Interpretation of State Goals in Preamble to 1945 Constitution

Constitutional Justice Wahiduddin Adams speaking at a national seminar at the Law Faculty of Tadulako University, Palu, Central Sulawesi Province, Friday (9/8/2023). Photo by MKRI/Hamdi.

PALU (MKRI) — It has been 20 years since the amendment of the 1945 Constitution in 1999, suggesting to all components of the Indonesian nation that the work to create a measure of general welfare for all Indonesians is not yet over. Despite the change of government regimes through a democratic process in the 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014, and 2019 elections, and the upcoming 2024 election, there is still uncertainty in the efforts to promote general welfare, said Constitutional Justice Wahiduddin Adams at a national seminar on “The Dynamics of the State Administration System and General Election after the Amendment to the 1945 Constitution” by the Law Faculty of Tadulako University (FH Untad), Palu, Central Sulawesi Province on Friday, September 8, 2023. Justice Wahiduddin invited the multi-generational seminar participants to understand the essence of the state goals in accordance with the mandate of the Preamble to the 1945 Constitution.

Justice Wahiduddin continued his lecture by quoting the fourth paragraph of the Preamble to the 1945 Constitution, “... to form a Government of the State of Indonesia that protects all Indonesian people and the entire land of Indonesia and to develop the welfare of the people, the life of the nation, and participate in the world order based on freedom, eternal peace, and social justice.” This paragraph explicitly states the ideals or goals of the state. As an independent country, Indonesia must form and organize a government system, with the objectives being to protect the entire Indonesian nation and homeland; to develop public welfare; to educate the nation's life; and to participate in implementing world order based on freedom, peace, and social justice.

“In short, whoever holds the government and what programs are in its agenda, the constitutional ideals must be the guidelines in the preparation of the program. Therefore, the state goals or constitutional ideals is the element of ‘continuity.’ If we elaborate on the four state goals, we will find common ground in the statement about the protection provided by the state to citizens, which includes the protection of constitutional rights. In other words, the constitutional rights are guaranteed by the state,” Justice Wahiduddin explained before the head of the Court’s General Bureau Elisabeth, House of Representatives’ Commission III member Sarifuddin Sudding, Untad Law Faculty dean Sulbadana, Untad faculty members, and law professors and lecturers at Untad.

To Ensure People’s Prosperity

Justice Wahiduddin presented a comparison of the state goals of several countries such as China, the United States, and Scandinavian countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. These countries show that realizing general welfare cannot be interpreted only as an effort to improve the national economy so that it meets the standards of a developed economy. Economy cannot be excluded from welfare, he added. However, the elements of welfare are not only measured from an economic point of view.

He observed that China and the United States are said to be dominating the global market, and their economic growth has rapidly accelerated compared to 30-40 years ago. However, do all its citizens feel prosperity equal? He compared them to Scandinavian countries which, despite having small territories and limited natural resources, have government policies that prioritize services to citizens. Their governments make the most of the existing resources for the prosperity of the people.

“So what about Indonesia? There is still no consensus on the definition of ‘general welfare’ in the Preamble to the 1945 Constitution. During the reign of President Soeharto, the concept of ‘development’ was used as the basis for achieving general welfare. It also made the economy the driving force. In the 1980s, Indonesia was once heralded as an Asian Tiger. However, it turned out that the economy was not built on a solid foundation. So, when the monetary crisis occurred, the economy was also affected to a large extent. Like it or not, after the reign of President Soeharto, renovation and overhaul of our constitutional system was carried out through the amendment to the 1945 Constitution,” he explained.

After the keynote lecture, the national seminar was followed by a legal discussion with House Commission III member Sarifuddin Sudding and Untad law lecturer Aminuddin Kasim.

Author       : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
Translator  : Tahlitha Laela/Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.

Friday, September 08, 2023 | 16:28 WIB 65