VP Jusuf Kalla: Democracy is Second Priority

Metro TV
28 November 2007

The Golkar annual meeting last week was a lacklustre affair and did not attract much media attention. But an official statement by Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who is concurrently Golkar Chairman, provoked strong reactions. In the context of a Golkar increasingly uncomfortable with Kalla's haphazard statements, it invites widespread speculation of SBY's erstwhile running mate. Here is an excerpt from a recent Metro TV television interview ('Indonesia This Morning,' Wednesday November 28, 2007):

Zelda (Metro TV): Vice President and Golkar Chairman Jusuf Kalla said that democracy is only a means a tool a process and not a goal. Therefore it is only a second priority which comes after the goal of achieving economic prosperity. A number of party leaders have jumped all over the Vice President for making that comment. Wimar Witoelar is with us for his take on it. What do you think the Voice President meant?

Wimar: I am just going to express distress and disappointment that such a ridiculous statement should be made. Coming from anyone the statement causes concern, but coming from the holder of the second most important position in the country, it is downright dangerous.

But one can expect it from Jusuf Kalla, because he is a man with anti-democratic tendencies. He once said at a seminar before he was elected, that he wished we had a leader like the former prime minister of a neighboring country, who doesn't worry about democracy, but makes his nation run like clockwork. I just said that is a country of three million people, ours has more than two hundred million. Mr Kalla replied: "I am just impatient at democracy."

I thought that after he got elected he would get rid of these archaic, ancient notions. but apparently these thoughts are still there and are coming to the surface now. It's just his nature. A very dangerous statement.

Zelda: Should Indonesia be like Singapore or Malaysia that achieved economic prosperity at the cost of democracy?

Wimar: Indonesia should be like Indonesia, the world's third largest democracy. The only thing we can be proud of today is democracy. We cannot be proud of our economy, we cannot be proud of our corruption, we cannot even be proud of our Vice President. But we are very proud of our democracy. That's the only thing we have, and we should hold on to it.


Update: Martin Manurung pointed out in his blog, the poorest countries are undemocratic, while the most properous countries are democratic. So how did Jusuf Kalla and other anti-democratic people get the idea that the we are better off undemocratic?

freedom hdi

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  1. From Martin Manurung on 29 November 2007 09:52:01 WIB
    It is not only anti-democratic tendency, but also a fascist tendency. With a view like that, he's almost similar to Adolf Hitler. What a dangerous man.
  2. From Dimas on 29 November 2007 14:36:19 WIB
    you can say like that.. we can found similarities between hitler and kalla in their moustache.. hihi..
  3. From bocah gemblung on 29 November 2007 16:34:44 WIB
    That's absolutely right, Mr. Manurung.
    I'm worrying, that JK will follow the former leader and founder of golkar whom enjoy his "happy-post-power-syndrom" right now in cendana street, after took Indonesia to the deep suffer.
    Yes, those are "anti-responsibility" methods he have done in 32 years.
    I believe, people of Indonesia will similar with rabbits in experimental lab, who never get out of their permanent suffer.

    Thank you, Mr. WW.
  4. From thea on 29 November 2007 17:14:32 WIB
    I am worried his statement could be a justification for any efforts in the name of people prosperity. Indeed, people need to be able to afford their basic needs, however democracy is about nation mentality. People also need to be respected and their right to be accommodated.I
  5. From Martin Manurung on 29 November 2007 17:34:04 WIB
    Further comment.. (soalnya update comment gak ada ya.. hehe). I just wrote in my blog that Jusuf Kalla is statistically wrong about democracy and welfare.

    Nine of the ten lowest countries in welfare are also not democratic. And.., all of the ten most prosperous countries in the world are also democratic!
  6. From Masindi on 30 November 2007 08:42:57 WIB
    I don't understand the logic of his statement:

    "Vice President and Golkar Chairman Jusuf Kalla said that democracy is only a means a tool a process and not a goal. Therefore it is only a second priority which comes after the goal of achieving economic prosperity"

    Hold on a minute: I thought a "tool" should always be used first in order to get the "results" that you wanted? i.e. you use a hammer to drive a nail down, you use your spoon to feed yourself, you use a computer to write messages to Wimar.

    Does Kalla really mean Democracy is a "tool"? or as a "result"? I am really confused.

