Thursday, November 06, 2008

Indonesia Passed Anti-Discrimination Bill

History is made when blacks, who were denied suffrage as late as half a century ago, could rise to become a democratically elected president of the United States of America. What's more, Barrack Obama is actually a first generation American, where his father had migrated from Kenya.

But lets not look so far across the Pacific Ocean for an inspiring example of positive nation-building. Just a few days ago, Indonesia, who often perceived as "inferior" and "backward" to Malaysia, has just last week passed a groundbreaking law to legislate against racial discrimination.

As reported by Jakarta Post, the Indonesian House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill that terms ethnic and racial discrimination as serious crimes.
Deputy Speaker Muhaimin Iskandar, who presided over the House's plenary session to approve the draft law, said Indonesia no longer had any room for any form of racial or ethnic discrimination.

Chairman of the House's special committee deliberating the bill, Murdaya Poo, said the endorsement of the bill should put an end to the long-standing dichotomy between indigenous and non-indigenous people in the country.

"A man cannot choose to be born as part of a certain race or ethnic group, and therefore discrimination must cease to exist," said Murdaya, who is Indonesian-Chinese.

He said the House proposed the bill as part of its effort to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, which has been enacted since 1999.

Under the new law, leaders of public institutions found guilty of adopting discriminatory policies would face jail terms one-third more severe than those stipulated in the Criminal Code.


"We decided to set prison as the minimum sentence to deter people from committing racial or ethnic discrimination," said Murdaya, a member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).
Will a bill as such see the light of day in our beloved country?


Anonymous said...

Such thing could only happen after the demise of UMNO - which many people including me have been praying everyday for it to happen!!

Anonymous said...

So as an MP what are you going to do about it?

Anonymous said...

"Under the new law, leaders of public institutions found guilty of adopting discriminatory policies would face jail terms one-third more severe than those stipulated in the Criminal Code."

The reason such legislation won't fly in Malaysia is because of the perceived (and often enough real, IMHO) discrimination in the private sector. The thinking is "one for you, one for me lah!"

That's not to say nothing can be done... a proper tribunal, staffed with individuals of the highest integrity and inclusive of all groups including orang asli, could hand down judgments, but only unanimously.

A pipe dream? Maybe... but unless it's something of that scale, I think forget about it.

If the will is there (and I think Pakatan has the capital to pitch such a proposal) then I think we can do something special.

Anonymous said...

Hail Susilo Bambang, the most courageous & far-sighted leader in Asia. In 2004, when Susilo became President, he declared that all migrant races (Chinese, Indians, etc) born in Indonesia would be treated as PRIBUMIS, having the same rights & status as the indigenious Indons. He also declared Chinese N Year a national holiday (which previously was not one). Without a doubt Indon'sia is now politically & socially more matured than this God-forsaken nation.

Imagine if M'sia has this same anti-discrimination law, the NEP would be rendered illegal. Those who had objected to Mdm. Low's appointmt. as PKNS GM would've been sent to jail by now.

NEO said...

most country have anti competition acts!

Anonymous said...

In a few years, Malaysian will be working in Indonesia as illegal immigrant.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, there is also the news that M'sia hopes to strengthen ties with the US, now that Obama is at the helm. Wonder what he thinks about the discriminatory policies practiced ... Does it bode well with his ideals??? Tough call :p

Anonymous said...

You know, looking at the UNHCHR website, it looks like our country has ratified fewer of the conventions against discrimination than many other countries.. even China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Fiji - countries which we may not tend to associate with progressive politics - appear to have ratified the convention on the elimination of racial disc.

Anonymous said...

Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs; antd soume drtor ain't azs srmat !!

Anonymous said...

Barrack Obama, father black, mother white and a Christian, now president-elect of the USA.
Mahathir Mohd, father Indian, Mother Melayu and a Muslim. Former Prime Minister of Malaysia.
So what is new? No big deal. Been there ,Done that in Malaysia. It had happened much earlier in Malaysia than America.
Do you think, Former Chairman of Chief of Joint Staff, General Colin Powel and Rev Jessie Jackson will get the same treatment as Obama if they run for presidency?
So "Change, yes we can" must be looked from different angle and don't look at Obama as the first black or else it is no big deal as though you are looking at Mahathir.

amoker said...

I am sure those who are citing indonesia as the model of integration ( means minority embrace the majority) will keep quiet. This act will further enhance the pancasila against segregation by race.

Anonymous said...