Indonesia’s ban on extramarital sex will not affect tourists in Bali, a local government official says. “Bali, as always, is a comfortable and safe place,” assures the governor of this Indonesian island.
Wayan Koster, the governor of Bali, said in a Sunday statement cited by CNN that the country’s ban on extramarital sex would not affect tourists arriving there. The new law has been adopted by parliament Indonesia last week, and information that it will also apply to people from abroad was initially provided by the officials themselves. “Based on the provisions of the new Indonesian Penal Code, tourists who visit or live in Bali need not worry,” Koster now said. He added that “there will be no checks on marital status in tourist establishments such as hotels, villas, guesthouses or spas, and there will be no checks by public officials or community groups.”
Controversial Penal Code in Indonesia
The amendment to the penal code was adopted on 6 December. It contained provisions such as punishable by imprisonment of up to one year for extramarital and premarital sex. Such an offense will only be reported to law enforcement by a limited group of people, such as spouses, parents and children. A ban on cohabitation was also introduced for couples who are not married, a ban apostasy and penalties for insulting the president or expressing views contrary to national ideology.
The Code, which will come into force in three years, is widely criticized by the organizations involved human rights and business representatives. It is pointed out that this is a step towards fundamentalism, as well as a threat to the millions of couples who live without entering into a formal relationship. It was also warned that the new law could seriously weigh on the economy of the country, which draws a significant part of its income from tourism, and this sector has already been hit hard during the pandemic.
“Bali, as always, is a comfortable and safe place. We look forward to welcoming tourists, whom we will welcome with Balinese hospitality, and we advise all entities not to spread false information regarding the Indonesian penal code that may disrupt tourism in Bali,” Koster now said.
Main photo source: Shutterstock