If you haven’t heard, Indonesia plans to introduce some harsh new rules in the next three years that can affect even foreigners/tourists.

Indonesia’s parliament recently passed a controversial new criminal code that includes outlawing premarital sex for citizens and tourists, with a punishment of up to one year in jail. Likewise, cohabitation, which is defined as living together and engaging in sexual activity without being married, will carry a six-month sentence.

This includes Bali, one of the most popular parts of the country for tourism. Both Indonesians and foreigners are subject to the new laws.

Concerns have been raised that this could have a chilling effect on freedoms in the Southeast Asian country.

Some say the new criminal code is unlikely to have an impact on visitors in part because any prosecution would necessitate a complaint made by the accused couple’s children, parents, or spouse.

Nonetheless, the new criminal code has generally been met with negative reactions.
In a statement to The Guardian, Maulana Yusran, the deputy chief of Indonesia’s tourism industry board, described the code as, “totally counterproductive.”

At the same time, US Ambassador to Indonesia Sung Kim expressed concern that the law would discourage foreign investment.

On Twitter, people were attempting to make sense of the changes and what they meant for tourists from other countries. Many of them stated that they will now need to reconsider going to Indonesia.

The new criminal code will also ban adultery, blasphemy, the promotion of contraception, and abortion (after 12 weeks, with the exception of rape and situations when the mother is in danger).

You also won’t be able to express opinions that run counter to the state’s ideology or insult the Indonesian president.

What are your thoughts on this new law? Will you also reconsider travelling to Indonesia should these laws be enforced? Let us know in the comments.