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Valar Qringaomis

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Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Ahok protesters - paid to protest?

There have been recent protests against governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) in Jakarta, a Chinese Christian accused of blasphemy for quoting the Koran (in saying that Muslims could vote for non-Muslims).

One response is to dismiss the protesters as being paid.

One payment figure I saw bandied was 50,000 rupiah (which seems to come from a 2015 Coconuts Jakarta article about a past rent-a-mob protest).

Indonesian police estimated there were 200,000 protesters at Friday's protest.

Assuming that only 1% of them were real protesters (i.e. not paid to protest), that would be 198,000 protesters the budget would've had to cater for.

At prevailing exchange rates the protesters would've cost just over SGD 1 million a day (assuming no transaction costs, or other costs like transport, lodging or food).

Considering that there were also protests in October which involved thousands, that is a truly massive protest budget.

It is telling that a previous paid protest only had 700 people.
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