Sitti Hikmawatty, a former commissioner at the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI). (B1 Photo)

Jokowi Dismisses Child Commissioner for 'Strong Sperm' Comment


APRIL 28, 2020

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has dismissed Sitti Hikmawatty from her position as a commissioner at the Indonesian Child Protection Commission, or KPAI, for making an unscientific comment about "strong sperm" that can impregnate women in public swimming pools.

Jokowi signed a decree to dismiss Sitti on April 24, a day after KPAI Chairman Susanto proposed her dismissal to the president on the back of a recommendation from the commission's ethics committee.

The Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister I Gusti Ayu Bintang Darmawati also made a similar recommendation to the president on April 13.

"That's correct. She has been dismissed," Setya Utama, the first secretary of the State Secretary Ministry, said on Monday.

Sitti became an object of ridicule on social and mainstream media, including in some publications overseas, after she made an impromptu comment in February that women swimming with men in public swimming pools could get impregnated as "strong sperm" can survive in the water in the pool.

There is no scientific proof to back up Sitti's claim.  

Sitti said the recommendations for her dismissal were "problematic" since the KPAI chairman only made the proposition two months after she made the offending comment. 

Sitti had also rejected the KPAI ethics committee's recommendation to dismiss her, arguing that she was unjustly persecuted by the public for her statement.

"The public persecution against me was excessive. The leadership of the KPAI had shown itself incapable of handling the conflict," Siti said in a press release on Saturday.