Tag Archive | socialcommentary

DPR Housing Up For [Prohibitively Expensive] Renovation

So apparently, after 5 years being used by the previous tenant, allegedly, 495 legislator’s houses in the DPR complex are in such a state of disrepair and are up for renovations with a cost of around Rp 900 million per home. Yes, you read that right, per home. With taxpayer’s money, no less.This is totally preposterous! They should spend it on making a twin of the Leaning Tower of DPR.

FPI: The New Guardian Of The Law, And Curator Of Art, As Well


So the statue above is apparently so offensive or something that it has to go, well at least according to FPI, and despite the protests from the artist, I Nyoman Nuarta. The Bekasi mayor has bowed down to pressure and ordered the destruction of the statue within 21 days, citing that it has no permit, among other reasons.

So I suppose we should tear down the Kereta Kencana statue and any other I Nyoman Nuarta work of art (as he always takes inspiration from living things), just because FPI says so.

And this from the group which tried to disband a transsexual rights forum, thinking it was a drag queen show. Bravo! At this rate, they’ll be running the city any time soon.

5 ‘Lifesaving’ Jakartan Things

Today we’re writing with a slightly different tone. We’re writing down ‘lifesavers’, those little things that are small blessings in the chaotic life of an average Jakartan. We’re writing down 5 points as an example:

  • Fried snack vendor (gorengan). The presence of these vendors on street corners are a godsend to those in hunger but either too busy to get a proper meal, or the traffic is preventing them to. Tasty, too!
  • Drink, candy & cigarette vendors. Almost at any busy intersection, you can find people selling drinks, candy and cigarettes – some offer car to car, and others sell from their small warung. They even sell soap bars, candles to ointments for rashes.
  • That empty blue car at rush hour. Any street-wise Jakartan knows, Blue Bird is the preferred choice of taxi service, to the point that competing taxi companies also paint their cars blue (even with a lookalike logo). So when it’s rush hour and you need a cab, one empty Blue Bird is often hard to find – and thus a blessing when you do find one.
  • An empty seat on the bus. Bus rides can last from 5 minutes to 2 hours, depending on congestion and the amount of passengers. So that empty seat means a lot.
  • Polisi cepek. A lot of the time these guys are more harm than good, but when you really need them, and provided you wave some money out your window first, they’ll help you get through a busy intersection. True businessmen.

So, do you have any suggestions of these small blessings unique to Jakarta? Give a comment or tweet us a reply!

Green, For Some Only

The city administration is currently pushing their green building agenda into schools, which from the article, a green building is seemingly defined:

  • less use of wood to decrease the need of chopping down forersts
  • use of solar panels for power (the article says the use of ‘panel tata surya’; I assume that’s a mistype)
  • better ventilation as to decrease the need for air conditioning
  • more efficient use of water and electricty
  • independent waste management, whatever that means
  • and more use of wood in building construction (yes, the article contradicts itself)

They say it is part of an effort to educate children on the need of eco-friendly buildings, with the bill going up to a total of Rp 16 billion for two school locations.In the meantime, many schools, even in Jakarta, are in no condition to be used as a place to learn. The schools might become, um, a bit nicer, but what’s to say about the general living conditions of the surrounding neighborhood?

Jakartan Scale Of Stupidity

Here is Plis Deh Jakarta’s scale of stupidity, 1 being simply dumb, 10 being outright idiotic:

  1. picking your nose in a parliamentary session
  2. using your BlackBerry while driving (c’mon guys… admit this is stupid)
  3. trying to overthrow the government by burning tires in the street and hunger strikes
  4. throwing trash in the river, then blaming the government for mismanaging floods
  5. street demonstrations by whoever, provoking the cops to take action then claiming police brutality
  6. queueing 5 hours to get a pair of sandals
  7. crossing the street where there’s obviously a pedestrian bridge
  8. overtaking traffic jams at a bottleneck (do’oh!)
  9. riding a motorcycle while one hand is holding something else (cigarette, phone, LPG gas tank, 1 gallon water bottle, baby, etc)
  10. SMS-ing while riding your motorcycle, without a helmet and no headlights at night

If you don’t agree (or perhaps offended :P) by our list, don’t bitch! Make your own list and put ‘writing/reading Plis Deh Jakarta’ on the top. We won’t mind 😀

Safety versus Profit Conspiracies

Reader comments on an article reporting on the new rules and fines being imposed to motorcycle riders cover a range of reactions; from the usual:- it’s about time there was a crackdown on the reckless motorcycle ridersto the somewhat illogical:- if this goes on, sooner or later they’ll be fining pedestriansto the conspiracy theorists:- this rule does not side with the ‘little people’. It is a conspiracy between the city administration and the producers of motorcycle headlights to increase sales.So I wonder how people would react to the rule where drivers are not allowed to make calls while driving? Maybe they’ll say it’s a conspiracy between the city administration and producers of cellphone handsfree kits.That said, I am not aware if this HP handsfree rule applies to motorcyclists, which we still often see making calls while riding their motorcycles.

But We Practice This Circus Act Every day


A family of four on a motorcycle whizzing through the streets of Jakarta on Thursday. (Photo: Afriadi Hikmal, JG)

There is a new rule which bans people from riding motorcycles with more than one passenger. The rule also applies for carrying oversize luggage on a motorcycle. But apparently, the rule will only apply for people going home in the Lebaran season.So, safety first only applies in the holidays?


In a somewhat signature act of far-flung vision with terrible planning, the outgoing governor, Sutiyoso, launched the city water taxis in June 2007, spending Rp 200 billion on the facilities with a pilot project serving a 1.7 km route with two 28-person boats. So where is it now?The first few trips failed when, among others, garbage got stuck in the boat’s rotors. This, and not to mention that apparently not all of Ciliwung River can be dredged to serve such a water transport service.So Rp 200 billion and ambition = nothing happening.



Today, is the commemoration of 64 years of independence for Indonesia (well, a lot of you reading this might already know this). This year, it’s a bit different, you can feel it – the energy of patriotism and nationalism burns bright today. And from today, Indonesians will work to create a better country and nation for themselves, and transcend differences in race, tribe, religion, special interests, social strata, income levels, or political affiliations. Well, maybe not exactly everybody, but the spirit is there.Plis Deh Jakarta endorses #indonesiaunite and the Common Mandate declarated last night at Rolling Stone Live Venue, Kemang, and several other cities. We hope Indonesia will get better and better, up to the point this blog will have to find something else to write about.Merdeka!