Morality police swing out wildly in Indonesia


Indonesia’s self-appointed morality police are at it again, this time featuring a university-educated member of the Commission for the Protection of Children (KPAI) who drew public ridicule by claiming that women risk becoming pregnant by sharing a swimming pool with men. Commissioner Sitti Hikmawatty’s startling gaffe came during a week when Human Development Coordinating Minister Muhadjir Effendy suggested the country’s wealthy elite should marry into poor families to help reduce the nation’s stubbornly high poverty rate. But what hasn’t tickled any funny bones is the recently leaked draft of a privately sponsored Family Resilience Bill, yet to be tabled before Parliament, which represents yet another effort by conservative Muslim politicians to intrude into the private lives of Indonesian citizens. KPAI chairman Susanto asked Hikmawatty, 49, a nutritionist with a master’s degree in early childhood education, to explain herself and to provide him with the academic or other references she used to support her bizarre assertion.

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