Last Wednesday, a controversial bill that allow the stoning to death of adulterers has officially became a by-law in the Province of Aceh.
According to the bill, passed by Aceh's parliament on 14 September, the by-law called Qanun Jinayat Code will replace certain articles of the national Criminal Law with a Syariah Law for Muslims in Aceh, and valid 30 days later.
Enactment of the by-law has been protested in Aceh, whereby the Governor refused to sign the bill. But lawmakers insists that the by-law would still come into force even without the Governor's signature.
Further, the by-law has also been protested in Jakarta, by human rights activists who called the by-law as inhuman and therefore asked the central government to review the by-law.
Furthermore, the by-law has worried non Muslim businessmen who feared that growing conservatism in Aceh and some other provinces might frighten investors. They believe, if this conservatism process is not stopped there is a big possibility that existing investors might close their businesses here and move to another country. Due to which fact, they hope that the central government would take necessary action to stop the process. They also hope Indonesian Muslims who are mostly moderate to voice their objection on the growing influence of hardline minority but very vocal Muslims.
In reaction to the protests, the central government has promised to study the said by-law. If they find that it is against the national laws and constitution, the Minister of Internal Affairs shall request the Supreme Court to review the by-law.
For detailed media reports on the above, please click here, here, here, here and here.
Considering that news about the controversial by-law have spread worldwide, there is a big possibility that foreigners may think that such law is valid all over Indonesia for Muslims and non Muslims. If this happen, foreigners would be frighten to invest here, even Indonesian non Muslim businessmen would move their business to another country. In the end, Muslims who are majority in Indonesia, would loose jobs and suffer with their families.
In order to prevent that, I hope that the Minister of Internal Affairs & the Minister of Law would check whether the by-law in Aceh and other provinces are in-line with the provisions set forth by the higher national laws. If the by-laws are contradictory, they should request the Supreme Court to review them.