Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Temptation of Exemption

The Temptation of Exemption

Following the Balinese’s loud rejection toward the ludicrous bill, a growing number of politicians, particularly from the Islamic parties, have tried to convinced the public that the bill would not in any way be harmful to the cultural heritage and religious belief. They eagerly cited Article 36 of the bill, claiming that it exempt religious ritual, art performance and sport activity from the snoopy moral police of the bill.

Well, to those who are being tempted by the exemption, I believe, a brutal word-by-word examination of the article is being called for.

Lets start with Article 36 (section 1, clause a), which provide exemption to:

“Costume and/or behavior in accordance with the traditional ethnic custom and/or culture, as long as the costume and/or behavior are related to a religious ritual”

It means that the exemption does not cover:

  1. Traditional costume and manner that do not have any relation to a religious ritual.
  2. Other important aspects of the religious ritual, such as language, sacred objects, offerings and sacred performances.

It means that the display of pretima (sacred effigy), such as Lingga Yoni, is not covered by the exemption. It means that the display of a bare-breasted statue of Goddess Durgha inside a temple would still be considered by the bill as a crime

Article 36 (section 1, clause b) gives an exemption to art performances. However, in the similar article (section 2), the bill explicitly stated that the exemption was extended only to art performances that are being held in “places/building set aside specifically to hold art performances ”.

Later on, the Article 37 (clause 1) specifically dictates that those “specific places” must acquire a license/ a permit from the government beforehand.

It means that the exemption does not cover art performances in the temple, private houses, road intersections and cemetery---the common occurrences in Bali. The bill will certainly kill the Balinese traditional art by suffocating the arts’ fluid, spontaneous and communal nature.

Yet, the most dangerous trap of this exemption lies in the fact that by accepting such exemption, we, actually, have consciously acknowledge and affirm the right of the state to intrude on, influence upon and impose its values on the most private and personal domain of its citizen; the freedom of aesthetic expression and the freedom of religious belief.

If you want to open the door widely for the state’s snoopy moral police, if you want the state to dictate the terms and ways of your relationship with God then, by all means, you should support the exemption, embrace the bill.

For those, who want to keep religion and arts as a matter of personal taste and private choice then, by all means, let’s close the door, lock it tight and swallow the key!

Marlowe and Jun


At 12:02 AM, Anonymous Yulia said...

Denpasar, 3 March 2006

Dear friends,

Respectfully, we forward this CALL TO ACTION to Reject the proposed ANTIPORNOGRAPHY & PORNOACTION LAW on 3 March 2006, to be held at the Public Square, RENON in Denpasar, as follows:

1. Please place Banners at STRATEGIC places, with due concern to the environment and the safety of others, with text indicating that:

2. The call to action on 3 March LAPANGAN RENON, Denpasar, will begin at:
A. 6.30 a.m. Morning Exercise groups from all over Bali.
(Field coordinator Ibu Grace Lala
B. 09.40 a.m. A “Cheer Leader” Greeting for the Special Committee upon arrival at Ngurah Rai Airport by arranged by friends from Kuta (Lala, Aria,etc)
C. 10.00 a.m. Exercise groups form a Tribute of Beauties (Super-beauties) through which the Special Committee must pass to enter the Governor’s office.
D. 14.00-18.00 ongoing Action will be focused at the Renon Central Park, with Performances by Artists and Theatre.
(Stage Manager: Abu Bakar)

Those who wish to make a speech, or bring banners (spanduk) or petitions, please contact us at 081 23945064.

With love, and seeking truth, those of you who join in this Action for Peace and Beauty, are requested to participate in full spirit, to join us in taking care to keep the protest orderly and determination to express the beauty of mankind on this earth.

3. We also hope there will be amongst you a number of kind-hearted donors who will bring drinks and snacks for those who have come from afar, (food also if possible!) and plastic bags for rubbish..
4. Health Officers will be standing by.
(Coordinator: Pria Drasana).
5. Those who would like to make a donation, please Contact Lala 0811139945

More information is available at: 03617422392

Please contact us if you need any further clarification. Let’s make a success of this action for all of Mankind on this Earth!


