Saturday, January 26, 2008

Infrastructure and Indonesia

Suharto's time was marked by high economic growth and stable food price. Infrastructure construction was quite on fire as well. Hence, it's not a big wonder that the poor in Indonesia is relishing the "good old time". After all, at the "good old time", they have higher chance to buying rice with their little money.

Yet, not many people realize that Suharto's growth is not realistic. The infrastructure is built with such a low quality that the entire country is feeling the brunt of it now. What else can cause the many planes to fail and cause many deaths besides poor maintenance? What is the cause of poor maintenance? It could be the corruption that prevents the money from being used properly, it could be the mentality of the engineer who was pushed to cut cost, etc. All those reasons are only built over time! It all started in the time of Suharto. When more infrastructure, the growth will grind to halt or even going negative. Years are needed to change the mentality and fix the infrastructure. In fact, Suharto might have destroyed Indonesia's chance of growth.

Road works and river's pollution issues as well. China is having the same problem now although it seems that their infrastructure seems like in a better state than in Indonesia.

Pushing for growth without building proper infrastructure is suicidal. Long term thoughts are needed.

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