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Jakarta Post

Commentary: New penal code: How are we worse than the Dutch?

  • Endy M. Bayuni

Jakarta   /   Tue, February 13 2018   /  12:20 am

Sukarno, Mohamad Hatta and all the national heroes who fought for our freedom will turn in their graves the day the House of Representatives endorses the new penal code, the first truly created by Indonesians since the nation gained independence from Dutch colonial rulers in 1945.

Deliberation on the penal code is in its final stage, and the House may endorse the draft as soon as this week before sending it to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to sign it into law.

By the looks of it, if we go by the current almost-final draft, the new penal code will restrict many of our freedoms far more than the Dutch colonial rulers could ever have imagined.

Sukarno and Hatta, Indonesia’s first president and vice president, respectively, and many other heroes of their era went to jail and faced constant harassment, paid with blood, sweat and tears to break laws enacted by the ...