Progress on Free Speech in Indonesia

So it’s no longer a crime to insult the President:

The Constitutional Court revoked a controversial law used by former authoritarian president Suharto to imprison critics during three decades in power, local media reports said Thursday.

Court chairman Jimly Assiddiqie said Wednesday that three articles of the penal code regarding insults against the head of state and vice president have "now no longer binding legal power."

Good to hear. And I never could understand why such absurd old colonial laws were never revoked long ago. Anyway, in the spirit of such reform here’s a joke for ya:

One day, the President decides to visit an elementary school in Bekasi. Naturally, all the kids are very excited to get to meet the President. The President chats to them for a while and hoping to draw attention to natural disasters like the tsunami in Aceh, he asks them to define the word ''tragedy''.

"Well," one little girl replies, "If a microlet driver ran over my cat that would be a tragedy!"

The President smiles at the little girl and says, "No, sweetie. That would be an accident! Can anyone give it a try?"

A little boy sitting across the room raises his hand and says, "I know! I know! If Ateng our bus driver crashed the bus on the toll road and killed everyone!"

The President shakes his head and says, "No son. That would be a great loss! Doesn't anyone know of a good example of a tragedy?"

A small girl then raises her hand and says, "Well, Mr. President, if you and Mr wakrie were blown to smithereens in an explosion while visiting Sidoarjo to see the mudflow disaster, most people would think that that would be a tragedy!"

"Very good," says the President. "And what is the reason for your answer?"

"Well," the little girl says, "It wouldn't be an accident and it sure wouldn't be a great loss!!!!"



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