Repressive Pornography Law

Jun 4th, 2006, in News, by

Los Angeles Times' writer Richard C. Paddock produces an interesting article on the pornography law.

Much of the reporting on Indonesia in the western press seems as if it was done from Singapore or a Jakarta hotel room but Paddock, who has previously written on the case of Yusman Roy, usually knows his stuff. He writes in the June 4th LA Times on the subject of "Conservatives in Indonesia Seeking More Repressive Pornography Law", subtitled "Broad measure would outlaw behavior clerics deem to be an affront to Islam. The prospect has stirred moderates to organize opposition."

He introduces the topic of the RUU APP, the anti-pornography law, by discussing the experience of model Andhara Early, who posed in the first edition of Indonesian Playboy. She said her poses were artistic, others say pornographic. And on the bill -

A measure before parliament would ban "pornoaksi," or porno action, a newly created offense so broad that it could include wearing a miniskirt or baring a navel. Kissing in public would be punishable by up to five years in prison. Dancing erotically could bring seven years. Exposing body parts that could be deemed erotic would be punishable by as much as 10 years.

Some opposition to the bill is detailed with Paddock seeing it as mainly coming from Bali and womens' groups. Indonesia is "officially secular but conservative Islam has been gaining ground since Suharto's fall in 1998", Paddock claims. He says Aceh has adopted sharia law, which is true, but also claims Tangerang has done so - not true, Tangerang has adopted only a few sharia-like by-laws, see Tangerang Morality Building, see also the case of Lilies Lindawati, which Paddock does mention.

Support for the bill, says Paddock, comes from the likes of Fauzan Al Anshori, of the militant Indonesia Mujahedin Council. Anshori says it's all about protecting children:

There's a prostitute wearing a sexy dress. I can control myself by not looking at her. But what about my children? So, we have to have a regulation to protect the public's rights. The public's rights include my right to protect my children

Much of the parliament is in favour of the bill, Paddock says, although the position of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is, typically for him on controversial questions, unclear. He doesn't like seeing belly buttons, Paddock notes.

Read the whole article.


10 Comments on “Repressive Pornography Law”

  1. avatar Rockstar says:

    ‘There’s a prostitute wearing a sexy dress. I can control myself by not looking at her. But what about my children? So, we have to have a regulation to protect the public’s rights. The public’s rights include my right to protect my children’

    why would he bring his kids to a protitution area at the first place ? lol huehueheu mom isn’t at home huh mr. Al Anshori 😀
    just kidding ..

    Hey good for you if you can do that. So banning plaboy and passing the bill would stop people from getting pRon huh.
    hmmm let me think.. there are thousands and thousands of internet cafe in Indonesia.. let me think .. Internet + horneedogs = Playboy Online and massive amounts of Pron materials. DOOD you just CANT STOP the INTERNET.

    Mr. Al Anshori, the next thing you want to do for your cildren is not allowing them from using the internet, and passing the bill to punish people from using it. While the rest of the world is readt to learn Internet 2, we’re sliding further backward. No I know this isnot gonna happen.. or is it? but the whole point is that you have to fix the morality. The root mr. Al Anshori, THE ROOT.

    If RUUAPP or whatever it is (the longest acronym ever for such a stupid law) was granted, we would be sliding further into regression.

  2. avatar Richard says:

    What bothers me the most about this is that going off of what I know [hear of] about the corruption of the judicial(sp) system that it kind of scares me a bit that when I visit Indonesia (hopefully next summer) I could be accused of something so vague.

    Very nice weblog by the way.

  3. avatar Suryanto says:

    No doubt that we need to find a way to protect our children and entire generation from the destructive effects of porn. No doubt about that.

    But, at least three things should be made clear. (Otherwise, we come to no point.) First, what is definition of porn? Second, what is the noble ways to strategically save our children from the destructive effects of porn? Third, the way proposed should be clean in the sense that it doesn’t generate the unintended consequences.

    Let us review the two opposite opinion toward this regulation:

    PRO’S:
    We need the law to protect the children and the people from falling into immorality introduced by pornography.

    CONTRA’S:
    The proposed law is humiliating the women rights. It introduces the gender discrimination as well as religion related discrimination.

    These two opposites opinion is what needed to be bridge by the government. You can actually see that these two opinions are not really contradicted.

    Indeed, the people who don’t agree on the law also have children, husband, or wife that they care about. (And please don’t tell me that they are immoral!! They are perhaps more well educated then you. They are perhaps praying more often then you. And deep inside them, they are even much more religious then you do. They can be 2 or hundred times better then you in all terms. And also God could just love them. Not you.)

