Parliament’s Porn bill committee OKays bikinis at resorts
JAKARTA: The Indonesian lower house of Parliament’s special committee debating the controversial pornography bill will allow tourists to wear bikinis at beach resorts. The move is aimed at ensuring tourism—an important source of foreign exchange revenue for Indonesia—is not damaged by the controversial legislation.
“Tourists are allowed to wear bikinis in tourism resorts like Bali and Parang Tritis beach (in Yogyakarta). The porn bill will treat recreational and leisure areas differently,” MP Husein Abdul Azis of the Democratic Party said on Thursday.
There have been fears among domestic tourism operators, especially on Bali, that the bill would deter tourists from visiting because it would require them to wear “appropriate” clothing. Bali is the country’s top tourist destination. Indonesia aims to attract 7 million tourists this year and collect some 6.7 billion dollars in foreign exchange revenue. The head of the special committee deliberating the bill, Balkan Kaplale, said his team had made some changes to contentious articles in the bill, finalising its terms before lawmakers begin their recess period starting on Oct 30. “I can say there have been drastic changes in the bill,” said Balkan of the country’s largest party, the Golkar Party. The changes act as a compromise to the growing opposition movements to the bill.
Despite concerns for tourism, speculation continues to mount over Articles 21 and 22 of the bill, which stipulate that the public is allowed to “directly involve” itself in preventive measures against pornography.
Critics have said the articles could put the law into the hands of civilians, including hardliners.
Azis said the committee had already added additional explanations to those particular articles of concern. “The bill has made it clear now that such preventive measures are only applicable to the authority of the police and prosecutors,” he said.
However, lawmakers are still discussing the much criticised definition of pornography, he said.