Editorial: Don’t Let Optimism Become Hubris
In the latest example of widespread optimism about our future, 80.7 percent of Indonesians believe the country will join the ranks of the world’s elite nations and become a “superpower” one day, according to a national survey released in Jakarta on Wednesday.
With the right leadership, nothing can stop Indonesia’s rise, respondents from all 33 provinces surveyed last month by the Soegeng Sarjadi Syndicate said. “The phenomenon the survey describes is the strength of optimism in society,” survey coordinator Muhammad Dahlan said at the launch.
While the precise definition of what constitutes a superpower varies from person to person, the result rings true. Indeed, it is hard to escape the good feeling that permeates much of Indonesian society these days. With the economy growing at a steady pace in recent years and foreign investors knocking on our doors, it sometimes seems as if future progress is assured.
But the truth is, we cannot afford to take anything for granted. Strong and consistent government leadership, pro-business policy choices and hard work on the part of our people will be necessary to justify continued optimism and guarantee a bright future for all.
Indonesia still suffers from a lack of crucial infrastructure and widespread poverty. And while progress is being made, much remains to be done if we are to succeed in providing secure power, clean water, mass transit, and good education for all.
We need a clear government commitment to work with the private sector to build the roads, bridges, schools and hospitals that our people demand for the future. We must guard against becoming complacent or falling into the trap of hubris. The survey was taken against the backdrop of the looming 2014 presidential election and serves as a strong reminder that we must choose our leaders wisely if Indonesia is to realize its full potential.