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    Apr 15, 2015

    Islamic parties eye alcohol ban in Indonesia


    TWO Islamic parties have proposed legislation that would ban all consumption of alcoholic drinks and introduce jail terms of up to two years for offenders in Indonesia, home to the world's largest Muslim population.

    A lawmaker for one of the parties said the Bill, which could become law as early as the end of this year, was driven by concerns for people's health, rather than any ideological motives.

    "This is not a religious or ideological issue," Abdul Hakim of the Prosperous Justice Party told Reuters. "This is purely for the protection of the children of the nation."

    The Bill seeks to ban the sale, production, distribution and consumption of all beverages containing more than one per cent alcohol, including local brews such as rice wine that are popular in many parts of the sprawling Indonesian archipelago.

    To become law, it would have to be signed by President Joko Widodo, who has taken a hard line against drug offenders since he came into office last October.

    The proposed legislation banning all alcohol consumption would exempt some locations to protect tourism, such as five-star hotels and the resort island of Bali.