I am always thankful I live in a Buddhist country and not a right-wing Muslim one, but no more so than when I read ridiculous stories about the latest extremist measures in Indonesia, a country that couldn’t be called a ‘democracy’ or ‘open-minded’ in any stretch of the imagination.
The latest ridiculous story to come out of Indonesia this week is about Indonesian lawmakers and how they are proposing a total ban on alcohol. Permanently. Nation-wide.
According to the lawmakers, alcohol has a ‘negative impact on the nation’. So much so they are considering putting a law into effect that would give anyone in Indonesia that brews alcohol, sells it, buys it or drinks it a mandatory 2-year jail sentence.
Of course it obviously has not crossed the minds of government officials proposing the ban about what impact it is going to have on tens of thousands of businesses throughout Indonesia or, in fact, on companies like Bintang that brew some quite excellent Indonesian beer.
All I can say to that is if there is a total ban on alcohol in Indonesia you can say goodbye to your tourist industry.
Something that, of course, Thailand would love. As, being a democracy and open-minded enough itself to allow the consumption of alcohol just about everywhere, Thailand would likely see even more tourists coming to its fair shores than previously.
Tourists that would no longer even consider a trip to Indonesia if they could not enjoy an alcoholic drink while there.