Mon, 23 Sep 2002

'Sutiyoso should do something to win back public sympathy'

Despite public outcry and opposition against governor-elect Sutiyoso, it is almost certain that he will carry out his second tenure as city governor. Some residents shared their views with The Jakarta Post.

Eka, 29, has been an environmentalist of a noted organization since 1998. She resides in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta with her family:

I personally oppose Sutiyoso as city governor. It is so obvious to the public that he failed to manage the city during his previous tenure.

I don't even see any policies accommodating environmental issues during his term.

I regret the faulty procedures during the gubernatorial election and that the city councillors had reelected him.

I can only hope that he will make the city better. I won't expect too much from him to do what the public wishes due to his previous poor performance.

He should learn from all the problems and make favorable policies to save the environment in the city. He alone, I'm sure, could not survive his post without the city administrative staff members to implement his programs.

City councillors who elected him should be held responsible for the governor they chose.

Umar, not his real name, 42, is a vendor in a makeshift kiosk selling cigarettes and beverages. He is from Kuningan, West Java where he lives with his wife and two children. He has been living on Jl. Agus Salim, Central Jakarta for five years:

I disagree with the reelection of Sutiyoso as city governor. But we cannot deny that he was reelected. It's also a fact that people oppose him.

I think he should do something to win public support by focusing on street vendors like me. We realize that we're wrong according to the city bylaw. But there is no other way to survive in the city.

In my opinion, street vendors should be localized and managed so that we will feel secure and not be extorted by officers from the city public order. Then we would be very happy to pay taxes or other levies to the city administration.

What is happening now is that we're still prone to forcible eviction despite the fact that we've paid our financial obligations to certain officers. We understand that corrupt officials in the city continue to operate here. That's why vendors' pleas have not been heard. Worse still, we feel threatened.

Could Governor Sutiyoso have the city officials side with the socially disadvantaged?

Hadi is an activist of a non-governmental organization. He used to live in Setiabudi, South Jakarta, but now lives in Depok, West Java, with his only daughter and wife:

I would prefer that Sutiyoso was not city governor. He has had too many failures to show us his incompetence. I regret that the public's will has been neglected and that he was reelected despite the irregularities that surfaced in the gubernatorial election.

I just hope that he is aware that most people in the city have a low income or are unemployed.

In addition, the worsening traffic congestion should also be his top priority as the Jakarta governor.

I don't think it's easy to raise Sutiyoso's awareness. Perhaps Sutiyoso, his subordinates and the city councillors need a lot of rallies protesting them to make them become aware of the real conditions in the city.

I'm pessimistic that the city government will get better due to their prolonged practices in corruption.