Staycation is over

Sunset at Ancol beach

For the past week, Jakartans enjoyed more air and space in the city as millions packed their shirts to their hometowns for the country’s longest holiday period at the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan. But in just a matter of days, the air is about to thin out again as the mass urbanization will return with new addition of newcomers, as usual.

Urbanization in Jakarta numbered on average 50,000 newcomers annually, at an increasing rate year to year, bringing along low-skilled workforce to add up to 3.5 million in total outsiders making a living in Jakarta as of 2013, municipal data showed.

Job opportunity, largely from informal sector, if it is even classified a job, is the top contributing factor. Even some of them are outsiders who somehow have stayed in Jakarta for a long time, some sort of permanent settlers.

However problematic, Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo has quietly abolished Operasi Yustisi, the public enforcers notorious ID checks routine in Jakarta to expel outsiders back to wherever they came from.

So it will be harder from here on to identify their numbers or characteristics. But a part of some ten million city residents who chose to stay during this long holiday spent a good time at the beach although the waters looked quite murky.

But there is no time to care about that, or about the harm and good of ID check abolition, as long as clear air stays still, and so for the time being the sound of laughter seemed to echo longer than ever before.


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