Thursday, October 18, 2007

Jakarta bans buskers



Singapore and Malaysia are not the same as Indonesia.

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Indonesia is still ruled by the generals and life for the poor is getting worse.

Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, has many millionaires. These millionaires are often Chinese-Indonesians and often top government people, such as generals.

The rich elite like to build office blocks, shopping malls and golf courses on land occupied by the poor.

Retired Suharto general Sutiyoso was until very recently governor of Jakarta; he hopes to become president of Indonesia.

While he was governor of Jakarta, Sutiyoso waged a campaign against Jakarta’s poor, targeting street vendors, homeless children, buskers and pedicab drivers among others. (Condemned Communities: Forced Evictions in Jakarta: III. Background)

Frequently, gangs of thugs are used to help government security forces in carrying out evictions of poor people from their homes.

Sutiyoso wanted people to stop giving money to people like street vendors and buskers and a new law was introduced.

The Indonesian authorities approved the new law and offenders can now face up to six months in jail and $5,000 (£2,500) fines. (BBC NEWS Asia-Pacific Jakarta bans beggars and buskers)

Tempo magazine (24 September 2007) listed the things that were to be newly prohibited:

1. defecating in rivers (Very many of the poor do not have toilets)

2. establishing a building where there is a river (Many slum houses are built out over rivers)

3. constructing a habitat under an overpass (Many poor people live under underpasses)

4. conducting traditional medical practices (Third class wards in all government hospitals could be described as grubby and poorly equipped; poor people have to pay for medical treatment)


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