Fri, 25 Feb 2000

Taxi driver fired for taking dip in DPR complex's fountain

JAKARTA (JP): The driver that ran his Morante Jaya taxi into the fountain in front of the House of Representatives/People's Consultative Assembly (DPR/MPR) complex last Thursday said he had no regrets over his action.

Interviewed by The Jakarta Post at his 36-square-meter house in the Bojong subdistrict of Rawalumbu in Bekasi, Bustari, a father of two, said he was fired the next day after the incident from the company he had worked at for two years.

"But I have no regrets at all," the 36-year-old said.

Bustari planned to use his small savings to open a kiosk selling Padang food at his house with the help of his wife, Zumayati, also 36.

"I used to run a business before I became a taxi driver at the company two years ago."

Bustari drove his taxi into the fountain of the complex last week, shocking members and staff of the House as well as dozens of television crew and reporters at the legislative building.

He told police and reporters later that he did it on purpose after a complaint submitted by him and his colleagues over the unfair treatment they receive from their company was ignored by the legislators.

He said the incident and poor treatment from his company would not stop him from fighting for his colleagues.

Bustari vowed to stand by his friends and continue efforts to ensure better treatment from the company.

"Even though I've been fired, I'll keep checking up on my friends' struggle," he added.

Bustari said he would return to the House soon.

"I'm always concerned about my colleagues' welfare because the company's strict policy was a burden to us," he said.

He also pledged to do his best to get severance pay.

He said the company did not allow him to enter the firm's complex.

No company executives were available to comment on the matter as of Thursday night.

Bustari said it was the first time for him to earn a living as a taxi driver for his wife and their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter and one-year-old son.

After hearing their colleague was fired, some Morante Jaya drivers donated part of their income to help Bustari and his family.

"I was moved by their sympathy," he said.

To cover his daily expenses, Bustari now works as a middleman, dealing in electronic goods.

"I don't get much, but at least I can continue the construction of our house, which has not yet been fully completed," he said. (06)