Indonesia: Banning of Western Songs Sparks Outrage

Mar 23, 2019 | Gov, Indonesia, News, Pop

Style & Culture

by Conie T

Ariana Grande – The Honeymoon Tour – Jessica Barbaio

Indonesian artists and music-lovers expressed disappointment and anger over a new draft law which aims to limit musical content deemed “pornographic” in nature.

The controversial bill, locally named as RUU Permusikan (Music Bill), states specifically in Article 5, the creators – or music artists and groups – are not allowed to include so-called “negative influences” from international musicians and artists who will be perceived as blasphemous or “demean human dignity”. Otherwise, the artist(s) will be fined or jailed.

Protesters believed this move can potentially restrict “freedom of expression”, considering Indonesia recently shifted into a democratic leadership.

A “ridiculous” law

After the draft law surfaced publicly, it received outrage and backlash among social media users in Indonesia. Artists joined in the outrage, stating the draft bill will hinder freedom of expression as part of their artistic rights.

Musicians stated the controversial bill could mean going back to the country’s authoritarian era where musicians were incarcerated for creating Western-influenced music.

Moreover, an online petition began circulating calling out the said music bill. As of date, the petition has received around 270,000 signatures as of February of this year. Artists who joined in the protest said, the proposed bill may be misinterpreted or even abused by authorities in terms of interpreting which musical content is considered “provocative” in nature.

Indonesian artist Kartika Jahjan said the bill can be “very dangerous”. Another local artist, Herry Sutresana of hip-hop group Homicide said, the bill may be used as an excuse to raid concerts and censor albums – one way to shush democracy in the country.

Despite the protests, musicians said this potential shutdown of musical freedom is not new anymore. In fact, any presence of Western music and influence was prohibited during Sukarno’s political era back in the 60s.

Ed Sheeran @Sportpaleis

Ed Sheeran @Sportpaleis | Margot M

Effect on Western artists

Last December, local broadcasting media banned K-pop group Blackpink’s TV advertisement, which showed the members wearing short skirts and dresses. Recently, Western Java province has banned or has limited airplay on more than 80 Western songs which are deemed as “adult” content. Among banned songs include Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”, Ariana Grande’s “Love Me Harder”, and Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like”.

Lady Gaga was not exempted with this bizarre musical restriction. In 2012, the singer had to cancel her concert in Jakarta due to safety threat received from hardcore Islamists.

Never giving in

The bill is said to be considered a “priority” by the Indonesian House of Representatives. However, Head of Commission X, Djoko Udjianto clarified the draft bill is not finalized yet. Udjianto believes the bill won’t hinder “freedom of expressions” as protesters fear.

Udjianto assured Indonesian music-lovers the bill will “protect” Indonesian artists and the national government aims to see the local music industry “grow and flourish”.

Meanwhile, Mike Israfil, lead vocalist of Indonesian band Marjinal said, it won’t matter whether the bill will be an official law or not. He said he will still continue doing music as his way to express issues on hand.

 

Surveillance Giants Google, Facebook Business Model ‘Threat to Human Rights’

The data-collection business model fueling Facebook and Google represents a threat to human rights around the world, Amnesty International said in a report Wednesday.

Pandas Finally Mate in Privacy While Theme Park Shutdown

Stuck at home with no visitors and not much else to do, a pair of pandas in Hong Kong finally decided to give mating a go after a decade of dodging the issue.

HIV Drugs Used As Weapon in War on Coronavirus

As doctors scramble to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus, a potent brew of anti-retroviral and flu drugs has emerged as a possible defense against the disease that has killed hundreds.

Takashi Murakami: A Visionary for the Senses

Take a look into the life of one of the world’s most adored Japanese artists

Famous Coffee From Asia

From Robusta to Kopi Luwak, Asia truly has it all.

Government Slams Malaysia Tattoo Expo as ‘Porn’

Malaysian officials on Monday slammed a tattoo exhibition held in the country as “porn” unsuitable for a Muslim-majority country, after images of half-naked men and women went viral.

The Debauchery of China’s Mass Surveillance System

China’s aggressive mass surveillance system just got an upgrade: it now spies on foreigners.