  7. From Chandra on 02 December 2007 08:37:19 WIB
    WW: "We cannot be proud of our economy, we cannot be proud of our corruption, we cannot even be proud of our Vice President"
    Me: Blame it on democracy
  8. From wak tul on 03 December 2007 01:03:28 WIB
    All what we need is not just democracy.

    It must be a system on the right place. Democracy is just one aspect of the whole system.

    So people, FOCUS !!!

    You can use and say, it's democratic. But how is the system actually works ?

    Please don't think, if Mr. Hitler wasn't democratic. He was elected democratically. He asked Mr. Ferdinand Porsche to build people's car (Volkswagen) as cheap as possible but then he misused it for military purposes. Mr. Porsche was the only one who accepted his need. There are another car producer like OPEL, BMW, Daimler, Maybach, etc. And they didn't accept his idea...

    So his system brought Germany to a ruin through the war. And the war of today is quite different as in 30th-years.

    Otherwise, I'm not sure if Mr Kalla is a good people. It's really absurd. All what we need is a right system....
  9. From djuwari on 03 December 2007 08:53:40 WIB
    Jussuf Kalla is a manager not a leader, therefore, the word Democracy is not appropriate for him. Leaders are not the same with managers. Leaders come from the people and by the people and for the people. Managers come from the companies by the staff who must obey without reasioning, for for the profit to live forever.
    You know all, the word democray was from the legendary leaders, such as Abraham Lincoln, but not from the top manager of Microsoft. So, don't bother with Mr. Jussuf Kalla's statement.

  10. From bramsakti on 03 December 2007 10:35:37 WIB
    Saya bukan kader golkar, bukan pula fans nya JK (antipati dgn JK malahan!) Tapi saya setuju dengan statement : "democracy is only a means a tool a process and not a goal"

    Analoginya sama dengan uang. Uang itu alat !(untuk dapat menjalankan kehidupan sesuai dengan sistem yang ada) bukan tujuan!! Walaupun, saat ini banyak yang menjadikan uang sebagai tujuan hidup mereka.

  11. From Masindi on 04 December 2007 10:44:15 WIB
    Jusuf Kalla ngomong jangan didengerin. Mending dengerin Oom Wimar ngomong... Lebih asik :)

  12. From Intox on 04 December 2007 15:10:40 WIB
    What a third world mentality from our very own VP! The biggest mistake in years by Indonesian people is voting to place him as a VP: Once you have a big capitalist leading the country, especially in poor, easily exploited country like Indonesia, you're in for a hell ride. It's all about profit, not the welfare of the people.

    Without freedom there's no progress, without equality there's no peace.
  13. From wak tul on 04 December 2007 19:42:00 WIB
    I'm agree with Intox (No. 12),

    But too much freedom mean no system. we need freedom with control. We can't say, we have unlimited freedom, so that my freedom hurt or attack the freedom another people.
  14. From Tommy on 06 December 2007 11:01:09 WIB
    JK ada benarnya, jangan jadikan demokrasi sebagai berhala.

    Demokrasi memang ada hal-hal positif, tapi juga banyak keburukannya.

    Mau lihat contoh buruk demokrasi ?
    Kalau suara terbanyak memilih artis porno jadilah dia anggota DPR, seperti kasus di Italia.

    Atau lihat lah, orang-orang yg dipilih rakyat di Perancis,
    membuat peraturan yang melegalkan prostitusi dan menarik pajak dari para pelacur. Jadilah mereka pemakan segala rupa, nggak kenal halal-haram, jadilah kafir sekuler.

    Lihatlah, pilkada-2 yg rusuh, money politic, kong kali kong kapitalis (lokal maupun asing) dengan media untuk berebut kekuasaan sambil membodohi rakyat dengan manipulasi opini.

    Lihatlah wajah bengis demokrasi ala Amerika di Iraq yang berlumur kebohongan dan darah.

    Kesimpulannya, suara terbanyak sama sekali tidak identik dengan kebenaran. Makanya demokrasi harus ditempatkan secara proporsional, jangan disembah-sembah.

    Kalau demokrasi disembah-sembah, maka jangan heran kalau Abu Bakar Ba'asyir mengatakan bahwa demokrasi itu syirik, dan yang paling baik dan paling benar hanyalah Allah-krasi (Kekuasaan tertinggi di tangan Allah).

