JAKARTA (dpa) – Disorderly drunks are to be dunked in the local pond and made to catch snakehead fish, in the latest move against problem drinking in Indonesia’s Papua province, a news report said Wednesday.
“Snakehead fish were chosen because they aren’t easy to catch,” Romanus Mbaraka, the head of the province’s Merauke district, was quoted as saying by the Kompas daily.
Only offenders who can catch a fish will be allowed to get out of the pond, he said, adding anyone caught drinking would be liable for the dunking.
The remote province is tackling a persistent drinking problem, particularly among youth in the area, which has high unemployment and where 30 per cent of the population live below the official poverty line.
Officials have blamed alcohol for high rates of violent and other crimes, and have imposed widespread restrictions on the sale of alcohol. Many locals turn to moonshine, which is often adulterated.
Mbaraka said officials would work with the local military base to enforce the new rule, which he hoped would teach drunks a lesson.
“This measure can have a deterrent effect without overstepping the police’s authority,” he said.