Corruption is a flower that needs to be uprooted

venus-flytrap-facts-for-kidsI have recently watched a documentary made by Rexy Rambadeta called ‘Everyday Faces of Corruption in Indonesia’. It does not matter what age, sex, ethnicity you are, I urge you to watch this documentary. The documentary exposes the corruption culture in Indonesia although the documentary itself focuses mostly on Jakarta.

One scene depicts a man whose job was to be check the tickets of passengers before they reach the platform and surprisingly, he looked like he couldn’t care less and was not doing his job properly. The following fact was not apparent to me but apparently, it is standard practice to board the train and not have a ticket. You often can just pay Rp 1,000 to the conductor once in the train. The documentary argues (and I agree with this argument) that this is a form of corruption because you are not buying a ticket to use a government sanctioned service. The money paid to the conductor will only go to his pocket to perhaps buy cigarettes when he is on his break and not to the nation where the money could possibly be beneficial in expanding welfare programs or upgrading the infrastructure we currently have. Of course the conductor may well need the money to be able to live but I believe that people should be told to buy tickets because it benefits the greater good of Indonesia. This has become standard practice and over the years, the loss of money would be monumental.

The fact that it could be considered standard practice worries me extensively. The documentary also exposes the corruption that happens when getting a drivers license. Just like any other country, there is a written theory and practical test that must be completed in order to receive your license. In Indonesia however, it’s slightly different. The documentary tells us that you have to go to an ‘intermediary agency’ (or as the locals call it, ‘nembak’) and pay them a certain amount of money in order to pass the exam. For the highest price, you don’t even need to take the exam. Just take the photo and come back in an hour or so. For a lesser price, you just have to sit through the exam (just randomly circle answers, whatever you get you will end up having a passing score of at least 18/25) and drive a mere 2 meters for the practical part of the test.

It has become apparent to me that Indonesia does not have a drugs culture (the news seem to think we do with its excessive coverage on the latest smugglers that were caught) or one based on hedonism. We have a Corruption Culture and this needs to stop. We have no time for a political or economic revolution. We need a Mental Revolution. We have this horrible mentality of always trying to find shortcuts (in this case bribing and other forms of corruption) and it is hurting our country dearly. The small bud that was corruption has now grown its stalk and soon it will bloom into an acidic flower that will spoil its soil. We must grab corruption by its stalk and pull hard until all its roots are out of the soil, our soil, because if we let the flower to bloom, we will all be done for. The corruptors high up in the political food chain will start becoming greedier and greedier and at the end there will no longer be anymore resources to be coveted. The way to stop this is of course getting rid of the mentality so that the younger generation will not repeat the mistakes of its predecessors.


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