How to Support Democracy: The Case of Indonesia

How to Support Democracy: The Case of Indonesia
(Agus Widjojo, January 24, 2018)

Transcript available below

Watch his speaker playlist

About the speaker

Lieutenant General TNI Agus Widjojo (Army; Ret.) is currently the Governor of the Indonesian National Resilience Institute – a ministerial-level agency directly under the President of Indonesia.  General Widjojo, along with Lieutenant General S.B. Yudhoyono (Indonesian President from 2004 to 2014), played a significant role in shaping the modern history of Indonesia. This he was able to do from his last two positions in his military career from 1998 to 2003.

He served as the Commandant of Joint Forces Command and Staff College, as Chief-of-Territorial (National Political-Strategic) Affairs for the Indonesian Armed Forces from 1998-2001 and as the Senior Deputy Speaker of Indonesian National Consultative Assembly (representing the Indonesian National Military and National Police) from 2001-2003. At that time, the Indonesian National Consultative Assembly was the highest governmental institution in Republic of Indonesia.

Gen. Widjojo was deeply involved with the reform of the socio-political role of the Indonesian Armed Forces – leading to the peaceful democratic succession of President Suharto in 1998 – with the separation of the National Military and National Police in 1999, with the amendment of the 1945 National Constitution, with the surrender of the privileged position of Chief-of-Territorial Affairs that he had previously held, and with the surrender of the Armed Forces faction in the Indonesian Parliament. He has been instrumental in the transformation of the National Military into a fully professional military, ready to sustain Indonesia in a democratic era.

General Widjojo is the author of the book, Transformation of Indonesian National Military. The agency that Gen. Widjojo currently leads is responsible for high-level national strategy-making, as well as for the policy, command, and staff education for national leadership in government and non-government sectors, including all democratically-elected leaders from the level of Mayor to Governor.

His previous active-duty military/strategic positions include serving as the J-4 (general planning) for the Commander of Indonesian Armed Forces, the Commander of 17th Airborne Brigade of Army Strategic Command and as the Serving Officer in the International Commission for Control and Supervision in Vietnam (1973-1974) and United Nations Emergency Force II (UNEF II) in Sinai (1975-1976). General Widjojo’s special interests are in the fields of security sector reform, democratization, and post-conflict reconciliation.

He was the International Fellow at the U.S. National Defense University, Washington, D.C. where he earned his Master’s Degree (M.S.) in National Security Strategy in 1994.  General Widjojo is the son of Major General TNI Sutojo Siswomihardjo, one of Indonesian National Heroes who was killed in the Indonesian Communist Party abortive coup d’etat in 1965.

For more on Indonesia, see James Clad’s Westminster talk, The Islamic State Attacks Indonesia – And its ‘Middle Way’, Wibawanto Nugroho’s Westminster talk, Understanding Islamist Radical Terrorism, and Jeff Moore’s Westminster talk, the Evolution in Islamic Insurgency in Asia.


Robert R. Reilly:

Tonight, it is a great privilege to have Agus Widjojo, who is a minister in the Indonesian government. He is a retired lieutenant general who has served in many key positions. His current position is governor of the Indonesian National Resilience Institute, a ministerial level agency that’s responsible for high-level policy and strategy formulation as well as for the strategic education of Indonesian senior leaders.

I refer to some of the key posts that the general governor has held as Commandant of Joint Forces Command and Staff College as chief of territorial affairs for the Indonesian Armed Forces, as the senior deputy speaker of the Indonesian national consultative assembly, which at that time was the sovereign power of Indonesia, and- and many others.

At the point to make, and I’m sure you’ll hear from the governor tonight though he may be too modest to say so, is the very key role that he has personally and professionally played in the transition and reforms in Indonesia that have led it to be the strong democratic constitutional country that it is provided and also a key role in the professionalization of the Indonesian military forces.

I quickly refer to just a couple of his publications. I don’t know, this one may surprise you that we have a copy. It’s a consideration of the human elements in the command estimate by General Widjojo [who] was at that time a lieutenant-colonel and this was published in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1988. And as well you look been at the National Defense University and and one of your other degrees that you have received here- also I want to point out that he is the author of “Transformation,” another book called, “Transformation of the Indonesian Military.” So please, general- Join me in welcoming governor- We join you as he addresses, “How to Support Democracy in a Pluralistic, Highly Religious Society.”

