Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti awarded honorary doctorate degree

Semarang, C Java (ANTARA News) - Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Minister Susi Pudjiastuti was conferred an honorary doctorate degree by the State Diponegoro University (Undip) in Semarang, Central Java, on Saturday.

Minister Susi Pudjiastuti deserved this honor for her achievements and services in the progress of the maritime sector in Indonesia, the rector of the university, Prof. Yos Johan Utama, said.

Minister Susi is known for her fight against illegal fishing, and for ordering the sinking of boats indulging in such malpractice in the countrys waters.

Susi, who left school when she was still in the second year of senior high school, was seen wiping away her tears during the presentation ceremony.

Her eyes seemed to have welled up while watching a video narrating her life story at the university auditorium.

Her speech expressing thanks was punctuated throughout with the minister, overcome by emotions, fighting back tears.

In her confirmation speech, she spoke about "Eradication of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing: Reinforcing Sovereignty and Preserving Sustainability for the Welfare of the Nation."

Born on January 15, 1965, she admitted she left school while she was still in the second year of SMA Negeri I (state senior high school) in Yogyakarta and, therefore, was skeptical if she actually deserved the award.

She even pointed out that she actually did ask for a competency test to determine if she was really fit for the honor.

"A team then came to my house and conducted an interview. The score of the test was quite high. This actually surprised me," she noted.

Rector Yos Johan Utama reiterated, "The score of her competency test was nine. This proves that a smart person may not always come via a university."

Regarding the maritime conditions in Indonesia, Susi admitted that a lot of problems need to be settled, though one by one but comprehensively.

"When it comes to illegal fishing, everybody knows that people involved in it are not common folk. Fish and sea, however, are resources that are linked to the nations sovereignty," she stressed.

The ceremony was attended by Minister of Research and Technology Prof. Muhammad Nasir, Health Minister Nila F Muluk and Central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo.(*)