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05 June 2020 (closed)
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Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who will end his second term as president in October 2014, is expected to appoint Lukman Saifuddin as the new Minister of Religious Affairs on Monday (09/06) or Tuesday (10/06) next week. The position of Religious Affairs minister has been vacant since Suryadharma Ali stepped down from his post in late May 2014 to focus on his defense after being named a suspect (by the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission, KPK) in the hajj pilgrimage fund-corruption case.
Lukman Saifuddin, who has been a member of Indonesian parliament since 1997, is the Vice Chairman of the Islamist United Development Party (Partai Persatuan Pembangunan, PPP). The PPP was one of the three political parties that were allowed during the authoritarian Suharto era (1966-1998). In the April 2014 legislative election, the PPP secured 6.5 percent of the vote and is thus one of the smaller Indonesian political parties in the current political era. The party aims for a just, prosperous and democratic Indonesian society but stresses the importance of Islam as guidance in the political and social domains.
According to Indonesian media Saifuddin already underwent the fit and proper test earlier this week.
Former Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali, Chairman of the PPP party, is accused of mishandling the country’s hajj pilgrimage fund. This fund is centrally managed by the government and contains deposits paid by Indonesians who want to make the holy journey to Mecca (Saudi Arabia). The KPK detected fraud in the budgets for the provision of catering, lodging and transportation for the pilgrimage of Indonesian Muslims. Indonesia contains the world’s largest Muslim population.
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