blog.indahnesia.com - Discover Indonesia Online

    
You are currently in > Just a blog about Indonesia > Hopefull signs for Indonesia


HONG KONG - Going by the headlines and TV images, it's easy to conclude that Indonesia is a hopeless mess. Riots, bombings, assassinations, ethnic violence, a country torn apart by chaos and evil. So when I told friends last month that my wife and I were going to Indonesia for a one-week vacation, most said something along the lines of, "Are you crazy, don't they kill ethnic Chinese there?"
My reply: "I think life is getting back to normal. Plus, I want to go see Borobudur, the largest Buddhist monument in the world." We did have some second thoughts, but then we had already bought tickets and made hotel bookings. So when we got to Indonesia four weeks ago my second visit, and my wife's first visit we were half expecting scenes of conflict. But to our surprise, we found the place to be a breath of fresh air, with friendly people and relatively developed infrastructure.
Of course, many Indonesians we met were pessimistic about the future, especially members of the older generation who helped build the country back in the 1950s and 1960s. Retired restaurateur Sri Ayati Soeparsono, 81, only shakes her head when asked about Indonesia's predicament. She and her husband, a retired doctor and Army general, had both been active in the struggle for independence, first against the Japanese and later against the Dutch. "The country, everything we fought for, is falling apart. There is no hope," she says.
We would say that too if we were to focus only the ongoing violence in Aceh and Maluku, and on President Abdurrahman Wahid's political bumbling. But my wife and I left Indonesia with a different impression.

In Sri Ayati's hometown of Magelang, near Borobudur in Central Java, for instance, children play safely on the streets, often smiling and waving at passing visitors. Farmers till fertile fields. In Jakarta, once strife-torn streets have returned to bustling commerce. Young people hang out nightly in Semanggi, the city's hippest restaurant and bar district. Even in rural Sumatra, life goes on.
Though Indonesians are not rich by World Bank standards, most can afford to eat. The soil is fertile and produces plenty of food to go around. Unlike some Asian countries, where peasants have abandoned the land to seek work in the cities, farmers here continue to till the land. The Asian Development Bank once feared that the Crisis would bring starvation, or at least widespread malnutrition in Indonesia. But, despite the ethnic violence in parts of the country and a sluggish recovery, most people are getting by. Though I don't have statistics to prove this, I suspect there are more beggars on the streets of Manila, where the ADB is based, than there are in Jakarta. Last year, I visited the Philippines five times on business and Indonesia once. Even at the height of the Crisis, I found the streets of Jakarta to be safer at night than those of Manila's financial district, Makati.
It is only when one makes these comparisons that Indonesians realize that life isn't as bad as some say it is. "I didn't know there were beggar children on the streets of Manila," says Sri Ayati. "You give me some perspective." Descended from a noble clan in Jogjakarta, she is a respected figure not only in Magelang, a nearby military town, but in all central Java. University educated and well traveled, she knows both Indonesia and the outside world. She once lived in the U.S., and for more than 20 years operated a restaurant near Borobudur, where she entertained Indonesia's top politicians as well as other VIPs. Among her guests were the Sultan of Jogjakarta, Suharto and Britain's Queen Elizabeth.

"Once, when I was living in Washington, D.C., in 1962, I asked a lady whether she liked President John Kennedy. She said 'I liked him more when he was elected two years ago'," Sri Ayati recalls. "In the same way, I look upon President Wahid. I liked him more when he was elected last year. I'm not sure he knows what he is doing."
Wahid is indeed stumbling. Elected late last year by a slim margin by the People's Consultative Assembly, he was seen as the great conciliator, someone who could cross party lines and forge a national consensus. A respected cleric and leader of Indonesia's largest Muslim group, he formed a coalition with Megawati Sukarnoputri, the daughter of Indonesia's founding president, Sukarno. But relations between the two are now visibly chilly. Wahid is also at odds with the assembly and barely survived a motion to force him out of office.
Elites like Sri Ayati share many doubts about the president. Does he have an economic policy? What is he doing about separatist and religious violence? Why is he juggling his cabinet so frequently? Many people have high expectations. After more than 30 years of dictatorship under Suharto, they are impatient for change. But this takes time. The fact that Suharto is no longer in power and is in the process of being prosecuted is a sign that Indonesia is heading in the right direction.
Take a look at Malaysia, where its former deputy premier, Anwar Ibrahim, was recently sentenced to nine years in prison for sexual misconduct a non-crime in most countries. Or at the Philippines, where Imelda Marcos, the former dictator's wife, still throws lavish parties and boasts of owning the "entire country." Indonesia then takes on a different perspective. There is hope for the country. You need only look into the faces of Indonesian children playing happily on the steps of Borobudur to realize that.



Posted in General @ 25 August 2000 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






There are no reactions on this blog entry yet. Be the first one to give a reaction here!


Log in to write a reaction

You are not logged in to the website. You have to be logged in to write a reaction on this blog entry.

· If you already have an account, please login.
· If you have lost your password, please retrieve it.
· If you don't have an account yet, you can create one.

