TWO photographs are perched on the wall of room number 504 at the Nusantara Building at the House of Representatives (DPR) complex in Jakarta. The photographs depict DPR member Agung Sasongko posing with a number of Papuan women with curly hair and topless, or bare-chested. “That was when I made a working visit [to Papua] in February last year,” said the Deputy Chair of the Special Committee deliberating the Draft Anti-Pornography and Porno-Action Law when speaking with Tempo on Wednesday last week.
As he pointed to the photograph Agung warned that cultural diversity must be maintained in the drafting of the Pornography Law. He also put forward this view during a drafting team meeting on January 11. The other participants in the meeting finally compromised by changing the title of the law from the “Draft Law on Anti-Pornography and Porno-Action” to the “Draft Law on Pornography.”
This compromise was the latest breakthrough in the deliberations on the law since it was first mooted in February 2006. Since then also, members of the public have expressed opinions in support of and against it. Between March and April last year for example, demonstrations supporting and opposing the law alternately erupted in a number of cities across the country. The Bali Provincial Government even threatened to reject the bill if was ratified into law. Eventually the Chair of the Special Committee, Balkan Kaplale, stated that they would revise the law and public opposition abated.
In fact right from the start, the various factions in the Special Committee have been divided on a number of issues. One of these was over the name of the law. The United Development Party (PPP) suggested that it be titled the “Draft Anti-Pornography and Porno-Action Law” while the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) proposed calling it the “Draft Law Controlling the Distribution of Pornographic Materials.” The debate over the law’s name was consistently heated. “Out of the 12 occasions that the drafting team met, only once did it reach a quorum,” said PDI-P Special Committee member Ni Gusti Ayu Sukmadewi Djakse.
In July last year, lobbying between the factions started to bear fruit. During deliberations at Kopo in the West Java resort area of Cisarua, an agreement was reached to discard the word “Anti” from the title. It was then agreed that there were two alternatives left: the “Draft Law on Pornography” or the “Draft Law on Pornography and Porno-Action.” By the end of the year the drafting team had also revised a number of articles in the law based on list of issues that had been presented by each of the factions. As a result the law was slimmed down with the initial 93 articles now narrowed down to 45.
It was this outcome, half a year’s work, that was discussed by the drafting team at the DPR on January 11. The meeting that began at 10am only ended four hours later. The result was that the name would be the “Draft Law on Pornography” and specific articles in the law would be discussed in more detail later. “We can accept that the word ‘Porno-Action’ is not in the title, but the substance must be in the articles,” said PPP faction member Sulaeman Fadeli.
According to a PDI-P member who wished to remain anonymous, the debate that finally agreed to the name for the law was very tough—shaped by two camps that both defended their respective views. The PPP, the Justice & Prosperity Party (PKS), the Democratic Pioneer Star Party (PBPD) and the Democrat Party (PD) were on one side while in the other camp was the PDI-P, the Golkar Party, the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the Prosperous Peace Party (PDS). As it happened, the National Awakening Party (PKB) and the Reform Star Party (PBR) did not attend the meeting. “But if there was a vote, we were certain to win,” said the source.
Now, in order to accommodate the interests of the parties that persevered with including the word “Porno-Action,” the meeting decided to form a negotiating team. The team was made up of three people and chaired by Prof. Tamburaka from the Golkar faction. During the meeting on January 18 the team submitted four articles on indecent acts that would be included in the draft law.
Special Committee member Tiurlan Hutagaol from the PDS claims that the articles on indecent acts were the most crucial in the deliberations of the law. Nevertheless says Tiurlan, the PDS faction did not make an issue out of these articles as long as it regulated acts that clearly violated public decency.
According to Sulaeman, the compromise made by the PPP was indeed in relation to the articles on indecent acts. The word “Porno-Action” could be removed from the law’s title, but the articles still exist in the law. The articles on indecent acts said Sulaeman, must exist because the current situation is worrying. “We have been admonished by the tsunami, the Yogyakarta earthquake and the Senopati ship disaster as well as Adam Air. How could we not be mindful,” he said. He hopes that the other factions will respect his party’s stand. “If the agreement is irreparably damaged, we will leave the Special Committee,” he said.
The change to the law’s title was greeted with relief by Ratna Batara Munti, Coordinator of the National Legislation Program Women’s Network. Nevertheless Ratna believes that the new draft still has many weaknesses. “The draft law is deficient in regulating the issue of pornographic crimes as well as the regulation of materials that can be categorized as pornographic,” said the Director of the Apik (Association of Indonesian Women for Justice) Legal Aid Foundation.
