30 October 2008

The Pornography Bill Passes the DPR

The Pornography Bill finally passed the House of Representatives (DPR - photo) today. This brings to a close the debate on whether to enact the law or not. However, the passage was not without some fireworks with the PDIP and PDS factions walking out along with a couple of Golkar legislators.

The walkout might seem like it was a protest at the content of the bill. However, the walkout really stems from a belief that the procedural requirements for the passage of legislation were not met. Specifically, the claim is that the bill was never "socialized" to the community. This socialization is mandated by law. The walkouts also had some issues with the substantive matter of the bill too.

In terms of the substance the walkouts have issues with the definition of pornography and particularly the broad nature of it. Those that walked out cited for example that body movements could constitute pornography if they offended someone. This means that singer/dancers like Inul and Dewi Persik are likely to fall foul of the law.

This is particularly bothersome for the walk outs when it is combined with Articles 20 - 22. These articles are problematic because of the purported scope they give to the community to play a role in preventing the spread of pornography.

Anyways, the bill has passed and is now awaiting the signature of the President. We will soon find out whether this has all been a storm in a teacup or whether those with fears will see those fears realized.

41 comments:

Gracia Girsang said...

an avoidable mistake i should say.

Rob Baiton said...

Gracia...

Yep!

jaka said...

Is it still a possibility that the president delays the signing and ask for revision again?

Rob Baiton said...

Jaka...

Nope.

He signs it or it self-enacts after 30 days.

Well, at least, that is what is says in the Constitution.

pj said...

Well this will certainly make the upcoming election more interesting.

Rob Baiton said...

PJ...

More or less interesting?

No dangdut singers and dancers. Just t-shirts and a lunch pack :D

Elyani said...

it's hard to imagine Dewi Persik and Julia Perez dancing in a checkered T-shirts and baggy pants :)

pj said...

I suppose I should elaborate. The last elections seemed to be based on personalities, not issues. Now there is an issue how will the pesonalities react? It will be interesting to see who makes mileage from this bill come election time.

They may have a tough time in Bali enforcing this so I'm willing to bet there will be dandut singers buwahahahah....

therry said...

There goes my Kebayas then...

Better say goodbye to them now because there will be no chance of me to ever wear them again.

Rob Baiton said...

Elyani...

Just would not be the same, would it?

PJ...

Now that it has passed the DPR it would have limited mileage as an issue now, don't ya think? Unless of course "you" were considering using this as a stepping stone to even more draconian measures.

I think there will be enforcement problems. Enforcement aside, the law is now on the statute books and people will have to deal with it.

Therry...

I wonder whether the police will be arresting the First Lady next time she is out and about in her finest kebaya?

Worst case scenario and I just do not see it happening. No need to put the kebayas into storage.

schmerly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob Baiton said...

Schmerly...

It has already passed the House and therefore it will become law even if the president does not sign it.

The president has no real power of veto here. The Constitution states that after 30 days the bill will self-enact into law even if the president has not signed it.

Isn't this democracy in action? The people voted these members into office and they voted to pass this piece of legislation...

schmerly said...

Sorry Rob you jumped me a bit on that one, I thought SBY had the last say, that’s why I deleted it.
Anyway.

What a sad day this is for Indonesia, the hard line religious bigots have manipulated SBY once again, and Indonesia will slip even further back into the abyss of religious extremism, all the religious nutters i.e. Defenders of Islam Etc.. will have a field day promoting sharia in the name of (decency) or what (they) conceive as decent and moral!

I can see big problems happening here if this bill gets passed especially for the women and ethnic minorities of Indonesia.

And it will be all down to some cranks interpretation of what he/she thinks is good and bad, what happened to the so called (democracy) in Indonesia?
What a joke that was!!

Put your burkahs on girls!

pj said...

More draconian? Moi? I was thinking more along the lines that, if enough people opposed this bill, then the parties promoting it could be punished in the ballot box come election time.

As you say we will have to live with it for the present.

I've enjoyed this discussion Rob.

schmerly said...

Rob..

Sorry if this is getting a bit messy, but yes you’re right this is supposed to be a democracy, so the people of Indonesian should be real careful who they vote in the next time.

They need someone with a bit of guts! But don’t ask me who!!

Rob Baiton said...

Schmerly...

Sorry mate! I am still up pretending to work so I replied straight away.

PJ...

More draconian in the sense of the extreme. For example, Therry and he kebayas and Schmerly and his burqas.

Let's face it some regions have implemented dress codes for civil servants such as wearing the hijab/jilbab for women.

Being punished at the ballot box presupposes that there is a silent majority opposed to the legislation. In terms of public protest it has been pretty much even stevens for numbers coming out on the streets.

In Bali and a few other places I could envisage a backlash but in more conservative parts of Sumatra and Sulawesi perhaps even West Java I am not so sure of the backlash.

I am also enjoying the discussion.

Rob Baiton said...

Schmerly...

OK, I won't ask you who.

What about the idea that you get what you vote for? After all, Indonesians were the ones who voted this current crop in (arguments aside that the parties choose the candidates and the people choose the parties).

