It is indeed an honor to be in the presence of this very distinguished group.
As a professional soldier, never did I dream, much less expect, that I would be a
recipient of an award strange to my profession. It is, therefore, with a feeling of
humility that I express my most profound gratitude to the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation in
general, and to the members of the Board of Trustees in particular, for having been
granted the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service.
I recall that I was none too happy when, on the 28th of April 1966, I was appointed
Governor of the City of Djakarta. I was aware that the task entrusted to me was one which
was completely foreign to my background and experience. I embarked upon the task as the
community was going through a transitional period, infected with mutual distrust.
Under these circumstances it became my obsession, in exercising the multifarious duties of
Regional Chief Administrator, to place public interests over and above group or personal
I found, in the first few weeks of my administration, a city replete with confusion and
not properly managed. Social welfare programs were nonexistent. Population growth
proceeded at a high rate and the community was heterogeneoustechnically and
socioeconomically. The administration system and apparatus was an instrument of the spoils
system, peculiar to the political condition and atmosphere at that time. The
political-psychological climate was highly unfavorable due to the deteriorating confidence
of the people in the city administration.
Such a situation required a pledge on my part to provide leadership dedicated to the
restoration of the people's confidence in the administration. A leadership that could
attend meticulously and properly to the needs of the community. A leadership that could
take positive decisions, timely and accurately, and furnish adequate and effective
measures to cope with any contingency. A leadership based, to a large extent, on
humanitarian principles and respect for individual rights regardless of social status,
political conviction or religious affiliation. A leadership able to formulate pragmatic
political policies aimed at minimizing ideological controversies which, as history taught
us, hampers national progress and more often than not, leads to disaster.
As I started the administration of the city, I found out that charisma alone is not enough
leadership-quality to surmount the enumerable problems of the city.
There were calculated risks I had to take and I had to neutralize challenges to my program
of public order and improvements. At the same time, I had an open mind on constructive
criticism and an open heart to chose that wished me well. It was indeed difficult and
crying to introduce new ideas, especially to a community reluctant to accept a change
because of its culture, background and exposure.
I had imposed upon myself, as Governor of the City of Djakarta, the dual role of
administrator and community leader. The accomplishment, modest as it might be, of the
mission to "modernize and develop" the city was a direct result of combining the
two basic functions.
As in any city in the world, the maintenance of peace and order is a requisite to
progress. There were times when, in the discharge of this responsibility, I had to risk
personal popularity because I stepped on many political toes. It was and still is my
determined aim to be firm of purpose and free from vacillation and timidity insofar as
political interference is concerned on matters inherent to the tranquility of the city.
Please allow me, ladies and gentlemen, to add with all sincerity that the achievements
during the last five years, judging by the needs of the people, are yet far from
satisfactory. We feel that we are still lagging 10 to 15 years behind other neighboring
metropolises on infrastructure and development. But we will try to catch up, in our own
Whatever success we have so far achieved, we have done so, firstly, on the basis of the
attitude we have adopted and the management policies we have pursued which could very well
be the guidelines of my successors; and secondly, on the basis of the people's renewed
faith and confidence in the administration and leadership of his Excellency, President
Again, let me thank you for your indulgence.
May God Almighty shower blessings upon all of us today and henceforth.