VP Confused Over Two Indonesian Diaspora Networks

Most Indonesian Muslims do not want non-Muslims in leadership positions in government, which points to rising political intolerance in the country, a survey showed on Monday (24/09). (Reuters Photo/Darren Whiteside)

By : Jakarta Globe | on 9:06 PM August 21, 2017
Category : News

Jakarta. Vice President Jusuf Kalla urged the Indonesian diaspora networks to unite on Monday (21/08) at the opening of the Indonesian Diaspora Global Summit in Jakarta.

"Don't confuse the public. I'm confused myself. Recently, there was a diaspora congress, and now there's another one. Which one is legitimate? Don't copy political parties in Indonesia. You must set an example," Kalla said, as quoted by Suara Pembaruan.

The summit is the second Indonesian diaspora congress that Jakarta sees this year. It was organized by the Indonesian Diaspora Network (IDN).

A similar congress, held in July, was organized by the Indonesia Diaspora Network Global (IDNG), whose board of trustees is chaired by Dino Patti Djalal. Former United States President Barack Obama gave his first post-presidential speech in Asia as the event's keynote speaker.

Kalla noted that he sees a division in the diaspora and expressed hope that its members will choose to unite for the sake of Indonesians.

He also instructed Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to assist in resolving the division.

"You are following the example of the Indonesian political parties, which are deeply divided as everyone wants to become the leader. Don't do this. It's not only confusing your members, but the public as well. Why is there another diaspora congress? I just learned from the foreign minister that there has been an issue," Kalla said.

The head of the organizing committee of the Indonesian Diaspora Global Summit, Herry Utomo, said last week that the two congresses are not in contradiction, but rather strengthen each other.

Monday's event was also attended by ministers, including Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan and National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro.

Contributing to Development of Papua and West Papua

The two-day summit aims to focus on how the Indonesian diaspora can take concrete steps to become a force of change in the country, with a particular focus on development efforts in Papua and West Papua.

"Indonesia is undergoing change as we speak. This is an opportunity for the diaspora, if they truly want to help build Indonesia, especially in Papua," Luhut said during his opening speech, as quoted by Metrotvnews.com.

According to Luhut, it is important that the diaspora community participate in developing the crucial sectors — education, health and agriculture — in both Papua and West Papua.

He expressed hope that the sectors can be further developed through research and technological aid programs, given that many members of the diaspora have expertise in these fields.

The 4th Indonesian Diaspora Global Summit is held on Aug. 21-22 in collaboration with the Indonesian Diaspora Business Council (IDBC) and the Indonesian Diaspora Foundation (IDF) at the JS Luwansa Hotel in South Jakarta.

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