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Jakarta Post

Character is key to making a nation great, scholars say

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 6 2010   /  10:29 am

Character-building is an important aspect of developing a nation, and is an area Indonesia needs to focus on in its education, politics and business sectors, an education seminar heard on Wednesday.“Great countries build on the strength of character,” former environment minister Sarwono Kusumaatmaja said at the seminar organized by Outward Bound Indonesia. Sarwono said absurdity was abound in nations of weaker character.Several negative character traits undermined development in Indonesia, said Komaruddin Hidayat, a speaker from Jakarta’s State Islamic University.“Envy is rife among Indonesians — they do not like to see other people happy,” he said, relating this to violence and fatal clashes.The thoughts of German philosopher Immanuel Kant could benefit Indonesia, Komaruddin said, citing several examples.“Freedom is a value that must be maintained,” he said. “We also n...