Cleanliness is next to ...
A letter originally published in Koran Tempo
and reproduced in today's Jakarta Post
is worth reproducing here.
To ensure that pedestrians in Jakarta can walk safely and comfortably, the administration must provide broader sidewalks across the capital. All ditches must also be covered to accommodate pedestrians.
Sutiyoso, the Jakarta governor, may want to look to Chile as a model for putting the road network in Jakarta in order.
Chile? Isn't that close to Colombia where Sutiyoso got his ideas for the Trans-Jakarta Busway
? Some doubt the integrity
of its management but, hey, anything to improve the welfare of the city's councillors is OK by them. The rest of us have mixed opinions
So, bye-bye Sooty. He'll probably want to do some shopping in Singapore during his overnight stopover. Strangely enough, he'll find that Singapore, which is about the same distance from Jakarta as Bali, is really pleasant to walk around. It's also got a really efficient public transport
system, few, if any, traffic jams and is, above all, a very clean city.
I don't suppose Sooty will be around to help clean up Jakarta next Sunday, the 8th. This is a shame as it has been designated as Clean Up Indonesia Day
. Sponsored by the World Youth Peace Summit
, its main aim for the day is to beautify the city by cleaning up the mess discarded by the 'haves' who disperse their detritus everywhere for the 'have-nots' to collect and recycle.
I asked some friends of mine today how they would clean up the city.
Litter: provide more litter bins and punish litter bugs with community service orders to sweep the streets.
Rivers: move the squatters into low cost apartments and close down those factories which dump their waste into the rivers without processing and/or treating it.
Pollution: Declare Sunday as a car and bus free day. "Let people cycle or walk.
I was very pleased with the positivism demonstrated. One problem, of course, is that there are very few sidewalks that it is possible to actually walk on.
Which brings us back to Eko and the nagging thought that what is really needed is a clean government.