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President: 'Indonesia breaks democracy myths' SINGAPORE - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said Indonesia had broken a number of myths and stereotypes about democracy during his democratization processes.

Indonesia`s democracy was one of the most significant political developments in the first decade of the 21st century, President Yudhoyono said in his speech when receiving honorary doctorate from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore on Monday.

"To begin with, we broke the notion that democracy and economic growth are not mutually exclusive. There was a time decades ago when Indonesians felt that we had to choose between two critical objectives: either a lot of democracy but little economic growth; or a lot of economic growth but little political freedom," he explained.

But, it turned out the nation did not have to choose between democracy and development because it has managed to achieve both.

"We have become a solid democracy - with three periodic elections in 1999, 2004 and 2009 - while at the same time attaining high economic growth around 6%. Thus we have demonstrated that democracy and economic growth can be mutually reinforcing," he added.

To achieve this, Indonesia has adopted a four-track development strategy�pro growth, pro job, pro poor, and pro environment, which aims to promote a balanced and comprehensive economic development.

Indonesia has also proved that democracy, Islam and modernity can go well together. "Yes, Islamic political parties at some point proliferated, but they have also become staunch defenders of our democracy and our religious freedom," he said.

According to the head of state, Muslims in Indonesia are very comfortable with democracy and with modernity. Thus, the Indonesian democracy may well offer valuable lessons to Arab Spring countries who are now facing similar challenges, he added.

"Our experience has also shown that democracy does not necessitate the presence of a large middle-class. There is a school of thought who would argue that a nation would be ready for democracy once a large middle-class is in place," Yudhoyono said.

The enthusiasm for democracy is high across all levels of economic spectrum in Indonesia, including among the rich, the middle-class, and the poor, he said. "They all energetically go to the ballot box because they believe that their vote counts, and relevant for their future," he stated.

On the occasion, Yudhoyono expressed his gratitude to NTU for giving him the honorary doctorate. "I am pleased that my two sons, Agus Harimurti and Edhie Baskoro, also earned their masters` degrees from NTU. Well, I know not many fathers would say this about their sons, but I am glad that I am following in their foot-steps," he said.


Related blog entries (category 'Politics') Related blog entries (category 'Politics'):
20 April 2013 · President Yudhoyono to visit three ASEAN countries
16 April 2013 · Yenny Wahid drops plan to join Democrat Party
09 April 2013 · President: 'Indonesian military and police chiefs to be replaced'
30 March 2013 · Yudhoyono named new democrat party general chairman
30 March 2013 · Ruling Democratic party looking for new leader
28 March 2013 · Democratic party needs uncontroversial figure

Related blog entries (category 'Politics') Tags: President, Yudhoyono, speech, democracy


Posted in Politics @ 23 April 2013 15:53 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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