Delivering good news is ‘pahala’, says SBY
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) told journalists covering his one-week state visit to New York, the US, to report good news in order to attain “pahala” (rewards from God).
The message was unexpectedly delivered in the form of an in-flight intercom announcement made shortly after the Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-300 carrying the President and delegates touched down at Jakarta’s Halim Perdanakusuma air base on Sunday morning.
“To the press, deliver good news to the Indonesian people so that they are grateful that their country has reached a respectful position in the global arena,” Yudhoyono said on the intercom.
“Of course, whenever there are shortcomings, it might be necessary for the press to run the stories. However, you will get high pahala if you deliver the truth and good news,” he went on.
Yudhoyono, First Lady Ani Yudhoyono, a number of Cabinet members and delegates had just returned from a state visit to New York, which was mainly centered on the UN headquarters where he addressed the 67th session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, last week.
He had held bilateral meetings with numerous heads of state, such as the Japanese prime minister, the Bulgarian president, the Italian prime minister and the Finnish president.
On Saturday, The Jakarta Post ran a story about Yudhoyono failing to respond to a journalist’s question during a Q-and-A session at a press conference after the first meeting of the UN High-level panel on post-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The story has widely prompted discussion about Yudhoyono’s English proficiency. (lfr)