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Jakarta Post

Tanjung Balai riot further fueled by wealth inequality

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Tanjung Balai, North Sumatra   /   Wed, August 3 2016   /  09:18 am

Businesspeople of Chinese descent in Tanjung Balai, North Sumatra, have acknowledged the social and economic gap in the community has worsened public hatred and helped fuel the recent riot that saw 12 temples looted and burned down.

Leo Lopulisa, a fisheries businessman, also known as Congwi, said the economic gap between those of Chinese descent and the indigenous people in Tanjung Balai was apparent due to the city’s small population.

He said those of Chinese descent in Tanjung Balai accounted for about 10 percent of the city’s population of over 180,900. Of that figure, some 3 percent are categorized as very rich. The rest are rich and living well economically.

Not all families of Chinese descent in the city are rich. However, compared to the livelihoods of indigenous families, the former are still economically better off and more well-established.

The ...