One of the best ways to design a better future for our nation was to look back at its history. It was inevitable to discuss about the 1998 Monetary Crisis when we traced back our country’s history. The 1998 Political and Monetary Crisis was a reflection that functioned as a platform to develop Indonesia, to build a better future for Indonesia. The event was the reason why Prof. Ginandjar Kartasasmita, the former Coordinating Minister of Economics in the 1990s, wrote “Reinventing Indonesia.” Yesterday, October 20, he came to FAS UB attending Book Review and National Discussion “Reinventing Indonesia: Lesson Learnt from 1998 Crisis for Better Indonesia in the Future.”
In the foreword, Prof. Ginandjar Kartasasmita stated that the 1998 Monetary Crisis took place when Indonesia had strong economic condition in 1996-1997. Indonesia was, therefore, well-known as “the Asian Tiger.” Unfortunately, a year later the economic situation plummeted because of several factors. As the effect, at that time, according to Professor Ginandjar Kartasasmita, Indonesian economy was overheating when the inflation rate that touched -13% and Indonesian Rupiah currency dropped from Rp 2,000- to USD $1 into Rp 16,000- to USD $1. Then President Soeharto had been dethroned and Prof. B.J Habibie, Indonesian Vice President at that time was elected as Soeharto’s consensus.
Under President Habibie, Prof. Ginandjar as Coordinating Minister of Economics set some strategy to control the country’s economic conditions. Maintaining economic stability, decreasing inflation and interest rate, as well as establishing the social security were to name a few. He reveals, we are the ones that coin the term “Social Security” for the first time. Later, other terms appear as substitutes.”
Furthermore, Dr.Ir. Fadel Muhammad, the book reviewer, explained that Prof. Ginandjar also tried to strengthen domestic competitive force by refusing a lot of projects sponsored by foreign investors. Dr. Fadel Muhammad claimed that he was an eye-witness when Prof. Ginandjar said no to foreign investors because he believed Indonesian investors were able to work on the projects. “We used to witness him delivering back hydran from China because he was certain Indonesian could produce the same thing” said the head of Comissions 9 of the House of Representatives.
Besides those two, other book reviewers were Prof. Dr. Bambang Supriyono, MS (the Dean of FAS UB), Prof. Dr. Munawar Ismail, DEA(Professor of Economic and Business Faculty), and Dr. Rachmad Syafa’at, M.Si (the Dean of Law Faculty UB). The book review was held in Building A Auditorium on the 4th floor FAS UB and flooded with participants i.e. lecturers, undergraduate, graduate, and even doctorate students. Representative from Malang Red Cross and Commander of Abdurrahman Saleh airport Malang also appeared on the event.
Article: Aulia Luqman Aziz
Photos: Akhmad Khoirul Amin