‘Unclean, Unsafe': Australian Study Finds Unfavorable Views of Indonesia
By : Jakarta Globe | on 1:35 PM August 15, 2016
Jakarta. An Australian-based study has found despite diplomats claiming otherwise, Australia and Indonesia diverge in how the two countries view each other.
The study, commissioned by the Australia-Indonesia Center at Melbourne’s Monash University and compiled by EY Sweeney, found 87 percent of Indonesian participants in 2013 had a favorable view of Australia.
More than 80 percent said the neighbor is “prosperous, progressive, beautiful, highly educated and clean, with a strong economy,” as reported by Fairfax.
Meanwhile, 47 percent of Australians reported unfavorable views of Indonesia, saying the country is “unclean” and dangerous.
“The weight of negative media coverage means Indonesia can be seen in Indonesia as having a hard edge,” the report said, also pointing to wide-spread misunderstandings about Islam as influencing the result.
“At the extreme end of the spectrum we did encounter some intense vitriol towards Indonesia. The research has shown that the distance to be traversed in building a closer relationship between the two countries is significant, particularly from the Australian side.”
Bilateral relations remain fraught, despite a positive relation between Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and her Australian counterpart Julie Bishop. Last year’s execution of two Australian nationals convicted of drug offenses saw heated protests after Australia’s then prime minister Tony Abbott linked the executions to aid and the ambassador was recalled to Canberra for the first time in the bilateral relationship.