A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – Indonesian netizens are poking fun at the Depok city administration in West Java for its unorthodox plan to play traditional Indonesian music at traffic lights to ease the stress of being stuck in congestion for motorists.
The idea was expressed by Depok Mayor Mohammad Idris, who has lent his singing voice to one of the songs.
One of Depok's main thoroughfares, Jl. Margonda, is notorious for its severe traffic congestion as motorists, buses and public minivans compete for headway on the street, which is lined with malls, schools, residential areas, stores and cafes.
Depok Transportation Agency head Dadang Wihana said on Tuesday that the agency was currently arranging a playlist of songs to be played at traffic lights. It will also contain messages reminding motorists to obey traffic laws, he added.
"The songs will vary. One of them is performed by the mayor, titled 'Hati-Hati' [Be Careful]. Other songs will also contain messages about obeying traffic rules, as well as public service announcements from our traffic team, but we are not finished with the concept yet," he said as reported by kompas.com.
The chorus of "Hati-Hati" goes as follows:
"At the red light, we stop. At the yellow light, we should be careful. At the green light, we continue our journey. Take the left lane. Be careful when crossing the road. Look to the right, look to the left."
A short audio clip of the song has circulated on social media, drawing jokes from netizens.
Twitter user Roy Kiyosi wrote on his Twitter account, "Depok traffic lights after music played", with a picture of cars at a traffic light with the caption, "Those with earphones" and cars stopped far away labeled, "Those without earphones", suggesting that drivers would avoid traffic lights so they wouldn't have to listen to the song.
Another Twitter user, Firgiawan Maulana, posted a video of a K-Pop group's dance rehearsal overlaid with the "Hati-hati" song.
Meanwhile, Viki Hardian posted two photo illustrations, one of a crowded intersection with the label, "Before the mayor's song [played]", and another of an empty intersection "after the mayor's song".
Twitter user @unperfectdawn suggested that netizens would no longer make fun of satellite city Bekasi in West Java by tweeting, "Bullying target, Bekasi: out, Depok: in."
Twitter user @fermendkis wrote on his Twitter account, "Tell me a joke. Depok. Hahahahaha".
User @kontempelir wrote, "Depok residents is the Indonesian version of 'Florida man'," referring to memes from the United States using the term "Florida man" followed by outrageous deeds.
The Depok administration is known for coming up with campaigns deemed unimportant by residents, such as one promoting eating with the right hand initiated by former mayor Nur Mahmudi Ismail.
In May, the administration proposed a religious city bylaw, but the proposal was rejected by Depok City Council.
Last month, it was revealed that several parking spots in the city, such as at the Depok District Hospital (RSUD) and Depok town hall, had designated separate areas for male and female drivers, which also drew scrutiny.
Depok Transportation Agency head Dadang Wihana said the special parking lot for women was commonplace in private and government buildings to provide safety and convenience for female drivers.