Jakarta (ANTARA) - Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto has stressed the importance of national unity given Indonesia’s unique pluralism.

According to a statement received here on Wednesday, at a forum held on Tuesday (May 30, 2023) night, Subianto emphasized how extraordinary the nation’s founding fathers were to have managed to unite the diverse Indonesian people from various ethnic groups, religions, and races.

"We are such a diverse country. Heterogeneity, if not treated properly, can have risks," he noted.

According to him, the effort to uphold unity reflects in the founding fathers' decision to make Bahasa Indonesia the national language.

"They did not choose the majority language. Bahasa Indonesia originated from Malay, from Sumatran areas, which were minorities," he said.

This proves that the founding fathers were not figures who emphasized subjective thoughts such as primordialism, he added.

"If Indonesian leaders think in tribalism, primordialism, and (toward) the Javanese as the majority, our leaders like Bung Karno (first President Soekarno) would be fighting for the majority language to become the national language, but they did not," the minister explained.

The choice of Bahasa Indonesia, which was previously a minority language, was a step to unify Indonesia, he said, adding that this unity must be maintained by current and future leaders as other countries are still facing difficulty uniting because they do not have a national language.

"Many other countries find it challenging (to unite their people) as they do not yet have a national language. This is the brilliance of our founding fathers," he said.

In addition, Subianto said he believes that Pancasila, which is the fruit of the brilliance of the founding fathers, is a guideline for Indonesia for facing the threats of neocolonialism.

He added that Pancasila, as the foundation of the state, can unite all different ethnic groups, languages, customs, and regions.
"Without Pancasila, the Republic of Indonesia can be threatened. Pancasila is the one that unites us," he said.

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Translator: Gilang G, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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