Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Governor Kills the Groove: Jakarta Cancels Tourism Award for Troublesome Nightclub

Lenny Tristia Tambun, Bayu Marhaenjati
December 17, 2019 | 6:19 pm
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan at City Hall. (SP Photo/Joanito de Soaojoao)
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan at City Hall. (SP Photo/Joanito de Soaojoao)

Jakarta. The Jakarta administration gave a tourism award to a nightclub where visitors had tested positive for drugs, still garnered endorsement from an Islamist group for doing so, only to reverse the decision days later after the whole thing blew up on social media – all in a week's work.     

And now, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan is being kept busy cleaning up the mess. 

Anies on Tuesday removed Alberto Ali who had given the award to Colosseum Club 1001 – a superclub in Kota, Jakarta's Chinatown – from his position as the acting head of Jakarta's tourism and culture department.

The governor also launched an inquiry into the team responsible for granting the award to Colosseum. 


"This is a fatal mistake. How could a place that had received a warning [from the Provincial Anti-Narcotics Agency, the BNNP] in October receive an award like this in December? It's unimaginable. Everyone in that team is now being put through an inquiry," Anies said.  

Colosseum received the 2019 Adikarya Wisata Award on Dec. 6. The nightclub in West Jakarta was not the only one to get it. Thirty other businesses and organizations were given the award for their "outstanding services to tourism and active involvement in the development of Jakarta's tourism industry."

The nightclub had received a warning from the BNNP for cases of drug abuse involving its visitors in October. 

"Several people had tested positive [for narcotics] during a raid at the club," Brig. Gen. Tagam Sinaga, the head of the Jakarta BNNP, said on Tuesday.

Tagam said he had filed a report on the raid to the head of the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) and to the governor.   

Yusuf Muhammad Martak, the leader of the National Movement to Safeguard Fatwas of the Ulemas (GNPF-Ulama) and one of Anies's main supporters during the religiously divisive Jakarta gubernatorial election in 2017, had earlier defended the provincial government's decision to give the award to Colosseum. 

"I don't think there was anything strange [with the award]," Yusuf told on Saturday. He argued that the award, which bore Anies's signature, must have gone through a rigorous selection process.

"I am not saying this because I am his [Anies's] supporter. But I do know him very well. Mr. Anies is the most careful person I know, he always does things according to the rules. [He's] a God-fearing, conservative man," he said. 

Yusuf's stance was in contrast with that of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), another group that had also backed Anies in his win against the Chinese-Christian former governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama in 2017. FPI had unequivocally condemned the award. 

Other Jakartans have also pointed to the fact that Colosseum was a member of the Alexis Group, whose once-famous flagship hotel and nightclub – the Alexis Hotel – Anies had shut down last year for "failure to prevent vice." 

The Jakarta Tourism and Culture Department took heed of the public criticism and finally canceled the 2019 Adikarya Wisata Award for Colosseum on Monday.

Saefullah, the Jakarta regional secretary, claimed Anies did not personally sign the award and that his signature had only been printed on the plaque. 

Tags: Keywords:


News 1 hours ago

Prabowo’s Free School Lunch Strategy Follows India’s Example

If elected as president, Prabowo promises to provide free school lunches and milk in an effort to lower Indonesia's stunting rate.
News 4 hours ago

Maruli Simanjuntak, Son-in-Law of Minister Luhut, Becomes New Army Chief

Maruli has declared personal wealth amounting to Rp 52.88 billion ($3.4 million) to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
News 5 hours ago

BKKBN Wants Candidates to Include Stunting on Political Campaigns

Election campaigns tend to focus on practical issues such as infrastructure development, but stunting also calls for attention.
News 5 hours ago

Jokowi Fires Back at Anies’ Criticism on Capital Nusantara Project

A political party backing Anies' presidential bid has vowed to retain Jakarta as the national capital if they win the election.
News 7 hours ago

41 Rescued Workers Emerge Dazed after 17 Days Trapped In Collapsed Tunnel

The workers had light in the collapsed tunnel, and since early in their ordeal they were provided with food, water and oxygen through pipes.

Popular Tag

Opini Title