Below are the copy-paste of a very honest opinion of Jakarta:
My name is Daniel Rais Abin. I am a 19-year-old hotel management trainee living in Portugal. I spent the first twelve years of my life in Jakarta together with my parents and my younger brother.If you really concern about Jakarta for the better future, please write about this in your blog to give a wake-up call to our fellow Jakartans, and yet Indonesians in general.
In 2001, we moved to Germany (after my parent’s divorce) as my mother is German. I moved to Portugal after finishing my Abitur.
Every year, I come and visit my father and grandparents in Jakarta. I never noticed the things I am about to write about here because they all seemed normal to me. Maybe that is the problem — everybody takes the Jakarta of today as it is. It seems normal to everyone.
A few days ago, I was on my way to one of the many walls here in Jakarta when I suddenly noticed, recognized and understood something.
As we were passing the new advertisements for Kemang Village and The Mansion, I also noticed some youngsters around my age just sitting around on the streets. I came to think, do they have a bright future? Do they have the same chances in life that I have?
Shortly after, I also saw a beggar knocking on a window of an expensive car asking for small change. He held a starving child who looked very weak, maybe even sick, in his arms. They were sent away with just a simple snobby wave of the driver’s hand.
At that moment it came to me. The Jakarta of today is too focused on becoming a wealthy tourist city and pleasing the wealthy rather than trying to save the majority of its people from poverty.
Everywhere you look, you can find luxury homes. Since I moved to Germany in 2001, the number of malls here has increased significantly. Logically, most of the shops in the malls are not affordable for the majority of Jakartans.
Instead, of investing in expensive luxury facilities, just to fill up the almost unending bank accounts of the investors, why not invest in affordable homes for low-income families? Why not fill up on good conscience and at the same time help the ones who are in need of financial support?
The most probable answer is that it won’t bring in as much money as a luxury facility would. This goes without further question. But don’t investors have enough money?
Maybe, a company could make money by, for example, building a facility for low-income families under their name. Is it not highly probable that more people might want the products of a socially active company?
Another subject which I want to mention is the mentality of the wealthy. Many people I have talked to here — young and old — are more interested in materialism than social thoughts.
They are too busy trying to polish and decorate their important reputation with very expensive objects such as cars, phones, mansions and jewelry even though they possess a sufficient number of these items, to look out the window and face reality.
Again, in my opinion, this does not have to be. I don’t want to offend anyone by writing this.
I am not one to judge anyone. All I want is for people to start thinking about these things. I hope that even though I am young, people will take this article seriously for the good of the wonderful, innocent people of Jakarta.