Religious affairs ministry will not change name: Kalla

Kalla said that changing the name of the ministry would need heavy funding because it would require many other things - such as the board name and logo - to be changed for correspondence.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The name of the Ministry of Religious Affairs will not be changed to the Ministry of Endowment, Hajj and Alms Affairs, Vice-President-elect Jusuf Kalla said on Thursday.

"The name will not be changed. It will remain the same," Kalla remarked during the launch of the book "Palang Merah Indonesia" (Indonesian Red Cross).

He stated that changing the name of the ministry would need heavy funding because it would require many other things - such as the board name and logo - to be changed for correspondence.

"It could cost hundreds of billions of Rupiah," Kalla noted.

The authority of the Ministry of Religious Affairs will not change either. "There is no such (proposal). We never even conceived the idea, let alone considered implementing it," Kalla affirmed.

Rumors of the change in the name of the ministry came to the surface after President-elect Joko Widodo announced the stance of his government cabinet, which comprised 34 ministries on Monday (Sept. 15, 2014).

It is said that of the 34 ministries, there was none named "the Ministry of Endowment, Hajj and Alms."

The deputy of Joko Widodos transition team, Eko Sandjojo, also assured reporters that the ministry would remain in the cabinet of the Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla administration.

Many parties have responded to the rumors of the change in the ministrys name.

General Chairman of Muhammadiyah's youth wing Saleh Partaonan Daulay said the change in the name would create the impression that the ministry would only cater to matters related to endowment, hajj and alms.

He added that the establishment of the ministry was the implementation of the first principle of the Pancasila state ideology, which reads "Believe in One God."

Chairman of the Muhammadiyah Muslim organization Yunahar Ilyas opined that the Ministry of Religious Affairs was part of the history of the Indonesian people and is fundamentally needed to handle matters related to religion to protect the country from secularism.

There are laws that mandate that the ministries of Defense, Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Religious Affairs be upheld.

The 34 ministries in the Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla government cabinet will be led by 18 professionals from non-political parties and 16 others from political parties, but with professional backgrounds.(*)

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