Australian attitudes towards Indonesia

Australian attitudes towards Indonesia

Australian attitudes towards Indonesia

Australian attitudes towards Indonesia May 2013 Report 130331 Newspoll contact Christine Chalmers David Bruce 02 6249 8706 d.bruce@newspoll.com.au Client contact Alison Purnell Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australian Attitudes Towards Indonesia Survey Report

Australian Attitudes Towards Indonesia Survey Report Contents 1. Overview . 1 2. Executive summary . 3 2.1. Introduction . 3 2.2. Knowledge and understanding of Indonesia . 3 2.3. Perceptions of Indonesia . 4 2.4. Perceptions of bilateral relationship .

. 10 2.5. Policy issues . . 11 2.6. Prioritisation of bilateral relationship . . 13 2.7. Demographic analyses . . 16 3. Background to the research . 18 3.1. Introduction . . 19 3.2. Methodology . . 19 4. Detailed findings . 21 4.1. Knowledge and understanding . . 21 4.1.1. Indonesia knowledge self-rating . 21 4.1.2. Awareness of Indonesian facts . 23 4.1.3. Exposure to Indonesia . 30 4.2. Perceptions of Indonesia . . 35 4.2.1. Top of mind perceptions . 35 4.2.2. Favourability . 37 4.2.3. Trust . 41 4.2.4. Perceptions . 43 4.2.5. Segmentation . 55 4.2.6. Beliefs about Indonesian perceptions of Australia .

58 4.3. Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia bilateral relationship . . 60 4.4. Policy issues and preferences . . 69 4.4.1. Policy concerns . 69 4.4.2. Perceived change . 70 4.4.3. Perceived action on policy issues . 71 Terrorism . 71 People smuggling . 75 Treatment of livestock . 79 Indonesian justice . 81 4.4.4. Policy views summary . 83 4.5. Prioritisation of bilateral relationship . . 84

Australian Attitudes Towards Indonesia Survey Report Index of figures Figure 1: Percentage of Australians with correct knowledge of Indonesian facts . . 4 Figure 2: Thermometer rating of Indonesia . . 5 Figure 3: Trust in Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute . . 6 Figure 4: Perceptions of Indonesia . . 7 Figure 5: Perceptions of Indonesia index . . 8 Figure 6: Segmentation . . 9 Figure 7: Improvement / deterioration in Australia – Indonesia relationship . 10 Figure 8: Concern about policy issues . 11 Figure 9: Countries most important to Australian national interest (mentioned in top five .

13 Figure 10: Importance of building close relations between Indonesia and Australia (Lowy Institute . 14 Figure 11: Australia – Indonesia links index . 15 Figure 12: Self-rating of knowledge on Indonesia by demographics . 22 Figure 13: Awareness of Bali as part of Indonesia by demographics . 24 Figure 14: Awareness of poverty levels in Indonesia by demographics . 25 Figure 15: Knowledge of facts about Indonesia . 26 Figure 16: Percentage of Australians with correct knowledge of Indonesian facts . 27 Figure 17: Knowledge of Indonesian facts index . 28 Figure 18: Knowledge of Indonesian facts index by demographics .

29 Figure 19: Reported incidence of travel to Indonesia by demographics . 31 Figure 20: Likelihood of travelling to Indonesia in next 10 years by demographics . 33 Figure 21: Incidence of Indonesian language study by demographics . 34 Figure 22: Top of mind perceptions of Indonesia . 35 Figure 23: Top of mind perceptions of Indonesian (negative or positive . 36 Figure 24: Thermometer rating of Indonesia . 37 Figure 25: Thermometer rating of Indonesia by demographics . 38 Figure 26: Reason for thermometer rating of Indonesia . 39 Figure 27: Reason for thermometer rating of Indonesia . 40 Figure 28: Trust in Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute .

