Bandung. The Independent Teachers Federation of West Java (FGII) announced on Monday that they had found four novels containing pornographic materials distributed to elementary school libraries in Bandung.
The title of the novels are “Tambelo Kembalinya si Burung Camar” (The Seagull Returns to Tambelo) by Redith T. Kurniawan, “Festival Syahadah” (Syahadah Festival), “Ada Duka di Wibeng” (There’s Sorrow in Wibeng) by Azimah Al Muhyi, and “Tidak Hilang Sebuah Nama” (Not Losing a Name) by Galang Lutfianto. These novels were published by Era Adicitra Intermedia, an Islamic publisher.
In the book titled “Tambelo Kembalinya si Burung Camar,” one of the characters said, “I’ll say this, I did serious things with Roni in the jungle. We have made love and I got Roni’s child in my womb and he should be responsible [for the child].”
In the book titled “Ada Duka di Wibeng,” there was a dialogue about premarital sex.
“You should do it [sex] with tricks. Don’t get pregnant,” read secretary general of the FGII, Iwan Hermawan, quoting dialogue from the book. “Do it voluntarily with love, safety, don’t get infected with diseases and don’t get pregnant.”
Iwan said on Monday that the Bandung government should withdraw the books.
“It should be investigated who was responsible for this, the central government, the provincial government or the city administration?” Iwan asked. “Galaxy Nusantara was the supplier and in the books it was written ‘upon the approval of Bandung education agency.’”
Inside of the books it also said, “Education & Cultural Ministry Center for Curriculum and Books.”
Iwan said the books were purchased using the 2022 Special Budget Allocation, and the procurement was done by the Bandung Education Agency. Iwan claimed the novels were also available in other provinces including Central Java, East Nusa Tenggara and North Sulawesi.
Iwan said the material was deemed inappropriate for elementary school students.
“These are not children’s books with these words. The books are telling about junior high school students dating, but it teaches sexual intercourse strategy to prevent pregnancy.”
In the novel titled “Tidak Hilang Sebuah Nama,” information about sexual deviations, pedophilia and necrophilia were discussed.
“Lacking confidence to have sexual intercourse with normal humans is one of the causes [of necrophilia]. However, as a human, he needs to channel his biological needs. For men, there’s a dream mechanism to hold the desire, for some others this is not enough.”
Ahmad Taufan, head the of FGII West Java chapter and principal of a state elementary school in Bandung, found five copies of these novels in the school library. But he said the books had not been lent out to students.
“Up until today, we found only four titles that were inappropriate to read [for children],” he said. “We’re still searching because there are 900 copies from 10 titles published by Era Adicitra Intermedia.”
Head of the Bandung Education Agency Oji Mahroji said he was still investigating the case.
“We will see results from the investigation team, whether they were purposefully [distributed] to corrupt the nation’s morality, an accident or negligence,” Oji said. “If we look at the titles, we could not predict the adult content.”
He admitted that the distribution of the books to elementary schools must have been approved by the Bandung Education Agency. However, he said the books were distributed upon recommendation from the Education and Culture Ministry.
“The Bandung Education Agency saw the books that were recommended by the Education and Culture Ministry, so they were distributed to schools,” Oji said. “I have instructed all the books to be withdrawn from schools. Forty-five to 50 percent of the books have been withdrawn.”
Education and Culture Minister Mohammad Nuh asked the Bandung Education Agency to withdraw the novels.
“The solution is the [education] agency should withdraw all of these books,” Nuh said.
Nuh said the education agency [in Bandung] should have screened the books before distributing them to school libraries.
“We have given that authority to the district and municipal [education agency],” Nuh said.
Bandung deputy mayor Ayi Vivananda asked the publisher to be responsible for the systematic moral destruction of the country’s youth.
“[The publisher] taught the students prematurely about sexual knowledge,” he said.
The FGII West Java chapter has reported the case to the Indonesian Ulema Council’s (MUI) West Java chapter.
“We purposefully reported these novels to the MUI in West Java because the cover shows Islamic photos, but the content is not Islamic,” Iwan said on Tuesday.
Additional reporting from Antara