Indonesia in state of emergency following rampant sexual crimes: Lawmaker

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is in a state of emergency following a spurt in sexual crimes, according to Reni Marlinawati, a member of Commission X of the House of Representatives.

"The state should seriously respond to sexual crimes that have occurred lately," the legislator, who is deputy chairperson of the United Development Party (PPP), stated here, Wednesday.

Sexual assaults against children and women are crimes that have wide-ranging impacts on the victims, she pointed out.

"The state must give out a clear signal concerning such crimes as Indonesia is indeed in a state of emergency with regard to sexual crimes," she emphasized.

The legislator has expressed support to President Joko Widodos plan to issue a Government Regulation en lieu of Law (Perppu) on sexual violence against children.

The Perppu will impose maximum sentences of 20 years in prison plus additional stringent punishments of chemical castration and chip implants, as well exposing the identities of the perpetrators.

"The Perppu will be issued soon. It is the commitment of the president, who believes that sexual violence is an extraordinary crime, and the punishment should act as a deterrent," Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Puan Maharani noted in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The draft of the Perppu will be tabled in Parliament for deliberation soon.

Marlinawati has vowed to push for awarding punishments as harsh as death sentences to sexual offenders.

The Parliament and government are currently holding deliberations on the Bill on Alcoholic Beverage Restriction.

The lawmaker pointed out that most sexual offenders were found to be in an inebriated state while committing sexual crimes.

Moreover, several of them had admitted to frequently accessing pornographic content. Narcotics are also believed to have triggered such crimes.

PPP, as the initiator of the Bill on Alcoholic Beverage Restriction, will push for the passage of the bill into law as soon as possible, she affirmed.

Marlinawati called on parents and the community, in general, to help protect children and instill good morals in their children and teenagers.(*)