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Prabowo Subianto’s Dedication to Governance

Source: “Prabowo: Rekam Foto Sang Patriot,” pages 104-151

In 2019, the need to strengthen Indonesia’s defense prompted Prabowo to accept an invitation to join the Advanced Indonesia Cabinet as the Minister of Defense. Under Prabowo’s leadership, Indonesia’s defense development accelerated significantly. The country now has a trained reserve component, a consolidated defense industry, increased defense product exports, strengthened defense diplomacy, and access to the most sophisticated combat equipment to safeguard the nation’s sovereignty.

A key focus of Prabowo as Defense Minister has been on enhancing the quality of Indonesia’s defense resources. This he achieved by improving education standards at the Defense University (UNHAN), establishing a Military Medicine Faculty, founding the Ben Mboi UNHAN Campus near the Indonesia-Timor Leste border, and opening the doors of the Defense Ministry’s office to UNHAN cadets. Prabowo also significantly expanded scholarship opportunities for the nation’s brightest students to study at UNHAN.

Besides strengthening UNHAN, Prabowo paid special attention to the Taruna Nusantara High School (SMA TN) in Magelang. Not widely known, Prabowo was one of the founders of SMA TN while he was active in the military. With improved facilities and curriculum, Prabowo aims to restore SMA TN’s status as the premier high school in Indonesia.

As a vast country, Indonesia must implement a universal defense system. Therefore, the main defense component, the active military forces (TNI), must be supported by a reserve component. Following the mandate from Law 23/2019 on the Management of National Resources for State Defense, Prabowo recruited and formed this reserve component.

The training standards for reserve members are on par with those of active military personnel. When needed, the state can call upon these reserve members to assist the active military.

For the first time since its independence in 1945, under the leadership of President Joko Widodo and Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, Indonesia has a reserve component ready to support the active military whenever required.

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During the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia, Prabowo quickly took action to increase the capacity of inpatient rooms and ICU spaces at the Rehabilitation Center (Pusrehab) of Kemhan Dr. Suyoto Hospital, importing medicines, and manufacturing vital equipment such as ventilators and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Singaporean President Tharman Shanmugaratnam awarded Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto the prestigious Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang at the Presidential Palace.

The Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang is the highest military honor bestowed by the Singapore government. Minister Prabowo received this accolade for his exceptional services and crucial role in maintaining and enhancing defense relations with Singapore since his appointment in October 2019.

Under Prabowo’s leadership, Indonesian defense diplomacy has been strengthened through successfully negotiating mutually beneficial Defense Cooperation Agreements with key countries such as France, Japan, Australia, and Singapore. For instance, the Indonesia-France DCA has paved the way for the Indonesian Air Force to enhance its capabilities with advanced Rafale fighter jets.

Indonesia’s elevated international stature is evident from the warm receptions given by allied nations during Prabowo’s visits.

In addition to actively promoting Indonesian defense diplomacy, there has been an increase in high-level delegations from friendly countries visiting Prabowo at the Indonesian Ministry of Defense in Jakarta.

The 10th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) held at the Jakarta Convention Center facilitated dialogue and cooperation among ASEAN member states and eight partner countries, addressing contemporary defense and security issues.

President Joko Widodo, accompanied by Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, oversaw the dispatch of humanitarian aid from the Indonesian government to Palestine from Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force Base in Jakarta.

In his address, the President stated that this shipment, weighing 51.5 tons and comprising food supplies, medical equipment, blankets, tents, and other logistical necessities, represented the first batch of aid tailored to the needs in Gaza.

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Prabowo’s fluency in English, French, and German has made him a sought-after speaker at international forums. Notably, in November 2021 and June 2022, he was a keynote speaker at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Manama Dialogue and the Shangri-La Dialogue alongside the US Secretary of Defense, events attended by numerous defense ministers worldwide.

Upon learning of the disappearance on April 21, 2021, Prabowo immediately flew to the front lines to work with the Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces and the Chief of the Naval Staff in the search for KRI Nanggala 402. Additionally, Prabowo coordinated with defense ministers from allied nations that offered help, and he met with the crew members’ families. He also set up special scholarships for these families at the Defense University (UNHAN) and Taruna Nusantara High School (SMA TN), and provided new housing for the soldiers’ families.

Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto personally visited the homes of the Air Force officers who lost their lives in the crash of two EMB-314 Super Tucano aircraft at the Abdul Rachman Saleh Air Force Base residential complex in Malang. Minister Prabowo offered his deepest condolences and provided compensation, also pledging comprehensive support to the bereaved families.

As the pivotal figure in shaping Indonesia’s defense strategy, Prabowo closely coordinates with the Commander of the Armed Forces and all related personnel in implementing defense tactics. This includes planning the defense of the new capital city, Nusantara, being developed in East Kalimantan.

Prabowo is dedicated to ensuring Indonesia’s self-reliance in defense capabilities. He has actively been boosting the capabilities of state-owned enterprises and domestic defense industries, and is a strong proponent for creating a consolidated holding of defense-related state-owned enterprises. Additionally, Prabowo continues to advance the KFX/IFX fighter aircraft project, collaborating with PT Dirgantara Indonesia to produce Indonesian-made fighter jets for both the Air Force and international markets from Bandung.

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To fortify Indonesia’s defense capabilities, Prabowo actively coordinates with the parliament, relevant ministries, and other national institutions. With support from the President of Indonesia, the parliament, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the National Development Planning Agency, Prabowo has pioneered breakthroughs in planning for Indonesia’s defense development over the next 25 years.

Given that Indonesia’s territory consists of 1/3 land, 2/3 water, and encompasses the airspace above, Prabowo, as the Minister responsible for national defense and sovereignty, personally ensures that the Armed Forces—Army, Navy, and Air Force—have all the necessary facilities and equipment in optimal condition.

In recognition of his high dedication and loyalty to the nation and state, Prabowo has been honored with the title of Honorary Member by the Mobile Brigade Corps of the Indonesian National Police. In addition to maintaining strong relations with the National Police, Prabowo fosters positive relationships with the State Intelligence Agency (BIN).

Indonesia’s Defense Minister, Prabowo Subianto, is dedicated to ensuring optimal management practices across the national defense industry. At the directive of President Joko Widodo, he has been tasked with expanding this vital sector, which is a source of national pride. Consequently, the government is actively working to boost both the marketing and technological capabilities of the industry.

Minister Prabowo Subianto has also inaugurated numerous clean water facilities in diverse locations such as Lombok, Sumbawa, Moa Island, Central Java, West Java, and Pamekasan in Madura, in collaboration with the Defense University.

Additionally, Minister Prabowo has launched several hospitals throughout Indonesia. These initiatives to upgrade the facilities at Kemhan/TNI hospitals are part of his broader effort to enhance healthcare services for both military members and the civilian population.

 

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