Tue, 08 Mar 2005

'The morality of officials matters'

The government has promised to fund a package of programs to ease the burden on the poor as a result of the fuel price increases introduced on March 1. These programs will cover health care, education, housing, affordable rice and other issues that concern low-income Indonesians. The Jakarta Post asked residents for their opinion on these programs and their chance for success.

Rizky Wisnoentoro, 24, is a consultant at a foreign exchange firm in Jl. Gatot Subroto, South Jakarta. He lives in Pondok Kelapa, East Jakarta:

I am optimistic that the assistance funds will go right to their target, which is the poor. These programs, including the provision of inexpensive rice, scholarships and health care, will over time be better and better managed.

The morality of the people in charge of distributing the assistance will factor into the management of the programs.

But I believe the government will eventually be able to set up a system that will be corruption-proof. Besides, we already have the anticorruption commission and a reliable attorney general.

Under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's command, the government is starting to improve. And that needs to be maintained.

Tutur Suwito, 34, works at a business owners' association in Kuningan, South Jakarta. He lives with his family in Ciputat, Tangerang:

I have to take at least three public transportation vehicles to reach my office, and then I have to take the same buses to get home.

The first day after the government announced the fuel price increases, most of the public transportation crews asked passengers to pay more.

That means I have to cut some of my household budget to cover transportation expenses.

Personally, I don't know how to deal with the increases. I still haven't calculated my total expenditures this month. I don't know whether my salary will be able to cover the soaring prices. Unfortunately, so far, there is no salary increase in sight.

--The Jakarta Post