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Jakarta Post

Fears law will allow House to silence critics

  • Nurul Fitri Ramadhani and Kharishar Kahfi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, February 13 2018   /  01:18 am

Lawmakers have passed a contentious amendment that critics fear will stifle democratic debate in the country.

Through an amendment to the 2014 Legislative Institutions Law, also known as the MD3 Law, passed during a House of Representatives plenary session on Monday, the House agreed to the creation of an additional authority activists believe will enable lawmakers to silence their critics.

The revised law allows the House Ethics Council (MKD) to take legal action against individuals, groups of people and legal entities that “disrespect the dignity” of the House as an institution and the lawmakers themselves. The law, however, does not detail what actions constitute such violations.

The House Legislative Body (Baleg), which was tasked with discussing the bill with the government, has said the new provision was part of an effort to protect the House from any atte...