JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change?

Posted by: KuKuKaChuModerator

JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 19 Nov 09 13:50

This letter from today's Jakarta Post. pretty accurate, i would say.

Letter: Can Indonesia change?

Thu, 11/19/2009 1:09 PM | Reader's Forum

I first came to Indonesia some 30 plus years ago as a young man and lived here for several years. Although a foreigner, I have strong personal ties to Indonesia, and I believe because of this I have a right to comment on the state of affairs within this country.

I returned to the UK and lived there for around 20 years, but about three years ago I returned to Indonesia. I had always planned to return. When I lived here all those years ago, the people were so kind, warm, and generous, and whilst I was away, I was always longing to return and experience again that feeling of belonging. Oh, how things change!

My exposure to Indonesia over the past three years is limited to mostly Bandung and Jakarta and my comments are based on these environments, plus what I have read and seen on TV. I have learned the hard way that one has to be a cynic to survive. I have been cheated, lied to, extorted and badly treated generally on so many occasions, and so regularly that it is now impossible to recall all of the experiences. I have been told so often that I am na*ve and that I am at fault for trusting in what I am told, in believing in what is promised, and of having an unrealistic mindset. However, it goes far beyond accepting being ripped off as being the norm.

The current fiasco involving the Corruption Eradication Commissions (KPK), the National Police, the AGO and the many other players, goes way beyond cheating and lying, even beyond corruption. One gets a sense that there is a free-for-all frenzy, that there are no rules, there is no conscience, and no limits to what crime or sin can be committed to reach an end goal. There is no honour, even among thieves. Nothing is too despicable, anything too evil, no suffering that can be inflicted is too extreme, and everybody is expendable. Depths of depravity go beyond any limit in an attempt to inflict a killer punch, to put down anybody that stands in the way, by any means. Have the ordinary man and woman become so infected by the people, of whom there seem so many, that will stoop to any level to get what they want, that they themselves now carry the disease? Alternatively, is it that people have been worn down and are now complacent to what goes on around them?

I understand that Indonesia has the largest economy in Southeast Asia, but how does that translate in real terms, in real benefits for the population as a whole? Looking at the capital city one has to wonder just how it makes any sense. Jakarta, possibly one of the ugliest cities in the world, is full of half-complete projects, the Transjakarta busway and the monorail to name just two.

The city is suffering from daily power cuts, due to years of poor management and lack of investment. There are worsening floods every year, which cause immense suffering, the impact of which would be reduced if there were a real desire to do something about it. It ranks as one of the most polluted cities on the planet due to the ever-increasing number of vehicles on the roads, but there is simply no viable alternative transport system for people to use.

All of the cities and rivers are no more that sewers. The roads and walkways are in an appalling condition; there are too few parks and green spaces for people to relax and enjoy their leisure; the airport, the number one entry point into the country, is just a disgrace. There is litter and garbage strewn everywhere; and to top it off, Jakarta is sinking. However, there are malls, loads of malls: Ask any Jakartan where they go for a bit of culture, and they will probably say a mall. Jakarta is a damning example of the price Indonesia pays for those who lie, cheat, and extort.

Can it change? Is this the turning point that many hope? Do those who have the power to make change actually have the will to carry it through? Or, is everybody who has the power to make change so deeply entrenched themselves, that self-preservation must take precedence? If all of the corrupt officials are gone, is there anybody left to clean up the mess? Is there anyone who has the courage, who is interested only in the nation, with no personal agenda, who can take up the challenge?

Peter Ramsey
Jakarta
Posted by: Om Pong

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 19 Nov 09 13:59

"This is my country! You no like you fucking go home! Go back your country!" snigger
Posted by: Om Pong

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 19 Nov 09 14:01

Nice Globe headline today: "Jakarta Heading for a Watery Grave".
Posted by: KuKuKaChuModerator

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 19 Nov 09 14:15

we are indeed sinking, you know, under the combined weight of all the shopping malls. so, if you're thinking about buying jakarta real estate, think elevation ...

Posted by: Om Pong

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 19 Nov 09 14:47

Yeah but how will you get in if the lobby's sunk into the sludge?
Posted by: KuKuKaChuModerator

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 19 Nov 09 14:52

Quoting: Om Pong
Yeah but how will you get in if the lobby's sunk into the sludge?

i was not thinking about apartments. i mean, who in their right mind would live in an apartment in jakarta? (apart from english teachers, that is.) it's a horrible existence. i was thinking about elevated land.
Posted by: Om Pong

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 19 Nov 09 15:29

I agree, can't beat a nice house. Taman Rasuna is like fuckin' THX 1138
Posted by: bishopslips

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 19 Nov 09 20:55

Quote:
there is a free-for-all frenzy, that there are no rules, there is no conscience, and no limits to what crime or sin can be committed to reach an end goal. There is no honour, even among thieves. Nothing is too despicable, anything too evil, no suffering that can be inflicted is too extreme, and everybody is expendable. Depths of depravity go beyond any limit in an attempt to inflict a killer punch, to put down anybody that stands in the way, by any means.


