Sunday, July 18, 2010

Muhammadiyah set to enter era of mobilization, excellence

Published on The Jakarta Post (
Guest Speaker: Muhammadiyah set to enter era of mobilization, excellence

The Jakarta Post | Mon, 07/19/2010 4:33 PM |

Sri Wahyuni

Indonesia’s largest modernist Muslim organization, Muhammadiyah, concluded its centennial congress last week. To learn more about what the organization has planned for its second century, The Jakarta Post’s Sri Wahyuni spoke with Din Syamsuddin who was reelected as its chairman for the 2010-2015 term in office. The following are excerpts from the interview.

Question: Where will you take Muhammadiyah in the next five years?

Answer: As was agreed on by the congress, the five-year programs aim toward the realization of the 2015 strategic vision, which (focuses on) mobilization and the improvement of the quality and excellence of the organization.

Our task as leaders is to run the programs with the spirit and values mandated by the congress.

There has been demand to include women in the central board (PP). What your comment?

There is no standard ruling regarding the issue. If we decide to add more members to the PP, our orientation would be based more on the needs of the leadership body, and what its 13 elected members lack. We will definitely pick the best from the Muhammadiyah cadres, regardless of their gender. (Our selections) are based more on reasons.

What will be the main focus of programs for this period?

The fields of activities, the core businesses, will basically remain the same as they were previously, with enlightenment as the central theme. Muhammadiyah is a movement of enlightenment aiming to help create a well-educated nation.

However, having mobilization as its strategic vision, we are required to be able to crystallize the impacts of different fields of activities.

We are required to be able to move the activities from the bottom. That is why there is also a recommendation for there to be a Muhammadiyah university in each province.

There is also a recommendation to build Muhammadiyah Islamic boarding schools in each regency or municipality, to serve as breeding grounds for new cadres.

How would you position Muhammadiyah in the political world?

Our (platform) must not have a structural, organizational relationship with any of the political parties, so that no political party is Muhammadiyah and there is no political party within Muhammadiyah. We maintain the same distance with (all) political parties. Of course when we have many cadres in a political party, it will influence our closeness. But this is more because of friendship.

My concern is that many Muhammadiyah members may not realize we have our Denpasar platform (2002), which mandates that we intensify our role in nation building. This is what we call (politics for the sake of the nation). It requires us do something if there is something going wrong in our country. This is what makes us different. It’s not enough to run an anticorruption campaign by just talking. We need to do more.

Of course the challenges are different from one period to the next. During my previous term in office we faced a situation that previous (Muhammadiyah) chairmen had not faced.

— JP
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