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Surabaya to become alcohol free city

My only point Fred, is let’s try to be accurate when we make comments about Bali. 

Bali is not a place where seeing folks drinking until passing out is “very common.”

I hope you understand why I do not appreciate that false picture of Bali…especially when it’s coming from the board’s designated expert.   ;)   Someone reading this thread just might take your comment seriously...and that would be a shame.

OK, OK, OK, the bad bits in the south of Bali.
I'm assured the non drunken fools areas are the majority of the island and they're lovely.

Now we can hug again.   :o

Cheers, and good night!

Ubudian :

Now we can hug again.

Dude, unless you're around 18 to 30 years old, a very pretty lady and promise not to tell my wife, you have zero chance of a hug.
You would have but I stopped drinking ... and wearing skirts, but that's a story for another day.

The possible alcohol ban is very unlikely, but a lot of that depends on who is making cash from the sales.
You've already mentioned the cash raked in by one hotel, and that's a likely picture all over Indonesia, so someone will lose out in a large way if it gets banned.
Do they have any political influence, or will they just have to live with a ban?

tel522 :

As I understood it the government of RI wanted to increase tourism all over indonesia, re the proposed alcohol ban in surabaya , a few days ago  some members of parliament wished the proposed ban to be extended all over indonesia including local production , ya these things come up every ramadan , but if it gets through forget about tourism , also its a dis-incentive for investment here .

we shall see !
30 may
News  from Jakarta Post page 2....

If passed, law will impose full nationwide ban on production, distribution, consumption of drinks with 1%-55% alcohol content House expects to pass bill by July 28.


“The title will be deliberated later to speed up the process,” said leader of a House special committee for the alcohol prohibition bill, Mohammad Arwani Thomafi, a lawmaker from the United Development Party (PPP) which, together with fellow Islamoriented party the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), has sponsored the bill.

As you summarised.
There has been strange going on indeed in Indonesian Parliament. It seems the executive and the legislative government are not in direct sync on many instances.
Legislative went on producing many laws that could be construe as not running common sense. And the executive would later on playing catch ups.

The general feel of the majority of the populace, I believe would separate alcohol in 2 types:

1) Alcohol content less than 10 percent - usually beer to be freely distributed, with the exception rule to minors.

2) Alcohol content more than 10 percent considered "Miras - Minuman Keras" should be regulated and permit to sell should be monitored more closely.

If the blanket ban of 1 percent above alcohol content were to be in effect - it could be too damaging beyond belief.
The same as earlier last year when the issue of closing time of nightlife venues went on for a long debate. In the end, the issue died down and things went back to normal. It was a knee jerk reactions and many concealed insiders were trying to score points and curry favors traded.

It seems to happen every year. Covert corruption perhaps. We put pressure on you (government)  from the top of the pyramid (Muslim Brotherhood)  and accept some under the table deals instead of the regulations being passed. (Is that too far fetched to be possible ?)

I recall years ago when I first moved to Bali that night spots in Jakarta were fairly regularly raided and often trashed by extremist groups, especially during the fasting month.  As an outside observer looking in, it seems to me that if anything, this “preoccupation” with alcohol has become more limited in recent years.  For those who have been in Jakarta for say the past 18 or so years, is that a fair analysis?

Yes. They have escilated from the street level to where the real money is Politicians dens. Booze was so cheap. And life was fun in Jakarta around 1999. But things have changed . Globullization has come sweeping accross the nation. Everywhere has lost its vibe. Its all pose with a bottle and take selfies. So glad I stopped drinking so I no longer have to put up with fake people and drunken expats.

Getting rid of booze from Alfa and sevel was easy because not many people cared either way, but taking it out of a whole country is more of an issue as it takes in tourism and that means cash, so perhaps it all depends on who is making how much from selling booze.
At the end of the day, you always have to see who will gain what from political moves, but that isn't always cash.

No pun intended, but the final law/regulation regarding alcohol as just passed is a much watered down version of what was originally proposed and passed by the Surabaya city council back in March.  As revised, hotels and night clubs will continue to be able to sell liquor…and that’s no surprise.  Back in March it was a split 6 to 4 vote in favor of a total ban…no exceptions.   

