All Our Tomorrows – Jakarta Pedestrians Breathalysed?

Another slow start today, so time for a new update!

Further to our shock/horror post yesterday..… the Jakarta Post has more details on the ‘creeping shariah’ scheme to outlaw alcohol. As predicted, there are indications it will create two-tier rights, tourists likely licensed to swill, locals not.

But not exactly – there’s mention of ‘five-star hotels,’ implying wealthy foreigners will be more privileged than less moneyed visitors from overseas.

Back-packers go thirsty, while limousine liberal lushes luxuriate over libations in air-con lounges. 


  • avoid Five-star tourists
  • ————————
  • Then again, that’s a not inaccurate reflection of local life here!

But the ‘shariah’ aspect may come unstuck in this aspect – rich Arabs knocking back booze in posh places while co-religionists among the native population face jail-time for the same activity in one of those ‘dimly-lit stalls’ we keep hearing about?


  • rosa daning
  • Or in one of those great dangdut bars I like so very much?



But it’s not just selling, buying or being caught in the act of slaking one’s thirst on a sultry evening that will place us in peril – get a load of this! 

– Article 19
Any person under the influence of alcohol will face one to five years in prison and fines of between Rp 20
million and Rp 100 million for disturbing public order and threatening the safety of others.

Note carefully – not the good old ‘D and D’ – that drunk and disorderly charge which arises through brawls and noisy disturbance of an otherwise tranquil night. That’s a fair cop, guv, as Londoners might have said when London was an English city.




But that clause reads as if just being ‘under the influence’ is equivalent to being a menace!

Maybe I’m interpreting it wrongly, but in this climate of legislative intolerance, who knows?

What does ‘under the influence’ mean?

Collapsed on the side-walk?

Unable to walk a straight line?

Smiling foolishly as you make your way home through Jakarta’s dark streets?

If a cop gets hold of you and you can’t clearly answer his questions, will it be a mis-communication through inebriation, or the language barrier?