TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir said Friday he was saddened by the negative perception against how the government was handling the COVID-19 pandemic, which he said stemmed from foreign media and those who seemed to dislike Indonesia.
“Look at our situation, is our’s as bad as Italy's, America's?” said Erick Thohir during Tempo’s online discussion “Ngobrol Tempo”.
However, he acknowledged there were other countries that had handled the situation better, such as South Korea, but reminded people that each country’s population must be taken into consideration.
Other elements of consideration he noted were geographic conditions. He claimed the government had done enough considering Indonesia’s condition as an archipelago state. He added that East Java was the only province experiencing a rise in daily cases, and that there was only 50 percent of appointed hospitals that were treating COVID-19 patients.
Erick Thohir said that Indonesia’s food supply was also handled tremendously, which was evident in the latest inflation that remained under control. The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded April’s inflation at 2.67 percent (year-on-year), which is slightly within the initial assumption of 2-4 percent.
Despite the numerous criticisms aimed at the government and how it handled the COVID-19 pandemic, Erick Thohir acknowledged that such criticism was normal in a democratic state, and that the government must not be anti-critique.