In many (crowded) places in Indonesia you will see parking officers (called tukang parkir) 'helping' you park your car or motorbike. Especially for motorbikes this is almost always unnecessary. Sometimes it's clear they are employed by the place you are parking at (like a parking area for a restaurant) but other times it's not so clear and other times I'm pretty sure they just show up and try to get money while unaffiliated with the parking spot. I am curious about their legal status. Are you required to pay them or do they just make it appear like that? Is this more like a common courtesy for poor people to have some kind of job? Should you ask the employees of the place you're visiting about the parking? What if it is just 'on the street' servicing a bunch of places?

This article would suggest there is a lot of corruption behind it: http://www.reinventingparking.org/2012/05/gangsters-in-indonesian-parking.html

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    You are not required to pay them, but people usually pay them 1000 or 2000 idr, that's around 9 cents or something... they are poor people and Indonesians do not mind helping them, they think it is better than stealing or something. Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 5:32
  • I live in Indonesia and lately it started going up to 3000 on occasion. Still a low amount of course, but not completely free if you have a local income. Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 5:36
  • I avoid driving there, but I have never seen anyone pays them more than 2000 IDR, perhaps you have blue eyes (look european?):D Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 5:36
  • Haha I don't and neither does my Indonesian girlfriend who does the driving. 2000 is still a lot more common (1000 is very rare) but I am seeing 3000 sometimes. Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 5:38
  • Raising the prices for foreigners is something I hate there, I am not a European (thank god :D) and I suffer from that, I also know that they think European makes millions of dollars so they do that more to them. Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 5:40

2 Answers 2


I don't know about Malang, but here in Jakarta, as long as they are wearing their blue shirt, it means they are employed by government. Lately they also receive wage from the government. If you want to ensure that the cash you give goes to the government, ask for the retribution ticket (karcis)

However if they are not wearing any official attribute, usually they are self-employed. The legality of it depends on the private space owner, but usually the owner just lets them do it. You have to give some money to them, since it has become the norm.


Might depend on where you are, but in general most are legal. From the amounts mentioned (3000), it seems you are either in Jakarta or a tourist destination.

Anyway, everybody pays them, and as a foreigner, you definitely are a rich person (I know people who have to work 6 days a week and earn less than 100$ per month). So it would be at least rude not to pay.

Source: been there, asked the same question to my local friends (and know someone who works as tukang parkir).

  • I know people generally pay them (unless they sat on their ass entirely while the driver was trying to park and then expect a handout later, and even then usually they are paid) but I am just curious about their legal status and how these things are arranged. I currently live in Malang btw, few tourists here except for the occasional ones that do Bromo from here and spend more time than just for that. 2k is still normal but 3k is appearing too. Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 16:38

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