Reports on the reopening of malls a day after large-scale social restriction (PSBB) measures finish on 4 June have drawn mixed reactions among Jakarta’s residents.
The poll, held by national leading online outlet Detik on 28 May, showed that 106 out of 196 readers surveyed opposed the reopening of malls, while the remaining 90 backed the plan.
Those who supported the decision to open malls argued that it would be unlikely for people to stay at home to avoid the spread of COVID-19, as people need to work to fulfil their families’ needs.
What did the surveyed readers say?
“Why do you still not understand that COVID-19 will not disappear in the nearest time? For how long will you stay at home and do nothing? It is time to admit that we must transform our lifestyle, follow the government’s new normal instruction, then move on,” a reader opined.
“How long will we stick to the assumption that we will be under PSBB measure as long as the virus is gone. Wake up! Even though the social restriction is held until next year, the virus still exists if the medicine is not discovered yet,” said one of the readers surveyed.
Those against the plan argued that the reopening of malls will trigger a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
“If our concern is only layoffs, open your eyes. If people die or get infected, who will be responsible for their family members? Be patient, learn from what happened in the U.S, Italy, and Spain,” said a reader.
Jakarta’s Governor denied reopening malls in June
Previously, Indonesia’s Shopping Centers Management Association (APBI) Jakarta branch stated that around 67 malls in Jakarta were ready to resume operations on 5 June and 8 June respectively after a nearly two-month hiatus due to the pandemic.
The closure of malls has severely affected the livelihood of their employees as many of them do not have enough saving to finance their families, Head of Jakarta’s APBI branch Ellen Hidayat said.
However, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan denied Ellen’s statement, calling it as “fiction, imagination”.
“If people say malls will re-start their operations on 5 June, it is an imagination. It is just fiction. Because there is no regulation that the PSBB will be over,” Anies said on Tuesday (26 May).
Jakarta has extended the PSBB measures from 22 May to 4 June.
The second extension of the social restrictions will be the most crucial period, as it could help to determine whether the PSBB should be prolonged again, the former education minister added.