The population of Indonesia reaching 237.6 million in 2010 became a hot issue today. With the population growth rate currently at 1.35 percent or 3.2 million people per year, Indonesia is in a "red light" condition. If this is not controlled, explosion of the population will occur.
With such population growth rate which is equivalent to the total population of Singapore, it is not impossible for Indonesia to replace the United States to become the third largest populated country in the world. Moreover, if the current rate of population growth ranges from 3-4 million people per year. "This certainly has implication on social, economic, education, and health issues, and various limited access to basic needs," said Prof. Dr. Muhadjir Darwin opening the National Seminar on Revitalization of Population Policy in Indonesia toward Development in the Era of Millennium on Tuesday (26/4).
The unpredicted rapid population growth becomes very worrying for observers of population and development policy. Moreover, if it is connected to efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). "It is a big question that needs to be answered. Can development policy in Indonesia reap satisfactory results in the millennium of 2015?" he said in Masri Singarimbun Building, UGM Centerfor Population and Policy Studies.
Therefore, to improve people's welfare, to create employment, to eradicate poverty, to improve education and health, to improve infrastructure, and provide public services are programs that have to be done.
Prof. Dr. Sofian Effendi, M.P.I.A. has the same concern. Citing data of Human Development Report, as many as 14.8 percent of Indonesian society is still living in poverty. There is also the high level of gap between regions. "The gap between Jakarta and Papua is 22 times. On average in Indonesia, the gap between other regions and Papua is around seven times. This shows that the ideals of equality after 65 years have not been achieved," he said.
Various policy formulations are considered to be one factor of the gap. Some policies are fragmented and out of synchronisation with each other. "Within the past 13 years, the government have been very chaotic. Coordination does not work in the government and various policies," Sofian said.
Besides conducting review of population policies in Indonesia up to now, the seminar commemorating the 38th anniversary of the Center attempts to create a policy associated with the population oriented development program. Also attending and delivering their thoughts were Drs. Sukamdi, M.Sc., Prof. Dr. Prijono Tjipto Herijanto (UI), Drs. Priyo Budi Santoso (DPR), Dr. Lalu Burhan, M.Sc. (Central BKKBN), and Ir.H. Irman, M.Si. (Caretaker Director General of Population and Civil Registration).