Aceh Town to Ban Female Passengers from Straddling Motorcycles
Banda Aceh. The administration of the Aceh town of Lhokseumawe is set to issue a regulation that will ban female passengers from straddling motor bikes.
“We’ve seen that people’s behaviors and morals are getting far from Aceh’s Islamic cultural values. Therefore we will issue a regulation that will ban women from straddling while sitting on the passenger’s seat of motorcycles,” Lhokseumawe mayor Suaidi Yahya told the Jakarta Globe.
“We want to save women from things that will cause them to violate Shariah law. We wish to honor women with this ban, because they are delicate creatures,” he added.
Suaidi said his administration on Wednesday started distributing handouts to government offices and villages throughout the municipality to inform local residents of the new policy before the plan is formally implemented in a few months.
“There will be sanctions for those who violate [the regulation],” he added, although refusing to name the sanctions.
Suaidi further explained that the planned bylaw was expected to discourage women from wearing pants in public.
“It will be easier for women to avoid straddling motorcycles if all of them wear skirts.”
Suaidi claimed that the plan is supported by various groups, including local ulemas.
A student of Lhokseumawe’s Malikussaleh University, Nanda, immediately protested the plan, noting that straddling was safer and more comfortable than side-saddling, which would be the only position allowed for female passengers riding on motorcycles.
“That is a ridiculous regulation; there are many other things [the administration] can take care of if Islamic Shariah is their reasoning,” she said.