Police Threaten to Disperse Lady Gaga’s Jakarta Concert

By Zaki Pawas 18 May 2012

Jakarta Police said on Thursday that they would disperse Lady Gaga’s concert in the Indonesian capital originally scheduled for June 3 if the promoter insists on going on with the event.

Earlier this week after eight groups objected to the concert, the police said they would refuse to issue a permit for it, citing security concerns. One of the groups, the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), said it would dispatch 30,000 of its members and supporters to prevent Gaga from entering Jakarta.

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the Islamic People’s Forum (FUI), the Anti-Misdeeds People’s Movement (Gumam), Wahdah Islamiyah and the Indonesian Culture Institution, as well as the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and United Development Party (PPP) party factions at the House of Representatives, are also among the eight.

“Basically they think her concerts are against our national culture and traditional values because they deem those concerts to be vulgar,” Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said on Thursday.

“We’ve analyzed the situation. The result is, it may potentially trigger conflicts,” he added.

Rikwanto said the police were not bowing to pressure from the groups, only looking out for security.

“If they insist on [holding the concert], conflicts may emerge between people who support and reject the show,” Rikwanto said. “The impact won’t be good.”

He added that Lady Gaga’s outfits generally violate Indonesia’s Pornography Law, and that it was the police’s job to uphold the law.

The authority to issue permits for foreign entertainers performing in the country lies with National Police. The National Police have issued permits for 53 foreign entertainers performing in Indonesia between January and May.

Even after the police announced they would not issue a permit for the Lady Gaga concert, the promoter for the concert, Big Daddy Productions, expressed optimism that the show could go on.

“The process of our permit application is still ongoing and we will update again on new developments of the situation,” Michael Rusli, the president director of Big Daddy, told the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday.