RUU APP Debate

Jul 31st, 2006, in News, by

A round-up of recent news on the RUU APP, the anti-pornography bill.

On 5th June the Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (PDI-P) threaten to walk out of deliberations on the bill, the Rancangan Undang-Undang Anti Pornografi dan Pornoaksi (RUU APP), in parliament. The reason for the possible walk out, says Agung Sasongko of the PDI, is that the PDI-P wants the bill to be totally revised and become the RUU Penyebaran Barang Pornografi, that is, a law solely concerned with restricting the availability of pornographic movies, pictures, etc., rather than, as it is currently, a bill also against forms of behaviour deemed to be indecent. If the PDI's efforts succeeded the bill would be reduced to 17 articles instead of the original 93, and would be called the RUUB Pornografi.

In Bandung however, about 10.000 members of the various Muslim groups, grouped under the banner of the Aliansi Ummat Islam Jawa Barat, the West Java Muslim Alliance, demonstrated against any plans to water down the bill. Harry Moekti of the Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) addressed the masses:

We reject any revision and demand that the first draft be passed into law. The revisions of the RUU APP involve many changes.
(Kita menolak revisi dan mendesak disahkan Draf RUU APP yang pertama. Sebab revisi RUU APP telah banyak berubah.)

Rally in Bandung, June 6th.
Rally in Bandung, June 6th.

He also urged the creation of a caliphate to fight against the trend towards liberalism.

In Medan, Sumatra, opposing voices were heard. Veryanto Sitohang of the Aliansi Sumut Bersatu, the United North Sumatra Alliance said that the passing into law of the bill would harm relations between groups in Medan, a city of diverse ethnic and religious make-up.

Harmony there will be upset, that could happen because the debate between the two sides could cause the disintegration of the country.
(Keharmonisan di sana akan terganggu, kemungkinan hal itu dapat terjadi, karena pro kontra dapat menimbulkan disintegrasi bangsa.)

She made accusations that some leaders in Medan had made threats against those who oppose the bill.

June 7th the chairman of the parliament, Hidayat Nur Wahid, said that the content of the proposed law did not represent the views of any particular group or religion.

There are no verses from a certain holy book in the bill. Those who support the bill are also not just from Islamic parties. The chairman of the deliberating committee is also not from an Islamic party.
(Tidak ada ayat-ayat dari kitab suci tertentu yagn dinukil dalam RUU ini. Yang mengusung RUU ini juga bukan dari partai Islam semata. Ketua Pansusnya juga bukan dari partai Islam.)

he said, when meeting with the Aliansi Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, the Unity in Diversity Alliance, in Jakarta. The bill was not creeping Arabisation, he said:

not one letter in the draft law says anything like that.
(...tidak ada satu huruf pun dalam RUU ini yang menyatakan hal tersebut.)

By July, on Radio Netherlands, Eva Kusuma Sundari of the PDI-P was saying that the bill would be totally rewritten and become more a womens' and childrens' protection law.

The Governor of Bali, Dewa Made Beratha, warned that if the bill were passed without revisions it would harm the Balinese tourist industry. The bill was also against Hindu culture, he said.

On July 8th members of the Unity in Diversity Alliance, Aliansi Bhineka Tunggal Ika (ABTI), came away disappointed after trying to persuade the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) to halt the passage of the controversial pornography bill.

The alliance, which consists of artists, lawyers, and religious scholars, told PKS members in the House of Representatives that the party was commonly perceived as pursuing the establishment of an Islamic state. They said the party should oppose the bill if it did not want such an image to persist.

In a statement read by cultural observer Hudan Hidayat, the alliance said the pornography bill, which had languished in the House for several years before the PKS and other parties revived interest in it recently, had the potential to tear at the country's pluralistic foundation and diminish individual rights.

A PKS representative, Sunmanjaya, who is also a member of the special committee deliberating the bill, said that it would be possible to discontinue its discussion or have it withdrawn. However, he added that his party would have little influence on the decision because the PKS held only four positions on the 56-member deliberating committee. Sunmanjaya also said the party would have to meet to make a united decision.

We have to accommodate all voices that come to our party. So far, from all the groups that we have received input from, only 15 rejected the pornography bill while 85 agreed to it.

Alliance spokeswoman Ratna Sarumpaet said she was disappointed by the party's refusal to take a firm stance against the porn bill, which she added was similar to the ambivalent viewpoints of other major parties such as Golkar and PDI-P.

The playwright and actress said the alliance was against pornography because of its harmful effects on society, particularly to minors, but believed the porn bill was dangerous because it regulated not only the production and distribution of obscene materials, but also encompassed moral, ethical and individual rights issues.

We demand that the committee immediately apologize to the public for insisting that the bill be passed into law. If it does not do this in two days, we will initiate a class action against it.

Ratna boldly said.

On 11th July the Aliansi Bhineka Tunggal Ika (ABTI) was at it again, this time issuing a legal summons to the committee on the bill. In the summons the committee was accused of having sown discord and hatred among groups in society, by their intention to pass the bill into law. Additionally, the summons read, the committee had broken the law by not properly taken into account the academic opinions submitted to them.

Finally, the issue of the pornography bill continues to attract the interest of the world's media. Reuters distributed the article "Anti-porno" fight tests Muslim tolerance in Indonesia and Amy Chew wrote a piece entitled Indonesia in the grip of religious fervour, for the
New Straits Times.


6 Comments on “RUU APP Debate”

  1. avatar Qi says:

    Why don’t you suggest your reader to refer to article by Nathaniel Myers in the New Strait Times to give a balanced view and objectivity on this matter instead of giving only Amy’s article in the same paper?

  2. avatar Rockstar says:

    i mean can you really stop pRon?
    you prolly can stop playboy.. but can you really stop pRon?

    man like a few months ago when I was in bandung for a holiday, there was these kids selling me a pRon.. it was so friggin cheap like 3500 perak only.. I saw bunch of cops around the area but those kids didn’t even care..

    I just don’t think our gov can to stop pRon.. even if they want to..

  3. avatar ak says:

    Legalize porn, those who wants can get it. Those who don’t want isn’t forced to get it. Goverment gets tax, new business emerge. Porn distribution will be limited, price would be expensive. Make it hard to find porn, but don’t reject it outright.

    OK I may sound like some porn supporter but this is a win-win solution right? Porn may be a problem if it is in he hands of less-educated people. We only need to make it hard to get for them.

  4. avatar Rockstar says:

    ak I agree to some extent.. but that’s hard cuz they’re somewhat still ‘legalize’ piracy.

  5. avatar Karlira Kanakahuko says:

    It is right to legalize x-rated local Indonesian porno entire Indonesia forever, so that Indonesia will save from disintegration. Thats the only way to save Indonesia. sexual morality is the ugliest thing in Indonesia forever!

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