Confessions of a Vietnamese Cannabis Farmer in Britain’s Multi-Billion Dollar Industry

Vietnamese Cannabis farmer Cuong Nguyen spent months carefully nurturing his plants, one of thousands of Vietnamese migrants working in the UK’s multi-billion dollar weed industry.

Interesting Korean Superstitions You Should Know

Although it’s a progressive country, Koreans still believe in superstitions. Take a look at some interesting ones.

Hubei Residents Rush to Leave China Virus Epicenter as Lockdown Lifts

Huge crowds jammed trains and buses in Hubei province on Wednesday as people seized their first chance to travel after two months under lockdown at the epicentre of China’s coronavirus outbreak.

Japan’s Reiwa Era – More Than Just a Name

Japan’s newest era has an undeniable geopolitical undertone.

Indonesia’s Resurging Movie Industry

Indonesia’s film industry is steaming ahead to become the most prominent cinema capital in Southeast Asia and the regions beyond.

Hungry and in Chains, Thailand’s Tourist Elephants Face Crisis

Underfed and chained up for endless hours, many elephants working in Thailand’s tourism sector may starve, be sold to zoos or be shifted into the illegal logging trade, campaigners warn, as the coronavirus decimates visitor numbers.

Ai Weiwei: The Artist of Courage and Representation

Withstanding criticism, China’s most controversial artist never fails to tell it like it is

Pageants in Asia: A Question of Future Relevance

Should pageants continue in the region, what can it become to become more than just a sounding board for beauty standards?

Get to Know Japan’s Famous Kuromon Market

You may have guessed that Japan is not short of amazing markets which offer a wide array of choices to its visitors. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the Kuromon Market

Carrie Lam Invoked Rarely Used Colonial-Era Law to Ban Face Masks

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Friday invoked a rarely used colonial-era law to ban protesters from wearing face masks.

China’s Gender Imbalance is Getting Out of Hand

The long-term effects of the One Child Policy is now showing its teeth

Philippines: First Timer’s Guide to Siargao

Get to know Siargao, a tear-shaped island located in the south of the Philippines.

Profile of Myanmar: Foundation of Strength and Culture

Myanmar, a spiritual nation that stands with a full heart and a courageous spirit

Asian LGBTQ Beauty Vloggers Worth Subscribing To

Today’s social media landscape has paved the way for more diverse representation among people of all gender and sexuality. Whether you’re on the lookout for inspiring coming out stories, day in the life videos, or make up tips, these vloggers will be your new favorites.

Extreme Isolation: The World’s Last Virus-Free Corners Hold Tight

A coronavirus-free tropical island nestled in the northern Pacific may seem the perfect place to ride out a pandemic — but residents on Palau say life right now is far from idyllic.

How to Cross Out 4 Asian Countries On Your Bucket List in one shot

IndoChina Travel, Learn the best way to go on a journey to Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

Chinese Poachers Destroy South China Sea Corals

Satellite images show sea intense coral reef damage due to poaching of Giant Clams

A Solo Backpacker’s Bangkok Guide

Traveling to Bangkok alone can be challenging, here’s how-to guide to make it easy

DJ and Fashion Icon: Peggy Gou is Taking Over

While the rest of the world is tripping over k-pop, Peggy Gou, a Korean DJ, producer, and fashion icon is taking center stage

Dreams of Chicken: Jollibee Set on Global Expansion

The Filipino fast food corporation has set its sights on the rest of the world, starting with the US and Canada.

Louis Vuitton League of Legends Collection

Louis Vuitton is bringing the virtual world into reality. The luxury French fashion house launched a “League of Legends” capsule collection in collaboration with Riot Games.

‘Parasite’ Oscar Success Signals New Era of Representation

The unprecedented Oscar haul for South Korean director Bong Joon-ho black comedy “Parasite” has shattered a 92-year-old glass ceiling and opened a new era for Korean and other foreign films on the global stage.

Streaming Giants Battles on for the Asia Market

Asia is seen as an important part of the global streaming industry’s growth plan. In conjunction with the main event, Busan International Film Festival also hosted its first Asia Contents Awards reflecting how the market is rapidly changing.