Fred, you asked, just a few posts earlier…

“You've already mentioned the cash raked in by one hotel, and that's a likely picture all over Indonesia, so someone will lose out in a large way if it gets banned.  Do they have any political influence, or will they just have to live with a ban?”

It would be an easier list to compile showing prominent Indonesian political families that do not own hotels here in Indonesia than a list of those who do. 

For purely practical and economic reasons, there will never be total bans on alcohol across Indonesia.

Even for Indonesian in Surabaya, it is very hard to get some drinks to buy :D bars and pubs are the only place where drinks can be enjoyable :)

Surabaya has never really been a draw for tourists, except for transit. The City of Heroes has been a magnet for local business people with both legal and illegal diversions.
As a transit point for trips to Bali, Bromo, East, Central and West Java Surabaya was a great spot to enjoy the nightlife or just grab a couple of cold beer and head back to the hotel or Kost (depending on budget)
Grabbing a cold beer is more time consuming now and the lack of it will encourage people to stay in their rooms. It will not encourage people to drink ethanol anymore than most won't bungee-jump off the BRI tower.
As for local business people, they pay 1,000,000+ RP for dodgy spirits in the right bottle that they can pour for their entourages. These businessmen have no problem with paying premium prices for their entertainment. Who is affected by these 'laws'? The real toll is paid by those of us who want a beer after work, or a night out at a patio bar. We want a drink, but no desire to be criminals or to go blind drinking someone's hastily-bottled concoction.

So is it alcohol free now or can you still find beer if you look hard enough?

We can find beer at Hokky, Papaya and Ranch Supermarkets and there are a few industry contacts where we can buy cases. Of course you can still stop at hotels, bars, restaurants and outdoor venues like Spazio, and the Loop.

duplez :

We can find beer at Hokky, Papaya and Ranch Supermarkets and there are a few industry contacts where we can buy cases. Of course you can still stop at hotels, bars, restaurants and outdoor venues like Spazio, and the Loop.

Correct.. the thing is.. depending on the area where you are located, the availability of beer is proportional to the number of bars open.  west surabaya has more places to drink. .Gwalk, bars, hotels.  Loop is a good place to hang out.. but hope its not going to rain..

This is a stupid narrow-minded fanatical decision from this backward lady mayor of Surabaya for whom the rest of the world does not exist apart from her dark age way of thinking.

MF24 :

This is a stupid narrow-minded fanatical decision from this backward lady mayor of Surabaya for whom the rest of the world does not exist apart from her dark age way of thinking.

Strong words.

I do have one question, the WHO says 5.9% of all deaths (3.3 million in 2012) are a direct result of alcohol, so why do you support smoking bans but not alcohol bans when both kill by the millions?

I try to avoid the shang-gri-la here in Surabaya. Would consider drinking but then I have to put down by cigarette. I can't see the tourist numbers being affected as Sby is business focused and not reliant on tourism. Older age and wisdom now permits me to dance and karaoke without the need for rum and coke, whilst the kids slow me down and have me in bed by 8.30 lol. Quite happy for Bali to remain the alcohol hotspot......

The question is not suppressing alcohol ban. I am a French citizen from Périgord in south west France. We produce excellent wine, including the world famous Monbazillac sweet white wine.
Our gastronomy is based on matching local food like fat duck or walnut cakes with wines. It does not mean that we drink a lot of wine everyday or that we get drunk. Binge or pub crawling is not our culture.
Wine should be tasted moderately trying to fit it with the appropriate food.
In my opinion - as a free "citizen of the world" as to quote the famous Renaissance writer and philosopher Michel de Montaigne - the ban from that Surabaya lady mayor is only based on narrow-minded religious prejudice and fanatism. It is a mere total absence of tolerance. Moreover it reveals a serious lack of open-minded sensible education to other cultures and ways of life as well as complete bigotry.

MF24 :

Wine should be tasted moderately trying to fit it with the appropriate food.

Of course everyone does that

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQw5DKgnbpxApvGnqFz4bMCdgN2EVt2co-_cjpitbbEDU1FBCLEtw

MF24 :

the ban from that Surabaya lady mayor is only based on narrow-minded religious prejudice and fanatism. It is a mere total absence of tolerance.

