While co-host Sjamsu likes the idea of the current cash transfer program in Indonesia, I have some reservation. I agree with giving people money, not in-kind assistance. But I'm a little reluctant to call what the government is doing now as compensation (or, more precisely, "compensating variation"). Here's my take in Jakarta Post -- but, please read the uncut version, as the newspaper has left some important points in the editing so as to fit the space. Among other things got cut by the Editor is my position that cutting oil subsidy, pursuing efficiency, mobilizing other sources of fund, and combating rent-seeking activities are complements, not substitutes. Also, in the end of the original writing I skecth some examples of cash transfer programs that have been known as successful.
Addendum: Reading Sjamsu's comment (below), it appears, we're not in disagreement. We both agree with with the idea of cash-giving (as opposed to in-kinds). I am skeptical to the implementation. It seems, Sjamsu does, too.