Business is actually an activity carried out by individuals or organizations that involves the process of making, buying, selling, or exchanging goods and services with the aim of making a profit. But in practice, not infrequently business people actually experience losses. There are also a handful of parties who run their business in a bad and irresponsible way, thus harming many parties. One that is being talked about lately is Monkey Business.

Even though it is called Monkey Business, the activities carried out here are not buying and selling monkey animals or the monkey mask business. The use of the word monkey here refers to the monkey’s attitude when it gets benefits in the form of food, the monkey will run away. So Monkey Business is defined as a strategy in business with the aim of making other people lose so as to increase their own profits even with dirty ways such as fraud, embezzlement, hoarding and so on.

As an illustration, there is a person (Mr. X) who announces to the public that he will buy an item at a high price without explaining exactly why the item is valued highly or why he buys the item. Then people will flock to look for these items and sell them to Mr. this X. So that it is not uncommon for a shortage of a type of goods to occur due to sudden high demand and many people who actually do not know the function of the item buy it in the hope that they can sell it again at a high price. In this condition, more and more people lose control and do not use their logic to own the goods. So, often an item is traded at an unreasonable price.

When the number of items is getting rarer and the price is getting higher then Mr. X through the network or his subordinates will throw the product that he previously bought from the community and he piled into the market and sell it at the price prevailing at that time. After all the products are sold and Mr. X gets a profit then he will go elsewhere to run the same business with different commodities. On the other hand, the people left behind do not really know the function of the goods they sell, so the demand for these goods gradually decreases. So that people who have bought it also suffer losses because it does not provide any benefits for themselves nor can they sell it because no one is interested and the price falls.

In Indonesia, this kind of business practice has often happened and almost every year the trend changes. Starting from the ornamental plant business such as the Anthurium and Monstera Adansonii, ornamental fish such as Flowerhorn, Agate and most recently during this pandemic are health tools such as masks and medicines.

In fact, the government does not remain silent, through Law Article 29 of Law Number 7 of 2014 concerning Trade (“Law 7/2014”) the government strictly prohibits the practice of hoarding goods. The prohibition is of course intended to avoid a shortage of goods which will make it difficult for consumers to obtain basic necessities and/or essential goods. The parties who violate the provisions of the article can be charged with Article 107 of Law 7/2014 which is sentenced to a maximum imprisonment of 5 (five) years and/or a maximum fine of IDR 50,000,000,000.00 (fifty billion rupiah).

In addition to Law 7/2014, the monkey business practice is also bound by Law Number 5 of 1999 concerning the Prohibition of Monopolistic Practices and Unfair Business Competition (“Law 5/1999”). Acts of business actors violating these provisions may be subject to administrative and/or criminal sanctions, including:

  1. determination of the cancellation of the related agreement that underlies these acts;
  2. orders to business actors to stop activities that are proven to cause monopolistic practices and/or cause unfair business competition and/or harm the public;
  3. determination of compensation payment;
  4. imposition of a fine of a minimum of IDR 1 billion and a maximum of IDR 25 billion.

However, society seems to never learn from the many incidents. Even though the potential loss is not only material, hoarding behavior can also cause social problems. Therefore, let’s learn together about the risks and impacts before running a business. And run the business in accordance with applicable ethics and laws so that the profits are indeed according to the true definition of business.