As tens of millions of Indonesian Muslims ended their fast this week and rejoiced in the Idul Fitri celebrations â€“ and millions more of other faiths enjoyed what has for many become a week-long holiday â€“ they could take heart in the knowledge that the country is finally back on track after years of calamity.
For sure this nation of 220 million souls has in recent times endured more than its share of large-scale disasters, from devastating tsunamis to equally overwhelming earthquakes. This region, as we are constantly reminded by nature, is indeed inherently unstable.
But for the aspects of our lives that can be controlled â€“ governance, the economy, security â€“ there is good news as the current central government, now having just passed the two-year mark in office, makes steady progress, and for this it must be commended.
While previous administrations teetered, fumbled and allegedly engaged in illegal acts, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyonoâ€™s decision-making has been clear cut and effective, yet there remain massive tasks ahead, chief among them straightening out the judiciary and security forces and hammering the final nail into the coffin of corruption â€“ and in doing winning approbation from the international community, whose investment dollars would more readily flow.
Itâ€™s been a mere two years, but already a newer, more confident Indonesia is emerging from its darker years.