Thu, 19 Jun 2003

'I feel apathetic about problems with the city'

The city's 476th anniversary is celebrated with various activities intended to entertain all the city's residents. However, not all residents are enthusiastic as it is deemed a waste of money. Some shared their feelings with The Jakarta Post.

Cahyo, 34, is an employee with a private company on Jl. Radio Dalam, South Jakarta. He lives in Pamulang, Tangerang, with his wife and daughter:

I have been living in Jakarta since I was at junior high school.

At that time the activities to celebrate the city's anniversary were so meaningful and really close to the hearts of every city resident. The festivities were down to earth and held in a friendly atmosphere.

The current celebration of the city's anniversary is meaningless to me. Actually it is not necessary to celebrate it now as it is contrary to the economic slump. The series of celebrations are only meant to entertain the middle-income people. It is just a waste of money.

It would be better to celebrate the city's anniversary by disbursing humanity aid to the majority of low-income residents.

Having a glamorous celebration with lights on the streets will not at all improve the city's condition, I'm sure. Instead, they only favor the rich who get the projects.

I personally feel disappointed about the recent condition of the city. I have lost my sense of belonging to the city.

I feel a bit apathetic now towards the city, including the anniversary, due to the incompetent leaders.

Dodi, 23, is an ojek (motorcycle taxi) driver who operates in Glodok, West Jakarta. He lives in Jembatan Lima, West Jakarta, with his relatives:

Living here is not easy. We have to struggle hard to survive every day amid the tougher competition now.

I don't know why the city government continues to commemorate the city anniversary lavishly despite the economic downturn among the low-income people.

It will not at all lure more people to ride my motorcycle. I'm sure my income will not increase in conjunction with the anniversary.

I'm not interested in the festivities since they are unattractive. It would be better to work as usual rather than to enjoy the entertainment.

I believe that earning a daily income is much more important rather than having fun in the celebrations.

Anwar, 25, is a security officer at a supermarket in Slipi Jaya, West Jakarta. He lives in Ciledug, Tangerang, with his family:

I agree that Jakarta is a real untamed city due to the hardship of life. However, the city is getting wilder and worse in many ways. Every low-income earner will not disagree with that.

Therefore, I just wonder why people, I mean the rich and the city's high ranking officials, are busy with the activities to hold parties to celebrate the anniversary?

On the other hand, most of city residents live in poverty.

They are just wasting money for fun and meaningless activities that do not help the poor.

I'm not interested at all in the celebration this year. I lost my enthusiasm.

In the past, the celebration was meaningful and attractive. I enjoyed them. Many city residents flocked to the entertainment spots, especially when it was held at Monas (National Monument Park). It was more reachable and attractive compared to the new venue at the Kemayoran fairgrounds where the Jakarta Fair is held now. It is very far and far less safe to go there.

-- Leo Wahyudi S