Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, the chair of the Democratic Party and the son of the former president of Indonesia, was invited to speak at the Fisipol Leadership Forum under the theme “Can We Save Democracy in Indonesia?”
The talk show occurred on Thursday (20/7) at the Mandiri Auditorium of the UGM Faculty of Social and Political Sciences.
In front of three panelists consisting of UGM lecturers and students, along with other academic community members, Yudhoyono emphasized that the upcoming 2024 electoral democracy will be an opportunity to improve the quality of democracy in Indonesia.
“We hope that our democracy will improve because democracy is a long journey for a nation to advance and prosper,” he said.
However, over the past decade, several data reports indicate a decline in the quality of democracy in Indonesia, including a decrease in the Corruption Perceptions Index, the prevalence of money politics, and polarization in society when responding to different choices of prospective leaders.
“Our politics and democracy have become more complicated due to the abundance of hoaxes, black campaigns, and character assassinations in an instant,” he added.
He proposed the idea of a middle path in politics, emphasizing a spirit of moderation and dignity.
“We must return to the spirit of dignified politics. Hopefully, our politics and elections will not be extremely polarized, leading to conflicts among fellow compatriots,” he stated.
He pointed out that one of the setbacks in our democracy is that many elected leaders, including those at regional levels and legislative members, are dominated by individuals with significant financial resources. He believes leadership should be assessed based on capacity, integrity, and capability.
“Our democracy is predicated on who has the most money, not on selecting the finest leaders. In the future, we aspire to be able to select human resources for our potential leaders based on their aptitude rather than their financial status. We shouldn’t allow the greatest people to lose out because they can’t buy votes,” he emphasized.
The Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Dr. Wawan Mas’udi, added that the Fisipol Leadership Forum aims to explore the ideas and programs of potential leaders.
He mentioned that they have previously invited several figures, such as Ridwan Kamil, Muhaimin Iskandar, Yenny Wahid, and the planning and development team for the new Indonesian capital.
“We hope the presidential and vice-presidential candidates will also be willing to participate in discussions and debates on their programs here,” the dean concluded.
Author and Photographer: Gusti Grehenson