3. Righteous Anger
There are times when I think Jakartass is merely farting in the wind. But then along comes a breath of fresh air in the form of a professional writer, Andre Vltchek
, who says this
about Jakarta:Today, high-rises dot the skyline, hundreds of thousands of vehicles belch fumes on congested traffic arteries and super-malls have become the cultural centers of gravity in Jakarta, the fourth largest city in the world. In between towering super-structures, humble kampongs house the majority of the city dwellers, who often have no access to basic sanitation, running water or waste management.While almost all major capitals in the Southeast Asian region are investing heavily in public transportation, parks, playgrounds, sidewalks and cultural institutions like museums, concert halls and convention centers, Jakarta remains brutally and determinately 'pro-market' - profit-driven and openly indifferent to the plight of a majority of its citizens who are poor.
(Jakartans) simply collapse psychologically under the weight of the sheer ugliness of the place, where traffic jams are the main landmarks of the capital city and where one has to drive to the shopping malls in order to "take a walk." Almost nothing "public" has survived decades of the pro-business turbo-capitalism practiced in the Suharto and post-Suharto eras.