We will divert the budget, which is usually used for group iftar, to carry out more useful activities.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo has instructed government officials to use the budget for group iftar to help impoverished people.

"We will divert the budget which is usually used for group iftar to carry out more useful activities. (For instance) we will (spend the budget to) help those in need," he informed in a video broadcast by the YouTube channel of the Presidential Secretariat on Monday.

He also urged his ranks to welcome the holy month of Ramadan 1444 Hijri, which began on March 23, 2023, in moderation.

"(We will provide) assistance to the poor, orphans, and people who really need it. In addition, (the budget) can also be utilized to hold a bazaar for the community," the President said.

He emphasized that the prohibition on holding group iftar only applies to government officials, not the general public.

"First, I need to reiterate that the directive to not having the group iftar is only for government officials, especially coordinating ministers, ministers, and heads of non-ministerial government agencies, not for the general public. Once again, it is not for the general public," he said.

Earlier, the Cabinet Secretariat issued Circular Letter Number R-38/Seskab/DKK/03/2023 dated March 21, containing the President’s directive prohibiting group iftar.

The letter was addressed to the ministers of the Onward Indonesia Cabinet, the attorney general, the commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces, the chief of the National Police, as well as the heads of government agencies/institutions.

Taking note of the COVID-19 situation in Indonesia, which is making the transition from pandemic to endemic, President Widodo instructed that no group iftar be organized during the fasting month.

In the letter, the President also asked Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian to disseminate the instruction to governors, district heads, and mayors.

In a video broadcast on the Presidential Secretariat’s channel on March 23, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said that government officials are receiving great attention from the public since some officials have frequently shown off their lavish lifestyles.

Hence, the President asked the ranks of the government to carry out iftar modestly, he added.

Related news: Directive on groupiftar not anti-Islam: Minister
Related news: Regional leaders asked to refrain from hosting groupiftar

Translator: Desca Natalia, Uyu Liman
Editor: Azis Kurmala
Copyright © ANTARA 2023