In Their Own Words: Young Indonesians on Indonesia’s Next President
Joko Widodo’s election as President marks a new democratic era, according to Cornelius Damar Hanung, Cynthia Sadikin, and Ronaldus Reza. Clarissa Tanurahardja asked them for their opinions and hopes for the new President.
What are your thoughts and on Indonesia’s newly-elected President?
Cornelius: Jokowi’s election will mark a shift in Indonesia’s political paradigm. For almost 70 years Indonesia has been ruled by presidents who have come from either a military background, or have links to previous leaders. Jokowi will be the first President to have proved himself eligible as a leader through his humbleness and actions as the mayor of Solo and Governor of Jakarta. Indonesia needs a figure who is free from so-called “orde baru” or military influence and Jokowi suits the criteria.
Cynthia: Jokowi’s election is like a dream come true! He is full of surprises (in a good way). This is a victory for all Indonesians. It also shows a big step forward in our political life.
Ronaldus: Well, I couldn’t be more happier to have Mr. Joko Widodo as the new president of Indonesia. I think he is the type of man that Indonesia need right now. He is honest, a man with a good heart and truly loves Indonesia. I think he sincerely wants to improve Indonesia as a country. He is actually doing some work instead of giving promises.
What impact do you think Jokowi will have on Indonesia’s future?
Cornelius: I could not say just yet — it will depend on two things. The first is who will he choose as his cabinet’s members, since effective collaboration between the President and his cabinet is at the core of good governance. We have seen so many leaders fail because of their failure to see this issue. The second is what moves Jokowi will make in order to tackle the constraining Indonesia’s development, such as pluralism, urban development and investment policy and etc. But I do expect to see lots of innovative changes over the next 5 years.
Cynthia: Indonesia will definitely have a better future, because Mr. Jokowi has the guts to make dramatic changes in politics. He takes decisions based on what’s good for the country, not for his personal interest.
Ronaldus: I believe Jokowi will bring a positive impact to Indonesia as a country. First of all, there will be greater trust in the President, given what he has done for Solo and Jakarta. Secondly, foreigners will also have greater trust in Jokowi, including foreign leaders and investors — which I believe will boost Indonesia’s economy. His humbleness and blusukan approach is a very powerful asset. He can actually interact with people and identify the core problem in a particular area and from there, come up with a solution that is applicable. One step at a time, he will solve Indonesia’s problems.
What are your hopes for the new President?
Cornelius: In general, I would like him to live up to his voters’ expectations, to serve as a symbol of a new movement toward better Indonesia. Specifically, I hope that he and his entire government can create a framework that may accommodate Indonesia’s scholars who are currently living abroad to return and apply their knowledge to develop Indonesia. Recently I have seen an article suggesting that domestic companies tend to avoid people who have been edcuated abroad. Government should channel these talents into Indonesia’s strategic industries in order to fully exploit their potential.
Cynthia: I hope Mr. Jokowi makes a real start very soon. I really hope all the best for him.
Ronaldus: As a once-sceptical Indonesian citizen, especiall toward politicians and government officials, I hope that he can build a clean and accountable government that will actually do something for the Indonesian people instead of just taking advantage. I hope he will pursue fight against corruption in every area of government, and bring justice to the corruptors. Lastly, I hope that he can bring Indonesia one step closer to becoming a first world country with a decent infrastructure and internet connections.
Cornelius Damar Hanung is an Indonesian pursuing his passion as an urban development junior business analyst in South Korea. Cynthia Sadikin studied accounting at Monash University, Australia. Ronaldus Reza is Indonesian currently practicing his architecture with PBD Architects Australia.
What are your hopes for Jokowi in his first team? Let us know in the comments below.