Pekanbaru. The members of the Association of Islamic Students (HMI) who are notably educated persons should put forward intellectuality, common sense, and innovation to develop the nation, instead of violence and anarchism. Vice President Jusuf Kalla stated this when opening the 29th HMI national congress held in Lanbersa Hotel, Pekanbaru, Riau, yesterday.

“The teaching of our founding fathers and our religion tells us to always base any of our actions on knowledge. That is the basic principle to progress,” said the Vice President.

He then took an example of conflicting countries in the Middle East that had made many of their citizens become refugees. This, according to Mr Kalla, is not only due to the authoritarian and unfair governments, but also the people who could not preserve their unity and thus get the condition even worse. “We have to be united to prevent such a tragedy to happen in our country,” he affirmed.

The Vice President then asked all the nation’s elements, including HMI members, to make every effort to advance the country. “We have to contribute more, not only in the government administration, but also in politics, humanity, and business. By doing so, we will be a great nation,” he said.

Many nations in the world, he added, highly appreciate Indonesia as the people in the country with the biggest number of Muslims in the world could live in harmony. “That is because we are very tolerant to each other. Without tolerance, this nation will be falling apart,” argued Mr Kalla.

Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Yuddy Chrisnandi, Agrarian and Spatial Planning Minister Fery Mursidan Baldan, Communication and Information Minister Rudiantara, National Development Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil, Head of Vice President’s Secretariat Mohammad Oemar, and HMI seniors like Mahfud MD and Akbar Tanjung also attended the event.