Mon, 21 Jul 2003

Gambling den plan opposed

JAKARTA: Secretary of City Council Commission E for social affairs Audi Zulkarnaen Tambunan and founder of the Chinese- Indonesian Social Association (PSMTI) Ernawati Soegondo called on the city administration to stop the plan to change the Toko Merah building on Jl. Kali Besar Barat, West Jakarta, into a gambling den.

"The administration should take tough action if the building is turned into a gambling den," Audi said, as quoted by on Friday.

Ernawati said that the building should be maintained as part of the city's heritage but should not be used for gambling activities.

Head of the City Museum and Restoration Agency Nurhadi Sastrapraja said that the Toko Merah building, which was built in 1730 as a luxury mansion on a 2,455-square-meter site, should be protected. He also said that he had yet to receive reports on the plan but would check them soon.

Agency supervision head Candrian Attahiyat said that one of his staff had checked reports saying that the interior of the building had been altered but he had not yet received the result.

He said that Toko Merah was included in class A, meaning that neither the exterior nor interior could be changed by the property owner, regardless of the purpose. -- JP