Oh how I wish Jakarta was this interesting.
Posted by: Piss Salon

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 25 Nov 09 00:05

English teachers can't afford apartments. They share crumbling homes, which invariably get flooded once a week during the wet season.

Oh, and the roofs leak.

And then they catch on fire.
Posted by: farr

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 25 Nov 09 01:07

Luckily i'm not english teachers =p

I believe someday I'll return to the UK and I'll be shocked with the change. (perhaps britons will be whiter and balder and loves walking together with their smart-looked kangaroos instead of poor dogs while listening to public i-pod hanging on the tube's wall hmm..)
Posted by: farr

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 25 Nov 09 01:07

Luckily i'm not english teachers =p

I believe someday I'll return to the UK and I'll be shocked with the change. (perhaps britons will be whiter and balder and loves walking together with their smart-looked kangaroos instead of poor dogs while listening to public i-pod hanging on the tube's wall hmm..)
Posted by: adelina

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 25 Nov 09 09:15

twice?
Posted by: 42below0

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 26 Nov 09 11:24

Quote:
I have learned the hard way that one has to be a cynic to survive.


my Obi Wan Kenobi eye read this sentence

humor is an important resource, but maybe not cynicism

maybe its the cicaks that have the real power to change Indonesia

they certainly scare the shit out of crocodiles

as long as Turtle has his head in it shell, it will be difficult for him to see that the people who supported him before, did this out of a deep longing for change in Indonesia.
The awareness that change is necessary, is important for Indonesia, cynicism blunts the senses and reduces the power of that longing, it is humor that supports keeping the longing alive and gives the perspective

however his question "can Indonesia change?" is the core of the current situation in Indonesia.
The answer is yes.

Having said that Im off to my next mission improving Indonesian toilets so that they can deal with floaters without using too much save-the-planet water

Anakin: "Everything I know I learned from you, Master. "
Obi-Wan: "Oh, if only that were true."

Posted by: Piss Salon

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 26 Nov 09 19:51

Quoting: farr
Luckily i'm not english teachers =p

I believe someday I'll return to the UK and I'll be shocked with the change. (perhaps britons will be whiter and balder and loves walking together with their smart-looked kangaroos instead of poor dogs while listening to public i-pod hanging on the tube's wall hmm..)


What? Who talks like that?
Posted by: Piss Salon

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 26 Nov 09 19:52

Quoting: farr
Luckily i'm not english teachers =p

I believe someday I'll return to the UK and I'll be shocked with the change. (perhaps britons will be whiter and balder and loves walking together with their smart-looked kangaroos instead of poor dogs while listening to public i-pod hanging on the tube's wall hmm..)


What? Who talks like that?
Posted by: Marmalade

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 27 Nov 09 10:00

Just another in a long line of English-learning crazies.
Posted by: farr

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 27 Nov 09 12:36

Me! me!

marmz, i am not taking english course anymore.. =p
Posted by: KuKuKaChuModerator

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 27 Nov 09 13:10

take no notice of marmz. he's experiencing PMS/culture shock/existential crisis.

did you kill a goat today?
Posted by: bishopslips

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 27 Nov 09 20:42

Quoting: KuKuKaChu
t
did you kill a goat today?


I love god so much I found a small child and killed it instead.

At first the locals were a bit pissed off, but once I told them god ordered me to do it to test my faith everything was ok.

The satay was a bit chewy though.
Posted by: Marmalade

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 27 Nov 09 21:30

Quoting: KuKuKaChu
take no notice of marmz. he's experiencing PMS/culture shock/existential crisis.

did you kill a goat today?

Pubs Mid-Session closure shock. Goat murdering kill-joys. As for existential, hell is moderators, right?
Posted by: Stranger

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 15 Feb 10 22:22

if Indonesia able to change,
then i am having Monday 3some sex with Carmen Electra and Obama.
Posted by: Marmalade

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 17 Feb 10 19:51

No pics, no proof.
Posted by: Stranger

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 17 Feb 10 21:13

I don't have to prove damn thing to somebody hiding behind black hungry Ninja.
Posted by: Vulgarian

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 17 Feb 10 22:09

Quoting: Stranger
I don't have to prove damn thing to somebody hiding behind black hungry Ninja.


Marmz is never hungry - he has a girl ninja to do his bidding.

Posted by: Stranger

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 17 Feb 10 22:12

Ah, i see. so you one of them. wink
Posted by: Vulgarian

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 17 Feb 10 22:17

Are you questioning my masculinity?


Posted by: Stranger

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 18 Feb 10 04:03

WOW ! am impressed dear.

so, how is Ragunan ?
wish they gave you good treat to sexy manly posed like that.
Posted by: adelina

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 17 May 10 16:06

someday indonesia will change.
Posted by: KuKuKaChuModerator

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 17 May 10 16:14

Quoting: adelina
someday indonesia will change.

someday the pope will become a lutheran.
Posted by: adelina

Re: JP/Letter: Can Indonesia change? - 17 May 10 16:17

everything is possible.