AGE: 23
OCCUPATION: beach-chair rental boy
ORIGIN: Banyuwangi, East Java

How do you think the country is doing now?
Not so well. The economy is not strong right now and there are a lot of public demonstrations. I think things were better when Suharto was in power.

Is the central government in Jakarta doing enough for the regions?
I’ve only ever been to Java and Bali so I’m not sure how much the government is doing for other places, but in Bali they seem to be keeping things good. Business is pretty good in Bali right now and the government plays a part in that.

If you were running the country, what three things would you fix or change immediately?
There are too many things to fix in Indonesia. I have no idea where I would start.

What do you think about Bali’s government?
I’ve only been here five months so I don’t have much to compare it to, but my friends tell me the new governor is doing a good job.

Are you worried about outbreaks of rabies and bird flu that have affected some areas of Bali?

No. I think Bali is Indonesia’s cleanest province. I would be much more worried in Java.

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 clear we can’t all have the same religion or culture, but we have to live together anyway. I think we’re doing okay. We all speak the same language, which makes it easier.

What are the qualities of an Indonesian?
We are very friendly and happy to have guests.

What for you has been Indonesia’s greatest moment since it declared independence in 1945?
I really don’t know. I’m only 23 so it is really hard for me to judge.

Filed under: Vox Populi

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