After becoming the talk of the town for weeks, Jakarta Deputy Governor Sandiaga Uno and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti finally had a race to cross Lake Sunter, North Jakarta, on Sunday.
The race stemmed from her quip during a visit to Lake Léman, also known as Lake Geneva, in November, in which she said lakes in Jakarta, such as Lake Sunter, if properly managed, could be as beautiful as Lake Geneva.
Sandiaga took it as a challenge and promised to clean up the lake so that both of them can have a race across it.
At the opening of the Lake Sunter Festival on Sunday, Susi — who was paddle boarding — outraced Sandiaga who swam across the lake. Thousands of people turned up to watch the race, which started at around 9:23 a.m. and finished at 9:50 a.m.
The deal that was made earlier was that if Susi won the city administration would clean all lakes and reservoirs in Jakarta, but if Sandiaga won she would take him to Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi, which marine park is known as a popular diving site.
After finishing the race, Susi said aside from the clean up, the Jakarta administration should allow residents to visit the lake for free.
“If the administration asks for an entrance fee, we shall drown them,” she said jokingly.
Due to her ruthless punishment of poachers, the minister is famous for her drowning remark. (wit)