Bachtiar Rojab, Jakarta – An alliance of workers and social organisations held a protest action today against the recent increase in the price of subsidised fuel (BBM) in front of the House of Representatives (DPR) building in Senayan, Central Jakarta.
During the action, All Indonesian Workers Union (SPSI) representative Guntoro touched on issue of DPR Speaker Puan Maharani who back in 2008 cried publically over a previous fuel price hike.
"Before, during the SBY [former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono] era all of the PDI-P [the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle] leaders, especially Puan Maharani, who is now the DPR speaker, right, cried when there was a BBM [price] increase. Cried as if they sided with the ordinary people", said Guntoro at the location of the demonstration on Tuesday September 6.
Guntoro questioned by Maharani's position on the policies of the current government which has recently increased the price of subsidised fuel by more than 2,000 rupiah a litre.
"Now, after she's become the DPR speaker what has she done, will she also cry about the current BBM increase, never mind saying that the Pertalite [subsidised petrol price] increase was very high, 2,000 rupiah or more, 2,350", he said.
"Today we want to ask for a statement, what is her statement about the BBM increase for the ordinary people, will she cry again or what", he added.
Earlier, thousands of demonstrators from trade unions and other social groups held a protest action against the fuel price hike at the DPR. As a consequence, Jalan Gatot Soebroto in Central Jakarta was closed and traffic redirected through the TransJakarta Bus or Busway lanes.
Nevertheless, redirecting motorbikes and cars to use the Busway resulted in the volume of traffic on the road being rather dense. (muh)
Maharani was not the only politician to cry over fuel prices back in 2008 when fuel subsidies were cut by the administration of then president Yudhoyono. Her mother Megawati Sukarnoputri, the long-time leader of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's ruling PDI-P, was also unable to hold back the tears when delivering her greetings to a PDI-P national working meeting in Makassar, South Sulawesi on May 27, 2008.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Buruh Sindir Puan Maharani: Dulu BBM Naik Nangis-nangis, Sekarang?".]