Reuters: “Indonesian Islamic parties seek ban on alcohol consumption”

Those vacations outside of the Indonesia tourist island of Bali may become lot drier if this bill introduced by two Islamic parties goes through.

Reuters Indonesia

Already, a bill of banning beer sales at minimarts came into effect last week. You can still buy beer and other alcoholic beverages at supermarkets.

You can access Reuters article about this bill here of which below is an excerpt:

Indonesia is the tenth-largest beer consumer in Asia and has the most Guinness stout drinkers in the region. Beer sales have climbed 54 percent over the past decade.

“Of course I don’t agree with it, why would you prohibit someone’s hobby to drink? So after banning drinks, what else would they ban? Smoking?” said Diponagara, a 28-year-old worker at a non-government organization in Jakarta.

However, a survey by market researcher Nielsen found that, in 2014, only 2.2 percent of Indonesians over the age of 20 had consumed alcohol in the previous 12 months.

Alcohol consumption is frowned upon by many Muslims in Indonesia and bars are sometimes attacked by vigilante groups, particularly during Ramadan.

A regulation banning the sale of alcoholic drinks at mini-markets will come into force on Thursday, although they will still be sold at supermarkets, hotels, bars and restaurants.

A complete ban would have a devastating effect on the drinks industry and distribution businesses, and put as many as 200,000 jobs at risk, Charles Poluan, executive director of the Indonesian Malt Beverage Producers Association, told Reuters.

“By next year, if it goes through this year, all the tourists won’t think it fun anymore to go to Indonesia,” he said. “What is ironic is that our neighbor Malaysia has sharia (Islamic) law, but they do not ban the selling of alcohol.”

Conclusion

Indonesia is supposedly going away with VOA’s (Visa-On-Arrival) with many nationalities (read more here) and hopes to attract a lot more tourists in the coming years. This won’t happen if the country is starting to restrict where and when people on their vacations can have their adult beverage of two.

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