoritas Jasa Keuangan/OJK), the Indonesia Deposit Insurance Corporation (Lembaga Penjamin Simpanan/LPS), the Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi/KPK), the Ombudsman of the Republic of Indonesia, including the General Elections Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum/KPU) and the General Election Supervisory Agency (Badan Pengawas Pemilihan Umum/Bawaslu) for their consistent and productive support during this time.
Let me also thank members of the People’s Consultative Assembly of the Republic of Indonesia (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat Republik Indonesia/MPR RI) with its Four Pillar Program, who consistently strengthen state ideology Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution, the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, and Bhinneka Tunggal Ika. The MPR’s agenda to study the legal substance and form of the Directive Principles of State Policy, which underlies Indonesia’s sustainable and cross-leadership development, also deserves an appreciation.
In tackling a pandemic which requires extraordinary handling, the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Republik Indonesia/DPR RI), along with the Government, have been working hard and in synergy to build a legal foundation for the COVID-19 handling. Apart from handling problems in the health sector, the DPR and the Government have also managed to finalize the Job Creation Law, which is the first Omnibus Law in Indonesia and becomes the main pillars of structural reforms in our homeland. In addition, with numerous innovations, the DPR continues to gather public aspirations and perform oversight on the implementation of the Government programs.
The Regional Representative Council of the Republic of Indonesia (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah Republik Indonesia/DPD RI) has also been actively involved in the deliberation of bills, including those related with budget policy and performing oversight mainly on public service and implementation of Law on Village. This role contributes to the prudence of pandemic handling as well as improvement of government institutions in the future.
In the midst of the urgency for the Government to take immediate actions to save the people from the pandemic, the inspection role of the Audit Board of the Republic of Indonesia (Badan Pemeriksa Keuangan Republik Indonesia/BPK RI) has also been adjusted. The pandemic situation is not a normal situation and audits cannot be done with standard procedures. The ultimate goal is to save the people. The safety of the people is the supreme law in the life of the state. The BPK’s innovation to realize “Accountability for All” in our country deserves a credit. I would like to appreciate the BPK for providing information on its audit findings to be followed up by the Government, both at the central and regional levels.
The working speed at judiciary institutions must not slow down. In fact, it must be accelerated despite the pandemic. Administrative processes and trials at the Supreme Court (Mahkamah Agung/MA) which are conducted electronically have been able to speed up the handling of cases. In fact, the e-court application has facilitated and increased the number of cases taken to trial.
A similar situation also happens in the Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi/MK), which also conducts trials online. The growing number of submissions for judicial reviews and regional election cases do not hinder the Constitutional Court from resolving cases on time. The Electronic Court System (SPBE) has provided better public services in a fast, transparent, and accountable manner.
The Judicial Commission (Komisi Yudisial/KY) must stay productive amid the pandemic, including in selecting Supreme Court justice candidates, handling public reports, and monitoring court cases and violation of the judge’s code of ethics. With hard work and innovation, the Judicial Commission has been successful in improving its performance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
The pandemic has reminded us to care for each other. Someone else’s disease will become others’ disease. Individual handling will never be a solution. Rather, a collective handling is the only solution. With a culture of mutual care and mutual sharing, this difficult test can be easily addressed.
Let us uphold the noble values of tolerance, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (unity in diversity), Gotong Royong (mutual cooperation), and Pancasila (the Five Principles, the Indonesian State Ideology) in the life of the society, nation, and state. Let us pass this pandemic test and the upcoming tests with steadfast efforts and a sincere prayer of hope. Let us always stay healthy, remain disciplined in observing health protocols, take care of each other, and help each other. No one is safe from the threats of COVID-19 if there are still people who suffer from it.
I am fully aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it exhaustion, boredom, weariness, sadness, and distress. I also understand that there are many criticisms directed to the Government, particularly on matters that have not been resolved yet. Constructive criticism is crucial and we always respond to that by fulfilling our responsibilities as expected by the people. I would like to thank children of the nation who have become part of active citizens and continuously built a democratic culture.
“Resilient Indonesia, Advancing Indonesia,” which is the tagline of the Independence Month this year, can only be manifested through openness and readiness to change in facing the world full of disruption. “Resilient Indonesia, Advancing Indonesia” can only be achieved if we work together, hand in hand, for one shared goal. We must build up resilience in facing the pandemic and all the tests we will be facing and we continuously grow to achieve the nation’s aspiration.
May Allah the Almighty always bless and ease the endeavors of the Indonesian nation towards an Advanced Indonesia that we aspire to be.
Long Live the Republic of Indonesia!
Long Live the Land of Pancasila!
I thank you,
Wassalamu ‘alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh,
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om,
Greetings of Virtue.
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA
(Translation by Office of the Assistant to the Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents and Translation)