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Religious leaders appeal to president

Open letter says national leaders have failed in their pledges to combat corruption

Religious leaders declare their cause at the Monument of Proclamation Religious leaders declare their cause at the Monument of Proclamation
  • Margaretha Krismi, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • October 19, 2011
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Leaders from various faiths, activists and victims of violence sent an open letter yesterday to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, reiterating their concerns over worsening social ills, particularly corruption.

After walking from the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference office building to the Monument of Proclamation in Central Jakarta, they read out the letter.

“We, religious leaders, re-express [our] concerns over the life of both the nation and the state. Our concerns are now much deeper,” they said.

They said Yudhoyono and other national leaders have so far failed in their pledges to combat corruption.

“Political corruption remains widespread. The ‘tentacles of corruption’ involve ministerial officials, legislators, law enforcement officials, politicians, businessmen and many others,” they maintained.

Such widespread corruption has created hardship for many people who have to pay exorbitant education and health care fees and struggle to afford their daily needs as well, they continued.

Also, they added, unease over security and a peaceful existence has risen amid an increase in human rights violations, religious intolerance and environmental destruction.

“We want to say that, as religious leaders, we will keep serving people as much as we can. In response to the present leadership in Indonesia, however, we want to say that we are lost for words which can be interpreted as a moral appeal,” they said.

In conclusion the letter said: “Finally, we call on all people to always work together to immediately end this situation in accordance with the spirit of our 1945 constitution.”

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