Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 17:26 pm (KSA) 14:26 pm (GMT)

Indonesian lawmakers Okay bikinis

A file picture of the Sanur Beach in Bali, Indonesia
A file picture of the Sanur Beach in Bali, Indonesia

After months of in-depth consultations Indonesian lawmakers have decided that bikinis are acceptable attire for beaches in the mainly Muslim country, an MP said Friday.

The move will bring a sigh of relief from Indonesia's lucrative tourism industry, which has expressed concern over a new anti-pornography bill being pushed by conservative Muslim parties.

"Tourists will be able to wear bikinis in special tourist areas, such as in Bali, so Indonesia's tourism industry won't be hurt by this legislation," Democrat Party lawmaker Husein Abdul Azis told AFP.

"We are listening to the protests of stakeholders and people at large," he added, referring to fears the tourism industry would suffer if bikinis were criminalized.

Indonesia has declared 2008 "Visit Indonesia Year" and hopes to attract seven million visitors, earning 6.7 billion dollars in foreign exchange revenues.

However, tourist arrival figures indicate the target is unlikely to be reached.

Politicians, artists, rights activists and tourism entrepreneurs on the mainly Hindu island of Bali, Indonesia's premier tourist destination, have vowed to launch a campaign of non-compliance if the pornography bill is passed.

But Azis, a member of the committee drafting the bill, said dramatic changes had been made to earlier versions in a bid to iron out problems.

Lawmakers said the bill could be passed by the end of the month.

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