Lt. Gen. TNI Agus Widjojo:

Again, thank you very much for your attendance tonight. I am here at your service – to fulfill your thirst [for] knowledge of Indonesia. I have a wide subject or topic to cover, so maybe I just want to start with a large, wide, broad brush of Indonesia. Then I would enter and invite your questions, and entertain you in the discourse for my brief presentation, okay?

To understand Indonesia today, we have to understand where Indonesia came from in the past. Then we also had experienced quite a recent transition into democracy, which is still an ongoing process until now, and that would be the most interesting point because you can find all aspects mixed in those times in that transition. And what we are seeing and what we are hearing about Indonesia today [in] my opinion is still a result or in the context of that democratic transition. Then if I am asked, we started the democratic transition in 1998 when President Suharto resigned after being in power for about 30 plus years, and the Indonesian people decided and made that strategic decision to succeed that political system into a democratic political system.

1998, let us say it is 1999, let us say it is 2000. It is already 17 years, so people ask me, it is already 17 years, are you not bored with this transition? Well, I would make my point [by] referring to a political scientist – maybe Juan Linz, was it? – [who] said that the end of a democratic transition, which marks the start of democratic consolidation, is when everybody believes in democracy. He said that when democracy is the only game in town, and where principles of democracy are the only way to settle differences, [then you have transitioned to democracy].

I do not think we have seen this yet totally implemented in Indonesia because [Indonesia] is in [a] time of transition [and] not everybody in town believes that democracy is still the only game in town. There are elements in the society which believe that differences could be settled by political power, by showing how powerful they are through physical existence or appearance, by demonstrations, and we also still have yet to establish or to empower, to strengthen the arrangements of the democratic system.

Some say that also this is in the political literature, that the problems or challenges facing a democratic transition is the changes or challenges facing the establishment of the capacity of political institutions. And in a democratic transition where democracy has to open up for differences, for different aspirations, the competition and the race between the coming of various aspirations and the effectiveness of political institutions are there to be evaluated as to how effective that transition is.

And in this era in this time, we see in the converging world where borders, national borders, are diminishing, not in the sense of the physical borders of a country but the borders of the mixing of ideas and [ways of] thinking. We see that the growth of aspirations can be can be multiplied in a very fast way, which leaves the effort to enhance the capacity of political institutions lagging behind them. This is why we are seeing, if you notice, in those newly democratic countries, Indonesia is rather lucky. There are in the region, countries like Myanmar. There are countries in the Middle East, [made] famous in the Arab Spring, [which] are struggling in this democratic transition.

Democratic transition is not a linear process. Sometimes it is a two step forward, one step backward, one step forward, two steps backward. It is a muddling through process. The democratic transition was marked by, again, as I have said, the resignation of President Suharto, which was followed by the amendment of the Constitution. Actually, that was the start of the political transition of the Indonesian democracy that changed the political system.

Some of the significant features are where in the past the president was elected by the National Assembly, now all public elected public officials, the parliamentarians, the representatives of the people of Indonesia, the Regional Council, the regional elected public officials, [and] the president are now directly elected by the people, so we have a direct election for all those public officials. [This] marked the start of this democratic transition through the amendment of the Constitution.

Secondly, also quite a significant feature of the transition was the termination of the sociopolitical role of the military. In the past, the military had a dual function, which formally and legally played a role in social politics, that has been terminated through the termination of the dual function doctrine. That was significant and it was also unique in the sense that it was the military which voluntarily reformed itself to leave the role in social politics, and that the political transition into democracy was left solely to the civilian politicians. The military had no involvement at all in that democratic transition, and it was left totally to the civilian politicians.

So in this highly dynamic political or social situation of Indonesia, if we ask and assess, I think, the methodology that I would propose to you to ask the question [of] how this should be arranged, then we have to look into the consensus of the people, which is represented by the Constitution. And if we draw further back into history, there is an interesting point there also, that we were given the geographical area of an archipelago in the equator which spreads as far as almost Western Europe, and that that archipelago has been occupied by various ethnic groups.

