15 July 2009


Indonesia has voted its choice that likely President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono would win a second five-year term in a single round of voting over his two rivals – Jusuf Kalla and Megawati Sukarnoputri. From the recent quick count, Yudhoyono has won more than 50 percent of the whole voters. Official results will not be known until later this month, but it is safe to conclude he has received a strong mandate to complete the job he began five years ago.

Though there are a lot of controversies about fake vote paper and else, the election was held peacefully.

One of the aspects that win most voters is that Yudhoyono is seen to have its magic hand to steer the economy of the country onto the road toward progress and growth during his first term.

His rival, Golkar Party, has performed badly in the legislative and presidential polls. By most quick counts, it garnered only 13 percent of the vote. The unprepared strategy, non-sense message and “wrong attack to the wrong guy” are the reason of its lost.

The only better rival, surprisingly are Megawati Sukarnoputri from Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and her running mate, Prabowo Subianto. It is assumed that the popularity of the former general has won some voters and put him as “someone to watch”.

Back to the winning of Yudhoyono, he must push ahead with his economic program in the future. His partner, the former central bank governor Boediono, should complete his mission to prepare the better economic condition for Indonesia, not forgetting that they has to eliminate the ridiculous bureaucracy and, still, corruptions.

The next five years will be important for Indonesia too keep its living in a stable democracy and regional economic powerhouse. This must be important also for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Look at the ‘Indonesian story’. Indonesia’s natural beauty is soul-moving. Visit Bali and you will be no less overwhelmed than viewing Hawaii. The richness of its heritage and culture is unrivaled; its private sector and entrepreneurs the most dynamic of any society; its democracy the most plural yet stable of Asia; and terrorism and radical Islam a thing of the past. Indonesia has so much to be proud of.

Based from here, all the differences that Indonesia has so far, isn’t it a surprised that Indonesia is still keeping its stability under control?

The issue is that if Indonesia can keep its stability as it is, as one of the big countries in ASEAN, it will also help the neighboring countries to be inspired and work more for their people.
Others like to frame ASEAN as a bunch of backward third world countries and victims of economic crisis. If Indonesia can prove to the outside world that it survives from the economic crisis, then ASEAN will be inspired by Indonesia to recover from the crisis too, and maybe go a lot better. More on that, Indonesia may be able to help and assist the other countries in ASEAN by sharing some experiences, conducting economic joint cooperation, giving more flexible and easy facilities in trading, etc.

The last ASEAN gathering in March 2009 in Thailand resulted that the ASEAN leaders stressed the necessity of proactive and decisive actions to restore market confidence and ensure continued financial stability as the global economic downturn was deepening. Facing the sweeping financial crisis and a slowed world economy, the leaders reaffirmed their determination to ensure the free flow of goods, services, investment and capital, and facilitate movement of business persons, professionals, talents and labor. The leaders appealed for more coordinated action by both developed and developing countries in a bid to restore financial stability and ensure the continued functioning of financial markets, which will provide support for growth.

The gathering keeps sounding about stability. Yes, stability is a main factor for any country “to build and grow”, and “to fix and repair”. Security stability has contributed so much to any country’s economic development.

As the Asian tiger, Indonesia can give a very good example on how to keep its security and political stability to fix and repair its economic condition and build more chances for the country to grow a little bit better than in the past.

We cannot hide from the global world, but we can prevail over its forces if we do the right thing.

ASEAN consists of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

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