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‘Not enough poor people’ in Singapore
Publication Date : 16-10-2013
Batam Grand Mosque received a special donation for this year’s Idul Adha, the Islamic Day of Sacrifice, when a group of Singaporean Muslims, who had difficulty finding sufficiently poor recipients in their hometown for their sacrificial animal, went to the island to fulfill their religious obligations.
The Singaporeans decided to travel 20 kilometres south to Batam to perform their Idul Adha duty. Batam Tourism Bureau head Yusfa Hendri said on Tuesday that more than 50 Singaporean tourists had donated three bulls and 50 goats to be slaughtered at the Grand Mosque.
Yusfa said that Singaporeans often preferred to send their sacrificial animals to Batam, as that there were too few mustahiq, or rightful recipients, in Singapore.
Over the past few years, the tourism bureau, in cooperation with travel agencies, has been luring more Singaporeans to donate their animals to people in Batam by offering Idul Adha-themed tours.
“Last year, we ran a Semarak Kurban religious tour package, combined with a concert by [dangdut singer] Rhoma Irama. We’ve not offered the package this year due to budget constraints,” he said.
Meanwhile in Jakarta, Idul Adha was marked by what appeared to be a competition among government officials to give away the biggest animals.
Shortly before performing his Idul Adha prayers, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono donated a 1.07-tonne Ongole bull to the caretaker of Istiqlal Mosque.
Yudhoyono and some of his ministers took off soon after the prayers to fly to his hometown of Pacitan, East Java. Yudhoyono is scheduled to inaugurate some infrastructure projects and to attend a national sporting event during his five-day visit to East Java.
Outgoing National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo, outdid Yu-dhoyono by donating a 1.3-tonne bull to be slaughtered by the caretaker of a mosque at the police headquarters in South Jakarta. It took a nine-man team 15 minutes to slaughter the animal.
At the Jakarta Islamic Centre, the Indonesian Veterinarian Association discovered that a bull donated by Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was infected with liver fluke, a flat worm.
“Physically, Jokowi’s animal was in good shape, but after it was slaughtered, we found a two-centimeter liver fluke,” the association chair Arsentina Panggabean said.
Arsentina said that they only discarded the infected part and donated the rest of the carcass to poor local residents.
Meanwhile, a number of mosques took measures to curb the sale of donated meat by recipients.
“Istiqlal Mosque does not authorise any such transactions, especially inside the mosque complex, after the meat distribution,” a mosque official, Mubarak, said.
A number of major graft suspects celebrated Idul Adha from behind bars. The KPK denied a request from former Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) chairman Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq to spend the Idul Adha holiday at home with his three wives and 15 children.
Luthfi is currently being detained at the Guntur Military Police detention center for his alleged involvement in a beef-importation scandal.
Luthfi’s second wife, Lusi Triana, and her three children arrived at the KPK headquarters on Tuesday to request a permit to visit the Guntur detention facility.
“The last time Bapak [Luthfi] met his children was during the holiday season in September. He did not say anything special, but said that he missed the children,” Lusi said.
South Tangerang Mayor Airin Rachmi Diany also came to the KPK headquartres to meet her husband, Tubagus Chaeri Wardana, who has been accused of bribing now former Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar.
“We always pray for the best guidance from Allah. We pray that this [case] will be resolved by Allah,” Airin said.
Fadli, Suherdjoko, and Syamsul Huda M.Suhari contributes to this report from Batam, Semarang and Gorontalo.