Rabu, 08 Juni 2011

Issue: SBY’s English speeches illegal: Mahfud

| Fri, 06/03/2011 8:00 AM
May 26, Online

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has broken his own rule by delivering official speeches in English, Constitutional Court chief Mahfud MD said Thursday.

Yudhoyono’s fondness for using English instead of Indonesian in his speeches at various national and international events has been highlighted by the media.

On several occasions such as the ASEAN Summit and the Non-Aligned Movement conference, Yudhoyono entertained audiences with his fluency in English.

Your comments:

Mahfud is trying to be a nationalist by taking advantage of the situation. This country never changes. Look at Malaysia.

They’re not so democratic, but they’re better at managing and developing the nation.

Kuala Lumpur

It makes no big difference. Let him put his words into action, and remove corruption and improve human resources.

Only then will the legality matter.

Lyon, France

Oh man! Don’t fuss about language.

The important thing is for our friends understand what we are talking about. Language is just language. Language is not objective. We should not force others to follow what we are talking about.

Even among Javanese it is impossible for us to speak Indonesian if our partners are from Java who cannot understand Indonesian.



The law mentioned above is only applicable at national forums, not international forums.

The ASEAN conference and Non-Aligned Movement summit were international fora.

English is a lingua franca. All the people in the world have agreed to use English to talk to each other. By communicating in English, we can contact people from all over the world.

Surakarta, Central Java

India has the most engineers in the world. They are mobile and globalized. All this has been made possible because of their command of English.

They got reasonable jobs to feed their families.

Nationalism and emotions cannot provide food for the hungry. Backwardness is bad. Poverty is worse.

Former vice president Hatta could speak many languages. Former president BJ Habibie could speak German and English very well.

They made Indonesia proud. All these are examples for Indonesian people to emulate so they can improve their lives and wellbeing.

Idris Fajar

English is just a tool to use to communicate with each other. It’s not a source of competitiveness among countries. There is a kind of mad wind in all over Asia.

National power is not brought about through English language, but technological and cultural creation and innovation through mother tongue.

Please take a look at the past 60 years since the World War II and compare Japan and South Korea vs India and the Philippines.

A strict usage of English is not the only way to develop an economy and bring about democracy.

Kihong Park
South Korea

Most people who comment here think it doesn’t matter what language SBY uses in his speeches, or think it is not something to be concerned about because it’s just another nationalistic crusade. This is wrong.

It’s a democratic problem that the President doesn’t use the language of his people when he makes his speeches.

Because of the low level of education in Indonesia, very few people can actually understand what he says, and thus he can say whatever pleases, with little care for his constituents.

In a country with a high standard of education, this is not a problem, because the majority understands what their leader says.


English is an international language. We live in a global era and need to master the global language in order to connect with the rest of the world. I am proud that our President speaks good English. Our English standard in our country needs to be improved.

By having a good proficiency in English language, we are able to compete with other countries such as China, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand.


When a Garuda Airlines pilot flies into Soekarno Hatta, what language do you think he uses to communicate with the ground controllers? The answer: English

Like it or not, English is the international language. In communication, the most important thing is to be understood. The law should allow the President to choose which language he speaks based on the audience he is addressing.

Constitutional Court chief Mahfud MD’s comments help to illustrate that there are a lot of laws in Indonesia that are poorly thought out.

K Highlander

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