The Jakarta Post
The Title, Order of Merit and Honors Council has discussed names of candidates who may be declared national heroes on Nov. 10, when the country celebrates National Heroes Day.
All candidates come from areas outside Java.
The council's deputy chairman, Jimly Asshiddiqie, said on Thursday that its decision to nominate non-Javanese people was based on criticism raised by several historians, who had said the nomination of Indonesia’s national heroes was too Java-centric.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo had instructed the council to be more "balanced" in naming candidates, he added.
“The President is fully aware of the criticism, so we counted how many heroes each province has had. It seems that this year, all [new national heroes] will come from outside Java,” he said at the State Palace in Jakarta on Thursday.
Jimly further said the council had nominated nine candidates, but only three of them would be declared this year, while the remainder would be announced in the coming years.
"Of the nine candidates we have discussed, not all will be announced this year," he said.
Jimly said none of the candidates for this year’s national hero award were from eastern areas of Indonesia.
“All candidates come from Aceh to Kalimantan. We named national heroes from areas in eastern Indonesia last year," he said. (ebf)