Our Minister of Research and Technology just released one of the dumbest statement I have ever heard from someone in his level — since the new government cabinet was set. I mean, seriously. He told the media that he banned the LGBT to enter universities. I mean… how? Although soon later he revised his statement to: “Banning the LGBT who make out and have sex in campuses” — which was even more laughable than the previous statement.
I am not sure how this LGBT in Campuses noises started. Really, I suspected from how uncanny the timing was — it has something to do with one of the hottest murder case in Indonesia today. The Murder of Mirna.
If you live abroad and probably can’t be bothered to subscribe to Indonesia’s media — and looking at our media, I don’t blame you at all– you might have missed this murder case. Mirna is a the name of the girl who died after drinking coffee in a popular coffee shop in one of the biggest high end malls in Jakarta. When Mirna died, she was accompanied by two of her friends, one of them J was her mate when she studied in Australia.
Police officer could not point a finger to anybody due to the “innocent until proven guilty” principal. But somehow for J, all fingers have pointed at her. I feel bad for her, especially if she is not guilty. I think many mainstream media, from online newspaper to national televisions have the responsibility to report a balance news– unfavourable, not tendentious, and unbiased opinion. But I found that the media was stirring the mud to gain more audience. That’s disgusting.
As the case got more and more audience, the stories and rumours got spread. One of the rumour was that the murder was carried out by J, because she was jealous that Mirna is now married — just married last December. The rumour also said that they were a couple when they studied together in Australia. And then, the criminalisation of LGBT sparked.
The old, outdated belief such as “homosexuals are mentally disturb and would kill anyone when they got jealous rage” reappeared in the media. Forgetting the facts that there are more murder carried out by heterosexuals than gays. The uneducated comments on social media sprung and got out of hand, and nothing that media did about it. I thought it was their job to educate the people, apparently gaining clicks is more important than giving facts.
In my own opinion, the rumour that Mirna and J had a lesbian relationship when they were studying just fuelled the bigots rage, and paranoia that Indonesian students are now aware of the freedom to embrace their sexuality. Some cheap far right online newspaper in Indonesia even described LGBT as an epidemic phenomenon attacking our education system, while throwing in some religious remarks to add in to the bigotry.
Now, universities — one of our last bastion to fight against ignorance, intolerance, and bigotry is under a massive attack. Not only that the minister has said something that has undermined the effort of our academia to educate people about sexuality, this issue has opened the pandora box. The members of the Support Group and Research Center On Sexuality Study in Universitas Indonesia, one of the biggest and best university in Indonesia, is now being threatened personally. Some of them even being disowned just because he wants to help other people.
I don’t think I should make any conclusion for today’s entry. I don’t have to. You know where I stand and I am standing still. I am not sure how long until our country could catch up with the others, but for now I am doubtful that that day will come soon.
What a gloomy day to be an Indonesian.