Basuki Rejects Faith Status on IDs

Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama says nearly 30 percent of school buildings in the city were at risk of collapse. (JG Photo/Afriadi Himal)

Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama. (JG Photo/Afriadi Himal)

Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama has spoken out against the requirement for a religion to be noted on national identification cards.

“In other parts of the world, [such as] Malaysia, there is no column [on ID cards] for a religion. And Malaysia is a country with a very strong [tradition of] religion,” said Basuki at City Hall on Friday.

The former East Belitung district head said he opposed the inclusion of a religion column on national ID cards for any reason, saying it was unimportant. The practice discriminates against citizens who do not participate in state-sanctioned religions, but are forced to declare one against their beliefs in order to gain an ID card.

He described as absurd the argument that religion should be included on ID cards, known as KTP, for the purpose of burying the dead in accordance with their respective religions.

“In my personal opinion, I oppose it, it’s not important. What do you need to write down your religion on your ID card for? I just laugh at an argument which says it is needed to bury someone in accordance with their religion. What if you die in an airplane [crash]? Police have found many bodies that had no ID cards, how do you bury them?” he said.

Basuki said he considered Malaysia, which adopts strict regulations on religion in its laws, as more progressive than Indonesia in some regards.

“My question is simple, is Malaysia less religious than us? Malaysia doesn’t even have a Religious Affairs Ministry, there’s no religion column on its ID card. It’s much more advanced than we are,” he said.

“Those corruptors should not write down their religion in their ID card,” he added, referring to Indonesia’s numerous corruption scandals.

“It’s an embarrassment to their religion if people know what their religion is.”

Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi said that if it is considered wrong to include the religion column in the ID card, then the lawmakers should revise the law.

Gamawan said that there are six religions acknowledged by the state, and stipulated under a 2006 law on population administration. But some Indonesians are atheist, or adhere to local religious beliefs that aren’t included in those six.

“It’s okay if you want to increase the number of religions to six or nine as long as it’s stipulated under the law,” Gamawan said, as quoted by Republika on Friday.

  • zerodiversity

    Religious Affairs Ministry is a waste of state funds and has served no purpose other than a channel for politicians to siphon money from the country into their pockets. Worse still, The Minister is Suryadharma Ali who is completely ignorant and incompetent. Stating religion should not be required on KTP.

  • JC2903

    Good for you. At last some rational thought on a subject that does cause problems.

  • DD

    a man on a mission – good lad keep it up


      No need to go so far as Malaysia – just ask our Singaporean neighbours and they will tell you that their religion is NOT printed on their KTP. Instead it has the BLOOD GROUP shown which is a dam good advantage in case of an emergency, yes or no?
      Now, whether Ahok is saying the right thing or not, one has to consider the Importance and Advantages of including the word religion on citizens’ KTPs? Start a debate today and eventually one will say that religion is an abstract matter (by faith you believe blah,blah,blah); it is very personal and you can even start a war if one chooses to rebut and quarrel endlessly – and therefore such an inclusion on the KTP provides no advantage, serves
      little purpose and is ultimately considered unimportant in the eyes of the
      individual. Why? Simply because our Pancasila gives us the freedom of worship (i.e. any religion without exception) and no man can say that his religion is better than the other OR one can freely over step/ignore the tenets of Pancasila as established. Yes or no?

      15 Dec 2013

      • ditz

        but race is printed in Singapore. And it divides the day to day running of events along racial lines.

  • Zurairi AR

    Sorry to disappoint you Basuki, but here in Malaysia we DO have a religious column on our identification cards (MyKad).

    • Teh [Cheng] CSiang

      We do not have our religion stated in ID cards…..

  • Wonderer

    That’s beside the point. The point is: maybe I don’t mind eating pork; does that mean everybody else should be forced to eat it too?
    The government must have a pressing and prevailing reason for anything it demands from anybody. And as there seems to be no such qualified reason for this ID matter nobody should be forced to state it.

  • Hypocrite Buster

    Where I come from the only IDs are indirect – health insurance, driving license, office entry card – and none stating religion or race. We don’t miss anything.

    • Valkyrie1604

      Actually I feel that stating your blood group would be more important.

  • Joe90

    When handed a form to fill out here in Indonesia and invariably there is a column asking religion, I diligently answer “Jedi Master”. In 20 years I have never had one single query on it.

    • ditz

      will it work if I’m not a bule?

  • Teh [Cheng] CSiang

    Religion is not stated in Malaysia ID card…… it is not right to put religion on ID card…. giving some religious bigots grounds to exercise their bigotry powers…..

  • RosyFactFinder

    Religion is not on the ID card

  • Valkyrie1604

    Fairy tales again Tobing?

  • Surya Durna Ali

    I embrace all faith wholeheartedly then what to put on my id? Full flavor?

    • jaytee


  • The Farmer

    As a matter of fact – just two days ago I applied for a membership card at the Lotte Market and one of the first questions after my name and address was which religion I belong to…..
    The question arises – why does a supermarket need to know my religion? For a probable burial according to my religion?
    Same happened to me when I visited a dentist (in a hospital) a little while ago for a broken filling – again – I was asked what my religion is.
    Also – I remember well – you will be asked for your religion when you open a bank account and on many more completely ridiculous occasions.

    On the other side though – religion is NOT mentioned on the SIM (driver’s license) (where it might be, to give the actually hilarious “reason” of a proper burial some space, needed if you’ve got an accident – more than 60,000 died last year on the roads!) and it is not mentioned on the KITAP (good so) and also not on the police card (I don’t know the abbreviation for that one)

    • jaytee

      perhaps they want to send you a hamper for christmas if you are a christian, if you are a muslim at ramadhan, I’m not quite sure what they’d send you or when, if you are an atheist

  • Giles Ensor

    Hi Mad
    Sorry to be pedantic but there is no ‘EU ID Card’. There are ID cards issued by individual countries but not one ID card for all countries. The UK does not have an ID card and, personally (not looking to start a debate on ID cards per se, just don’t agree with them), I hope it never does.

  • jaytee

    yup, I was asked about my religion when I wanted to pay for a fridge at Electronic Solution, even though I was going to pay for it in cash, the clerk said to me, he needed my answer in order to process the purchase, I told him that he could choose it for me

    • sumdood

      HAHAHA…Yup that was the same store.

  • Buset

    I strongly believe that human created God, so what religion do I belong ?

  • H. Tobing

    Are you the same Jaytee that said on the JP forum that you do not beleive in God or Allah meaning you are an atheist?

  • FreeSpeech UnreasonableFaith

    Relax.. DOn’t lose your head when people suggest indoctinating you !! Yes, Buset bro , Theiststics created God , It’s stupid of their minded . But why not treat it with empathy rather than anger?

    Going off on religious people,under ANY circumstance, just serves to alienate atheist even more.
    keep calm guys.. :D

  • Darwinista

    This is good. The government should not involve itself in religion. Starting with the KTP and the religious affairs ministry. There should also not be recognized religions. People should be free to believe what they want. The state should ensure freedom of expression rather then freedom of religion.