Sat, 12 Mar 2005

'Many eyes are watching the government'

The government has promised to allocate an extra Rp 10.5 trillion (US$1.13 billion), savings from the removal of fuel subsidies, to help finance special programs for the poor, such as the distribution of subsidized rice, education assistance, cheap health services, and rural infrastructure projects. The Jakarta Post asked some Jakartans their opinions on the issue.

Dede Rachman, 22, a floor director at a private television station in Jakarta. He lives in Meruya, West Jakarta.

I'm positive that the assistance will go to the targeted people.

It will be quite hard for the government to mislead people about this program because so many eyes watching them.

The public will demand evidence that the government is succeeding in giving welfare to the people.

If the government can't provide this evidence, then they'd better watch out.

Hendro, 24, is a law student at a private university in North Jakarta. He lives with his parents in Sunter, North Jakarta.

Since the price of a barrel of oil has sky-rocketed over the year, I quite understand why the government had to raise fuel prices.

I think my fellow students' demand that the government rescind this decision is pointless. Instead, they should closely monitor the government to make sure that the promises to give subsidies to the poor are kept.

The government has already diverted attention away from the fuel price hike and subsidy schemes with this Malaysian border affair. Everyone should remain focused and supervise the distribution (of subsidies). After all, it's no secret that the bureaucratic system is a web of corruption.

--The Jakarta Post