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Jakarta Post

Campaign masses ready for hire

  • The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA   /   Wed, March 11 2009   /  09:08 am

When political parties need crowds to magically augment their ranks of campaign supporters, they only need to bring along cash, T-shirts and snack boxes of snacks to Jl. Kembang in Kwitang, Central Jakarta. And the people there will be ready to jump into the buses. Residents of the area said they were waiting for invitations from parties to join their election campaigns — for a fee, of course. “We look forward to their invitations. They give us money and T-shirts. But as of today, they haven’t given the order yet,” Nia, mother of a toddler, said Tuesday. “Where's the money? We still haven't seen it,” she laughed. “We'll go with whoever pays, I hope this time they pay us the red bills!” she added, referring to the Rp 100,000 (US$8.30) bill. She said that prior to the 2004 polls, parties paid the residents Rp 10,000 to Rp 20,000 each.
“I ...