Are We, Indonesian People Facing Identity Crisis?
Indonesia has everything and is everything. But despite its size that is number fifteen in terms of area size and the fourth largest country in terms of population, and all its amazing characteristics, Indonesia is still an unknown giant. Indonesia is too chaos to be known globally. For example, in the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, the election candidates are busy making coalition deals and secret pacts to win votes, unencumbered by any serious debate. The business community is drunk on a stock market boom that is far up the risk curve. The public has been swept away in the colorful campaign festivities that are welcome distraction from the hardships of a still contracting economy. Outside Java the densest area, Riau, for example, produces more than 70% of the nation’s oil and gas. In 1997 this was worth about $6.5 billion, and yet the government’s expenditure on the province that year was just $120 million. Papua, the richest island on Indonesia, is ironically the poorest province in Indonesia, all thanks to the preceding government who failed to spot Indonesia’s fortune. Indonesia is fraught with complexities, contradictions and ironies.
The biggest question is, “What does it mean to be Indonesian?” And the majority answers, “We are still in search of who we are. On the one hand it wants to become democratic, to have clean government, but at the same time it doesn’t want to break with the status quo. To be Indonesian is to be confused about what you really want. It’s a very saddening situation.” There’s even a further saying, with no intention to insult anyone, “Indonesia is literally a heaven, carried out by monkeys”. It’s such a pity not to carry out the potentiality of our country by ourselves.
From the very first time, when Indonesia stated that it took no side on Eastern Bloc and Western Bloc, some Indonesians thought that Indonesia tended to be one-sided on Western Bloc. Indonesia is good on the outside but broken inside. Why? We may put blame on how hard it takes to change mindset of human, especially Indonesians. Indonesian people are short-minded yet they don’t think or simply don’t give any consent about what may happen in the future. They seize what they need at the very moment by legalizing whatever they want to do, such as corruption, collusion, and nepotism. Rich and overpowered people might think they’re the one who has the biggest deal that no one could ever disrupt. Yet, unity is a mere slogan.