Defending National Defense Program, deputy minister talks about fruit, music

CNN Indonesia – August 20, 2020
Deputy Defense Minister Wahyu Sakti Trenggono – Undated (Antara)

Jakarta – Deputy Defense Minister Wahyu Sakti Trenggono says that the wars being waged at the moment are not always in the form of military or physical attacks.

According to Trenggono, in a modern era such as this shifts in national sovereignty are not just carried out through military wars, but in fact through cultural assaults from other countries.

Trenggono made the remarks in response to the polemic about introducing the National Defense Program on university campuses and schools.

“For instance combat, war with weapons, no. The attacks are diverse, they can also be through social media, and so on”, said Trenggono in a radio interview on Wednesday August 19.

He gave the example of musical culture from overseas which is flooding Indonesia. Meanwhile a lot of domestic music cannot in fact find a place among Indonesian listeners.

And it is not just music and culture, war and colonial subjugation can also infiltrate the country though different types of food without people being aware of it.

“For instance, this is just an example. Waduh, Indonesian music doesn’t have a place, and then we’re flooded by music from overseas. Then for example Indonesian fruits have no place, but the markets are flooded with products from overseas. That’s an attack”, said Trenggono as an example.

It is based on this, said Trenggono, that the National Defense Program is being promoted. Aside from being one of the good works (amalan) derived from Law Number 23/2019 on the Management of Natural Resources for National Defence, the program is also being carried out to implant a love of the motherland as early in life as possible.

National defense programs, said Trenggono, are not always conducted during a state of war but must also be conducted even when a county is at peace.

“So indeed national defense, we can’t say, it’s not as if it’s a war, no. So national defense, we must do it well and continuously”, he said.

Trenggono also confirmed that the planned National Defense Program which will first to be applied on campuses will not be obligatory for all students. The program will be voluntary and anyone is entitled to take part in the program.

“If it was forced, it’s not the right era for that. And I think, and to term the system as obligatory isn’t appropriate. In my view it’s like that”, he said. (tst/ain)


According to a separate CNN Indonesia report on August 19, Trenggono said during the Wednesday radio interview that it is quite possible that the National Defense Program will also be introduced at junior high-school (SMP) and senior high-school (SMA) level and their equivalents, even down to primary (SD) and pre-school level. “Then (after the campuses) we may introduce it at the SMA level, SMP and then SD, and down to pre-school”, said Trenggono.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Jawab soal Bela Negara, Wamenhan Bahas Buah dan Musik Impor”.]