Proponent of Indonesia’s ‘family resilience’ bill defends article requiring parents and children to sleep in separate rooms ‘to avoid incest’

Photo: Pixabay.com
Photo: Pixabay.com

RUU Ketahanan Keluarga (Family Resilience Bill) is fast becoming one of the most unpopular proposed legislations in Indonesia, as it contains numerous articles that could threaten civilians’ sexual privacy, as well as sexual minorities.

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Following the bill’s recent leak to the public, different aspects of the proposed legislation have been roundly scrutinized by the public and media alike. One aspect that has been criticized is an article that would mandate the separation of bedrooms between parents and children and between siblings of different genders in order to avoid incestuous relationships.

Netty Prasetiyani, a lawmaker from the Islamic-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and a proponent of the bill, said the article is necessary.

“It turns out that seven-year-olds are capable of molesting their five-year-old siblings. Why? It starts from the family. They’re not separating the bedrooms of parents and children in the house,” Netty said, as quoted by Detik.

The Commission for the Protection of Indonesian Children (KPAI) said this aspect of the bill needs further evaluation as it fails to recognize that many Indonesians don’t have the economic means to provide bedrooms for each of their children.

“Not all families own houses in Jakarta. Some families rent a 3-by-3 meter space with a kitchen and a bed in the same room. Can cases like this be addressed [by the bill]?” KPAI Commissioner Jasra Putra told Kompas.

The bill does not state how authorities would enforce the invasive laws contained within. Its passage through parliament has been smooth so far considering that it was listed to be prioritized in parliament’s 2020-2024 national legislation program. However, widespread public condemnation following its leak may hold the bill back in the future.

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