Those various ethnic groups had very much their own languages and they abide by their own faith of religion, so that it is a representation of Bhinekka Tunggal Ika, [which is] close enough to the meaning of the English of ‘unity in diversity,’ so by that our founding fathers when they formulated or when they framed the Constitution, they conducted deliberations and came to a consensus that [they] should provide an overarching Constitution to allow all these differences to be accommodated. That was the consensus by our founding fathers, that we should live in Indonesia [that way].

Okay, so the first element is that if we ask how should it be arranged in Indonesia with that situation, then we have to look into the Constitution as an implementation of the consensus of our founding fathers in 1945, when we found our independence, and that was the consensus of our founding fathers.

Secondly is that if we are to find answers as to why this change becomes, I would not say difficult, but not so easy because all these cannot be separated as to how we live, and that comes into the aspect of the culture. We are basically a paternalistic society, and having a paternalistic traditional culture, we just cannot live without leaders, and we tend to seek, to look for leaders to lead us.

And actually, if we look into hindsight, again, into our history, most of them, we see that they were filled with the existence of kingdoms [and] sultanates, so the people accommodated or experienced or made up their traditional culture based on the traditional pop culture of the people [who] had a leader in the form of a sultan [or] in the form of a king. And that forms as our traditional culture. We tend to look for leaders. What are leaders for? To decide our destiny, and this has also its practice right down into the family.

When I was a child in my family, and although I am grown up now, in the eyes of my parents, I am still a child. When there is an issue or a problem in the family, the head of the family makes the decision, and the children never challenge that decision. Okay? We [will] come to the current changes maybe later on, but that was the basis of the culture, and what I want to say is that in this democratic transition, that leaves an impact. We are always looking for a leader, and what is unfortunate is that we tend to see leaders as perfect leaders, which does not exist in the theory books of leadership, which does not exist in reality because the role of leaders are carried by human beings, and there is no human being that can be [perfect] or that has no deficiencies, right? Okay.

In our traditional culture, we also tend to have a large influence of our emotions. We tend to think and we tend to act more based by our emotions, instincts, intuitions rather than our rationality. If we support, if we adore one leader, it is like falling in love, everything is perfect. But once we saw cracks in that person in which we thought that he or she was perfect, then we can go to the opposite [extreme]. We can hate that person.

So that is the second characteristic. So, we are emotional, and yes, what I wanted to say was that we are looking for perfect leaders for a perfect relationship, which never existed in reality, but what is worse is that we miss expected things that are part of the principles of democracy. We thought that democracy would provide or deliver those perfect leaders, and we kept looking and waiting for those perfect leaders [to emerge] out of political elections. Maybe until now, not everybody [was] aware that democracy never promises perfect leaders. If democracy has to take sides between competence, even looks, vis-à-vis popularity, democracy will take sides with popularity. This has not been realized maybe by some segments of the public.

[Another] thing that is not realized is that they thought that democracy is only a machine to provide leaders. They never realized that the soul of democracy is the sovereignty of the people. A presidential election is not a competition to find the smartest candidate, but it is to find a person who will be constitutionally able to say that I represent the people. Why? I collected most of the votes.

Now, these are these are the mixed expectations in times of transition, and that is why I have said that the transition can come in to reality in a muddling through process, so that is where Indonesia is. And what we see now [in] Indonesia is situations, values, new values, which challenge these old norms or things that we have taken as what it should be. For instance, in the past, because of its pluralistic nature, for differences we tend to conform. We tend to say that there is only one way to define what is right. There is one source of truth, [whereas] in democracy we have to open up to differences of opinions. And again, to handle or to manage those differences, we need effective political institutions, and that is still an ongoing process. We are still working on it. This poses a challenge to a new democracy.

