The authorities in East Lombok District, West Nusa Tenggara Province [Indonesia] adopted a bylaw that allows polygamy upon payment of a million rupees (just over 80 dollars) to the local treasury department.
This has sparked controversy and an animated discussion among Indonesians. Although morally accepted under Islam – which allows up to four wives – polygamy in modern Indonesia “is not considered a common practice.”
[ . . . ]
In the past ten years though, a radical change has occurred under the presidency of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Although he has remained a one-wife man, he has been unwilling or unable to stop polygamy from making a comeback in the country, especially in the government itself.
Indeed, some of his government ministers, from pro-Islamic parties, are polygamous, and the president has done nothing to prevent it. However, what happened in East Lombok has aspects and peculiarities that make it “different” from what normally happens.
In fact, not only is polygamy “approved from a moral and legal point of view” but also it is seen a source of revenue.
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