Yudhoyono Declares Regional Autonomy a Success

Yudhoyono Declares Regional Autonomy a Success

The Jakarta Post, by Erwida Maulia

Despite lingering concerns over poor implementation in the field, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said regional autonomy has been successful during his five years as president.

In his speech before the Regional Representatives Council (DPD), Yudhoyono said during the past five years all provinces have recorded a decline in poverty rates.

"And during the same period, we managed to evenly cut the unemployment rate in almost all the provinces," the President said.

He added that seven provinces North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Jambi, Jakarta, Southeast Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi and West Papua had consistently recorded economic growth higher than the national figure.

Under his leadership, Yudhoyono said that the life expectancy of Indonesians had improved; from 68.6 years in 2004 to 70.7 years in 2009.

The infant mortality rate has declined from 33.9 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004 to 26.2 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2009, while the maternal mortality rate has reduced from 307 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2004 to 228 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2007.

The illiteracy rate of people aged 15 and above dropped from 9.6 percent in 2004 to 7.6 percent in 2008.

"In general Indonesia’s human development index increased from 68.7 in 2004 to 71.1 in 2008," Yudhoyono said.