University Students as the Main Instrument of State Defending

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The act of maintaining and expressing gratefulness toward Indonesia’s independence as a sovereign nation is a bridge to the vision of Golden Indonesia in 2045. Improving the quality of human resources with nationalist and adaptive characteristics toward development is needed to support the realization of that vision.

The aforementioned statement was delivered by the Member of the Steering Committee of Pancasila Ideology Development Board, Prof. Dr. Mohammad Mahfud M.D., S.H., S.U. in a general lecture with the theme “State Defending and the Strengthening Pancasila Values” organized by the International Relations Study Program of President University and its student association at the President University Convention Center, Cikarang, West Java on Thursday 17 October 2019.

This general lecture is part of a commemoration series of the 10th Anniversary of International Relations Study Program of President University, to which this general lecture is scheduled to be an annual event at President University at the beginning of freshmen’s school year.

This general lecture was attended by the Chairperson of President University Foundation Prof. Dr. Ir. Budi Susilo Soepandji, D.E.A., Secretary of President University Foundation Dr. Ir. Chairy, S.E., M.M., Minister of Manpower and Transmigration (2005-2009) Dr. Ir. H. Erman Soeparno, MBA, M.Si, the Rector of President University Prof. Dr. Jony Oktavian Haryanto, and President University’s academics.

The event started with remarks from the Head of the International Relations Study Program Drs. Muhammad A.S. Hikam, M.A., Ph.D. who also served as the Minister of State for Research and Technology in the Persatuan Nasional Cabinet (1999-2001). According to Hikam, the theme played an important role in strengthening the life and spirit of state defending primarily for students in solving problems that exist in Indonesia today.

In this general lecture, Mahfud who was also the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of Indonesia for the period of 2008-2013 said that the independence that was achieved at this time was due to the unity of Indonesia.  “Indonesia is the only country in the world that is independent because its people were united to drive out the colonialists,” Mahfud said, quoting the Chairman & Founder of PT. Jababeka, Tbk. and President University S.D. Darmono in one of his books.

According to Mahfud, the progressive revolutionary step of young people to accelerate the proclamation was one way to prevent the system of granting independence from Japan to Indonesia. Therefore, the task of youth today is to maintain independence by fostering an attitude of nationalism and Unity in Diversity or Bhinneka Tunggal Ika through state defending based on the values of Pancasila that is independent, united, sovereign, just, and prosperous with its geopolitics.

“Oftentimes, the form of state defending is only interpreted conventionally and is associated with the Indonesian National Armed Forces and Indonesian National Police,” said Mahfud. “Whereas according to the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia state defending is also part of the total defense system where all citizens are part of the instruments in defending the country, especially university students who play the role as the agents of change,” he continued. To close the lecture, Mahfud emphasized the role of universities to create better human resources, master science, and technology, and be ready to face the industrial revolution by fostering the spirit of national defense.