Thu, Jun 08, 2006 - Page 5 News List

`Playboy' plays it demure with second Indonesian edition

TONED DOWN The US magazine did not feature any nudes again for its second edition, but it was still being snapped up from street vendors


A defiant but demure second issue of the Indonesian edition of the US adult glossy Playboy hit Jakarta's streets yesterday, weeks after publishers halted operations following violent protests by Muslim hardliners.

The local publishers shuttered their office in the capital in April after it was attacked by enraged protesters in the world's most populous Muslim nation and have now shifted operation to the mainly Hindu island of Bali.

Like the first edition, it was a dramatically toned down version of the original raunchy magazine, setting pulses racing only with a French centerfold showing ample cleavage and no nudes.

The centerfold, a blonde named Doriane, was draped in a lacy negligee worn over black underwear.

"Playboy Indonesia is perfect for me. It is Playboy, but I don't have to be naked. Just perfect," she cooed in a caption accompanying one of her pictures.

Several pages in the magazine were left mostly blank, inscribed only with the famous Playboy bunny logo and the words: "This blank page is dedicated to our loyal clients who have been threatened for having put an advertisement in this magazine."

No commercial advertising appeared in this issue, which lists the publisher's headquarters as being in Denpasar, Bali.

The magazine featured an interview with a rising Indonesian vocalist, known as Fla, as well as an inmate on death row, and features on arranged marriages among Chinese-Indonesians in Kalimantan, pork meat balls -- a treat only found on Bali -- and landmine victims in Cambodia.

Indonesia's hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), which instigated the earlier protests, said yesterday that the group was still opposed to Playboy being sold in Indonesia despite its no-nudes pledge.

"We will never cease to reject the existence of Playboy because it is an American product that advertises subliminal pornography," said Abdul Kohar, one of the leaders of FPI.

Kohar speculated that the magazine would "later on show more revealing pictures" as its circulation increases.

"Whether it's based in Bali or in the forest, when a picture shows revealing body parts from the neck down, it is pornography and pornography is unacceptable under Islamic law," Kohar said.

But copies of the magazine were being widely sold by street sellers and roadside vendors yesterday.

Panutur Simatupang, an operator of a large but well-hidden stall in front of a soccer stadium in Jakarta's upscale Menteng area, said retail buyers had snapped up 45 of his latest Playboy issues early yesterday even though he had none on display.

"I am a bit afraid of being attacked by those ignorant fools from the FPI or any other group," he said.

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