    
 ABOUT THIS ENTRY
Add this blog entry to your email, your own blog, MySpace, Facebook, or whatsoever via AddThis:
Bookmark and Share

e-mail updates for this blog article

Login if you want to receive emails for reactions on this blog entry. You will receive an update as soon as a reaction on this blog entry is posted.

Your website for tickets in Indonesia!
Looking for e-tickets for flights in Indonesia? Here's your solution! Order your e-tickets at ticketindonesia.info.
 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
 BLOG ARCHIVE
· 2015, 28 entries
· 2014, 591 entries
· 2013, 750 entries
· 2012, 1061 entries
· 2011, 792 entries
· 2010, 644 entries
· 2009, 916 entries
· 2008, 504 entries
· 2007, 725 entries
· 2006, 1014 entries
· 2005, 723 entries
· 2004, 558 entries
· 2003, 525 entries
· 2002, 375 entries
· 2001, 162 entries
 POPULAR TAGS
· gigolo
· jakarta
· blogger
Automatically generated every hour
 BLOG CATEGORIES
· General (1205 entries)
· Economy (643 entries)
· Politics (574 entries)
· Accidents (561 entries)
· Terrorism (541 entries)
· Earthquake (539 entries)
· Volcanoes (387 entries)
· Crime (357 entries)
· Corruption (349 entries)
· Flooding (278 entries)
· Elections (276 entries)
· Travel (268 entries)
· Bird Flu (254 entries)
· Religion (242 entries)
· Tourism (239 entries)
· Oddly enough ... (219 entries)
· Violence (198 entries)
· Drugs (196 entries)
· Health (192 entries)
· Aceh conflict (191 entries)
· Environment (185 entries)
· Weather (171 entries)
· Military (168 entries)
· Protests (157 entries)
· Culture (106 entries)
· Garuda Indonesia (91 entries)
· C. Sulawesi conflict (86 entries)
· Human rights (82 entries)
· Forest fires (78 entries)
· Sidoarjo mudflow (71 entries)
· Power supply (64 entries)
· Ramadan (63 entries)
· PT Freeport (55 entries)
· Picture guess (48 entries)
· Maluku conflict (47 entries)
· Dengue Fever (37 entries)
· History (37 entries)
· Infrastructure (36 entries)
· Polio (35 entries)
· Mexican flu (35 entries)
· Website (25 entries)
· Media (22 entries)
· Nuclear power (21 entries)
· Sports (20 entries)
· Sexy (16 entries)
· SARS (15 entries)
· Nightlife (10 entries)
· Lippo Cikarang (5 entries)
· Others (5 entries)
· Close smallest categories
 EXCHANGE RATES
EUR-IDR: 16,590 · 16,620  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 18:12 CET
JPY-IDR: 126.83 · 126.95  The Rupiah rate improved since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 21:58 CET
MYR-IDR: 3,545 · 3,549  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 15 May 2018 08:42 CET
SGD-IDR: 10,479 · 10,501  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 07 May 2018 07:48 CET
THB-IDR: 439.14 · 439.41  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 16 May 2018 09:18 CET
USD-IDR: 14,097 · 14,157  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 00:46 CET
Go to 'exchange rates' 
 MOST RECENT REACTIONS
·  At 20 September 2018 06:54 erik12 reacted on Fuel prices lowered, again
·  At 19 October 2015 17:17 imambudianto5 reacted on Bank Indonesia maintains benchmark interest rate at 7.75%
·  At 04 March 2015 19:18 merdekaSah reacted on Alleged terrorists shot dead three villagers in Poso
·  At 04 March 2015 13:11 Yogya-Bali reacted on Alleged terrorists shot dead three villagers in Poso
·  At 26 February 2015 13:02 Irena reacted on Sexy, a young woman with candy
·  At 08 May 2014 09:51 jstar reacted on No alcohol should be sold in warung
·  At 01 May 2014 10:07 jstar reacted on Indonesia to be among the top 10 peacekeeping contributors
·  At 27 March 2014 05:50 harlys reacted on PPP leader voices concern over Islamic parties' future
·  At 10 March 2014 06:11 Yogya-Bali reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 09 March 2014 00:11 Yerun reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 08 March 2014 20:33 nicknick reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 18 February 2014 04:17 Yerun reacted on Ash from Mount Kelud eruption spreads over all of Java
·  At 16 February 2014 05:41 Amed East Bali reacted on Ash from Mount Kelud eruption spreads over all of Java
·  At 14 February 2014 22:27 Anne Mieke reacted on Asylum seekers in Medan wish to be sent to Australia
·  At 14 February 2014 22:22 beritaislam reacted on Asylum seekers in Medan wish to be sent to Australia
·  At 16 January 2014 15:37 Anne Mieke reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
·  At 16 January 2014 15:21 Yerun reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
·  At 16 January 2014 15:05 Anne Mieke reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
·  At 16 January 2014 14:48 Yerun reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
·  At 16 January 2014 14:41 Yerun reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
Go to 'forum topics' 

Created by indahnesia.com · feedback & contact · © 2000-2019
Other websites by indahnesia.com: ticketindonesia.info · kamus-online.com · indonesiepagina.nl · suvono.nl

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional 125,806,978 pageviews Discover Indonesia Online at indahnesia.com