Jakarta, — The history of Indonesia once marked the name Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, often referred to as the Patriot, Economist and Teacher, is the architect of modern Indonesian economics who was also instrumental in the establishment of the Faculty of Economics at University of Indonesia where he served as Professor. Understanding and studying history is extremely valuable for the benefit of the future. “Indonesia needs a role model to rebuild our confidence,” said Hashim Djojohadikusumo, Sumitro’s youngest son during the gathering of family, relatives and friends on the occasion of Commemorating the 100 Years of Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, in Jakarta (29/5). Sumitro’s thoughts have become a legacy not only for the family, but also for the people of Indonesia whom he loved. “The struggles and footsteps of our predecessors in this country must be continued by the next generations, becoming a source of fighting spirit and inspiration for a better future for us and for the Indonesian people,” said Hashim.
Prof. Dr. Sumitro Djojohadikusumo was born in Kebumen, Central Java, on 29 May 1917 and passed away in Jakarta on 9 March 2001 at the age of 83. Throughout his career in the government, Sumitro was repeatedly entrusted as a minister in various cabinets. He served as the Minister of Economy (1950-1951), the Minister of Finance (1952-1953 and 1955-1956), the Minister of Trade (1968-1973), the State Minister for Research (1973-1978). “With experiences in various positions, we noted that one of Sumitro’s important legacies in Indonesia was his thoughts on developing people-oriented economy,” said Dawam Rahardjo, Chairperson of the LP3ES who attended the event.
History recorded that when Sumitro served as Minister of Economy, the Indonesian government launched the Benteng Movement Economic System, a program aimed at transforming Indonesian economic structure of colonial into a national one (Indonesian economic development). “This system fosters Indonesian entrepreneurs. Local entrepreneurs with low capital needs to be given the opportunity to participate in national economic development, ” Dawam explained further.
The Minister is consistent and consequent in his support to the people, as evidenced in his various policies and ideas such as industrialization program carried out by building centers for small craft industries. He put his thoughts on the formation of domestic capital by empowering and strengthening cooperatives through international trade. The implementation carried out at that time, which was to form capital for industrial development, was to provide the monopoly right to import raw materials for batik to the largest cooperative at that time, the Association for Indonesian Batik Cooperative (GKBI). With large profits obtained by cooperatives, they can obtain domestic investment capital. The capital was then used to establish its own factory for batik raw materials, both by GKBI and primary cooperatives. “There must be a clear alignment with the people in developing the Indonesian economy. This is the key to Sumitro’s thinking,” Dawam remarked again.
On the other hand, Prabowo Subianto, who was the first son and third child of Sumitro Djojohadikusumo spoke of his memories that he got many values from his father, particularly that of love for the motherland, nationalism, patriotism, and building the nation and state. “My father always talked about the struggles of Pangeran Diponogoro, Sultan Agung, Sudirman and others,” Prabowo said. “Since I was a child, I kept hearing about his pride in his country, and his respect and thoughts of the common people,” he fondly recalled.
“Sumitro for us is a father, a teacher and a mentor. The most memorable and still relevant to our nation today is his message, that while we may differ politically, we must unite in our national interest,” Prabowo said, concluding his memories.
The event commemorating 100 years of Sumitro was marked by a friendly gathering and breaking the fast attended by Djohohadikusumo family, relatives, family friends and former students.
Opening the event “Commemorating 100 years of Sumitro Djojohadikusumo” was an exhibition which presented various memorable photos, notes of his thoughts and works as well as memorabilia from Prof. Sumitro Djojohadikusumo.
“Commemorating his 100 years, we want to remember him it with gratitude, in the spirit of following in his footsteps, both in good and difficult times, as a proud child of the nation, as presented in his story, his pictures, his thoughts, and his work,” explained Rahayu Saraswati Djojohadikusumo, one of the grandchildren who are also members of the DPR RI, which organized the exhibition. “After this, the exhibition will be held in several other places for better public access,” she remarked.
Appear to be present at the event, besides family and relatives, were former students, coworkers and other best friends such as Prof. DR. Emil Salim, Prof. Subroto, J.B. Sumarlin, Agus Martowardojo, and many others.
Translation by: Widya Amasara