I hope this post can be a medium for discussion.
I would like to talk about trust between government and the citizens. I do really think that why we-Indonesia- recently witnessed such a big outcry when the government expressed their intention to reduce the huge fuel subsidy that we currently have, is because of lack of trust between the govt and the citizen. The reasons of reducing the fuel subsidy is way so clear. The world fuel price is rocketing, most of the subsidy is enjoyed by the rich, it is a very bad decision to spend a lot of money just for a consumptive activity, instead of investment, and many other reasons. But then why many of the citizens are still rejecting this proposal?
The suspicion, the fear that the government is not efficient, a lot corruption scandal, a bad public service, and so on so forth, has eroded the public trust. Thus it is somehow understandable why the citizens are very reluctant to give more money to the government in form of less subsidy, more taxes, etc.
When the government can shows that they are trustworthy: they are using the money effective and efficiently, they are trying really hard to provide a good public service, they don’t live extravagantly, they’re approachable to the citizens, etc., then the citizen will support the government. I still clearly remember the story that to buy the first Indonesian airplane after the independence, women in Aceh collected their jewelries, all they have and gave it to the government so that the govt can buy a plane. That’s how trustful the relationship back then.
Then the question now, how do we think that the trust can built between the government and citizen, given the current context in Indonesia? Is it reasonable to expect that SBY’s cabinet will change suddenly after this, that their administration become cleaner; or it’s only possible in the next 20 or 30 years when we’ll have a better generation running the country; or is it just impossible to see that trust established in our society?
Somehow I’m a bit jealous to Singapore which its government seems to be very trustful to the society. When I saw the video of the current PM give a speech to the society, I can see how the PM really shows that they’re working hard for the citizens, and I can also see the trust from the citizen, despite some emerging opposition.
Finally, I do really hope that mahasiswa can be smarter. How can they’re opposing govt plan which obviously can help the poor. Even though the govt can’t be really trusted, we’ll never have a trust when we keep suspicious on each other. Let the govt increase the fuel price, then demand more budget transparency. It’s better to spend more energy to scrutinize the government, than protesting subsidy cut. Besides, have we ever pray for our leader? Their job is quite tough, it’s also our responsibility to pray for them.
What do you think?