Indonesia is about to entirely ban alcohol! According to Java Post, the legislation published on April 1st is set to stand in effect, nation-wide, from May 1st 2017. In 2015, the government already banned the sale of alcohol in mini markets and small shops, but now the ban is to be extended to include all sales locations including bars and restaurants.
Over 50 million liters of beer is consumed in just Bali annually. The beer consumption tops even the second favorite drink, coconut, by over 15 million liters. Rampant drinking has been a growing issue especially in places favored by tourists, such as Bali, and locals have been active in voicing their dissatisfaction. With the new beer ban, Indonesia is trying to combat the growing number of alcohol related crimes and accidents in Indonesia.
Indonesia is predominantly a Muslim country with 87% of the country’s population following Islam. Since the Qur’an prohibits the use of alcohol, many people have for a long time campaigned for the total ban on the production, distribution and consumption of alcoholic beverages. “This alcohol ban will be a win for the people of Indonesia, and it should be strictly followed by all the islands of Indonesia, with no exceptions to the tourist areas” says Anti Bin Tang, a chairman of Ban the Beers Movement.
The owners of businesses operating in tourism and hospitality industries have been unhappy with the decision. One of the heads of Hotels and Accommodations in Bali commented that “No matter how beautiful the country is, if tourists can’t find alcohol, they won’t want to come here”.
The surveillance will be especially strict in places well-known among the partygoers such as Gili Islands and the Kuta Beach in Bali. Any person who is caught breaking the law would be facing a fine of up to 500 Million Indonesian Rupiah (about $45,000 US) and imprisonment of up to 10 years, depending on the seriousness of the offence. For possession of one beer, the immediate punishment would be 10 push-ups.
We strongly believe that beer should be kept legal in the touristy areas, as banning alcohol entirely would have a negative impact on the tourism sector, and many businesses and people would suffer financially.
Please sign a petition to keep beer legal in Bali!