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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                  4  August 2011

Car ownership limit proposed in Jakarta

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Jakarta Police Chief Insp. Gen. Untung S. Rajab remained adamant on Wednesday that instead of imposing color-based restrictions on private vehicles to ease the city's traffic, the authorities should focus on restricting car ownership.

"Let us just say that in one year, people could only buy so many cars," Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Baharudin Djafar said.

"There should also be a quota on the number of vehicles produced each year."

Baharudin was reiterating concerns Untung raised on Tuesday that a rotating ban on cars of certain colors entering congested parts of the city during rush hour traffic would be ineffective.

Through his deputy, Brig. Gen. Suhardi Alius, Untung said the color-based scheme could be seen as favoring the rich and prompt protests by some motorists.

Baharudin said a restriction on the number of cars a person could purchase should reduce the number of vehicles on the road. "Rich people would not have such an easy time buying cars," he said.

He said similar restrictions on ownership and production had proven successful in China. "At least it has reduced congestion there, even if it is only a little bit," he added.

Baharudin said Untung favored a system in which buyers had to register before they could purchase a car.

He also said the police chief had asked for the color-based restriction scheme to be reviewed, although said he would abide by whatever recommendation the review chose.

The feasibility study for the color-based restriction was not yet final, Baharudin said, and there could still be room for alternative proposals.

Yongkie D. Sugiarto, the vice chairman of the Association of Indonesian Automotive Industries (Gaikindo), said he had not yet heard about the police chief's suggestion to restrict vehicle production.

"We need to see if the suggestion is sensible enough," he said. "How they implement the idea is important. If they just say one person can only buy one car, I can just ask my maid to buy a car on my behalf."


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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