41 Figure 29: Trust in Indonesia by demographics . 42 Figure 30: Perceptions of Indonesia . 44 Figure 31: Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Economy . 45 Figure 32: Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Attractive values . 46 Figure 33: Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Good political system . 47 Figure 34: Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Respects its neighbours . 48 Figure 35: Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Good place to visit . 49 Figure 36: Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Important country in region .

50 Figure 37: Religious tolerance in Indonesia . 51

Australian Attitudes Towards Indonesia Survey Report Figure 38: Religious tolerance in Indonesia (Lowy Institute . 52 Figure 39: Perceptions of Indonesia index . 53 Figure 40: Perceptions of Indonesia index by demographics . 54 Figure 41: Segmentation . 55 Figure 42: Segmentation by demographics . 56 Figure 43: Segment profile . 57 Figure 44: Perceptions of Indonesian attitudes toward Australia by demographics . 58 Figure 45: Perceptions of Indonesian / Australian commonalities . 60 Figure 46: Perceptions of Indonesian / Australian commonalities by demographics . 62 Figure 47: What Indonesians and Australians have in common .

63 Figure 48: Perceptions of bilateral relationship by demographics . 64 Figure 49: Perceptions of cooperation between Australia and Indonesia by demographics . 66 Figure 50: Improvement / deterioration in Australia – Indonesia relationship . 67 Figure 51: Improvement / deterioration in Australia – Indonesia relationship by demographics . 68 Figure 52: Concern about policy issues . 69 Figure 53: Direction of change in policy issues over two years . 70 Figure 54: Indonesian action on policy issues . 71 Figure 55: Terrorism concern and beliefs by demographics . 72 Figure 56: Terrorism concern and beliefs by demographics .

74 Figure 57: ‘People smuggling’ concern and beliefs by demographics . 76 Figure 58: ‘People smuggling’ concern and beliefs by demographics . 78 Figure 59: Treatment of livestock concern and beliefs by demographics . 80 Figure 60: Indonesian justice concern and beliefs by demographics . 82 Figure 61: Countries most important to Australian national interest (mentioned in top five . 84 Figure 62: Indonesia most important to Australian national interest (mentioned in top five) by demographics . 85 Figure 63: Feasibility of building close relations between Indonesia and Australia (Lowy Institute .

86 Figure 64: Importance of building close relations between Indonesia and Australia (Lowy Institute . 87 Figure 65: Importance of building close relations with Indonesia by demographics . 88 Figure 66: Attitudes towards Australian – Indonesian links . 89 Figure 67: Australia – Indonesia links index . 90 Figure 68: Australia – Indonesia links index by demographics . 91

Australian Attitudes Towards Indonesia Survey Report Page | 1 1. Overview A lot of Australians have visited Indonesia – a third of all Australians claim to have visited at some stage, and more than half of all Western Australians. Despite this, our factual knowledge of Indonesia is poor, and we know it. Only 1-in-5 Australian adults describe their knowledge of Indonesia as “good”, and nearly a third say theirs is “poor”. Only 70% of Australians understand that Bali is part of Indonesia. Less than half understand that Indonesia is a democracy, and a majority wrongly believe that law-making is based on Islamic codes.

While most know (or guess) that Australia is Indonesia’s largest aid donor – less than half believe that Indonesia has one of the fastest growing economies in the world or that it is a member of the G20. When asked to name the first things that come to mind when thinking about Indonesia, an almost equal mix of positive and negative concepts were mentioned. The dominant positive theme was about it being a desirable holiday destination. Negative themes spanned a wider range of topics – including a full vernacular of terms around asylum seekers; terrorism and religious extremism; and drugs. This poor knowledge and ambiguous imagery translates into ambivalent feelings towards the country.

Asked to provide a ‘thermometer’ rating from 0 (very cold, unfavourable) to 100 (very warm, favourable) – both the average (51 ) and the most common (50 ) rating fell dead in the middle. By comparison, the same question asked of Indonesians about Australia by the Lowy Institute gave exactly the same answer in 2006, before increasing to 62 in 2011.

