It was during a trip to Egypt in 1995 when Edison Siahaan first felt that something wasn’t quite right with his throat. Four decades had gone by since he started smoking at the age of 15. His voice had been raspy for years. Maybe this was just the dry air tickling the back of his throat.

Shortly after casting his vote for Jakarta governor this month in the midst of a solidly middle class high rise development west of the downtown, Harry Meliala, 43, was rueful.

A fan of Coldplay, he had to make the trip to Bangkok to catch the U.K. band when they made a pass through the region.