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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 September 2007, 13:25 GMT 14:25 UK
Jakarta bans beggars and buskers
Beggar in Jakarta on 11 September 2007
Jakarta officials want images like this to become a thing of the past
The Indonesian authorities have approved a new law banning people from giving money to buskers, beggars and hawkers in Jakarta.

Offenders could face up to six months in jail and $5,000 (2,500) fines.

Jakarta's outgoing Governor Sutiyoso urged residents to follow the new rules, saying they would bring order to the city of 10 million people.

But critics fear the new laws are ill thought out, with little understanding about the realities of the city's poor.

The new law - which replaces a 19-year-old bylaw - are expected to come into force later this week.

Sprawling city

As well as banning donations to beggars and buskers, the new law regulates other aspects of public order.

This ranges from banning squatter settlements on river banks and highways, to spitting and smoking on public transportation. Unauthorised people cleaning car windscreens and managing traffic at busy intersections will also be penalised.

"This is to put order into things of common interest," Governor Sutiyoso told reporters.

One city politician said Jakarta should aim to emulate nearby Singapore, which strictly enforces public order regulations.

But critics fear it will be a difficult law to enforce in such a sprawling and congested city, which has seen an influx of poor migrants from the countryside.

Some politicians urged the government to allow time for the public to learn about the new rules.




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