Depok ‘Friendly? To Saudi Royals, Not To Religious Liberty!
The conceit of politicians here is probably not much worse or much better than that back in the West.
So reading about Depok Deputy Mayor Pradi Supriatna’s anguish, over the omission of his photo from a billboard erected to welcome the Saudi King ( currently on a state visit to Indonesia) made me smile.
Mayor Mohammad Idris Abdul Shomad smiles too, from the billboard, leaving poor Pak Pradi to wail – “My picture should have been attached…”
Was the King even going to Depok?
The intolerance of religious dissent frequently reported there would likely gladden the royal heart…West Java – Depok’s Damnable Dreary Bigotry, Again! …but there is little to attract people there, except for the University of Indonesia‘s green and pleasant campus.
But what expanded my smile to a slightly nauseous guffaw was the poster’s hilarious message – Depok, of all places, is – wait for it! –
“A Friendly City”.
Let me make clear that, having been there myself, I am fully aware that many, even perhaps most, Depok dwellers are as friendly as anybody else.
But as a civic entity?
As a municipal authority, Depok has shown itself as anything but friendly, certainly not friendly to religious liberty…
…and not very friendly to anyone who wishes to behave like a normal human being and have fun…
…or even to enjoy a mite of privacy when doing as he or she pleases, under his or her own roof.
Depok harbours some of the most fanatical elements in the country…Islamist Bigot Biter Bit in West Java. Shariah City? Some 12,000 Reasons To Steer Clear of Depok! ... and they thrive there, I suspect, because of the harsh and unjust Islamist mentality that prevails.
It’s only a mile or two from where I live, and I would not hesitate to tread its busy streets…