JAKARTA: About 18,000 bottles of bootleg alcohol were crushed by a steamroller in Muslim-majority Indonesia’s capital yesterday as police warned tipplers off booze during the Ramadan fasting month. Nearly 90 percent of Indonesia’s 260 million people are Muslims who are advised to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex between sunrise and sunset during Ramadan. Police laid out thousands of bottles collected in raids over the past few months in the capital Jakarta and then drove a steamroller over them in a messy annual display.
Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan called on residents to avoid circulating illegal liquor. “The job of the community is to reduce demand,” he said at the booze-crushing event near the city’s national monument. “But no matter how much supply is reduced, it’s tough if there is still demand.” Indonesian authorities typically make a show out of seizing and destroying large quantities of illegal alcohol to remind Muslims to abstain from boozing during Ramadan. Alcohol is typically forbidden for Muslims at any time of the year. But most Indonesians practice a moderate form of Islam and alcohol is available at bars and nightclubs in major cities and holiday destinations such as Bali. Many entertainment spots are closed during Ramadan, including in Jakarta. – AFP