    So, why this people insist on going against the law of anti pornography?
    1. Gender discrimination
    It is a tradition from religion that the temptation of women causes human fall into sin. Straightforward from this view, generalized to pornographic matter, you will see that women are place as the causes. Men are not blamed for their weakness.
    2. Culture-Religion related discrimination
    Some culture and religion do not take nudity as porn. I remember I saw a picture of ***** people dancing. There is an old women that wearing no cloth on her top. Reading the following line below the picture, it goes: “Seeing the breast you can see that this is the breast that showing love, the love of mother that raise her son and daughter. with loves”. And you can see. This is not porn! And you can find also that some holy places even have sculpture of nudity on it. It is not porn for sure.
    In the people who are not wearing the cloth daily (there is still some community until this day). Is that porn? Are they aroused by seeing those women without cloth? I don’t think so. But the law will judge them as committing crime.
    Now it is funny, the law is created to protect them from the danger of porn. But they get no negative effects of porn, but they do get the negative effects of the holy law”¦^^
    3. It simply not the best way to go
    But they see that this is not the way to protect their family. They know better way to take care of the children and the family. They are not going to interpret the body or even nudity in a narrow minded thought. Because, for them, what is important is the underlying understanding upon what you see, what you read, what you perceive. Human possesses the brain which they can use (if they still know how to use it). With this brain we can learn, and we can interpret what we are perceived. So perhaps this people trying to say that, we are going to educate our children and also ourselves with the knowledge necessary to wisely act upon what we perceive. They will take necessary act to protect their children, to secure them. They know it is not easy. Sometimes they will have to take repressive act to secure them if they have to. But they deeply realize that curiosity is best teacher. They will accommodate this in a moderate way. Do not know how? They will find it out. Based on the level of understanding of the children, they will supeopley necessary information upon sex related matter. They will educate them. They understand that without a necessary internal knowledge they will be easily trapped and abused. They can also act carelessly if they do not know understand the risk.

    I will not continue the idea of this to the end and providing summary. I believe that an opinion is merely an opinion. We need more fact, research, and careful analysis before come into summaries. I could carelessly come to the summary and stating that we should not approve that law. But I am not going to do so. And you know; it is very difficult to hold ourselves back; Stop for a while and think of the other opinion. You know they can be right and you are wrong. This is my last word to say. Not to think that we are the absolute right one. Try to see from where they see.

    For Mr. Richard, you do not have to worry. Just go to Indonesia. You can ask for SOS to your government if you get problem “¦ hi hi hi hi

  4. avatar Rockstar says:

    It’s difficult to explain these arguments to those people. You know exactly how Indonesian people is. Once they want something, they will not think twice, and will use any actions necessary to get it.

    What I just don’t understand is.. why going backwards? WHYYYY OH WHYYYYYYY..
    anyway.. yea why we love going backwards? You can’t protect your children with RUUwhatever. It’s the morality of people that has already been corrupted.

    You have to understand how the mass react toward certain crimes. A guy stole his neighbour’s chicken (yes not robbing kentucky friend chicken, just one cute little chicken) and he go mobbed to death by the people. If you think about this and if you’re “normal”, you wouldn’t do things that would make people mad right? because of this right? Amazingly.. only in Indonesia.. you still hear everyday that adults molested minors. Some of them actually died by the mob (this is happening, its the fact).

    The question is.. does this scrayy judgement stop people from doing a sexual crimes? NO.. NO and NO.

    So will RUUwatever something can make any change.. not even a chance.

  5. avatar Johan Batubara says:

    My comments that is the Bill represent a repression by the government, by creating such bill that enters a very private part of each and every citizen in Indonesia. The government should highly respect individuals and the choices they made, especially Indonesia is a very highly diverse nation. So such law will only hurt some (although minority, yet powerful) part of the nation.

    Yes, we need to regulate pornography, but no to ban them..
    No, we don’t need to regulate any kind of pornoaction (this is the idiom used in the bill) because we simply cannot define them, for now.
    We must not make a bill because our incomfort thing that we face in our daily life. Life is always unfair and cruel. The lawmakers should think about law that will enhance people life, both in short term or long term.

    I also don’t believe that this bill concerns about morality in Indonesia, but it’s all about politics and the conservative agenda..

