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Jakarta Post

Anger at new House powers

  • Nurul Fitri Ramadhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, February 14 2018   /  12:06 am

The recent amendment to the 2014 Legislative Bodies ( MD3 ) Law, which criminalizes any person or institution deemed to have been disrespectful to the House of Representatives, has been met with a chorus of condemnation from activists and legal experts who believe the provision will be used to silence critics.

The amended law was passed on Monday after months of deliberation. It includes a provision granting the House’s ethics council the power to take legal action against an individual or legal entity for “disrespecting the dignity” of the House and its members.

The provision, stipulated in Article 122, is said to have been inserted only recently and is meant to protect the legislature from “contempt”.

A person, for example, could face charges for calling the House “corrupt” or accusing a lawmaker of an ethics breach without supporting evidence. The...