Jumat, 08 Februari 2013

The Paradox of Indonesia

Recent news has surprised me. It says that more than 150 thousand Indonesians are grouped into “super rich” human beings. Other news has even startled me by mentioning that the accumulated wealth of 40 super rich Indonesians is equivalent to that of 60 million poorest Indonesians! Metronews.com also mentions the total wealth of Indonesia ranks #3 in Asia and #14 in the world. Unbelievable! In the midst of nationwide poverty, only the privileged few enjoy their wealth and prosperity. It makes me wonder how much money this super rich group has and how they get it.

This startling phenomenon indeed shows us the paradox of Indonesia. On one hand, about 30 percent of the population lives in poor condition. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has just released their press conference that there are 43 million people in Indonesia who only earn less than Rp. 8,000 a day. The figure is even more alarming when we consider the number of people whose daily income is less than Rp. 20,000, an amount that is considered to be just enough to live. This data indicates that poverty is a number one problem in Indonesia.

On the other hand, there are very few people whose lives contradict to the rest of the Indonesian people. These privileged few are the super rich with their wealth beyond our imagination. Those belong to the super rich group are those who can do almost anything with their wealth. To illustrate what they can do with their wealth, they can go shopping in Hong Kong in the afternoon, and enjoy an evening party in Singapore. They live in huge mansions with private security bodyguards. Many of them have private jets to help them move efficiently from one place to another. In short, with the amount of money they have, they can almost buy anything and do anything they want.

What a paradox! There is no doubt that Indonesia is a very rich country. With the abundant natural resources we have, we should be able to become a rich country which gives prosperity to all people. It is an irony that many people are not able to live a decent life. The natural resources we have are not managed to give prosperity to the people. The government is unable to create a fair and just system which gives opportunity to all people to become prosperous. There should be no homeless people and no hungry people if our natural resources are managed for the maximum of the people’s welfare. If the government lets this paradox exist, the gap between the rich and the poor will become wider and wider. This is not good news for Indonesia.

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