The Indonesian Government has ordered officials to eat local street food at meetings and stop holding lavish parties in the latest bid to crackdown on “excessive” consumption by bureaucrats.
Yuddy Chrisnandi, minister for bureaucratic reform, said snacks such as cassava, steamed corn and yam cakes should be served at official gatherings and the number of guests invited to high-ranking bureaucrats’ parties should be limited to 400.
Mr Chrisnandi suggested officials were at risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure through their current eating habits and would be supporting Indonesian farmers through serving local food at formal meetings.
The minister said those who broke the rules on food could face sanctions including demotion or a delay of bonus payments. The rules will apply to all ministries and government officials from December 1.
President Joko Widodo has prioritised cutting official spending since taking office last month having already reduced travel and meeting budgets for 2015. He led by example by flying economy class to Singapore on the country’s national carrier, Garuda Indonesia, for his son’s graduation last week.
The ban on extravagant parties, due to come into effect early next year, is aimed at functions held by high-ranking officials. Mr Chrisnandi said these events “created an impression of inequality”.
“There are high-ranking government officials organising weddings for their children … inviting thousands, causing traffic jams,” he added.
The energy ministry has already sent out a list of permitted foods to its staff and has ordered drinks to be limited to coffee, tea and water, as it seeks to clean up its image following recent corruption scandals involving top oil officials.
The moves echo a corruption crackdown launched by China’s leader Xi Jinping after he came to power in late 2012, which included banning elaborate fare from official banquets.