Thank You for Being Poor (1)
Posted September 22, 2007on:
Ratusan lamanya Indonesia dihisap oleh negara-negara Barat, bukan hanya Indonesia semua negara-negara kulit berwarna sehingga Barat menjadi kuat, makmur, menguasai keuangan dan perdagangan sampai sekarang. Sekarang kita didikte oleh IMF dan Bank Dunia. Negeri yang begitu kaya diubah menjadi negara pengemis, karena tidak adanya karakter pada kalangan elit.
For hundreds of years Indonesia was sucked dry by Western countries, not just Indonesia but all countries of colored people so that Western countries became prosperous, strong, controlling finance and commerce until this moment. Now, we are dictated by IMF and The World Bank. A country as rich as Indonesia has been turned into a country of beggars, because the elite doesn’t have a (strong) character.
There are two main things that Pramoedya Ananta Toer points out:  The fact that Indonesia was occupied by Western countries, mainly Netherlands, for hundreds of years and now Indonesia is being dictated by the economic force of the West, and  Indonesian elite doesn’t have a strong character to transform this nation to achieve greatness.
In my previous article A Bunch of Losers I tried to let people know how angry and disappointed I am to see what kind of country we have become, we are nothing but a bunch of losers. That article is actually not an article intended to denigrate Indonesians and generalize all Indonesians as losers, but honestly, if you see Indonesia as a whole I’m sure you won’t find a difficult time trying to understand what the article attempts to say. Don’t forget to watch the Youtube video if you have a good internet connection, listen to the beautiful song, and see how beautiful our country is. “What kind of people who would harm this beautiful country?”
According to Transparency International, in 2006 the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) of Indonesia was 2.4 which made us one level with Azerbaijan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, Togo, and Zimbabwe. Even Timor Leste was better, the new country which once had been Indonesia’s newest province received a score of 2.6, now they have a good reason why they shouldn’t be part of Indonesia. An interesting fact brought by Transparency International is that CPI points to a strong correlation between corruption and poverty, with a concentration of impoverished states at the bottom of the ranking. “Corruption traps millions in poverty,” said Transparency International Chair Huguette Labelle. “Despite a decade of progress in establishing anti-corruption laws and regulations, today’s results indicate that much remains to be done before we see meaningful improvements in the lives of the world’s poorest citizens.”
It is no doubt that corruption causes poverty, and I don’t think I need to explain that to our beloved government officials and DPR/MPR members, I’m sure they are smarter than me. But, if everyone seems to know exactly how corruption is probably the only logical reason why we still have more than 35 million poor people then why have I not seen corruptors get shot to death like they do in China? Indonesian government might argue that it is so hard to catch corruptors and it takes a long and boring process to prove that someone is a corruptor. The argument does make sense, putting corrupt officials in jail obviously takes time and efforts, right? Wrong. Please tell me why that everytime we pass over a big house owned by a government official we’ll always say, “Oh, this guy is a corruptor.”
People in this nation have developed a new kind of trait which may already be part of our culture, and this trait is called, “Tidak tahu malu.” I’m not sure whether or not you agree but I personally believe that the corruption disease in Indonesia is so bad that even people who are doing it don’t really think that they are doing the wrong thing, in corruptors’ minds they probably think, “Well, everyone is doing it anyway, it is either to be part of it or just to see it.” In their minds they don’t think that corruption rate is something that could be decreased, it is just Indonesia. Many people support the idea that corruption in Indonesia has become somewhat like “Lingkaran Setan” which literally means an evil circle, meaning there is no ending, since corruption has been decaying this country for so many years from the very lowest level of the government administration up to the highest level.
I don’t know what corruptors have in minds, especially those who corrupt billions of rupiah of people’s money, but don’t they have TVs in their big houses and in their fancy apartments? Don’t they know that even in Jakarta they will find people living on the streets, begging for uang receh for food to eat? Don’t corruptors know that these poor people are becoming poorer and that they can’t even think what to eat for tomorrow? Don’t they know that this is a country where its people have been suffering so badly from riots, economic crisis, and natural disasters? And for your information, which I don’t think our officials care, an international team of earthquake specialists says Indonesia faces another potential “giant” quake in the near future. The scientists, including a team from the California Institute of Technology, say three major quakes in the last week have increased the likelihood of a major disaster. John Galetzka, one of the geologists, expressed how big this next “giant” would be by saying, “If we saw it, we’d just head right into it. I’d shake your hand and say, good luck!”
Can you imagine? I mean imagine it, Indonesian villagers have to face this next big earthquake with nothing: no food, no health support, and obviously no money. Again and again, they will have to see tears and blood. Their stupidity somehow just can’t understand that there are some people who corrupt billions of rupiah from this country so easily, and for some even with pride. Corruption in Indonesia is so frustrating that I think the government should start thinking to set up a “Let’s Corrupt 10%” regulation which legalizes officials to corrupt people’s money as much as 10% of their monthly salaries. Yeah, that doesn’t sound too bad, does it? So, let’s corrupt!
But, what about the fact that more than 35 million people in Indonesia still live in poverty, that they have no access for education and better life? What, which poor people? Oh, you mean those people, c’mon grow up, they need us and we need them, no big deal. Next time you see those people just tell them, “Thank you for being poor.”
Picture was taken from here.