On Friday night (9/20), President Joko Widodo conveyed his decision to postpone the discussion and ratification of the Draft of Criminal Code Book (RKUHP) in the House of Representatives -DPR.
President Joko Widodo took a stand after examining inputs from many stakeholders who objected in line with the emergence of polemic in the community. He perceived that there are some controversial points, at least 14 articles in the Draft of Criminal Code. Furthermore, he ordered Minister of Law and Human Rights, Yasonna Laoly to convey the government's attitude to the DPR. President Joko Widodo also asked that the discussion on the RKUHP be continued by members of the DPR for the period of 2019-2024.
The draft of Criminal Code has passed the 1st stage decision-making in the DPR to be ratified immediately at the next plenary meeting on September 24. The agreement was taken in the 1st Level Discussion Working Meeting conducted by the House of Representatives Commission III with Minister Yasonna Laoly in Jakarta on Wednesday (18/9/2019).
However, the decision was widely rejected in the community. A number of articles contained in the draft of Criminal Code are considered to be contrary to the mandate of reform and freedom of expression. A large demonstration was then carried out by activists and students in front of the Parliament Building on Thursday (9/19/2019).
In some articles which are considered controversial, one of them is the article of insulting the president. This article was aborted by the Constitutional Court in 2006. However, this reappears in the draft of Criminal Code as of August 28, 2019. The insult to the president is regulated in the articles 2018-220. People convicted of insulting the president face 4-and-half- year prison.
The draft of Criminal Code also fines the scroungers. This rule is contained in the Article 432 about the existence of the scroungers. The rule is considered to be contrary to the mandate of reform, democracy and human rights. In fact, the law is enacted to provide legal protection, human rights and a sense of justice and security for the whole community. So, it would be wise if members of the House of Representatives for the period of 214-2019 do not force their willingness to ratify the Draft of Criminal Code according to President Joko Widodo's request.