Sat, 29 Oct 1994

Soeharto asks youths to sponsor reforms

JAKARTA (JP): President Soeharto asked Indonesian youths yesterday to sponsor reforms for the nation building program.

The President said the youths should realize that the nation needs progressive reforms.

Speaking at the commemoration of the 66th anniversary of the Youth Pledge, Soeharto also emphasized the importance of the state ideology of Pancasila to the survival of the nation in facing the strong rush of globalization.

The ceremony, which took place at the Senayan Sports Stadium, was attended by 2,000 youths. Also attending the ceremony were First Lady Tien Soeharto, Vice President and Mrs. Try Sutrisno, cabinet ministers, Jakarta Governor Surjadi Soedirja, several foreign ambassadors and a delegation of Malaysian youths.

The 1928 Youth Pledge was proclaimed by young leaders who led various ethnic and religious groups but decided to unite into a nationalistic federation. They declared that they belonged to one nation and one country, Indonesia, and vowed to respect the national language, Bahasa Indonesia.

Soeharto said: "Now, the globalization process has started to penetrate all aspects of our nation's life."

"We do not need to curb the globalization flow although there are negative impacts on our nation because it also has positive aspects that can support us in making more progress," said the President.

Soeharto warned the younger generation of their historical duty to take part in national development.

"If the youths before Indonesian independence shouldered the task to overthrow colonialism, we now have the duty to develop our nation," President Soeharto said.


Soeharto said that the youths should develop self-reliance, professionalism, a spirit of entrepreneurship and creativity during the second long-term development program, also called the second national awakening.

"Self-reliance is important to the younger generation when facing today's challenges; professionalism is needed to improve their productivity; entrepreneurial skill should be developed to create business opportunities; and creativity should be improved to create things useful for all," he said.

During the ceremony, Soeharto also presented awards to a number of youths for their meritorious deeds in pioneering various development programs.

The programs launched last year aim at simultaneously providing job opportunities for university graduates and speeding up development in lesser developed villages.

Yesterday's ceremony also featured mass dancing, folk and pop songs and hundreds of youths.

The cultural performance portrayed the youths in their struggle national unity. (rms)