Although I am a little bit disappointed that Indonesia didn’t win the Thomas cup nor the Uber cup (but still, hats off for their effort!), I am actually more disappointed that it was difficult to buy the tickets at the official ticket booth. They were presumably “sold-out”, while on tv, you can see there were still many empty seats. My friends and I guess that it was the doing of scalpers, or “calo”. This was confirmed when we walked a few meters away from the ticket booth, a man approached us offering the tickets at a marked-up price.
The presence of calo is a grey area in Indonesia, such as the pirated DVD market : illegal but they are everywhere. Their contribution to the society has its advantages & disadvantages. Calo are useful when there is a tedious process to get something done (usually government related services such as renewing your ID card, passport, license driver etc.).
But nowadays the government is slowly, but surely patching this up. Last time I renewed my ID card, it only took me 5 minutes to fill out a form & hand in supporting documents, and then one week later I came back to get my new ID card. I only paid a “thank you” fee of Rp. 5.000,-. Compare this to my work colleague who asked a calo and had to pay him Rp. 150.000,-.
Another colleague refused to use a calo when having her passport done. She said the official process was quite simple and of course, cheaper.
Overall, I think the disadvantages of having calo in the society outweigh the advantages, in particular for activities that has national importance such as the recent badminton championships. It's a pity that many people who wanted to cheer on the Indonesian team, could not do so because of the lack of tickets, while the official tickets were actually priced quite cheap.
I hope this small post will motivate you to stop using calo so that they will not flourish!