When Speaking Comes Before Thinking: Home Affairs Ministry Spokesman Reydonnyzar Monoek

When Silence Is Golden, Part II
By N Mark Castro

Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt … Part II

It seems to be the week of despair in seeing how the government is filled with public servants who should be kept in their kampoengs so as to avoid depriving them of their resident idiots.

First it was the amazing display of logic by Raden Salamun Adiningrat who wanted to ban the celebration of Valentine’s Day. And now comes Reydonnyzar Monoek, the Home Affairs Ministry [Mis]spokesman.

The Jakarta Globe screamed:

It’s Easy for a Church to Get a Building Permit: Home Affairs Ministry 

The Home Affairs Ministry claims that there would be less religious conflict between Christians and Islamic fundamentalist groups in Indonesia, if churches simply abided with the government’s regulation to secure a building permit, which the ministry believes is easy to obtain.

THE NUMBERS

  • In 2011, 61 churches waited for permit that never came
  • in 2012, 40 churches had trouble obtaining a building permit that never came
  • Damai Kristus building permit application was rejected by a mosque forum outside the neighborhood and not from the local residents
  • St. Johannes Baptista Church was refused the issuance of the permit after outsiders rallied against them and pressured the local government, the same permit they applied for 10 years ago
  • Banua Niho Keriso Protestan (BNKP) church had been trying to obtain a permit for 10 years.

THE ICING ON THE CAKE

Regarding the case of the GKI Yasmin Church in Bogor, whose building permit was revoked by the mayor, Reydonnyzar said that the local government had been more than willing to provide a solution.

“They prepared Rp 10 billion ($1 million) for the church administrator to move [their church] and build it elsewhere to prevent tension with residents, but the church refused,” he said. “We want to help, but it was not accepted. It’s because they want to prolong the conflict.”

If he had any credible education at all, Home Affairs Ministry Spokesman Reydonnyzar Monoek should have remembered — as a government official and a public servant to all and not limited to Moslems alone — that the highest law of the land, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia, had ruled in favor of Taman Yasmin Indonesia Christian Church (GKI Yasmin).

The GKI Yasmin Church was closed by order of the Mayor and city government but in the same year, the Indonesian Supreme Court affirmed the church’s constitutional right to freedom of worship. The Indonesian Ombudsman’s Office also urged the Bogor City Administration to withdraw its later 2011 decree annulling the church’s construction permit.

To this day, the issue has yet to be resolved and — worse, the order of the Supreme Court has yet to be implemented. The President, on the other hand, whose responsibility is to ensure that the laws of the land are fully enforced, is too busy complaining against the media for unfairly targeting his family, particularly on media’s exposure of his lawmaker son who was caught clocking in time at Congress then immediately leaving.

So what can you expect from Home Affairs Ministry Spokesman Reydonnyzar Monoek?

After all, this is the same public servant who insisted that the discriminatory bylaws against women are actually there to protect them.

About Asmartrock

N. Mark Castro is the chief political communications strategist for PT AsiaLeads, a political and communications policy-making body based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is also the Executive Director at the Southeast Asia Consulting Group, an investment advisory company assisting clients roll out their presence for the ASEAN Economic Integration in partnership with government. The views posted here are his own and do not in any way reflect the views of the companies he represents.

Posted on February 16, 2013, in General, Politics, Religion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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