Last month, Governor Anies Baswedan passed a new Gubernatorial Decree (Pergub) that gives his administration the power to summarily revoke the business license of any nightlife venue in which narcotics or prostitution have been reported (by any party, including the police, media or even public) without the need for further investigation.
The Pergub’s first target was the infamous Alexis Hotel, allegedly a hotbed of high-class prostitution that Anies had been trying to shut down completely for months. Today, two more Jakarta nightlife venues will see their doors closed after falling afoul of the new decree as well.
The Jakarta administration pulled the business licenses for both Sense Karaoke and Exotic Discotheque last week and gave both nightlife businesses until today to completely shut down and vacate their venues.
Sense Karaoke, located in Mangga Dua Square Mall in North Jakarta, has been closed following a raid by the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) in which they said they found evidence that employees of the nightlife venue had been providing customers with crystal meth.
Exotic had its business license revoked following the death of a 47-year-old man, identified as Sudirman, at the Mangga Besar nightclub on April 1. Although it was suspected that he died of a drug overdose, police were never able to confirm that as the family refused an autopsy.
Despite the cause of death being unknown, Governor Anies Baswedan still chose to pull Exotic’s business license. The nightclub’s management said they were disappointed he chose not to wait until a full investigation had been completed as they claimed that Sudirman’s medical records showed that he likely died of a heart attack and there was no evidence that he had purchased drugs inside the club.
Responding to that, Vice Governor Sandiaga Uno said that the government actually had more evidence to indicate that narcotics were being sold at Exotic, including BNN data, but did not disclose what actual hard evidence, if any, they had to justify shutting down the business.
“We are here to enforce the rules. For us, there should be no compromise anymore when it comes to drugs.This is something we have to execute and we will follow the regulations, including the revised gubernatorial decree of 2018,” Sandiaga said as quoted by Kompas.