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Last Updated: Friday, 2 July, 2004, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Indonesian voters: Dayak banker
Young Dayak child near a damaged house in Kalimantan
There have been clashes between Dayaks and Madurese immigrants
Ahead of Indonesia's first direct presidential election on 5 July, BBC News Online has been hearing from a range of voters about their hopes and expectations.

Yakob Ulung, a 50-year-old ethnic Dayak from Eastern Kalimantan, said that while he wanted the election to improve life for the Dayak people, he was not very optimistic.

"With the new system for presidential elections, we hope that [the candidates'] words will become a reality, as the president is no longer elected by the legislative body, but directly by the people," he told the BBC's Indonesian service.

"But although there are many promises, we are not sure whether or not they will be kept."

Yakob Ulung himself is a university graduate who works in a bank. But he said that the majority of Dayaks were unable to break away from poverty and have fallen behind other Indonesians, both politically and economically.

The candidates all realise what we really need, so the main thing here is whether or not they can fulfil those promises, once they're elected
Yakob Ulung
"They are very traditional and they do not recognise any high technology and ways to develop their economy," he said.

"It has now been more than half a century since the Indonesian people gained their independence, but the condition of the Dayak community is in general still very sad and worrying."

He said that the main election issues to affect the people of Kalimantan were the economy, education, health and the rehabilitation of damaged forests.

But he said that all the major candidates essentially made the same election promises with regard to these issues.

"The difference is very insignificant. The candidates all realise what we really need, so the main thing here is whether or not they can fulfil those promises, once they're elected," he said.

Whoever takes the helm has a tough task to keep to those promises among the Dayak community, according to Mr Ulung.

"The standard of health and the quality of human resources of the Dayak people have been left behind, and the same also with the economy," he said.

He added that, when it came to recruitment of skilled personnel, it was a similar story.

"Teachers who are sent to Kalimantan are those who are no longer required in the big cities. Doctors and health officials who are sent here are those who have just graduated so they are non-permanent staff," he said.


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