Tue, 22 Feb 2011

From: The Jakarta Globe

By Camelia Pasandaran
Bogor. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono conceded on Monday that the country’s development program had failed at the national and regional levels, outlining five reasons for the deficiency.

Speaking prior to a meeting at the Bogor Palace to draw up a master plan for the acceleration and extension of the country’s economic development, Yudhoyono said that after evaluating his time in office, he found certain “illnesses” had caused the development program to fail.

He singled out an inefficient bureaucracy, which he said was resistant to implementing government decisions, with lower-level officials often disagreeing and arguing with each other instead of carrying out their duties.

“Once it has been decided, there should not be any more discourse at the lower levels,” he said. “It causes us losses.”

Administrations at the district and municipal level, he said, also bickered over development plans prepared by governors, often for no justifiable reasons.

Yudhoyono has often complained about divisions and acrimony between the central and regional governments.

Although his Democratic Party comfortably secured the most votes at the national level in 2009, the majority of regional heads elected to office are from the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the loosely aligned Golkar Party.

Yudhoyono identified the third hindrance to development as investors who failed to follow through on their commitments.

Fourth was national and regional regulations that he said hindered development but were been resolved, while fifth was regular political interference.

“Politics should be the solution and should not translate into mere narrow interests,” the president said. “The ones that end up with nothing are the people.”