Dear Read­ers,

Indonesia Expat - - LETTER FROM THE EDITOR -

On Sun­day I took part in In­done­sia's Hari Peduli Sam­pah Na­sional (Na­tional Con­cern of Rub­bish Day), join­ing thou­sands of other en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivists across the na­tion in a march and cleanup ac­tions in an at­tempt to raise aware­ness for the goal of #In­done­si­aBe­basSam­pah2020 (In­done­sia free of trash by 2020). I find th­ese kinds of move­ments help in­spire change in peo­ple's lives, ed­u­cat­ing bit by bit about the need for a con­nec­tion be­tween us and the garbage that we cre­ate. This kind of change is good.

Re­cent pos­i­tive change was also seen in Pres­i­dent Jokowi's amend­ments to the Neg­a­tive In­vest­ments List, and laws on for­eign in­vest­ment. Now that the na­tion has opened up 39 more sec­tors to for­eign in­vest­ment, many new op­por­tu­ni­ties will present them­selves to this grow­ing na­tion. This kind of change shows that In­done­sia is mov­ing for­ward, ready to join the world and for­get its tu­mul­tuous past, brought on un­der­stand­ably by 300 years of colo­nial­iza­tion.

Some­times though, change can be fright­en­ing and can re­sult in re­gres­sion rather than pro­gres­sion. A re­cent se­ries of events seem to be in­spir­ing hate to­wards the Les­bian Gay Bi­sex­ual and Trans­gen­der (LGBT) com­mu­ni­ties in In­done­sia. The pet­ti­est of th­ese was the ban­ning of gay emo­jis on so­cial chat ap­pli­ca­tions, as they sup­pos­edly in­still im­moral­ity in users. I've never felt that a tiny car­toon of two women or two men hold­ing hands is go­ing to make me feel any dif­fer­ent about my sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion – have you? And the sad thing is that LINE has al­ready caved in, tak­ing their ‘in­ap­pro­pri­ate' emo­jis off of their ap­pli­ca­tion. This kind of change wor­ries me, as it does our ob­ser­va­tions writer Si­mon Pitchforth, who rants about this ex­act sub­ject on page 25.

Also in our 160th is­sue, we dis­cuss Zika – Leighton Coose­boom brings you the facts about this virus, which could be mis­di­ag­nosed as dengue fever. Lina Natalia also re­turns in a busi­ness fea­ture on In­done­sia's con­fi­dence of its abil­ity to grow the na­tion's econ­omy by five per­cent this year.

An­gela Richard­son

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.