The Jakarta Post
Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri has brushed off criticism against her comments regarding the country’s millennials, saying she was pleased her statement had triggered a public discussion on the topic.
The former president drew controversy when she questioned millennials’ contribution to societal welfare, suggesting that the generation only seemed to do little but participate in demonstrations.
“I was asking about what the millennial [generation] has done for the country. Not as individuals,” Megawati said during a speech at a PDI-P event on Saturday, as quoted by kompas.com.
“I know there are a lot of successful young people, but they are entrepreneurs. What I meant [to ask] was, how many of [them] helped the people?”
She insisted that her statement was true, claiming that the ensuing controversy was a testament to its merit.
“Why do I have to be bullied for saying so? I was correct,” Megawati said.
In a fiery speech on Wednesday, in which Megawati was responding to recent nationwide rallies against the controversial Job Creation Law, she had questioned the millennials’ contribution to the nation.
Megawati, a notable figure during the 1998 Reform Era, acknowledged that street protests had been allowed since the pro-democracy reform, but she said they should not result in the destruction of public facilities.
"What is your contribution to this nation and country? I don't care if I get bullied. Are protesting and destroying the only things you [millennials] can do?” (rfa)