Yulida Medistiara, Jakarta – The Nusantara Traditional Community Alliance (AMAN) has criticised the government’s plan for couples to take pre-marital lessons on family life and children’s welfare before they can get married. AMAN believes that it will be difficult for traditional communities to qualify for this.
“If this becomes an administrative requirement then the state is also obliged to provide birth certificates for traditional community children who are born out of traditional marriages because traditional marriages are not yet legal in terms of state law”, said Tommy Indyan from AMAN’s Policy, Law and Human Rights Advocacy Directorate Case Defense Division at the Bakoel Cafe in Cikini, Central Jakarta, on Sunday November 17.
Indyan believes that the state is intervening too far in the private affairs of its citizens. Moreover traditional marriages in many parts of the country are still not legal and traditional society members do not even have electronic ID cards.
“The state is interfering too far. There are four issues right, acknowledging traditional communities, traditional lands. In areas where there are forest, the right to land. Then traditional law and other things which still take place there such as religious rituals and marriage identity”, he said.
Because of this, he said, if marriage certification becomes an administrative requirement for marriage, there will be lots of homework for the government to do. Indyan is asking the state to fulfill the political rights of traditional communities first.
“Diversity, political rights, fulfill these first. It’s okay to regulate other issues but fulfill the main requirements first”, he said.
According to Indyan, if the government’s intention is to provide education on marriage for couples, there is no need to make a pre-marital course a prerequisite for marriage. He said that the state should reduce the number of rules on things which actually have the potential to create conflicts in society.
“Stop interfering too far in areas within which there are already laws which are valid, particularly traditional laws. It’s enough to provide recognition and acknowledgement”, he said.
Earlier, the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, proposed pre-marital lessons for couples wanting to get married. The courses would become an administrative requirement before getting married.
“Whether there is a need for certification or not that’s a technical issue. What’s important is that there must be a kind of pre-marital study program”, said Effendy at the Presidential Palace complex in Jakarta on Thursday November 14.
“Basically they must take part in some kind of pre-marital training or education or a course”, he explained. (mae/dnu)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Kritik Wacana Kursus Pranikah Menko Muhadjir”.]