Police chief pledges to uphold porn law

Ni Komang ErvianiThe Jakarta Post ,  Denpasar   |  Tue, 11/11/2008 10:56 AM  |  Bali

Despite both the public and administrative bodies in Bali refusing to enact the recently passed pornography bill, Bali Police Chief Insp. Gen. Teuku Ashikin Husein said the law was “positive” and his office would be enforcing it completely.

“If the law is positive for the country, then that’s the law I am going to enact,” he said during a ceremony commemorating National Hero’s Day in Denpasar on Monday.

His statement fueled the ongoing debate about the pornography bill in Bali, which may spill over into a potential conflict between police and island administrators. The latter recently said the island would not enact the porn bill when it becomes law.

“We cannot carry it out because it is not in line with Balinese philosophical and sociological values,” Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said earlier this month.

Pastika is a retired three-star police general.

Despite tension increasing, both the administrators and police are unsure of the next step as the President is yet to sign the contentious legislation.

Pastika, whose statement was backed by the Bali Legislative Council, said his administration was not rejecting the porn bill but simply could not enforce it. The consequences, he said, would damage the identity of the island.

Similarly, Ashikin dodged questions about how he would enact the bill considering the provincial administration had refused to endorse it.

“The government has not released the regulation required to administer the bill. Once they release it, then I will implement the law,” Ashikin said.

Bali’s People Component (KRB) Coordinator, Ngurah Harta, regretted Ashikin’s statement, calling it an unwise decision.

KRB has been at the forefront of the Balinese struggle to revoke or revise the bill, calling on other provinces that have denounced it, such as Yogyakarta and Papua, to join their cause and support a proposed judicial review of the controversial bill at the Constitutional Court.

The organization has even called for mass civil disobedience should all legal attempts to revoke or revise the bill fail.

“The Police Chief needs to realize that the Governor’s statement was a statement from the Balinese people,” Harta said.

“If he wants to call himself a nationalist, then he should defend the interest of the minority, not just the majority,” he said.

Harta was referring to wide suspicion that the law was passed to enforce a sharia agenda among the House of Representatives’ Muslim parties.

Muslims make up roughly 90 percent of Indonesia’s 234 million population, which also contains sizable Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Confucian minorities.

Harta hoped that the Police Chief would discuss his statement with Bali’s elected leaders.

“We hope he will just sit down with Bali’s leaders first. Just get together and talk it out.”

About erviani

Jatuh cinta dengan dunia jurnalistik sejak bergabung dengan Lembaga Pers Mahasiswa Indikator, Fakultas Ekonomi Universitas Brawijaya. Sempat bekerja untuk Harian Warta Bali, 2003 - 2005, Koresponden Majalah GATRA untuk wilayah Bali, anggota redaksi Media HIV/AIDS dan Narkoba KULKUL, TPI, dan Koran Seputar Indonesia. Menulis lepas kini menjadi aktivitas keseharian. Kini aktif sebagai kontributor untuk beberapa media yakni Bali Daily-The Jakarta Post, Mongabay Indonesia, dan Khabat Southeast Asia.
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