Face Scans is Now Mandatory for China’s Mobile Users

China will require telecom operators to collect face scans when registering new phone users at offline outlets starting Sunday, according to the country’s information technology authority, as Beijing continues to tighten cyberspace controls.

Reality Show ‘The Day I Ran China’ A Hit Worldwide

Discovery’s new show “The Day I Ran China” allows international business apprentices to experience China’s unique industries for themselves. Take a look at how the show presents a deeper understanding into the culture, workmanship, and challenges of Today’s China.

Singapore Makes Drone Registration Compulsory

Traveling to Singapore with a drone anytime soon? You might want to rethink your decision. The country has required all drone owners to get permits before flying one or risk penalty or jail time.

South Koreans Celebrate Independence In New York

South Koreans flocked the streets of Midtown Manhattan as they celebrated their Centennial Independence.

ISIS In Southeast Asia: A Last-Ditch Effort

Ideas live on and oftentimes, it will outlive the very people or group that created them.

How TikTok’s Strategic Moves Pushed Bytedance to be World’s Most Valuable Startup

The Chinese billionaire behind teen phenomenon TikTok is a 36-year-old tech guru whose eye for youth trends and pioneering use of AI has blasted the app to global success — while working hand-in-glove with censors to control content within China.

Pollution App Returns to Vietnam After Positive Support from Locals

A leading pollution-monitoring app returned to Apple and Google Play stores in Vietnam on Wednesday, days after it was removed having been bombarded with negative comments online.

Sneakers Speculation is the Hottest Game in China Right Now

Forget stocks, real estate, even cryptocurrencies – China’s hottest investment nowadays may be the Nike, Adidas, and Puma basketball shoes that “sneakerheads” like Hu Huaiyuan fight to get their hands on.

Hong Kongers Embrace Tiny Space Workouts During Pandemic

In an empty park overshadowed by Hong Kong’s cramped apartment blocks, personal trainer Kristen Handford presses record on her phone and begins a workout for clients trying to stay fit at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

US Man Gets 4-Year Prison Sentence for Spying for China

A San Francisco tour operator who handled dead drops of sensitive information on behalf of Beijing’s Ministry of State Security was sentenced Tuesday to four years in prison for spying for China.

Clubbing Goes Online as Virus Shuts Down Nightlife

Strobe lights flash across a near-empty dance floor, as a DJ live-streams thumping electronic music from a Singapore nightclub to revelers confined to their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hong Kong Medics Strike for China Border Closure

Hundreds of Hong Kong medical workers walked off their jobs on Monday, demanding the city close its border with China to reduce the coronavirus spreading — with frontline staff threatening to follow suit in the coming days.

Burj Al Arab Lights Up with New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern Image

The world’s tallest building has shown support to PM Jacinda Ardern and New Zealanders after the twin mosque attack

Owners Turn to Social Media to Feed Stranded Pets After Wuhan Lockdown

China’s unprecedented quarantining of virus-hit Wuhan has separated millions from their families — and many from their pets, prompting worried owners and kind strangers to take to social media to ensure left-behind animals are looked after.

Phuong Uyen Tran: The Extraordinary Business Woman Who Stood Down Giants

Harvard-trained Phuong Uyen Tran, who has now become an icon for globalism and entrepreneurship across Asia. Phuong Uyen Tran is making headway in a traditionally male-dominated industry – and has no plans of stopping.

Volvo Tests Out Autonomous Buses in Singapore

Singapore is leading the autonomous vehicle scene as Volvo, and a local university collaborates to test out driverless buses

Biggest Vape Expo in China Announces New Date

IECIE Shenzhen eCig Expo 2020, the premier vaping expo in China, has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizer UBM Creative Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Co., Ltd. has postponed the event which was originally scheduled in April.

Don’t Miss the Top Things to Do in Macau

Macau is a paradise for people who love culture and food. Ready to explore the land of towering casinos and mouth watering egg tarts? Check out what to do in the booming city of Macau

Ajinomoto: The King of MSG Pushes Reputation Overhaul

Umami-bomb or toxic allergen? There are perhaps few condiments as controversial as MSG, but most scientists say it’s safe, and now a Japanese firm is trying to give it a reputation overhaul.

Top South Korea Travel Must-Knows

Don’t travel to South Korea without reading these timeless tips.