The sins of others

Why is it that whenever the government fails to deliver the goods, others are always made to pay the penalty?Remember the electricity shortage we all experienced a few months ago because the PLN ignored warnings over the last decade that there would be massive power shortages unless it started building more power plants?

Well, how did the Government cope with the shortage? Shopping malls and other industries were asked to cut down on their consumption. Air conditioning had to be adjusted, at one point they wanted factories to stop running at certain peak hours?

Why should the private sector have to be inconvenienced because the Government couldn’t deliver?

And now we have schools and works having to readjust their times because the government could not get their act together and build the proper infrastructure for Jakarta. Why should children and their parents have to readjust their times just because the City officials are too incompetent to ensure that there are enough roads to service Jakarta’s population and that the traffic is managed properly?

Why should they be penalized for the failure of the City?

clipped from

Jakarta Governor and proud owner of a bristlingly handsome moustache, Fauzi Bowo, has hatched a dastardly, and rather desperate sounding new plan to ease traffic congestion in the city. His proposal is that from January 1st 2009, Jakarta’s rush hour will be staggered in order dissipate the usual pell-mell daily chaos. Under these new proposals, school starting times will be rolled back half an hour from 7.00am to 6.30am. In addition, office workers should start at 7.30am in North and Central Jakarta, at 8am in East and West Jakarta and at 9am in South Jakarta.
Mercifully I live in South Jakarta and I’ll take 9.00am over 7.00am thank you very much. As for schools starting at 6.30am, Mr. Bowo claims that moving the school day back half an hour will result in increased, “Freshness,” in students. Personally, if I’d had to be in class at 6.30 every morning when I was a teenager then I don’t think that fresh would have been a very apposite description of my condition.
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There are massive traffic jams all over the place because the number of cars have grown disprportionately to the amount of new roads (hardly any) that have been built. Simple as that. But even then there are other things the government could do to mitigate the traffic jams, such as:

1. Re-time the traffic lights. The one at Melawai and some parts around Kemang, for example, are ridiculously timed. The gree light is so short that by the time motorists get a move on, its changed to red. It involves a simple adjustment to the timings, yet it is beyond the capability of the City’s transport officers and politicians.

2. Get traffic police to direct traffic instead of hanging around waving flies and waiting to pounce on the prospective bribe payer. The Police are hopeless. They do not enforce traffic regulations and they often do things that result in even more traffic congestion. They also get into sweetheart deals with private businesses. How much extra earnings, do you think, that the Sultan Hotel gets each time the police block the Gatot Subroto access road to Jl Sudirman? And for what?

3. Penalize Angkot and bus drivers from stopping in the middle of the effing road, or anywhere they like, to pick up passengers.

4. Enforce parking zones. Now everyone can park anywhere, more or less, with impunity. How difficult is it to issue parking tickets?

You wonder what goes on in the minds of Fauzi Bowo and officials like the police? Assuming that they are capable of thinking, that is.

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