Indonesia's House may remove clove cigarettes from cultural heritage bill

PHOTO: Reuters

The House of Representative (DPR) seems likely to remove articles acknowledging kretek (clove cigarettes) as Indonesia's cultural heritage from a culture draft bill.

Lawmaker Teuku Riefky Harsya said the decision will take into account dynamics in the public sphere, as well as internal discussions with Commission X of the DPR.

"We will hold further internal meetings in our commission to decide whether or not to exclude traditional clove cigarettes from our culture," said Riefky in a press release.

If the Commission agrees to remove kretek from the culture bill, then Riefky as the chairman of the Commission will coordinate with Legislation Board (Baleg) to talk about a mechanism for its removal.

"We believe that there is considerable scope for amending the bill," he added.

Riefky said that a lot of people agree that kretek is Indonesia's cultural heritage but at the same time many oppose that view, saying that it need not necessarily be listed formally in legislation.

Clove cigarettes are Indonesia's traditional flavored cigarettes, which blend tobacco, cloves and other flavors. The problem is cigarettes contain many poisonous substances and are dangerous to the health of users and others who breathe in their smoke.