Among other things, the bill extends the liability of limited companies to its managers and owners and also criminalizes consensual extramarital sex.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, whose administration proposed the bill in 2015, asked the House of Representatives (DPR) on Friday to delay the ratification of the bill, which was scheduled for next Tuesday, after students and activists rallied on the streets of Jakarta and on social media to oppose it.
Surya Tjandra, the spokesperson of legal affairs at the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), said article 48 and 50 of the bill stipulate that managers or the ultimate controlling shareholder will be held criminally liable for their company.
“The bill is bad news for businesses since what it creates is more legal uncertainty. Entrepreneurs or corporate managers will be afraid to take any action because if their judgment is wrong, they are vulnerable to being convicted,” Surya said.
“The articles should instead stipulate under what conditions corporations can face criminal charges and specify the limited conditions in which individuals or corporate officers, both structural and functional, can be held accountable,” he said.
“It makes people liable [to be charged with a criminal act] based on unwritten laws. [Furthermore] this ‘rubber’ article is applied subjectively; how it’s interpreted is up to the majority of the people who live in a specific area,” Rian said.
“If the leader of a company accidentally does something that violates local customs or laws, he or she could go straight to jail,” he said.
Since the controversy over the bill started to heat up, Australia has already issued a travel warning for its citizens traveling in Indonesia, calling for Australians to take extra precautions when visiting Bali.
“Indonesia is already low in the tourism ranking, below Singapore and Malaysia according to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. The controversy over this bill can send it plummeting even further. We might even struggle to reach our target of 17 million foreign tourists this year,” Azril said.