The neighborhood of Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) in North Jakarta certainly exudes exclusivity due to its plethora of elite gated communities and well-planned urban development compared to other parts of the capital, and that has seen it become victim to unfounded accusations of being un-Indonesian, including during Independence Day yesterday.
According to reports, a civil society organization (locally referred to as mass organization or ormas for short) named Laskar Merah Putih (Red and White Soldiers) intended to unfurl a 25-meter wide flag at a bridge in PIK before they were stopped by the police. Footage of the prohibition went viral online, prompting accusations that authorities perpetuate anti-Indonesian values supposedly synonymous with the neighborhood.
Police today rejected that notion, saying that the officers were merely enforcing restrictions on gathering in public during the pandemic.
"That's what we don't want. Right now Jakarta's caseload is decreasing, so we don't want people gathering and creating new clusters," North Jakarta Police Chief Guruh Arif Darmawan said. "We didn't forbid them from unfurling the flag."
Last year, PIK was in the spotlight under similar circumstances when a cyclist said in a viral video that he was forbidden from entering a private section of the neighborhood without a passport, though he never presented any proof to back up his claim.
Authorities and the neighborhood's real estate developer denied the passport claim, with the latter saying that the general public were restricted from going into certain sections of PIK for safety reasons as major construction work was ongoing.