Chinese-Indonesians told to be active in development
Fikri Zaki Muhammadi
The Jakarta Post
High-ranking state officials Thursday reiterated their warranty for the equal treatment of Chinese-Indonesians conducting business, as well as daily activities, and expected that the latter would contribute to producing development policies.
Regional Representatives Council (DPD) speaker Irman Gusman said that Indonesians of Chinese descent were important in the efforts to develop the nation, and that they should remain bound with society to continue their moves.
'Since the colonial era, to independence, until today, Chinese-Indonesians have been part of development,' Irman said during the Indonesian Chinese Entrepreneur Community (Permit) conference at The Rich Prada Hotel in Pecatu, Badung.
'Permit must gather with all elements of society to build the country, there is no space for racism. Our challenge is globalization, so we all must unite,' he said.
Similarly, Indonesian Military (TNI) Chief Gen. Moeldoko, who was also present at the event, said that all citizens must unite to avoid falling for proxy wars which, he said, often appeared nowadays threatening national security.
'In a democracy, there is no such thing as the majority and the minority. [If they exist] then it only shows that our knowledge on the concept of nationalism still lags,' said the newly installed military chief.
Permit held on Wednesday and Friday its second national conference after its establishment in 2010. The meeting ordered its members to actively take part in boosting Indonesia's economy and public prosperity in the next five years through a set of programs.
The programs are to open new job opportunities and scholarships, establish low-interest lending programs, and provide free health care and legal aid for the underprivileged.
Community chairman Tahir said that the central board was ready with Rp 100 billion (US$8.69 million) to implement the programs.
The community's regional branches are expected to formulate their implementing programs based on local conditions within the next three months, and propose these to the central board for funding. As of now, the organization has 50 branches across 20 provinces and 30 cities.
If approved, they will receive 50 percent of the funds and be required to take responsibility for gathering the remainder.
In Thursday's event, the community started providing tuition and health care for wives and children of military personnel.
Tahir's Bank Mayapada handed Rp 2 billion to the Dharma Pertiwi Foundation ' which is chaired by Moeldoko's wife, Koesni Harningsih Moeldoko.
To prevent the group being seen as exclusive in establishing PERMIT, its own communal organization, Tahir said he would collaborate with Muslim, Minang and Bugis merchants to implement more programs together.
'The cooperation can be in any form. We will talk with them later,' he said Thursday.
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