Jakarta Butuh Revolusi Budaya!

Let’s say no to malls

Posted on: September 22, 2008

This article was published by The Jakarta Post on September 29, 2008. Read the article on The Jakarta Post, here.

I was having a conversation with a friend from Jakarta over the Internet several days ago. When I asked her if there are some new places in Jakarta that young people go to, she said, “What kind of places do you mean? One thing for sure we have lots of new malls.”

She explained there are some new malls in the city. Some of them are Senayan City, Grand Indonesia, and Pacific Place.

She suddenly reminded me of how Jakartans are so much in love with malls and shopping centers. What is a mall, anyway? A mall is simply a big modern building where people can go to shop. Unlike any traditional market, a mall is very convenient; it is an air-conditioned building and it is clean and safe.

Having lived for 6 years in Jakarta I know how much people in Jakarta love their malls. I was one of them. While I never visited Monas, not even once, my friends and I would go to malls at least once a week for various purposes.

I went to malls for shopping. I went to malls for eating with friends on special occasions. I went to malls to watch movies. I went to malls to have a business meeting. I even went to malls just to use their bathroom.

And just like other people of Jakarta I was proud of having those big malls in my city. I remember a friend of mine from the Netherlands was so amazed to see how malls in Jakarta could be so big and beautiful. He said, “This city has the greatest malls.”

But now I know I’m not a big fan of malls anymore.

How many malls do you think are enough for a city like Jakarta? Is 1 mall enough for us? Maybe not. What about 5 malls? What about 10 malls? Or perhaps 20 malls are enough for a city with a population of more than 8 millions of people? What if I tell you that Jakarta has more than 30 malls and shopping centers? That number doesn’t include the ones in cities like Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi.

At first I thought people of Jakarta really love their malls so bad. But when I look at this phenomenon closely I find out that is not really the case. I find out that people of this city are actually forced to love.

For people with money, by this I don’t mean only the rich people, malls and other kinds of big buildings have become the only places where they can feel secure and comfortable. Only within those big and strong walls they can breath fresh air; although it’s not that fresh after all.

The condition outside is just chaotic. Some people call it crazy, some call it a heartless place, and some call it a big mess. Bottom line, it’s a jungle out there.

Everyday we keep hearing the same complaints over and over again about the condition in Jakarta. Yes, the traffic is just getting worse. The fact that the gasoline prices have gone up doesn’t stop people from driving their cars. Yes, the air is so much polluted. Some people already started to wear pollution masks while riding their motorcycles.

Yes, the crime rate is still and probably will always be high. Your parents’ advice is still valid: Never show your precious belongings while your car has to stop at the traffic light or when you walk outside in public areas.

When someone is waiting outside for her bus to come, while covering her nose from the pollution and ensuring that there is no danger around, the only thing running through her mind is how soon she can finally arrive at her house, her school building, or her office. No one feels comfortable being outside on the streets.

And that is the kind of mindset that almost all people in Jakarta have. No wonder we keep having new malls.

Here’s our mistake. Instead of fixing all those problems that Jakarta has been having for so many years, we just keep building more malls and shopping centers so that we can always avoid those problems quickly.

One may ask what’s wrong with having so many malls. Well, there are so many things that can go wrong if we keep building more malls.

In general I think there are two kinds of problems that we will have by building more malls: environmental and social problems.

Environmentally, having more malls means we have less green areas. It simply means there are more trees sacrificed for the sake of people’s greed. We all know how insufficient green areas have led us into a fragile city with no capacity to absorb rain showers.

It is an irony that People of Jakarta are not smart enough to realize that they who are among the lower and middle income families are actually the ones giving the most profits to the mall owners. But when the flood comes during the rainy season they are the ones who suffer the most; while the rich, people who get the most advantage from the malls including people who actually build them, can easily evacuate themselves to five-star hotels or even other countries.

Socially, having more malls means that our children are victimized by the arrogance of commercialization. As we all know malls have become the only places of entertainment for people in Jakarta, including the young Indonesians.

There is no such thing as window shopping; that is a misleading jargon created by mall owners. The fact is when you go to a mall you will always have to pay for something. It could be the parking ticket, some drinks or food, or else.

Another social problem caused by having too many malls in Jakarta is a wide social gap between people of Jakarta. By having more malls this gap is getting wider and wider, creating an unfriendly society for all of us.

