For all intents and purposes, I am converting the USD 1,000,000 to GBP 600,000.
Believe it or not, the first thing I would do if I get USD 1,000,000 (or GBP 600,000) is to fund my PhD.
I mean, honestly, I daydream about my research topic(s), about how independent I could become as a researcher (I would not have to answer to anyone, except my supervisor), about how I could go anywhere (but still within Indonesia) for my fieldwork and stay as long as I want – maybe do an anthropological research somewhere, where I can blend in with the locals. And seriously, I do this (daydreaming on this topic) at least once a week – it is that chronic.
I even did a super rough calculation. For a 3-year PhD in a top university in London, I would put aside at least GBP 100,000. Everything depends on the economy, inflations, and all that, but hopefully that amount of money should cover tuition fees and super modest living cost – by super modest I mean that I should walk or take only bus (and trams) everywhere.
The next GBP 100,000 will go for starting-up my own NGO. It has been my dream for the past (roughly) seven years to start an NGO. I have not had a very clear idea on how it will work out, but I would like my NGO to focus on improving education, environment, and education about environment. I would like to create more tree-huggers in Indonesia, who understand that working for and/or owning palm oil companies is not the answer.
Another GBP 100,000 will be used to set up libraries across Indonesia. I am not familiar with library management, so I am not sure how many libraries I can build with this much money. But my goal is not setting up as many libraries as possible. I want to build (at least) one really up-to-date library, with the latest publications of fiction and non-fiction, in English and in Bahasa Indonesia, with a small section that offer books in various world languages, such as Arabic, Chinese, Spanish and French. I want a library where anyone can be a member and they can take the books home, share them with their family. I want a library that is maintained year after year, a library where the dust on the books are brushed off, where it is actually inviting to spend your whole day there.
If my GBP 100,000 can only fund one perfect library, I would be happy. But I would be extra happy if I can open more than one in different places in Indonesia.
Then, I would spend GBP 200,000 to set up a scholarship fund. I would name it after my dad, or maybe a combination of my two grandfathers’ names.
The fund that I set up will target the poorest of the poor. They should have the spirit to actually study and be a scholar, from elementary to at least bachelor degree. Hopefully, by the time the kids that I support graduate from college, my scholarship foundation would have donors that could provide scholarships for masters and/or PhDs.
Lastly, I break my last GBP 100,000 to three purposes.
First thing first, I would like give some of it to my sister. She can do whatever she wants with it but only within a course of education or to set up her dentist practice somewhere.
I then would give some of the GBP 100,000 to my parents. They have a lot of money, but I would make sure they accept some of mine. They can use it to do anything they want – do hajj for the third time, circle the world for the umpteenth time, help their extended families, or invest in a business somewhere – I do not care as long as they are happy.
The last bit of this GBP 100,000 will go to fund my travel. I am dying to go to the Pacific islands/countries because I have simply never been. Also, we all need to go there before global weirding washes those islands/countries away!
So, that is my plan.
However, this plan is a tentative one. With the Indonesian presidential election coming up, my decision to spend USD 1,000,000 or GBP 600,000 depends on who will lead the country and what he is going to do with that power.
If the new president brings Indonesia backward, holistically, I think I would rather spend my USD 1,000,000 or GBP 600,000 for Malta. Get an EU passport, run away from Indonesia and start a new life somewhere else in the world.