Jakarta – The widespread flooding that hit Greater Jakarta on the first day of 2020 has led to a shouting match between those protesting Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan over his administration's handling of the natural disaster and his own supporters.
Two groups held rallies at the same time at City Hall in Central Jakarta on Tuesday, with one group comprising dozens of people rallying against Anies and the other group comprising dozens who defended the governor.
Those criticizing Anies expressed their dissatisfaction with the way his administration handled the disaster, while those supporting him argued that flooding had for years been a problem in the capital and its satellite cities.
The group who protested against Anies initially held their rally outside the gate of City Hall, while some who came in support of the governor gathered inside the compound. People from the two groups were seen shouting at each other, divided only by the gate, which was guarded by police personnel, kompas.com reported.
Squabbles between the two sides were also reported elsewhere outside City Hall, prompting the police to escort protesters to the Patung Kuda (Horse Statue) traffic circle near the National Monument.
Anti-Anies protestors claimed the governor had shown incompetency in handling the floods given that the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) had previously issued a warning over possible floods in Greater Jakarta.
The Jakarta Police deployed around 600 personnel to monitor the rallies on Tuesday.
The severe flooding from torrential rain that poured down over Greater Jakarta and Banten on New Year's Eve has affected over 500,000 people and claimed 67 lives, with 31 deaths reported in West Java, 20 in Banten and 16 in Jakarta. The disaster displaced thousands of people and caused billions of rupiah in losses, with many houses, vehicles and documents destroyed. (afr)