KOMPAS.com – Foreign tourists should not hesitate to visit Indonesia despite the approval of the newly revised Criminal Code, which includes measures that can criminalize sex outside of marriage and ban cohabitation between unmarried couples.
This was said by Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno in his statement last week.
"Nothing has changed in the tourism industry. Our focus is to continue to improve quality and sustainable tourism," Sandiaga said.
Under the bill, sex outside of marriage is punishable by one year in prison, and cohabitation between unmarried couples could face six months in jail. However, a family member should file a complaint before police can further investigate such acts.
Also read: Indonesia Passes Criminal Code Banning Sex Outside Marriage
Although the criminal code has been ratified, it will not go into effect for three years.
Foreign tourist’s privacy assured
The minister assured that the government would guarantee the privacy of foreign tourists, including comfortableness and security.
"Actually, there are no substantive changes related to the article [on adultery] when compared to Article 284 of the old Criminal Code," he said.
The difference, he added, only lies in the addition of parties entitled to file a complaint. Police can open a criminal probe if a spouse, parent or child of the victim reports such acts.
"The article related to adultery and cohabitation between unmarried couples is based on a complaint against adultery. Therefore, it does not directly affect all tourists,” he said.
"Without complaints by immediate family members, no one has the right to take legal action," he said.
The government and other relevant stakeholders are currently drafting all rules and standard operating procedures for tourism activities, which can ensure the safety and comfortableness of tourists.
In addition, the government conducts familiarization programs among the stakeholders in the tourism industry to avoid misinterpretations or misunderstandings about the revised Criminal Code.
No inspections to check on the marital status in Bali
Separately, Bali Governor Wayan Koster ensured that his administration would not be checking on marital status upon tourists’ arrival at any tourism accommodations.
Also read: Indonesia Supports Small-Scale Tourist Guide Services to Get Business Licenses
“There would be no inspections or sweeping to check on the marital status of holiday makers by either law enforcement officials or community groups. [We] guarantee the confidentiality of tourists’ personal data during their stay,” Koster said in a statement on Monday, Dec. 12.
He said that the authorities and the people of Bali respect the arrival and presence of both domestic and foreign tourists in Bali.
Lawmakers in Indonesia approved changes to the country's Criminal Code on Tuesday, Dec. 6, introducing a sweeping and controversial legal overhaul.
(Writers: Wasti Samaria Simangunsong, Ahmad Muzakki Al Hasan | Editor: Ni Nyoman Wira Widyanti, Krisiandi)
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