Government will demean Independence Day if it ratifies Draft Criminal Code: Observer

CNN Indonesia – July 30, 2022
Students rally against RKUHP in front of parliament building in Jakarta – June 28, 2022 (CNN)

Jakarta – Forum of Concerned Citizens for Indonesia's Parliament (Formappi) researcher Lucius Karus believes that the government will in fact demean this year's Independence Day celebrations if it enacts the Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP) before August 17.

Karus said that so far the deliberations on the RKUHP have been closed and its super fast enactment will add to the poor quality of the law.

"If it is deliberated quickly without meaningful participation from the public, it won't mean giving [us] a gift, but instead it will demean the Independence Day celebrations because the government doesn't care about the ordinary people", Karus told CNN Indonesia on Friday July 29.

Karus is concerned that the ratification of the RKUHP will resemble the revisions to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law and the Omnibus Law on Job Creation. Both pieces of legislation were deliberated lightning fast and with minimal public participation.

He is urging the government to contain its desire to enact the RKUHP before Independence Day on August 17 and for the government to reopen the deliberations so they are conducted in a transparent manner.

He is also asking the DPR to not remain silent because, according to Karun, the DPR must take a firm position and oppose the government pushing the law through. "The time has come, the DPR doesn't need to always be a shield to service the government's interests", he said.

Earlier, Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD revealed that the government plans to enact the RKUHP next month.

Mahfud said the government wants to dedicate the new Criminal Code (KUHP) as an Independence Day gift to the people. He said that the KUHP which is currently in force is a product of the Dutch colonial period.

The RKUHP is still being challenged by the public because it contains a number of controversial articles. One of these is the crime of insulting the president or vice president. (dhf/agt)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Pengamat Nilai Pemerintah Lecehkan HUT RI Jika Sahkan RKUHP".]