Today, malls represent your social status. People with more money will go to fancy malls like Senayan City, Pondok Indah Mall, or Grand Indonesia. People with less money will go to smaller malls in outer-city areas. And people with no money, sadly, can’t go anywhere.

The solution for this whole problem is simple.

One, the local government has to stop the development of modern shopping centers. We know there are several malls that sit on locations that are supposed to be green areas. Closing them down wouldn’t be that complicated if only our local government had the willingness to support people’s interest.

Second, the local government has to start creating more outdoor attractions like Taman Menteng. Our officials should learn how other big cities are trying to provide their residents with free outdoor attractions where people from different social classes can have a good time together. But making them free is not enough, making them safe and clean is another crucial part.

It’s really time for us to unite and say that we don’t need more malls. I have heard a lot of complaints from so many friends who feel depressed to see how the development in Jakarta is going on the wrong track. They say our city is becoming so arrogant. I think they are right and I think it’s time for us to change that.

Let’s do this together. Let’s say no to malls. Relax, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to malls at all!

Picture is taken from here.


21 Responses to "Let’s say no to malls"

Great read!

I completely agree on your point that people of the middle class and above only think of their destination the minute they step outdoors. Going out of a building means a start of a mission on its own — to get into another building as soon as possible.

It leads to the problem of traffic and intolerant drivers (of ALL kinds of vehicles). They don’t want to worry about their surroundings, only concerned on how to get to their destination a.s.a.p., whatever it takes — crossing lights, running on busways, illegal turns and cuts, and so on.

Bagi yang ingin mengetahui tentang revolusi bisnis di indonesia, klik di sini

Mall itu tetap perlu sekedar untuk “menampung” produk-produk eksklusif yang mungkin tidak aman dan berkurang nilai jualnya bila dijual di toko-toko biasa.
Tetapi, jangan sampai ada berpuluh hingga berjuta mol dalam satu kota gitu kaya di Jakarta. Satu atau 2 mall saja kan cukup (emang KB?, hehe).

Satu hal lagi: kunci penyelesaian masalah nya bukan hanya di Government, tapi ada pada kita. Kalau kita boikot untuk tidak ke mall (walaupun untuk sekedar jalan2 ataupun beli sesuatu), pasti dalam jangka 2 thn ke depan banyak mall yang bankrut karena sepi pembeli.
Masalah baru muncul: jumlah pengangguran meningkat.
Nah loo….
pusing kan?
Jakarta Jakarta….

Huah … banyak-banyak mall malahan bikin gerah Jakartanya … kasian dibikin panas mulu. Lagian ke mall mulu mah boros, bukan hemat yang ada.

Ke mall mah sekali-sekali aja, jangan sering-sering … bisa bangkrut, hehe. Mending cari kegiatan lain yang lebih berguna misalnya BERBURU, atau kegiatan yang lainnya gitu … baca buku atau jalan-jalan ke taman kota. :mrgreen:

Btw, mas Tasa …
Keren juga nih tema baru website-nya JBRB. 😉

Mall lagi ya yang dibahas?? Padahal masih banyak lagi kan bangunan2 yang berceceran gak genah di Jakarta Raya ini: ruko, apartemen, pemukiman, perkantoran yang gak kalah berkontribusi bikin Jakarta semrawut. Tapi mall emang sesuatu yang lebih dekat dengan kita sih.

Hmm… bikin usaha sampah enak kali ya, jadi cepet berkembang dengan memanfaatkan residu dari bangunan2 itu. Terus juga bisa nyerap tenaga kerja dari kalangan ‘bawah’ juga…

Mau lebaran blog JBRB dapet baju baru nih?? Bajunya keren, Tas. Beli di mall ya, hehehe…

iya nih mall udah kebanyakan. Stop mall bangun taman!

Ya, malls and fear of the street seem to go together well in Jakarta. I think it would very interesting if you make a list of malls and then find out who owns them. Another idea would be that for each mall that is built the developer would have to build three new schools, or a park, or a community center.

Let’s see the brightside, then. At least it can give many people jobs, right?

