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From Value One, Spring 2012 No. 36
PT. Metal One Indonesia
A Multicultural Motherland of 18,000 Islands
Indonesia is a vast nation (about five times Japan's size) that encompasses approximately 18,000 islands and numerous ethnic groups, including the Sundanese, Javanese, and Madurese. Indonesia's ethnic groups have a variety of languages and customs, but they are firmly united as one nation in the spirit of the Youth Pledge adopted in 1928, which states, "One motherland, one nation, and one language."
In addition to its diverse human resources, the country is blessed with natural resources such as natural gas, coal, shrimp, and palm oil. Imbued with unlimited capacity for development, this country has recently attracted looks more enthusiastic than ever before from countries worldwide.
Java's Industrial Park Construction Boom
Indonesia has a population of some 240 million, around 70 percent of which is concentrated on the island of Java. In turn, Java represents approximately seven percent of the country's landmass, with most of its residents inhabiting the metropolis of Jakarta. Jakarta's manufacturing industries are located primarily in the suburbs, including the many industrial parks that line the expressway extending east from Jakarta. This is where MOI personnel work every day.
These industrial parks developed in response to the boom in investments by manufacturing industries around the world. Even with so many of these sites already built, they have been unable to keep up with demand. Never mind the locations already under construction—the situation is such that even sites that appear to be vacant lots have already found buyers. Site acquisition will be the biggest problem for companies thinking about launching operations from here on and desperate not to miss the wave.
An industrial park under development
Traffic Jams—Grin and Bear Them
Traffic jams are unavoidable on the single expressway that extends east in the midst of this development boom and, just like downtown, they worsen daily. Some days it can take three hours to cover a distance that should take around 40 minutes from MOI. It is therefore very hard to manage my time.
Many people get irritated and restless once they get stuck in a traffic jam, but you never see that kind of behavior from the MOI national staff. They apparently bear in mind that it is no use to rush, get rattled, or give up, and steel themselves to grin and bear it. This patience and magnanimity might be their strengths. (Could the reality be that it is actually hard for them, or that maybe they have leeway because I am the one who will get reprimanded if they are late? No, no, that is not at all the case...)
Daily traffic congestion—don't rush, get rattled, or give up
Trying to Alleviate Traffic Jams with "3 in 1"
A program known as "3 in 1" has been implemented in an effort to alleviate traffic congestion. The rule is that each vehicle passing along Jakarta's main thoroughfare, Sudirman Street, must have a minimum of three passengers, including the driver, at specified times of day. This attempt to reduce the number of vehicles by shifting from one to three people per vehicle will be absolutely useless in ameliorating traffic jams, however, because the number of vehicles is projected to increase.
This policy has also led to the phenomenon of the "jockey" job. These free riders stand along roads that feed into Sudirman Street and smile as they raise their index finger. They board vehicles that lack three people to provide sufficient head count for the trip along Sudirman Street for tips. This is certainly a case of "the government having a grand plan and the common folk a pragmatic approach." Jakarta's hopes rest on expanding its road networks and other infrastructure.
Youth monument over Sudirman Street


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