Fri, 03 Nov 2000

Governor to be firm against unlawful acts

JAKARTA (JP): Governor Sutiyoso said on Thursday police would prevent any groups from taking action against nightspots which remained open during Ramadhan.

"The Jakarta Police chief has guaranteed that groups who defy the regulation and raid the nightspots will face stern measures," Sutiyoso said.

"The groups that raid these places should ask themselves whether their actions are supported by the general public. I guess nobody is in favor of (these raids)."

Sutiyoso was responding to a statement by the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) that it might raid entertainment centers across the capital during the fasting month, saying these places were rife with drug dealing.

The governor stated that no one but security personnel could take measures against nightspots which violated the law.

"What they are doing is against the law and I think we should not tolerate this anymore," he said.

A 1999 city bylaw stipulates that during the fasting month of Ramadhan amusement centers can open only after the night prayer (tarawih) at about 7 p.m., and must close before the predawn meal (sahur), which begins at about 3 a.m.

Sutiyoso said this year the city administration would follow the bylaw. A mass rally staged by FPI during the last Ramadhan prevented the city bylaw from being implemented.

The governor claimed numerous Islamic leaders supported his decision to allow nightspots to remain open during the fasting month.

"Before I made the decision, I consulted many Islamic leaders and the City Council. It is the city administration's duty to accommodate the interests of all people," he said. (dja)