@above me:

(sorry nih gue gak bs ngmg dlm bhs inggris kalimat berikut, jd gue pake bhs indo aja ya 🙂

itu ibarat kalo aye kate sih kaya di bus2/metro mini/angkutan umum kota jakarta…
ada yang ngamen/lalu mengumumkan sesuatu lalu dia bilang gini: “lebih baek saya meminta-minta gini, daripada saya menjambret/mencopet …”
====>do you think that’s better idea? well, think again 🙂

and i think the govt. can involve into providing them with some other alternative jobs besides jobs at the malls, right ?
toh org2 ‘kelas bawah’ yang bekerja (dan lalu bikin kaya) kepada org2 ‘kelas atas’ kan harus kerja juga.. knp tidak kasih mrk kerjaan ditempat laen selain mall ?? yang saya maksud mereka disini adalah pemerintah.. (lah bukannya pemerintah wkt kampanye sebelum pemilu itu kan menjanjikan lapangan kerja yang lebih luas kan buat penduduknya hehehe)

(lah bukannya pemerintah wkt kampanye sebelum pemilu itu kan menjanjikan lapangan kerja yang lebih luas kan buat penduduknya hehehe) —> lha, lapangan kerjanya kan ya di emol itu, bang.

izin bangun emol — approval pemerintah — jadi emol — lapangan pekerjaan baru.

tuh kontribusi dari pemerintah, hehehe…

[trial by error]

setuju ama Hasna, cukup dua mall saja, emang program KB?

banyak mall, banyak rejeki 😛

nimbrung dong..
kalo banyak mall = banyak AC, maka
banyak AC = banyak panas yg dihasilkan, maka
banyak panas = mempercepat global warming, maka

bukan ga mungkin, mempercepat terjadinya siklus global freezing setelah global warming..

siap2 ada “mini” Ice Age 🙂

thx b4 udh bisa kasih komentar..
yach,, kitakan udh sama-sama belajar ttg ilmu pengetahuan alam,, so let’s do it!!
kalo bingung karena pengangguran,, masih banyak lapangan kerja di bidang : pertanian, peternakan, perikanan, atau kehutanan. toh negara kita kaya akan itu!! coba dech di tilik lebih lanjut.. tenagamu pasti dibutuhkan,,tidak sekedar jagain bangunan besar 24 jam or ngebersihin jalan yg tiap detiknya diinjakin orang.. perlu sech perlu tanpa jangan berlebihan!!
thx udah mau baca..God Bless your Activities

like it or not we have to face the fact that our city is growing fast,many skyscrappers and malls have been built that indicate jakarta is one of many prosperous city in the world,and how about the green areas you may ask?it is such ashame that when it comes to environmental-thing people tends to not give a damn about it,having more malls than green areas in our city is not that bad,we could still preserve our environment in another way,like bike to work?or do the recycle thing,my point is, there’s always some people who trying to hangin clouds over our heads,let’s face it that we love mall so much (dont your remember where you’re going when u skip that math class back in your high school days?)so dont take our city for granted,dont hate malls,and be a good jakartan(the people we hate to be)

say no to malls,
say no to greediness,
say no to selfishness
of jakarta’s peoples!

IMO for other solution in jakarta:
1. solution for pollution problem: limit the usable vehicle for only 10 years for private bike or car, raise tax of private vehicle into 40%-80% a year of private vehicle value, and the results of tax will be use to public transportation and police department (i’m sorry but that’s reality that traffic police in jakarta is easyly for bribed), so that they will work more discipline if they have more salary compensation IMO.
2. solution for bad social and environment city : REVOLUTION the local goverment! , i say revolution the local goverment, if u now what i mean! replace all local goverment officials with clean, discipline, and good attitude forward officials.

and…. and…

“In general I think there are two kinds of problems that we will have by building more malls: environmental and social problems.”

Benar sekali!
i’m totally agreed.
Gw bukan orang Jakarta, tp jujur gw sangat prihatin dengan kota ini.
Ga ada bagus2nya!
pembangunan digencarkan di mana2…..cuma untuk keenakan manusia. tapi dampak lingkungan urusan belakangan.

Global warming masih ditanggapi kurang serius oleh masyarakat. apalagi masyarakat hedonis yg cuma tau memanfaatkan bumi tapi otaknya kosong melompong.
Ga heran makin hari makin panas, dan kalau musim hujan tinggal tunggu banjir aja.

FYI, global warming itu sudah di tingkat yg sangat serius. Ga bisa ditangani cuma dengan tindakan simpel seperti bike to work. Apalagi kalau tmp kerjanya jauh, naik mobil aja sejam apalagi sepeda??
belum lagi udara Jakarta udah ga sehat utk dihirup. Kasihan juga yg naik sepeda malah nabung penyakit.

