Thursday, 16 October 2008

Meritocracy is a myth in Indonesia

Rewarding people on the basis of their intelligence and skills defines meritocracy. This is recognized as the best method as it encourages people towards continuous improvement. It is an ideal basis for every country especially a developing one, such as Indonesia. However, Indonesia is considered far from meritocratic. It is a well known fact that factors such as family name, family relation, wealth, race, religion, age, sex are more commonly used. It seems that setting meritocracy as basis for advancement is not considered important in Indonesia. Moreover, the use of discrimination over metocracy as basis of advancement is so common that many find it acceptable and do not try to hide it. A meritocratic Indonesia was widely considered as too grand of a dream when former president Soeharto appointed his daughter, Siti Rukmana as Minister of Social Affairs. Aware of Indonesia’s non meritocratic ways, many bright Indonesian scholars chose apply their knowledge, skills and intelligence abroad. How can Indonesia improve if advancements and positions continue to be given based on the wrong basis? Indonesia may be far from being a meritocratic country but with widespread awareness of the importance of adopting a meritocractic system, it is not an impossible mission.

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