YOGYAKARTA (17/11) – A peculiar line was quickly formed at SPBU Sagan (Sagan Gas Station) on 21.17 WIB. Motorbikes lined as the number of vehicles doubled–tripled. Small showers didn’t stop people from coming in, barging into the gas station, as a sudden statement from Indonesia’s new president, Joko Widodo, aired on various medias. After being speculated for a few weeks, fishing both negative and positive comments from the public and also the media, Jokowi finally announced the hike in fuel price. There will be a raise from IDR 6.500 to IDR 8.500 for gasoline, IDR 5.500 to IDR 7.500 for diesel, while the price of kerosene remained unchanged at a stable price of IDR 2.500 per liter. The price hike will be official starting from tomorrow, November 18, 2014.
As respond to the sudden announcement, vehicle owners are seen filling up gas stations, even until this writing is posted. Jokowi, which is quite well-known for his populist behavior, stated that all he does is for the good of Indonesia, although some people may criticize him for taking such bold moves. The reaction below was beyond prediction: while running to the nearest gas station to gather some news (while also lining up to get some gasoline, of course), I found a few people praising Jokowi for his bold move. A few lines behind me was a man who lined with his son, stating that he was astonished Jokowi dared to raise the price, although not yet by 50%. He admitted, in a short chat with me, that he believes whatever Jokowi does is for the good sake of Indonesia, although he didn’t deny when I encountered him with the fact that he lined up anyway; meaning that he was eager to get some gasoline before prices rose up.
Two persons, which I assume comes from the media crews were also seen around the gas station, taking pictures of the unending–ever abundant line with their cameras, one of them scribbling some writings on his notepad while taking a thorough look at the scene in front of him. The gas station workers looked dazzled as hundreds of vehicles pushed into the gas station lot, making them having to tirelessly fill up the tanks of those gasoline-hungry vehicles.
Apart from that, although this news was supposed to be a “breaking news,” I could see the urgency of the media’s function as a source of information. What enormous movement: in a few minutes, the line brittled everywhere that it made a small traffic jam. If it weren’t because of the media: television and the internet to be precise, such a sudden thing wouldn’t happen.
The sudden news break also made quite a sensation online as hundreds of thousands of tweets were posted on Twitter, striking attention virtually. The news soon became viral to the world as a few foreign online medias such as rattler.com wrote about the fuel price hike. Once again, we are forced to agree that Indonesia’s new media darling does do some surprising acts every once in a while (or everyday?)
Check out the rest of the news online, only at en[dot]tersapa[dot]com tomorrow!