The President’s Speech

By N Mark Castro

“The only thing that stops God from sending another flood is that the first one was useless.”

Chamfort (French playwright, 1741-1794)

Today we are faced with a calamity the likes of which we have not seen in years. Today we are confronted with lives lost, properties damaged, and the displacement of what we have called our homes.

I am with you in all these.

Our nation has encountered so many challenges in the past years since you have elected me as your president. And our nation has overcome so many crises since then because we stood our ground and held our hands together: tsunami, earthquakes, Bali and Jakarta bombings, sectarian conflicts, crime rates, corruption, and now, this flood.

There are areas where we succeeded and there are areas where we lacked ample time and logistics, but we continued to forge ahead because not only is it to the interest of our nation, but it is a debt that we owe to our next generation.

This flood is our flood.

The Jakarta Administration cannot be held accountable for it alone. Even my administration, despite our best efforts, cannot single-handedly do it alone. We can only fix it together. Every person that threw rubbish, every person that lacked the discipline, every person that did not manage his or her own trash … we now learn that we are all recipients of that.

This flood, this trash, this tragedy, represents the very challenge we face as a nation.

Critics will accuse us of using this as a political platform. We have news for them. The time for politics is gone. There are no political parties that separate us from this flood. There are no religious conflicts that separate us from this flood. Sinner or saint alike suffer from this. And as an outgoing president, with no political ambitions whatsoever, I can tell you that I will spend the remainder years of my service in creating the platform that will  help alleviate — if not eradicate — our flood problem.

We will enjoin every Ministry of our government to participate in educating the public, we will knock on corporate and private doors to ensure that they are prepared, and we will provide the necessary assistance to those who are in need.

I will go around the city and visit as much area as I can. Rest assured that all our government ministries, all our government agencies, and all our state-owned enterprises will be around to deploy relief goods, to provide assistance, to help you relocate for the time being to safer grounds.

The Ministry of Health will also provide a citywide campaign to inform you of the safety measures that we need to do in order to minimize the spread of flood-related diseases.

Together we will do these. Together we will rise from this flood. Together we will turn this tide. Together we will work to confront this calamity and show the world how our unity in diversity has helped us rise from our challenges in the same way our forefathers united themselves together — despite their differences — for a better nation, for a free nation, and most of all, for the next generation.

This is what we will do.

This is what we will leave behind.

– 0 –

How I Wish He Could Speak …

About Asmartrock

N. Mark Castro is the chief political communications strategist for PT AsiaLeads, a political and communications policy-making body based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is also the Executive Director at the Southeast Asia Consulting Group, an investment advisory company assisting clients roll out their presence for the ASEAN Economic Integration in partnership with government. The views posted here are his own and do not in any way reflect the views of the companies he represents.

Posted on January 18, 2013, in General, Politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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