Sat, 11 Nov 2000

Pemda's actions in Bandung

My Sundanese family never received any kind of assistance from the regional authority (Pemda) in Bandung, and neither in Tasikmalaya, West Java. Since we arrived in Belgium in January 2000, Pemda removed my in-laws from their kiosk on Jl. Soekarno- Hatta in front of Makro. They and many other street vendors along that main road were simply removed without any compensation. Since July, they have slowly built up a business near Jl. Lingkar Selatan in Bandung near Buah Batu. They sell waffles and fries among other dishes. My wife called her parents one morning and my mother-in-law explained that Pemda people had come and closed their place down. Their place was in the basement with many other vendors, and on the second floor, the owner of the house sold drinks. They are good Muslims, but were embarrassed by the decision of the Bandung Mayor to close all eating places during the fasting month of Ramadhan under pressure of certain religious organizations. Certainly, these religious leaders have food on their table every day.

Street vendors such as my in-laws would like to see a better sense of humanity from their mayor and Pemda civil servants. Their place apparently was closed under a fake excuse made by Pemda; you can always find a reason in Indonesia if you are a smart civil servant in getting money from the owners. My wife and I just hope the official-in-charge at Pemda for that matter can help solve this problem soon and fast.


Tubize, Belgium