I believe Indonesia is a rich country. But there is a joke that we were like a dead rat in the granary. We were supposed to live happily because we have fertilized soil and we also have abundant mineral and gas resources. But the bitter fact is we live unhappily, people are starving while there are so many rotted foods. I sometimes don’t understand why this happen to us.
I lived at Taiwan two years ago. Living in such developed county make me think that there are so many negative consequences living in developing country like Indonesia. The simple case is sanitary. I’ve never seen waste lied in the road while I was living in Taiwan. But in Indonesia, waste is everyday’s scenery. We can see them lie on the roads.
I live on Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. I think Jakarta is getting dirtier day by day. I can feel the wind carrying dust. The air is not healthy. Sometimes, the water is also not dirty. The color is yellow, like a baby’s poop. It’s disgusting. But I have no choice. No matter how bad Jakarta is, I need to live there.
Back to the question why we are still poor but we have huge potential of natural resources? I think there are so many answers to this question. It is because we have them but we don’t know how to process them into value added product. Here is the example. Indonesia is the 7th largest nickel ore producer in the world (data on 1999). Instead of processing it into added value mineral product, mostly nickel is export in the form of ore. A part of them is processed into ferronickel which is a feedstock in stainless steel industry. This is very funny because we export ore which has low price and we process a little part of them. Of course the generated revenue is lower if we don’t process them. Then, what should we do? This sounds simple, but the execution would be complicated: reduce exporting nickel ore and process them. Is that easy? NO. We have to seek for financial supports and its technology.
I also believe that knowledge and character are power that will make us richer. Based on Indonesia constitution, every citizen needs to be educated. But the fact is education is very expensive for poor people. Only a percentage people go to university and the rest of them only earned elementary education. That’s clearly not enough to face this world which getting tougher year by year. And also I wish Indonesia people will make their character better. Corruption, not discipline manner, and lazy are part of our culture. We will never getting richer by sleeping all the time.