    Why dont we think more about the future that can prevent our future children from such kind of exposure.. Like education, economy and health care.

  6. avatar Suryanto says:

    That’s thing that I cannot agree with you. It is true that mental of the people is corrupted. But we just cannot give up. Law is offering solution.
    However, the solution is not optimal or effective in this way.

    I believe that the government need to carefully analyze the content of the law such that protect the generation from morality regression while still take care of the 3 point i mentioned in previous comments. To do so they will have to ensure themselves that it is true that people who stands against the law is not immoral or something. They also have children they want to protect.

    If the government cannot provide a satisfactory solution for this, i worry about horizontal conflict that might happened in the near future.

    I think the paradox can be illustrated by this:

    A young couple just want to kiss. But because it is prohibited, they will find a better place (a hidden place) just for kissing. That is just what they want at the start. So they are thinking, we just kiss, not a big deal. But now in the hidden place they kissed. No one watching. So they continue even more. And ….more!

    But if instead, they can just kiss. No need hidden place (but absolutely not in the kindergarten) they will just kiss and that’s it. If they were want to sex, they will have to find the place. And in the middle of searching the place they can think it over. Now they are not going to hidden place for just kissing. Now this is the BIG DEAL!! This is the SEX.!! Then as you know, sex invite curiosity but also it scares people at the first time.
    They are fully realized that, going to that hidden place definitely they are going to have the sex. Then they will think it over. But if like in the first case, then they think it is ok to go to the hidden place. Just for kissing anyway. Not a big deal. But you know, it flows so easy and straightforward from kissing to sex if you are in the place that suit for it. Just cannot help it….

    I do believe that a law for saving people from mental regression is urgent and necessary. The children exploitation is definitely crime, rape is definitely crime, expose the children with sexual materials to swap them to do sex is definitely crime ( if for education it is not). For this kind of crime, I agree on death punishment if you think necessary.

    But the other is very subjective. I dare not to claim anything on this.

    Watching the porn? I did. Did I do the rape? NO!!! Did I think of doing the rape? DOuble NO! NO!
    Seeing people kiss? YES! Want to kiss? YES! but I am not going to approach a stranger and kiss her!! NO… Why? COs I understand the risk clearly. But not to say that i afraid of it. Just thinking that that is not right! that is it. I understand clearly that it is not right. But to my girl friend. Kiss? WHy not? That is the way i deeply feel her love and he feel my love.

    But do you realize that gender discrimination is definitely a crime????

    YOu should!!!!!!!!

  7. avatar Rockstar says:

    apparently they don’t like women thats why they come up with RUUwatever.

  8. avatar Anonymous says:

    well… well…

    This is the first time i heard Indonesian government really think about the future of the children. At first I was amazed with the concept, but then you will realized that that’s nothing but Hypocracy.

    Sorry for my language, sorry that I have to say my opinion blutantly.

    I would like to let you guys know that there is so much more issue in this world that more important than banned Pornoaction nor Pornography. I don’t think our government need to spent so much time just to make this regulation. Let this be the parents of every single child teach and guide them…

    Government maybe could spend more time to taking care the poor, so they will be less crime in Indonesia. Get them better education to start everything. Or they could taking care the polition that cause so much health problem so our children in the future will be able to taste fresher air, cleaner environment, or pure water. That would keep our children healthier.

    The most accurate job for the government is taking care of the body of government it self, to be less coruption and dedicate them self to every single citizen and anyone who live at Indonesia… So far most of the people inside the government only dedicated them self to Money… That really is a shame and regret for us as citizen of Indonesia… But I said most of it, some maybe really do what they supposed to do and some maybe just don’t know what hapening at all…

    I used to be really proud of my self as an Indonesian, but that much anymore, evethough I still do… For me living in another country as Indonesian made me realized how people see me… how people see Indonesia as the largest corruption country… how people see how poor we are… how uneducated we are… and how they see our RUU as no more than a joke… But that’s not us, not Indonesian… That is part of Indonesian who happen to be the lead/ under the highlight…

    Maybe one day people really able to see Indonesia is as preety as it look… That’s my prayer, and hopefully it will be your too…

  9. avatar Suryanto says:

    Nice point. Agree with you.
    What they saw is what is highlighted by the media.

    When they come into Indonesia, they see the real Indonesia (bad or good). Not as good as what our government claim on their tourism advertising board, but not as bad as they thought it is.

  10. avatar Karlira Kanakahuko says:

    These Indonesians wants to be the narrow-minded idiots.

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