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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     3 October  2011                       

Political mistrust in Indonesia

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The news on Sunday that just one-fourth of the population still trusted politicians was not really news at all.

Nurenzia Yannuar, for instance, a lecturer from Malang, East Java, thinks the House of Representatives is a joke.

The so-called representatives of the people, she said, think only of themselves. “It’s clear they only care about their own issues and not ours,” she said. “I simply cannot trust them.”

Indonesia Survey Circle (LSI), which did the survey, pointed to rampant corruption as the reason only one in five of their 1,200 respondents said they still trusted the people who run the nation.

The study follows recent controversy involving the legislative committee in charge of approving how taxpayer money is spent.

The survey, undertaken from Sept. 5-10, showed that only a minority of people believe the current politicians were superior to previous ones.

Nurenzia acknowledged that there might be some good politicians in the country. “But I believe there are few of them; the rest are all bad,” she said.

But other people choose to look at the brighter side.

“They’re better than the politicians during the New Order,” said Yully P., a designer, referring to the 32-year presidency of Suharto.

His attitude reflected that of 13 percent of respondents. “But I wouldn’t say they’re the best politicians ever,” he added.

Rina Suryani, a public relations officer for an international nongovernmental organization, disagreed that the current crop was better than the those during the New Order, but believes there’s a positive side to the study.

“I just hope [the survey] will teach everyone a lesson and lead to better politicians in the future,” she said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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