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Bylaw bans beggars, buskers in the hopes of cleaning city

Jakarta Post - September 11, 2007

Mustaqim Adamrah, Jakarta – The City Council endorsed a new bylaw on public order on Monday, replacing a 19-year-old ordinance and banning donating money to beggars, buskers and street children.

Councilor Inggard Joshua or the Golkar Party said the administration needed to be serious in implementing the bylaw or it would be a waste of time and money. The enactment of the bylaw was the only key to public order, he said.

"The city administration has always conducted the 1988 ordinance in an on-and-off fashion," Inggard told Monday's plenary session at the council. The administration, he said, should look up to the city-state Singapore, which consistently enforced its public order regulations.

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle's Tarmidi Edy Suwarno said the administration had failed to enact the 1988 ordinance because law enforcement agents were often soft on offenders.

The Prosperous Justice Party's Tubagus Arif said law enforcement agents must stop behaving in a repressive manner towards offenders.

Other party representatives urged the administration to give the public time to understand the new bylaw. "The administration should also educate the people, not only about the punishments, but also the results that will come," said Inggard.

"Don't blame everything on the people because they might not know that what they're doing is a violation (of the law). It is possible that a law enforcement agent's gross negligence has caused public disorder," said the National Mandate Party's Syamsidar Siregar.

Governor Sutiyoso said after the session: "It is true we're still weak in enforcing laws. But we need to realize that law enforcement will not succeed if the people are undisciplined." He said the law would be enacted "very soon".

The ordinance lays out punishments of a maximum of 180 days of imprisonment and a maximum of Rp 50 million (US$5,300) in fines for offenders.

Selected points in the new bylaw:

  • No unauthorized persons may manage traffic at intersections in return for money.
  • No unauthorized persons may collect money from public transportation drivers or cargo shipment drivers.
  • Public transportation passengers are not to litter, to throw chewing gum, to spit or to smoke inside the vehicle they are traveling in.
  • No individual or institution may squat or stand on benches in public parks, unless it is for city agency purposes. No individual or institution is to leave chewing gum on park benches.
  • All individuals and institutions must register any animals they own with the city administration.
  • No individual or institution may make, sell or possess fireworks or similar items.
  • All food stalls and restaurants must have a halal certificate displayed in an easily seen area.
  • All individuals and institutions are prohibited from soliciting donations in the street, markets, housing complexes, hospitals, schools, offices and on public transportation without the permission of the governor.
  • No individual or institution may force another individual to become a beggar, busker, street vendor or car windshield cleaner.
  • No individual or institution may become a beggar, busker, street vendor or car windshield cleaner.
  • No individual or institution may trade with street vendors or give money or goods to beggars, buskers or car windshield cleaners.