Indonesian Flip-Flops! Grab/Gojek Again Carry Passengers!

Even I have been a good boy, wearing my mask and keeping my distance in the minimart queue.

The Jakarta governor’s rules apply to everyone in the city – we foreigners, rightly, also have to comply.

But what happens when the rules suddenly get reversed?

At a time when many Indonesians are alarmed, anxious, and looking to their government for guidance, is it useful suddenly to change the rules…

…as has happened this week?

I refer to these central government decrees.

Transportation Ministerial Regulation No. 18/2020…giving ojol drivers legal leeway to transport passengers, despite a previous Health Ministry regulation that prohibited them from carrying customers as part of the efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ojol drivers are better known as ojeks, bikers for hire, hugely used by Jakartans to zig and zag through the awful traffic congestion.

I have only ever used them when in desperate straits, as I noted some years ago..

Intimidasi Di Jakarta – GO-JEK-OK

‘Many people say they are uncomfortable with the bargaining they need to do to hire a traditional ojek driver.’


…but recently, many, if not most, of them have been absorbed into two commercial enterprises, Grab and Gojek.

They are instantly recognisable by their livery, and when the ‘no-passengers’ rule came into effect…

Gambar terkait


…they found lots of new custom via the demand for deliveries, especially to the newly housebound!.

The young housewife next door has about half a dozen  deliveries a day, to avoid toting her baby to the minimart.

But now it’s all change!

People respect rules, if the rules are seen as fair and consistent.

The ojol drivers are very organised and with the prospect of a large labour movement demo coming up this month, some have said the change reflects a wish by the authorities to avoid confrontation.

It’s not as if the police have nothing better to do.