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Indonesian president-elect holds up Taiwan as productivity role model

JAKARTA -- Indonesia's President-elect Joko Widodo has cited Taiwan as a role model for his country, saying that the advances in Taiwan's human resources has led to high productivity.

Manpower development is the biggest challenge facing Indonesia, Widodo said at a forum in the city of Yogyakarta on Monday, describing the situation as a matter that must be dealt with, according to a report on detik.com, an Indonesian online news portal.

He said he shares the views of Indonesian writer Mochtar Lubis on the weaknesses of Indonesians, including hypocrisy, lack of a sense of responsibility, being superstitious and lacking courage.

Another characteristic that must be improved upon is a lack of attention to quality, said Widodo, citing Indonesian anthropologist Koentjaraningrat.

He said he relates to that well, based on his past experience working in furniture exports, which left him with an impression of the little importance Indonesians attach to quality.

However, it is possible for Indonesia to catch up with countries such as Taiwan, Singapore and Japan, whose people are highly productive, through education from the bottom up, the incumbent governor of Jakarta noted.

The changes, he said, are vital to the country's productivity and competitiveness.

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