View Full Version : I Am Not A Hooker!

12-05-2006, 02:20 PM
'I am not a prostitute'
NST 12 May 2006
From Amy Chew in Jakarta

"PROSTITUTE!" shouted the jeering crowds as a frightened housewife was led out to a show trial enforcing a controversial morality by-law.

The evening before, on Feb 27, Lilies Lindawati was detained by officials of Tangerang, 35km west of here, while waiting for a bus home after dark, an offence under the local authority’s anti-prostitution regulations.

With Lilies in tow, the officers went on to round up 28 other women. A 63-year-old woman buying rambutan on the roadside was arrested, as were two young girls eating at a stall. They were bundled off to City Hall where they were held for a night and brought to trial the next morning.

"There is lipstick and compact powder in your bag. That means you are a prostitute," said the judge, who spoke through a microphone at a makeshift court on the City Hall grounds.

Crying, Lilies replied that it was common for women to carry lipstick and compact powder. "But he refused to accept my explanation," said Lilies as she sat on the floor of her one-bedroom house, which she shares with her husband and two children.

"It was so humiliating. I am not a prostitute. I wasn’t even using make-up."

During the last general election in 2004, Islamist parties failed to secure a majority in Parliament. But in regional and provincial elections, Muslim conservatives have won in some of the local legislatures, after which they wasted little time in enacting Syariah by-laws.

The by-laws violate the Regional Law which states that matters pertaining to religion can only be decided by the central Government.

But a weak central Government has allowed such by-laws to emerge in many parts of the country.

"Under the regional autonomy law, matters of religion lie in the hands of the central Government, except for the province of Aceh," said former regional autonomy minister Professor Ryaas Rasyid.

Aceh was accorded a special status in 2001 as part of the Government’s effort to ease separatist tensions.

"By-laws which violate the law should be abrogated. But the Government is not doing that because it is weak and does not know what to do," Ryaas said.

Lilies was fined 300,000 rupiah (RM123). She could not pay the fine and was sent to jail with nine other women who also could not afford the fine.

She lodged a police report against Tangerang mayor Wahidin Halim for wrongful arrest and defamation of character. She is also suing him for 500 million rupiah with the help of the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association.

Her husband, Kustoyo, 41, was forced to sign a statement by the school that employs him saying that he would not support her in her legal battle.

"I was told to just give in, that as rakyat kecil (small people), we will not win," said Kustoyo, a teacher of 20 years.

"But I will support my wife. Smearing my wife’s good name is the same as smearing mine."

The debate over the country’s controversial by-laws and draft Bills has seen human rights campaigners, pluralists and moderate Muslims pitted against conservatives.

Women and human rights activists who staged a peaceful protest against the by-laws last month were attacked by conservative Muslim groups while, they allege, police stood by and did nothing.

Women protesting controversial laws, including the draft Anti-Pornography Bill which bans the exposing of belly buttons and bare shoulders and kissing in public, say they have been terrorised.

The battle will be long and arduous.

And in Malaysia, the controversial 'no kissing-no hand-holding-no hugging' laws (decency laws) in KL public parks continues...

17-05-2006, 07:53 PM
OMG.. tht is beyond ridiculous... :eek: