The East Jakarta Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) will stop imposing the sanction of forcing any residents caught not wearing face masks in public to lie in a fake coffin.
Agency head Budhy Novian said the punishment was not in line with the gubernatorial regulation that stipulates a list of punishments for people found to be violating strict health protocols.
“According to Gubernatorial Regulation No. 79/2020, sanctions for residents found not wearing face masks in public are fines and community service,” Budhy said on Friday, as quoted by kompas.com.
“I’ve reprimanded the officers [who imposed the fake coffin sanction] and urged them to punish violators according to the current regulations,” he added.
Budhy expressed his hope that the fines and social work punishment were sufficient to make residents adhere to the health protocols aimed at curbing the COVID-19 transmission.
The decision was made after a group of East Jakarta Satpol PP officers punished several residents found not to be wearing masks in public by ordering them to lie down in a fake coffin for several minutes. The incident occurred in Kalisari, Pasar Rebo district.
The deputy Pasar Rebo district head, Santoso, said some violators had opted for the sanction rather than paying fines of Rp 250,000 (US$16.92) or taking part in 60-minute community service sweeping the roads.
“They said they didn’t have the time to carry out the social work or enough money to pay the fines,” said Santoso
The incident went viral on social media and drew criticism from many quarters.
Jakarta Satpol PP head Arifin denied it was an official punishment for health protocol violators.
“The violators volunteered to lie down in the coffin while waiting for [their community service punishment]. […] We don’t impose any punishment other than those stipulated in the gubernatorial regulation,” Arifin said on Friday.
Violators would still need to pay fines or participate in community service even though they had lain in the coffin, he went on to say. (nal)