NAME: Dewa Nyoman Rai Hadiasyah
LIVING IN: Ubud
How do you think people overseas see Indonesia?
They look at Indonesia as a beautiful country with a lot of culture – from the temples in Bali to the forests in Sumatra.
What are the barriers to development in this country?
The youth that are careless about the country. For example, the ones who use drugs and are selfish. The youth are the future leaders; they should care more about the country.
Corruption is constantly in the news. Do you think it’s getting worse?
There’s the Corruption Eradication Commission, but from what I hear, it’s the commission itself that helps the corruptors. From what I see, it’s (corruption) not getting better.
What real steps can be taken to stamp it out?
The power of the law and the quality of the lawmakers.
Some say Indonesia should help mediate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, because of its large Muslim population, and President Yudhoyono has signalled an interest. What’s your view?
We need to agree with the good intentions of Mr Yudhoyono. Helping others is what we should do.
There’s a view that Bali, in many respects, is unlike anywhere else in Indonesia. Why do you think that is?
The friendly people and their good nature, with a touch of a unique culture.
One of Bali’s main problems is the deadly outbreak of rabies. Stray dogs continue to roam the streets, posing a serious health risk to people. Do you think not enough is being done to counter this crisis, given that around 60 people have died?
There has been some effort by the government. I saw some stray dogs being captured and vaccinated. But again, there still many more stray dogs that are hard to capture.
How do you relate to Indonesians from other islands – Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Papua and many more. Is there a common bond between you all?
We are all friendly people and the same motto binds us together: Bhinneka Tunggal Ika – different but the same.
Indonesia has had six presidents since independence in 1945. Which one stands out the most for you, and why?
SBY (President Yudhoyono), of course. I feel the change from his government. In education, for example: all the classrooms at high schools in Ubud have air conditioners; and also now, free education until junior high is provided for the people.