Here in Indonesia, the holy fasting month of Ramadan is going to start in just a few weeks. Everyone is rushing to get things done before the country is coming to a standstill. Millions will reunite with their families; meals are being planned to break the fast after sunset. This should be the happiest time, for us in CIPS and for Indonesians in general.
This year, however, a tragedy has been casting a deadly shadow over the country. In early April and within just a few days about 100 Indonesians died from drinking bootleg liquor. Victims were mostly young and those with little income, as the legal and safer alternatives, are pricey and hard to find. The national parliament even revived the discussion of a national prohibition bill.
All of this brought CIPS back into action. A bit more than a year ago, during the previous debate about a national alcohol prohibition, CIPS had already been at the forefront of a campaign against the prohibition. We argued that existing restrictions make legal alcohol unaffordable and inaccessible, forcing consumers to obtain their liquor in widespread black markets.