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Jakarta Post

Indonesia: The land of liars, criminals and frauds?

  • Jennie S. Bev

Jakarta   /   Tue, January 15 2013   /  09:11 am

Who should I respect in Indonesia? The longer I stay in this beautiful tropical country, the harder it is for me to respect anyone. Also, why don’t I feel safe?

Oh, there are no registries or available public records disclosing people’s backgrounds. We don’t know exactly who we are dealing with as there is no way to check up on their past records.

Sure, a new acquaintance might introduce himself any way he wants, because he doesn’t need to take any responsibility for what he tells others. Polite and not-so-polite lies are of little consequence because there are no records against which people can check and recheck.

Too much power is in the hands of liars, crooks and criminals.

In Indonesia, I have to trust my “gut feeling”, which often isn’t reliable due to various preconceived notions. I may be representative of many foreigners who are consid...