Jakarta’s Annual Intolerance Outbreak- Billiards Banned Too?

First day of Ramadhan. I had my favourite visitor come to see me today, so only went out to Indomaret, for cigarettes.



I see from Tempo.com that my gloomy expectations of the fasting month have indeed come to pass, with kill-joy restrictions on anywhere fun might be found in Jakarta.

This annual intolerance – we may not enjoy ourselves so NONE of you will – will extend to six types of entertainments such as night club, spa, massage parlor, gambling, and night bar. The same goes for billiard spots.



It’s bad enough that Muslim citizens into self-denial are thus insulted, the Jakarta City Government basically deeming them so weak-willed that  bureaucrats have to protect them from all need to exercise self-discipline.

But there’s no justification at all for denying the hundreds of thousands of non-Muslim citizens ( and foreign residents )any access to entertainment. We are under no spiritual obligation to fast, so why make us suffer?

The  Jakarta Tourism and Culture Agency’s Jeje Nurjaman seems to feel no embarrassment in declaring that by this censorious sectarian decree…


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…these places will be forced to shut down one day before and throughout the Ramadan month, and one day after the celebration of Eid al-Fitr.

Okay, we express the same disappointment every year, and still the rank Islamist intolerance prevails. It’s a mean-spirited mind-set, so be it.

But can their dogmatic approach at least accommodate a modicum of logic?

Meanwhile, karaoke and other musical entertainment spots that provide pool tables are allowed to open from 8:30 p.m. to 01:30 a.m.

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However, Jeje went on, billiard tables provided for customers of night clubs, discotheques, saunas, massage parlors, gambling centers and bars must be closed.

So it’s not the game that’s affronting bigots but what might be going on in the immediate vicinity of the gaming tables?



Listening to karaoke music is spiritually safer than dancing to disco music?


For God’s Sake!

And get this utterly nonsensical diktat.

….nightclubs that are not in the vicinity of residential areas, mosques or churches, schools, and hospitals, and are located in commercial areas, such as hotels, are allowed to be opened.

So we can all rush to hotels to indulge in base self-indulgence of our sensual impulses, but may not do so if we might emerge  in the wee small hours near a HOSPITAL?



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Jakarta sidewalks are often poorly maintained, and if you’ve had a few beers, it’s entirely within the bounds of possibility that you could quite easy stumble and fall. 



Proximity to a hospital should arguably be a prerequisite for anywhere that has intoxicating beverages among their attractions!

And I won’t even bother to ask why churches are bracketed with mosques as places where users might face temptation they’re unable to resist.

Mosque-goers are expected to observe Ramadhan (though of course they should not be coerced, either by sticky-beak bureaucrats or IslamoNazi thugs) whereas church-goers are NOT! In the small English town I lived in for many years, it was normal practice for the congregants to walk directly from Sunday worship to Sunday lunch at the pub.

In fact, when I spent a long weekend in the lovely Shropshire city of Ludlow, there was a boisterous character at the bar as we were sitting down with a mixed grill on Sunday. I asked the bar-maid who he might be, for it seemed like he knew everyone.

‘That’s the vicar,’ she smilingly replied.  

Jakarta to Ban Entertainment Spots during Ramadan

Tempo.co18 Mei 2017