Dan menurut gw (terserah mau setuju atau tidak) adanya pandangan bahwa mal itu bagus untuk menyediakan lapangan kerja yg banyak benar2 membahayakan Jakarta sendiri, karena itulah alasan orang2 daerah bermigrasi ke Jakarta yg sudah padatnya minta ampun.
Semua orang dari berbagai daerah hijrah ke Jakarta, mereka pikir di Jakarta banyak lapangan pekerjaan. Apa yg terjadi? ledakan penduduk.
Masih mending kalau penduduknya kaya, ini sudah miskin sekali masuk kota tambah miskin pula.
Nggak bisa pulang. akhirnya bikin pemukiman liar di Jakarta. Parahnya pemukiman liar ini sudah merusak pemandangan Jakarta, merusak lingkungan pula. Contohnya pemukiman di tepi kali. Kali semakin menyempit karena dibangun rumah, air hujan tidak terbendung. Banjir kan?

mau digusur atau diusir serba salah juga. Nanti terjadi huru hara.
serba salah deh jadi pemerintah.
Selama masyarakat masih belum punya kesadaran penuh terhadap lingkungan tempat tinggal, Jakarta masih akan sama 5 atau 10 tahun lagi.
mungkin akan lebih parah.

kalo gitu salah satu solusi terbaik untuk jakarta tu Transmigrasi dan menahan urbanisasi ya vi??

karena kalo selama kita ga bisa nahan urbanisasi, jumlah penduduk jakarta yg meledak terus2an, berapa pun jumlah lapangan pekerjaan dan juga tempat pemukiman yg layak yg dikasih ga akan pernah terasa cukup.

gw perbah ngobrol ama pengamen jalanan, ceritanya dia berasal dr lampung dan disini ikut numpang di rmh temennya (bukan rumah juga siy sebenernya, cuma kios rokok yg kecil tapi paling ga bisa buat tidur 2 orang).
Di lampung sana padahal dia puya rumah yg jauh lbh layak dan lingkungan yg lebih bersahabat dr pada di jakarta.

Kenapa mesti ke Jakarta kalo gt????

Krn awalnya berpikir kalo di jakarta banyak lapangan pekerjaan. Kota gitu loohhh… Boleh dong ikutan mengadu nasib… nyari peruntungan…

Tapi akhirnya krn ga dpt2 kerjaan juga malah jd pengamen. Mo pulang kampung malu ama ortu di kampung, jauh2 merantau tanpa hasil.
Toh jadi pengamen juga dapet uangnya lumayan, bisa dikirim buat bantu orang tua kampung walau di jakarta banting tulang mana tahan…
“Di jakarta apa pun bisa jadi duit…”
“nyari duit di kampung bakal lebih susah dari jakarta”

nah itu lah Jakarta…
Selama Ngamen msh dianggap jadi profesi,
lebih keren dari pada jadi petani,
gak akan turun pamornya buat ngajak warga non jakarta untuk memuaskan rasa penasaran mereka akan kerja di kota besarrr.

mungkin lebih baik pemerintah buat iklan, gambarin keadaan jakarta yg susah untuk ditinggali apa lg dicintai, supaya ga ada orang daerah yg tergoda datang..

ikalannya begini :
“jakarta tu sempit, ga ada tempat untuk pendatang!”

Dan yg buat ngebangun Mall, tolong deh, kalo punya duit segitu banyak mending bikin RSS ato apa kek buat nyumbang negara..

@jiiyee : setuju teman…masalah sosial salah satu sebabnya jg urbanisasi, yg ujung2nya menjadi masalah lingkungan. Setidaknya menurut dosen gw sih begitu.
mall sudah cukup…real estate jg gila2an pada dibangun, tp banyak juga yg kosong krn ga ada yg mau/sanggup beli. apalagi krisis global begini.Semua lahan hijau habis percuma. aduh Jakarta ga banget deh sebagai ibukota…

Shopping centers are nice places to spend your time…but not all the time!

These days the progress and development of the cities are miscalculated as the number of malls sprouting up in every locality. The prices of the real estate are determined by its distance from the nearest mall. As byproduct, there are traffic jams! There are hours of load sheddings in the neighborhood while the malls remain bright and cold with lights and air conditioners! And there are long lines of water at nearby chawl while the mall floors and glasses are washed everyday!

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