Jakarta (ANTARA) - The prolonged COVID-19 pandemic has once again forced the Indonesian people to commemorate Pancasila Day virtually.

Wearing the traditional attire of South Kalimantan, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) led the commemoration ceremony, held in a "hybrid" manner, from the Bogor Presidential Palace, while high-ranking officials gathered in the yard of the Pancasila Building inside the Foreign Ministry compound in Jakarta, or joined in the celebrations from their offices.

Those who participated in the ceremony included chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), Bambang Soesatyo, who read out the Pancasila text, and chief of the House of Representatives (DPR), Puan Maharani, who read out the preamble to the 1945 Constitution (UUD1945).

The Indonesian people have been commemorating the birth of the Pancasila ideology since 2017, following the signing of Presidential Decree no. 24 of 2016 by the President, who also declared June 1 as a national holiday.

The Pancasila (Five Principles), which reflect the Indonesian state’s philosophy, were first articulated on June 1, 1945, in a speech delivered by Sukarno before the preparatory committee for Indonesia’s independence, sponsored by the Japanese colonizers.

Sukarno had argued that the future Indonesian state should be based on Five Principles: Indonesian nationalism; internationalism, or humanism; consent, or democracy; social prosperity; and, belief in one God. Indonesia proclaimed its independence on August 17, 1945, and Sukarno went on to become its first president.

Following a consensus among Indonesia’s founding fathers, the Pancasila, in a slightly altered order and amended wording, was enshrined in the 1945 Constitution, passed on August 18, 1945. The doctrine now envisaged belief in one God, a just and civilized humanity, Indonesian unity, democracy under the wise guidance of representative consultations, and social justice for all the people of Indonesia.

Speaking at this year's commemoration, Widodo pointed to the increasingly formidable challenges to upholding the Pancasila values in the community amid rapid technological development and global interaction.

Rapid interaction among members of the global community in the era of globalization has not spontaneously promoted common views and strengthened unity, he noted. Instead, it has given rise to several challenges, for which the nation must remain vigilant, he added.

"What makes us remain vigilant is the increasing rivalries and competition, including those related to inter-views, inter-values, and inter-ideologies," he said.

The development of science and technology has also had an impact on the technological constellation, he pointed out.

The fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) has made it easier for the international community to hold dialogs, interact, and engage in organizations, he said. With 5G connectivity reaching a global scale, international interactions have increasingly become easier and faster, he pointed out.

"International radical ideologies have capitalized on the facilities to penetrate all areas, all classes, and all age groups in Indonesia, regardless of place and time," the President said.

Hence, there is a need to spread knowledge of the values of the Pancasila through extraordinary ways, he added.

"Our fellow countrymen and countrywomen, to face all these, to broaden and deepen the knowledge of Pancasila values, we cannot use ordinary ways but extraordinary ways," he remarked.

Meanwhile, commemorating the birth of Pancasila, State-owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir reiterated that Pancasila has been a unifying factor for the nation.

“Pancasila in actions, united for strong Indonesia. Commemorating Pancasila Day,” he wrote on his official Instagram account @erickthohir on June 1, 2021.

Pancasila Day, which is commemorated as the foundation of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI), holds historical value, he said. The five principles of Pancasila have a philosophical meaning as a reflection of the nation’s views on life, he added.

Earlier, Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita had said Pancasila Day must serve as a reminder to industrial players to make Indonesia more advanced by developing human resources and boosting the value-add of natural products.

“For me, Pancasila is so Indonesia. Hence, in the context of Pancasila Day, industrial players have to interpret it as the orientation to make Indonesia more advanced by developing human resources and boosting the value-add of natural products in attempts to strengthen our industrial structures,” the minister said.

In the meantime, Haedar Nasir, chairman of Muhammadiyah, the country's second largest Muslim organization, cautioned that Pancasila as the state ideology must not be politicized out of any vested interest.

"Stay away from politicizing Pancasila for any vested interest," he said in a written statement issued in Yogyakarta on June 1, 2021.

If history is any indication, any reduction, deviation, or politicization of the Pancasila will lead to distrust of the doctrine itself, he explained.

State policies related to Pancasila require sincerity, honesty, a statesman spirit, broad insight, and a spirit of unity, he stated.

"Don't bring Pancasila into something narrow and don't take Pancasila beyond itself, that is, Pancasila as the foundation and ideology of the state. Place Pancasila proportionally as the foundation and ideology of the state," Nasir advised.

And most importantly, Pancasila Day must not become a mere ritual or ceremony, and the doctrine must not be allowed to become just jargon or rhetoric, he stressed.

"It's not enough to just memorize Pancasila, or merely make it a doctrine and thoughts. We must practice Pancasila. We - the citizens of the nation, the nation's elites, in whatever position we are, must be role models in implementing Pancasila," he remarked.

Pancasila has been a unifying factor for the nation since the country's independence nearly 76 years ago.

However, since the 2014 presidential election, Indonesia has seen increasing political polarization, and in such a climate, it is crucial to remind people to stop politicizing the Pancasila.

Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2021