Insight – Indonesia is a Great Nation
In this post, I am speak as an Indonesian, who love my own country, but feel that this country is lost its identity and direction, so yes, it may not be a very objective post. But I try to speak out my opinion as objectively as i can.
Honestly, I am writing this because something ‘has happened’ on my mind after last night lecture (strategic management class). So, I will sometimes refer to my strategic management lesson/jargon. (A good lecture should make students inspired/think, right? :D)
First, Indonesia is a Great Nation. Well, it’s very obvious! Our country is the biggest archipelago country in this world, it consists more than 17.000 islands (small and big), 4th rank in people population, blessed with tropical climate and fertile soil, many volcanoes and mountains containing many mine materials. Related to one of Strategic Management phase (internal assessment), if you want to list all the Strength side of Indonesia, maybe you will find very long list.
Ironically, if you ask some people from other countries, they even could ask you ‘What? Indonesia? where is your country?’ Are you kidding! And if you continue with ‘Do you know Bali?’, most of them will answer ‘Ah, Bali.. The paradise island’. Hmm.. quite ironic.. They know Bali but they don’t know Indonesia as a whole country.
Yesterday, my lecturer only gave us one comparison that impacted my mind greatly. He asked, ‘When was Candi Borobudur built?’. According to Wikipedia, the answer is around 9-th century. Imagine! 9-th century, without any tractors or other heavy equipment. And then he continued, ‘When was Colombus discover America?’ The answer is 1492. Wow. I never realized that fact, that when America continent has just been found, in far away from there, Candi Borobudur with its grand design has been existing. Wonderful right? And now, 2013, America is the 1st country in the world (at least until now. My prediction, another great nation, China, will soon overtake their position).
Another fact, Sriwijaya and Majapahit is the two biggest empire from Indonesia that able to conquer many region in Nusantara and do some expansion to some neighbor country (now known as ASEAN). They all have the similarity, they know what is the strength of Indonesian as an archipelago. Maritime army! 2/3 of our country is water, sea. They use the strength to expand their territory. It’s the strategic way, right? So we can say that Gajah Mada is a great strategist. Now? Even we lose to Singapore, relatively small island but proved to be a great nation too. Furthermore, honestly, we have to say that Indonesia is no longer the sea lord in it own territory. Many other countries’ illegal fishing activities are operating in Indonesia ocean without any difficulties.
And then, my lecturer asked, do you think the Dutch kingdom colonize us? the answer is big NO!. If we want to be more critical to history, it’s the VOC who colonized us. Imagine, a trading company from Dutch conquered the whole big country (although at that time, we still not seen as a whole country, but small kingdoms). In strategic perspective, we have to say that VOC is really good at analyzing one of our nation biggest weakness (which is not being able to united to fight as a whole nation) and define a very well strategy to exploit our weakness, Devide At Impera. From strategic management perspective, VOC has done marvelous things.
Back to recent condition, I still not able to read the direction where Indonesia is going ahead in the future. Our leaders is busy to get the throne with many fair and unfair ways, give fake promises that never be done (or only small part of it). Corruption is not a shameful action, but it’s a culture. Government policies sometimes are not indicating that they are supportive to this country improvement (I just read a news, can you imagine, in this era, the parliament member want to make ‘Santet’ (black magic) Act (Undang-undang) ?? And even worst, they plan to go to Europe to study about that Act? ridiculous. maybe they think that Lord Voldemort is real in England).
We are a country with the cheapest gasoline price (should be proud?), but the progress of toll road as infrastructure is so slow that it is said that it’s cheaper to import fruit from Singapore to Jakarta than delivery fruit from Malang to Jakarta. Hey, I don’t blame the current government at all, because i think all of these mistakes are structural and started from previous government. But at least, please do not make/take some policies only because it will make the policy maker become more popular. We don’t need popular government, we need strategic government to make sure that we are able to fulfill the prediction to become the 7th biggest country in the world in 2030 (McKinsey prediction). And it will be very dependent on the government quality as policy maker and parliament quality as the policy implementation observer.
So, what’s wrong with Indonesia that even we are not number one in ASEAN region? This post is not a judgment. Who am I, dare to judge other people, while I am still not giving my best too. The point is, don’t forget our great history so that we never feel ‘small’ compared to other countries, don’t blame Dutch for the civilization (hey, it’s already 70 years ago!, don’t say we are lazy because we have been colonized for 350 years. We are not! Many small kingdoms struggled to fight VOC at that time).
Know what is our SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threat), and define the best strategy based on that analysis. I think we should make maritime industry the top priority, since it is our competitive advantage. Competitive advantage is one of the basic principle to become a winner! Do what we can do the best that others cannot compete us. Do not try to do all by yourself.
We cannot be everything to everybody. But we can be something best to somebody, rather than be anything to anybody.
Let us do our best to make this great nation awake in our portion!