Makassar administration promises to crack down on condoms, drugs as city bans Valentine’s Day, again

Makassar Mayor Danny Pomanto. Photo: Instagram/@dpramdhanpomanto
Makassar Mayor Danny Pomanto. Photo: Instagram/@dpramdhanpomanto

Another year, another Valentine’s Day ban story in Indonesia.

Continuing their annual tradition, which has been going on for several years, the city administration of the South Sulawesi capital of Makassar has once again imposed a ban on Valentine’s Day celebrations this year. Makassar Mayor Danny Pomanto says authorities are paying special attention to the sale of certain products that supposedly promote vice in the city every time the international day of love comes around.

“Why do we pay special attention [to Valentine’s Day]? Because some people take advantage [of the celebration] to sell things such as drugs and condoms, and alcoholic beverages for underage children. Surveys show that the sales of condoms, liquors, and drugs have always increased on Valentine’s Day,” Danny said today, as quoted by Detik, without specifying which survey he was referring to nor why condoms in particular are bad.

“We will raid anyone who sells condoms openly,” Danny continued.

Other than raiding stores for the forbidden items he mentioned above, Danny also ordered raids at lodgings — likely to find unwed couples spending the night together — as well as banning Valentine’s Day celebrations in the city. He said Valentine’s Day is not part of Indonesia’s native culture (and he did not mean it ironically, like those who popularized the hashtag #ValentineBukanBudayaKita).

On the other hand there’s South Sulawesi Governor Nurdin Abdullah, who is way more chill about Valentine’s Day, saying that people should be free to celebrate it if they wish.

“To millennials, who are the hope of the nation’s future as the agents of change, on this Valentine’s Day, congratulations and I wish you all success,” Nurdin said on Tuesday, as quoted by BBC Indonesia

He did not, however, say if he would or has the power to revoke Makassar’s Valentine’s Day ban.

Regional government opposition towards Valentine’s Day doesn’t seem as significant this year as in previous years. Last year, we were able to compile a decently long list of cities and regions that banned the celebration outright.

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