Name: Jefri Siraid
Occupation: Surfing instructor
Origin: Medan, North Sumatra
Living in: Kuta, Bali
How do you think people overseas see Indonesia?
As a beautiful country.
What are the barriers to development in this country?
A lot of corruption.
Corruption is constantly in the news. Do you think it’s getting worse?
Nowadays corruption is decreasing. For example, there’s the Corruption Eradication Commission and there’s a lot of news about corrupt people getting caught. So it’s getting better.
What real steps can be taken to stamp it out?
It starts from ourselves. We must keep the faith.
Some say Indonesia should help mediate in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, because of its large Muslim population, and President Yudhoyono has signalled an interest. What’s your view?
I don’t follow that issue in detail. But as a religious person, and Indonesia is a religious country, we should help.
There’s a view that Bali, in many respects, is unlike anywhere else in Indonesia. Why do you think that is?
Bali is the Island of the Gods. It’s just a complete place for tourists: in the evening sunset at Kuta, in the ricefields of Ubud and in Kintamani there’s a volcano.
One of Bali main problems right now is the deadly outbreak of rabies. Stray dogs continue to roams the street, posing a serious health risk to people. Do you think not enough is being done to counter this crisis, given that almost 60 people have died?
As far as I know, it’s enough. I saw in past few days stray dogs caught in Poppies Lane, Kuta. But I don’t know in other parts of Bali.
How do you relate to Indonesians from other islands – Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Papua and many more. Is there common bond between you all?
Yes. It’s the friendliness of the people.
What’s your view of the legacy of centuries of Dutch colonial rule?
Why is Malaysia, which was ruled by the British, wealthier? The Indonesian working culture is lazy. It is a product of the Dutch occupation.
Indonesia has had six presidents since independence in 1945. Which one stands out the most for you, and why?
Sukarno. Because he made a major change in the country, as in from black to white.
BT/AEFiled under: Vox Populi