The people even voted directly for the Pres and Vice Pres.

Such is life!

treespotter said...

i was just writing about the walk out, first time that i incline to be happy with PDI-P politician.

There's still a good chance that at least parts of them will be reviewed by the constitutional court, i find it hard to believe that the law could remain intact - much less enforced.

while this is a very bad news indeed, frankly, i find the talk of burqah and kebayah to be too paranoid in the extreme. legislation is one thing, practicalities and common sense is completely another.

speaking from the perspective of the law, it has almost nothing new. The law in the penal code is much more ambiguous (for better or worse) and also scarier in structure.

there's no point about making a big fuss about something that in all likelihood, won't be a big fuss. I don't get it that it seems like the people going for and/or against anything in this country always have this tendency to lean on the most extreme/draconian of things.

people get what they vote for - it's democracy - indonesians get to vote in a few months, so it'll be a good chance to make sure that voices are heard anyway.

tere616 said...

Yup, read it several days ago in Kompas of PDIP still have an objection of the bill.

What should I say, they need to passed the bill for the sake of the election, to win the majority voter.

Good bye my evening dress, my kebaya (phew, I love wear my kebaya), my short pants, my tank top, ... :-(

tere616 said...

Ah, just read Ace comment, well, whoever Indonesian vote, the result will be the same.

Voices will be heard, yes to some extend, others, I doubt it.

As long as the narrow minded person were in the party, then I doubt it that there'll be any changes.

schmerly said...

Rob..

Yes your right the people of Indonesia voted the pres and vice pres in, I even advised my wife and her family (‘caus bule’s know best!) to vote for SBY! So in my own small way I’m partly to blame for this state of affairs!
I think I’ll head over to Bali and stand in front of the firing squad before the family seek retribution.

Treespotter thinks some of us are being paranoid, well OK maybe we are, but what about the problems we already have in Indonesia, with the hard line defenders of Islam and the other nutters that go around smashing up bars Etc.. now they’ll be able to say their upholding the law, albeit their interpretation of the law, the people of Indonesia have enough problems coping with their everyday lives they don’t need more crap dumped on them.


Just an aside what’s a young lad like you doing up in the early hours when you should be tucked up in bed? It’s this is what they mean by moral decay, it’s OK for an old buffer like me as I’m past saving.

therry said...

No, of course no one dares to arrest the first lady while she's out and about wearing her 'payeted' kebaya, but what about a 'rakyat jelata' like me?

If a 60 year old grandma and a cow can get raped, chances are, a woman walking out of the house wearing a kebaya will be seen as a walking vagina as well.

Paranoid? I don't think so. What constitutes as porn anyway? Care to explain? Because as far as I know, women will be the victims - AGAIN - as the result of this stupid bill.

This bill will be just another excuse for men to blame women because they can't differentiate which ones are their brains and which ones are their dicks.

Another Rob said...

As a new visitor, I'd just like to say this is a great blog...and having just left Indonesia after 14years there I feel very sad that such stupidity continues. I agree that in a democracy you generally get what you voted for, but I question whether this is strictly true in Indonesia where "representing the people" does not seem to be an important agenda item for most candidates. I feel very sorry for my many Indonesian friends whose personal freedoms have just just taken another potentially disastrous hit. I am not optimistic that "it won't be too bad" and fear that, at first there will be some zealous enforcement, although not necessarily by the official institutions...remember Tanggerang and the poor lady arrested, and convicted of prostitution for being alone at 8 pm, with a lipstick in her handbag!

mia said...

The Governor of Bali already made a statement opposing the Bill, and that it won't be applicable in Bali.

I envision flocks of Jakartans visiting Bali on weekends just so they can wear bikinis and tank tops in peace :)

schmerly said...

Your right therry, the women will take the brunt of this law, after all the men in the Moslem world consider women (dangerous and need to be controlled) how weird is that! The men in Indonesia need to be educated to respect women for what they are, human beings, not just second class citizens and pieces of meat, it gets my goat when I see the chauvinistic attitude of Indonesian men towards the women, what are these men? just support systems for the little man who seems to be in control of the big one,
It’s time the men stopped their favourite toy controlling their emotions.

Rob Baiton said...

OK folks here it comes :D

Tree...

The PDIP walkout should be viewed as politicking. The walkout sures up its base in places like Bali.

Yes, there is a good chance some of the provisions will get a review in the Constitutional Court. I would guess on some kind of discrimination / rights angle.

Maybe burqas and kebayas are in the extreme but they are not outside the realm of possibility.

One would hope that common sense prevails but that is not always the case.

My point on enforcement problems can be interpreted from one of two perspectives; lax law enforcement or the community testing the bounds of articles 20-22.

Tere...

See my earlier point PDIP is politicking. You will find that privately there are many PDIP members taht would be in support of the bill but voted along party lines (just a feeling - anecdotal).

Voices will be heard, which ones who knows.

