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Indonesia’s House of Representatives will today resume debate on a controversial bill that pushes for the banning of the consumption and distribution of alcohol across the country, including in tourist hotspot Bali. Under the proposed new laws, alcohol would be complete prohibited, with distributing alcohol punishable with 10 years in prison and consuming alcohol punishable with three years in prison.
Known as the Prohibition of Alcoholic Drinks Bill, the draconian proposed rules were actually first introduced in 2015, but stalled over the past five years. A request to resume the debate around it was filed by politicians linked to the Islam-based United Development Party.
“This bill aims to keep the public from harm, create order, protect the public from alcoholics and create awareness about the dangers of alcohol consumption,” said one of the Bill’s proponents, Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal.
However, it’s unlikely the bill will come to fruition. Many others within the country’s parliament have criticised the bill for being too broad in its approach, and for not taking into consideration the impact of Indonesia’s tourism industry, which represents a large segment of the country’s economy.
“This bill prohibits the production, distribution, storage, and consumption of alcohol. It will kill a lot of businesses and lead to thousands of people without jobs,” said Christina Aryani of the Golkar party. “It’s not in line with the government’s goal to create as many jobs as possible.”