The ‘Bali bonk ban’: Why people in other countries are vexed by Indonesia’s sweeping sex laws | Drum

Many South Africans find they get great bang for their buck in budget-friendly Bali.

Many South Africans find they get great bang for their buck in budget-friendly Bali.

Oh Bali!

Sweet Bali – with your floating breakfasts, heavenly spas and retreats and pocket-friendly travel packages – what needs to happen now?

This is a question many around the world are asking, as sweeping sex laws make it illegal for people who are not married to each other to have sex.

“The new law, which will apply to Indonesians and foreign visitors alike and has raised alarm among human rights activists, will also ban cohabitation between unmarried couples,” reports The Guardian.

Although the code, which has yet to be approved by President Joko Widodo, comes into effect after three years, many businesses and travelers are concerned.

The penal code is seen as a step backwards in promoting civil liberties for residents and visitors to Muslim-majority Indonesia, as secularism is enshrined in the constitution.

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“Extramarital sex is punishable by a year in prison, while unmarried people living together face six months in prison,” reports the AFP news agency.

Some media outlets in Australia have begun dubbing the Penal Code “the Bali Bonk Ban” and denounced the way the westernmost of the neighboring Lesser Sunda Islands to the east is moving towards fundamentalism.

“Indonesia’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism from Australia, which was Indonesia’s main tourist source before the pandemic. Thousands of people fly to the tropical island of Bali every month to bask in the warm weather, enjoy cheap Bintang beer and party all night at beach parties,” reports the BBC.

“Weddings in Bali are common and thousands of Australian students fly to Bali every year to celebrate their high school graduation.”

“For many young Australians, a trip to Bali is considered a rite of passage. Others go there a few times a year to travel quickly and cheaply.”

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A Bali holiday is not only on the bucket list for Australians but also for many South Africans who find they get a lot for their ZAR on the island.

Will you try to take a quick vacation with your partner now – before the law comes into force in three years?

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