No packages at Presidential open house
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will not give any Idul Fitri packages to well-wishers coming to the Idul Fitri open house at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday.
“People will only receive food and beverages,” Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said on Monday as quoted by kompas.com.
However, Julian added that disabled people would receive special packages, but he did not specify what.
The open house will run from 3 p.m. to around 6 p.m. on Wednesday. The President will go to his house at Puri Cikeas Indah, Bogor, West Java, after the open house.
Julian said that this year’s open house would come under tighter security, after a 45-year-old blind man named Joni Malela was trampled to death as thousands of people fought to enter the palace to greet the President during last year's event. In addition, dozens of people fainted due to fatigue.
“We have prepared emergency steps so that last year’s incidents would not be repeated,” he said. “There will be better crowd control and more space [for well-wishers] will be provided.”
Last year, the President received 3,500 well-wishers during the Idul Fitri open house. At least 1,000 people were denied access to the palace due to time restrictions.