REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, NUSA DUA -- President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said that Indonesia is home to the happiest people in the world. He made the statement based on a research conducted by US research firm Gallup earlier this year.
Maybe we are not the most advanced one, but it turns out that we are one of the happiest people in the world," Jokowi stated, while giving a speech at the Tri Hita Karana Forum in the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank (WB) 2018 Annual Meetings at Sofitel Nusa Dua, Bali, on Thursday.
Gallup released a survey in early 2018, stating that Indonesia is one of the eight happiest countries in the world. Based on the survey, Indonesia was placed in the rank of the most optimistic countries in the world for the same year.
Likewise, Edelman's survey also placed the public confidence level on the government in Indonesia in the second place after Switzerland. Hence, Jokowi then invited the audience, attending the Tri Hita Karana Forum, to come to Indonesia even though Indonesia was one of the countries that faced various challenges related to disasters that occurred from time to time.
"But if you are looking for happiness, then you come to the right place," Jokowi remarked.He then asked the audience what made Indonesian people happy. "That is your homework to find out," he added.
The president even asked attendees, including delegates and invited guests, to try to tour tourist attractions in Indonesia and spend their dollars in the country as well as to find out the reasons for the happiness of Indonesians.
"The name of our conference is Tri Hita Karana, which is a good indication of harmony between people," he revealed.
He suggested that the audience listened to Indonesian-style dangdut music. "This is the happiest music in the world." In fact, I have found that many of them have been addicted to Indonesian dangdut music," he explained.
Apart from all that, the Tri Hita Karana Forum, according to the president, will later mobilize billions of dollars to finance various projects from the sustainable development goals (SDGs) program.
On the occasion, the president gave a keynote address at the Tri Hita Karana Forum in the framework of the IMF-WB 2018 annual meetings.
In the meantime, WB President Jim Yong Kim appreciated Indonesia's commitment to host the annual meeting of the IMF-WB after it was repeatedly hit by major earthquakes and tsunami.
Kim expressed sympathy and stated that the WB wanted to continue cooperation with the Indonesian government and was ready to provide aid if needed.
Late last month, an earthquake with magnitude 7.4 on the Richter scale triggered a tsunami that swept across Central Sulawesi, leading to the death of more than two thousand people and hundreds of others still missing. A month earlier, a strong quake rocked Lombok, killing more than 500 people.
Only on Thursday morning, two people were reported killed by another major quake of 6.3 magnitude on the Richter scale on a small island in East Java.
"By hosting the meeting, Indonesia shows to the world that it is strong and tough," Kim pointed out in a news conference on the sidelines of the international meeting here on Thursday.
He added that Indonesia has enjoyed a strong economic growth and has made significant progress in eliminating extreme poverty.
Indonesia's per capita GDP rose from US$785 in 2000 to more than $3,800 in 2017.
Poverty ratio dropped sharply in 18 years from 19.1 percent to 9.8 percent, the lowest ever in the country's history.
"This is an impressive progress, and we believe Indonesia could continue its economic progress amid the tragedy lately," Kim remarked.