President Joko Widodo asserted that the state has the commitment to enhance Pancasila as the nation’s view of life. According to the President, due to Pancasila, society can live in peace and harmony by upholding tolerance. Thus, Pancasila is no longer only a guide to living for Indonesia but is also a reference for other nations. “Pancasila is not only something for us to be proud of, but is also a reference for other nations to assess and look to us to see how we always live in harmony; and we hope Pancasila can be the world’s reference amidst the world’s plurality,” said President, who is commonly known as ‘Jokowi’, when he was keynote speaker at the 9th Pancasila Congress in Balairung, Universitas Gadjah Mada, on Saturday (22/7).
The success of Indonesia in maintaining harmony and unity amidst plurality, according to the President, was much appreciated by other nations, especially by those that are still struggling to resolve conflict among groups in their societies. “We have to learn from the bad experiences of others that are still haunted by social conflict and civil war,” he said.
The Presidents told the stories when meeting with state leaders; he said they had asked him how Indonesia managed plurality with over 17,000, 714 ethnic groups and 1,100 languages. “They were wondering how Indonesia, which is very plural and diverse, can remain peaceful, and my reply was succinct: because we have the Pancasila,” the President said. It was followed by a round of applause from the audience.
President Jokowi also talked about his experience when meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who said his country had 44 factions, but until today was still facing conflict. The Afghan President hoped for assistance from Indonesia to bridge and mediate conflict between groups in their community by sending ministers and ulemas that can tell them about Indonesia’s experience and invite those factions to visit Indonesia.
In the Congress, President Jokowi touched upon the importance for rectors, lecturers and teachers to teach the young generation about the values of Pancasila. “The effect of information and communication using our smartphones is that they can erode the value of character among our children. That’s why we need to equip our children with the values of Pancasila to enhance the nation’s character,” he said.
Rector of UGM, Prof. Ir. Panut Mulyono, M.Eng., D.Eng., said this was the 9th Pancasila Congress held by UGM, but this was the first time to be opened and attended by the Indonesian President, “Your attendance, Mr. President, lights the fire of Pancasila in our hearts,” he said.
The Rector hoped the President would stick to the commitment to encourage and develop the spirit of Pancasila in the society so that the values of Pancasila can survive and enhance the nation’s spirit of unity. “Under the leadership of Mr. Jokowi, I believe Indonesia will profress and become prosperous with the values of Pancasila inspiring the nation,” he said.
From the steering committee of Pancasila Congress, Dr. Heri Santoso, said the 9th Pancasila Congress would discuss challenges and solution to do actualisation of Pancaila as the soul of the nation. The results of the congress are expected to generate recommendation that will be submitted to the government on how to enhance Pancasila education through curriculum alteration, Pancasila studies in regions and campuses, and Pancasila values strengthening among the young people and the media.