Education Democracy and Economic Democracy: ASEAN the Way Forward
Education Democracy and EconomicDemocracy: ASEAN the Way Forward By Musni Umar
BackgroundIn 1967, ASEAN was established in Bangkok throughthe Bangkok Declaration byIndonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore andThailand. The goal of founded of ASEAN to bring into aregion of peace, free and prosperous society.After nearly 45 years of ASEAN organization wasfounded, now has advanced and has 10 member states.We should be grateful because the purpose ofestablishing the ASEAN has been achieved partly as apeaceful and free of ASEAN region. However, aprosperous ASEAN society, all ASEAN membercountries have not been able to make it happen.
The issue prosperous society in ASEAN is very important because in the proposedASEAN Summit 2007 in Singapore, have agreed Blueprint of AEC (ASEAN EconomicCommunity) in 2015, the single market and single production-based where there isflow of goods, services, investment and skilled workers are free, as well as capitalflows more freely among the ASEAN countries.The consequences of the agreement will give negative impact to the ASEAN membercountries are still predominantly poorly educated. First, the country will get left behindbecause they can’t compete with other ASEAN member countries that have beendeveloped.Second, the open economic opportunities of the ASEAN Economic Community, can’tbe utilized. Most of the members of ASEAN countries are still predominantlypoor, uneducated and do not have the expertise, The consequences will beincreasingly marginalized.Third, the force of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is unlikely to give birth to agrowing economic gap among ASEAN member countries. A developed country will bemore developed and prosperous, whereas the poor and less educated people and nothave the expertise, will be increasingly marginalized and neglected because it is unableto compete.
Education DemocracyThere are no shortcuts to do an ASEAN member countries toachieve progress and prosperity without educationdemocracy. Only education can bring ASEAN society andcommunity to make progress .Education democracy means all citizens have the opportunityto acquire and to participate in education.The government gave special treatment to poor childrenfrom the village and town to get a good education. Malaysiahas set a good example how to develop human resourcesthrough education.Malaysia Government giving scholarships, lending money forliving expenses, pay for boarding school, school fees, buybooks, and other needs so they can learn in peace, withoutconsidering the cost of living and expenses during the study.
Comparison of Malaysia and IndonesiaMalaysia since independence in 1957, has given greatattention to education with a large education budget. Today,the budget for education in Malaysia has increased 26percent of the total government budget in 2012 RM 232.6billion.While in Indonesia, in the New Order, which was givenattention is the economic development so that behind thedevelopment of education.The education budget was increased to 20 percent in theReformation Order. Total government budget in 2012 RP1.418.5 trillion.By increasing the education budget, Indonesia can achieveprogress like Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and I hope could be asuper power country in the 21 century.
Today, ASEAN member countries can learn from Malaysia howto realize education democracy. Because I believe theprogress of society, nation and state of Malaysia, the successof education democracy.
Economic DemocracyEconomic democracy is the economic developmentthat provides an opportunity for citizens who have nobusiness skills, have no capital, no business places, noexperience of doing business, no business networksand etc. So that they can’t survive, and are not able tocompete with employers who are already advanced.The government should give special treatment andprotection to them by providing businesstraining, business Management, business places, andcapital, marketing domestically and abroad. This is afair way to develop the economy, rather than by freecompetition because it was impossible they couldcompete with the advanced and experiencedentrepreneurs.
When I studied in Malaysia and participated in variousseminars and discussions, I often hear criticism andprotest the policy and practice of the "New EconomicPolicy" (NEP) by the government of Malaysia. Theysay is unfair and discriminatory.However, following Indonesias New Order regime fellin 1998 that began with social unrest which theChinese shops burned and looted its contents, andmany Chinese people who fled abroad from Indonesiaand bring them money. At that time, Indonesiaseconomy to shocks, because Indonesias economy iscontrolled by the Chinese.
Of events experienced by Indonesia, I think if the "New EconomicPolicy" practiced in Indonesia, it would not be chaos and economicshock in the event of change of political power. Therefore, in my opinionbased on experience in Indonesia in 1998 was a very fair practice theNEP, and Indonesia should practice the "New Economic Policy", asimplemented by the Malaysian government to prevent the happening ofpublic anger against the Chinese, they are actually innocent but thetarget of public anger because the government mistake.From bitter historical experience of Indonesia in 1998, ASEAN membercountries should learn to not repeat the same mistakes in developingthe economy.First, Indonesia began to develop after General Suharto replacedSukarno as President 1968. There are three basic development ofIndonesias New Order regime practiced the so-called TrilogiPembangunan (three pillars of development) is growth, stability andequity.
To achieve economic growth in Indonesia is high, foreigninvestment and domestic investment is opened as wide aspossible with ease and facility. At that time ready to takeadvantage of Indonesias economic developmentopportunities to achieve high economic growth is Chinesepeople because in the Dutch colonial period was gets a greatopportunity to do business, so have theexperience, expertise, networks and capital. Inaddition, foreign investors from the UnitedStates, Europe, Japan and others.As a result of development in Indonesia only enrich thealready wealthy. While the majority of the indigenous peoplesof Indonesia (pribumi/bumiputera) remains poor, lackingeducation and neglected.
The poor people lining up to receive the zakat before Eidul Fitri in Pasuruan, East Java
Those who die while queuing up to receive zakat
They collapsed and died while queuing up to receive zakat
Forbes Magazine published in November 11, 2011 suggested40 richest people of Indonesia.I have been researching the 40 richest people of Indonesia, Ifound that Sri Prakash Lohia is the only one of the richestIndian, with a total wealth US$ 1.7 billion, and Indigenouspeople of Indonesia (pribumi) seven people, have a wealthof U.S. $ 9 billion. In the meantime, theres 32 richest people of ChinaIndonesia, with total wealth of U.S. $ 73.87 billion.This condition is very dangerous for the future of Indonesiaand the nations of ASEAN region as opposed to justice, andthe goal of all the nations of the world for independence fromcolonial.
To prevent the growing economic domination of ChinaIndonesia and foreign groups, State-Owned Enterprises(BUMN/Badan Usaha Milik Negara) should be furtherencouraged and developed, and hope to be a pillar ofeconomic of Indonesia, that Indonesia nation not ruled by aminority of one faction that controls the economy ofIndonesia.In the future, State-Owned Enterprises should not be sold,but to make investments into various sectors that benefit. Atthe same time the absolute constructed small and mediumindigenous entrepreneurs gradually create economic balance.It is important to realize economic justice and equitabledevelopment and maintaining stability, so that social jealousyand envy toward the Chinese group could be reduced andeliminated.
ConclusionEducation democracy and economic democracy is theway to go and performed by the ASEAN countries todevelop prosperity and justice. It is ASEAN the wayforward. Only education and economicdevelopment, equitably to all the people in each ASEANcountry that can bring true progress and prosperity.Malaysia is one of the leading ASEAN countries areready to practice the political democracy in the generalelections, because it has a successful educationdemocracy and economic democracy, as the "middleclass" is quite large with a good level of education andthe relatively advanced economic life. It is a conditionof success of political democracy.
Therefore, practice of education democracy and economicdemocracy is very important and key to the prosperity ofASEAN community in the future as purpose the establishmentof ASEAN in Bangkok 1967.Then, ASEAN community shall establish cooperation toadvance the education democracy and economic democracyin this region. If not done, the only ASEAN member countriesthat have advanced society and country, can take advantageof the opportunities that open from the ASEAN EconomicCommunity (AEC) and would be more advanced, prosperousand wealthy.* Musni Umar is a sociologist, Director of the Institute forSocial Empowerment and Democracy (INSED)
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