Jakarta, CNN Indonesia —
Member of Commission VIII DPR from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) faction MY Esti Jayanti urged an evaluation of the Joint Minister of Religion and Minister of Home Affairs Regulations Number 9 and 8 of 2006 (SKB 2 ministers) regarding the construction of houses of worship.
According to Esti, the SKB of the 2 ministers has not yet provided a meaningful solution if there are problems with the construction of houses of worship in the community.
“The SKB of the two previous ministers did not provide a way out if there were problems in the field, so the old SKB of the 2 ministers needs to be evaluated and immediate follow up,” said Esti at the DPR RI Commission VIII Working Meeting with the Ministry of Religion, Monday (27/3 ).
Therefore, Esti also expressed support regarding the increase in the status of the 2 ministerial SKB to become a Presidential Regulation (Perpres). According to him,
“I hope that if this becomes a Presidential Decree, there will be a clear way out if there is a deadlock from the many problems with the construction of places of worship,” explained Esti.
“The SKB of 2 ministers didn’t provide a way out, so it stopped,” he continued.
Esti again highlighted the rules in the SKB of 2 ministers regarding the approval of 90 congregations and 60 non-congregants to become one of the requirements for the establishment of a house of worship.
According to him, the regulation is useless because it is hampered when going through the verification process. This, said Esti, must be a common concern for the whole community and requires a big role from the government.
“There are even 60 to 90 (already) fulfilled from the signatures of the community and users, but there is no follow-up because verification has not been carried out,” said Esti.
“I hope this will become a concern for all of us. Moreover, the President said, this year is the year of religious tolerance,” he added.
At the end of last February, the Government chose to maintain the SKB of 2 ministers regarding the conditions for building houses of worship. Secretary General of the Ministry of Home Affairs (Kemendagri) Suhajar Diantoro said that the regulation was still being maintained.
“If we evaluate a regulation, it must be based on creating order. That’s it. Today we haven’t come to that conclusion,” said Suhajar, last Tuesday (28/2).
Suhajar said the government remains committed to protecting the religious rights of every citizen. According to him, this is part of the mandate of the 1945 Constitution to protect the entire Indonesian nation.
He did not explain the government’s concrete steps to guarantee the right to religion. Suhajar only repeatedly stated that this was the responsibility of all parties.
“Whoever the person is protected by him, including protected worship. It is these conflicts in the field that must be managed and resolved by us together, including the press,” he said.
The polemic over the construction of houses of worship did not escape the attention of Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Moreover, there is the phenomenon of disbanding worship activities and prohibiting the construction of houses of worship in a number of places in Indonesia.
At that time, a viral video clip on social media showed a mob forbidding Christians from holding services at the Christian Church of the Tabernacle of David.
Highlighting this, Jokowi reminded that the constitution will still guarantee the right to worship for all Indonesian people.
As a result, a number of parties urged the Government to revoke the SKB of 2 ministers after Jokowi’s statement. Not only that, several parties also want the regulation on the establishment of houses of worship to be upgraded to a Perpres.