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Jakarta Post

Citing ‘new trend’, minister bans polyandry for female civil servants

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, September 1, 2020   /   02:03 pm
Citing ‘new trend’, minister bans polyandry for female civil servants The Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry has said female civil servants are prohibited from practicing polyandry – taking more than one husband – after minister Tjahjo Kumolo claimed the practice had become a “new trend”. (Shutterstock/-)

The Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry has said female civil servants are prohibited from practicing polyandry – taking more than one husband – after minister Tjahjo Kumolo claimed the practice had become a “new trend”.

Paryono, the acting head of the ministry’s public relations bureau, said polyandry for female civil servants was prohibited under Law No. 1/1974 on marriage. 

He said Article 3 stipulated that men and women could only have one spouse. However, he added, the article allowed men to have more than one wife if they received permission from the court. 

“It is not regulated for a wife to have another husband, which is also not allowed by religions,” Paryono said on Monday, as quoted by tempo.co.

He said the prohibition was reinforced by Government Regulation (PP) No. 45/1990 on revisions to PP No. 10/1983 on marriage and divorce permits for civil servants – an implementing regulation of the 1974 Marriage Law.

Paryono said a marriage was considered legal if it was in accordance with religious law and beliefs, according to Article 2 of the 1974 Marriage Law.

“Polyandry is clearly not in accordance with religious law and beliefs and [marriages under such an arrangement] are definitely not registered,” he said.

Read also: Freedom of choice: Are Indonesian women caught in a policy trap?

Previously, Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said polyandry had been a “new trend” among civil servants.

“Now, the new trend is female civil servants having more than one husband. This is a new phenomenon. I have encountered many of these cases,” Tjahjo said on Friday.

He said he received at least five reports of polyandry over the past year and would decide on the matter after discussions with the National Civil Service Agency (BKN) and the Law and Human Rights Ministry.

However, Paryono – who is also the BKN’s public relations, law and cooperation bureau head – said the agency had not discussed the issue with the ministry.

He told tempo.co on Sunday that the agency had not received any data on polyandry in the civil service.

Paryono said civil servants who engaged in polyandry could be summoned, examined and punished.

“[They] can be punished with a severe degree of discipline,” said Paryono, referring to the punishments established by PP No. 53/2010 on civil servant discipline.

“Severe punishments” include demotion, transfer in the context of demotion, discharge from office for civil servants holding structural positions and dismissal. (syk)