NAME: Wayan Sarni
AGE: 52
OCCUPATION: Art-shop owner

How do you think the country is doing now?
Good. Here in Bali, we have plenty of tourists and the economy is pretty stable.

Is the central government in Jakarta doing enough for the regions?

Yes, I think so. The president visits Bali often and seems to really care about all provinces of Indonesia.

If you were running the country, what three things would you fix or change immediately?
I would make sure tourist numbers stayed up and try to lead close to the people. I’m not sure what I would fix because I think the government is doing pretty well right now.

What do you think about Bali’s government?
I think it’s really good. Governor Pastika is very in touch with the people and cares deeply about the poor and education. He is also aware of how important tourists are and is fixing the airport.

Are you worried about outbreaks of rabies and bird flu that have affected some areas of Bali?
Yes, of course. There are so many street dogs around here I worry that tourists won’t want to come anymore. It’s good that teams are out killing street dogs now.

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 we try. Even though there are many different religions and cultures in Indonesia, we are one country.

What are the qualities of an Indonesian?
They have a great sense of community and are very generous.

What for you has been Indonesia’s greatest moment since it declared independence in 1945?
Before the first bombing in 2002, I think we were really on a high.

Filed under: Vox Populi

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