Rich Arab men seeking quickie "marriages", and then quickie divorces, in the resort town of Puncak, near Jakarta, may no longer be welcome.
Vice president Jusuf Kalla famously that Puncak, in Cisarua, Bogor, West Java, should be promoted as a destination for Arab men seeking the company of young women willing, for a fee, to marry the men, and then divorce, in a certain Islamic fashion, once the men were ready to return home:
The marketing [of tourism to Indonesia] needs a better campaign based on the visitor's appetite and position. If there are a lot of Middle East tourists traveling to Puncak to seek widows and divorcees, I think that it's okay.
He said such Arab visitors, and their amorous liasons, would bring numerous benefits to the women and any resultant children, as well as the country's entertainment community, long dominated by attractive persons of mixed race.
If the women get modest homes even if the tourists later leave them, then it's okay. The children resulting from these relationships will have good genes. There will be more television actors and actresses from these pretty boys and girls.
said Kalla, a man small of stature but big of mouth.
The proposition that Indonesian women should be encouraged to, more or less, prostitute themselves Kalla later vigorously denied having made:
I never said that Indonesian women should be used as a tourist drawcard. I was shocked at the report in the Jakarta Post, I knew there would be a reaction.
But, he also offered a little defence of what he had apparently said:
Don't let it just be westerners who marry our women, why can't Arabs marry Indonesian girls.
The practice of short term marrying in Puncak is an established one. Apparently women who engage in such activity expect to be paid between 5 and 10 million rupiah a month, half for themselves and half for their pimps.
In terms of the marriage law however the practice is illegal, as five Saudi Arabian tourists have just found out. Five men with very long names were yesterday deported from Indonesia after having been caught in the company of young women in Puncak. One of the men, Faleh bin Nghaimesh bin Mahana Al Harbi, is a policemen in Medinah, it is said. The women were also arrested but one of them was released after the police found no proof she had been involved in such a marriage.
By marrying local women on contract basis, they have disrupted public order and have no respect for the laws in the country.
said one Suharyanto of the Bogor Immigration Office. They were deported because they had breached Law no 1/1974 on marriage and Law No.9 /1992 on immigration, he said. Suharyanto vowed to keep up the pressure on lustful foreigners:
Twice a day, or if necessary three times a day, we will launch such raids, specially at villas in Puncak and environs, some 30 kilometers south of here, as well as at the houses where expatriates are staying.