Actions opposing the recent fuel price hike continue. In the East Java city of Malang, hundreds of activists from the Indonesian Islamic Students Movement (PMII) arrived at the Pertamina (state fuel company) fuel terminal on Jl. Halmahera number 13 on Tuesday November 18.
The protesters blockaded the main gate used by fuel tankers to enter and leave the terminal resulting in students and police officers pushing and shoving each other.
Students who tried to enter the terminal were blocked by police that were already on guard. A scuffle ensured but fortunately it did not end in a clash.
The protest action resulted in activates at the terminal being paralyzed temporarily with the distribution of fuel to petrol stations halted because the main gate was blockaded by demonstrators.
Akhmad, one of the Pertamina officials, said that the distribution of fuel to petrol stations had been stopped. “It’s been halted temporarily because the main gate has been closed by a student protest action”, he explained.
“The policy to increase prices is a policy that harms the ordinary people. Turning the people into a political sacrificial offering”, shouted action coordinator Habiburrahman.
According to Habiburrahman, the government of President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who haven’t even been in office for 100 days, have already brought suffering to the ordinary people. An alternative solution would be for the government to increase taxes on luxury cars instead.
As of going to print, the demonstrators were still giving speeches in front of the fuel terminal. Police officer continue to maintain tight security in front of the terminal. Traffic conditions on Jl. Halmahera remain unaffected. (Tnt/Mut)
[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski.]