As Aceh reconsiders, Kelantan ‘moves forward’ with public caning

Source: FMT News

Pic drawn from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: The news about the Kelantan government allowing public caning, has made it to the New York Times with a report about how even the provincial government of Aceh in Indonesia is now reconsidering their current policy of allowing public caning.

In a report yesterday, NYT quoted an Indonesian media interview with the province’s vice-governor Nova Iriansyah, who said that Indonesian president Joko Widodo had met with the newly-inaugurated Aceh governor Irwandi Yusuf to discuss ways to improve the province’s international image.

This followed the negative publicity the region and Indonesia received when news of the public caning meted out to two young gay men for having sex with each other hit international headlines. Read more

2 Malaysians among those arrested at ‘gay sex party’ in Jakarta

Source: FMT News

Indonesian police say 10 of the 141 men could be charged under they country’s tough anti-pornography laws. Pic from FMT News.

JAKARTA: Indonesian police have detained 141 men, including two Malaysians, for allegedly taking part in a gay sex party at a sauna, an official said on Monday, the latest sign of a backlash against homosexuals in the Muslim-majority country.

Officers late Sunday raided a building in Jakarta that houses a sauna and a gym, and halted what they said was a sex party promoted as “The Wild One”.

Pictures circulating online showed topless men sitting crammed in a room next to gym equipment after the raid.

Besides the two Malaysians, police said two other foreigners had been arrested – one Briton and a Singaporean.

“Our officers did an undercover investigation and raided the place on Sunday,” senior detective Nasriadi, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told AFP.

Homosexuality and gay sex are legal everywhere in Indonesia except in conservative Aceh province, but Nasriadi said that 10 of those arrested in the Jakarta raid could be charged under the country’s tough anti-pornography laws. Read more

Female clerics declare fatwa on child marriage in Indonesia

Source: FMT News

'Female clerics know the issues and obstacles women face, we can take action and not just wait for the government to protect these children.' Pic from FMT News.

‘Female clerics know the issues and obstacles women face, we can take action and not just wait for the government to protect these children.’ Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Female clerics on Thursday issued an unprecedented fatwa against child marriage in Indonesia in a bid to stop young girls becoming brides in the world’s most populous Muslim country.

The fatwa – which is influential among Muslims but not legally binding – came at the end of an extraordinary three-day conference of female Islamic clerics: a rare example of women assuming a lead role in religious affairs in this mostly-Muslim country.

“Maternal mortality is very high in Indonesia. We as female clerics can play a role on the issue of child marriage,” conference organiser Ninik Rahayu told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Read more

Transboundary haze: What to do? – Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

(Deputy President, HAKAM)

Thick smoke rising from over the Ogan Komering Ilir area in South Sumatra on Saturday. Indonesia has launched its biggest operation ever to combat fires blanketing Southeast Asia in smoke, but experts say the poor air quality could continue into next year. – AFP pic, October 19, 2015. Drawn from TMI.

THE haze (or smog) that envelopes us every year is becoming intolerable. It has continued for almost 13 years. Each time we are assured that the levels are acceptable, not that dangerous and a solution is coming. Recently, a deputy minister promised that a “haze free region” will soon be achieved.

The Indonesian government says it’s getting tough – “no more dragging of feet”. True to word 140 suspects were rounded up last month including some corporate figures.

More recently an Indonesian and a Malaysian palm oil company were dealt with rather severely; the former an unprecedented record fine of RM107 million; the latter’s manager jailed for a year as well.

Heavy penalties are rare. Although, to be fair, under the new president Joko Widodo, the Indonesian government has revoked (on Oct 7) the licences of four plantations identified as being the culprits.

But green groups and others are sceptical. Several cases dating back to 2012-2013 remain in limbo with no conviction. Remember, that was when Malaysia had to declare a “haze emergency” because air pollution was at a record high. Read more