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TANRI ABENG SPEECH ON 5th WIEF - YOUNG LEADERS FORUM

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen
In encapsulating “Indonesia’s experience in developing Muslim leadership against the backdrop of a culturally and religiously diverse society”, we have to first understand on what basis Indonesia holds its founding principles on.

With about 220 million habitants spread out in 17,000 islands, Indonesia is a country of diverse cultures with hundreds of ethnic groups speaking more than 742 languages and dialects with all types of religions – Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism.

However, through this range of diversity, Indonesia’s founding principles is the Pancasila which is the official philosophical foundation of the Indonesian state. In essence, the Indonesian society is deemed parallel to a utopian village in which society is egalitarian, the economy is structured on the basis of mutual self-help, and decision making is by consensus.

Although there is such a mixture of culture but yet dominated by a large base of Muslims, the state lives by the principle of unity through diversity - the Indonesian coat of arms “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” means “unity in diversity.”

Muslim leaders in Indonesia were developed at an early age through such founding principles that provided a sense of nationalism, namely our Indonesian Presidents, Sukarno, Suharto, Habibie, Megawati, and our present President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Unity principle for Indonesian leaders embodies the concept of nationalism, of love for one’s nation and motherland, and the need to always foster national unity and integrity. Indonesia’s nationalism requires that Indonesians avoid discrimination for reasons of ethnicity, ancestry and skin color.
For these stated reasons, Indonesian Muslim leaders are actually enriched through its diversity of cultures and religions instead of hindered by it.

We hope that we are able to impart the Indonesian wisdom and experiences in developing its leaders as it is vital to the success of any country or organization to ensure the government or company understands the need to develop high performers based on solid code of conduct and principles.

Thank You.

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