Public ‘Nudity’ in Bali

Apr 6th, 2009, in News, by

A policeman from Aceh as police chief of Bali, and near naked tourists on motorbikes.

In June 2008 the new police chief of Bali, Tengku Ashikin Husein, after only being in the job two weeks admitted he was shocked to visit Kuta beach the first time and see tourists who were weren’t wearing clothes, meaning only bikinis or swimming wear.

Gee there are a lot of tourists without proper clothes on. They even travel on motorbikes like that!

Husein, who was previously police chief of Central Sulawesi but hails from Aceh by birth, said there should be a regulation against people riding motorbikes on main roads when near naked.

This is just too much. Sure, they wear helmets, but it’s rude if they don’t wear clothes.

He wasn’t sure what sort of penalty should be meted out to tourists caught under any such new rule. kompas

Tengku Ashikin Husein
Tengku Ashikin Husein

However by April 2009, after questioning his subordinates and finding out that no regulation existed that required proper attire when riding, except helmets, he instructed traffic policemen to scold the near naked tourists, and keep a few t-shirts on hand to make them cover up. He made a joke:

The t-shirts are meant for foreigners, if locals find out about it they will deliberately ride around near naked so they can get a free t-shirt. Then we’ll go bankrupt.

More seriously he added that what attracted tourists from all over the world to Bali was not only it’s natural beauty or unique traditions but also its holiness. This holiness had to be protected by the police: kompas

Let’s free Bali from things that spoil it, like free sex, drugs, and near nudity on the roads.

99 Comments on “Public ‘Nudity’ in Bali”

  1. Astrajingga says:

    ET, I say introduced, not forced; unless you have an understanding that introducing is forcing.

    About anything else… mmm… you just don’t get it dya?

  2. ET says:


    About anything else… mmm… you just don’t get it dya?

    All I got from your stupid and narrow-minded comment is that you consider wearing a bra more civilized and less savage. Unless of course your comment was meant to be sarcastic, in which case I offer my apologies.

  3. Orang-Aus says:

    Why all the fuss with partial nudity in Bali??

    Where I stay the balinese women and men both walk around topless and most of the men watching the bikini show on Kuta beach were of Indonesian appearence!!! The contestents were a mix of euro, aussie, balinese and javanese.

    Its always the ones who speak against these things and stand on so called moral ground that end up been caught with all the porn on the PC.

  4. Odinius says:

    ET said:

    Wrong. The Dutch never forced women in Java, Bali and Papua to cover their breasts except in front of Dutch soldiers because they weren’t used to it and their mindset had already been shaped by the Calvinistic sexualization of the human body. Look at the pictures I posted earlier under the thread Bare Boobs & Cockfighting, they were taken in the 20ies of last century after more than 300 years of Dutch occupation. It was the muslim-dominated Indonesian government after Independence which tried to outlaw it. In Java they succeeded, in Bali they succeeded for 80% and in Papua they failed. But they are still trying to push the boundaries of indecency by introducing so-called pornography laws of which the hidden agenda is to islamize all aspects of life, also in areas with a totally different culture.

    Mmm…yes and no.

    The Dutch did, in fact, promote “modesty,” just not in all places and at all times. That is, they promoted it most vigorously under early colonialism and in areas they Christianized. Islamic missionaries attempted the same among syncretic Muslims, with support of the Dutch regime, which actively encouraged Javanese women to wear kebaya as well as sarong. This tailed off under the so-called Ethical Policy, when the regime decided Indonesians weren’t “appropriate” for modernization (both the good and bad kind) and instead the colonial regime should “preserve” and “protect” the “traditional culture.” Places like Bali that were colonized late in the game, especially, were fetishized and exoticized for visitors. “Come see the bare-breasted beauties of Bali! See the ancient, savage culture!” Of course, much of the “ancient” was constructed in the 20th century, as Adrian Vickers, Geoff Robinson and others have pointed out…

    The New Order regime basically continued this policy, alongside its crony capitalism. But it wasn’t because they were “Muslims.” In fact, between 1967 and the mid 1980s, the New Order was politically quite anti-Islamic.

  5. ET says:

    Astrajingga said

    Until today Indonesian do not have their own word for BH, well there’s beha or bra, which is actually still a ‘foreign’ word.

    According to feminists a BH is actually some kind of a slave rag and a bra or beha is for the boobs what a jilbab is for the head. Therefore I suggest Indonesians from now on call BH’s jilboobs.

  6. Astrajingga says:

    Yes ET, it was meant as ironic and sarcastic figure of speech.

    I don’t see clothing type as a sign of politeness, modesty, or even worse developed civilization or savageness. IMHO, It’s a matter of ‘taste.’ And as Latin saying, “Degustibus non est disputandum,” I’m very much agree that we can’t debate–and, worse, make a regulation to regulate–one’s taste.

    I accept your apology, but you’re right for one thing: I’m stupid and narrow-minded, though not proud of it. Blame God who has created me that way. That is if you believe in one.

    Like your ‘jilboobs’ idea

  7. ET says:

    @ Astrajingga

    And as Latin saying, “Degustibus non est disputandum,” I’m very much agree that we can’t debate–and, worse, make a regulation to regulate–one’s taste.

    For those who might believe skin colour is an issue the Latin saying goes even further: ‘De gustibus coloribusque non est disputandum’.

  8. dejavu says:

    When I was in Melbourne, women using burqa are fine. Even the promotion of Burqini (swimsuit for muslim) was ok . If you go to other suburbs such as Footscray and Broadmeadows, you will find many muslim communities using their own attires freely such as burqa, hijabs and no one bothers them. Aussie people respect each other regardless their beliefs and their backgrounds. Since the elimination of white policy in Australia in 1980, there are so many migrants coming to Australia, including ones from Middle East. They have got much better life than in their own original counries.
    Anyway, regarding the attitude of the police chief in Bali as mentioned in the story above, it is really embarrassing. Shame on you! You have been educated but the education doesn’t change you. I realize there are many people here like him, stuck with their own shallow view. You should think out of box.

  9. molceonly says:

    First thing first… Indonesia not western or what so ever Arabian. Indonesia is Indonesia. We are multi-cultured society with lots of common diversity if you got what I meant.

    Originated people in Indonesia don’t know how to properly dressed… eastern part short out cloth so they wear KOTEKA, middle part lest shot-out too so they wear fur or animal left over…

    Now when religions and cultures came in… people are thought how to dress properly like them. It’s not Indonesian… so to respect that culture, please step aside all that whore shit of what is appropriate for Bali.

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