Ngurah Harta

At 8:58 PM, Blogger Ni Made said...

Veils for rent!
As a young Balinese woman I want to express my deep concern about the so-called “Pornography Bill”, which – if ever passed – would jeopardize Bali’s main income source, namely tourism!
All over Indonesia (real) pornography (video blue) is sold under the table, but Jakarta’s hypocrite legislators are going to criminalize tourists showing their hips, navel or thighs. Up to ten (!) years imprisonment and fines up to Rp 1 billion will certainly attract millions of tourists to visit Indonesia (not only Bali) as an “open society”.
Suggestion for those who are responsible for this “idiotically ludicrous document” (quotation columnist Aridus): On every airport, next to the Visa on Arrival Desk set up a counter where tourists can rent veils and ankle-long swimming suits.
Next elections are coming for sure. Balinese will not vote for parties who support this ridiculous law!

At 1:04 AM, Blogger Jakartass said...

It's not just the Balinese who reject this ludicrous bill, but more power to you for your efforts.

These are just a few of the blogs who have come out in support.
Expat in Jakarta

There are certainly more of us. Why not start a blogroll of supporters?

At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ketika tanah Negeri ini masih dibawah cengkeraman tangan penjajah
Begitu banyak nenek moyang kami yang telah berjuang dengan gigih untuk melepaskannya dari belenggu penjajahan

Ketika tanah Negeri ini telah bebas dari nista penjajah dengan mengumandangkan kata “MERDEKA”
Dengan lapang dada nenek moyang kami menerima tanah Negeri ini dijadikan sebuah Negara yang diberi nama Indonesia (bukan Negara Islam)

Ketiga Negara ini telah bulat berdaulat
Dengan besar hati nenek moyang kami menerima undang-undang dan hukum yang diberlakukan berasal dari warisan bekas bangsa para penjajah

Ketika budaya kaum kapitalis merajalela merambah negeri ini
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Ketika masalah HAM dan Demokrasi kalian kumandangkan dengan penuh semangat
Nenek moyang kami hanya dapat bergumam, demi Bangsa ini

Untuk apa semua yang telah mereka korbankan, karena kesadaran bahwa bangsa ini terdiri dari banyak suku dan Agama yang dianutnya.
Itulah Toleransi yang telah dibangun oleh nenek moyang kami orang-orang Islam, untuk kalian yang telah kami akui sebagai saudara se-Bangsa dan se-Tanah Air !

Kini di saat kami membutuhkan payung pelindung bagi anak-anak keturunan dan generasi penerus kami, kalian dengan begitu congkak menolaknya seakan hilang hati nurani yang bersemayan di dalam diri kalian - kalian katakan masalah yang paling urgen dan mendesak untuk ditindaklanjuti adalah masalah korupsi, padahal masalah intu adalah buah dari hukum dan aturan warisan penjajah yang kalian banggakan - bukan hukum dan aturan dari Agama kami - kalian telah lupa atas apa yang dikorbankan oleh nenek moyang kami !

Kini di saat kami ingin membangun kembali Bangsa ini yang sudah jatuh terpuruk tanpa moral yang dapat di banggakan, kalian dengan berbondong-bondong datang untuk menolaknya – dimana moral dan watak toleransi kalian ?

Kini disaat kami menuntut Demokrasi yang kalian banggakan untuk diterapkan, kalian malah mengingkarinya hanya karena memikirkan isi perut kalian sendiri – kenapa kalian menjadi Bangsa yang munafik ?

Model bangsa apakah kalian ini ?
Masih pantaskah kalian disebut sebagai bangsa yang sangat toleran ?
Masih benarkah kalian disebut sebagai Bangsa yang berpegang teguh pada Budaya dan Aturan ?
Masih pantaskah kalian disebut sebagai bagian dari Bangsa ini ?
Masih pantaskah ?

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