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Ratification of the Criminal Code Does Not Contrary to Democracy


By : Anindira Putri Maheswani )*

The Criminal Code (KUHP) was passed in December 2022 . The ratification of this law is very appropriate and does not conflict with democracy in Indonesia.

The Criminal Code was passed on December 6, 2022 and the public is relieved that this bill has finally been passed by the Indonesian Parliament. The Criminal Code must indeed be ratified because Indonesia is an independent country, and may not use legal products during the colonial period. Indonesia must be constitutionally independent by means of the ratification of the RKUHP, which is a bill made by Indonesian legal experts.

The ratification of the Criminal Code is not against democracy. The main expert at the Presidential Staff Office, Mufti Makarim, stated that the formation of the new Criminal Code articles prioritized democracy and humanity. The accusation that the Criminal Code is anti-democratic and does not care about public safety is very inappropriate.

The Mufti continued, even before the term of the new Criminal Code was enacted, it had more potential to harm democracy. During the Old Order and New Order eras, the old Criminal Code was used as a means of repression. Therefore the ratification of the Criminal Code is a new chapter for Indonesia which marks the birth of the actual codification of criminal law.

In a sense, the ratification of the Criminal Code has never contradicted democracy because there are no anti-democratic articles in it. The reason is because it still gives people space to express opinions freely and politely. As in the article on insulting the president and vice president, what is prohibited is insulting, not criticism. Moreover, insults can only be punished if reported by the president/wapres.

The articles in the Criminal Code will actually improve democracy. Democracy will be in accordance with Indonesian culture, not wild and barbaric. In a sense, democracy is a situation where the people’s voice is heard and they are allowed to make laws in this country (through the people’s representatives). However, things changed after the reform began in May 1998.

1998 was the beginning of reform when the New Order collapsed. At that time, the people were euphoric in their opinion, because for 32 years they were silenced, even threatened by Peter’s safety. When the Reform Order began, the people enjoyed freedom of opinion and were not afraid of being subjected to Breidel or Petrus.

But it’s a shame that post-reform freedoms have gone too far. Freedom turns into liberal and opinions are shed as much as possible, both positive and negative. Even though Indonesia is a democratic country, not liberal in principle like the United States.

Especially when the internet entered Indonesia and social media became widespread. Many argue on Facebook, Twitter or other social media and unfortunately more and more are being sarcastic and insulting the government. There are also those who make memes and jokes, as well as jokes, if there is a government regulation that is not approved.

This situation has crossed the boundaries of democracy and has almost turned Indonesia into a liberal one. Therefore, democracy was re-established and straightened out with the RKUHP. This law contains an article that insults the government and the public is strictly prohibited from doing so.

If the government is insulted by making memes or other ridiculous content, then it is tantamount to insulting the honor of the country. Liberalization like this is what the Criminal Code is trying to abolish. In a democratic country, the people are allowed to have an opinion, but they must not go too far and end up insulting their own head of state. The dignity of the Indonesian president must be truly guarded.

Meanwhile, Chief Expert Staff of the Presidential Staff Office Sigit Pamungkas stated that the Criminal Code does not silence democracy. The formulation of the Criminal Code on freedom of speech is a reflection of Indonesia’s experience in democracy. It is also the hope of democracy in the future.

Sigit continued, in the past, freedom of speech was still limited by control over parties, civil society and the media. Currently the pillars of democracy are released to provide aspirations. Parliament is also very open to the public.

In a sense, people who protest against the Criminal Code should be aware of how miserable the fate of the people was in the New Order era. Freedom is silenced and if anyone is determined to demonstrate against the government, his fate can end up in the cold hands of Peter. When there is media that is critical of the government, it will be banned and never given a re-issuance permit.

However, today freedom and democracy are maintained and never silenced. In the Criminal Code there is no prohibition against voicing aspirations, either directly or via social media. Openness to parliament is also wide open and the public can interact through official social media accounts. Therefore, no one should ever say that the Criminal Code kills democracy in Indonesia.

The Criminal Code safeguards democracy in Indonesia so that it is truly upheld. Indonesia is a democratic country and not a liberal one. The articles in the Criminal Code regulate society to be orderly and avoid criminal crimes. The rules in the Criminal Code also uphold democracy because people are allowed to have opinions, as long as they don’t become liberal, violent, and hurtful.

)* The author is a contributor to Persada Institute

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