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Indonesia is set to ban sex outside of marriage and unmarried couples won’t be able to live together

Rachel Lang

Published 
| Last updated 

Indonesia is set to ban sex outside of marriage and unmarried couples won’t be able to live together

Indonesia is set to massively reform its criminal code, which could see adultery and premarital sex banned in the Asian archipelago.

ABC News reports that people convicted of sex before marriage could soon spend up to a year in jail.

The outlet claims only close relatives like a spouse, parent or child are able to raise the complaint with authorities.

The beefed-up legislation would also mean unmarried couples would be prohibited from living in the same property and will be the rule across the 17,000 islands of Indonesia.

That means anyone within the borders of the majority-Muslim nation would need to comply whether they are a resident or not.

Indonesia is set to massively reform its criminal code, which could see adultery and premarital sex banned - affecting both locals and tourists. Credit: Oleg Breslavtsev/Alamy Stock Photo
Indonesia is set to massively reform its criminal code, which could see adultery and premarital sex banned - affecting both locals and tourists. Credit: Oleg Breslavtsev/Alamy Stock Photo

And yes, the same rules would apply to tourists, meaning all those Australians who love to hop over to Bali for a week of tropical bliss would be utterly rooted.

Not literally, of course. Unless they're married.

So that means if the bedroom’s a-rockin', the police will come a-knockin'.

The strengthened legislation is also likely to throw a spanner in the work's for the nation's haemorrhaging tourism sector, which has struggled to come back to life in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill was initially introduced to the People's Consultative Assembly of the Republic of Indonesia back in 2019 but sparked protests that had tens of thousands of people rallying against the change.

Protesters feared the strengthened policy would regulate morality, free speech, and curtail civil liberties for Indonesians.

The 2019 review of the updated criminal code revealed the maximum punishment for some crimes would be set at the death penalty, but according to Reuters, it would be possible to be reduced to a life sentence for good behaviour.

That being said, legislators have since watered down some of the sections with the most contentious penalties such as death.

And the strict new rules look set to be part of Indonesian life imminently, with the draft bill expected to be ratified by lawmakers in Jakarta today (Tuesday December 6).

Once ratified, the code will not come into effect for three years to allow for implementing regulations to be drafted.

Many are still less than impressed by the conservative rules within the doctrine.

Indonesia has struggled with its tourism sector since the coronavirus pandemic. Credit: Ihsan Adityawarman/Pexels
Indonesia has struggled with its tourism sector since the coronavirus pandemic. Credit: Ihsan Adityawarman/Pexels

"The state cannot manage morality. The government's duty is not as an umpire between conservative and liberal Indonesia," he said, as reported by Reuters.

Legal experts and civil rights groups have also criticised the revised penal code, describing them as a massive 'setback' for what is the third-largest democracy in the world.

As well as rules on sex, marriage, and morality, the pumped-up penal code will also outlaw anyone who opposes or behaves in the contrary of Pancasila.

The Pancasila is the south-east Asian country's secular national ideology and lists five guidelines Indonesians should strive to adhere to in life.

The strengthened code is expected to be passed by lawmakers on December 15, according to Indonesia's Deputy Justice Minister Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej.

So get ready for a different Indonesia, because the winds of change are being felt from the conservative state of Aceh all the way to the holiday hotspot of Bali.

Featured Image Credit: Ade Pramana/Pexels. Nick Wehrli/Pexels

Topics: News, World News, Sex and Relationships, Travel

Rachel Lang
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