Governor Anies to investigate Alexis after media exposé on prostitution still being practiced after crackdown

Alexis Hotel in North Jakarta.
Alexis Hotel in North Jakarta.

Soon after his inauguration, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan seemingly fulfilled his campaign promise to shut down the infamous Alexis Hotel — long rumored to be Jakarta’s most luxurious brothel — by having his administration refuse to renew its business license, but new media reports say that prostitution continues to be practiced at the North Jakarta nightlife spot.

That may not come as a surprise to some. The hotel’s club, named “4Play” (which Vice Governor Sandiaga Uno innocently thought was a co-working space), remained open with the management saying they weren’t breaking any rules since the city administration only refused to renew the permits for their hotel and spa (where the alleged prostitution took place).

But Alexis was thrust into the spotlight in the past few days after Tempo magazine published an investigation into what is still going on inside Alexis. According to their exposé, 4Play is essentially a strip club, complete with karaoke rooms, female attendants, and strippers who gave lap dances in private rooms. One patron told the magazine that Alexis is “the same as before. Awesome.”

Governor Anies said his administration will carry out an investigation into Alexis in light of Tempo’s report.

“We will use [the report] as a way in to act, because the basis of action for us are rule violations,” he said, as quoted by Tempo yesterday.

Back in November 2017, a month after the city administration pulled Alexis’ hotel and spa license, Anies threatened to shut down the establishment entirely if there was ever any form of prostitution found there.

Governor Anies originally made his promise to shut Alexis during one of the televised debates before the first round of the last gubernatorial election. Anies had criticized former Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama for only focusing on getting rid of the problem of prostitution and drugs at the street level (such as the Kalijodo evictions) while ignoring high-class establishments like Alexis. Ahok countered by saying his administration had already shut down two infamous nightlife establishments, Stadium and Milles.

The Jakarta Tourism Ministry previously defended allowing the Alexis Hotel to stay in business, saying they had checked it out and found the prostitution rumors to not be true.

Despite Anies promises to shut down prostitution and vice throughout Jakarta, many of the capital’s other infamous “adult entertainment” establishments such as Malioboro, Illegals and Classic Hotel (all of which are also widely believed to be prostitution hotspots), continue to operate, not to mention the dozens if not hundreds of lesser-known massage parlors, spas and “executive lounges” throughout Jakarta where commercial sex is rumored to be on offer.

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