Earlier today it was announced that Indonesia was gearing up to pass a new law that would make sex outside of marriage illegal.
Following the news, Australia updated its travel information for its citizens, warning them of the grave potential consequences of a steamy holiday fling, or a romantic trip with an unmarried partner, which could include a maximum of one year in prison or a one thousand Aussie dollar fine.
The proposed changes would include all extra-marital sex, which by default includes all same-sex relations, with charges being brought following a complaint to authorities by a spouse, child or parent.
The law would also criminalise living together outside marriage, which would affect millions of Indonesians.
The new legislation was set to be adopted next week after parliament and the government agreed to a final draft, however, news is now coming in that president Joko Widodo might be gearing up for a u-turn after a storm of bad press.
Earlier today he stated that, after hearing the objections, he’d “concluded that there are still materials that need further examination.”
Going on to say that he had “instructed the Minister of Law and Human Rights as the representative of the government to convey this position to the DPR [the Parliament], that the passing of the penal code bill be postponed and the enactment will not be done by the current DPR.”
“I hope the DPR shares the same position so that deliberation of the bill will be carried out by the next DPR,” referring to a new group of MPs who will take their seats in parliament in October.
“You have to ask why Jokowi agreed to proceed with this law, then reversed his position.” Melbourne University Professor Tim Lindsey told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Either he wasn’t paying attention to the laws, or he came under huge political pressure. Maybe he is just hugely embarrassed by the international media storm.”
“Jokowi does not have a strong record of keeping an eye on complex legal matters and he has shown scant interest in human rights and civil liberties during the first term of his presidency,” he continued. “He’s basically ignored the promises he made on rights, and this looks like another case where he wasn’t paying attention and it has blown up in his face.”
Would you still visit Bali if the law was passed? Let us know in the comments.