More than half of Indonesians say they are unhappy with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s leadership performance, adding to the weight of evidence that the leader has lost his touch in the twilight of his decade in office.
In a Indonesia Research Center survey, 57 percent of respondents said they were not satisfied with Yudhoyono’s presidency, nearly nine years since he was first elected, IRC director Agus Sudibyo told a news conference in Jakarta on Thursday.
Agus said the survey also found that 72 percent of people did not believe that Yudhoyono could overcome the country’s problems.
Topping the list of issues on which people expressed dissatisfaction was unemployment (16.4 percent), followed by the price of staple goods (15.9 percent), poor standards of education (11.5 percent) and poor quality health services (10 percent).
IRC also reported that 6.9 percent respondents were not happy with the government’s performance on infrastructure, 6.6 percent on crime and 5.7 percent on corruption, followed by 5.7 percent on environmental issues, 3.4 percent on poverty, 0.8 percent on clean water, 0.3 percent on Indonesian migrant workers and 0.2 percent on traffic problems.
The research, conducted in May, had a 2.3 percent margin of error.
The high level of dissatisfaction with the president follows earlier research by the National Survey Institute (LSN) that also suggested perceptions of decline.
In its survey, released on Sunday, 30 percent of respondents said the country was in a worse condition during Yudhoyono’s second term than during his first, while only 19 percent said it was in a better condition. Some 49 percent of people said conditions had not changed significantly.
The May survey had 1,230 respondents and had a 2.8 percent margin of error.
Another survey, this one carried out by Indonesia Survey Circle (LSI), found that 45 percent of people believe that Yudhoyono is most responsible for this month’s increase in the subsidized fuel price.
“The president’s efforts to shift the burden to the parliament failed and the president didn’t make the announcement in person for the sake of [his] image, but it turns out he’s still being blamed for it,” LSI researcher Adjie Alfaraby said in Jakarta on Sunday.
The LSI survey also found that the Democratic Party received the most blame for the subsidized fuel price hike.
“Although the other parties in the ruling coalition, minus the Prosperous Justice Party [PKS], supported the subsidized fuel price hike, the public is angry with the Democratic Party,” Adjie said.
It was not clear what proportion of people held the rise in the global price of oil responsible for the increase in fuel prices, which have taken place in most countries around the world.
PKS official Indra said the survey justified PKS’s opposition to the fuel price policy. “The people will be miserable with the subsidized fuel price hike. With the increase in the subsidized fuel price, prices also surged by around 40-50 percent,” he said, providing no evidence for his claim.