1. Full Interview: Sutayasa

    Sutayasa lives in Singapore.

    Where are you from?
    Indonesia, Jakarta.

    Which part of Jakarta?
    South Jakarta, the best area to live in. It’s near to everywhere that matters, really. It’s near to the central business district, to Kemang, to all the malls.

    Is that what you like about Jakarta? Convenience?
    I don’t know, I think they have better food than Singapore. It’s also home for me, where most of my friends are and that’s what makes Jakarta for me. My friends make me love Jakarta.

    What makes you go abroad for college?
    I just wanted to be abroad. To be honest, before this I never really been abroad before. I never travelled until college. I wanted something new. You also cannot deny that Singapore has a better educational system than Indonesia, it’s one of the best in Southeast Asia.

    How’s living in Singapore different from living in Jakarta?
    I think first thing that makes it difficult is keeping in touch with my friends in Jakarta, because that’s the friendship that I really want to keep and maintain. It can be quite a struggle, especially when I was maintaining all these different activities in college. I was having a long distance relationship with someone in Indonesia, that was difficult. Singapore is also very competitive. It wouldn’t be Singapore without the competition.

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  2. Full Interview: Inez

    Inez lives in Singapore.

    How long have you been living in Singapore?
    Five years i think, since 2005, June.

    Was it a personal decision for you to come here or did your family make you go?
    It was quite a personal decision. My parents offered studying abroad at first but the decision was mine.

    How do you like it so far? Now that you’ve been here for five years.
    More or less, I’m used to it. Some of my friends who came here in a group, don’t really enjoy life in Singapore because it’s very laid back and somewhat boring since it’s a very small country. I came here on my own, without anyone that I really know, except for my sister, and for me it made it more interesting.

    How old were you when you left?
    17

    If you were to choose where to go at 17, where else would you be? What other options would you consider?
    I never really had thought of the idea of studying overseas until it was brought up by my parents.

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  3. 
"There’s a lack of political willpower but there’s also a way of doing  things in bureaucracy from what I have observed through a culture of  corruption. I think it’s unproductive what the bureaucracy does. The  system of reward rewards by seniority not by merits so you have to stay  in the system in order to climb up and get into a position of power. By  the time you get there you get ambivalent about what you do and then you  leave all the planning to the younger group. The structures of  corruption is not only a culture, it’s also operational. It’s in how you  do your ordering, accounting and purchasing. I personally believe that  Indonesia is not poor. A lot of money is wasted or is put to projects  that have absolutely no real returns on investment or just very  negligible ones. They do it because they have to do it."

Read Nida’s full interview here.

    "There’s a lack of political willpower but there’s also a way of doing things in bureaucracy from what I have observed through a culture of corruption. I think it’s unproductive what the bureaucracy does. The system of reward rewards by seniority not by merits so you have to stay in the system in order to climb up and get into a position of power. By the time you get there you get ambivalent about what you do and then you leave all the planning to the younger group. The structures of corruption is not only a culture, it’s also operational. It’s in how you do your ordering, accounting and purchasing. I personally believe that Indonesia is not poor. A lot of money is wasted or is put to projects that have absolutely no real returns on investment or just very negligible ones. They do it because they have to do it."

    Read Nida’s full interview here.

  4. Full Interview: Veli and Veli

    Veli and Veli live in Singapore.

    Where do you guys live in Jakarta?
    Jatinegara. Jakarta Timur. There was a lot of banks in our area that hide the more residential neighborhoods. The mob basically just ignored us because of that.

    I remember our dad and our brother tried to safeguard the area or something.

    Was coming here your decisi-
    No! [both laughs] totally was not our decision.

    No?
    Nope. I mean until now, I think that I would’ve been happier growing up there.

    In Indonesia?
    Yes

    Really?
    [laughs] I don’t know. I think, with us being here, there was a lot of expectation for us to do well. Financially, our father spent quite a bit of money to send us here. Our family kind of told us before they sent us, that if we do bad and return, we should just go hang ourselves or something.

    Yeah. It was academically stressful. Our parents came from a very academic background, and then when I first came here, I got into a school that was not good academically. There were a lot of gangsters [laughs] That was secondary two and that same year I had to take this test that would get me into a more prestigious school. Somehow I studied hard enough that I could enter into a much better school. Everything happened in such a short period of time. We had to take Chinese and our mother tongue.

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