Saturday, February 11, 2017

GO-JEK, GrabBike, and Our Indonesian Mentality

The occurrence the other day has motivated me to compose this piece of writing.

I am a repeat customer of Grab – sometimes I utilize the GrabCar and GrabFood services; however, GrabBike is what I use most often. That day I set out from my itsy-bitsy home with a GrabBike. The journey was smooth until we came to a point which is not far from where I dwell as a Jakartan; the GrabBiker chose to take the wrong way, driving against the flow of traffic. With my eyes open, I could also see a GO-JEK heading in the same direction whose driver didn't seem to feel guilty of what he was doing at that moment. (for those who don't know GO-JEK, it is an Indonesian (local) company which provides transportation services, competing with Grab, which is based in Malaysia)

I often give 1-star ratings to GrabBike riders (don't believe it? Check with Grab itself, or contact me and I'll forward to you the plethora of complaint response e-mails from Grab). The reason is nothing but such dangerously frivolous behavior, which could bring their passengers' lives to an end.

Indonesia is a fantastic country. We are endowed with huge amounts of exquisite scenery, vast biodiversity which is probably the greatest on the planet, and abundant natural resources. With these advantages, along with other strong points which include a gigantic population of some 250 million people, Indonesia surely has the potential to be one of the most powerful countries in the world. However, compared with two neighboring countries Singapore and Vietnam both of which gained independence much later than Indonesia, I'd say Indonesia's progress has been 'pretty' disappointing.

It seems to be an irony since we have bountiful treasures which other nations, I believe, are drooling over. Are the Indonesians stupider than those of other nationalities? Nope. We boast a significant figure of doctors and professors, don't we? So, what makes this country far less developed than it should be?

The mentality is what I think the culprit of this big issue. The attitude that everything should be done in an instant and not being concerned about the consequences of what one's acts might carry is the key factor of why we are still building an MRT system in the 2010s. This is, of course, what leads to corruption, which is one of the major problems of this highly diverse nation.

That's our challenge. Fixing this might take quite a lot of time since older generations tend to resist change; later ones might be easier to shape into humans of excellent quality. Nevertheless, it is of extreme importance to work together fervently to make up for what we have wasted and, ultimately, for a much better Indonesia that we can take pride in.

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