NAME: Ketut Pasquale
AGE: 37
Occupation: Cruise-ship staff

How do you think the country is doing now?
I think everyone is struggling because of the financial crisis. It’s a difficult time but the president is on the right track; he just needs time to do more.

Is the central government in Jakarta doing enough for the regions?
I’m not sure as I’ve just come back from being away, but I think economically, the central government needs to work harder on making all the provinces more prosperous.

If you were running the country, what three things would you fix or change immediately?
I definitely wouldn’t want to be president, but if I had to be, I would work on bettering the economy and trade for the people, build relationships with foreign countries and make sure that Indonesians could live together and be peaceful.

What do you think about Bali’s government?
The government now is very new so they also need more time. They also have to contend with the central government, as Bali is not autonomous, so they can’t do everything they might want to.

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

Of course. I’m worried about anything that could hurt tourism here. Eighty percent of economy in Bali depends on tourism and we should be worried.

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 can be strong enough, if not completely unified. I think Jakarta politicians do a pretty good job at keeping Indonesians connected.

What are the qualities of an Indonesian?
I’d say we are very busy people, but I think really about half are hard working and half are really unmotivated. I guess it’s hard to be motivated when unemployment is high.

What for you has been Indonesia’s greatest moment since it declared independence in 1945?
I think now is the best time for Indonesia. We are becoming more informed about new technologies and we are able to live a better quality of life by borrowing money for things we need.

Filed under: Vox Populi

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