    WW berani nggak ya muat tulisan ini ? katanya demokrasi :-)

  15. From wak tul on 06 December 2007 19:35:09 WIB
    Seperti Tommy (no. 14) lihat, WW sudah muat tulisan anda...

    Allah-krasi dalam pengertian positif sangatlah OK. Tapi mohon jangan dipelintir menjadi Baasyir-Krasi. Sebab ajaran agama juga hanyalah satu ajaran. Ajaran tidak akan pernah ada gunanya, selama hanya berada dalam Kitab Suci dan tidak diimplementasikan dengan benar. Salah menginterpretasikan, malah bisa jadi dosa besar !

    Sebab kitab hanyalah kitab, ditulis oleh manusia, siapapun namanya, meskipun nabi sekalipun...
  16. From Foolan on 07 December 2007 00:41:11 WIB
    Pertanyaannya apa ada yang salah dari masyarakat pemilih?

    Saya memilih untuk 5 tahun. Bahwa ada perubahan drastis dari janji / program, kembali lagi mekanisme kontrol (pada periode berjalan) yang harus diaktifkan. Kalau mereka melempem, sudahlah terima nasib saja untuk sisa periode itu.

    Last hope-nya, setelah 5 tahun saya evaluasi lagi pilihan saya. Berarti track recordnya sudah bisa dinilai.
  17. From bramsakti on 07 December 2007 01:27:57 WIB
    Rekan Wak tul ..tanpa bermaksud menggurui, statement anda berbahaya nih : "kitab hanyalah kitab, ditulis oleh manusia, siapapun namanya, meskipun nabi sekalipun.."

    Kitab suci ada dua om, ada yang berasal dari langit (Tuhan) namanya kitab suci samawi (Taurat, Zabur, Injil & Al Quran) dan memang ada yang dibuat berdasarkan pemikiran manusia berdasarkan kebudayaan atau ilmu astronomi atau ilmu lainnya yang kemudian diyakini golongannya sebagai kitab suci.

    Secara harafiah penulisannya pasti ditulis oleh manusia. Mudah-mudahan maksudnya ini ya, perlu diluruskan supaya tidak jadi fitnah.
    Kembali ke topik JK aja lagi deh...

  18. From Intox on 07 December 2007 12:44:26 WIB
    As long as we don't understand the undeniable, urgent need for separation of church and state, we'll still fail.

    We have to get off the idea of creating a "religious" state, or any type of state with a ruling class. So long as the rulers are more powerful than the people, we'll always fail to create an egalitarian society.

    In government, religious zealots + capitalism = death.
  19. From wak tul on 08 December 2007 07:27:16 WIB
    Hallo Tuan Bram yg sakti,

    Your people and you have your opinion, that holy book belong like your statement. Let's see how the japanese would say. Let's also see, how the real Indian say about holy books. It's all quite different...

    So, democratically you need to understand, how the other people also think about it, i.e. about holy book. If you are tenacious, so it must be similar undemocratic.

    I would like to say, a holy book will be really holy if you associate and implement it into real live for good aim. So democracy will be the implementation of statements of holybooks we have. Of course we need to implement proportionally in community situation as well.
    It means, if you see Mr Bush and Irak, so it's not a good action, if we don't want to say as hypocrite. Otherwise, as long as we're doing a pressure, for example I have to explain carefully, so you are also similar to Mr Bush or JK.
    It makes me scared...