And if we see that there are many differences of opinions [in] like the books that I saw on my way in here, differences in Islam where in the past that have not came up to the surface, I think that these different versions of Islam, which came to the surface in Indonesia, we should not see that only as a negative dynamic but that can also be said to be [evidence] that democracy is working in Indonesia, and that Indonesia has learned to face differences of opinions. And the reality is that I can say that those differences in the end never came or never developed into, let us say, [a] physical clashes or frictions. In the end, they can come into if not a solution but an ending, so this is where Indonesia is currently.

There are a lot of changes and challenges, and as for the region, I am lucky to be accompanied by political counselors from the embassy. I think he is the authoritative resource person to answer [questions about the region]. But before I go to what is happening in the region, I think what is happening in Indonesia is not only of the dynamics internally within Indonesia, but we see also how in the international strategic environment, things are changing drastically. We see even in the United States itself, which led into its implications in other parts of the world, in the Middle East, how Saudi Arabia is changing, and how we see failed States in several countries in the Middle East, and with this converging world that can easily send its influences and implications just to any other countries, including to Indonesia.

Including the ideology of pancasila, again, by the founding fathers, they have delved into the local wisdom of Indonesia, and they thought that they came out with five pillars to be made as our national ideology. They consist of one, the belief in one God. Second is humanity. Third is national unity. Fourth is democracy, and fifth is social welfare in a just way for all the people of Indonesia.

Where in the past in an authoritarian system that ideology enjoyed a protected existence and was well disseminated to the public, with the coming of democracy and the openness of globalization as [has] never have been experienced before, pancasila faced the challenges of being able or having to be able to complete with ideologies or thoughts that come from outside of Indonesia, including those various Islamic interpretations from different elements of Islam. But as I have said, if we see those differences in Indonesia, I do not think that we should only see it as a negative form, but that is to say that democracy is now in place in Indonesia.

For the region, if I have to touch on regional interest and how Indonesian policy plays, I think international relations is a meeting of the national interest of various countries. The next issue there is how does one country place its scales of priority in their national interest? What are their priorities? Of course, the first priority should be survivability. I think we all agree [with] that, but the implementation of that is what is the rank of priority?

For clarity of what I wanted to say about China: okay, in the past, in the Cold War days, China was a communist country, but China I think is still ruled by the single-party system, the Central Committee of the Communist Party. If we study the history of China, it is also not a linear process. They have had their challenges and they have been able to get over their challenges. We hear of leaders like Mao Zedong. We hear of leaders like Deng Xiaoping. We hear of leaders like Liu Shaoqi. And I think China now enjoys the result of their hard work where they were able to build their national economy. While they are improving in their economy, we see in other countries’ economies, their respective economies, are being downgraded. So here comes China.

And with this globalized world the interconnectivity between countries is such that it is not anymore like the Cold War world of the past where we can draw lines very clearly between ideologies of national interest and between pacts, especially defense pacts. Now it is a very much diverse world, and diverse form and levels of national interest for each country. If in one aspect one may see that maybe China is a threat, but China now is trying to pursue meeting the national interest in a more intelligent way. It is not by the sole use of their military power that they pursue their national interest.

With the result of their hard work, of the economic power, they are now reaching out to the world to achieve their national interest through what one book says [is a] charm offensive. Their offensive is charming, and which sometimes leaves a country [without] any real alternatives if it is to be accorded in relation to their needs. So with that, another country may see China with their economic power, and as a matter of fact, especially in the region, the only country which has monetary or financial reserves that large, we can say that it is only China.

The only country that can lend capital cheaply practically is only China, and they offer also assistance in other fields, [which] in their view other countries’ need, [they need] their assistance. Those are the two aspects of how we see China in the region, and how they have tried to expand that influence with the One Belt One Road, the modern form of their historic Silk Road of the past, so that is how countries see China in the region.

But China is also realistic. They may try to compete with the US economically, but China is also realistic in seeing that militarily, China can never compete with the US, so they form a very realistic foreign policy, but we also see that like what China has been doing in building up their economic power, they are also building up powers in their other dimensions, technology for instance. They are moving up very fast. So with that it would be interesting for me to hear your views where I can also learn from your opinions.


