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Jakarta Post

Alcohol prohibition bill stalled until 2017

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, November 15, 2016   /  04:48 pm
Alcohol prohibition bill stalled until 2017 Customs and Excise officers destroy illegally-imported alcoholic beverages in Surabaya, East Java, on Sept. 14. (Antara/Moch Asim)

A controversial alcohol prohibition bill is unlikely to be finished this year since its initiator, the United Development Party (PPP), has not gone beyond gathering perspectives from Muslim clerics and other interested parties.

At present, the PPP is consulting with Muslim organizations Nadhlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah so as to be able to pass the bill next year, the party’s deputy secretary-general Ahmad Baidowi said.

“The process is ongoing and hopefully next year the alcohol prohibition law will be enforced,” he said.

PPP chairman Muhammad Romahurmuziy said that the role of the clerics was important for determining the details of the bill and giving recommendations to the party.

Aside from the PPP, the endorsing parties are the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the National Mandate Party (PAN). Even though it was a priority bill in the 2016 National Legislation Program (Prolegnas), the bill does not stand much chance of being passed into law by year-end as the remaining seven factions oppose the idea of a total ban and instead endorse control of alcohol consumption.

Indonesian Consumer Foundation member Sudaryatmo said that a prohibition would be unnecessary and if the banning of alcohol is intended for the public good, lawmakers should keep perspective and emphasize the right of consumers to safety.

He instead suggested a regulation requiring alcoholic beverage producing companies to list the ingredients. “It should be more informative for consumers, so they can make their own decisions about whether to buy something,” Sudaryatmo said. (adt/evi)

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