Sunday, February 12, 2012

Re-distribution of wealth the Indonesian way

According to a recent “Inside Indonesia” article by Jeffrey Winters, the wealthiest 500 Indonesians are 600,000 times richer than the average Indonesian.

Since 1998 robbers in Batam, in the Riau Islands, who call themselves Dedi’s Gang, styling themselves after Robin Hood have stolen Rp 2 billion ($222,000). Most of the money, taken from the rich families, has been shared with poor families and civil society groups, witnesses have said.

Dedi’s Gang isn’t the only group of Robin Hood-like thieves arrested in Indonesia recently. In January, a group of three men and one woman were detained over a series of minimarket robberies. The police said they had given half their takings to needy strangers.

“After stealing Rp 30 million from a minimarket in the Cilandak [South Jakarta] area, the perpetrators shared their loot,” a police spokesman said. "The cashier got 5 million, a nearby ojek [motorcycle taxi] driver got 5 million and a beggar was handed 5 million"

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