Rome wasn't built in a day, but you can bet your Samarinda yellow rice that all the potholes can be filled up in no time whenever the president comes to town.
President Joko Widodo visited Samarinda today to inspect the mass vaccination program in the East Kalimantan capital.
But the local media's focus has turned to several roads that lead to the vaccination venue, which locals say were riddled with potholes until city officials decided to pave over the literal cracks in a matter of hours just days prior to Jokowi's arrival.
"We the people use the road everyday, so we don't feel valued. The president did not elect [the mayor or the governor], the people did," a Samarinda resident named Suryadi told Merdeka yesterday.
Others lamented how their previous complaints about the city's roads had fallen on deaf ears.
"When I read the news, their excuse for not fixing the road was that there were budgetary constraints, and this and that. And now here's proof that with President Jokowi's arrival, all the roads were fixed," a citizen named Andri said.
A popular community account on Instagram has also shared footage of workers beautifying and cleaning the roads late into the night over the last couple of days.
A public works contractor assigned to fix the roads told local media outlet Suara Kaltim that the order came from the East Kalimantan Provincial Government in preparation for Jokowi's arrival. The funding for the project came from the state budget.
Rushed paving jobs rarely lead to permanently smooth roads, and we've seen too many times that potholes often reappear due to exposure to extreme weather. We hope that, for the sake of the people of Samarinda, their elected officials actually care about providing the best public facilities and services using taxpayers' money.
Failing that, one can always hope that Jokowi makes frequent visits to Samarinda.