An Indonesian official who was fired by the president after she became a national laughing stock may get her job back after a court ruled that her termination was unlawful.
In April 2020, President Joko Widodo dishonorably discharged National Commission for the Protection of Indonesian Children (KPAI) commissioner Sitti Hikmawatty after she infamously said that women can get pregnant from swimming in a pool with men.
Sitti took her dismissal to court, and yesterday the Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN) sided with the former commissioner, ruling that President Jokowi's decree validating her termination was unlawful as it was not approved by the House of Representatives (DPR).
"[The court] orders the defendant (President Jokowi) to rehabilitate and restore the plaintiff's position, dignity, and honor as a commissioner at KPAI from 2017-2022," the court said.
Feizal Syahmenan, Sitti's lawyer, called on Jokowi to reinstate his client. "PTUN's decision proved that Sitti Hikmawatty is innocent and that she's a competent [person]," he said.
On Feb. 21, Sitti, who oversaw child protection matters related to health and illegal narcotics, gave a video interview to Tribun Jakarta. In it, she began to touch on the issue of premarital sex and illegal abortion clinics in Indonesia, and then went on to give what became an infamous statement.
"[Pregnancy] can happen without contact, like with a swimming pool acting as a median, for example. Some types of sperm are really strong," she said.
"Even though there's no penetration, the man [in the pool] can get aroused and ejaculate, causing pregnancy."
Sitti faced an ethics committee over the statement, who came to the conclusion that she was no longer fit to serve as a KPAI commissioner.