Meeting with president normative, unsubstantive: religious figure

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The results of Monday`s meeting between President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and inter-faith figures were normative and unsubstantive, according to the dialogue`s initiator, Din Syamsuddin.

"Last Monday evening`s meeting, I would say, was warm and open but not substantive," said Syamsuddin, who is also the head of the Center for Dialogue and Cooperation between Civilization (CDCC) to the press, here on Tuesday.

According to Syamsuddin, the meeting could be taken as a situation at the gate so that he appreciated there would be a continuation of the dialogue.

He also reminded that the moral movement by those inter-faith figures must not be linked to any political maneuver and had nothing to do with any effort to impeach the president.

"We in fact oppose the rise and fall tradition of the government. We are of the opinion that the alternating government is not good. So, never relate (this movement) with politics," he said.

He said that this moral movement by the inter-faith figures had long since been conducted and it would never stop. In Islam, it is related with (the concept of) amar ma`ruf nahi munkar, or an aim to improvement.

In addition, the moral movement had not been arbitrarily voicing vacant talks because it had been supported by the executive councils of some 65 civil society organizations with their respective areas of expertise.

Therefore, Syamsuddin said, the data presented so far by the movement from aspects on corruption, poverty, unemployment to foreign debts had their bases.

He added that when talking about poverty the government should have just mentioned about statistics on the success in reducing poverty rate, but rather should see also the fact that there were indeed many poor people outside.

"Look at that qualitatively, and don`t just talk quantitatively. There are a lot of people facing problems to get something to eat," Syamsuddin pointed out.

The meeting at the presidential palace was attended among others by Syamsuddin, head of Muhammadiyah moslem organization, Andreas Yewangoe, head of the Indonesian Association of Churches, Catholics public figure Franz Magnis Suseno, Hartati Murdaya, head of Budhhist Council and Confucianism public figure Budi Tanoewibowo.(*)