In a major setback to Indonesia’s democracy, the country’s parliament has passed legislation that makes it illegal to have sex outside of marriage. It also severely restricts free speech. The legislation, which was backed by all political parties, shocked both the country’s rights activists and its tourism industry, which relies on visitors from other countries.
The legislation has been referred to as the Bali bonk ban, as it will apply to both local and foreign tourists. More than a million Australians visit Indonesia each month, and many of them go to Bali for its various activities, such as surfing and yoga retreats. According to Yusran, the code was introduced at a time when the country was trying to get back on its feet following the pandemic.
The government should have seen the light before it enacted the legislation, as it could affect the country’s international business interests. Sung Kim, the US ambassador to Indonesia, warned that the law could have a negative impact on the country’s foreign direct investment.
Many rights groups have protested against the criminal code, which also prohibits religious and unsanctioned demonstrations. According to the executive director of Amnesty International in Indonesia, the legislation is a significant setback to the country’s efforts to protect its fundamental freedoms and human rights.
According to Hamid, the legislation is a violation of the privacy of people’s private information. He also stated that it does not violate the morality of people’s sexual relationships. The move highlights a growing trend toward fundamentalism in the country, which has been hailed for its secular constitution.
Legislators noted that the vote was a long-standing effort to replace colonial laws that have been a part of the country’s judicial system for centuries. Yasonna Laoly, the Minister of Human Rights, stated that the government tried its best to accommodate the various opinions that were raised during the debate.
As part of its efforts to replace colonial laws, the country’s parliament has also decided to make a historical decision regarding the penal code.