Well, it looks like Governor Anies Baswedan finally fulfilled his campaign promise: barring further legal drama, Jakarta’s infamous Alexis Hotel — long rumored to be the capital’s most luxurious brothel — has reportedly closed its doors for good after receiving an ultimatum from the Jakarta Provincial Government.
Yesterday, Anies announced that he had revoked Alexis’ Tourism Business Certificate (TDUP) last Friday and gave the establishment five days to pack up and leave permanently or they would face stern sanctions. Anies said Alexis was being being shut down for facilitating prostitution, based on media reports and the government’s own investigation.
“Not narcotics, we did not see those, but prostitution. We found human trafficking,” Anies told reporters yesterday, as quoted by Detik.
Anies’ five-day deadline ends today, and this morning a huge white banner was put up in front of Alexis confirming it had shut down and conveying an apology from the hotel’s management.
— ayu.n.f (@Ayufamiza) March 28, 2018
“We apologize to the public who were disturbed by the rowdy news reports [about Alexis] these past few months,” the banner reads.
“To avoid a lengthy polemic about the activities in our venues, with this we have decided, starting Wednesday March 28, 2018, we are ceasing all activities and operations on Jalan RE Martadinata no. 1.”
Alexis’ shut down will likely be seen as a major victory for Governor Anies, who in his election campaign promised to shut down the infamous hotel, which has become a key part of his larger moral crusade against the widespread practice of prostitution and drug dealing in Jakarta. Soon after he took office in October, Anies seemingly shut down Alexis, but it turned out he had only refused to renew the business licenses for a couple of the hotel’s venues.
After an exposé by Tempo, published in January, alleged that prostitution was still being practiced at Alexis, Anies passed a Gubernatorial Decree (Pergub) which simplifies the process by which the government can shut down entertainment on the basis of prostitution and/or narcotics as it makes even media reports or complaints from the public eligible to be used as sufficient evidence to justify the venue’s shutdown. The Pergub also guarantees that those who were shut down cannot reopen under different auspices at the same location.