Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Being made up of more than 17 thousand larger and smaller islands, Indonesia is known as a very large country with different cultures, customs, beliefs, and ethnic languages.
However, these differences should not necessarily have to become a seed of disunity, but instead, as a common force in the 2018 political year to make Indonesia an increasingly developed country.
In the light of this, President Joko Widodo has asked all his fellow countrymen to jointly manage the differences and the ethnic and cultural diversity in this political year in order for Indonesia to become a major and advanced force.
One way to manage the differences, according to the president, is to bring the politics of nationalism back down to earth will full awareness to the life of a harmonious and respectful nation.
It means that whatever the difference, President Jokowi noted that all Indonesian people must realize that they remain one brother and in one country.
"We must realize that all of us in this Republic are one brother, one nation, and one country, even though we are composed of various tribes, races, cultures, and religions," the president asserted.
Hence, the head of state has invited his country men to remain united to maintain the independence that has been achieved with great difficulty, and has the determination to realize an advanced and progressive Indonesia.
Speaking about the simultaneous regional elections this year, the president believes that people share the same view to create a harmonious national life amid all the differences, including political differences.
With political maturity, the president hopes that in entering the stages of the regional elections, all the people can jointly maintain the unity of the nation.
Furthermore, the President invites the public to vote for the best leaders at the district, city, provincial, or even in the next presidential election according to their respective assessments and preferences.
"However, after the election takes place, do not let anyone nurture hatred against each other. The political choice may be different, but after that let the elected leaders work according to the mandate that the electorate provides," Jokowi said.
Hence, the president again invited all components of the Indonesian nation to unite, regardless of whatever their political choices will be.
Because, in fact, Indonesia still has to face a much bigger problem in the future where the problem can only be faced with national unity.
"We must unite because we are preparing for the future, our challenges are getting bigger now that Indonesia welcomes the changes that are happening in the world," he said.
In addition, President Jokowi has also called on his cabinet ministers to remain focused on their work during the 2018 political year.
While chairing a plenary cabinet meeting early this month, the president reiterated that the ministers of the working cabinet should focus on their works, particularly to boost economic growth, address inequality, and reduce poverty rate.
According to the president, the international confidence in Indonesia is high thanks to the governments policies on licensing reform, deregulation, and ease in doing business.
The head of state has also asked the ministers to address social gap and inequality.
Based on reports from Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS), the number of underprivileged people in Indonesia in September 2017 was 26.58 million, or 10.12 percent of the total population, a decrease of 0.52 percent from 27.77 million in March 2017, or down 11.13 percent compared to that in September 2015, and 10.70 percent in September 2016.
Therefore, the ministers have been instructed to control commodity prices and carry out the cash-for-work program.
Besides, the president urged state officials to increase human resources training program in 2018.
Further, the president has expressed hope that the rate of economic development would remain unaffected by the political situation in Indonesia in the run-up to the political year 2018.
"It means that let us develop Indonesia together. Economic stakeholders and political figures can kick-start their efforts respectively," Jokowi noted in his speech at the 2nd Discussion of 100 Indonesian Economists in Jakarta last December.
The president expressed confidence that the regional elections in Indonesia would be held in a peaceful and secure manner.
He noted that the recent regional elections in 2017, which were held securely, did not affect the economic situation.
Jokowi said several economic developments were achieved in the last three years.
This was reflected in the improvements in ratings given by Moodys Rating and S&P that boosted Indonesias investment grade ranking.
Of 137 countries, Indonesias global competitiveness index also improved, from 41 to 36.
The figures demonstrated that Indonesia should remain optimistic about its economic development. Other countries placed Indonesia on their potential investment radar.
Further, he added that several parties were raising doubts over Indonesias economic conditions in 2018.
However, he called on economists and entrepreneurs to have trust in the countrys political situation and begin investing in the country.
Source: ANTARA News