Bali officials have implored Australian tourists to ignore a proposed controversial pre-marital and gay sex ban being introduced by the Indonesian government.
The proposed criminal law overhaul announced last week could affect millions in the world's biggest Muslim majority country, including heterosexual couples who might face jail for having sex outside wedlock, homosexuals or those having an affair.
It follows Balinese governor Wayan Koster saying he’s seeking stricter laws for Australians who misbehave in Bali.
The proposed new Indonesian laws mean Australians visiting tourism hotspot Bali for a holiday could potentially face jail time for having sex.
However, the Balinese government has urged tourists not be concerned with the proposal.
“Bali Government office encourages all parties involved in tourism (i.e., persons visiting or planning to visit, as well as industry stakeholders) to stay calm and continue their activities (or planned activities) as usual,” it said in a statement.
“Based on various feedback, the President of The Republic of Indonesia and the Indonesian Parliament have agreed to indefinitely postpone the passing of the bill with those new regulations.”
Bali’s government added the “Adultery Act” is still a recommendation, has not yet formally issued and cannot be enforced.
The proposed law change has been criticised by human rights advocates.
Human Rights Watch senior Indonesia researcher Andreas Harsono said the country’s draft criminal code is “disastrous” for all Indonesians.
"Lawmakers should remove all the abusive articles before passing the law," he said.
- with AFP
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