Demand UN Habitat to withdraw the award to be given tothe city of Jakarta


October 1, 2005

Ms. Anna Tibaijuka
Executive Director

Dear Director,

We from Urban Poor Linkage (UPLINK) in Indonesia have learned from UN-Habitat’s website that Jakarta as Metropolitan City under the leadership of Sutiyoso will receive an award from UN-Habitat for his achievement in “slums improving and building new infrastructure to create an inclusive, cosmopolitan city”. It also mentioned that during the two terms of Governor Sutiyoso, Jakarta has been transformed into a safer, better serviced, and greener city. Slums have been improved, and many of the poorest provided new housing on specially allocated land, the city’s anti-flooding canal system has been upgraded, its parks improved, and major public facilities have been reconstructed under a proven track record of public-private partnerships.

The award will humiliate urban poor people of Jakarta and other cities in Indonesia. Under the leadership of Governor Sutiyoso, Jakarta has been transformed into a city of eviction and confiscation against urban poor people. From 2000 to 2005, the city has evicted 63.676 people and is threatening 1,592,011 people who will be affected by several public-private partnerships projects. The city has also evicted and confiscated some 23,205 pedi cabs and the wares and stalls of some 62,263 street vendors. The city has not provided the poor with public services such as, education, health, and food service, simply because they do not own a Jakarta identity card although they have been living in the city for years. It is still very fresh in our memory the story of Supriono, a waste picker, who brought his daughter’s dead body via the city train from the hospital to his home, as he did not have enough money to rent an ambulance. His daughter never got proper medical treatment
as he could not pay the hospital.

According to a poll done on June 18, 2005 by Kompas a national daily newspaper, it was shown that more than half of the respondents(52,8 percent) said that transportation condition in Jakarta has gotten worse. Then 47. 4 percent of the respondents pointed out that the quality and quantity of Jakarta’s streets have also become worse, and 49, 3 percent of the respondents said the worsening security condition in public places has impact on development policies which have marginalized poor people.

By giving the award to the city, the UN Habitat recognizes the development process in the city which clearly marginalizes urban poor people. The award will encourage the city to be more intensive in evicting the poor and confiscating the livelihoods now that it has received international support for it’s development policies. In the end, the award will make the poor suffer from government policies: they will be threatened with evictions and confiscations which will make them lost their home and opportunities to work, and the lack of education, health, and food services for the poor will be prolonged. The lives of urban poor people in other cities of Indonesia will also be threatened as these cities usually consider Jakarta as the ideal model for developing their cities.

We therefore demand UN Habitat to withdraw the award to be given to the city of Jakarta.


Wardah Hafidz
Urban Poor Linkage (UPLINK) Indonesia