Ruling lets Indonesia ban liquor
JAKARTA: Sales and distribution of alcohol could be banned in some parts of Indonesia after Muslim hardliners won a Supreme Court victory, an official said yesterday.
While it is the world’s most populous Muslim- majority country, the sale of alcohol for tourists and the small number of locals who drink has until now been allowed.
Some local authorities, where Islamic hardliners are influential, introduced by-laws banning its sale.
But these may never be enforced owing to a 1997 presi- dential decree prohibiting local governments from banning the sale of alcohol.
Now a prominent hardline group, the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), has succeeded in getting the decree overturned in a judicial review at the Supreme Court, a spokesman for the court said.
Spokesman Ridwan Mansyur said: “The Supreme Court has accepted the judicial review filed by the FPI… as the presidential decree… failed to bring peace and public order to Indonesian communities.”
The court issued the ruling in mid-June but it was only made public in recent days.
The FPI, notorious for conducting raids on “sinful” bars and nightclubs, hailed the victory.
“All Indonesian Muslims are overjoyed,” said the head of the FPI’s Jakarta branch, Salim Alatas. “The ruling has saved generations from the negative impact of alcohol.”
Reydonnizar Moenek, a senior interior ministry official, said a number of local authorities had issued the bylaws although he did not know how many. – Sapa-AFP