Security Guard at Legian

Name: Dody
Age: 37
Occupation: Security guard
Location: Legian

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

This country has grown even worse. Indonesia has had six presidents so far: Sukarno, Suharto, Habibie, Gus Dur, Megawati and Susilo. Among them, I think Indonesia only saw better conditions during Megawati’s time in office.

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

I thanked God for that. It minimized the number of bad people in this country.

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

Politics have been ruled by the elites. Perhaps they will rule politics forever unless we learn to balance politics with the will of the people.

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

Indonesia should bring back the agrarian industry.

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

If I were to run this country, I would:

1) Make Indonesians come together to bring this country prosperity.

2) Reinstate the agrarian industry.

3) End corruption.

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?

I’ve heard about the election, but I can’t vote. I don’t have a Bali ID card.

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?

It’s reasonable to expect unity in diversity, of course, but many times we act as if we’re all strangers to each other. Indonesians are friendly to foreigners, but quite often we are not friendly to other Indonesians.

What does being Indonesian mean to you?

Being Indonesian is a strong part of my identity. I’m proud to be Indonesian.

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

These days, I only listen to music on my tape recorder. As a security guard for a villa, I never have the chance to watch the news on TV.

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

There hasn’t been a “greatest moment” yet. There’s too much poverty in this country.

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The Big Questions

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