NAME: Ni Putu Ariantini
AGE: 25
OCCUPATION: Jewellery store assistant
ORIGIN: Candidasa, Bali

How do you think people overseas see Indonesia?
Indonesia is seen as country where everything is cheap, with friendly people and a great sense of community.
What are the barriers to development in this country?
There are too many people in government who are corrupt and take the money from taxes for Indonesia’s development. They put it in their own pockets.
Corruption is constantly in the news. Do you think it’s getting worse?
It’s becoming a trend. It is getting worse.

What real steps can be taken to stamp out graft?
They should be very hard on people who are corrupt. It doesn’t matter how much influence they have, they have to look at everyone at the same level and punish them equally. Sometimes they punish people from the lower class more than those with money.

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?
No, we shouldn’t. It seems like they enjoy the war because they are always fighting.

There’s a view that Bali, in many respects, is unlike anywhere else in Indonesia. Why do you think that is?
Bali is a very artistic place and the safest place in the country. It doesn’t have natural disasters like other parts of Indonesia.
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 almost 80 people have died?

Not enough is being done. The vaccine is not available much of the time.

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?
I’ve never been outside of Bali so I can’t say.

What’s your view of the legacy of centuries of Dutch rule?
Many memories and many museums about our struggle.

Indonesia has had six presidents since independence in 1945. Which one stands out the most for you, and why?
Suharto. Things were cheaper and even if there was corruption, the people were still number one, not like now. Now it’s the people in power who come first.


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