Incredible wealth side by side with astonishing poverty is nothing new in Southeast Asia. But the amount of money a handful of Indonesians has to spend on luxury cars - in a country where more than 50 per cent of the population lives on US$2 per day or less - is still staggering. At a luxury car exhibition which was packed with both wealthy and not-so-wealthy Indonesians, more than a dozen Jaguars were sold for between 555 million and 850 million rupiahs (HK$508,000 to HK$778,000). And one dealer selling Bentleys boasted he would probably sell one of his most expensive cars, a Bentley Arnage T - going for 4.8 billion rupiahs. The shock is not so much that there are enough wealthy Indonesians to make a luxury automobile exhibition worthwhile, but also that people would buy such cars when they have almost no chance of ever being able to enjoy the cars' power, at least on overcrowded Java, where the majority of Indonesians live. On Jakarta's streets, drivers are lucky if they can reach 20km/h, let alone 200km/h. Even if the owner of a luxury car escapes Jakarta and builds up some speed on countryside roads, there is not a single road that is not crowded with buses, minibuses, cyclos, food peddlers and, of course, thousands of motorbikes, all of which make it impossible for any vehicle to travel at speed for more than a kilometre or two. The only time the buyers of such luxury cars may be able to rev their engines is if they race along Jakarta's main streets in the early hours of the morning or if they escape to one of Indonesia's other islands. Jakarta has no plans to build a light urban rail system of the sort that has reduced traffic problems in Bangkok. As a symbol of conspicuous wealth, luxury cars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars crawling through Jakarta's traffic at 20km/h are hard to beat.