New Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan shuts down infamous Alexis Hotel, fulfilling campaign promise

The infamous Alexis Hotel in North Jakarta. Photo: Google Maps
The infamous Alexis Hotel in North Jakarta. Photo: Google Maps

The Alexis Hotel has long been rumored to be Jakarta’s most luxurious brothel, with even its own website declaring it the “pioneer that sets the benchmark for adult one stop entertainment hotel” and “the dreamland for men”. But the dream is officially over at the hotel, with recently inaugurated Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan effectively fulfilling his campaign promise to shutter the alleged prostitution palace by not renewing its business license.

“We have made the decision not to extend the business license for Alexis,” Anies said at Jakarta City Hall today as quoted by Kompas.

“We are firm, we do not want Jakarta to be a city that allows the practice of prostitution practices and we have heard reports and complaints from citizens, as well as news,” he said.

Anies did not specify if the decision was also based on official investigations into the hotel’s business or if it was based primarily on public complaints, but he implied that the government had more information on Alexis’ practices.

Without its business license, which officially expired last Friday, Anies said the hotel can no longer legally engage in any commercial activities.

Governor Anies originally made his promise to shut Alexis during one of the televised debates before the first round of the last gubernatorial election.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.

Many of Anies’ supporters will no doubt be pleased to hear that he has made good on his campaign promise. The interesting question now will be to see if the new governor’s administration will be consistent and carry on with shutting down Jakarta’s other infamous “adult entertainment” establishments such as Malioboro, Illegals and Classic Hotel, which are also widely believed to be prostitution hotspots, 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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