When shopping fruit in supermarket, we can see that price of local fruit is sometimes more expensive than those of imported from another countries. Pontianak orange can be more expensive than Mandarin orange. It is not only fruits. Sometimes local goods is sell at more expensive price than international goods, even though the quality is the same (perhaps international one is better). Why this happen? Do our farmer and manufacturer is to greedy and charge us too much? Well, no. The root of all evil in this problem is well, infrastructure!
Initially, the cost from farmer and manufacturer is decent, however, when transported to the market, the cost of logistic is add up to total price, and resulting an expensive price for goods. Not only only making price of goods goes up, infrastructure is also hampering Indonesia economic development. For example, when a multi national companies want to set a business in Indonesia and look for Indonesia current infrastructure, they will think twice. Manufacturing companies who wants to establish a plant will see if there is adequate electricity supply as well as logistic cost to transport the goods. They maybe think that Indonesia is not a good option and choose our neighbor, Singapore instead.
Singapore is well-know for its infrastructure. Port of Singapore is major transshipment hub and one of the busiest seaport in the world. Around 130000 vessels enter the port annually. In term of airport, Singapore’s Changi is currently the World’s Best Airport for the fifth consecutive year and is one of the world’s busies airport by international passenger and cargo traffic.
How did Singapore come into this prosperous state? Most of scholar pin it on it autocratic government. Under right people, autocratic government can be very effective. Without the hassle of getting everyone approval, policy can be executed very efficiently. With repressive press control, social conflict is rare to be seen. This type of atmosphere is very suitable and ideal for foreign investor to park his money in Singapore.
Indonesia Challenge: How to Catch Up Singapore
And now, rather than focusing to build their country, Indonesian people mind is occupied by rather unimportant things. Indonesia who is admired for their modern democratic islam, should show the world we are wise enough to move on from blasphemy case that started in Jakarta election. We should shift our attention to what matter the most, how to build our beloved country.
I personally believe that it all boil down to mindset of the people. Maybe we lost the spirit to attain the prosperity after reformation. This country is lack of strong leadership from their leader. The leaders can’t show the right direction to the people and the people is now busy to only satisfy their greed. We simply don’t have the spirit like many great countries posses when they climb the stair to prosperity. Spirit that bring Japan to 3rd largest economy after the lost the world war 2, spirit of south korea to catch up with their rival and neighbor, Japan. Spirit that bring German, which suffer the most from world war 2 into a country that dominate the world with their export.
So, what should we do now? if we do nothing. Yes, our local orange will always be more expensive than our neighbor.