A thought - Even if she has the reason for the ban wrong, does it make the actual ban wrong given the millions of death caused by Alcohol abuse?

MF24 :

Moreover it reveals a serious lack of open-minded sensible education to other cultures and ways of life as well as complete bigotry.

Given your rejection of this lady's cultural values and your insulting language towards this lady and her beliefs, are you in a moral position to make that comment?

MF24, I totally agree with your opinion.  There is no doubt, and anyone living in Indonesia for many years knows this, that the periodic (and almost always unsuccessful) attempts to ban alcohol come from highly conservative Islamic groups and not by way of some referendum voting, adat (village voting), regency or province, or national voting.

Fred, you ask,

“A thought - Even if she has the reason for the ban wrong, does it make the actual ban wrong given the millions of death caused by Alcohol abuse?”

Yes, it does and for the singular and simple reason that this diminishes the secular nature of Indonesia’s governance.  No single person, from kepala desa (village head) to President should have the authority to impose such bans.

Ubudian :

Fred, you ask,

“A thought - Even if she has the reason for the ban wrong, does it make the actual ban wrong given the millions of death caused by Alcohol abuse?”

Yes, it does and for the singular and simple reason that this diminishes the secular nature of Indonesia’s governance.  No single person, from kepala desa (village head) to President should have the authority to impose such bans.

If the ban was carried out as a health issue in an attempt to stamp out the obvious problem of abuse, would that have been secular enough?

I'll be honest, I didn't even know about the alcohol ban in Banten until I noticed seven eleven didn't have it anymore, that being about 6 months after it happened.
As an ex drunken yob and general piss artist, I detest drunks as they remind me what a twit I used to be so I won't be complaining about any ban.
Bugger all to do with religion but the sign of the drunks hanging outside the church next to their cars and motorbikes really bugged me, wondering if one day one of the soft idiots would crash into me on their drunken way home.
When I finally heard about the ban I applauded it because that set of fools couldn't buy their booze in the local minimart any more, that making the world a slightly better and safer place.

You can still get a drink in hotels and a bunch of other places but it did stop street drinkers so it did at least part of what it was supposed to do and, if we're being honest, no one needs alcohol  ... or if you do, you need a head doctor as well.

I'm even unsure any ban would really do much to upset the tourist trade in Bali as the bars would still be able to sell the stuff, only the mini markets not being able to do so.

"If the ban was carried out as a health issue in an attempt to stamp out the obvious problem of abuse, would that have been secular enough?"

Not in my opinion.  The health issues surrounding alcohol stem from abuse of the substance, and not moderate and intelligent consumption.  Banning alcohol because of the abuses of the few denies the rights for the majority of users who can, and regularly do, exercise moderation. 

If Indonesia wants to deal with the health issues head on, then a good first step would be to pass a national law restricting its consumption and the sale to "underage" folks...most often defined as age 21 in many countries.  As I understand the law forbidding the sale of alcohol in mini markets, that was the intent...to stop young folks from being able to buy the stuff.

Some laws with teeth regarding driving while under the influence wouldn't hurt either. 

Outright prohibition laws have never worked, and most likely, they never will.  Such laws only bring on more bootlegging, which in Indonesia is already a problem...tuak, arak, etc.

The laws and bootlegging depend very much on the dominant culture, and most Indonesians don't care about alcohol anyway so illegal stuff will always be a tiny problem in most of the country.
Bali is a different kettle of fish so laws there must differ from places like Surabaya and Banten.
Stopping mini mart sales worked well for the most part in that it stopped the easy access to booze for the idiots I used to see getting drunk outside that BSD church, and likely stopped kids as well.
I would not stop alcohol sales totally but I have no problem with killing mini mart sales as it clearly works as far as opportunist drunk drivers and kids goes.

Alcohol is easier to ban than cigarettes as so little is made in country. Smoking does far more damage but won't be banned as politicians and religious groups need the farmers and workers to be on their side so better just make it a little harder to get and put the price up almost nothing.
Still with all this focus on keeping the public safe from  the dangers of booze its still refreshing to see young children at r rated movies and cigarette girls and vans near schools just to keep a sense of perspective.
And of course letting children drive cars and motorbikes as there is no harm in that either.

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