Jakarta Has Car-Free Day, Vice-President Ignores It


Image from pfig

Or, more appropriately, the Vice-President’s security detail ignored it. Jusuf Kalla, who participated in a fun walk meant to spotlight the car-free day seeking transport that’s more eco-friendly and convenient to urban life, was trailed the whole time by his security detail, who were in cars.

Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, and home to over 10 Million people, has pioneered the idea of having a “no car day” every fourth Sunday in order to improve air quality– a very real concern in a city that’s known for having some of the world’s worst.

The Vice President, who was of course seeking to raise awareness, participated in a walking event, under a Presidential statute allowing his security to continue to operate a car. But isn’t this sort of defeating the point?

He also traveled to and from the event in a car, something that the President’s office has defined as legal and necessary. The head of environmental protection, a political appointee, has said that he has yet to look into any official sanctions. This represents the second time that an Indonesian official has ignored the “no car day” spirit– the president kicked off the initiative last year by coming and going in his motorcade.