NAME: I Wayan Blondy
AGE: 29
LOCATION: Baturiti

Is the country better or worse since former president Suharto stepped down 10 years ago?

It was better before because people weren’t fighting over political issues so much and the economy was better.

How did you feel when you heard he died in last year?
A little sad.

Is Jakarta politics relevant to your life, or is it ruled by
elites who are out of touch with the people?

I think politicians are ruling for all of Indonesia, so they are thinking about all Indonesians, including the Balinese.

What does Indonesia have to do to become an economic powerhouse once again?
It needs a tough government, one that can keep control of the people. To keep tourists coming to Bali, which plays a very important role in the Indonesian economy, there must be peace and public order.

If you were running the country, what three things would you fix or change immediately?

I’m really not sure, but I know I would have to first stop people rising up against the government.

What do you think of Bali’s government?
Good – the best so far. Governor Pastika is really set on getting
rid of things like illegal gambling and making Bali a safer place for tourists.

Indonesia is made up of more than 17,500 islands, many religions, dozens of ethnic groups and hundred of dialects. Therefore, is it reasonable to expect “Unity in Diversity,” as the founding fathers declared?
Yes, I think we can be united.

What does being Indonesian mean to you? What sets you apart from, say, neighboring Singapore, Brunei or Malaysia?
Right now is an especially good time to be Balinese and Indonesian. Our president and governor are very strong and that makes me proud. I think it’s the diversity of Indonesia that makes us so special.

Why do you think Indonesia has always had such a testy relationship with its neighbor Australia?
Indonesians often want to change their lives to be more Western; so I think they are just jealous.

What for you has been Indonesia’s greatest moment since it declared independence in 1945?
In 1995. The economy was really strong and there were a lot of tourists visiting. That was probably the best time since 1945.

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