Name: Alfina Pratiwi
Origin: Lumajang, East Java
How do you think people overseas see Indonesia?
Indonesia is a country known of its natural beauty, especially Bali; yet a lot of people overseas don’t know Indonesia, only Bali.
What are the barriers to development in this country?
An uneasy political situation; the system of government is not good.
Do you think corruption is getting worse?
Of course, yes. It is because state officials don’t have shame in taking the people’s money. Besides damaging the people, it also damages Indonesia’s image. For that there should be a more clarified punishment for the corruptors, even death.
What real steps can be taken to stamp out graft?
Destroy it; give moral education to all Indonesians and make Indonesia much better in tackling problems. To destroy it there should be the death penalty.
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?
The Aceh tsunami back in 2004 got the world’s attention, help and everything. This is worse; it’s human rights we’re talking about, damaged by the Israelis. So Indonesia should always help as our Constitution of 1945 says that colonial domination over the world must be brought to an end. The Palestinian tragedy is the world’s tragedy too.
There’s a view that Bali, in many respects, is unlike anywhere else in Indonesia. Why do you think that is?
Bali has a different culture and belief system; Balinese believe in their ancestors and sacred items. Also, they prioritise traditions, but don’t isolate themselves from modern developments.
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 almost 80 people have died?
A lot has been done already and the regional government is on target (to wipe out rabies).
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?
There’s one and the same thing – respecting each other.
What’s your view of the legacy of centuries of Dutch rule?
It was very disadvantageous for Indonesia; they tried to dominate every aspect, land and education. But despite this, Indonesia has become united.
Indonesia has had six presidents since independence in 1945. Which one stands out the most for you and why?
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Under his leadership Indonesia is still going through difficult times but he keeps coming up with new solutions.