Ratna points to a number of weaknesses in the final draft saying the definition of pornography as well as the difference between soft- and hard-core pornography are unclear. “There’s a lot of potential for multiple interpretations in its implementation,” she said. Likewise also with regard to artistic performances that can only he held in specific places and must have a government permit. According to Ratna, this rule will damage artists and at the same time stifle artistic creativity.
Although having been revised, the draft law does indeed still appear to have the potential to provoke controversy. But Agung Sasongko guarantees that they will be careful and not be in a hurry to finish the draft. “The results of the drafting team meeting will still be discussed in a Special Committee plenary session,” he said. If the Special Committee approves it, the DPR will ask the President to issue a presidential mandate to appointment government partners in the deliberation of the law.
Speaking with Tempo, the Director-General of Legislation at the Department of Justice, Abdul Wahid, stated that they are indeed still waiting for developments on the law at the DPR. “We are ready to discuss them,” he said.
From Consumers to Models
Below are the final compromises reached in the deliberation of the Draft Pornography Law.
Name of Law
Initial proposals: The Draft Anti-Pornography Law, the Draft Law on Pornography and Porno-Action, the Draft Law on Pornography and the Draft Regulation on the Dissemination of Pornographic Materials.
Compromise result: The Draft Law on Pornography.
Total number of articles in the old draft law: 93.
New draft law: 45.
Definition of pornography
Old draft law: Pornography is substance in the media or communication medium that is manufactured to convey ideas that exploit sexuality, lewdness and/or eroticism.
New draft law: Pornography is a result of a human work that manufactures sexual material in the form of pictures, diagrams, illustrations, photographs, writing, voice, sound, moving images, animation, cartoons, lyrics, dialog or other forms of communicated messages through the media and/or that are displayed in public, in order to arouse sexual desire and/or violate public morality.
Child pornography: All forms of visual work, including photographs, film, video, or computer pictures or images or pictures produced by computer, either manufactured or produced by electronic equipment, mechanical, as well other equipment.
Soft pornography: A minimum jail sentence of 1 year, a maximum of 5 years, and/or a minimum fine of Rp100 million, a maximum of Rp500 million.
Hardcore pornography: A minimum jail sentence of 2 years, a maximum of 10 years, and/or a minimum fine of Rp200 million, a maximum of Rp1 billion. If it involves a child, a minimum jail sentence of 3 years 6 months, a maximum of 13 years 4 months, and/or a minimum fine of Rp300 million, a maximum of Rp1.5 billion.
Soft pornography involving a child: A minimum jail sentence of 1 year 6 months, a maximum of 8 years and/or a minimum fine of Rp150 million, a maximum of Rp700 million.
Penalties for distributors
Soft pornography: A minimum jail sentence of 3 years or a maximum of 12 years, and/or a minimum fine of Rp500 million, a maximum of Rp2 billion.
Pornography involving a child: A minimum jail sentence of 4 years, a maximum of 15 years, and/or a minimum fine of Rp650 million, a maximum of Rp3 billion.
Hardcore pornography: A minimum jail sentence of 3 years 6 months, a maximum of 13 years, and/or a minimum fine of Rp650 million and a maximum of Rp2.5 billion. If it involves children, it incurs a minimum jail sentence of 4 years 5 months, a maximum of 15 years, and/or a minimum fine of Rp100 million and a maximum of Rp500 million.
Soft pornography: depiction of the hips, buttocks and breasts.
Hardcore pornography: the depiction of (1) the sexual organs and/or the naked body of an adult; (2) the act of a person(s) conducting masturbation or masturbating; (3) the act of a person having sexual contact or conducting activities that are directed towards sexual contact.
Child pornography: covers the manufacture of the depiction of sexual relations or activities that are directed towards giving the impression of sexual relations that involve a child.
Penalties for users
Soft pornography: A minimum jail sentence of 1 year or a maximum of 5 years, and/or a minimum fine of Rp100 million, a maximum of Rp500 million.
Pornography involving a child: A minimum jail sentence of 1 year 6 months, a maximum of 6 years 8 months, and/or a minimum fine of Rp150 million, a maximum of Rp600 million.
Hardcore pornography: A minimum jail sentence of 1 year 6 months, a maximum of 6 years, and/or a minimum fine of Rp150 million, a maximum of Rp550 million. If it involves children, it incurs a minimum jail sentence of 2 years 5 months, a maximum of 7 years, and/or a minimum fine of Rp200 million, a maximum of Rp650 million.
Penalties for pornographic models:
A minimum jail sentence of 1 year 6 months, a maximum of 7 years, and/or a minimum fine of Rp150 million, a maximum of Rp750 million.
Abdul Manan Source: Draft Formulation Team, January 25, 2007
Tempo Magazine, No. 23/VII/Feb 06 – 12, 2007