President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo delivers his speech in a traditional Baduy attire at the People's Consultative Assembly's annual session on August 16, 2021. (JG Screenshot)

The Pandemic is Like a Fire: Jokowi


AUGUST 16, 2021

Jakarta. President Joko “Jokowi'' Widodo kicked off his remarks at the People’s Consultative Assembly’s annual session on Monday by comparing the Covid-19 pandemic to a fire — while it "burns", the pandemic can teach us many lessons for the better.

“Crisis, recession, and pandemic are like a fire. If possible, we prevent it, but if it happens, there are many things that we can learn from. Fire burns, but it illuminates at the same time,” Jokowi said.

"If under control, it inspires and motivates. It hurts, but also strengthens. We want this pandemic to illuminate us to introspect, improve ourselves, and strengthen ourselves, in facing future challenges," he said.

Jokowi highlighted how Indonesia's independence was the fruit that came through the struggle in all fields. Indonesia had also overcame past recessions and crises since gaining independence.

"Every obstacle strengthens social foundations, political foundations, as well as the economic foundations of the Indonesian nation. Every stage teaches us lessons and takes us towards improvement in our lives," the president said.

In his speech, Jokowi revealed the pharmaceutical industry, vaccines, and medical equipment independence remains a serious weakness that must be addressed. Even so, the pandemic has boosted the domestic pharmaceutical industry. It has also spurred the development of the homegrown Merah Putih vaccine, as well as medical oxygen.

"We will continue to assure the supply and affordability of medicines. There is zero tolerance for anyone who toys with this humanitarian and national mission," Jokowi added.

According to Jokowi, the government is sparing no efforts to secure the national vaccine supply. At the same time, Indonesia continues to fight for equitable vaccine access for all nations as it is impossible to win the war against Covid-19 if unequal vaccine distribution persists.

"Through this vaccine diplomacy, we have shown the world that Indonesia actively participates in carrying out world order based on independence, eternal peace, and social justice," he said.