The scandalous “moral” law may scare tourists away from the island of Bali – one of the most famous beach resorts in the world. The alarm was raised by the local Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) over a controversial provision in the Penal Code Bill that could criminalize unmarried couples staying in the same hotel room while on vacation.
Amendments filed back in July , approve penalties of one year in prison for extramarital affairs and up to six months for extramarital cohabitation. That is, it looks like unmarried tourists can get up to a year in prison for a “holiday romance.”
Association chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani said he feared the provision could undermine the country's tourism industry, especially Bali's hospitality sector. The threat to “criminalize unmarried couples” staying in the same hotel room while on holiday would certainly deter tourists, especially foreign visitors, he said.
“This activity is in the private sphere and should not be regulated by law or considered a crime” , he emphasized. Opponents, in turn, say that only close people will be able to “notify” such a crime – measures will be taken only if the parent, child or spouse of those involved in such activities has filed a formal complaint with law enforcement agencies. Complaints from third parties will not be accepted. So the tourists seem to be safe.
Nonetheless, neither consensual sex between unmarried people nor extramarital cohabitation is a crime under the current Criminal Code. They are forbidden only adultery – that is, adultery.
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