Indonesian Market Traders Association (IKKAPI) felt the need to indicate acts of sabotage behind the fire incident in traditional markets in various regions. The acts of sabotage come from the plan of the central/provincial government to revitalize traditional markets. Government work plan for market revitalization also involves certain investors. “The indication is very strong. Preferably, the revitalization program does not involve private investors, “Chairman of IKAPPI, Abdullah Mansuri, told Business News (May 19).
IKAPPI detected a series of events in two months, until finally there was a fire in Johar market (Semarang, Central Java). The same thing happened before the fire incident in Klewer Market (Surakarta). Behind the revitalization program, the government is using the services of investors and contractors. But when IKAPPI opposed the revitalization plan, two months later Johar market was on fire. “The tender process is already two months until finally Johar market was on fire a few days ago.”
IKAPPI sees that fire incident in traditional markets took place massively. It cannot be underestimated, given its very large number. In 2015, IKAPPI noted that there are about 148 traditional markets on fire. Of that number, 59 are located in urban areas. The rest are traditional markets located in the villages. “Pasar Kaget” which is usually packed with street vendors selling their merchandise on display mats in some regions also suffered similar incident.
In terms of quantity, number of traditional markets which were tragically on fire. In terms of quality, traditional markets have socio-cultural impact on society. Klewer Market, Johar Market, and Lembang Market (Bandung, West Java) are iconic markets. It means that Klewer market is always associated with batik traders from Surakarta. Johar market, in addition to an iconic market, is also inseparable from the history of trading activity of Semarang. The same is for Lembang market, which was formerly known as floating market which is often packed with people of Bandung. While Senen Market in Central Jakarta is a little more fortune, because it immediately got a response from former Jakarta Governor, Jokowi was serving as Jakarta, and he immediately ordered the renovation of Senen market. “What is left is Beringharjo Makrt in Yogyakarta. This is also an iconic market, and a tourist destination in Yogyakarta.”
Meanwhile, Chairman of Regional Representative Council (DPD) of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), Imran Gusman, sees that President Jokowi administration did not send support to the traditional sector. While, people’s economy, including the empowerment of traditional market traders, is included in the priority agenda or Nawacita of President Jokowi. “People’s economy, including the portrait of traditional market traders is like part of my extended family, “Irman Gusman told Business News (May 19).
Nevertheless, DPD sees that the background of President Jokowi and Vice President Jusuf Kalla is also part of the life of traders. Before being elected as the mayor of solo (2005 – 2010) Jokowi sells furniture. “If President Jokowi is representing small traders, the Minister of Trade (Rahmat Gobel) has the same track record, he was brought up in an entrepreneurial family. The Vice President was also experienced with the life of trader. I’m sure that all of them are willing to pay debts to small entrepreneurs, traditional market traders. The Government has been operating for eight months, and it is not too late. There must be support, especially the executive’s policy for small traders in traditional markets.”
Some traders in Melawai, Blok M, and Tanah bang markets since 2950s until now have not changed much. Most still rely on small stalls or kiosks. While they are also dealing with agents (big traders) “there are one or two small traders who succeeded, but just a showcase.”
DPD of People’s Consultative Assembly appreciates the Trade Minister, Rahmat Gobel, because he was directly visiting the location of fire in Johar Market. Such an attitude must be maintained, given that the traditional market is part of the real sector. The sector is not susceptible to a variety of shock risks that happen suddenly. The real sector, including traditional markets, is also not susceptible to financial policy, fiscal policy, and so forth, such as the Asian financial crisis of 1997, shock risk which was relatively small. “After the government raised fuel prices, the extent to which the allocation of subsidies for traditional market traders segments. Because President Jokowi voters (during the 2014 presidential election), 65 percent of them are middle to lower class society, including traditional market traders.” (E)
Business New - May 20, 2015