The Legislative Election is only a few days to come, yet many people still do not know the reason why they should choose one or another party or candidate, because they can only see a few parties’ banners, slogans or promises along the Indonesian road sides. During the past four-and-a-half year of the current government of President SBY and Vice President Jusuf Kalla, people were experiencing risning oil, food, and basic needs prices, growing unemployment, and growing number of poor people. The current Global Financial Crises only added up to the economic problems of Indonesia, causing reduction in export, business trade, rising US Dollar exchange rate and the fall of domestic shares prices.
People are wandering if the results of the current Legilstive Election and Presidential Election could improve the Indonesian economic condition and improve the people’s welfare in general, because only a few candidates could express logically and clearly if they are elected, they will execute economic improvement programs for the country during their five-year rule. Most candidates could only make good promises without any futher explainations.
However, we were lucky to watch a discussion program on “Economic Challenges” a few days ago at Metro-TV, presenting Dr. Pande Raja Silalahi from CSIS and Dr. Hendri Saparini from ECONID. The two speakers were basically expressing the positioning of “established” presidential candidates: SBY, JK and Megawati; and the “alternate” presidential candidates: Wiranto, Probowo and Rizal Ramli.
The economic policy of the “established” presidential candidates in principle is to start with existing economic conditions, and gradually improving without much significant changes to the existing system. They also welcome the foreign investors and foreign role in the development of Indonesia.
On the other hand the economic policy of the “alternate” presidential candidates in principle is to reject foreign domination in the development of Indonesia, and try to use as much as possible local expertise and resources in the development of Indonesia, and to establish self-sufficiency.
The detailed variation of each presidential candidate economic policy is presented as follows:
- The incumbent President SBY: continue the current economic policy of the current Government, because it was considered to be fairly successful.
- The incumbent Vice President Jusuf Kalla: (a). Self-sufficiency in rice production; (b). Increase investment; (c). Develop infrastructures.
- The former President Megawati: (a). Create cheap supply of basic needs of the people; (b). Create more employments; (c). Improve the welfare of the people.
- The alternate Presidential candidate Wiranto: (a). Change economic direction so as to be free from foreign influence; (b). Indonesian natural resources is mainly for the benefit of the Indonesian people.
- The alternate Presidential candidate Prabowo: (a). Create a just and right economic policy to ensure the improvement in economic condition of poor people; (b). Peasants and fishermen to become the economic backbone of Indonesia; (c). Developing Indonesia as one of Asian economic “tigers”; (d). Reject the sale of State-owned Enterprises.
- The alternate Presidential candidate Rizal Ramli: (a). Nationalization of foreign-owned Indonesian companies; (b). Reject foreign influence in the development of Indonesia; (c). Reject IMF influence.
It is to be noted that the alternate Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto is the most communicative candidate, judging from his almost daily appearance in Indonesian television ads, and his most outspoken views of the future Indonesian economic policy. He is the son of the Indonesian economic “Guru” the late Prof. Dr. Sumitro Djoyohadikusumo.
By knowing the summary of each Presidential candidates, we can now decide whose policy is our best choice to realize the long awaited ideals of the people of Indonesia: A just and prosperous country for all people of Indonesia!
Who is your choice? Please have your comments and suggestions.