An Indonesian minister has caused an uproar after he proposed for the rich to marry the poor as a means to reduce the country’s poverty rate.
“What would happen if poor people looked for other poor people for marriage? There will be more poor households,” said Muhadjir Effendy, the Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister, according to Jakarta Post.
“This is a problem in Indonesia,” he added.
“What happened if poor people are looking for other poor people [for marriage]? There will be more poor households. This is a problem in Indonesia,” Muhadjir said in his opening speech at the National Health Work Meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday. #jakpost https://t.co/R8onW4g4Il— The Jakarta Post (@jakpost) February 21, 2020
The minister said there are about five million poor households in Indonesia, which account for 9.4 percent of the total households of 57.1 million.
“If near-poor households are added as well, there are 16.8 percent or about 15 million households with low income,” he argued.
“Because poor people [marry each other], new poor families are born. This is the problem in Indonesia.”— Coconuts Jakarta (@CoconutsJakarta) February 20, 2020
Over to you, Twitter.https://t.co/2hkkEbpuso
Effendy suggested to the Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi to issue a fatwa ordering the poor to look for the rich (for marriage), and vice versa.
an indonesian minister said that, to prevent stunting, a rich person *checks notes* should marry poor person and that religion minister should issue a fatwa/islamic ruling to facilitate this “inter-class marriage”. https://t.co/PRGCuYzwWB— Resty Woro Yuniar (@restyworo) February 20, 2020
In addition to that, he also proposed a pre-marital certification programme for couples who are not economically stable but wish to get married to sign up for an employment programme launched by President Joko Widodo.
“Such premarital programmes would help push down the rate of new poor families in Indonesia,” said Effendy.
I have long adopted Indonesian minister’s call for the rich to marry the poor to reduce Indonesia’s poverty.— KC Nazari (@kcnazari) February 21, 2020
My wife is the rich person.
In response, the Indonesian Ulema Council, which is among the Muslim organisations in charge of issuing fatwas, welcomed Effendy’s proposal. The secretary-general Anwar Abbas said it “epitomised the spirit of helping each other.”
“There are many poor families and sometimes there are widows left behind by their husbands. They have to raise their children while making a living,” he said.
Why outcry? It's among the least controversial statements from Indonesian ministers. https://t.co/eGDjtwwBdg— Ahmad Pathoni (@apathoni) February 21, 2020
“If there is a rich man who likes her, and she likes him as well, then great,” he added.
"A poor family will be lifted to become rich, and the number of poor people will be reduced,” said Abbas. “The minister’s proposal has two benefits… First, poverty will be reduced. Second, if realized, wealth will not just circulate among the rich."
Title: Indonesian minister calls on rich to marry poor to cut country's poverty rate— hncynic bot (@hncynic) February 20, 2020
💬: This is exactly why it's important to take a view of human history and see what it's like to live in Singapore...
This is not the first time that Muhadjir Effendy has made a controversial remark.
In the past, the minister stirred quite the debate after he told teachers in Indonesia who feel they earn little “not to worry” as they would “go to heaven.”
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