Jakarta Wants Post-Lebaran Migrants to Stay Out
Lenny Tristia Tambun
Jakarta officials expect the number of people moving to the city following the Lebaran holiday to be significantly lower than last year, citing a progressively successful campaign to stem the influx of migrants.
Purba Hutapea, head of the city’s population office, said on Thursday that the number of new arrivals this year was expected to be around 37,000, down from the 52,000 that arrived after the end-of-Ramadan holiday period in 2011.
“Because this is an annual problem, we’ve been trying every year to minimize the number of people moving to Jakarta,” he said at City Hall.
He said the numbers had been steadily decreasing since 2006, thanks to an ongoing campaign to discourage migration to the already overcrowded capital.
One of the controversial programs under the campaign are the so-called residency raids, in which authorities raid neighborhoods to look for people without a Jakarta-issued ID card, or KTP. Those caught are usually just admonished and asked to return to their hometowns, though there is no obligation for them to do so.
Purba said another program was the distribution of leaflets to passengers arriving at bus terminals, railway stations and ports at the end of Lebaran.
The leaflets, along with banners and posters, carry slogans designed to discourage new arrivals and get them to return to their hometowns.
Some of the slogans include “Still thinking of trying your luck in the big city? You’d be better off in your beloved village,” and “You can come to Jakarta, but you have to get proper residency.”
The leaflets and banners also seek to discourage new arrivals with pictures of the slum life, traffic congestion and other unsavory aspects of Jakarta.
Purba said the governor issued a call each year before the start of Lebaran for all residents leaving to their hometowns not to bring back relatives or friends when they return to the city.
He said his office also tried to make it clear through posters and banners the administrative requirements that people needed to meet to apply for Jakarta residency.