Dalam acara makan siang saat program summer school yang melibatkan mahasiswa internasional, terjadi percakapan menarik. Di meja itu ada saya dan satu orang teman Indonesia lain yang bertugas sebagai reviewer. Di dekat kami ada empat mahasiswa internasional. Satu dari mereka bertanya tentang perkembangan Indonesia.
“Indonesia has a lot of problems but we do not have good leaders” kata teman saya menjawab. Dia melanjutkan, “all leaders only think about short time. They don’t really think about the future of Indonesia. They fight for their own advantage. They do things for the advantage of their party, family and friends. Actually we are very rich but we are mismanaged because we lack of statesmen. Indonesia is declining”. Kawan saya ini bercerita dengan semangat dan berapi-api.
Apa yang disampaikan kawan saya itu tidak salah tapi saya melihat dari sisi yang berbeda. Sayapun mulai berpendapat ketika kesempatan muncul.
“Indonesia is a very complex country. We can see it from many different perspectives. I agree that Indonesia is facing a lot of problems to deal with. However, we should not forget that Indonesia is a relatively young nation so it is too early to judge. In 1998, almost all predicted that Indonesia would be Balkanized, disintegrated and fall apart. The crisis that Indonesia went through at that time put Indonesia at its lowest point. Not may would believe that Indonesia could bounce back and find a new track to move forward.”
Suasana di meja makan mulai serius. Kawan saya menyimak dan sekali waktu menimpali.
“Fast forward now, we prove the opposite. Indonesia is the third largest democracy on earth and directly elected its president for the first time only six years after reaching its lowest point. For the first time in history, Indonesia had a smooth two-term national leadership with convincing national stability. Now we allocate a large amount of money to send bright young people of Indonesia to study in highly reputable universities overseas. We also witness quite massive development of infrastructure in Eastern part of Indonesia. Our president went to Papua to directly oversee the implementation of a number of infrastructure projects. In addition, for the first time in history, maritime affairs become a top priority and are taken care of by a coordinating ministry. This is what an archipelagic country like Indonesia really needs.”
Saya merasa saatnya harus menyudahi pandangan saya.
“I share my friend’s view that we still have serious problems to deal with. But I am sure that we are heading towards a right destination. Our movement might be slow but we are moving forward.” Saya lihat anak-anak muda internasional itu mengangguk-angguk sambil tersenyum.