Street singers excluded
from raids

The Jakarta Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) will not raid street singers despite the intensive raids currently being conducted to stop those working on the streets, a senior official has said.

Satpol PP head Kukuh Hadi Santoso said on Thursday that street singers did not have community and social problems (PMKS), therefore, they did not need to be taken care of by the city administration.

“We don’t raid street singers, we raid those considered as having PMKS and those who disturb the public, such as beggars, homeless adults and children and sex workers,” he said.

However, Asep Bugi, 43, a street singer with the Street Musicians Group (KPJ), said that Satpol PP officers had raided him and his friends several times because they were thought as unskilled and dangerous street singers.

“There are unskilled street singers who don’t really play music, and they usually threaten or intimidate bus passengers to get money. Some of them came into our area, so the officers thought they were part of our group,” he said.

Asep said that despite all the hurdles, the number of skilled street singers in the city was on the rise. He said that there were around 100 new skilled street singers every year.

“There are currently around 2,000 skilled street singers in the city, and the number keeps increasing,” he added.

Kukuh said that he did not consider the increasing number of street singers in the city a problem, but he planned to work with the Jakarta Social Affairs Agency to provide them with opportunities to work in better places.

Although he did not consider street singers disturbing, he said that his agency would raid child street singers. He said that his agency would ask the children to return to their families or stay with the social agency if they were homeless.

“We are working together with the city’s Social Affairs Agency to help those children get formal education so that they will have better future,” he said.

Social agency spokesman Prayitno said that his agency currently operated three temporary shelters and 24 permanent shelters for those with PMKS and street children.

He explained that those arrested by the Satpol PP would be placed in temporary shelters for questioning and assessment before being transferred to permanent shelters.

“The shelters are like dormitories. We send the street children to schools and we provide training for teenagers and adults so that they will have a better life,” said Prayitno. (koi)

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