Interview 51

Name: I Dewa Made Agung (38)
Occupation: Employee at the Bureau of Population Statistics
Location: Denpasar
Marital Status: Married with two children

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

It’s worse for the economy. Politics have been volatile, but it’s better to be a democratic country than have everyone fear the government.

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

It was shocking because he had the best doctors in this country taking care of him, but I guess God had some other plan.

Is Jakarta politics relevant to your life, or is it ruled by an elite that is out of touch with the people?

Politics in this country is too overrated. It’s just a means to get media attention and popularity.

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

Indonesia has to start using its natural resources wisely instead of borrowing technology from other countries.

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

I would make the law stand in this country, replace our representatives with brighter and more honest people and I would provide better government services.

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 get elected?

The candidates are very bright people. Whoever becomes governor will have to protect Bali’s traditions despite growing globalization.

Indonesia is made up of more than 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?

We are unified. This is the beauty of Indonesia that you do not find in other countries. We live side by side. Together we make up one. Truly Nusantara.

What does being Indonesian mean to you? What sets you apart from neighboring Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia?

Our traditions are unique. Our way of life is different.

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

I don’t know much about that. I think we are just fine with Australia.

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

When the tsunami hit Aceh, thousands of supporters and aid from all over Indonesia poured into Aceh. I think it showed how truly united we are.

Filed under: The Big Questions

Comments are closed.