CNBC Insight Robin Hood Betawi, Robbing the Rich-Sharing Money to the Poor Entrepreneur – 1 day ago


Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – This is the story of Pitung. He is a champion and legendary figure from the land of Betawi. He fought the colonial system through robbery, and distributed the proceeds of the robbery to poor people who needed it.

What's the story?

In the Dutch colonial era, there was a clear inequality between the native population and the upper class, be they Europeans or wealthy natives. Those who are rich actually exploit the native population. As a result, the condition of the indigenous people became increasingly miserable. Meanwhile, upper class citizens are increasingly prosperous.


Based on this condition, a Betawi youth named Pitung was moved to fight back. Every day, he who feels this way is annoyed and fed up with seeing Betawi land exploited by the colonial government and not owned by the Betawi people themselves.

As told by Petrik Matanasi in The Heroes (2011), Pitung is a young man from Rawa Belong who was born in 1864. He had a teacher named Haji Naipin who always taught him the Koran and martial arts. The martial arts taught is called the syahbandar school.

Thanks to Haji Naipin's teachings, Pitung gradually became very good at reciting the Koran and martial arts. The first fight was against the criminals who had robbed him in Tanah Abang. At this moment, Pitung succeeded in defeating the robbers.

Interestingly, after winning, Pitung even asked the robber to be friends. They then formulated a revenge plan to carry out a robbery.

According to Margreet Van Till in “In Search of Si Pitung; The History of an Indonesian Legend” (1996), Pitung did not rob poor people and only carried out attacks on rich people and landowners. Usually the rich people were colonial officials and traders.

Pitung's first robbery occurred in June 1892 against rich people in the Sukabumi area. The colonial media also highlighted this crime which made Pitung's name famous among the public and the police who hunted him down.

Even so, the results of the robbery were not only eaten by Pitung himself. It is known that after carrying out the robbery, the Rawa Belong youth distributed the looted goods to poor people. Each poor family was given a sack of rice and compensation. Then the orphans are sent clothes and other gifts.

It is because of this good attitude that Pitung is known as a good criminal. The native people also sympathized with him. They kept their mouths shut when questioned by the police so that Pitung would not be arrested.

Practically, the sympathetic attitude of the native residents made it difficult for the police to find traces of Pitung. Moreover, he is difficult to catch. It is said that he is also bulletproof because he always gets up and fights every time he is shot by the police.

In the end, no matter how clever a squirrel jumps, it will definitely fall. Likewise Pitung. In 1893, Pitung was arrested by the police.

According to Petrik Matanasi, this could happen because the police tortured local residents. The residents who could not bear to live under torture finally surrendered. They opened their voices and showed Pitung's location.

When ambushed by the police, Pitung put up a fight. A shooting occurred. Unfortunately, this time the Goddess Fortuna was not on his side.

A police officer named Schout Hinne, who was always hunting Pitung, succeeded in shooting the criminal in the chest and waist. Pitung immediately collapsed and he was arrested and taken to City Hall. On the way, Pitung's blood continued to flow profusely. Pitung is dying.

Upon arrival at City Hall, Pitung died. He was also buried in the Krekot area. Since then, Pitung's trail has officially ended. Nevertheless, Pitung continues to live in the collective memory of the people because he is considered a heroic criminal who defended the Betawi people.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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