Thu, 03 Apr 2003

'I don't care about the general election'

The registration of voters for the 2004 general election started on Tuesday. According to the General Elections Commission (KPU), there are around 130 million eligible voters nationwide. However, not all people are aware of the month-long program. The Jakarta Post talked to some of them in connection with the registration and the upcoming general election.

Eman Suleman, 30, is married with one son and runs a food stall in Senayan, Central Jakarta. His family resides in Bogor, West Java:

I didn't know that today is the beginning of voter registration for the 2004 general election.

So, what should I do then?

Honestly speaking, I don't really care much about the upcoming general election. The election will be the same as the previous general elections.

The election, in my opinion, is just a waste of people's money and nothing useful will come out of it for our country. We can see the proof. How many elections have we been through and how many leaders have been elected? It is all the same. None of the leaders have the wisdom to lead the people.

During the campaign, they propagate programs that would benefit the people. But as soon as they are elected, they turn out to be selfish leaders who'd never take the side of the poor.

I think the next general election will also result in a selfish leader who lacks the commitment to help the low income people.

Anyway, I will try to comply with the registration procedures. despite the fact that I feel indifferent about the upcoming election.

Wirdah, 27, is married with a son. She lives in Srengseng, West Jakarta, with her husband:

I know that the first day of April is the start of voter registration. I'm sure about it.

A few days ago somebody from the subdistrict administration came to me and assigned me to be one of the field officers to collect the data on voters.

My husband encouraged me to accept the offer as last year a friend of mine got around Rp 2 million from such work.

But I refused the offer as I could not organize my time. Besides, I don't want to take part in the boring training sessions which will be held several times.

I'm aware that the registration is important to record data for the voters for the general election. As someone from the low- income bracket, I will just follow the procedures.

However, I don't see anything special in the upcoming general election. Such an election is just a routine event. Selfish and incompetent leaders are also part of our common lot.

I am not concerned about the general election and political issues. The more we concern ourselves with those issues, the more difficult it will be to find a way to deal with life's hardships. So it's useless to think about the general election.

I prefer now to enjoy entertainment or soft news rather than to pay serious attention to serious issues.

Wijaya, 31, is a former employee at the General Elections Commission. He lives in Pulomas, East Jakarta with his wife and daughter:

I know that the first day of April is the start of the voter registration. But I don't really know much about the procedures.

It'd be better for the commission to hold an intensive public campaign for the registration. Maybe using a logo would be preferable as it is hard to forget.

But frankly speaking, I don't want to think about it, as I feel apathetic about the general election.

I worked in the General Election Commission for three years. But I was not happy. I was distressed and decided to resign. There I could see how poor their performance was. I feel that the commission is tardy in its tasks and a waste of money.

In addition, the principles of honesty and fairness are nonsense, I reckon. I hate to admit that. It is not impossible that the commission will repeat its past poor performance.

Therefore I don't want to pay too much attention to the issue of the general election as it brings no guarantee that the country will improve.

-- Leo Wahyudi S