A total of 130 social scientists from various countries in Southeast Asia participated in the International Conference on Southeast Asian Studies (ICSEAS) held at UGM. The conference, which was initiated by the Publisher and Publication Board (BPP) UGM discussed seven main topics, including democracy, food security, poverty, and welfare. The conference was held for for two days from October 13 to 14, 2016.
British historian, Prof. Dr. Peter Carey, who was the keynote speaker at the conference focused on the development of Indonesia in the last 15 years. He said two major challenges faced by Indonesia today are about corruption and politicization of religion. In terms of corruption, according to the man, Indonesia has suffered a loss of Rp205 trillion in the year of 2001 to 2015, but only 11 percent or Rp22 trillion has been recouped through the judicial process. "The number of missing is equivalent to the entire budget for the construction of 871 kilometers of toll roads and new roads," said Peter Carey at the ICSEAS at the Graduate School of UGM, Friday (14/10).
The highest corruption rate, he said, happened in the civil and corporate environments. According to Carey, steps can be taken to suppress corruption by eradicating permissive mental state of corruption within the bureaucracy, the company and in the community.
What Indonesia is facing today, said Peter, is similar to what England has faced in the 18th century, when the government was experiencing corrupted institutions and striving to create effective government by implementing modern administration in order to avoid corruption.
Meanwhile, anthropologist, Prof. PM Laksono, highlighted the need to introduce local wisdom in developing the diversity of food in accordance with the wisdom of the people. It was said by Laksono since he reputed the current food policy tends to be partial and still focuses on the availability and consumption only, "The increase in food production capacity is almost neglected," said Laksono.
ICSEAS committee chairman, Dr. Pujo Semedi, said the conference was to offer ideas and open up alternative research that can be developed by researchers in the Southeast Asia region. According to Pujo, Southeast Asia’s long journey through the transition from the colonial period to independence offers a broad range of knowledge that could be explored further. "These researchers contribute in developing issues in Southeast Asia," he said. (UGM / adelily)