YOGYAKARTA-One of the urgent national defense agenda is building defense in the state borders. In the past, the development of defense policy in border regions seemed to fully promote the military approach. Apparently, this model is not sufficiently effective to build the defense in border areas. This has invited concern among higher education that are members of Community College Forum of Border Management Observers (MP4) to play an active role to contribute ideas and participate in finding solutions to those problems. This also created the idea to hold a workshop on Defense of Border Areas of the Republic of Indonesia, a cooperation between UGM, University of Defense (UNHAN) and other universities such as UNPAD, ITB, Cendrawasih University, Nusa Cendana University, Mulawarman University, Tanjungpura University and ITS. The event is supported by the National Border Defense Agency (BNPP).
The workshop steering committee, Prof. Ir. Atyanto Dharoko, M. Phil., Ph.D., exemplified the border areas in northern Borneo are more dependent on East Malaysia than Indonesia, especially with regard to daily needs energy to fuel and electricity. The recent case happened to Camar Bulan and Tanjung Datu, West Kalimantan, which also involves Malaysia.
"Meanwhile, the border area of Papua, for example, has the typical dynamics that cannot be solved by purely military approach," Atyanto explained to reporters at Stana Parahita Room of UGM, Friday (28/10).
He considered that the development of national defense, including defense on border areas, should be based on a combination of two models of defense, the military and non-military ones. Non-military defense puts forward the defense in the sense of community by strengthening the economic welfare of the people in the border regions, accompanied by the development of social character and political culture of Indonesia and nationality oriented to the Republic of Indonesia.
"This is in line with the new paradigm to make the border area as the country’s front verandah," Atyanto Dharoko who is also UGM Vice-Rector for Alumni and Business Development said.
Similarly, Workshop Committee Chairman, Prof. Dr. Ir. Irham, M.Sc., added some topics to be discussed in the workshop, among others, infrastructure, socio-culture, security, to the institution. Irham emphasized that the workshop which will take place over two days, 1-2 November 2011, will be followed by the respective universities, especially those in border areas with their respective programs.
"There will be regular meetings every 6 months between universities involved to follow up on other important matters," Irham said.
Irham exemplified some programs that may be performed by UGM in the border regions, such as student field practice program that has been running. Moreover, UGM has cooperated with border regions such as Bengkayang Regency, West Kalimantan.
"We will optimize the cooperation with regencies which already have MoU with UGM, for example by sending students for field practice program," he explained.