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A Worrying Sign of the Times?

Gianyar Regency's Road-side Sign in the War Against Drugs: A Warning or Helpful Suggestion to Drug Abusers?

(4/8/2002) Visitors to Bali travelling on the highways through the Tohpati area heading towards Gianyar are understandably somewhat shocked by the a road-side sign recently installed by the local government and police as their contribution in the "war against drug abuse."

The bright yellow and red sign bearing the logos of the Gianyar Regional Government and Bali Police Force features the Indonesian language admonition to ”Jauhi Narkoba” - a message quite literally meaning “distance yourself from narcotics.”

When, however, the local authorities decided to make their message bi-lingual, apparently something got lost in the translation as the English version of their message became "Hide Drug!"

While a suggestion to "hide drugs" may prove very helpful information for drug users hoping to avoid detection, it's hardly a move that's going to make it any easier for the local police in their efforts to apprehend people involved in the local illicit drug trade.

One wonders: Fractured English or a radical new approach to law enforcement?