TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The nightmare for democracy has finally come true. On December 6, the House of Representatives (DPR) passed the Criminal Code (KUHP) bill that had been put forward by the government. The new KUHP will only come into force three years from now, but it has caused concerns among many: in the name of law, order or development, the state will restrict freedom of expression as it did during the New Order era.
Throughout this week, we have met with a number of officials familiar with the events leading to the ratification of the bill. One of the driving forces behind the accelerated passing of the KUHP bill—which was handed over to the DPR on November 9—was Deputy Minister of Justice and Human Rights Eddy Hiariej. He led the lobbying against those opposed to the problematic articles in the proposed KUHP.
The Gadjah Mada University law professor also lobbied politicians at the DPR. And he sought compromise over the problematic legal provisions with the leaders of the factions. Eddy also accommodated the wishes of the Islamic parties to retain the punishment for adultery. In all of this, he was assisted by an expert Criminal Code bill team and Palace officials.
Thanks to this lobbying, the Criminal Code was ratified in an instant. Even the problematic articles were passed into law and will regulate the conduct of every Indonesian citizen. Now it is just a matter of waiting for President Joko Widodo to formally sign the bill into law. The ideals of the 1998 Reformasi movement that overthrew the New Order survived less than 25 years.
The Hasty Criminal Code
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The Fast Lobbying for the “catch-all” KUHP Provisions
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