Jakarta – The Kendari municipal police along with the Kendari municipal government in South-East Sulawesi have prepared free busses to take children to school while public transport mini-busses (angkot) are on a mass strike over the recent fuel (BBM) price hike.
The drivers decided to hold the mass strike in order to take part in protest actions against the recent hike in the price of subsidised fuel (BBM).
Kendari municipal police chief Senior Commissioner Muhammad Eka Faturrahman said that they have prepared two school buses to transport students to and from school for free.
"We from the municipal police will provide vehicle units of the bus type which will later function to take children to and from school", he said on Tuesday September 6 as quoted by the state news agency Antara.
He said that the strike by the drivers was making it difficult for children to find transport when then want to go home from school.
In order that the children do not have to walk home from school as happened on Monday September 5, the Kendari municipal police have coordinated with the Kendari municipal government to provide transport for the children.
Because of this coordination, Faturrahman said that the Kendari government has provided eight [sic] busses of different capacities.
"Praise be to Allah the municipal government has provided six busses. Three busses with a capacity for 40 passengers and three more bases with a capacity for 20 people", said the former South East Sulawesi regional police narcotics investigation division director.
He added that busses would also be provided by police personnel to anticipate any disruptions or threats by the angkot drivers who are holding demonstrations.
Meanwhile in Ambon, Maluku, angkot drivers have held a mass strike in protest over the increase in fuel prices and fares which have yet to be brought into line with the hike.
"Right now those holding a strike action and not servicing passengers are angkot drivers at the Mardika-Amahusu Terminal, Latuhalat and Mercusuar routes", said Andres (35), one of the angkot drivers in Ambon city on Monday.
Angkot drivers operating the Mardika-Ahuru Terminal route in Sirimau sub-district (Ambon city) hope that the Ambon government public transport office will be able to soon issue a list of new fares for public transport routes.
Many passengers at terminals have been waiting for angkot which have not appeared so in the end drivers on the Mardika-Gunung Nona Terminal route picked up the passengers.
"As of this afternoon, there are no angkot operating the Amahusu, Latuhalat and Mercusuar routes so angkot drivers from other routes have helped us", said Sendy (40), one of the passengers.
Angkot vehicles on the Mardika-Amahusu Terminal, Latuhalat and Mercusuar, Nusaniwe sub-district (Ambon city) stopped operating simultaneously as a consequence of the price increases in Pertalite petrol and diesel by the government on Saturday September 3.
The strike is in protest over the fuel price hike and tariffs which have not been adjusted in several parts of Banten and West Java.
In Banten, Pandeglang city angkot drivers stopped operating on Monday afternoon making it difficult for local people, especially students to return home from school.
"This morning there were angkot. But, when we wanted to go home there were none", said a student named Ibnu Hasim on Monday as quoted by Detik.com.
Pandeglang transport office head Atang Suhana claimed that they were coordinating with Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) officers to provide transport for students to get home.
In West Java, angkot driver strikes have also taken place in Majalengka and Purwakarta. As a result, local police have used operational vehicles to assist in transporting residents and students. (Antara/kid)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Mogok Massal Sopir Angkot dari Banten hingga Kendari Imbas BBM Naik".]