Why Eastern Indonesia?


In essence Mahasiswa Indonesia Timur Relasi Asing (MITRA) is a movement for equity and equality in Indonesia.

Indonesia is a country which displays huge development gaps between the ‘core’ and ‘periphery’. There are dramatic inequalities in terms of access to opportunities in relation to social-economic opportunities, access to health and education and even opportunities for international collaboration.

This is largely the result of vast elite capture and domination where much of the wealth, resources, information and opportunity are captured by wealthy elites. Indeed opportunities which are made much more easily available in the capital and surrounding regions are not nearly so accessible for structurally disadvantaged regions, especially in Eastern Indonesia.

The concept of elite capture and inequality which is evident in Indonesia is clearly explained in the Guardian Oxfam article “85 richest people as wealthy as poorest half of the world”.

As an equity based movement MITRA struggles for equal access to information and opportunities for the students and wider communities of Eastern Indonesia. This association may serve as an example for other student communities who also come from disadvantaged provinces in countries with clear development gaps.

MITRA Kawasan Indotimur

The Human Development Index (HDI) provided by the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS Indonesia 2013) illustrates the inequality in terms of access and opportunity between ‘core’ (Jakarta, West and Central Java) and ‘peripheral’ Eastern Indonesia.

Ranking Province Nilai HDI
1 DKI Jakarta 77.84666667
2 North Sulawesi 76.39
3 Riau 76.37666667
4 D.I. Yogyakarta 76.13666667
5 East Kalimantan 76
6 Kep. Riau 75.87666667
7 Central Kalimantan 74.92
8 North Sumatera 74.49666667
9 West Sumatera 74.11333333
10 South Sumatera 73.26333333
11 Bengkulu 73.24
12 Kep. Bangka Belitung 73.2
13 Jambi 73.11333333
14 Bali 72.65333333
15 Central Java 72.79
16 West Java 72.58333333
17 East Java 71.99333333
18 South Sulawesi 71.96666667
19 Aceh 72
20 Lampung 71.76666667
21 Maluku 71.72
22 Central Sulawesi 71.46
23 Banten 70.79333333
24 Gorontalo 70.64
25 South Kalimantan 70.26666667
26 Central Sulawesi 70.36666667
27 West Sulawesi 69.95333333
28 West Kalimantan 69.49
29 West Papua 69.41666667
30 North Maluku 69.32333333
31 Nusa Tenggara Timur 67.58666667
32 Nusa Tenggara Barat 65.88666667
33 Papua 65.22

MITRA’s geographic focus correlates with the provinces ranked 21,29,30,31,32,33 (in the Human Development Index) out of a total 33 provinces of Indonesia.

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