Ambon – Vice President M Jusuf Kalla has warned that inequality levels in Indonesia have become quite dangerous because of religious differences between the rich and the poor.
“Inequality in Indonesia is quite dangerous compared with other countries. In Thailand those that are rich and those that are poor are of the same religion. This is also the case in the Philippines, both the rich and the poor have the same religion. In Indonesia meanwhile those that are rich and those that are poor are of different religions”, said Kalla at the closing of a Muhammadiyah branch conference in Ambon on Sunday February 26.
The Muhammadiyah conference was opened by President Joko Widodo on Friday and closed by Kalla today.
Kalla explained that in Indonesia most of the rich are people of Chinese decent who are Confucian or Christian. Meanwhile most of the poor are Muslims although there are also Christians. “This is very dangerous. Because of this therefore we must work together to overcome this thing”, said Kalla.
According to Kalla, the problem of inequality is not just a problem for the Indonesian nation. Even in America, Kalla added, there is also inequality.
“It’s not that the [state ideology] Pancasila isn’t being implemented. It’s just that we find the fifth principle very hard to implement”, said Kalla. The fifth principle reads: “Social justice for all the Indonesian people”.
Earlier, Muhammadiyah central leadership board chairperson Haedar Natsir, on behalf the organisation, bestowed an award on Kalla as the “Father of Peace and Diversity”, not just for his words or rhetoric but for the measures and actions he has taken improving the life of the nation and the state.
The final session of the Muhammadiyah conference also decided on a resolution to strengthen sovereignty and social justice. One of the points in the resolution was that the state cannot be subjugated to either foreign or domestic capital which brings disorder to the state simply in order to gain wealth and win power. (Antara)
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was “Kalla: Kesenjangan di Indonesia Berbahaya karena...”.]