Bandung Mayor Dismisses Slump in Public Satisfaction


MAY 28, 2015

Bandung. Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil has dismissed a recent survey that showed public satisfaction with his performance has slid by more than 20 percent, saying the poll did not reflect the many accolades his administration has received.

“Let’s base our judgements on facts,” Ridwan said.

Ridwan, who is an internationally renowned architect and urban planner, said the West Java capital has seen major bureaucratic reform since he and his deputy, Oded M. Danial, took office in September 2013.

The city was last year awarded by the Indonesian Ombudsman Commission for its public service reform efforts and by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for its anticorruption drive.

“[Bandung’s] scorecards have all been green,” he said. “Are the Ombudsman and the KPK not based [the awards] on scientific methods? Very much so, because they are using well-established parameters and both are much respected institutions.

“I will take any form of criticism. But I hope [the criticism] is based on facts.”

Ridwan was responding to a survey released on Wednesday by the Information and Democracy Study Circle (eLSID).

“In our survey conducted after [Ridwan] was inaugurated in September 2013, 83 percent of Bandung resident were convinced that [Ridwan and Oded] can change the Bandung government for the better,” eLSID researcher Dedi Barnadi said.

But after surveying 415 respondents between April 12 and 17 this year, only 60 percent of those surveyed felt the same way, while 2.7 percent said they are not so convinced and 2.5 percent said they are not convinced at all.

Other residents surveyed remained neutral, the researcher said.

Muradi, a political expert from Bandung’s Padjadjaran University, said the mayor's sliding popularity was due to the fact that Ridwan’s programs have failed to meet people’s expectations.

According to Muradi, Ridwan has been too preoccupied giving the city "superficial face lifts," such as revamping parks and turning a historic part of town into a culinary center.

His administration has ignored essential needs like health care, education and social welfare, Marudi said.

Muradi said the mayor needed to come up with breakthrough programs which the majority of his constituents can enjoy.

“Otherwise, Ridwan will get stuck in the same problems faced by Bandung’s previous administrations,” he said.