NAME: Adiya Bawana
OCCUPATION: Lifeguard at Double Six Beach
LIVING IN: Denpasar
How do you think people overseas see Indonesia?
They think the culture is very good and nice. The first things they see are the beaches, the sun and the sunset.
What are the barriers to development in this country?
I can’t really answer that, because I’m not in the world of politics. But I will say that the law here is bad. You have laws but you destroy the laws. I’ve been to Europe and Australia. Compared to them the corruption here is very bad and corruption is one of the barriers.
Corruption is constantly in the news. Do you think it’s getting worse?
It’s getting worse. Corruption is from the Dutch era because everything is about money, not the law. So it has become the culture.
What real steps can be taken to stamp it out?
That’s hard. We need to have personal introspection, to realise what we are doing and to stop it. Then others will follow.
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?
If it results in peace, why not?
There’s a view that Bali, in many respects, is unlike anywhere else in Indonesia. Why do you think that is?
The smiling people and the peaceful side of them. When the people are happy they never ask for money; they will give it for free.
One of Bali’s main problems right now 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 more than 60 people have died?
Not enough is being done. We have to go back to the regulations, which is a problem in Indonesia: No one follows them. Communities have vaccinated some dogs and culled others, but it’s not enough. It’s the communities that are the problem, not the government. There are too many stray dogs that have not been vaccinated.
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?
The culture, but I’m not sure.
What’s your view of the legacy of centuries of Dutch rule?
If were ruled by the British maybe it would be a different story.
Indonesia has had six presidents since independence in 1945. Which one stands out the most for you, and why?
Each one has their good side and bad side; it’s hard to choose. During president Sukarno’s time, things were good: prices of staple foods were low. But the problem with him was he had a lot of wives. Suharto was good; there was peace in his time. But many people say he was not good. The ones that have followed have all been good, but it’s hard to say who the best is.