Editorial: Bold Statesmanship Also Needed in Indonesia
It’s a good thing for President Joko Widodo that international statesmanship has nothing to do with the interests of his Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDI-P, and its head honcho, Megawati Soekarnoputri.
With his hangers-on and “advisers” not invested in this field, Joko can freely say what he wants to say, without fear of stepping on any toes.
And when he has that freedom, he can lead the region, charm the world and raise big ideas.
In his speech at the Asian-African Conference in Jakarta on Wednesday, Joko criticized the United Nations and the world’s financial institutions born out of the Bretton Woods system, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, for maintaining a Western-leaning imbalance of global economic and political power.
On behalf of Asian and African countries, he demanded reforms at the UN to reflect the changing world order, and a rethink of the “obsolete idea” that economic solutions could only come from the likes of the World Bank and IMF.
Joko has seized the moment when Indonesia is in the global spotlight — hosting two major events, the Asian-African Conference and, earlier this week, the World Economic Forum on East Asia.
We commend his bold and brave statements to fight for an equal, balanced and just world, which is in keeping with Indonesia’s own constitutional values of freedom, peace and social justice. His speech elevates Indonesia and confirms its status as the leader of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Now, we call on Joko to exhibit similar wisdom, toughness and boldness in handling domestic matters — the interests of his party and those around him be damned. Since he brought up the matter of reform, he should first reform his own country’s political parties and system of justice.
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Source: The Jakarta Globe