No Religion on KTP, No Public Services: Pontianak Deputy Mayor

Democratic Party lawmakers in the House of Representatives voiced their opposition to a right of inquiry into an ongoing investigation by the national antigraft agency of the electronic identity card, or e-KTP procurement project. (JG Photo/Dhana Kencana)

By : Jakarta Globe | on 4:34 PM November 14, 2014
Category : News, Featured, Religion

Deputy Mayor of Pontianak Sutardmidji said he would instruct the administrative region's population agency and sub-district offices not to serve people who fail to put their religion on ID cards. (JG Photo/Dhana Kencana) Deputy Mayor of Pontianak Sutarmidji said he would instruct the administrative region's population agency and sub-district offices not to serve people who fail to put their religion on ID cards. (JG Photo/Dhana Kencana)

Jakarta. Residents of Pontianak in West Kalimantan who do not list their religion on identification cards will not be allowed to access public services, the city's deputy mayor has said.

In comments that are likely to inflame debate about religious freedom and the rights of minority groups, Sutarmidji said he would instruct the region's population agency and sub-district offices not to serve people who fail to put their religion on ID cards, known as KTP.

He said the religion column on the cards should not be omitted as it was required under current law.

"If you want to add another religion or belief you should first amend the law that stipulates it," he told detik.com.

Indonesia formally recognizes only six religious designations: Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Confucian, Hindu and Muslim. Adherents are required to identify themselves on their KTP.

Under the current laws and regulations, observers of minority and indigenous religions such as Sunda Wiwitan, Buhun and Kejawen have their religion column left blank, regardless of whether they wish to state their faith or not.

In the past, members of religious minority groups have had to identify themselves as observers of state-recognized religions.

Last week Tjahjo Kumolo, Indonesia's minister of home affairs, spurred debate about the place of religious identification on KTPs by saying people should be allowed to leave the religion column blank on IDs.

Tjahko said not stating one’s religion is “a matter of privacy” and the government should not meddle with people's beliefs.

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