Habibie: Cultural Pluralism the Strength of a Country

SHAH ALAM, 6 Dec: Former President of the Republic of Indonesia, Prof Dr Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie (BJ Habibie) reminded everyone to preserve cultural pluralism for the strength of a country.

Taking Indonesia and Malaysia as an example, Habibie said that these two countries have long practiced cultural pluralism which has brought about unity amongst races.

“Pluralism is a symbol of a country’s strength and it must be defended by all societies.

“This practise has created more tolerant and accommodating societies,” he said in his speech during the Public Speaking programme entitled ‘Habibie and Indonesia‚Äôs Transition to Democracy’ at the University of Selangor (Unisel) this morning.

In his speech, he also reminded every leader to always maintain a positive attitude in administration as well as to endeavour to improve elements of culture, religion and technological mastery.

Habibie had taken office in May 1998 when Indonesia was hit by the political and economic crisis during that year.

He was recognised as a President who is responsible for freedom of expression, association and free media – the principles that were constrained during the rule of the previous president, General Muhammad Suharto – in Indonesia.

Also present were the Chief Minister of Selangor, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, Selangor Economic Advisor, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,
State Assembly Speaker, Datuk Teng Chang Khim and Selangor Executive Council members.

In his speech, Abdul Khalid said that the success of the Selangor People’s Alliance or better known as Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in promoting prudent governance, transparency and concern for social justice is the result of a democratic administration practised since 2008.

Abdul Khalid said that the effect of this practise is prevalent when Selangor managed to achieve success in terms of financial governance, investment and human capital development as certified by the 2011 Auditor General’s Report.

According to him, the State Government has prioritised programmes that involve welfare and skills training for women, persons with different abilities (OKU), senior citizens and children.

The principle of openness has also encouraged the Selangor PR to implement various measures to eradicate corruption within the administration.

“Corruption will oppress the less fortunate and give rise to social injustice.

“Corruption is also caused by bureaucratic red tape in the administration system.”

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