The Indonesian Prime Minister’s Speech

Indonesia to demolish soccer stadium where stampede killed over 130

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When the worst mass tragedy in Malaysia’s history occurred at the Istana, the nation’s presidential palace, it was also a tragedy of modern-day Indonesia. On October 17, 2002, the palace was struck by an explosion that claimed the lives of more than 200 of its citizens. It was Indonesia’s worst tragedy in its history, and the country’s worst tragedy of the 21st century.

On the following day, Prime Minister, Megawati Sukarnoputri, was inaugurated as one of the country’s leaders. Her speech that day, including the opening few minutes, has become an iconic moment in Indonesia’s history. During the speech, she was speaking on behalf of the country, the nation, and the nation state.

Here, for the first time, the full text of Megawati’s speech, which will forever be known as, “Taman Indah” (Mother of the Nation), is transcribed:

“I say, that is our destiny. We shall always strive to serve our country, and I say this even if it’s hard. There will be times, when the situation is hard, we ourselves, we ourselves, we alone, we alone, we can feel that we are serving nation. We will never doubt that. We always remember the responsibility that we have for nation, and that we will be the first, first, first, first nation. We will be the first nation that serves its nation.”

The following week, Megawati was on the front line of the nation’s response, in the nation’s response, to the tragedy. As the nation struggled to find its direction following the attack, we have the honor of having her as our guest.

Before any further discussion, I’d like to make it clear that this is not a defense of the past. The past was as bad; some of the acts were worse. I am not defending the past, and I am not arguing for the continuation

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