Sat, 12 Aug 2000

Bandung students greet Megawati with rallies

BANDUNG (JP): Two groups of Bandung students greeted Vice President Megawati Soekarnoputri on Friday with a demonstration, criticizing the government for failing to uphold law enforcement.

The students, grouped in the Bandung Young Indonesian Front (FIM-B) and Bandung Students' Movement Association (KPMB), criticized the government for failing to enforce the law properly. They demanded that Soeharto be brought to court soon.

Economic recovery had also failed, the students said.

Megawati visited here to attend graduation day at the State Administration Institute.

In her address she stressed that government officials must be responsive and intelligent in articulating the people's increasing demands.

"People have become more critical and more demanding for democratic government which respects human rights.

"Their main demand is clean governance, wider (regional) autonomy, proper exploitation of natural resources and an equitable financial balance between the central government and provincial and regency administrations," she told the 624 graduates.

The state-owned institute, formerly located in Jakarta, is dedicated to producing government officials. In the past its graduates held district head level posts in the regions and had great loyalty to the ruling group, Golkar.

"People are no longer the object of the government. A leadership style which lets reduces the people being merely the objects of the ruler will make no progress," she said.

Seven of the 624 graduates are East Timorese, who have decided to become Indonesian citizens.

The president of the institute, Marwoto Soewito said that six of the East Timorese would be posted to West, Central and East Java respectively, while the other one will be appointed to Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara.


A day earlier in Bandung, President Abdurrahman Wahid instructed the Office of the State Minister of Research and Technology to determine the course of the development of science and technology in the country.

"The future development of science and technology in Indonesia has no certain framework," the President said in an address at an event commemorating National Technology Awakening Day.

"Will we just develop applied technology for our daily needs, or will we develop technology in general, or a combination of applied and general technology? A combination may be preferable," he said.

"Japan has made many achievements in developing applied technology, yet it is the number one country in optic and electronic technology," he cited.

Whatever Indonesia would prefer, the development of technology must be based on moral values. "Morality means productivity, an increase in the quality of human life, the maintenance of democracy, the supremacy of law, freedom of speech and greater tolerance.

"Let's look back at history. After World War II, Japan, Germany, France and other countries developed their economies and technology, based on moral values. The result was that they made very significant achievements," he said.

The development of science and technology must be devoted to the benefit of mankind and the nation. "The government will not finance any research that is not related to this priority."

The President's entourage included First Lady Sinta Nuriyah and nine Cabinet ministers, including State Minister of Research and Technology A.S. Hikam and Minister of Home Affairs Surjadi Soedirdja.

The nine ministers signed an agreement on the promotion of technology in Indonesia.

The Indonesian National Technology Awakening Day dates back to the first flight of the N-250 Gatotkoco in Bandung on Aug. 10, five years ago.

The aircraft, produced by the state aircraft firm IPTN, used fly-by-wire technology, which was, at the time, an advance in aviation technology.

The peak of the commemoration of Technology Awakening Day was when the President honored two people considered the most meritorious in the development of technology with the Kalyanakretya 2000 award.

The recipients were Juanda Suraatmadja, an expert in concrete technology at the Bandung Institute of Technology and Husaini Mahdin Anwar, a nutritionist at the Bogor Institute of Agriculture. (25/sur)