Tue, 09 Aug 1994

Emil warns of excesses from industrialization

JAKARTA (JP): Senior economist Emil Salim says Indonesia should anticipate some of the maladies found in Western society, most notably materialism, individualism, consumerism and secularism as it forges forward its industrialization program.

"We should learn from the Western experience in carrying out their industrial revolution," Emil said during a seminar on industrial society yesterday.

"We have to choose between allowing the nation to develop into a Western-style industrial society or creating a new one which is more in accordance with Indonesian culture.

Materialism, individualism, consumerism and secularism would damage the value system the nation has since long held, said Emil, who served in President Soeharto's cabinets for over two decades until last year.

He is now lecturing at the School of Economics of the University of Indonesia.

The seminar is the seventh and last of a series organized by the Ministry of Manpower since June. The two-day seminar is scheduled to be closed today by Vice President Try Sutrisno.

The industrialization process, which began in Europe in 19th century, is now affecting countries in Asia, like Taiwan and South Korea, Emil said in his keynote address.

The kind of industrial society which Indonesia is striving should be built upon strong moral and religious values, and on the state ideology Pancasila, and not simply on economic principles, he said.

"Moral and religious values and the communal system should be encouraged to grow because they can counter the negative impacts of the industrial society," he said.

Service sector

Emil said in his paper that Indonesia, in carrying out its industrialization process, should also strive to develop its services sector which is as important as the manufacturing sector in terms of providing job opportunities and in generating foreign exchange revenues.

He cited banking and tourism as two of the most potential fields in the services sector. (rms)