Voters get discounts, freebies for stained pinkies
The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
Voters in Jakarta enjoyed election day with discounted prices at food and beverage outlets, shopping malls and recreation centers for participating in the legislative election.
Retailers ' ranging from cafes to supermarkets and bookstores ' and an amusement center offered a variety of perks to customers who showed proof of having voted in the form of an Indian ink-stained pinkie on Wednesday.
In the 2009 legislative election, only a few cafes and shopping malls offered discounts to voters.
Voters who sought a fun day off work were offered discounted entry into Ancol recreation complex in North Jakarta if they showed their purple-stained finger at the entrance.
Coffee retailers Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Excelso all had offers on specific items aimed at voters, ranging from free coffee to big discounts.
Voting from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. kept Jakarta's roads clear of the usual daily congestion. Despite the empty roads, shopping malls filled up more and more with voters and non-voters alike as the day progressed.
For example, Cilandak Town Square shopping center in Cilandak, South Jakarta, was crowded with patrons after 1 p.m. The mall is home to several retailers, including Starbucks, Excelso and Aksara, offering freebies and discounted prices to voters.
With Jakartans voting under clear skies and in hot temperatures, some found it a relief that one of the retailers offering voter discounts specialized in a treat to cool one down.
The Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlor in Cilandak Town Square was busy with visitors with ink on their pinkies, and some without. The parlor offered voters a free scoop of ice cream with a purchase of another product.
'We just opened shop at 11 a.m., and so far four people have taken up our promotional offer in the hour since opening,' said Baskin-Robbins worker Muhammad Iksan, who bore a purple finger tip as he served two customers who had obviously taken part in the polling.
However, Baskin-Robbins' offer required a specific text message from cell phone provider Indosat, which sponsored the promotion that was limited to Indosat subscribers.
'I received the text informing me about the offer, so why waste it?' Cilandak voter Henny told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
In another part of the mall, Aksara bookstore offered 10 percent discounts on books, music and knickknacks to customers with ink-stained fingers. Employees at the store said the offer had been made to encourage people to vote.
'[The offer] gives people a little reward for voting,' said Aksara Cilandak Town Square shop assistant Lia Charianna. She added that three customers had taken up the offer in the 90 minutes since the store had opened at noon.
Elsewhere in the city, coffee giant Starbucks was capitalizing on its offer to give purple-fingered customers a free cup of milk coffee with other purchases from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
'Around 200 people have taken up the free milk coffee offer. That's a normal number for us,' said Roni, an attendant at Starbucks Plaza Senayan in Central Jakarta.
The promotion lasted for two hours, but not everyone who visited Plaza Senayan took up the offer for various reasons.
'Even though Starbucks sent me a message advising me of the offer, I missed it. A free coffee would have been nice though,' said frequent Starbucks patron Martin after casting his vote. (dyl)
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