An Indonesian minister suggested last week that doors should be removed from student dormitories to prevent promiscuity and homosexuality, inciting outrage among the public.
Social Affairs Minister, Khofifah Indar Parawansa, made the proposal after a recent visit to a local university that was already implementing the rule.
She said that besides discouraging students of opposite genders from engaging in pre-marital sex, homosexual activities could also be curbed.
“It’s not only men and women who are having sex. What’s just as bad is men with men and women with women,” she said, reported local news agency Antara News.
According to Khofifiah, doorless dorms would make it easier to monitor students’ activities.
Indonesian minister’s doorless dormitories proposal sparks outrage https://t.co/oXrJE8tbp6
— The Guardian (@guardian) November 2, 2016
Yesa Supit, a university student who lived in a dormitory in Tomohon, North Sulawesi, for three years, said told Jakarta Post that she disagreed with Khofifah’s stance.
“Doors are badly needed to protect privacy,” she said.
However, when reporters asked Khofifah regarding the invasion of students’ privacy, she responded: “A dormitory is either all-boy or all-girl. What privacy [do you need]?”
Another student expressed concerns over theft and safety.
Agyl Tri Pramesti, a 22-year-old engineering student at Brawijaya University in Malang, East Java, told the daily that even with doors, she sometimes felt unsafe in her room.
“It’s over the top [to get rid of doors] because we’re not thinking of immoral behavior, but more about security,” she said.
— Asian Correspondent (@AsCorrespondent) November 1, 2016
Human rights activists have also lambasted Khofifah for her comments.
Deputy chairman of Setara Institute, an Indonesian human rights NGO, asked: “What’s truly on her mind when she says ‘free sex’? Is it something based on well-researched facts or is she just generalizing?”
He questioned the government’s moral policing of the public to the point of violating people’s individual rights.
“Why does the state want to become a moral police operation and enter into private matters? It violates privacy and restricts the rights of people. Why is this country becoming more conservative?” said Bonar.
While he acknowledged that extra-marital sex was a sin in the eyes of some religions, he said that it was the job of religious leaders to raise awareness on the subject, not the government.
Image via Shutterstock