It's Not New News: Alcohol bans have been proposed before in Indonesia - Nov 20, 2020
It seems each year the story seems to make its way into the headlines again. The reaction is always the same, it is picked up by the tabloid media and shared all over social media.
Alcohol bans have been proposed before in Indonesia the arguments raised in parliament gain little traction in Indonesia’s multifaith society.
It is not the Balinese politicians raising this, but political parties in Jakarta. One time it is for religious reasons, another it is for health reasons.
Infact the governing coalition, which plays a key role in drafting legislation and holds a majority in Parliament, is against the ban. What is actually proposed is an increased regulation instead, including mandatory licensing for stores that sell alcohol and identification checks for buyers.
Alcohol has been consumed in Indonesia for centuries, and it is an integral part of cultural and religious ceremonies among some of the country’s more than 300 ethnic groups. A survey of 1,600 people in eight Indonesian cities, conducted by another Jakarta-based research institute, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, found that most respondents did not regard drinking as a health crisis.
Ricky Putra, the chairman of the Bali Hotel Association, states that the current laws regulating alcohol in Indonesia were sufficient.
What needs to be done is to ensure the current laws on alcohol beverages are implemented properly. We already have limitations in Bali for example on where and who can sell alcohol, the proposed law is not needed. Each year, it comes up, it does the rounds and then all goes quiet again. There is nothing to tell us it is any different again this year. The last time it reached media level hype was in 2016, and you can still get a drink in Bali.