This tendency for the Indonesian community collectively to be a little more positive about Australia than Australians are about Indonesia is a fairly consistent finding where comparative data exists. For example, a greater proportion of Indonesians trust both their own government and the Australian government to play a positive role in the world than the proportion of Australians who trust the Indonesian government to act responsibly in the world. Not only is Australian’s knowledge of the Indonesian political system poor – but so too are perceptions of it. Less than 1-in-4 Australians think Indonesia is “a country with a good political system”, and nearly three times as many think it is “a corrupt country”.

Indeed, there is a sense of implied threat from Indonesia which permeates the views of some Australians. This is not specifically articulated, but alongside the range of negative topics that came readily to mind for some respondents, consider the following views: Over 80% agree it is “an important country in our region”. Two thirds agree that it is “an important economy”. Only around half Australians agree that Indonesia: o “is safe for Australian travellers” o “is a country with attractive values” and o “is a country that respects its neighbours”. Nearly half feel that Indonesia is “a threat to Australian national security”.

With such mixed views at the holistic community level, it is of little surprise that there are several quite distinct segments which can be readily identified by mapping out knowledge and perceptions. By

Australian Attitudes Towards Indonesia Survey Report Page | 2 calculating a “facts score” and a “perceptions score” for each respondent based on their answers to the respective batteries of questions, a well populated 2-way matrix emerges. What we see is: 28% of people who score highly on both knowledge and perceptions 21% who score low on the knowledge dimension, but are still positive in their perceptions 13% who score highly on knowledge, but are more negative in their perceptions 38% who score low on both dimensions One important thing to observe about this matrix is that knowledge is positively correlated with perceptions.

That is – the more people know, the more likely they are to be positive about Indonesia. As in any survey data, it is hard to determine in which direction this link operates, but the fact that knowledge and perceptions tend to move in the same direction makes it plausible that improving Australian’s factual knowledge of Indonesia could positively impact attitudes. Aside from poor knowledge, another likely barrier to the relationship between Australians and Indonesians is a sense of both the people and the governments of the two countries having little in common. Few Australians think the inter-Governmental relationship is ‘bad’ – but many are unsure or ambivalent.

Over the last 10 years more than twice as many Australians think the relationship with Indonesia has improved than think it has deteriorated. Over the last two years though, the proportions are equal.

When specifically prompted for their level of concern about a number of significant issues (people smuggling, terrorism, treatment of cattle, and treatment of Australians in the Indonesian justice system), levels of concern are high for all of them (70%-85%). There was a view that the Indonesian government has made at least moderate efforts to improve terrorism and the treatment of Australians in their justice system – but not in the other areas. Concern for Indonesians in the Australian justice system was a little lower, but still strong.

Given all this, it is little surprise that over 90% of Australians think it is at least somewhat important that Australia and Indonesia build close relations.

A slightly lower proportion of Indonesians (80%) felt the same way in a 2011 Lowy Institute survey. In general, there was a positive view from Australians about increasing links with Indonesia. Finally, there are several common demographic trends observed in the community. These are not universal, but sufficiently widespread to be worthy of note. Regional Australians have poorer knowledge of Indonesia, and are less likely to think the two countries have things in common or to support increased links. Men are somewhat more knowledgeable and positive than women. Older Australians have more firsthand experience, but lower knowledge and are less positive; and while they think Indonesia is more important, they are less supportive of increased links.

Higher socio-economic households and those with higher levels of education are generally more knowledgeable and more positive, and see more things in common.

Overall, it is clear that Indonesia is perceived as important to Australia (more than a third of Australians spontaneously rate it as one of the top 5 most important countries to our national interest) – but knowledge about it is poor and perceptions are very mixed.

