Interview Headmaster of junior high school

Name: I Made Adi Spd.
Age: 59
Location: Padang Luwih, Dalung
Occupation: Headmaster of junior high school

Is the country better or worse since former president Suharto stepped down 10 years ago?

Discussions of outlines and plans for the country have been good, but the nation’s current stability is bad.

How did you feel when you heard he died in January?

I felt very sad. He was my idol.

Is Jakarta politics relevant to your life? Or is it ruled by elites who are out of touch with the people?

I think politics has to be relevant to the people’s lives in order to keep the government in check and ensure the nation’s best interests are at the heart of legislature.

What does Indonesia have to do to become an economic powerhouse once again?

We must create jobs and opportunities for employment. We should also stop subsidizing gasoline because the subsidy has made many Indonesians lazy.

If you were running the country, what three things would you fix or change immediately?

1. Level the political playing field and make national politics more stable.

2. Improve the economy and help it to grow.

3. Build up all aspects of life in Indonesia.

The people of Bali vote for a new governor later this year. What would you say to the field of candidates right now? What do they need to promise in order to be elected?

I don’t know, but I hope the candidate who is elected follows through on his promises. The other candidates should make sure not to be sore losers.

Indonesia is made up of over 17,500 islands, many religions, dozens of ethnic groups and hundreds of local dialects. Therefore, is it reasonable to expect “unity in diversity,” as the founding fathers said?

All the differences make Indonesia very interesting. It’s important to combine the cultures and to believe that our differences are what unify us as one nation of people in Indonesia.

What does being Indonesian mean to you? What sets you apart from, say, the people of neighboring Singapore, Brunei or Malaysia?

I think being Indonesian means that whether or not the government is right or wrong, Indonesia is still my country. I love Indonesia. Indonesia is my country, and I will always support it.

Why do you think Indonesia has always had such a testy relationship with its neighbor Australia?

I think the political dynamics between the two different countries are the cause of many problems.

Do you see more bumps ahead in the ties between the two countries, or are we now on solid ground?

I believe in time we will be on solid ground again. When we start taking it easy, both countries will be okay.

What, for you, has been Indonesia’s greatest moment since it declared independence in 1945?

The greatest moment since Indonesia became independent has not occurred yet. When the country is at peace and we are able to maintain good relations with the international community, then we will achieve our greatest moment as a nation. (NK/BT)

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The Big Questions

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