RIP, Fifi? Jokowi Dis-Arms Jakarta’s Militia

So far so good. Joko Widodo promised a better style and substance when he was running for election as Governor of Jakarta, and he’s living up to his pledges.


Joko Widiodo and his Deputy, Ahok


Last week he stunned the sloths who staff too many civic offices here by a lightning tour of their premises, exposing them as idlers, as he – with TV crews – found empty desks and neglect of duty.

As Lord Macaulay wrote of Horatius’ famous emergence from the Tiber, even the ranks of Tuscany could scarce forbear to cheer.

Jokowi has now turned his attention to the infamous Satpol PP, the civic militia who imagine they’re some sort of elite force, when the reality is that they are ( with some exceptions, possibly) louts who throw their weight around willy-nilly.



People do not respect them, in fact quite the opposite, but many fear their ruffianly ways. I will recite again the horrid tale of the young hooker who was among a group of similar girls netted in a Satpol raid in neighbouring Tangerang.

That’s one of the goons’ duties – grab these girls and load them into trucks. One hears stories about what happens once the trucks are loaded and the girls at their mercy.

One story at least is true.


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Four Satpol eventually faced a court but walked free because they were ‘just doing their job!’

Ever since that time, some years ago now, I always eye them with contempt and loathing, whenever they pass.

Now, in today’s, the new Governor has declared he’ll make them  more persuasive and humane….enforcement should not be done in harsh ways, though if laws are broken, a firm stance is to be maintained.

And it’s said he’s going to remove their weaponry, and store them away ‘as museum pieces.’

Great stuff.

The real police may not be pure as the driven snow, but they are ostensibly trained professionals and thus must be entrusted with arms – police carry guns here, with good reason.

But for the Keystone constables of Satpol PP, their dis-arming represents a step towards a safer Jakarta for the ordinary citizens.

And in case anyone doubts my description of this gallant band, here’s what amounts to a blatant confession from their current boss, AFTER he heard what Jokowi has in store for his goon-squads. 


Effendi Anas


Jakarta Satpol PP chief Effendi Anas responded to the criticism, saying that since Joko became governor the agency has avoided using violence.

“We only use our uniform as a weapon now,” Effendi said. “No other weapons like knives or batons. They are all gone,..” 

Now? All gone?  Oh, for the good old days, eh?