Non-Muslim Ward Chief Stays On

Opposition against a South Jakarta ward chief for being a non-Muslim heated up on Wednesday after protesters delivered a coffin and a yellow flag, a symbol often associated with death, and demanded that she be removed from her position.

Some 600 residents rallied against Susan Jasmine Zulkifli on Wednesday, rejecting her as their ward chief and claiming that 99 percent of the population in Lenteng Agung, the area she represents, is Muslim.

“This is a symbol of the death of conscience of the Jakarta administration, which refused to listen to our demands,” Nasrullah, the demonstration’s coordinator, said on Wednesday. He held a white banner for residents to sign in rejecting Susan, who is Christian, as ward chief.

Nasrullah said the residents were becoming impatient because Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo had not responded to their letter demanding Susan be replaced.

Joko — who appointed Susan — had previously defended her, saying he would not replace her unless she made a serious mistake as a public official.

After Wednesday’s protest, however, Joko took a more neutral stance, saying the mayor and subdistrict head would decide on the matter, in line with normal procedures.

“There will be no position change, and I don’t have to handle the matter myself. It’s the subdistrict chief’s and the mayor’s business,” Joko told the Indonesian news portal Tempo.co.

Joko said the city administrative always evaluates their public officials based on their work performance and integrity.

“All this time I have evaluated the public officials based on their integrity and their ability to finish the tasks assigned to them. We only care about their achievement, whether or not they can serve the public,” he said.

Joko said he could not evaluate Susan’s performance because the Index Government Service (IGS) survey has not yet been published.

“I haven’t received the report yet. Only after I have received it can I decide whether or not she should be replaced, and the decision won’t be made based on a religious reason,” he said.

Lenteng Agung residents had previously circulated a petition calling for Susan’s dismissal, but the request was turned down by the provincial government, which is responsible for her appointment.

Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama said the city administration is not afraid of the protesters and called on them to remain peaceful if they choose to rally.

Basuki continued his criticism of the Lenteng Agung residents’ opposition. He even threatened to take legal action if the protests turned violent.

He called on Lenteng Agung residents to accept the city’s decision to appoint Susan as their ward chief, adding that the city’s decisions could not satisfy everyone but were intended to improve the prosperity of Jakarta residents.

The Setara Institute, a Jakarta-based human rights group, said the petition to oust Susan constituted intolerance and discrimination, and called on Joko and Basuki to oppose the prejudice.

  • mrlogic

    Small minds indeed!

  • human2

    Is that not a death threat? If someone did that to me I would approach the police. I admire the administration for standing up to these primates however why can the people carrying the coffin not be charged with threatening someone? This country is going to the dogs….

  • PakMB

    Why is this article so different from other information I got? Another article said only 200 took part in the protest and that most of them were not even locals.

    • Roland

      Yes, PakMB – I read the other article too and it painted a different picture to this one….

    • Jakarta Globe Wrong Again

      Also read in Detik it’s only 200 people. The Detik aricle also mentioned that majority of the people demonstrating were bussed in from other province. They’re not even Lenteng Agung people.

  • DD

    for democracy to die… it has first to be born

    • MadWorld

      It was stillborn DD

  • rahadi widodo

    Racist bunch of fools….Government and religion are seperate….i live in this area and i will confront them.

    • tahugejrot

      How to fully separate religion and government ?

      • Roland

        Please tahugejrot, read “Forgetyourself’s” comment above on why it will be practically impossible to explain to you that religion (any religion!) and a secular government HAS to be separated to work at its best in a democracy.
        You are born in Indonesia and I am certain that you received most, if not all of your education also here (I believe you even mentioned in a comment just a couple of days ago that it was at least partially an education in a pesantren or similar) which already explains your question in the first place.

        • tahugejrot

          Can those religious people have their religious aspiration adopted by what so called “secular government” ? For example: they ask for banning alcoholic drinks, gambling, miss world, blablabla …. Can they ??

          • rahadi widodo

            Can those religious people have their religious aspiration adopted by what so called “secular government” ? For example: they ask for banning alcoholic drinks, gambling, miss world, blablabla …. Can they ??
            Answer; No because usually one Radical in that area will intimidate all the liberal muslims and scare them by saying blasphamy to way things into his favour….He may even start being violent as we see too many times (little baby doesnt get his way he resorts to violence similar to a 2 year old baby having a temper tantrum)

    • barry

      you go!!

    • rahadi widodo

      tahu, you cant mix apples with orange can you? one does not affect the other.

  • Forgetyourself

    These pathetic actions against fellow citizens and neighbours is a natural result of religious indoctrination of children and persistent brainwashing of adults. Religious zealots cannot think beyond their book. The other is always wrong, an outsider, a threat.
    Things will only get worse as the government imposes its ‘dumbing down of the masses’ education programme i.e. less science & IT, more nationalism & religion

  • quas

    This is happening more and more frequently. Paid thugs from far away places are being transported by the busloads to pretend that they are locals and cause intimidation in local areas. What are we all doing? No investigative journalism to uncover who is behind all this? No police work to stop this? No national security intelligence working on this?

    I am scared. Something evil this way comes.

    • Muffinman

      I too Quas fear we may be starting to slide down that slippery slope. The real concern is how easily intimidated government departments appear to be in the face of blatant thuggery. This government could use a testosterone injection.

      • Pelan2

        Female hormone injections would be preferable

  • Botak

    I could bet that some other candidate for this position is standing behind this, and is using this non-Muslim thing to get rid off her. The sad thing is that ones again we can see how easy it is to get the mob walking and talking.

    • Valkyrie1604

      Botak: Would you agree with me if I say that 75% of the populace can be easily led astray?

  • TalkingEid

    Yep, as always – follow the money.

  • Botak

    You would be surprised to know that they even are able to create for small positions such chaos.

    Even in government schools I witnessed intrigues, and political power games up to an level were members of the Pemuda Pancasila are turning up to scare some people of.

    “Ada gula, ada semut”

  • DanielKaimana

    It’s interesting.. I didn’t know that Angela Merkel does not have any child.. and Belgium PM is a gay?? Wow… That’s fantastic!!! Hmm.. Well, thanks for the info MadWorld.. I’m thinking hard any gay to be proposed as a candidate for 2014 presidential election..

  • tahugejrot

    I can’t stop laughing …figuring out how you came to conclusion that nothing wrong at all with alcohol … ha3x…

    You should check your browser settings … maybe the word “alcohol” is filtered out ,so everytime you google out “alcohol impact” you always got blank screen …. ha3x ….

    …or maybe your brain is already saturated with alcohol …. ha3x…

  • Roland

    I hope dearly too that the positive development in Jakarta will spread slowly but surely to the rest of Indonesia and it shed off all those old “Order Baru” KKN types still residing (and presiding on local level) for a better future.

  • DanielKaimana

    Yes, that’s true DD..

    Eh wait, did you mention ‘sin’? Oh well, I thought you don’t have an idea what sin is.. Interesting..

  • tahugejrot

    The Pancacila’s First Principle : The Unity of God …. is clearly derived from the “7th century desert barbaric revelation” …. which applies for any race …color …etc … Does that sounds apartheid ??
    How about Israel … a.k.a Jewis state ?? …he3x …

  • Valkyrie1604

    TE: I doubt he knows what that is.

  • tahugejrot

    Something depicted since 2000 years ago doesn’t always mean good if practiced by to the society today …. right ??
    Cannibalism and jungle law was practiced by our ancestors right ?? …he3x…

  • tahugejrot

    what is the long term impact of homosexual marriage and atheism to the survivability of a society ?? …. he3x …