Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has lauded the ulemas for maintaining the spirit of togetherness and peace in the nation.

"We, the government, once again wish to request the ulemas to maintain peace and harmony in cities and regions of our country, along with the government," the president said after receiving several ulemas in Merdeka Palace here on Tuesday.

He also informed the ulemas on the economic condition in Indonesia.

Indonesia managed to reach an economic growth rate of 5.02 percent last year, he stated.

"If we compare our country with member countries of G20, we are just left behind China and India," he added.

The inflation rate has decreased to 3.02 percent, from 8-9 percent previously, he remarked.

"However, we have to inform that our challenge is a (social) gap, problem of economic justice, and economic equity.

The Head of State said he was often asked by people in kampongs and villages about those enjoying the 5 percent economic growth.

"Who are they that enjoy the 5 percent, Mr President? Is it us? We need to respond to their questions through the governments policies," Jokowi noted.

Jokowi was accompanied by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto; Minister/State Secretary Pratikno; and Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifudin during the meeting with ulemas.

Among ulemas attending the meeting were Irfan Wahid of Tebu Ireng Islamic boarding school; Sanusi Baco of the Nahdlatul Ulema (NU) in South Sulawesi, Syukorn Makmun of Darurohman Islamic boarding school, Ahmad Musthofa of Pabelan Modern Islamic boarding school in Magelang; Abdullah Zaidi of Al Irsyad boarding school; Muhtadi Dimyati of Cidahu Islamic boarding school in Pandeglang, Banten; Prof Maman Abdurrahman; and Jeje Jaenudin.

Ahmad Parlaungan Tanjung of Darunnajah Islamic boarding school, Rahman Sabon Nama, Yusnar Yusuf Rangkuti of al Wasliah; Ahmad Sadeli Karim of Mathlaul Anwar in Banten; Siti Raihanun Zainuddin Abdul Madjid of Nadhatul Wathan in Mataram, Lukmanul Hakim of Al Ittihadiyah, Sholeh Hasan of Khoriatul Umah Islamic boarding school in Bandung; Hasib Wahab Khasbullah, Tambak Beras of Islamic boarding school in Jombang; Subhan Makmun of Assalafiyah Luwungragi Islamic boarding school in Brebes; Jazuli Kasmani of Al Muttaqien Pancasila Sakti Islamic boarding school in Klaten, and Aris Nimatullah of Buntet Islamic boarding school in Cirebon, also attended the meeting.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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