National Awakening or National Enlightenment?
Today is a national holiday, a red day in the calendar, because it is Hari Raya Waisak
which commemorates Buddha's Enlightenment. Today is also the centenary of National Awakening Day.
The nation's politicians will make their obligatory pilgrimages to temples around the country and those who believe they are more élite than others will be seen at Borobodur Temple
, a world cultural heritage site.
Elsewhere, in their mansions, twelve legislators with their entourage of 12 House staff members, two legislators' wives and one husband and one staff member's wife, will be recovering from jet lag. They have all just returned from an all-expenses paid , including $500 per diem 'pocket money', 'comparative study' trip to Argentina. This was supposedly to learn about the presidential election system. The agenda allocated two days for the study - and seven for sightseeing.A Yahoo search
for '100 years awakening of Indonesia history' produced very little. However I was interested to read an invitation to a seminar
organised by the Indonesian Embassy in Prague, Czech Republic.It is expected that during the seminar, the meaning of National Awakening (1908), National Youth Pledge (1928) and National Reform (1998) will receive special attention. It is also hoped that there will be significant attention given to serious matters on the impediments faced by Indonesia as the reason why after 60 years of independence this country is still unable to fulfill its promise to the people.
The National Reform movement (Reformasi
), which is 'celebrating' it's 10th anniversary is but a pebble, and not yet a sizeable stepping stone on Indonesia's path to National Enlightenment. There are too many rivers to cross as the nation waits for the cronies of the Cendana clan to move aside. They are still have powerful friends in the judiciary. Witness the potential disbarment of prominent human rights lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis
. The case against him, an alleged conflict of interest, was brought by a lawyer, Hotman Paris Hutapea
, described four years ago as "the embodiment of Jakarta's filthy rich.
Can it really be a matter of conflict of interest when the judiciary and lawmakers are renowned for their links to business interests?
There is little evidence of National Enlightenment; this is a nation still sleeping or, at best, wandering in a blinkered daze. When official representatives of the country can state (above
) that "this country is still unable to fulfill its promise to the people
", I trust it is not a blithe capitulation to the mood of National Greed.
If it's not, then please allow me to join in and give a loud wake up call.