It sucks to be a poor kid in Indonesia. It sucks even more when you have to shine shoes at the airport instead of going to school like the other kids. And it really sucks when police arrest you for gambling when you are just playing a coin tossing game for pennies. All in the name of morality.
Apparently these kids in Tangerang must be a fearsome lot because the police felt the need to threaten them with their firearms. Too dangerous to be sent home they were hauled off to detention - for a month - instead of allowing them to stay with their families. Then they convicted them of gambling and now have criminal records. All of this in a city whose motto is ahlakul karimah (Good morals).
A Rogues Gallery
Fachrozi Hanapi - One of the arresting officers, Pak Fachrozi felt compelled to threaten children with his sidearm while making the arrest. The man will probably get a medal. Makes you wonder what kind of people get into the police force these days.
Suyono - Tangerang district chief prosecutor. Surprisingly enough he was willing to prosecute this case after having the option to demand an acquittal. What did he have to prove and what self-respecting prosecutor would want this on his record?
Retno Pujiningtyas - The judge who presided over this farce and convicted all the children. Better that she said than risk having them become repeat offenders. I suppose she has that tough love thing going. Pity her kids.
Wahadin Halim - The mayor of Tangerang who really should be paying more attention to what is going on in his city. Perhaps he had a busy skins game the day the kiddies were convicted.
All of this police time, court time, and prison time for what is essentially a few kids playing a game. Whatever happened to giving those kids a good talking to? The real crooks must be settling in Tangerang - the police and courts are way too busy with frivolous cases to worry about chase the preman, thieves, con artists and corrupters .
In Halim's crusade for moraltopia children are the casualties.