Representing Indonesia in YSEALI, a Student of PBI UMY Learnt Democracy and Met Barack Obama

Muhammad Abas, a student of English Education Department (PBI) UMY, became one of the two representatives of Indonesia in Young East Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) conducted in Myanmar on 10-17 November. The program initiated by the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, successfully united twenty youths from ASEAN countries to share ideas regarding their country, particularly about democracy. Then, the youth, commonly called Abas, felt that Indonesia was a superior and highly regarded country in Southeast Asia. From the discussion, Indonesia was in the right track because a lot of aspects carried out by Indonesia long time ago, like in education field, were just thought by other countries such as Myanmar and the other ASEAN countries. “I am lucky to be Indonesian since what happens there already took place in Indonesia in the past. We now have been in the right track which is far ahead from them,” he told in Public Relations and Protocols several days ago.

According to the student of year 2010, democracy and rights of citizens for expressing arguments in Indonesia were far ahead from all ASEAN countries. He continued that it would not be noticed in several other ASEAN countries. On the other hand, he explained that the issue confronted by ASEAN countries was still the same, dealing with equitable development. Thus, other participants in the forum were curious and interested in his story about community service (KKN) which Indonesian students went to remote areas. “The main issue is the equitable development. We are much better. A program as Indonesia Mengajar has existed, but they just started. They were astonished at the story of KKN,” continued the fan of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

He stated that he obtained many positive values during the program. Besides sharing information about the country of each participant, he gained knowledge from experts who became the speakers in the event. He expected that the program would strengthen the relationship among ASEAN youths. Moreover, the countries of Southeast Asia would no longer confront ASEAN Economic Community, so that youth among the countries need recognize one another to cope with culture shock. “This aims at enhancing the collaboration among countries of Southeast Asia, especially the youth. It is also with the purpose of facilitating sharing ideas for preparing AEC. When youth has understood one another culture, they would not encounter culture shock. For the next, we would create a program in Indonesia. I would invite them to come here,” he asserted.

Meeting Barack Obama

Abas felt like dreaming when President Barack Obama came to the meeting room. In fact, the committee concealed Obama’s arrival as the distinguished guest. Having surprise to see the President of the U.S. at that time was a rare moment for Abas since his friends in the United States of America told that it was not easy to meet the First Man in the U.S. Furthermore, he was very proud when Obama mentioned Indonesia, while appointing him, many times as a country whose democracy was noticed clearly and openly.

“It was like a dream when meeting Obama. It was too hard to forget when Obama appointed us and mentioned Indonesia. The ones who study in the U.S. said that they would not easily meet Obama,” uttered the youth being born in Lebak, Banten, on the 22nd of February 1993.

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