Name: Gabriel Gede Bagus Arnadhy
Occupation: Graphic designer, photographer
Is the country better or worse since former president Suharto stepped down 10 years ago?
It’s difficult to say because there have been good and bad changes since then.
How did you feel when you heard he died last January?
Of course, as almost all Indonesians, I felt sad.
Is Jakarta politics relevant to your life, or is it ruled by elites who are out of touch with the people?
Nowadays, politicians don’t pay enough attention to the people. I hope in the future, Indonesia will have better leaders.
What does Indonesia have to do to become an economic powerhouse once again?
One way to boost the economy is to improve security. I think the government should fix the country’s security system to gain people’s trust.
If you were running the country, what would you fix or change immediately?
The economy, and as I said before, security is a major priority.
What should Bali’s government be focusing on?
Again, security. Bali is dependant on tourism, and tourism is dependant on the security and safety of tourists.
Indonesia is made up of more than 17,500 islands, many religions, dozens of ethnic groups and hundred of local dialects. Therefore, is it reasonable to expect “Unity in Diversity,” as the founding fathers declared?
Diversity has been Indonesia’s trademark, and I feel there is no reason to doubt our ability to unite.
What does being Indonesian mean to you? What sets you apart from, say, neighboring Singapore, Brunei or Malaysia?
There is no other country as diverse as Indonesia. I’m proud to be Indonesian because I’m part of its diversity.
Why do you think Indonesia has always has such a testy relationship with its neighbor Australia?
I think it’s because it’s a very close country, but the culture is very different to Indonesia’s. If we go to Malaysia or Singapore, we can still see the similarities to our culture but Australia is the closest ‘western’ country.
What for you has been Indonesia’s greatest moment since it declared independence in 1945?
I don’t think Indonesia has had its best moment yet.