Audience member:

Thank you for coming all this way to speak with us after such a long journey and all the difficulties along the way. I appreciate you being here. I know that Indonesia is a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which in 1990, with its Cairo Declaration left, abrogated the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in favor of only Islamic law, Sharia. And I am wondering as Indonesia progresses along the transition to democracy and modernization, what consideration is being given to leaving the OIC and or to denouncing the Cairo Declaration?

Lt. Gen. TNI Agus Widjojo:

Would we leave OIC? As you have said, the interest of one country to join an organization if there are differences of views, first of all, is that that country would be accepted as part of that large organization where they can advance their national interest through that organization. Secondly, if there are differences, it is a matter of could I influence them or am I being influenced by them? And in our foreign policy, Indonesia has always tried to influence the OIC to the best interest of the Islamic member countries, not only to those countries but also how Islam can give the best interest to the general, international community, and as we know, Indonesia tries to promote the moderation of Islam.

Islam does not necessarily mean the strict [implementation of] Sharia law. Islam is a wide-ranging book of teachings, and if you try to find a comprehensive meaning of that book of teachings of Islam, in the end, Islam places itself in the effort to bring rahmat, mercy, compassion, compassion to humanity, to mankind, and to the world as in any other international institution, which means political institution. I do not think any of those organizations have a solid aspiration, so I think in the end, the purpose of Indonesia being a member of OIC is an implementation of the principles of Indonesia’s foreign policy, and that is a free and active foreign policy. I hope that answers satisfactorily. Thank you. We try to influence the bad influence with good influence, but that is not easy, but in the end, that is the sense.

Audience member:

Thank you very much. Please forgive my ignorance about Indonesia. As you said, it is an archipelago. With so many varying areas and islands, how is Indonesia unified? How do you help bring about unification, again, respecting the diversity? Do you do that through television [or] radio? How is travel accommodated throughout the archipelago? [Are] there active airlines that go to every place or boats? If you can enlighten me, thank you.

Lt. Gen. TNI Agus Widjojo:

Yes, thank you. I will try to answer that. Indonesia is as an archipelagic country. Our form or method of unifying those diverse islands or ethnic groups is or was by ideas, by ideology. Although we are not a nation-state, meaning that we do not consist solidly or homogeneously from one nation, but again, there was one scholar who said that a country is a matter of self-perception who shares common understanding, common history, and shares also a common purpose. [Was] it maybe the Dutch that united Indonesia? We do not know, but it was the Dutch who colonized Indonesia from the farthest western island into the farthest eastern part of Indonesia.

The first aspect which united Indonesia was the aspect of idea and ideology. Then, as Indonesia modernizes itself, we come to think more of the physical aspect. And now the administration of President Joko Widodo is putting priority on the building of infrastructures, and one of them is declaring the maritime policy as one of its highest priorities in their policies. Things that can be said relating to this is the building of interconnectivity between islands, which maybe in the past [were] not given enough attention, whether it is sea lanes or air routes.

That way also we tried to implement what we hope to be one economic outlook of an archipelagic Indonesia, meaning that the price of petrol or fuel in Java we would like to see [be] the same price of petrol and fuel in Papua or in the farthest outer islands. That is the direction that the current government is working on, but again, it is to improve the interconnectivity of those islands.

Robert R. Reilly:

Governor, if I may ask a question related to China’s charm, several days ago, a U.S. naval military destroyer China claimed came within 12 miles of part of the Scarborough Shoal that China has unilaterally claimed as its own, so they sent a military frigate to escort the U.S. naval destroyer out of the area. And I believe it was yesterday or the day before, there was an incident between Indonesia and China, again on a disputed area of South China Sea. How does Indonesia regard China’s extraordinary claim to sovereignty over the South China Sea and the East China Sea, and do you think that can be resolved peacefully or that this is a harbinger of a less charming side of China’s behavior?

