So, what comes first?
Two hours of valuable blogging time has been lost this evening because ESPN were showing Charlton v Sunderland
when I came home. Yes, I already knew the result (2 - 0) because the game was played last Saturday, but as this ended a terrible run of six successive defeats, I just had to watch. Come to think of it, I have to mention it if only to prove I'm not a fair weather fan.
Which leaves me only a little time to ask why the Jakarta administration is selling its shares in beer company
PT Delta Djakarta. It's all very well for the chairman of the City Council's welfare commission, Dani Anwar to say that "Money from the sale, about Rp 138 billion (US$14 million), will be used to cover the Rp 104 billion funding shortage for the (free education) program
." A laudable aim indeed, but to say that the shares 4.2 million shares were sold because the stock has showed little growth over the last five years just doesn't ring true.
I would have thought that such shares would have provided a consistent income; after all, beer is a basic commodity. I would be more worried if the city administration were indulging in wild speculation on the stock exchange. (Perhaps they are. Can anyone give details of the city's investment portfolio?)
Could there be a connection between this sale and the recent re-enforcement of the1997 Presidential Decree on the monitoring and control of alcoholic drinks? You will recall that Jakartass broke this story. It's good to see that the Jakarta Post has been prepared to run with it, but they have yet to tackle the key question: why?
Are fundamentalist Islamic thought police at work here? Are they bringing their influence to bear on the bureaucrats? After all, there seems to have been no debate among the elected councillors who seem to be more interested in increasing their salaries and perks than in working on behalf of all Jakarta's citizens.