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Jakarta Post

House drops sexual violence eradication bill from this year’s priority list

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, July 2, 2020   /   03:09 pm
House drops sexual violence eradication bill from this year’s priority list

The House of Representatives’ Legislation Body (Baleg) has officially dropped the long-awaited sexual violence eradication bill (RUU PKS) from this year’s National Legislation Program (Prolegnas) priority list, despite calls from women's rights activist to pass the bill

In a hearing on Thursday, the Baleg, the government and the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) agreed to remove 16 of the 50 bills on the list, including the RUU PKS, citing scheduling difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We will include the RUU PKS on the next priority list [for 2021] in October,” Baleg chairman Supratman Andi Agtas said.

In the hearing, some factions suggested that the Baleg take over the RUU PKS deliberation from House Commission VIII overseeing social affairs due to the latter’s inability to make progress with the bill.

NasDem Party lawmaker Taufik Basari said the party would lobby other factions in the House to continue the deliberation of the bill.

“The RUU PKS was initially proposed by a member of the NasDem faction. However, by Commission VIII’s request, the bill was initiated by the commission,” he said. “We now see that Commission VIII doesn’t want to put forward the bill as its initiative, so NasDem hopes we can again propose and discuss it within the Baleg.”

Read also: Public outcry as House plans to delay sexual violence bill – again

Members of other factions in the body, namely the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the Golkar Party and the National Awakening Party (PKB) echoed Taufik’s sentiments.

PDI-P lawmaker Diah Pitaloka, who has consistently lobbied the House to pass the bill, said the Baleg should take over the bill, citing a letter dated May 5 stating the cancellation of Commission VIII's proposal for the bill.

The bill has faced strong opposition from members of Islamic political parties such as the PKB and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) in Commission VIII, who have argued that the bill supported the legalization of adultery and “LGBT behavior”.

Marwan Dasopang, the deputy chairman of Commission VIII, told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday that the removal of the RUU PKS from the 2020 priority list was due to the difficulties in arranging the bill's deliberation, citing time constraints.