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Jakarta Post

Erick Thohir demands end to sexual harassment in SOEs amid Garuda Indonesia scandal

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, December 13, 2019   /   09:47 am
Erick Thohir demands end to sexual harassment in SOEs amid Garuda Indonesia scandal Employees of the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Ministry pass a line of flower boards placed if front of the ministry building in Jakarta on Friday. The boards are emblazoned with messages expressing gratitude and support for SOEs Minister Erick Thohir following the dismissal of Garuda Indonesia president director Ari Askhara over the alleged smuggling of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle aboard a newly delivered Garuda aircraft. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir has ordered the country’s SOEs to provide more protections for female employees to ensure they will no longer face sexual harassment in male-dominated industries.

The minister’s statement came amid allegations state flag carrier Garuda Indonesia’s executives have sexually exploited and harassed the airline’s stewardesses.

“In the future we will ensure there is no sexual harassment of female employees in SEOs. We cannot let women […] fall victim to such unacceptable acts,” Erick said on Wednesday.

“It’s only appropriate that women receive clear protections, especially from disreputable leaders,” he added.

Garuda Indonesia ─ which recently saw its president director Ari Ashkara sacked and four directors suspended for their alleged involvement in the smuggling of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and upmarket Brompton folding bicycles on board an aircraft that was being delivered from France ─ has been engulfed in another scandal pertaining to alleged sexual abuse within the company.

A whistleblower on Twitter under the handle @digeeembok, recently made a series of tweets that allege that Garuda stewardesses were forced to have sex with directors and high-level officials.

The tweets labeled Ari, Heri Akhyar ─ one of the dismissed directors ─ and Garuda executive Roni Eka Mirsa “the slimy trio”, while alleging that Roni had acted as a “provider” of stewardesses in the alleged prostitution scheme.

Erick admitted there were currently no specific laws that stipulated punishments for SOE executives found to have committed such exploitation, however, he opened the possibility of dismissing the officials.

“I will look into [the possibility] of dismissing them if female employees have faced sexual harassment,” he said.

Roni has filed a report against Twitter user @digeeembok to the police and accused the latter of defamation, kompas.com reported. (dpk)