Sleeping forum participant outrages President

The Jakarta Post ,
The most valuable lesson learned by regional leaders at a five-week workshop at the National Resilience Institute (Lemhannas) might not be on leadership at all, but how to withstand sleepiness.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was speaking before 86 participants of the forum consisting of mayors, regents and leaders of regional legislative councils on Tuesday when he spotted a participant falling asleep.

Yudhoyono paused his speech and told the attendants, while pointing to the participant: “Wake him up. Go outside if you want to sleep.”

“How could a leader fall asleep while I am talking about how to develop our nation? You should be ashamed of the people who have elected you their leader,” he said.

“Be serious with your responsibility. I’m ordering Lemhannas not to pass participants with bad attitudes even if they are highly intelligent.”

In the forum, Yudhoyono also told participants to improve their managerial skills and make the most of resources owned by each region.

“I want all leaders, from the highest level to the lowest, to have good management skills and (work to) build their characters. We should not be pessimistic about the condition of our nation, which has been through a lot of crises for years.”

The forum, which opened on March 4 and will conclude Wednesday, is titled “Regional Resilience in Supporting National Resilience and Development”.

Lemhannas Governor Muladi said afterwards the President’s rebuke would not cause the sleeping participant to fail the workshop.

“Being reprimanded by the President in public is already a social sanction against the person. But we see no reason for not passing him from this workshop,” Muladi said, adding he would still find out who the reprimanded official was.

He said all participants had been cautioned earlier for not interrupting, talking, sleeping and sending text messages using their mobile phones during the President’s speech.

“Maybe the person was tired after a five-week and all-day workshop with tight schedules. But I think the participants enjoyed the forum.”