Aceh mayor presses ahead with ban on women straggling motorbikes

Detik News – January 7, 2013
Official pulls over  woman riding on motorbike in Lhokseumawe - April 13 2013 (Detik)
Official pulls over woman riding on motorbike in Lhokseumawe - April 13 2013 (Detik)

Feri Fernandes, Lhokseumawe – A local government circular banning women passengers from straddling motorbikes has been posted at public locations in the northern Acehnese town Lhokseumawe. The circular will be in effect for three months before being signed into law as a mayoral regulation.

The circular, which was signed by Lhokseumawe Mayor Suaidi Yahya, Regional House of Representatives (DPRK) speaker Saifuddin Yunus, Ulema Consultative Council (MPU, assembly of religious leaders in Aceh) chairperson Tengku Asnawi Abdullah and Aceh Traditional Council (MAA) Chairperson Tengku Usman Budiman late on Monday January 7, was then posted at various points around the city.

Accompanied by government officials, Yahya posted the circular at busy city centres such as Harun Square. The circular has also been posted at mosques, coffee shop and other places. “We hope that everyone will obey this joint order for the sake of upholding Islamic law and Aceh’s cultural dignity and pride”, said Yahya.

Yahya stated that after the bylaw had been in force for three months, the municipal government would conduct an evaluation. It will be based upon the results of this evaluation that the appeal would be officially enacted as a mayoral regulation.

The circular states that, “Adult women that are being carried as passengers [on motorbikes] by a lawful spouse or male relative, husband, or by another woman should not sit astride, except in situations where it is unavoidable or in an emergency”.

There is no explanation of what is mean by an unavoidable or emergency situation. (try/nrl)

[Edaran Perempuan Dilarang Ngangkang Ditempelkan, Siap Jadi Peraturan – detikNews. Senin, 07/01/2013.Translated by James Balowski.]