Starvation due to Social and Economic Problems, Says VP
Wednesday, 12 March, 2008 | 14:42 WIB
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Vice President, Jusuf Kalla has said that the bad economic situation and social problems have triggered starvation.
The current economic situation is considered to be better compared to previous governments.
“I grieve for them, but what happened in Makassar is not purely a matter of a starvation case but also because of social problems,” Kalla said when opening a social-political seminar at the University of Indonesia in Depok, yesterday (11/3).
Indonesia, Kalla said, is in fact facing a difficult situation due to the prices increase of the nine essential household goods.
“However, the situation is not as bad as it looks” he said.
Kalla was commenting on the case of a pregnant woman and one of children who died in Makassar, South Sulawesi, two weeks ago.
Their deaths are presumed to have been due to starvation.
The late woman’s husband, who is a three-wheeled pedicab driver, has been unable bear their financial burden.
According to Kalla, this case happened because half of the family's income was spent on alcoholic beverages by the husband.
Generally, Kalla said, people's welfare is better now compared to previous governments.
“People's income now is US$ 2,000, so don't give the situation a bad image,” said Kalla.
According to the Vice President, Indonesia is not a poor country, but a mid developed one.
The government was quick to act as soon as the price of basic household goods became expensive.
In fact, Kalla said, the government allocated subsidies of Rp 00 billion per year and is donating Rp60 billion to people this year.
The Vice President criticized those who do not believe the survey of BPS (Central Bureau of Statistics) showing that the number of poor people has decreased.
In addition to donations, said Kalla, the government has been working on corruption eradication so that state funds can be used for people's welfare.
Security stability has also has improved during the last three years.
“How can we are prosperous if the country's not secure”, said Kalla.