NAME: Olim
AGE: 27
From: West Jawa

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

Before, there was a lot of corruption, and it was very dangerous, but now it is still the same and nothing has improved.

How did you feel when you heard he died in January?
I felt nothing, he was old; it was better for him to take a rest!

Is Jakarta politics relevant for your life, or is it ruled by elites who are out of touch with the people?
I think they don’t understand us.

What does Indonesia have to do to become an economic powerhouse once again?
The first thing to do would be to get rid of the corruption. But now I feel like things are improving, as more and more people end up in jail over corruption.

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

I would first stop corruption, second take care of poor people and third give our children a better education.

What has Bali’s government done to improve the island?
The beaches are cleaner; that’s all I can see.

Indonesia is made up of more than 17,500 islands, many religions, dozens of ethnic groups and hundred of dialects. Therefore, is it reasonable to expect “Unity in Diversity,” as the founding fathers declared?

I think it’s possible, because, for example, people have different religions but in the end they are all the same.

What does being Indonesian mean to you? What sets you apart from, say, neighboring Singapore, Brunei or Malaysia?
I’m not that happy to be Indonesian, because if I was born somewhere else, I would maybe have more money. And Indonesia is more difficult to rule that those countries, because it’s bigger. Countries such as Singapore are not difficult to control, as there are not that many people living there.

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

I don’t know but maybe the fact that Australian people love to come here has created a strong link.

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

Right now, because we are politically independent.

Filed under: Vox Populi

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