Several political parties at the House of Representatives have said they would not vote for Supreme Court justice hopeful Muhammad Daming Sunusi, following the candidate’s “rape joke” which he delivered during a fit and proper test on Monday.
Commission III overseeing laws and human rights deputy chairman, I Gede Pasek Suardika of the Democratic Party — which holds the largest number of seats at the Commission, said on Tuesday that his party would not select Daming.
“We won’t vote for him [Daming],” he told reporters on Tuesday at the House.
Commission III deputy chairman from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Al Muzammil Yusuf, echoed Pasek’s statement, and said that the Islamist party would not support Daming.
Also claiming that their parties would not give its support to Daming were the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the National Mandate Party (PAN).
Daming made an insensitive statement in response to lawmakers’ question regarding the death penalty for rapists during fit-and-proper tests before the Commission, insinuating that both rapist and victim “enjoy each other”. The statement, which Daming referred to as “an ice breaker”, immediately prompted protests across social media. An online petition demanding the Commission not to select Daming has also been initiated.
Some protests were also directed at some of the lawmakers, who reportedly laughed at Daming’s statement.
Al Muzamil, who chaired the interview on Monday, defended that lawmakers' spontaneous laughter as a response to Daming’s preposterous answer.
"The fit-and-proper test is a formal session. We have agreed to not comment directly on words from a hopeful and let them reveal their true selves," Al Muzamil said, adding that "we now know what's in his head. This will definitely influence our assessment of him”.
Poempida Hidayatulloh from the Golkar Party admitted that Daming's joke did make him smile.
"But, it was not for the joke. I was smiling because I thought Daming had ridiculed himself," Poempida said.
Responding to lawmakers' question regarding capital punishment for rapists, Daming said that he might not support it as some cases of rape might include consensual intercourse. (swd)