Thursday, 24 Jan 2019

An Indonesian law that prohibiting of LGBT is considered to destroy of economy


LGBT LGBT -  Zulfikar Fahd, a gay man from Indonesia, said that he flew from Indonesia to Canada last month and demanded for asylum, because he faced discrimination and persecution in Indonesia, after a law to criminalize same-sex relations and consensual sex outside of marriage was made.

Fahd, 30, who once worked in public relations in Indonesia, said that he has stopped to hopes that the police will give him protection against Islamic fundamentalists who have caused hostility to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities in the Muslim-majority country and also the third largest democracy in the world.

Fahd said that he had obtained a temporary stay in Canada and had his last immigration hearings in May.

Fahd, who came from East Java, said that he has lost faith in the protection promised to state society in the Indonesian constitution.

"I want the Indonesian government to see about our voice. I do not need you: there is another country that accepts me and accepts my identity."

Until now, the problem of homosexuality has not been regulated by law in Indonesia, except in the highly conservative province such as Aceh where in that province, the same-sex relations was prohibits by Islamic law.

And also a couple who are not married or who are involved in extramarital sex can only be tried if there are complaints from close relatives. And adultery now become a crime in Indonesia.

"The police do nothing to protect us, even they stand up and let something happen, like a conservative deal with the citizen," Fahd told Reuters by telephone from Ottawa.

Concord Consulting, a Jakarta-based risk consultant, said in a recent report that Indonesia allows homophobic attitudes to rule the public, including potential foreign investment, donor assistance, and vital tourism revenue.

The travel website aimed at LGBT travelers shows that gays can stay on the island of Bali resort, as the cornerstone of the tourism industry in Indonesia. But some in the other industry, they are afraid about the new regulations, because it could deter gay travelers.

"Maybe the rules will force them to go to places like Thailand rather coming to Bali," said the owner of the guesthouse in Bali who serves the LGBT tourists. The owner, who refused to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter, said that he would try to move his business to Thailand.

Thailand, a predominantly Buddhist country, is home for a liberal LGBT and has launched a marketing campaign that aimed to attracting gay travelers.

The Thai Tourism Authority has a site aimed at LGBT travelers. It said that Thai people are tolerant and respectful of the LGBT community and also offer discounts for hotels and spas.

In Indonesia that is far from the approach. A parliamentary commission drawing up changes to the Dutch colonial-era criminal code has been consulting with the public and taking the opinions of religious scholars, legal experts, and rights groups.

It's discussion contradicts about the background of increasing anti-LGBT rhetoric, including from senior officials, and calls for vigilante and police chases in places where gay people gather.

A recent survey found that almost 90 percent of Indonesians who understand the term of 'LGBT' feel threatened by society, while the Indonesian Psychiatric Association and the Ministry of Health in an internal document seen by Reuters says LGBT is a mental illness.


Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has labeled homosexuality as a threat to national security on the grounds with a reason that LGBT is a kind of modern war that undermines the sovereignty of the state.

Last month, 12 transgender women in Aceh were detained by police and forced to cut their hair and clothes in 'masculine' clothes, which sparked outrage from human rights groups.

Most Indonesians adhere to a moderate form of Islam under the secular official system, but there has been an increase in hard-line and political Islam in recent years.

Islamic groups led mass demonstrations last year to unseat the then Governor of Jakarta, a Christian, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama. During a visit to Pulau Seribu, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama used a verse in the Quran and said Muslims should not be led by a non-Muslim. He apologized for the comment, but was later jailed for two years for blasphemy.

Critics say that the creeping of Islamization has encouraged moral conservatism because Indonesia will have an important event in the near future, ie the election of regional heads in the province in June 2018 and the presidential election in 2019.

"The ongoing rhetoric of community hatred (LGBT) seems to be for cynical political purposes will only deepen their suffering and create unnecessary divisions," UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said, during a visit to Indonesia this week. He said that he raised this issue with President Joko Widodo.

There were some voices that disagreed during the legislative revision, among them the deputy speaker of parliament Fahri Hamzah.

"I warn them about the danger of criminalizing our privacy too much. It endangers our future, our freedom and also our economy,," he told Reuters.

He also accused Indonesian President Joko Widodo that being "weak person on this issue" because he relied on the lobby of liberal media and non-governmental organizations.

High officials, including the president, says that LGBT people should not face discrimination, but cultural and religious norms in Indonesia do not accept the LGBT movement.

A presidential spokesman declined to comment, but a government representative that involved in the deliberations said that efforts were being made to protect privacy.

"The state cannot enter the private realm, it can only be involved if the LGBT people disturb the public order," said Enny Nurbaningsih from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.



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