Economist Explains Potential Negative Impacts of New Criminal Code

9 December 2022 15:35 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaDirector of the Center for Economic and Law Studies (Celios) Bhima Yudhistira expressed his concerns about the new criminal code, which has the potential to worsen the investment climate in Indonesia.

"[I have] two notes about this," said Bhima via phone call to Tempo on Friday, December 9, 2022.

First, Bhima is concerned about the prohibition of cohabitation or sex outside of marriage. According to him, this rule could threaten foreign tourists, especially in the hospitality industry, including tourist attractions. "The criminal code should be more sensitive in regulating this," Bima said.

Bima argued that if the rule is enforced, then tourists, especially those coming from western countries, may feel that it interferes with privacy matters. Such condition could be perceived as negative sentiment for Indonesian tourism.

"I think revision on that rule is needed," said Bima, regretting that the new law does not actually support the revival of international tourism businesses to the country after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consequently, Bima explained, many foreign tourists would cancel their visits to Indonesia. "So this is a serious matter for investment in the tourism sector. The development of tourist areas, especially since the government wants to encourage medical tourism, could disrupt its plans," said Bhima.

The second note, Bima added, was about the article on freedom of expression and insulting the government which he considered very irrational. The government wants to open opportunities for investors, but they now have high standards regarding environmental social governance (ESG). "They uphold freedom of expression," Bhima said.

Bhima expressed concerns that investment from developed countries willing to enter Indonesia would decline and divert their investment to other countries.

MOH. KHORY ALFARIZI

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