Ezra Sihite & Markus Junianto Sihaloho
In a rare public statement, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s youngest son Edhie “Ibas” Baskoro defended his father’s administration, saying the government was on the right track to turn Indonesia into a developed country.
According to the 2012 Failed State Index compiled by Washington-based Fund for Peace and released last week, Indonesia is on the threshold of being a failed state.
The survey, which used 12 social, economic and political indicators, put Indonesia in 63rd place out of 177 countries worldwide, which was down one position from last year’s 64th position, and placed the country in the warning zone of becoming a failed state.
The group cited worsening protection of Indonesian citizens’ human rights, especially in Papua, and weak legal enforcement as indicators behind the reason for the country’s latest ranking.
Based on the survey, many pundits in the local media and politicians have attacked Yudhoyono for allowing Indonesia to sink to that level.
However, Ibas, the secretary general of his father’s Democratic Party, insisted that his father had actually made the country better, with six out of 12 indicators in the FSI survey improving, two stagnant and four getting worse.
He said Indonesia had cut poverty numbers, improved its public service and lessened inequality in development
“In general, the government has performed well,” he said. “Hopefully, everyone can look at the survey objectively.”
Ibas said the international community has acknowledged Indonesia’s achievements in many areas, especially in the economy.
“We should be proud of our achievements,” he said. “Under President Yudhoyono, the country is on the right track to become an advanced nation. So, the FSI survey only confirms that we actually moved forward.”
Opposition parties, however, accused Yudhoyono of failing to lead Indonesia.
“For me, the one which has failed is the government, not the state,” said Megawati Sukarnoputri, chairwoman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). “There is no such a thing as a failed state. What we have is a failed government.”
She said that Indonesia had failed in many sectors, including in sports, where the country used to be a champion in badminton.
“Also, while we have abundant sea, we now import salt. This is really incomprehensible,” Megawati said.