Street vendors serve lunch to Jokowi, ministers at Bogor Palace

Vendors at Bogor Palace, West Java.
Vendors at Bogor Palace, West Java. PHOTO: PRESIDEN JOKO WIDODO/ FACEBOOK

WEST JAVA (THE JAKARTA POST) - A rare scene occurred during the first plenary Cabinet meeting of 2017 at Bogor Palace, West Java, as several street food vendors gathered in the palace backyard to serve lunch to those in attendance on Wednesday.

Fried rice, meatballs, taoge goreng (fried bean sprouts) and chicken satay vendors served lunch to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Vice-President Jusuf Kalla, ministers, staffers and journalists who attended the meeting.

"This was the lunch menu for the plenary Cabinet meeting," said one of the palace’s household employees to Antara news agency.

One of the fried rice sellers, Mr Nurhadi, revealed he was contacted by the palace on Tuesday to provide lunch. “They contacted me in the afternoon and said that I had to wear batik,” he said, adding that he usually parks his cart in DKT Bogor.

On his official Facebook account, Mr Widodo stated that the street vendors made the plenary Cabinet meeting more special. “There was fried rice, meatballs, fried bean sprouts. It was delicious and affordable,” he said. “All members of the Working Cabinet (Kabinet Kerja), journalists and staffers enjoyed the delicious and simple food.”

During the meeting, Mr Widodo and his Cabinet discussed 2017 programmes, which will focus on “reducing social and economic disparities”.

“Although we know that our Gini ratio (term that measures national inequality) is getting better, the number is still high,” said Mr Widodo. “Therefore, we have to work as hard as we can. Disparities should be cut down further, both between the wealthy and the poor and also between regions.”