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Outside Parties Cannot Intervene the Criminal Code

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By: Dina Kahyang Putri )*

The Criminal Code (KUHP) has been ratified by the DPR RI, which is one of the breakthroughs to realize social justice. The rule of law is an Indonesian national decision that foreign parties may not interfere with.

When the Criminal Code was passed, the Indonesian people responded positively because they were protected from various criminal crimes. Moreover, the process of drafting the Criminal Code until it is ratified takes up to years. Indonesia finally has its own law that regulates criminal law, not the law made by the colonizers during the colonial period.

But instead, Australia and the United States were angry. They consider that the Criminal Code violates human rights and is detrimental. Even though they are only outsiders who have no right to interfere with Indonesian law.

US Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Ned Price is worried about the Criminal Code because there is an anti-adultery clause. According to him, this will negatively affect Americans living in Indonesia. Apart from that, he is also worried about investment in Indonesia being affected by the new Criminal Code.

It is very unfortunate when there are outsiders who intervene in the Criminal Code. Yet according to international law, no country has the right to interfere in the affairs of other countries. Moreover, his business is a law that regulates citizens.

Indeed America is a superpower but that does not mean its power is used to influence other countries. They should be aware that they have super power, but don’t overuse it. Intervening in other countries’ laws is a disgraceful act because they have no right to do so, for whatever reason.

America should be aware that Indonesia is a sovereign and independent country. They are not allowed to regulate existing laws in Indonesia for reasons of investment. The reason is because it is not certain that all foreign businessmen will cancel investment in Indonesia after the enactment of the new Criminal Code, because they separate political and economic matters.

The article that is being questioned by outsiders is the anti-adultery article and they are afraid that a citizen who comes to Indonesia will be punished (because they are not husband and wife). Even though Deputy Minister of Law and Human Rights Prof. Edward Omar Sharif stated that the article on adultery was a complaint offense. Which means it only applies when someone complains about it, such as the victim’s parents.

If a foreign national brings his lover to Indonesia, he will not be charged with the anti-adultery law because no one has complained about it. What’s more, no one will raid him and then criminalize him indiscriminately. They don’t need to be afraid because the provisions in the Criminal Code are not like that.

As a big country, representatives from foreign parties should think about cultural differences between Indonesia and abroad. In Indonesia, the act of living at home without marriage ties is not allowed, and the perpetrators can be punished through complaint offenses. While in other countries it is permissible because it adheres to liberalism.

Meanwhile, Australia also issued a travel warning for its citizens going to Indonesia. The reason is again because of the anti-adultery article in the Criminal Code. This travel warning is very unfortunate, because usually tourists from Australia often visit Bali at the end of the year.

However, this travel warning does not seem to reduce the number of foreign tourists in Indonesia, because according to data from the Tourism Office, foreign tourist arrivals in this country have not decreased at all. In fact, there has been an increase in foreign tourist arrivals both at airports and ports. They want to spend their Christmas and New Year holidays in Bali and Lombok.

The intervention from Australia is also very unfortunate because they consider the Criminal Code to be cruel and an inhumane law. Even though they are not aware that Indonesia and Australia are different. In Indonesia, there is an understanding of democracy. Meanwhile there are liberal, which means very free.

Indonesia will not change to be liberal even though the era has changed to be more modern. Democracy is still upheld by the government and one of the ways is by implementing the Criminal Code. Foreign countries should understand that Indonesia is not a liberal country that can be allowed to go beyond its limits.

The drafting of the Criminal Code has been carried out as well as possible, therefore it takes a long time for it to be ratified. Outsiders should understand that this law is in accordance with customs and culture in Indonesia. But it cannot be equated with the culture and laws that exist in the country.

Foreign parties do not need to intervene in the Criminal Code because they have no right to regulate or change laws from other countries. They must comply with international law. Where a country may not interfere in the affairs of other countries, especially if the matter is a law that concerns the interests of many people. They also shouldn’t bully Indonesia, which is considered old-fashioned, even though they maintain eastern customs.

)* The author is a contributor to Persada Institute

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