Pandemic sharply undercuts public trust in Government

Didik Rachbini, senior economist and Chairman of the LP3ES Management Board. (Photo: Rayi Gigih/IO)

IO – Many problems arise during the pandemic, from collapsing businesses to increased frequency of violence against women and children. Despite the large number of shaken businesses, the volume of online transactions has increased greatly. Unfortunately, this increase is not followed by the readiness of stakeholders, especially Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Businesses (Usaha Mikro, Kecil, dan Menengah – “UMKM”) to engage online. Diponegoro University Master’s Degree Program held an international Webinar titled “The COVID-19 Pandemic, the Public, and the State: A Multidisciplinary Perspective” on Tuesday, 06 October 2020, to discuss this issue.

The first speaker, Prof. Budi Setiyono, Vice Rector III of Diponegoro University, stated that the creation of an online market is an empowering strategy for communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He claims that this is an important idea because the volume of domestic online transactions has increased sharply. However, he regrets that UMKMs are not ready to market their products online. Therefore, empowering the community’s online savvy is a direnecessity. This effort will generate new job and business opportunities amid the recession.

The next speaker, Yuzuru Shimada, a lecturer from Nagoya University, compares the condition and policies of pandemic mitigation in Japan. He further admits that Japan also has trouble to implement physical distancing, as the Japanese Government does not have sufficient authority to prohibit citizens from either leaving home or to stop businesses from running properly. Such prohibition will in turn obliges the Government to compensate for the companies’ losses. And all these occurred amid Japanese Government political scandals during the pandemic.

Didik Rachbini, senior economist and Chairman of the LP3ES Management Board, spoke next, to add a description of Indonesia’s economic condition during the pandemic. Our economic growth rate has declined even further since the pandemic commenced. This is sad, as our economic growth has been going down even before the pandemic, because the Government does not have clear economic policies that can revive the economy. 

Luthfi Makhasin, Chair­man of the Indonesian Police Psychological Association (Asosiasi Psikologi Kepolisian Indonesia – “APSIPOL”) and lecturer in General Soedirman University, Purwokerto, then followed by saying that the Government has been mitigating the pandemic erroneously. This is why public trust towards the Government is reduced sharply. The Webinar ended with a speech of Laila Khalid Al-firdaus, Diponegoro University lecturer, who noted an increase in the amount of violence against women and children during the pandemic. (dan)