Lt. Gen. TNI Agus Widjojo:

Yes, the stance of Indonesia in her foreign policy in any overlapping claims of territory, whether it is maritime or land, I do not think we have anything on land, overlapping claims, is one, Indonesia would stand by the sovereignty of the Indonesian Republic, [and] secondly, that [such disputes] should be solved by international laws, and thirdly, by never firing any weapons. I think those are the three principles in which Indonesia would always try to find solutions to any differences with other countries. And as I have said, the relations between countries in various aspects are [so] close nowadays in the converging world that I do not think war or physical military solution would be favorable or advantageous to any country. And as long as the diplomats are willing to sit down and talk, then I think there is a solution on the horizon. There are experiences in the Indonesian diplomacy in the past that whether it is by inviting if it was a sort of differences by other two countries outside Indonesia or within Indonesia itself, it is to invite to talk and maybe to find some common endeavors which can be seen to the best interest of both countries in a sort of cooperation.

We did have one experience of the solution [to the dispute over] the islands of Sipadan and Ligitan by President Suharto, which was to be left, to be decided by the ICC. And Indonesia [acted] consistently [with] the decision of the ICC. There are various ways [to solve geopolitical disputes], but those are the three principles that are held by Indonesia to try to find solutions [to] differences with other countries.

Audience member:

Perhaps [this is] a question a little outside of your area, but what efforts is the government making now in connection with deforestation? This is an important issue, the environmental question, but deforestation specifically.

Lt. Gen. TNI Agus Widjojo:

Yes, you are right. It is out of scope. You are right, this is out of the scope of my presentation, but I will try and [answer, but] I am not an expert in climate change. I will only say from the facts. In the past, Indonesia has been blamed by neighboring countries [for] forest fires that come from the territory of Indonesia. This year, of course, there are always some interactions when something happens in one country, [which] will influence another country, and that has made Indonesia step up in trying to prevent forest fires by going to those companies [which] have relevance in the source of these fires.

And this year there has not been any let us say protests from those neighboring countries because Indonesia has been able to put significant [efforts to fight forest fires] that these neighboring countries did not feel any haze that came from forest fires from locations [from] within Indonesian territory. Various ways have been stepped up by the government into the forest itself by injecting into underneath the forest to put out the fires, those that can keep burning, and also going to the companies [which] own those forests.

And one of the most difficult [things] is that sometimes in the region, again, making fires is the easiest way of preparing the land before planting them, and that is adopted by the common people in the region, but again, that [practice of burning before planting] by the common people is not seen by [them as] violating the law. They say that we have been doing this for generations and generations and generations. But through social communications, the government has been [making] efforts, whether at the superficial [or] traditional [levels] and [by reaching out to] all those [who] have created forest fires in the past. And the result is that this year it has resulted in a drastic difference. Please believe me.

Audience member:

You mentioned the reduced role of the military, particularly looking back in history fifty years ago, thirty years ago, ten years ago, the Indonesian military was a significant player in the domestic affairs. Now that it is reduced, what remains of the old responsibilities? For example, someone has to do border control, maritime patrol against transnational crime, readiness for natural disasters, search and rescue. Do some of those activities persist? Is there a national police force, which does it? Is there coordination between the two? How does that work generally speaking?

Lt. Gen. TNI Agus Widjojo:

The end state of the military reform is actually based on the Constitution and the principles of democracy. [The year] 1945 was the writing or the framing of the Constitution, 1999 was the reform of the military, so how many years was that? Okay, I will test your mathematics. That would be 54 [years]. We realize that the dual function, those roles that were played by the military, were never mandated by the Constitution. It was only in 1982 that the dual function was formally accommodated or contained in the Defense and Security Bill.

Then the question would be, then how could it be practiced in reality by the Indonesian military?

It is because in reality the political system that was tried to be implemented was carried out by the first generation of the founding fathers, and they have in their idea of their memories when they fought together during the struggle for independence, so the soul there was camaraderie, comrade-in-arms ship when they fought together in the struggle for independence. We had a saying then that anything can be arranged, and that is not totally untrue.

When my children ask me what is comradeship? What is camaraderie? What is comrade-in-arms ship? It is like homecoming for a high school reunion. Some have become diplomats. Maybe one has become a president. Some have become generals. Some have become successful CEOs. The unsuccessful CEOs were never known, but when they all come for a high school reunion, those positions are irrelevant. They all come home as graduates of that high school. Then how [is] the work of the reunion committee being carried out?

