Tourism industry backs efforts to challenge the porn bill

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Members of Bali’s tourism industry declared their support Tuesday for efforts to legally challenge the recently passed pornography bill, calling the bill a violation of individual rights and an egregious monopoly on cultural values.

Head of Bali Tourism Board (BTB) Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya said the industry was ready to support any legal challenge made to the pornography bill, including the plan by the Bali People’s Component (KRB) to file a judicial review with the Constitutional Court.

He regretted the passing of the bill, saying it was a violation of personal rights and a blatant attempt to standardize public values.

“Thus we are in full support of KRB’s attempt to have a judicial review of the bill,” he said at Denpasar’s BTB office.

He further applauded the island’s leaders, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika and Speaker of the Bali Provincial Legislative Council (DPRD) Ida Bagus Putu Wesnawa, who last Friday had declared that the province would not carry out the law because it was not in line with the island’s philosophical and social values.

“That was indeed representative of our Balinese feelings as a community. We salute and support the governor and DPRD speaker.”

When asked whether the tourism industry would be at stake should the bill become law once the president signs it, Ngurah said he was not worried.

Ngurah said the island’s united approach in dealing with the bill would automatically halt any effort to apply the law on the island.

“We are not worried at all. We are certain that the central government will not be able to apply that bill in Bali because the people here have denounced it.”

In a separate interview, head of the Bali Tourism Workers Union (SP Par), Badung I Putu Satyawira, also declared his support for a judicial review of the pornography bill, calling it a threat to the 11,582 members of his union and the Balinese public as a whole.

“We are in full support of the judicial review because it is obviously detrimental to our business and our livelihood,” he said.

He echoed Ngurah’s statement and said that the pornography bill dove deep into people’s personal matters.

Satyawira said the bill was a violation of basic human rights, and that it would be an “egregious” violation of human rights if the country’s leaders allowed the bill to become law.

“Deciding for ourselves what is right is a god-given individual right. We simply cannot condone the fact that the bill is trying to meddle in our personal lives,” he said.

He further lambasted the House’s attempt to standardize public values, which threatens Indonesia’s pluralistic culture.

“We should not allow Indonesia, rich as it is in various cultures, to be standardized for ambiguous interests,” he said.

Satyawira said the pornography bill would hurt employees in the tourist industry financially since it might discourage tourists from visiting the island.

“Bali has always been known as a tolerant culture, and we have done pretty well all on our own filtering the various cultures which have entered Bali.”