Indonesia - missing tobacco regulation in approved Health Law..

October 18, 2009 - We reported back on October 14th that a section regulating tobacco as an addictive substance in the newly passed Health Law has been removed.

Lawmakers and government officials in the Health Department have been accused of conspiracy in the missing tobacco regulation in the recently approved Health Law.

An advocacy group consisting health expert, consumers rights activists, and the anti-corruption watchdog, Indonesia Corruption Watch held a press conference on Friday, October 16th at the Indonesia Corruption Watch office, to announce that they have witness and evidence for their accusation in response to the “unintentional nature” of the crime by the legislative and the executive branch.

“It is already known who were involved and there are evidence for that,” said Kartono Muhammad a health expert with the Coalition Against Corruption on Health Law.

A legal representative for the group, David Tobing, said he could not disclose the names yet to prevent allegation that the group is accusing certain people without legal procedure. He added that not all the members of the parliament were willing to be involved in the scandal, and said the witness had in his/her possession the written instruction to remove section 2 in article 113 which regulate tobacco in different form of substances.

The missing section was written as follow: ”Addictive substance as referred in section (1) includes tobacco; solid, liquid, and gas products that contain tobacco which are addictive and could harm its users and or their immediate surroundings.”

While Kartono Muhammad said the Health Department's role in the crime was their consent on plan to exclude the section.

Head of the special committee set up to draft the law Ribka Tjiptaning previously said the exclusion was unintended. While Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said on Friday, the discourse to remove the section began at the committee level.

Chairman of the Indonesia Consumers Foundation Tulus Abadi said the lawmakers have assumed that this nation is stupid and blind as if it did not realized that they have ben fooled. “The house is a high state institution but they adopt crooked methods.”

Reference: Witness and Evidence Prepared For Tobacco Lawsuit,, 10/16/2009.

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