Talk about the holy cow is taboo. The car seems these days an expression of the self. Talking about banning the car from our streets rocks people’s identity and will get you branded as a communist.
People want to distinguish themselves from others, even in a traffic jam. A few weeks ago I saw two teenagers driving very slowly a convertible Ferrari through the congested streets of the snobbish neighborhood Pondok Indah.
A certain degree of snobbery should be tolerated as a translation of the unequal distribution of prestige. If public transportation can be made efficient, flexible, cheap and clean, then prestige has to be channeled through other means then car ownership.
I love to hate Jakarta. I hate to love Jakarta. However, I am a Jakartan.