NAME: Ketut Suka Artini
How do you think the country is doing now?
I’m not so convinced President Yudhoyono is doing good for Indonesia. He is great at cracking down on corruption, but there are still too many people unemployed and too many people moving to Jakarta for work. Suharto’s government may have been seriously corrupt but people had a much better quality of life and there were fewer criminals when he was president.
Is the central government in Jakarta doing enough for the regions?
They still concentrate on Jakarta, like the amount of time and money they spend on dealing with flooding every year.
If you were running the country, what three things would you fix or change immediately?
First I would start transmigration programmes up again to stop people flocking to Jakarta to find work. People need to be given a small piece of land and something to work on, in a new place. Secondly, I would make punishments for criminals harsher and take more control over law making. Thirdly, I would encourage more traditional means of making money, like farming and buying locally in markets instead of building supermarkets and importing goods.
What do you think about Bali’s government?
They haven’t had much time yet, but I think they will make positive changes for Bali.
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?
It is very difficult because there are so many different religions and cultures in Indonesia, but it’s what makes tourist want to visit our country.
What are the qualities of an Indonesian?
Indonesians are generally good with people and are smiley, but sometimes a little shy. They have a great sense of community spirit and don’t like to do things alone like Westerners do.
What for you has been Indonesia’s greatest moment since it declared independence in 1945?
It’s hard to say, but I think they best time for Indonesians was just after independence was declared. Things were very traditional then and people weren’t fighting for power like they are now. There are too many new political parties now fighting to be on top.