No More Drink? Jakarta on Brink of Prohibition

Home early, with horrid news. 
Lawmakers from secular parties have added their voices to those of their counterparts in Islamic parties in support of a bill prohibiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages. 
Fifteen years ago I’d have laughed out loud. Ten years ago I’d still have scoffed. Five years ago, I’d have said it was stretching things a bit.
=============================Now? Faced with today’s JP story, I’m reminded of the Sinclair Lewis novel…

‘It Can’t Happen Here!’

A disturbing tale of extremists coming to power in a society that naively took freedoms for granted. Thee so-called ‘secular’ parties appear to be crumbling before the advance of the worst elements in the land.

The JP lists ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the Golkar Party and the Democratic Party as among those who have  agreed to the deliberation of the bill. 

Golkar is no surprise. At local levels the party created by the late dictatorship has fallen into the hands of intolerant fanatics, like No-Shame Neneng in Bekasi, where religious minority citizens are shamelessly persecuted. 

Hey, Golkar! Are You TRULY Proud of ‘No-Shame’ Neneng

Meanwhile, rather than acknowledge that it’s mere appeasement of nasty intolerants, any threadbare excuse is trotted out.

“It’s for reasons of health and safety,”said one Democrat Party leader. The DP is the party that put President SBY ( champion of worldwide censorship of ‘blasphemy’) into power.
Better then to ban the IslamoNazi thug gangs!
But no chance of that, for look who injected this latest toxic nonsense into the body politic.
Islamist National Development Party (PPP) and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) initiated the bill in 2012…
Yes, the PPP, whose most infamous spokesman for years was Minister of Religion Suryadharma Ali, aka the Archbigot of Jakarta.
ali heretical Ali’s archbigotry
anis    Anis  Osama   osama_bin_satan

And the PKS? Their current leader tail-ended 9/11 by writing a sickening ode of praise for Osama Bin Laden.
If these are the parties setting the course for Indonesia, then Indonesia is heading for the rocks. The prohibition bill prescribes between three months’ and two years’ imprisonment for anyone caught consuming alcohol.

Interestingly, this monstrous scheme has been kept in the parliamentary shadows. A clap on the back to whoever whistle-blew the fanatics’ grand design, a copy of which has been obtained by The Jakarta Post.

The reassuring thing is that Indonesians, once alerted to a wrong, will not just bow down – the childish attempts by the in-crowd to emulate tiresome Western-style harassment of smokers has only partially cowed the populace.
Menaces to their modest intake of alcohol will face resistance too!
The bill apparently has some get-out passages, including one concerning tourists. No details, but while the posh hotels may well get to keep their bars..
… suppose you want to meet Indonesian friends or colleagues outside the luxury locations -say, a cold one on Jakarta’s Ancol sea-front?
I believe there is a cop-shop with holding cells in that neighbourhood….
=====. .
This creeping shariah has already denied us the freedom to enjoy a beer at the tables outside the multitude of minimarts which Jakartans loved.
Nor can you even buy a bottle there to take home.
 “The bill is aimed at ensuring public order,...” we hear that from a PDI-P man. That’s the party that put President Jokowi in the Palace, somebody we once thought liked freedom as an idea.

Public order?  Again, the best way of ensuring public order is to outlaw the sectarian thug gangs.


Sejumlah massa dari Front Pembela Islam (FPI) melakukan aksi di depan Gedung Mahkaman Konstitusi (MK), Jakarta, Rabu (27/1).



“But it should not contradict the long-held traditions of our society,” continues this PDI-P minion, Masinton Pasaribu, who has apparently forgotten this is NOT an Islamic Republic.


What next? Stoning ‘naughty’ women, as another means of ensuring public order?

In fact, as the JP points out, alcoholic drinks have deep roots in Indonesian society, from the many traditional spirits and bootleg liquor to Bintang — a beer brand globally synonymous with Indonesia, home to the world’s biggest Muslim population. 

That last phrase has no place in a Pancasila state, guaranteeing fair play to all creeds, not just the one that is biased against beer..


Bintang boss Cosmas Batubara warns of the economic damage that would accompany the repressive aspects of prohibition – the business and investment climate would be severely disrupted if the bill were passed.

It would certainly create a HUGE new category of law-breakers.
And resident foreigners would be appalled – most of us don’t share the legislators’ opinion that Indonesians should be imprisoned for a harmless refreshment on a hot day.

 Bill on Alcohol prohibition gets secular backing