Australian Attitudes Towards Indonesia Survey Report Page | 3 2. Executive summary 2.1. Introduction This research was commissioned by the Public Diplomacy and Information Branch (PDB) within the Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The purpose of the research was to obtain a better understanding of Australians’ beliefs about and perceptions of Indonesia and preferences for the Australia-Indonesia bilateral relationship.

The telephone survey was conducted over the period 8 to 17 June 2012, with a national sample of 1,202 Australian residents aged 18 years or older.

2.2. Knowledge and understanding of Indonesia One-fifth of Australians believe their level of knowledge about Indonesia is ‘good’, but one-third (31%) believe it is ‘poor’. About one-quarter of Australians (29%) claim to have travelled to Indonesia. The proportion who have done so is much higher than average in Western Australia (56%). Just over one in ten say they have studied the Indonesian language at some point in their lives. Despite this exposure to the Indonesian language and culture, awareness of facts about Indonesia is generally poor: Seventy percent of Australians are aware that Bali is a part of Indonesia, but 30% are not.

The majority of Australians believe that law-making in Indonesia is based on Islamic codes. Fewer than half (47%) believe that Indonesia is a democracy.

Fewer than half believe that Indonesia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and that it is a member of the G20 group of nations. Only one-third of Australians are aware (or correctly guess) that about half of Indonesians live below the poverty line (one-third think it is more than this and one-third think it is less). In contrast, the majority of Australians know (or correctly guess) that Australia is Indonesia’s largest aid donor, and that there is not currently an Australian travel advisory against travelling to Indonesia.

Australian Attitudes Towards Indonesia Survey Report Page | 4 Figure 1: Percentage of Australians with correct knowledge of Indonesian facts Q21.

For each of the following, please tell me whether you believe this is definitely true, probably true, probably false, or definitely false. Firstly,… 2.3. Perceptions of Indonesia Asked to name the first three things that come to mind when thinking about Indonesia, the most common response, mentioned by about one-third, was ‘holiday destination’ or similar. Other relatively common responses (mentioned by one in ten or more) included: Muslim / Islamic country, or reference to religion Boat people, refugees, asylum seekers and people smuggling Poverty Bombs, terrorism and religious extremism Size of the population Bali Drugs and drugs trafficking Proximity to Australia in the Asia Pacific region Responses to this question were categorised as ‘negative’, ‘positive’ or ‘neutral’.

Almost two-thirds (63%) mentioned something negative, but a similar proportion (59%) mentioned something positive. 28% 36% 39% 43% 47% 55% 70% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Law-making in Indonesia is not based on Islamic codes About50% of Indonesians live on less than $2 / day Indonesia is one of the largest 20 economies in the world Indonesia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world Indonesia is a democracy Australian government does not advise Australians to avoid travelling to Indonesia No country donates more aid money to Indonesia than Australia % correct

Australian Attitudes Towards Indonesia Survey Report Page | 5 Using a ‘thermometer’ measure of feelings towards Indonesia, where possible scores range from zero (very cold, unfavourable feeling) to 100 (very warm, favourable feeling), the mean score among Australians is 51° (among those with an opinion). One-fifth (21%) were unable to answer this question. A Lowy Institute Indonesia Poll in 2011 found that Indonesians’ feelings towards Australia were 62°, increasing from a ‘lukewarm’ 51° in 2006.1 In Indonesia in 2011, Australia was the fourth most warmly regarded country, after Japan (66°), Singapore (64°), and the USA (64°).

