An Indonesian Minister called out the country's rich to look out for poor (for marriage) and vice-versa, in order to reduce poverty. He also proposed a pre-marital certification programme for couples, who're financially unstable but wish to get married, to sign up for an employment programme launched by President Joko Widodo.

Indonesian Minister's plan to reduce poverty

Muhadjir Effendy
Wikimedia Commons

On Wednesday, Indonesian Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister, Muhadjir Effendy, called on country's Religious Affairs Minister, Fachrul Razi, to issue a fatwa (a ruling opinion on an Islamic law, pronounced by a recognized authority) ordering the rich to look out for poor (for marriage) and vice-versa, Jakarta Post reported.

This is because "What happened if poor people are looking for other poor people (for marriage)? There will be more poor households", according to Mr Effendy. "This is a problem in Indonesia", he added.

Stating figures about the country's poor, 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 further added.

The country's human development minister proposed another plan for reducing poverty levels--a pre-marital certification programme. Under this, those financially unstable couples, who wish to get married, should enrol in an employment programme launched by President Joko Widodo. The programme imparts skill-development for participants so that they find it easier to get employment.

Indonesian Ulema Council's (MUI) welcomes plan

The MUI, which is charged with issuing fatwas, welcomed the minister's poverty-marriage plan. "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," MUI's secretary-general Anwar Abbas said, Kumparan reported.

"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," he said. Citing plan's twin purposes, Abbas said, first, poverty levels will be reduced. Second, there will be wealth distribution, as money will not only circulate among the wealthy.