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Are You for Pornography?

Playboy Indonesia

Many words being said, pros and cons, about the proposed Anti-pornography bill (RUU APP-Rancangan Undang-undang anti-pornografi/pornoaksi). For the cons the reasons are not monolitic. (1) One who likes and enjoys pornography per se and doesn’t want to lose it. No matter what. (2) Those who dont like pornography, yet they dont like the RUU-APP either, as it’s against the freedom of expression and against the civil liberty. On top of it all, it’s against the values of democracy where individuality prevails.

For those who belong to the first category, no question needs to be asked. For the second, however, kindly give me some response regarding this pornography issue: do you agree with the pornography per se? If not, what we can do and what government should do to prevent it in the best interest of future generation?

Playboy Indonesia (2)

Do you agree with the Playboy magazine plan to launch its Bahasa Indonesia version? Do you think that will have no effects at all as far as moral degradation goes? Every parents in this country-and everywhere else- wants their kids to be brought up in a good environment, do you think the presence of Playboy in general book store will affect your high moral expectation of your kids?

Or, do you not care about morality as far as your kids are making a good progress in their education; or do you think the two are intertwine and inseparable?

Life seems to be so ‘colorful’ for Playboy Indonesia team management. After its office being attacked by Islamic hardliners, now it’s the turn of the office owner who wants them out on the ground that they’ve breached the contract agreement

According to the China’s People newspaper,

“A lawyer representing the building’s owner said Velvet Silver Media in the contract leased the building to run a production house.

But they published Playboy. It was against the contract and that’s why we ask them to leave,” the lawyer, identified only as Poli, was quoted by the Detikcom news website as saying.”

There’re many tips and tricks to get a lot of money in more elegant way without any need to fall trap into unnecessary controversy.

I dont know whether the editor and producer are a rookie who wants to steal a little bit limelight by making the publication happen, or mere a porn maniac who just wants to enjoy working what they enjoy watching. Either case, they’d better watch the porn movies and the original version of Playboy themselves instead of campaigning for it.

Indonesian society (mainly Muslims) has a long history of protesting any TV program, certain movies, and magazines/tabloids which they think will degrade morality on mass scale. The Playboy Indonesia editors and producers must’ve known those.

One thing that non-Indonesian needs to know is that people behind the anti-pornography campaign, or anti-Playboy in this matter, do not necessarily those who hate pornography at all cost. There are a bunch of them who enjoy watching porn movies or magazines, every now and then. They do it clandestinely, though. Not in front of their kids. And this is the point: porn is ok, but dont publish it in a open air. If you do, you make a mistake and face the consequences.

So, how about Playboy Indonesia which content no nudity? Two possibilities: it will stick to it (no nudity) or it’ll make it later when things start calming down. The second possibility is what lies in the mind of the attackers. In a country where corruption practices is rooted so deeply from top to bottom, hardly any people trust the law. When money rules, law is a joke. In the end, some frustrated people along with the hardliners take the law unto themselves.

Non-Indonesian should know this kind of mindset.

RUU APP Reviewed

Finally, the mounting pressures from every corner regarding the RUU APP – Rencana UU anti pornografi/pornoaksi (or anti-pornography bill) makes the committee who draft the RUU APP shaken. In the statement reported by Kompas Daily Badriyah Rayumi from Kebangkitan Bangsa Party acknowledges the blunder the committee made and promised to review the draft.

Responding to the news a member of Indonesia Forum– in which I am one of moderator board–named RM Danardono HADINOTO, an Indonesian expats in Austria and a Javanese Christian, makes a very good brief comment which is very interesting and that’s why I’d like to share it with you. He said:

Majority of Indonesians, irrespective of their religions, are against pornography. The opposition against the RUU APP, therefore, is not because we are supporting it. It’s much more to do with the immatured structure of the bill.

(Our) anti-pornography, should not be considered merely (belong to) Muslims or Islam, on the other hand it’s naturally Indonesian.

This is the people of Indonesia’s RUU. Thus, it should be drafted and made by and based on all entities which represent the pluralistic nature of Indonesian people instead of based on one teaching of particular religion.

I couldn’t agree more with RM Danardono Hadinoto on this point.

International Women Day

Yesterday (March 8, 2006) women around the world were remembered. United Nations made the day dedicated for women. Why only women? Why there’s no special day for men?

One would argue that because women since time immemorial have always been oppressed by men; regarded as the second creatures on the planet earth; as the weaker side of the society and hence, needs some kind of ‘help’ from (who else?) the so called ‘enlightened’ men to uplift their status.

Well, last week I was at the same car with a postgrad student of Delhi University along with other students who’re working on the same project conducted by an MNC company.

