A survey released on Thursday shows that despite President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s popularity as a presidential candidate, most people will not vote for him.
“More than 80 percent of the respondents rejected the idea of him remaining as president,” said Arief Poyuono, the chairman of the Workers Union Federation of State-Owned Enterprises.
The survey was conducted last month of 5,123 workers in all 33 provinces that work for both state-owned enterprises and private industries.
Despite the majority not intending to vote for Yudhoyono, the workers ranked his popularity higher — at 32.9 percent — than any other known presidential hopefuls.
General Elections Commission, or KPU, member Mulyana W. Kusumah said the result was a new phenomenon. “Besides the data, the survey has found something else. Popularity doesn’t always guarantee that the candidate will receive the most votes.”
‘Popularity doesn’t always guarantee
that the candidate will receive the most votes’
Mulyana W. Kusumah, KPU
“Yudhoyono is well-known and popular, but we need to know that popularity doesn’t always mean something positive.”
Arief said the most significant issue for workers was the economy. “Sixty two percent of the workers surveyed said that the current Indonesian economic situation is bad and almost 80 percent said that transportation fares are too expensive.”
“These people don’t really care about the fuel prices, Arief said. “They care about the price of basic needs, such as food and transportation.”
Recently, the government reduced the cost of fuel twice, from Rp 6,000 (53 cents) a liter to Rp 5,000, and then from Rp 5,000 to Rp 4,500.
“As the decreasing fuel price has not manifested itself in lower food and fare costs, workers are pessimistic about the current government. They simply think the current president has not brought them a better life,” Arief said.
He said that some workers ate cheap instant noodles daily, despite its poor nutritional level. These workers were also disappointed with the government for neglecting workers by maintaining low minimum wage levels. “It is still hard for these workers to send their children to school,” Arief said.