The Jakarta Post
Opening an event to commemorate Indonesia’s Archipelago Day in Cirebon, West Java, on Wednesday, Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo pledged more government support to develop the country’s maritime industries.
Appearing at the event on behalf of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Tjahjo expressed his hope that the commemoration could form the basis for developing the character of the Indonesian people, who were deeply acquainted with the sea and had made it their home.
“We must build […] Indonesia into a maritime country, so the world will respect us,” he said as quoted by tempo.co.
Tjahjo also expressed his hope that Archipelago Day, this year themed “Strengthening mutual cooperation amid archipelagic diversity to make Indonesia the world’s maritime fulcrum,” would not remain a ceremonial event but instead serve as a model for developing the country’s outermost islands.
“This is a synergy of programs proposed by ministries and institutions for Indonesia’s maritime development,” said Tjahjo.
The minister reminded participants about the spirit of the “Djuanda Declaration,” in which the sea was perceived not as a barrier but a unifier of the nation.
“President Jokowi said during his inauguration that Indonesia had turned its back on the maritime sector for too long,” said Tjahjo. “As a maritime country, the ocean is our future.”
He further said Cirebon had been appointed as the host of the 2017 Archipelago Day because it had long played a fundamental role in Indonesia’s maritime economy.
“We hope trade between Java and Sumatra can be conducted directly through Cirebon once they are connected by a fast maritime [transportation] route,” said Tjahjo. (nmn/ebf)