Long road to democracy

10 Feb

I used to be angry with my own country; I was disappointed with our bad government. After the downfall of the Indonesian dictator, President Suharto, in 1998, Indonesia was in chaos. Inflation was high, corruptions rampant, and there was hardly any law and order. Worst of all, instead of working on rebuilding the nation, politicians were stabbing each other in the back to get to the top. The political instability slowed down economic recovery.

By then, I had grown so cynical that I believed that any politician just wanted to get into power for personal benefit. I boycotted the 2004 presidential election. After coming to the UK, where democracy flourished, I saw how painfully time-consuming democracy can be and how slowly it develops. I started to understand that it is not easy to govern, Indonesia being no exception, and I should give it another chance.

At least there are signs of improvement in Indonesia. The peaceful power transfer after the last election is an achievement. Clearing our foreign debt is another. The peace in Aceh is almost a miracle. Now we have freedom of press, even if it lacks judicial protection and often comes under-threat of irresponsible social or religious extremist groups. Speaking Mandarin now seems as an advantage rather than a threat to national security.

I am not complacent with the current situation. However, I can’t deny the fact that it is not easy to fix all problems left by previous regime and to change mindsets that have been there for years. As mentioned in The Economist last week, Indonesia’s democracy is a work in progress.

We just have to keep working on it, Indonesia.



One Response to “Long road to democracy”

  1. Braveman February 17, 2007 at 2:38 am #


    Happy New Year !


    it has been long time since last time I read your blog

    haha~ hope we can find a day to have a dinner party together

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