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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 09:13, June 08, 2006
Playboy defies protest with second issue
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The second issue of Playboy magazine's Indonesian edition hit the stands yesterday despite protests from Islamic groups and attacks on the publisher's office in Jakarta after the launch in April.

The June issue had no advertisements and its first two pages were blank except for the Playboy logo and a brief publisher's note.

"These empty pages are dedicated for our loyal clients that have been threatened because they had run advertisements in this magazine ... This page is owned by a cigarette product," the note said.

Similar notes appeared on several other pages which would normally have carried advertizing.

Although copies are still printed in Jakarta, Playboy Indonesia is now being run from the tourist island of Bali, a Hindu enclave where conservative Islam has little influence.

The first issue on April 7 was a tame affair by the standards of the US original. Even so, the power of the Playboy name as the iconic symbol of relaxed Western attitudes towards sex drew strong opposition in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.

Magazine editor-in-chief Erwin Arnada wrote in the latest edition that Bali was always an option but became a necessity due to concerns over staff security following protests after the magazine's launch.

"What we have experienced in the past month ... shows a name is an important thing. Our appearance in April was marked by enthusiasm, prejudice, fear and various assumptions," said Arnada, noting national legislators had suggested a name change.

However, he argued that publishing Playboy was necessary for Indonesia.

"The absence of a growing monopoly of a set of values and views in our beloved country in the end is our final purpose. We believe that is also the target of all of us who live with reason and want to understand the meaning of democracy and a pluralistic society," the editorial said.

The magazine could be found in Jakarta but news stands were not displaying it openly.

"We sell them more discreetly. Getting the second issue is more difficult and not many agents provide us with copies," said Srihardono, whose news stand is located on a busy Jakarta street.

At a news conference in Bali, Arnada said agents had been told to avoid selling the magazine in open spaces. "We have an agreement with our agents and distributors to (sell) Playboy magazine in closed areas far from the reach of children," he said, adding that 100,000 copies of the second edition had been distributed in Java and Bali islands.

Source: China Daily

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