[It is] through collegiality, okay? You were part of a school band, okay? You take care of the entertainment. Hey, your father owns a transportation business. Can we borrow two buses? Those sort of things [happen] and the Indonesian military never launched any power takeover by force. The Indonesian military never launched any coup d’etats because they believe that if they launch one coup d’etat, it will only cause a contagious process of counter-coup d’etats.

Then why can they have that role?

Well, it is because when they were fighting together for the sake of independence. We are now fighting together to develop the country. And why was it terminated in 1998-1999 with reform? It is because President Suharto was the last figure, the last leader, the last warrior here. In the stories of Indians and sheriffs in the U.S., [he] was the last warrior of the founding fathers’ generation.

When President Suharto resigned, I wondered, can my generation continue with [those] sorts of arrangements? I do not know the civilian leaders. They come from civilian universities, so I do not know them before, unlike the 1945 founding fathers’ generation, so we have to find a new system where the interaction between authorities can be laid down in a specific way, so the people of Indonesia choose democracy, meaning that everything we do in the life of the nation, the political system, any system, any functions of the government have to be arranged based on the principles of democracy, not an exception is also the function of defense and also the role and authority of the military.

If you ask me where do we go, we go by seeing the models of a country in an established democracy by providing its role and authorities through their various agencies to the military, to the police, to the military with war fighting missions. Why war fighting missions? [We do them] to preserve sovereignty and integrity of the national territory, [which] would be to repel and to defeat [a] foreign military, but nothing to do with involving itself in the domestic affairs of the state.

[This is] because the national territory is a territory where the national legal system is in operation, that would be left to the role and authority of the various law enforcement agencies. And the military is never designed to be a law enforcement agency, so we are seeing the model of a country of established democracy. That is the direction that we are moving towards. Does that answer your question, sir? Thank you.

The President has too many questions.

Robert R. Reilly:

Actually, Governor, I am the Director so I get one more question. If I may, former President Abdul Rahman Wahid spoke very forthrightly, I would say even bitterly, about one foreign influence into Indonesia that he thought was polluting the Islamic religious life of the country, and that was Wahhabi influence from Saudi Arabia. You know how strong he was in making that point. Do you think today with the ascendance of Prince Muhammad bin Salman and the statements that have been coming out of Riyadh about a different kind of Islam that they would like to see developed in their own country is it too early to seek any diminution of that bad influence in Indonesia coming from the Wahhabi strain? That is my last question.

Lt. Gen. TNI Agus Widjojo:

Thank you. I think the authority to answer that question would fall in the authority of the Saudi Arabian Prince rather than the Indonesian former general. I am a stoplight in transit on my way home here to ask the Saudi Arabian Prince.

Robert R. Reilly:

It is too early to tell?

Lt. Gen. TNI Agus Widjojo:

Yes, it is too early to tell. I think we have to observe the developments of it. Can Wahhabi be separated from Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia as a whole? Can Wahhabi be separated from the royal family of Saudi Arabia? And those are the questions that we should ask and we should watch into the future of how it will develop.

Robert R. Reilly:

Can it be separated from Indonesia? That was my question.

Lt. Gen. TNI Agus Widjojo:

Well, again, we are in [a] time of democracy and first of all, in [a] time of democracy, especially in a presidential cabinet system, much of what is effective policy is being decided in the character and personality of the elected political leader of Indonesia, in a presidential democracy. Secondly, we believe that the mainstream of Islam in Indonesia – I have read it somewhere from my readings, that a majority of [Muslims] in Indonesia consider themselves as member of either NU or Muhammadiyah, and those two are considered to be moderate Islam by the public. Only [a] minority [practices Wahhabi-influenced Islam], but [the] majority condemns the Hizb ut-Tahrir [and] even more the Wahhabi.

So, we believe in that, but there also should be maybe a social process, a political process to show that the majority of [Muslims] of Indonesia are still [practicing] the indigenous Islam of Indonesia, which is the moderate Islam of Indonesia, and provide them moral or physical support [so] that they are able to challenge and to overcome those [who would promote a program of] political Islam that actually has only been recently set forth in Indonesia and [is] coming from outside Indonesia.

Robert R. Reilly:

Great, please join me in [thanking] General Widjojo.