A survey from Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) shows that Indonesians' confidence in the performance of President Joko Widodo's government has risen. The survey signals that some 67 percent of the Indonesian population are satisfied with the government's performance, significantly higher compared to 42 percent in 2015. Reform-minded Widodo, often called Jokowi, has been in office since October 2014. However, he has to guide the nation amid global and domestic challenges (sluggish economic growth, low commodity prices and monetary policy changes of key central banks that trigger capital inflows/outflows).
Results of the survey show optimism about the direction of "Jokowi's Indonesia". Some 76.5 percent of respondents stated that they are confident that Indonesia is heading toward the right direction. Meanwhile, 62.5 percent of respondents are satisfied with the current state of democracy within the country (being a young democracy - and a huge as well as diverse nation - it naturally has to deal with some growing pains). Regarding overall economic growth, 37 percent of respondents said the current situation has improved since one year ago, while 34 percent did not see a change. However, 55 percent of respondents are confident that Indonesia's economy will improve in the year ahead (while 20 percent see no change, 8 percent expect to see further slowing economic growth, and 17 percent indicated that they have no opinion).
In terms of the household economy, only 42 percent of respondents said they feel their personal economic situation has improved compared to one year earlier, while 34 percent stated that they detected to change. The remaining 24 percent indicated that their financial situation had become worse over the year. However, the majority of respondents (61 percent) are confident that their personal financial situation will improve over the next year. Indeed economic growth of Indonesia is expected to accelerate, finally, in 2016 after six years of economic slowdown. Most analysts put their GDP growth forecast for Indonesian in full-year 2016 at between 5.0 and 5.2 percent (y/y), up from 4.8 percent (y/y) in 2015.
Some examples of matters that boost people's confidence about the quality of Jokowi's governance is the continued improvement in infrastructure development (especially the nation's main road network). People are also satisfied because both education and healthcare have become more affordable, hence more accessible. Sirajudin Abbas, Program Director at SMRC, also said Indonesian people see diminished threats in society caused by drug abuse (probably due to Widodo's decision to executive dozens of drug traffickers since the start of his reign, o move that caused heavy international criticism but enjoys widespread support in Indonesia). People also see a more just society in Indonesia where the (negative) impact of differences in race, religion, and place of birth are less felt.
Given Indonesia's economic growth is expected to accelerate in 2016 (which would imply a boost to Indonesians' purchasing power) supported by heavy investment in infrastructure development (causing the so-called multiplier effect), while the government remains committed to its social development programs (including universal healthcare), popular support for Jokowi is expected to rise accordingly ahead of the 2019 presidential election. This should put him in a great position to be re-elected for another (and final) five-year term. The SMRC survey shows that 32.4 percent of respondents would vote for Jokowi if elections were held today, a figure that is significantly higher than the 21.4 percent that was reported in the December 2015 survey. Meanwhile, Jokowi's great competitor at the 2014 elections, Prabowo Subianto, would only receive 9.4 percent of the vote if elections were to be held today, lower than 11.8 percent in December 2015.
However, the survey also shows that there remains plenty of homework that needs to be done by the government. Respondents are generally not satisfied about employment opportunities and the (high) prices of basic needs.
The survey was conducted between 22 - 28 June 2016, involving 1,027 respondents who were surveyed through multistage random sampling. The results of the survey are accurate at the 95 percent confidence level plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Where do you see Indonesia's economic growth in full-year 2016?
Voting possible: -
- Between 5.0% - 5.2% (55%)
- Between 5.2% - 5.4% (19%)
- Below 5.0% (15.5%)
- More than 5.4% (10.5%)
Total amount of votes: 611