Travel advertisements have eluded us to believe that Indonesia is all about white sandy beaches, exotic resorts, harmonious and serene lifestyle. Thus, this post is dedicated to give you honest keeping-it-real guide on the living conditions in Indonesia.
First of all, I am shocked that Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia is listed as the 2nd worst city in the world! (According to Wealth Report 2011 Knight Frank) Which means Jakarta is only able to ‘win over’ Johannesburg, the biggest city in South Africa. What had become of this metropolitan city that boast of diverse culture and world-class travel destinations?
Secondly, compared to other Asian countries, Indonesia is definitely lagging far behind. Don’t even try to compare with Singapore, even with neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Malaysia; Indonesia can’t keep up with the race.
13 alarming factors that keep Indonesia as an improving country.
1. Traffic Jam – Jakarta is listed as the top 20 cities in the world with the worst traffic jam.
2. High Pollution – A hundred new cars each day not only cause traffic jam but pollution as well!
3. High crime rate – from bank robbery, homicides to drug offences, credit card fraud. Indonesia’s crime rate has increased significantly in the recent years.
4. Lack of basic infrastructure – High-deficiency in roads, railways, and other essential necessity that makes a good town planning.
5. Complicated Administrations – Indonesia is not a very efficient country to move around. From immigration checkpoints, buying tickets to emergency calls, all these accumulate to a very wearisome procedure. Do not expect police to solve the problems, in fact they tend to over-complicate things.
6. Civil Strife & Terrorism – Lingering threats of terrorists’ bombing is still eminent throughout the country.
7. High Noise Pollution – car honking, construction drilling, and constant sirens can be a pain in Indonesia.
8. High political unrest – After 1998 social unrest, Indonesia politics have somewhat stabled but not entirely. There are still stenches of persisting political unrest.
9. Never-ending Corruption – Out of 163 countries, Indonesia ranked at 130th worst, with a score of 2.4 out of 10. Despite efforts on anti-corruption campaigns, Indonesia continues to rank poorly on world’s corruption index.
10. Poor Hygiene & Sanitation – Polluted wells is still visible in city areas. Indonesia has some of the world’s worst sanitation; UNICEF found out that 53.4% of the Indonesia families used a water source located within 10 metres of an open toilet.
11. Black-out Country – Deficiency in Indonesia’s power generation capacity cause a huge energy crisis. You can experience total black-out mounting over a period of 7 hours at any one time at least once a month!
12. Sluggish internet connections – again Indonesia is ranked in the top 10 slowest Internet Speed, alongside Egypt and Kenya! Conducted by Said Business School at the University of Oxford
13. Increase in slums & mansions – Villagers are moving to big cities like Jakarta and polluting the areas with self-made homes. While on the other side of the road, big developers are developing high-end luxurious complex for the riches without first solving the slums condition.
As an Indonesian, I am concerned with the country’s current status. I have faith in the country’s growth as I believe Indonesia has a lot of potential. Indonesia is rich in culture, cheap land & labour offers endless business opportunities, plus raw natural resources will be very fruitful to the nation’s economic growth. To find out more about Indonesia, read my post on the Best & Worst Cities in Indonesia.
We still love Indonesia. Despite its endless shortcoming of; mess of slums, poverty, corruption and every other form of nation state’s insufficiency, the citizens of Indonesia still adores and cherish the state’s imperfections. However, reality sets in and sooner or later Indonesia will have to face painful consequences. It is time for the government to turn away from politics and face the real problems.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.