Local & Regional Laws

May 31st, 2006, in News, by

The proliferation of regional and local laws, and their conflict with national law, receives some attention.

Muslim intellectual Azyumardi Azra worries about the amount of regional and provincial legislation that has been promulgated recently.

Regional sharia laws are worrying.
(Perda-perda syariat itu mencemaskan.)

he said during a seminar titled “60 Tahun Peringatan Hari Lahir Dasar Negara Indonesia” at a university in Depok, West Java, and added, much as Hasyim Muzadi has mentioned, that any such regional laws as exist that are found to contravene national law should be annulled.

Meanwhile Hukum Online states that of the 5054 “perda” (peraturan daerah) or regional laws that have been passed from 1999 until March 2006, precisely 930 have been thought to be problematic by the Internal Affairs Department (Depdagri) and of these 506 have been quashed, 156 revised, and 24 withdrawn by the issuing local government.

However virtually all of those by-laws that were thought by Depdagri to be in conflict with the national law were concerned with monetary, business, and taxation issues. The sharia issue, that is laws of a specifically Islamic nature such as those to be found in the morality building campaign in Tangerang, West Java, and other towns especially in South Sulawesi, Quran reading ability regulations, and other forms of “creeping sharia” has largely been dodged by the Department.

A member of Commission III in the national parliament (DPR) Professor Mohammed Mahfud MD, speaking at another seminar, the “Memantapkan Arah Kebijakan Pembangunan Hukum Menuju Terwujudnya Sistem Hukum Nasional Berdasarkan Pancasila dan UUD 1945” in Jakarta on 29th May, advised the Internal Affairs Department to take a more pro-active role in making sure that regional regulations were in line with the national legal system. He added that according to the law Depdagri had only 60 days after the issuance of a new by-law to review it, and if it were found to be illegal, quash it.

If after 60 days Depdagri does nothing then it (the law) is regarded as valid in a legal sense even if society/people complain about it.
(Kalau setelah 60 hari Depdagri diam maka itu dianggap benar secara hukum meskipun kata masyarakat salah.)

As a solution to the time limit problem he advised that a special unit or desk be set up within Depdagri to monitor local by-laws.

Depdagri has never taken care of this but people are complaining.
(Sekarang Depdagri tidak pernah memperhatikan itu, padahal masyarakatnya ribut.)

Probably the most controversial regional by law, the Tangerang law against prostitution (Perda No. 8/2005 tentang Larangan Pelacuran), is one law that passed the 60 day limit and may have benefited from some more active monitoring by the authorities. The question remains as to whether officials within public service bodies like Depdagri have the courage, and support from the national government, to take on the regional sharia issue.

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