We talked on various light topics. During the chit-chat, she said that she prefers to go to campus by subway instead of by bus. I ask her why? Isn’t it nice to go by bus, as women have special place reserved for them? Just for your info, even the female passengers are much less than men, they got the same number of seats on the left side of the bus reserved for them. Men can sit on the female seats, but they have to give the reserved seats to women whenever they come inside the bus.

Surprisingly, she, named Nithin, got serious. She’s disagree with that kind of poor-women-help-them policy. By doing that, men actually just treat women like a handicapped persons who need help. She agree that women need to be independent, to be self-financed and to be less dependent financially and socially on men, but that should be through a more logical and dignified way: better education and skills.

Well, I couldn’t agree more with Nithin on this issue.

The Limits of Freedom

Eversince the cartoon controversy sparks a furore in the Muslim world, I resist the tempation to comment on that matter as I intend to dedicate, and therefore confine, this page only for talking on human interest, universal values and sort of reflection note on my self, local culture and tradition: the weakness and strong side of it and how we can start a new beginning from there. Besides, I regularly write on political issues in print media op-ed columns. So, I think I have had enough of them.

But as the controversy refuses to dissipate, and so many misunderstanding on the part of the Western people regarding this issue–you can see their “colorful” commentaries scattered in blogoworld as well as here–I try to explain a bit about the freedom of speech and attitude.

I’ve written in previous posting that the controversy was nothing to do with freedom of expression. Yet, as they insist that it is very much related with it, let me explain that even the freedom of expression has its own limitation or else you’ll end up being a criminal. Let me explain it by using their own criteria of freedom of press and expression.

According to Section 266B Danish Penal Code,

“Any person who publicly or with the intention of dissemination to a wide circle of people makes a statement or imparts other information threatening, insulting or degrading a group of persons on account of their race, colour, national or ethnic origin, belief or sexual orientation, shall be liable to a fine, simple detention or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.”

Section 140 said,

“Those who publicly mock or insult the doctrines or worship of any religious community that is legal in this country, will be punished by a fine or incarceration for up to four months.”

The two sections of Danish Penal Code above is crystal clear as to when your freedom ends. I 100 percent agree with it and everyone must give his/her nod of the universal values the penal code carries.

But then why Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, behaves “helplessly” when some Muslims community asked him to apologize regarding the issue on the ground that his country very much support freedom of expression to the fullest that he can do nothing much about it? He could have easily referred the matter to his own country judiciary as a good gesture to Muslim world.

In the meanwhile, the same newspaper, according to report in the Guardian, UK, has refused a series of cartoons against Jesus some three years ago because they were deemed to be offensive.

Why the difference? You tell me.

Beauty and the Beast

I watched the film series “Beauty and the Beast” in my childhood days, the days when Indonesian government under Suharto regime started allowing private TV channel to operate. More than only operational, it allowed the three private TVs to broadcast their own programmes without any need to relay official news by government run station called TVRI.

A privelege that private radio stations didn’t enjoy. No wonder. All the three TVs– RCTI, SCTV, TPI– were and are still owned by the sons and daughter of (former) President Suharto, the “King” of Indonesia. His “naughty” kids behave just like prince and princess to the crown no minister even dare to look at the eye (that’s what a Suharto’s former minister told me in a meeting the other day in New Delhi).

Speaking of the Beauty and the Beast, I like the film because it introduces inner love; not the physical ones. A pretty girl falls in love with an ugly but wise guy. Human tends to fall trap to physical beauty, instead of inner attractiveness. The so-called sex-appeal connote more to physical appearance. A friend writes here about how important to appreciate inner beauty not only on personal level, but also in business. He highlight a good example in India.

But Indonesian entrepreneur is not known for its independency in attitude and making business decision. They’re just copy-catting what they see in other parts of the world. Agreed, there’s nothing wrong to imitate the footsteps of successful story. But, climatizing with the local value and tradition on certain aspects wich is non-substantial to the fall and rise of a business is not a mistake either.

So here goes a story: A presenter from METRO TV names Sandrina Malakiano, wife of Eep Saifullah Fatah, was banned by the station management to appear as presenter simply because she now wearing jilbab (Islamic veil).

If the station channel permits its presenters to wear mini skirt, why it should prevent someone who wears jilbab, one might wonder. Besides, Indonesia is a country with the largest Muslim population in the world, which means allowing Sandrina to wear what she now wants to wear is feasible enough and not at all a liability even from business perspective.

The bottom line is the management of Metro TV just dont know what they’re doing. Surya Paloh, the owner and a Muslim from Aceh, a state known for its strong attachment and devoutness to Islam, should interfere in case he’s aint have a clue.

The right to wear “less” clothes should not prevent anyone from the right to wear “more.”

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