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Indonesian Politicians Push To Ban Alcohol

If two of Indonesia’s Islamic parties have their way, those caught drinking beverages containing over 1% alcohol will get slapped with up to two years in prison, or a fine of up to US$38,529.

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According to the Wall Street Journal, two of the Muslim-majority country’s Islamic parties have thrown their support behind creating a bill that would “completely ban the production, distribution, sales and consumption of alcoholic drinks.”

The bill was drafted by the Islam-based United Development Party (PPP) and is supported by a more conservative Islamic party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS). Together, the two parties have 79 seats in the 560-seat parliament.

Though far from the kind of support needed to pass such a bill, PPP lawmaker Arwani Thomafi said that he is “certain it can get support from other lawmakers,” wrote the paper.

Thomafi said that the law seeks to curb the use of alcohol as it has been linked to high crime rates in some areas and has “claimed lives.”

In addition to the aforementioned punishment for those caught drinking alcohol, the bill proposes between two and 10 years in prison or a fine up to US$77,059 for anyone found distributing or producing alcoholic drinks.

For those fearing that they may be unable to catch a buzz on future trips to one of the country’s many tourist areas fear not, as exemptions for these hotspots would be included in the bill.

While it remains to be seen if the Islamists will garner enough support to pass the bill, other lawmakers such as Saan Mustopa, a member of the secular Democrat Party, said that it the final bill “is open for discussion and will not necessarily be deliberated as a total alcohol ban law.”

[Photo via Trent Strohm]

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