Jakarta has been constantly growing, developing and changing over the past decade. As an observer of the city, I have noticed a significantly larger gap between socio-economic groups – and it’s getting worse each year. In Bahasa Indonesia it’s called “kesenjangan sosial,” or social inequality.
As I passed Mall Taman Anggrek in West Jakarta the other week, I spotted a group of slum houses right next to the gigantic mall, and it got me thinking that the social inequalities in Indonesia, especially in Jakarta, is becoming ridiculous, and I’m not quite sure how it all started.
I get a little annoyed looking at people driving luxurious cars, like Ferraris and such, around Jakarta. I mean, seriously, what’s the point? I know you’re rich, I know you’re successful, but why highlight the social inequality even more?
Those are fast cars, and you’re driving it in the middle of a traffic jam. What a joke. If you live in the USA, for example, then it’s fine. But if you own one here in Jakarta, it seems out of place and totally inappropriate. Some people have to learn how to look around them and see what kind of place they live in. It’s almost immoral to be driving your incredibly expensive car in front of people who work so hard day in, day out, and get low pay, often not enough to survive on.
I’ve also noticed an increasing number of people wanting to “look” rich. Even though they have no money, they still try hard to appear up to date with their latest gadgets (yet, they have trouble paying for bills). A lot of other people are also obsessed with wearing branded goods and throwing expensive parties. They just want to look like they’ve just popped out of a fashion magazine or a reality TV show. Frankly, there’s nothing wrong with “looking rich” as long as you keep it balanced. And by “keeping it balance” means you don’t just take, but also give to people who are in need.
The unfortunate thing is that Indonesia doesn’t really value people who could help develop the country such as teachers, search and rescue teams or social workers. Yes, you could get a lot more money playing in a soap opera, but what kind of impact can soap operas give to Indonesia?
Many people say shameless things such as, “Well it’s their own fault that they’re poor. They could’ve worked harder or done better at school.”
True, that can be the case sometimes, but remember many people in Indonesia don’t have the same opportunity to obtain a good education. No matter how hard they work, these people still struggle to earn even a small amount of money.
Some of you readers might take a quick guess and make a conclusion that the writer of this blog is just “jealous” of “rich people” – which lot of you have previously commented on in some of my previous blog entries. However, I write about this because I am getting quite embarrassed for those rich people who love to show off. I can tell you that show offs get a lot more negative comments, compared to positive comments from society.
If you happen to be an extremely wealthy person living in Jakarta, don’t you think it’s a lot wiser to use your money on something more useful, e.g. doing charity works, sponsoring a child etc. instead of living a hedonistic lifestyle? This country doesn’t need show offs. This country needs people who are willing to help and create a positive impact.