    I thought, it's also the points from WW and MM, that everyone has a freedom to express as long as in a good proportion. I thought, it's a part of democracy we need
  20. From messageman on 16 December 2007 05:18:17 WIB
    Fortunately he is only a vice president. Can't imagine what will happen if he becomes president. Like Mugabe perhaps, at least hitler commit suicide. I doubt he's got those balls to do so if he fails..whinning and blaming perhaps.
    If he is anti chineseand anti democracy, he is prooably pro-corruption and communism facist.
  21. From Akhyari Hananto on 12 January 2008 16:19:05 WIB
    We are too proud of our democracy, our freedom of press without even bother to know the consequences. How much money we waste for this democracy? so much to build more than 10,000 schools, so much to buy millions of book, so much to build 1000 km roads, so much to feed the poor. So you guys democracy lover, do you care?
    Canada, Swiss, Aussie, Norway, Iceland, hmmm....bad examples to show how powerful democracy did to their economy. All of those countries were homogenous, the people are highly educated, their economic foundation was already in place when they "adopted" democracy. Japan, shoud we argue more? They're much more homogenous than us, and their people were highly educated even after they losed the war.
    Now look at China, look at Singapore, look at Malaysia, look at US ( dont say US is a democratic country)..dont they impress you?
    Now look at pakistan, srilanka, bangladesh,Indonesia, philippines, do they impress you?
    Freedom, and democracy, has no direct link to democracy, democracy will only be succesful when basic needs are affordable, education is widely spread.
    Dont just pursue for your freedom while you unpurposely overstep other's 'property'.
  22. From Jake Charles on 26 January 2008 16:10:48 WIB
    Democracy is overrated.

    Indonesia is not ready for democracy, for we are still one irresponsible nation.

    Martin Manurrung may have exaggerated the points a little bit. Those countries that are so filthy poor, are not direct results of their democratic or non democratic rule. Other elements are taken into account of.

    If you were to compare Indonesia with our closest neighbors, Singapore and Malaysia, we are not much different.

    Singapore, and Malaysia are not non-democratic, they are simply in the phase of guided democracy.

    That's what we need, a guide in our democracy.

    Indonesia maybe a Democracy by name, but it doesn't show in most parts of Indonesia.

    Even in the United States, the so-called fledgling democracy , is not so democratic.

    The states are ruled with different rules, and regulations.

    I'd rather be proud of a country that is politically, socially, and mentally stable, than a country whose very foundation of democracy is unstable, and unguided.
  23. From ju on 31 March 2008 16:48:21 WIB
    Demokrasi bukan main course. Demokrasi bukan tujuan. Demokrasi cuma alat atau cara mencapai tujuan. Apa tujuan bernegara? Membuat 80 - 90% rakyat jelata menjadi makmur, sentosa, sejahtera material, moral dan spiritual.

    Saya sungguh tidak keberatan asalkan tujuan utama tersebut tercapai dan kita tidak pakai demokrasi. Mau pakai sistem MONARKI juga tidak keberatan. Mau pakai BENEVOLENT DICTATORSHIP juga saya sama sekali tidak berkeberatan.

    Apa gunanya dapat gelar negara demokrasi nomor tiga di dunia tetapi 60% rakyat kecil miskin-protein, miskin-karbohidrat, miskin-lemak, miskin-energi, miskin-ilmu, miskin-kesehatan, miskin-nilai???? Democracy my foot !
  24. From djuwari on 29 January 2009 13:37:14 WIB
    I have't opened this for almost a year. However, after opening again this discussion rubric, It makes me surprised becuase there some comments after my comment on this topic. OK, now we have to learn a lot from our leaders in Jakarta and let us look at the social condition in our country. Please be open and honest to join this discussion not just because of the "person and his position" we are perceiving in our statement. People are suffering from being lack of gas.oil, by queuing to get for their "flat stomach". Come and see to Sidoarjo and listen to the victim of LUmpur Lapindo. They are crying all day and night but no one in Jakarta listens to them, let alone give some support. Is that Democary ypu mean as a tool, Guys??? Please pray to God and ponder deeply the people who are now suffering from such a tragedy. I am sure you will know who you are exactly in nature. Djuwari Surabaya.
  25. From wimar on 29 January 2009 13:49:45 WIB
    good point, mr djuwari. the lapindo case is a scandal and a crime against the people. and our democracy does not work because the president needs the money from his collusion with his minister who is protecting his company. the parliament cannot take action. we must use the 2009 elections to get better people in the parliament and a president and vp who cartfe about the people.
    if you give up democracy and revert to authoritarian rule, things will get much worse.
  26. From djuwari on 31 January 2009 16:29:17 WIB
    Thank you Mr. Wimar. I agree with you. Just to let the readers know that what you write in response to my comment above has been understood by the people. All people in Java and especially in Sidoarjo have known that the uncertainty of lumpur lapindo case solution is due to such a scandal. Therefore, there will be a change like what Obama is now doing. So the 2009 election should be a good momentum.
    Djuwari, Surabaya.

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