Gov’t Issues Regulation on Indonesian Language Use
Date 9 Oktober 2019
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on 30 September 2019 signed Presidential Regulation Number 63 of 2019 on the Use of Indonesian Language.
The regulation aims to implement Article 40 of Law Number 24 of 2009, considering that Presidential Regulation Number 16 of 2010 on the Use of Indonesian language in Official Speeches of the President and/or Vice President and Other Officials has not yet regulated the use of Indonesian language in other contexts.
Under this new regulation, the use of Indonesian language must comply with grammatical rules, spelling rules, and word formation rules regulated by Regulation of Minister of Education and Culture.
The regulation also states that Indonesian language must be used in law and regulations in terms of word formation, sentence structure, writing technique, and spelling. It also stipulates that Indonesian language must be used in official state documents, including decrees, security papers, diplomas, certificates, identification papers, sales deeds, agreements, and court decisions.
“Indonesian language must be used in official speeches of the President, Vice-President and other state officials delivered both at home and abroad,” Article 5 of the regulation reads.
The aforementioned state officials, according to the regulation, include: a. Speaker, Deputy Speaker and members of the People’s Consultative Assembly; b. Speaker, Deputy Speaker and members of the House of Representatives; c. Speaker, Deputy Speaker and members of the Regional Representatives Council; d. Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Junior Chief Justice, and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court as well as the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, and Judges in all Judicial Body other than ad hoc Judges; e. Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, and Associate Justice of the Constitutional Court; f. Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, and Members of the Supreme Audit Board; g. Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, and Members of the Judicial Commission; h. Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, and Members of the Corruption Eradication Commission; i. Ministers and Ministerial-level position holders; j. Head of Representative of the Republic of Indonesia who holds Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary position ; k. Governor and Deputy Governor; l. Regent/Mayor and Deputy Regent/Mayor; and M. Other state officials in accordance with law and regulations.
The regulation also stipulates that official speeches of the President or Vice President at national forums and international forums held in Indonesia must be delivered in Indonesian language.
“The Government of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia provides equal treatment, in terms of the use of language, for Heads of State or Heads of Government, Deputy Heads of State or Deputy Heads of Government, Secretary General of the United Nations, and/or the highest leaders of international organizations who make official visits to Indonesia based on the principle of sovereignty of the State, the principle of reciprocity, and international norms,” Article 9 of the Regulation reads .
According to the regulation, the President and/or Vice President and other state officials must deliver official speeches in Indonesian language at national forum, including state ceremony, ceremonies for 17 August Independence Day and other national holidays, official ceremony in of the high-level state institution, presentation of State Budget Bill or Regional Budget Bill, government working meetings or high-level state institution meeting, and other national forums that support the use of Indonesian Language.
“In the event that it is necessary to clarify the meaning of speeches, the official speeches of the President and/or Vice President, and other state officials delivered in Indonesian language may contain foreign languages,” article 15 of the Regulation states.
The regulation also stipulates that the speech of the President and/or Vice President in the overseas forums must be delivered in Indonesian language. The aforementioned speech is delivered in an official forum organized by the United Nations, international organizations, or recipient countries.
“The official speech of the President and/or Vice President may be accompanied by a translator,” article 18 of the regulation reads.
In the event that it is necessary to clarify the meaning, the Regulation states, the President and/or Vice-President can deliver the speech orally in a foreign language, supported by a transcript of the speech in Indonesian language.
According to the Regulation, speeches of the President and/or Vice President which are not included as official speeches are speeches delivered in scientific, social, cultural, economic, and other forums held by academic institutions, science and technology institutions, non-governmental organizations, and groups or individuals that are part of civil society.
The regulation also stipulates that the President and/or Vice President can deliver official speeches in other languages at international forums namely the official languages of the United Nations: English, French, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Arabic, as well as other languages in accordance with international law and norms.
“Provisions regarding the official speeches of the President and/or Vice President apply mutatis mutandis to the official speeches of other state officials in accordance with the degree of position and/or protocol procedures applicable to the relevant officials,” article 22 of the regulation states.
The Presidential Regulation was promulgated on 30 September 2019 by Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna H Laoly and shall come into force on the date of its promulgation. (Pusdatin/ES)
Translated by: Ridwan Ibadurrohman
Edited by: Ersan Pamungkas