Working Group of the Cultural Bill Draft Opened for Public Suggestion

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Main Auditorium, UIN NEWS Online—Head of the Working Group of the Bill Draft on Culture, Ir HM Ridwan Hasyim opened the opportunity for public to deliver their critiques and suggestions on the Draft. The Group viewed the existence of this Draft Bill as urgent in building and affirming national character, strengthening unity, and increasing national image.

According to Ridwan, the Working Group of the Cultural Bill Draft is widely opened for suggestion and critiques, mainly for its material or substance. “We understand that suggestion and critique are part of the process to make our Draft perfect,” he said when speaking on the Public Dialogue on the Cultural Draft Bill (Dialog Publik RUU Kebudayaan) held in Faculty of Adab and Humanity (FAH) taking place in Main Auditorium, Tuesday (27/10).

Ridwan explained, the Group saw several reasons on the imporance of the Draft. Empiric sociologically, for example, Indonesia is facing the cultural degradation, “and so, we need to make comprehensive, sinergical, and strategic effort on preventing and handling it,” he said.

Ilham Khoiri, a journalist from Harian Kompas who become a speaker in the event voiced out his opinion that, the existence of a Bill which regulates on culture is not quite on-point. According to him, culure is a reflection of identity, thinking process, and human’s mentality.

With these conditions, culture will always go through a dynamic evolution in the same direction as human’s life. And because of that, when culture is set forth on a Bill, then culture is considered as static.

“As what the name suggests, the Cultural Draft Bill implies that there is a Bill specially formulated to regulate culture. However, is it on-point to make one particular Bill that regulates on culture?” he asked.

Meanwhile, the Dean of FAH Prof Dr Sukron Kamil viewed the Bill Draft as inherently has some flaws. Among these flaws, said Kamil, are the narrow definition of culture, the inclarity of which institution to take responsibility on the management, and its cultural components. He worried that the existence of the Draft can become hegemony of the State over culture, as what the case was in the past.

Furthermore, Sukron Kamil saw the public’s critique on the Draft as coming from the worrisome of the “comeback” of State’s hegemony on cultural level, the same case of Lekra or Manifesto Kebudayaan of the New Order era.

Lekra viewed culture is for the people, and is backed up by the State. Meanwhile, Manifesto Kebudayaan viewed culture is for the culture itself,” he explained.

It is known that the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat/DPR-RI) has initiated the formulation of legal umbrella on culture, which up until now is still taking form as the Cultural Bill Draft. Though not legalized yet, the Draft had sparked much debate ever since. One of the arguments against the Draft is on the articled mentioning kretek cigarette as national heritage.

Reported by Syarifaeni Fahda

Translated by Muhammad Ichsan Fadillah