Bali Beer Ban Looms – Why Pander to Intolerance?


Last week I cheered Jakarta Governor Ahok’s stand against the fanatics who want to ban beer from all those handy little mini-markets that seem to sprout on every other corner of the capital.


ahok Ahok


Alas, I spoke to soon. His stand, for sanity and free choice, has been over-ruled by the national government, which, in a move which makes no sense at all, is set to enforce a blanket-ban, NATIONWIDE!


Indonesia to Outlaw Sale of Alcohol at Minimarkets and Convenience Stores Effective April 16, 2015.


Rachmat Gobel


This antedeluvian decree emerges from the office of one of President Jokowi’s team, Rachmat Gobel, who’s a big business tycoon himself, so ought to have some grasp of the modern world.

But it’s not just his whim – it’s endorsed both by parliament and government, heedless of the inconvenience and annoyance it will cause among the many tourists from Australia (and elsewhere) who like to buy a few bottles to drink on the beach or on their hotel balconies in Bali.

  • chill-out-relaxing-polar-bear-poster
  • And all the Indonesians and foreign residents, like me, who enjoy sitting in their front- or back-yards with a six-pack of a weekend arvo. No more ten minute walk for supplies – instead, a lengthy trip to a distant hypermarket. 


  • bintang
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  • No wonder that Tutum Rahanta, vice-chairman of the Indonesian Retail Association (Aprindo), said he regretted the Minister’s decision..

“These retail outlets sell alcoholic beverages to meet the needs of foreign tourists,” said Tatum.

In fact, the sale of these needful products was already hedged around with all kinds of restrictions, some sensible, others less so.

fpibatam Sectarian sticky-beaks disrupt normal folks’ fun


But this outright verbot will only please the white-shirt gangsters who have long hit the headlines here for their vigilante vandalism against anywhere that offers simple pleasures like a cold Bintang on a sultry evening.


And those intolerant uptights will only be happy when total prohibition is imposed.

April 16th  – a dark day for Indonesia.