Dr. Hassan Wirajuda: Jokowi adds Color to Indonesian Politics and Democracy

(Paris-Indonesian Embassy). In a seminar titled Indonesia’s New Government and the Country’s role in East Asia that was held by Indonesian Embassy in Paris at Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) and Institut Français des Relations Internationales(IFRI) Paris, on November 27th and 28th2014, Dr. Hassan Wirajuda explained that Joko Widodo (Jokowi) as the President of Indonesia added color to politics and democracy in Indonesia.

Jokowi’s background is that he has no connection with the New Order regime, he started his business experience from zero, he has never been a leader of political party, and he once was major in a small town, Solo. Along with his simplicity and humbleness, the inspect-everything by himself work ethic, the strictness in making decisions, and his high persuasion skill, Jokowi is able to win the heart of the people to become the Indonesian President.

His strictness and courage in taking risks is proven when he had to raise the price of gas in an effort to reduce gas subsidiary even though he was had only been inaugurated one month as a President. President Jokowi already calculated that the burden of gas subsidiary of APBN had to be diverted to the development of infrastructure, electricity supply, health care and education. With this, it is expected that in 5-10 years, Indonesia’s economic growth might reach 7% in average per year.

Dr. Wirajuda, the former Indonesian Foreign Minister, also explained that the success of the recent 2014 election in a conducive and peaceful manner as well its participation rate that reaches 75% out of 185 million registered voters is a prove of Indonesia’s maturity in democracy. This strengthen Indonesia’s position that is currently positioned at number 16 of countries with the biggest economy in the world, in promoting democracy and Human Rights protection in international scale. Indonesia has also transformed from a democracy deficit to a country with a full pledged democracy where Islam, democracy and modernization are proven to be able to work together.

In its relation to ASEAN countries, Indonesia always tries to take initiatives to improve ASEAN collaborations. Currently ASEAN has transformed itself to be an organization with legality interactions and clearer purposes based on the 3 Pillars of collaboration which are Politics and Security, Economy, and Social and Culture. ASEAN always keeps its tradition of dialogues that has made the region stable and secure for 47 years. The vast improvement of ASEAN these days are within the Pillar of Economy with a short range target which is the form of ASEAN Economic Community(AEC) 2015.

Even so, the growth of ASEAN still seems not yet balanced in Pillars of Politics and Security where the improvement of democracy and Human Rights protection in few ASEAN countries are still problematic. The lack of emphasis on political and security collaboration is seen on the East Asia Summit (EAS) collaboration. In order to avoid the wrong perception, it is hoped that ASEAN and EAS to strengthen the concrete cooperation in politics and security especially in promoting democracy and human rights.

Both of the seminars went well and interactive. In the ENA seminar there were 65 participants while in the IFRI seminar there were 50 participants coming from different backgrounds such as French officials, International Organizations officials (OECD and IEA) in Paris, businessmen, scholars, students, researchers, diplomats, and people in general that share interest in Indonesia and Asia and few representatives of the Indo-Franco Association.

In a separate opportunity, Dr. Wirajuda also had the chance to hold a meeting with Mme Nathalie Loiseau, the Director of ENA, to talk about the possibility of cooperation between ENA and Indonesia’s School of Government and Public Policy (SGPP) as one of the form of strategic partnership cooperation of Indonesia – France in education.

(Source: Indonesian Embassy in Paris)