Lingga-Riau Islands, – Indonesia as a nation has long held the spirit of unity. History records the ancestors of the nation had long ago thought about the great national concept.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla stated this in an event titled Perhelatan Memuliakan Tamadun Melayu Antarbangsa (glorifying the Malay civilizations across nations) in Lingga, Riau Islands on Sunday (Nov. 20).

In the place where he was awarded the title of Sri Perdana Mahkota Negara from the Riau Malay Customary Institution (LAM), the Vice President said one of the efforts to realize such unity was the Sultan Mahmud Riayat Syah’s policy of strengthening the fraternity between the Malay and Bugis tribe through the oath of loyalty and marriage between the two tribes. This policy proved able to ward off the politics of conquest of the invaders in the past.

Sultan Mahmud Riayat Syah, also known as Sultan Mahmud Syah III, was one of the sultans in the Kingdom of Lingga-Riau-Johor-Pahang. During his ruling time, he was known to have many strategic and monumental policies for national unity. This year, Sultan Mahmud Riayat Shah was crowned as a national hero.

The Vice President then hoped that this good relationship could remain, not only between the Malay and the Bugis, but also among all ethnic groups in Indobesia.

“This is what we need to do. We remain united to work together. I am sure the spirit and togetherness here, especially with this Malay tamadun (civilization –Red), will stick together our spirit to progress,” he said.

The Vice President further said Malay culture has a big share for the nation and the country of Indonesia.

“Malay culture and language have become our national culture. Although Malay is not the largest population of this nation, yet Malay language is the unifying language of us all,” said the Vice President.

The event is held in conjunction with the 14th anniversary celebration of Lingga Regency which falls on November 20, 2017 aimed at gathering Malay figures and cultural allies to discuss the achievement of Malay in the past when led by Sultan Mahmud Riayat Syah.

Allied countries invited to the event include Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Madagascar. Tamadun Melayu antar Bangsa is also a cultural promotion event to increase the number of tourist visits to Lingga Regency. (AKS / FM, KIP Setwapres)