(Wednesday Reflection) : Happy Independence Day, Indonesia and About Citizenship

Logo-71Hello there,

Long time no blogging for weeks. I was so empty at the time and felt lazy for posting anything. By the way, today is Indonesia’s independence day. It’s already been 71 years now! and the way to be a strong nation is still long, which we should cope together. There are two trending news in our country recently. First about new Economic & Natural Resource minister who was just appointed by our president, Archandra Tahar and the controversy was rised up, he was supposedly found having American passport and has become American citizen since 2012. The controversy sparked particularly in social media. Pros and cons surely.

The pros said it’s okay Mr. Tahar ruled the department as he’s capable and elligible in it, despite of his recent nationality. But the cons said, a dual citizenship holder does not deserve to get high position in a country’s government. Many speculations and debates heated until finally after 20 days of his work, Mr Joko Widodo -our president- put to grass him. And the problem is temporary solved.

The second case is Gloria Natapraja Hamel. She’s already been appointed as part of national flag bearer corps for Independence day ceremony in Istana Negara. However, she was revoked as found she had French passport though she had declared that she’s born in Indonesia and spent all her life in Depok, West Java since kindergarten to high school. Even though she finally didn’t join the corps this morning, but finally she’s allowed to be part of the corps again for afternoon ceremony. She said loving Indonesia more than others and it’s rare for Indonesian teenagers to say that. Nationalism is actually diminishing among the younger generations as there are many scepticisms and many consider other nations are much better than themselves. Seeing neighbouring grass and seems greener than theirs (and mine). The problem is solved as well (temporary). Sometimes, many foreigners who are residing in Indonesia and (maybe) struggling for getting Indonesian citizenship are more Indonesian nationalistic than the local borns.

Whatever the conditions, never hate your own country.

Many countries allow its citizens having more than one nationality. The motivations are various..first are about ancestries (ius sanguinis if I am not mistaken), second is about fund. Some countries allow dual citizenship for getting more benefit for its diaspora and for building their original country, even though they were never born there. Even taking tax from the diaspora in order to get more national income. Most American and European countries allow it, meanwhile some Asian countries do the same thing. But only few East and South East Asian permit dual citizenship.

Indonesia does not allow dual citizenship except for international marriage child which has to apply for dual citizenship and by holding two passports, he or she do not have to return for reapplying visa. The double citizenship here is validated until the children have been 18 years old or at maximum 21, after that they must choose one of two nationalities. Before 2006 or child born before the new 2006 rules is automatically follow his father’s nationality. And they should register their children in order to get dual citizenship here. The law is actually clear, the Indonesians who voluntary renounced their Indonesian passports and vow to another nationality are automatically no longer Indonesian citizens.

As far as I know, you may not take dual citizenship though the host or new country allow it. But Indonesia not at all. It’s hard particularly for Indonesian diaspora who wanted to contribute in Indonesia and wishing dual citizenship. Many countries do as Indonesia do, even some applied it very harsh, once you get another citizenship, your original one is automatically stripped off. Dual citizens can give more contributions especially in Indonesia, but once more not in government, vital sources or national defences. I know some foreign politicians have dual passports, Arnold Schwarzenegger while served as Governor of California still retained his Austrian passport, while a prime minister in Sachsen Anhalt, Germany holds British passport as his father is Briton. But if it’s applied to Indonesia, I don’t think it can work. Being officials, particularly in government or sensitive departments, he or she must be Indonesian in born (regardless of ethnicity, race and religions), having Indonesian passport (if have) and ID card, and take an oath for loyal to Republic of Indonesia.

When a dual citizenship holder gets the governmental position, I am afraid about his or her dual loyalties. As far as dual citizenship is not allowed in Indonesia, the situation will remain in status quo, or they must renounce one of their citizenships and taking oath again for national loyalty.

Whatever it is, what I can do now as Indonesian citizen is being a good teacher for my students, doing best for my work (and blogging too), spreading peace not hatred to the world, promoting more Indonesia to the world. That’s what I can do being Indonesian. Never complain or grumple about the recent situations, just do what you can do. I expect in the future, Indonesia can be much better than previously. The transition is going on, and need more youngsters for fulfill the formers’ wishes…Social justice and prosperity in Indonesia.

Merdeka Indonesiaku
Jayalah negeriku


Tangerang, 17 August 2016


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Yaaa setuju sama paragraf terakhirnya, saya juga masih mengusahakan untuk kontribusi macam itu, tapi masih minim sekali 😦

    1. Lebih baik minim daripada tidak sama sekali.

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