I am with the treespotter and ultimately think that common sense will prevail. That said, I would also not be surprised if there are some teething problems in getting to that level of common sense (hedging my bets -- not really it is one of those get worse before it gets better scenarios).

Schmerly...

SBY was elected with a 64% popularity rating, so there are quite a few people who picked him to do a good job with the presidency.

I am still up for reasons not of moral decay but work.

Therry...

Hence my point and I think the treespotter's too. This point is that ultimately common sense must prevail. Rakyat jelata like you, in my opinion, have nothing to worry about when it comes to kebayas.

On the brains and dicks thing. I am not sure whether to laugh or be offended.

Another Rob...

Thanks! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

I agree to a certain extent on the representation of one's constituents but Indonesia is still a democracy.

Mia...

With all due respect to the Governor of Bali, the last time I checked Bali was still part of Indonesia. So, unless he is planning to secede then the porn law will apply in Bali.

I have not read the most recent version that was enacted yesterday, but apparently the provisions relating to bikinis have been watered down so as not to negatively impact on tourism.

I should have a copy of the bill that was passed sometime today.

Yet, when it is all said and done, the bill will become the law of the land and not the law of the land except for Bali.

Schmerly...

The parliament is not an exclusive bastion of male parliamentarians. There are women there and there are women who voted for this bill to become law. I am guessing they neither see themselves as second class citizens or pieces of meat.

Just my thoughts.

Fire away!

parvita said...

I haven't read the bill yet, but then I can see lawyers are the ones taking all the bucks with this new law!

I am still unclear of what is defined by porno and what is not.

schmerly said...

Rob..
The women in the DPR are probably mostly married and maybe good Moslems, if they are married they will in all probability be subservient to ‘im in doors, so maybe they voted to keep him happy, or their under the misguided belief it might save the moral decline of Indonesia and/or their spouse and kids.



parvita..

These porn law’s will be defined and acted upon by the hard line nutters, in whatever way they decide in their bigoted narrow minds.

Yes what is pornography? Even in the west these arguments have gone on for years, it’s all down to individual interpretation, and humans being what they are will still be debating what is and what isn’t into infinity.

jaka said...

Rob said:

"Jaka...

Nope."

It is ok then. We Indonesian have however endured many madness since colonial times. I think many Indonesian will just apply what they used to do regarding this:
"cuek". History repeats. Like Gus Dur once said to Suharto: "ora pathekan" (it wont make you die).

Rob Baiton said...

Parvita...

There could be a few different institutions making some cash on this one.

I think in terms of the definition that it is clear, clearly very broad and therefore pornography can be just about anything that gets the juices flowing and the blood pumping.

Schmerly...

I am not a woman so perhaps it will be better for a Muslim woman to respond to the idea that good Muslim women are subservient to their men.

Good luck with that one.

Jaka...

The good ol' cuek. Not sure whether the cuek gets you out of trouble in this bill :D

jaka said...

Me, maybe not. But the whole Indonesia at least will not be like Cambodia during Pol Pot era. As long as we may still speak whatever we like without death punishment, it is ok. Just like turning the clock.

Some kings of ours were represive too, somehow. And we survived that.

Rob Baiton said...

Jaka...

I didn't say that Indonesia would not survive. I am only saying that I am not sure that the "cuek" approach is the way to go on this one.

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Rob Baiton said...

TSB...

I do not know how you found me, but thanks for dropping by and leaving a link.

therry said...

Rob, you should laugh because you're the one with the brains! :)

If only there are more guys who have the same mindset and are as openminded as you are...

Rob Baiton said...

Therry...

Thanks :D

mia said...

Statement from DRPD Chairman and Governor of Bali:
http://theorangeskies.multiply.com/journal/item/60/PERNYATAAN_RAKYAT_BALI

What would happen next?

I actually kinda like the idea of Bali being an independent country, however I'm not sure if it is realistic.

The Balinese people that I know would go about their smiley ways to do anything but obeying the Porn Bill :)

Rob Baiton said...

Mia...

What happens next is the President signs the bill into law. Even if he doesn't sign it the bill still becomes law after 30 days.

The bill had been amended to exclude bikinis so as not to harm "tourism".

The truth be told the Chairperson off the DPRD and the Governor can say whatever they want and post it wherever they like, but the reality is that unless they are going to either commence a campaign of civil disobedience or secede from the Republic, then they are going to be bound just like all the other provinces.

schmerly said...

Rob..

I found this take on the porno bill, I thought it was a rather good piece and sums up what a lot of people are worried about.

Here’s the link if your interested: http://japanfocus.org/products/details/2717

Rob Baiton said...

Schmerly...

Thanks for the link.

I have actually read the piece before. It relates specifically to the ITE law and the issues of internet porn.

There is some overlap with the current law. It is this overlap that I have been talking about in the posts I have done on the subject to date.

The idea that there is overlap suggests that the regulatory framework is convoluted with too many laws scattered throughout the statute books.

I have regularly made the point that both the ITE law and the Porn law would be better placed in the criminal code and then a tightening up of the language in the criminal code to make it effective and enforceable.

Anyways, thanks for the link.

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