Figure 2: Thermometer rating of Indonesia Q8. For this next question, I am going to ask you to give a rating, with one hundred meaning a very warm, favourable feeling, zero meaning a very cold, unfavourable feeling and fifty meaning not particularly warm or cold. You can use any number from zero to one hundred. Please rate your feelings towards Indonesia. If you have no opinion, please say so. Those who gave a relatively positive thermometer rating (50+) gave reasons related to tourism, the Indonesian people, and the bilateral relationship. Those who gave a relatively negative thermometer rating (

Australian Attitudes Towards Indonesia Survey Report Page | 6 Australians were asked how much they trust Indonesia to play a positive role in the world. Just over half (53%) trust Indonesia at least ‘somewhat’. This contrasts to Indonesians’ trust in their own country to act responsibly in the world (86%). This also compares unfavourably to Indonesians’ faith in Australia to act responsibly (75%). Figure 3: Trust in Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute) 2 (Newspoll) Q17. How much do you trust Indonesia to play a positive role in the world? Do you trust Indonesia… (Lowy) How much do you trust the following countries to act responsibly in the world? 2 Hanson, 2012.

Note difference in question wording.

5% 45% 17% 48% 41% 58% 30% 10% 17% 14% 1% 3% 4% 7% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Australian views of Indonesia Indonesian views of Indonesia Indonesian views of Australia Trust to act responsibly / play a positive role in the world Don't know Not at all Not very much Somewhat A great deal

Australian Attitudes Towards Indonesia Survey Report Page | 7 The majority of Australians are agreed that Indonesia is an important country in the Asia Pacific region (83%) and are also agreed that Indonesia is an important economy (66%). However, Australians are more likely to agree that Indonesia is a poor country (81%).

Most Australians also believe that Indonesia is a corrupt country (71%) and very few (24%) believe it has a good political system. Almost half (45%) believe Indonesia is a threat to Australian national security. Most Australians believe that Indonesia is ‘Australia’s friend’ (69%) and is a good place to visit (59%). In fact, Australians are more likely than Indonesians to view the other country as a ‘friend’. However, Australians are divided about whether Indonesia is a country with attractive values (52% agree, but 38% disagree), and about whether it is safe for Australian travellers (52% agree, but 44% disagree).

Asked whether religious tolerance in Indonesia has increased or decreased in the last two years, the proportion who thinks religious tolerance in Indonesia has decreased (25%) outnumbers the proportion who believes it has increased (18%).

Figure 4: Perceptions of Indonesia Q18. For each of the following, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree that it applies to Indonesia? Firstly, Indonesia is… Q19. And do you believe that travelling to Indonesia is safe or dangerous for Australians? * Note: Responses to Q19 were converted to an agree / disagree scale for the purpose of this analysis. 3% 15% 8% 10% 8% 23% 26% 12% 34% 38% 47% 21% 29% 43% 41% 45% 36% 40% 56% 37% 43% 36% 34% 32% 24% 24% 32% 17% 19% 18% 16% 9% 10% 29% 18% 17% 14% 12% 15% 7% 7% 5% 5% 5% 12% 5% 8% 11% 4% 9% 8% 7% 8% 4% 2% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% A country with a good political system A threat to Australian national security A country that respectsits neighbours A country with attractive values Safe for Australian travellers* A good place to visit An important economy Australia's friend A corruptcountry A poor country An important country in our region Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Don't know

Australian Attitudes Towards Indonesia Survey Report Page | 8 Ten separate questions gauging perceptions of Indonesia were combined in an average ‘perceptions index’, ranging from a score of zero (very negative perceptions) to 40 (very positive perceptions). The average score among all Australians is 21. Figure 5: Perceptions of Indonesia index Q18. For each of the following, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree that it applies to Indonesia? Firstly, Indonesia is… Q19. And do you believe that travelling to Indonesia is safe or dangerous for Australians? By combining score on the ‘perceptions index’ with score on the ‘facts index’, we are able to arrive at a 4-way segmentation of the Australian population.

Just over one-third of the population (38%) score low on both knowledge and perceptions – the largest segment. This group of Australians has relatively negative perceptions of Indonesia and are also relatively uninformed (that is, score below average on the ‘facts index’). This segment is disproportionately likely to be lower socio-economic status, older and with no more than a college education. They are disproportionately female. Just over one-quarter of the population (28%, the second largest segment) score high on both dimensions. This group has relatively positive perceptions of Indonesia and are relatively informed about the country.

