Year after year we celebrate the birth anniversary of Bung Karno, one of the founding fathers of our nation and a true man of vision. We also commemorate the anniversary of both, His Vision and Mission as elaborated in the five principles of Pancasila:

  1. Religiousness: Practice of Religion and Belief in the Supreme. This very First Principle was originally conceived by Bung Karno as the Uniting or Binding Force for all the other principles; as such initially it was not even mentioned. It was conceived as the Dalang’s or Puppet Master’s Layar or Screen – whereupon he plays and projects his leather puppets.
  1. Nationalism: Brotherhood of All Indonesians based on the common, universal, relevant and practicable cultural values in line with religiousness.
  1. Internationalism or Humanity: Love for the nation however, must not turn us into fascists. Our Nationalism grows in the Garden of Internationalism. Even our Independence, as seen by Bung Karno, was only a mean to achieve the higher goal of the betterment of the world, and to actively contribute toward it.
  1. Democracy: It is not “the majority must win” kind of democracy, but “the meeting of majority and minority” kind of democracy. It is a win-win solution.
  1. Justice and Prosperity: Not to be reduced into a slogan, but to be achieved through hard work.

All these five principles speak of “practice” and “achievement”, of “hard work” and “sacrifice”, of the need to Berdiri diatas Kaki Sendiri – to stand on our own feet. We shall work with any country, anyone – but not dependent on them. Such is the spirit of Pancasila, of Gotong-Royong – Working Together toward Common Goals.

Today, we have lost this spirit.
And, without this spirit, Pembangunan or Nation Building is reduced to Construction Work. We are busy constructing without building anything.

We are busy constructing malls and resorts and skyscrapers. We are busy decorating our nation, without even bothering to think if such decoration is necessary. We have, in our ignorance, covered our natural beauty behind the thick layers of ugly make-up.

In the name of Pembangunan, the so-called “Development” – we have caused misery to many. A new mall or an apartment building is constructed, and one whole area is added to the ever expanding list of flood victims. Leave aside development, we cannot even construct intelligently.

We have completely overlooked or paid very little attention to such important fields as Health and Education. How do we achieve our goal of Social Justice and Prosperity for All by neglecting these two fields? Moreover, do we realize that all said and done, finally it is “Happiness” that matters? Are our people happy? Are we a happy nation?

Wealth, as the surveys made by Prestigious Western Medias like BBC and NEWSWEEK stipulate, is not the Prime Factor in Happiness. Indeed, it is Health.

The state owned insurance companies and hospitals must be service-oriented, not profit-oriented. The tax-payers have the right to low-premium or even free insurance and adequate health facility. This is one way to motivate people to pay tax, not by harassing them as we do now.

The Insurance Companies, especially the foreign joint ventures, which make it difficult or very expensive for people above the age of 60 to buy insurance or even to continue with their old policies – must be stopped from selling health insurance. They can concentrate on other fields.

The Second Factor in Happiness is Relation or Interaction with Others. And, this is one major problem that we as a nation are facing right now. Our inability to “appreciatively” interact with each other – has caused us much damage. It has crippled us. We can no longer tread the path of Nationalism and Internationalism; we have forgotten the Way of Religiousness.

In order to interact “appreciatively” with you, I must consider you as my own – as an Indonesian.  I must set aside all our religious differences to base my relation with you on Religiousness – the core universal and common values found in all religions, such as Love, Peace, Harmony, Non-Violence, Truth, and Right Action that brings Happiness to all.

State’s intervention in the matters of religion has separated an Indonesian from an Indonesian. No two Indonesians professing different faiths can even marry without one of them leaving his or her faith. By allowing such bill to be passed, we sew the seeds of separatism on this soil.

Our Education System must be Value-Oriented and freed of separatism based on religion. Religious Education is the responsibility of parents, failing in which they can seek the help of religious ministers in their churches, mosques and temples.

The Third Factor in Happiness which is Contentment calls for Living Consciously.  While Oprah in the west is promoting debt and installment free living, our banks here promote the contrary.

Pembangunan here is a Myth. We are not into development as yet. We are just constructing, that too unintelligently. The Reality is that as a nation we have never been at such lowest ebb as now. But, there is no use complaining. We have to start building Indonesia, our Indonesia Anew. This responsibility does not lie on the shoulders of our politicians and parliamentarians alone. This responsibility lies on the shoulder of each and every Indonesian. This responsibility lies on your shoulder and my shoulder.