Based on data from the Central Statistical Bureau (BPS) on February 2016, open unemployment level was 5.5%, while poverty level was 10.86% in March 2016. Foreign Debt until July 2016 was IDR 3,359.82 trillion. Economic growth for the 2nd quarter of 2016 was 5.175%. Then what is the policy issue dealt by our government? Citizen’s private life.
Confusing and disgusting at the same time, don’t you think? It is not the first time we are amazed in disbelieve when reading the news. The latest issue was the demand to expand the immorality clause in the Criminal Law. The main demand is to make it a crime for homosexual and unmarried partnership. The latest issue was the demand to expand the immorality clause in the Criminal Law. The main demand is to make criminalize homosexuals and unmarried partnership. It is unreasonable when we are encountering a real life problem shown in the BPS data, but the state is still spending its time encroaching its citizens’ private sphere.
Luckily some sane people came up with rational argument, like the National Commission on Women that rejected the idea of criminalization of homosexual and unmarried partnership. When the consenting adults involved and based on mutual consent, it shouldn’t be on State’s jurisdiction to get involved with the citizen’s private life.
To criminalize something which in the realm of private and moral discourse shouldn’t be government’s business and priority. State should focus on fundamental matters, such as citizens basics needs. That is what stated in our Constitution, isn’t it? But why instead, that even Article 28 that clearly protects human right, including the private space of each individual, has now have never been more vulnerable from violation by the state and shallow thinking people who can’t understand the basic concept in inter-human relations.
Democracy has enabled people to contribute their opinion in the policy creation process. But, when state is in coalition of fallacy to pass, legislate, and institutionalized, and propagate ideas that clearly violates human rights as part of their policy, for us who are aware and concern with Human Rights and individual liberty, we must not remain silent.
It is worrying when democracy is always associated with absolute majority decision that rules over everyone. Especially when the government and certain groups think they are the guardians of higher moral ground and better than others. This condition make them think that they can just easily corner and punish people who they think as deviants or those who are free to do as their will in their private realm as long as they choose it based on their own consent and interest.
When the state can be that permissive and tolerant to those who think they are not bound by any rules, who boldly cry hatred and trigger conflict, when the state is submissive to those who are in power or rich but sacrificing justice and ignoring the law, and when state is in evil coalition with they who think they are standing in higher moral authority to violate rights of minority or just can’t hold themselves to not to meddling with citizens private business, there must be someone who stands and cry loudly and move against this evil. But who?
All of us, anyone, individual or collective, old or young, rich or poor, all of us with conscience and realize that once we let it loose, we will open the gates for more violation of individual liberty. That the only limit for individual freedom is others’ freedom.
Instead, when something is clearly a realm of private domain and not under the power of public law, to be mixed with what should be state business, it should be us to sue the government and those who are ‘illiterate’ in law and human rights, for they have violated the human rights and our own constitution.
Adinda Tenriangke Muchtar is Chief Editor of Suara Kebebasan. She is also Executive Board Chairperson of Yayasan Kebebasan Indonesia (Indonesian Freedom Foundation) and Executive Director of a public policy think-tank based in Jakarta, The Indonesian Institute, Center for Public Policy Research (TII). Adinda completed her Ph.D. in Development Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (2018) with scholarship from NZAID. Adinda earned Master of International Studies from The University of Sydney (2003) with scholarship from AusAID and Bachelor of Social Science from International Relations Department, FISIP University of Indonesia (2001). Her focus of interests are development and public policy, democracy and good governance, women’s empowerment, and international aid. Adinda can be reached at email: firstname.lastname@example.org and twitter @tenriangke.