Up to a dozen worse for wear expats were arrested in and around the Air Asia office in the Carrefour Lebak Bulus Supermarket this evening following a lengthy demonstration about the increase in flight costs to Bali over the fasting month of Ramadan.
Eye witnesses reported that up to a hundred expats had arrived in hired buses from a number of South Jakarta bars including De Roi in Pondok Indah, Mad Dogs and the Satu Lagi Bar in Cilendak and Estern Promise in Kemang. Most appeared to have arrived already intoxicated and Carrefour staff reported that sales of their special offer on Bintang at IDR 13,000 per tinny had been especially brisk until Pak Polisi arrived.
A rather disheveled unofficial spokesman for the group confirmed their anger at Air Asia , Lion Air and others as the result of their tripling their fares over Ramadan with the cost for a family of man, wife and four kids now being over $2,000 return.
The spokesman continued in what was clearly a prepared statement that, “the fasting month of Ramadan and the Idul Fitri celebration which marks its end can be something of a challenge for your average Jakarta based expat with, for once, the whole world seemingly against him. Yes, the Budis and Titis all want to bugger off and pulang kampung, taking their soto ayam and house guarding skills with them; they keep closing his favourite watering hole and, even when it is open, mostly make him sit down until 7pm and not play pool. So, it is little surprise that Joe Six Pack at this time of year sets his sights firmly on a temporary conversion to Hinduism and the less constrained regime of the nearby island of Bali. What he doesn’t expect is price gouging”
Asked if the arrest of so many of the protesters would stop the demonstrations, the spokeman confirmed continued defiance and said “no way, were getting the Blok M boys involved next time too”.