Big Mackistan? Ramadhan Lock-Out at McD Sarinah?


I used to spend a lot of time in the Sarinah area, back when Jalan Jaksa was fun and Baku Dapa was open, so when making one of my occasional returns to that part of Jakarta, I like to wander in and see what’s doing.

Since the terrorist attack earlier this year, it’s all the more important not to avoid the area.


This week I felt like doing some writing and thought it would be nice to sit out on that first floor terrace/balcony that arose as part of the McDonald renovation a few years ago.  

With plans to meet up at Ya Udah for beer-chat in the evening, off to town I went mid-arvo, and dismounted from the TransJakarta Busway at 3pm.

  • busway


I climbed the big frontal stairway and turned left along the narrow terrace, which I noticed was partially blocked by a couple of chairs at the approach to the McDonald section but that’s not unusual, so I easily manoeuvred my way past…

….and lo…!



Every single chair and table ahead of me was up-ended, stacked as if for storage!

Bemused, I moved to open the door into the interior, where customers could be seen – that door was locked!

I moved around the corner of the building, tried the other door. Locked also!

So, defeated, I retraced my steps, having realised what was amiss.

Ramadhan. There’s no other logical ( ! ) explanation. 


Ramadan fasting: It’s about discipline, reflection, humanity

Or so says the Islamophiliac headline in the LA Times. above an article which includes these admirable words.

Ramadan is a perfect time for Muslims to advance their relationships with neighbors and community, helping to improve the understanding of the true Islamic character in a free and open society.

Given that attitude, which is indeed shared by many Muslims in Jakarta, I find it incredible that a major multinational like McDonalds could slither so easily into crass intolerance, childishly rendering their outdoor area neither free nor open!

To what purpose?

The only people who might be ‘offended’ by folks having coffee or burgers on the terrace would be those who were having coffee or burgers within.

Non-fasters – who ipso facto wouldn’t give a rat’s ass!


  • sarinahmalam

Photo from Sarinah Busway bridge – can YOU see who’s eating or drinking?


Of course if people on the Busway bridge had binoculars and were DESPERATE to be ‘offended,’ they could train their field-glasses on the terrace.

Or maybe people in the car-park below, if truly craving spiritual affront, could peer up at sinful guzzlers? 

But even if they scaled the car-park perimeter wall, and stretched themselves to their tallest possible height, they’d still be hard-pushed to catch a glimpse of any sinful cups and plates, except when the sinners raised them to their lips.  


devil destroyed


Seems a dull way to achieve ‘offended’ status even for the most dimwit sectarian fanatic.

Downstairs, of course, they have draped their windows with those silly ‘fasting’ curtains, to prevent passing fasters resisting temptation, exercising the spiritual discipline, that’s supposed to be part of Ramadhan.

I know a few Islamists do look in on this blog to read my protests at the Arabisation of Indonesia.

Perhaps one of them might explain how this Big Mackistan policy of denying non-fasters a place in the sun is justified?


PS I don’t know if that other catering outlet in Sarinah is still up to its old Islamist antics…

Cold Comfort at Chili’s, in Ghost-Town Jakarta! 

…I have eschewed the place since I published that report four years ago. Perhaps some reader can advise?