The Marriage Bill prepared by the government seemed to contain some controversial matters such as the prohibition of Unregistered Marriage (Siri Marriage) and Contract Marriage.
Beside that, the Bill also has a stipulation that will require a foreign man who wants to marry an Indonesian woman must pay a deposit of Rp. 500 Million. Please find below a related article in Kompas.
Getting Married with The Bond of Rp 500 Million
Rabu, 24 Februari 2010 | 13:07 WIB
KOMPAS.com — The marriage draft for the Religion Court has been quite a buzz in Indonesia. But most discussions on the draft are regarding the unofficial marriage and marriage by contract, especially whether they should be criminalized. Actually the draft has another interesting aspect: marriage with a foreigner.
Chapter VI of the draft arranges 'international' marriages. A male foreigner who wishes to marry an Indonesian woman must deposit a hefty sum of Rp. 500 million. Wow!
The draft mentions that the money is as insurance in case the husband suddenly left without notice. The money, however, isn't given to the wife, but it's deposited at an Islamic Bank.
It can be understood that the draft was set to protect women. However, on a different perspective, this brings complications for Indonesian women who are currently involved romantically with a foreign man. If the draft is applied then the guy would be obliged to pay half a billion rupiahs to marry his love.
A number of women who are already married to foreign men initially wouldn't even believe that the draft has such an arrangement. But now they can read it on the internet.
Perhaps for some foreign men it's fine to pursue the relationship without marriage, and thus also avoiding the Rp. 500 million deposit, but in general they still view marriage seriously. And of course, obeying religious tenets is still advisable.
The Rp. 500 million deposit also gives the impression that Indonesian women are 'for sale'. A French colleague even jested, "You (Indonesian women) are quite expensive, around 45,000 euro! Wow!"
Perhaps the regulation is considered because of the number of cases that have occured, such as foreign men who married Indonesian women only to buy property in Indonesia, or expats who left their Indonesian family after their contract expires.
Isn't that instead an indication of how weak the Indonesian law is? If the officials could be bribed to allow dubious marriages then what's the guarantee that if the wife was left she could withdraw the deposit easily? It would be a pity if she was left by her foreign husband and then she gets tangled in bureaucracy and she has to bribe first to get the deposit. Furthermore, the deposit doesn't get any interest.
It's also possible for the woman to take advantage of a foreigner by marrying him for just three or four years and then dumping him to get the money.
There should be further discussion on the matter. The marriage problems between people of different nationalities go beyond material issues.
When the government issued the law of double nationality for the children of mixed-nationality marriages, that was a commendable act. The law should be made more solid and clear regarding marriage issues. (Dini Kusmana Massabuau/C17-09)