President Jokowi Welcomes Interfaith Leaders at Merdeka Palace

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation
Date 26 September 2019
Category: News
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Secretary General of PBNU Helmy Faishal Zaini, accompanied by interfaith leaders, delivers a press conference after a meeting with President Jokowi at the Merdeka Palace, Thursday (26/9). Photo by: JAY/PR.

During a meeting held on Thursday (26/9) at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and interfaith leaders discussed a number of things ranging from forest and land fires, latest situation in Papua, to demonstrations held by students from various universities in Jakarta and other regions.

Related to student demonstrations, interfaith leaders have said that the students are agents of change and have played their role as moral force movement.

“We hope that the students’ movement will be protected from those who want to take advantage of it,” Secretary General of the Nahdlatul Ulama Executive Board (PBNU) Helmy Faishal Zaini told the journalists after the meeting.

Interfaith leaders, he added, pray for Indonesia to remain a just, safe, prosperous and civilized nation. “Freedom should be accompanied by ethics and morals,” he added.

In line with Helmy, Chairman of Yogyakarta Regional Council of Muhammadiyah Dr. H. Agus Taufiqurrahman praised the students’ movement while expressing hope that the movement is in line with the nation’s ethics and morality.

“We must safeguard the students’ movement to make it in line with the values ​​of our beloved nation,” he said.

In the meantime, Chairperson of the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) Rev. Dr. Henriette Tabita Lebang said that all dialogue should be conducted within the framework of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

“We need to prioritize our national interest. Our commitment to the national interest will affect the way we express our opinion,” Henriette said, adding that since Indonesia is a diverse nation, expressing opinion needs to consider the cultural factors.

“We must work together to develop our nation,” Henriette added.

On that occasion, Chairperson of the Indonesian Bishops Conference (KWI) Mgr. Ignatius Suharyo also said that Indonesian people have different cultural backgrounds. Thus, a lengthy discussion is needed to pass several Bills.

“(The postponement of passing the Bills) aims to accommodate as many inputs as possible,” Suharyo said.

If the Bills are finally approved, he added, the parties that disagree with the Laws can file a judicial review to the Constitutional Court.

“In my opinion, law amendment is something common. However, a long period is needed for amendment process, dissemination process, and discussion,” Suharyo concluded. (AIT/JAY/ES)

Translated by: Ridwan Ibadurrohman
Edited by: Mia Medyana

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