Watatita: Religion Should Not Be Used as a Political Tool
This September Jakarta gets another chance to vote for a new governor. The runoff election is an opportunity to help fix all the lingering problems in the city. Jakarta is infamous for traffic jams, pollution and floods, and we definitely need somebody who is smart and wise enough to find all the solutions.
However, some of us are always up to spoil the election process. Muslim extremists allegedly tried to warn the citizens of Jakarta not to vote for a certain candidate because he’s running with a Christian-Chinese man. Instead, they encourage people to vote for all-Muslim candidates.
I wonder where have all these extremists Muslims been. Have they seen all of Jakarta? Do they know that Jakarta is not all Muslim? It is a capital city region where millions of people from all across Indonesia is reside here, and they’re not all Javanese or Muslim. Chinese-Indonesians are also Indonesians. Their families have been here for generations. Please, racism is so last decade.
OK, now – let’s talk logic. As a citizen, what kind of person, in your opinion, will be effective to solve the problems of Jakarta? Do you pick them based on their religion? Do you pick them based on their race? Do religion and race affect the way a person work or lead?
When you’re about to vote for a candidate, you’re supposed to look at their backgrounds, their track record, their experiences, their achievements. Search for someone who is able to make Jakarta a better place. If you vote based on race or religion, and you end up with a leader who is incompetent – resulting in the same old Jakarta with pollution, flood and traffic jams – then don’t complain later.
For this one, just this once, please learn to let go of your ego and stop think that your belief is the only way. We want to be a religious country, not a country with laws based on one religion.
It bothers me most when something good and sacred such as religion is used as a political tool, because then the whole purpose and meaning of the religion itself gets misunderstood and manipulated. As someone who believes in a God, I believe that He created variations of people and races for a reason. We are supposed to appreciate differences.
Even our own country’s motto is “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika,” which means “We are many, but we are one.” That is the most basic principle of our country, and if we can’t implement it, then we will never see progress.