This segment is disproportionately likely to be higher socio- economic status, university educated, and younger. They are disproportionately male. 1 2 3 4 5 6 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 %

Australian Attitudes Towards Indonesia Survey Report Page | 9 That these two segments are the largest reflects the fact that knowledge is positively correlated with perceptions; that is, the more knowledgeable an individual is (as indicated by their score on the ‘facts index’), the more positive they tend to be about Indonesia (Pearson r=+.39). One-fifth of the population (21%) score relatively poorly on the ‘facts index’, but have relatively positive perceptions of Indonesia. This segment tends to be younger women with relatively low levels of tertiary education and low incomes.

Finally, the smallest segment is those who have relatively negative perceptions of Indonesia, but who are also relatively well informed about the country.

This segment is similar in profile to the high knowledge / high perceptions segment, but tend to be somewhat older than the latter segment. They are disproportionately from Queensland and NSW. Figure 6: Segmentation Facts Index Score Low High 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Perceptions Index Low 0-22 Low / Low = 38% High / Low = 13% High 23-40 Low / High = 21% High / High = 28%

Australian Attitudes Towards Indonesia Survey Report Page | 10 2.4. Perceptions of bilateral relationship Between one-quarter and one-third of Australians believe that ordinary Australians and Indonesians, as well as the Australian and Indonesian governments, have ‘quite a bit’ or ‘a lot’ in common, but most Australians think the two countries have few things or nothing in common. Typically the things the two countries are perceived to have in common are people to people links (tourism, immigration), trade and shared business interests, geography, and shared public policy concerns such as people smuggling.

Very few Australians believe that the Australian government has a ‘bad’ relationship with the Indonesian government, but only a bare majority (57%) think it is at least ‘somewhat good’. Many are unsure or ambivalent. But two-thirds (65%) believe that the Australian and Indonesian governments cooperate at least ‘somewhat’. In terms of Australia’s relationship with Indonesia over the last two to 10 years, net perceived improvement (improvement minus deterioration) is +3% in the last two years and +23% in the last 10 years. In short, while about one-fifth of Australians think the relationship between Australia and Indonesia is deteriorating over time, they are outnumbered by those who think it is improving.

Figure 7: Improvement / deterioration in Australia – Indonesia relationship Q16. In your view, over the last (PROG NOTE: RANDOM 50% ASSIGNMENT ‘two’ \ ‘ten’) years, has the overall relationship between Australia and Indonesia…?

21% 19% 49% 35% 23% 42% 7% 3% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2 YEARS 10 YEARS Don't know Improved Stayed the same Deteriorated

Australian Attitudes Towards Indonesia Survey Report Page | 11 2.5. Policy issues Across a range of policy issues: Australians are most concerned about people smuggling to Australia through Indonesia. Eighty-five percent express concern about this issue, including 56% who are ‘very’ concerned. Terrorism in the Asia Pacific region is also of concern to the vast majority of Australians (83%), including 42% who are ‘very’ concerned.

Australians are more concerned about the treatment of Australian cattle in Indonesia (77% at least ‘somewhat’ concerned) than about the treatment of Australians in the Indonesian justice system (70%).

A majority of Australians are also concerned about the treatment of Indonesians in Australian detention centres and jails (63% at least ‘somewhat’ concerned, including 26% who are ‘very’ concerned. However, one-third (34%) of Australians are largely unconcerned about this issue. Figure 8: Concern about policy issues Q24. For each of the following, please tell me how concerned you are about the issue. Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned or not at all concerned about…? In general, perceptions of policy issues appear to be moving in a positive direction. For example, although Australians tend to be very concerned about people smuggling and terrorism in the region, the majority think that efforts to combat these two issues have increased (55%).

Further, 62% of Australians believe that the Indonesian government has made at least a ‘moderate’ effort to stop terrorist acts in the region.

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