PK221: Speaking at the LPDP Pre-Departure Preparation Program of January 2024

It was 2015 when I was asked for the first time to speak at the LPDP Pre-Departure Preparation Program. Hundred of the Indonesian young people were set to travel all around the Globe to study master of PhD. They were paving their way to become global scholars. It was an honor for me to speak to them to prepare their journey.

It seems that my 2015 performance was acceptable and here I am now. After almost a decade after my first appearance in the respected stage in front of the Indonesian scholars to be,  I, once again, was asked to speak at the same event. It was 9 January 2024 in Jakarta. I spoke in front of hundreds of young and energetic people. It was so much fun.

A little bit different from my usual topic, which is academic writing and how to become scholar, this time, I delivered something around “Scholar Social Responsibility”. It is always good to try something new. I prepared the lecture seriously since there were a lot to add into my existing content.  I am glad that I delivered it well. At least I presented the lecture as well as I prepared it.

One special note about the event was that Akram, my former student, was part of the group.  Not only as a regular participant, Akram served as the moderator for my session. There is no bigger happiness for a teacher like me than seeing my student sitting next to me in a same stage and then fly higher to reach his/her dream. I am a happy teacher.

Serving as a Panelist for the Presidential Candidate Debate

I started the year of 2024 with a big step, at least for me. I was appointed by the Indonesian General Election Commision (KPU) as a panelist for the 2024 Presidential Candidate Debate. It was the third round with a topic around defence, security, international relations, geopolitics, diplomacy. It seems that my focus of research on maritime boundaries has been the reason of me being picked.

I saw, the assignment as a panellist is an accumulation of my two-decade study on geospatial aspects of the law of the sea, particularly maritime boundary issues. In May 2003, I was involved in a project of border demarcation between Indonesia and Timor Leste. The project brought me to Atambua in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia to conduct Global Positioning System (GPS) campaign. It was an eye-opening experience, where I started to understand the boundary making process and how it really is a multi-disciplinary issue.

I never saw that the small step I took twenty years ago would bring me to the national stage as a presidential candidate debate panelist. To be frank, I am so grateful and also proud. To be able to introduce geospatial issues in a presidential debate, for me personally, is an achievement. I really hope that the moment serve as a starting point of more positive roles in the future.