Pontianak, West Kalimantan (ANTARA) - Regional Representative Council (DPD RI) Speaker AA LaNyalla Mahmud Mattalitti has urged the authorities to allow traditional kings and sultans to have a say in national development.

"Civil society entities of traditional kingdoms and sultanates have played their role in the development of Indonesian nation since the past," Speaker Mattalitti said during a visit to Sekadau, West Kalimantan, on Friday.

He reiterated his commitment to support the Sumedang Declaration proclaimed by traditional kings and sultans urging the authorities to recognize their voice in national, regional, and cultural development.

"Moral and material contributions of the Nusantara kingdoms and sultanates to the birth of the nation are not minor, and it is not an exaggeration if I called them one of the principal stakeholders of this country," the speaker said.

Kings and sultans have played a role in the past in shaping the conscience that they are part of the Indonesian nation, he remarked.

"Before the establishment of Boedi Oetomo in 1908, Sarekat Islam was established earlier in 1905, but before the Sarekat Islam establishment, Cut Nyak Dhien from Aceh Sultanate and Prince Diponegoro of Yogyakarta Sultanate played their role in resisting the Dutch colonialism in the past," Mattalitti stated.

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Besides Cut Nyak Dhien and Diponegoro, history has recorded other kingdoms who have resisted colonialism: Balinese kingdoms of Buleleng, Karangasem, and Klungkung; Mataram Sultanate under the reign of Raden Mas Said; and Gowa-Tallo Sultanate, he added.

Though not all kingdoms and sultanates emerged victorious against the Dutch, their resistance inspired independence fighters who succeeded them, the speaker said.

"In essence, the contribution of Nusantara kingdoms and sultanates has been proven in national history. The kingdoms and sultanates have also bequeathed their advanced culture, tradition, and values to Indonesia's civilization," Mattalitti remarked.

As the kingdoms and sultanates have contributed to national independence in the past, their voice should also be heard for future development, he said.

"It is unfair if only political parties have a say in determining the direction of the nation's future. I suggested that the Constitution be amended not only to improve our national system but also to remind the authority and the people to respect those who have contributed to the birth of this nation," Mattalitti added.

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Translator: Rendra Oxtora, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Suharto
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