Introductory Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at Limited Cabinet Meeting through Video Conference on the Preparation for Eid al-Fitr 1441 Hijri/2020 AD Tuesday, 19 May 2020 at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta
Date 20 Mei 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Distinguished Vice President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are aware that the situation during this year Eid al-Fitr is very different because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, we must be well-prepared for the Eid al-Fitr 1441 Hijri.
First, the Government extends its sincere gratitude to the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the Nahdlatul Ulama Executive Board, Muhammadiyah Central Board, and all other mass organizations, other Muslim organizations for the support and participation in preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19. I highly respect and appreciate the fatwa and the appeal given to all Muslims in Indonesia related to worship and religious practices during the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as the support for the Government’s decision to mudik ban.
Second, the Government is grateful for various actions of solidarity and social care held by Muslim organizations and initiatives from each community, including the use of zakat (alms), the use of infaq (charity), and the use of sadaqah (donations) to help our brothers and sisters affected by the COVID-19. We hope that such action can continue and expand even larger to become a major movement in order to help ease the burden of our brothers and sisters in need.
Third, as I have previously said, the key to success in controlling the spread of COVID-19 is our self-discipline, our self-discipline in washing hand, keeping a safe distance, wearing face masks, and avoiding crowds. I have ordered that health protocol must be strictly implemented on the ground, especially before and during Eid al-Fitr. I have learned that traditional markets are now starting to get crowded because many people are shopping ahead of the religious holiday. I demand that the policy for physical distancing and for wearing face masks should be implemented, and the apparatus must put great efforts to continuously remind the people about the health protocol.
Fourth, in implementing health protocol and rules of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), explanation and dissemination are needed to inform the people that the Government does not prohibit religious practices. In fact, the Government, through Ministry of Religious Affairs, encourages each religious community to increase the quantity and to improve the quality of the religious practices. What we appeal, what we regulate, is that the religious practices should be conducted in accordance with health protocol, and the appeal for observing religious practices at home. I think we have previously talked about the matters.
I think that concludes my introductory remarks.
Translated by Ridwan Ibadurrohman
Reviewed by Muhardi