The Islamic holiday has got into full swing, as Muslims across the country are gearing up to celebrate Idul Fitri at the end of the Ramadhan fasting month.
In Padang, West Sumatra, at least 1,500 members of the Naqsabandiyah sect of Islam will perform Idul Fitri prayers on Thursday, before the majority of the country’s Muslims.
“We have set Idul Fitri on Thursday July 16 after completing our Ramadhan fast for a full 30 days,” Naqsabandiyah leader Syafri Malin Mudo told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
The Naqsabandiyah sect is well known for setting its Islamic calendar two days ahead of the government, or Muhammadiyah, the country’s second-largest Muslim organization.
The sect also started this year’s Ramadhan on June 16, two days prior to the government’s official date on June 18.
While Muhammadiyah recently announced that Idul Fitri would fall on Friday, the Religious Affairs Ministry is set to determine the first day of Syawal, which marks the coming of Idul Fitri, through isbat, an annual meeting in which representatives of the country’s Islamic organizations convene, on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile in Gowa, South Sulawesi, members of the An Nadzir sect of Islam will also hold Idul Fitri prayers on Thursday despite claiming that Ramadhan ends on Wednesday.
“The Syawal month begins on Wednesday at noon, but we will hold Idul Fitri prayers on Thursday because the prayer can only be held in the morning,” An Nadzir leader Lukman A. Bhakti said.
Lukman, however, said that by throwing an early Idul Fitri celebration, the sect did not mean to look down on the government’s efforts to maintain religious unity.
“We fully respect the government’s efforts to maintain unity. However, there is no guarantee that [the government’s Idul Fitri date] is the right one. We extend our deepest apology,” he said.
In Jakarta, local authorities are also preparing to anticipate the celebration of a takbiran (Idul Fitri eve) parade on the night prior to the holiday.
Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian said the police would deploy over 6,000 personnel to secure the city for takbiran.
Although Jakarta Police does not prohibit residents from gathering on the city’s thoroughfares on the night of takbiran, Tito said they would be ticketed should they violate road regulations, such as not wearing helmets, standing on car roofs, or carrying passengers in pickup trucks.
“We appeal to residents not to hold road convoys. However, if they simply must, we will take measures to keep them in order, including issuing tickets for those who violate road regulations,” he said.
Separately, a passenger was killed and 15 others injured when a bus carrying 33 homeward bound travelers from Surakarta, Central Java, to Surabaya, East Java, got involved in an accident in Madiun, East Java, early on Wednesday.
Madiun Police traffic unit head Adj. Comr. Sumiyanto said a preliminary investigation indicated that the accident had taken place when the bus rolled over while attempting to overtake another vehicle.
“The victims were mostly injured and trapped in their seats. They are currently undergoing intensive treatment at the Sudono Hospital in Madiun,” Sumiyanto said.
Meanwhile in Bantul regency, Yogyakarta, thousands of homestays are gearing up to welcome homeward bound travelers and visitors who are looking for alternative accommodation over the Idul Fitri celebration.
Bantul Tourism Agency head Bambang Legowo said the regency was home to around 5,000 homestays scattered around 20 tourist villages.
“Unlike staying in a hotel, staying in homestay gives you a chance to meet people,” said Bambang. (agn)
— Indra Harsaputra in Surabaya and Slamet Susanto in Yogyakarta contributed to the article
» read also p5,6,9
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Governor Gatot to submit
to KPK grilling
Apriadi Gunawan and Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Medan/Jakarta | Headlines | Thu, July 16 2015, 11:51 AM
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The move by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to detain senior lawyer OC Kaligis just hours after naming him a suspect in a bribery case on Tuesday, has apparently influenced North Sumatra Governor Gatot Pujo Nugroho’s decision to soften his stance toward the antigraft body.
After disappearing from public view for several days and refusing to answer a KPK letter of summons, the governor appeared before the media on Wednesday.
Gatot told journalists in Medan that he would cooperate with the KPK and would go to its office for questioning as a witness next Wednesday.
“I will attend for questioning,” said the governor.
Speculation is rife that the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician may soon follow Kaligis in being named a suspect in the case after the KPK slapped him with a travel ban on Monday.
Gatot however maintained he should not be blamed for his failure to attend for the initial questioning as he did not receive any summons letter from the KPK prior to the scheduled interrogation. He added that he had informed the KPK by fax that he would attend the questioning on July 22.
“I just came back to Medan on Saturday and I did not know that I had been summonsed by the KPK. I was also not around on Friday and Saturday anyway. I sent the fax on Monday,” Gatot added.
Gatot declined to comment on the KPK’s move to also ban a woman identified as Evy Susanti from traveling. The lady in question is reportedly Gatot’s second wife. In addition to Evy, the KPK also issued travel bans for three other individuals in the case.
“Let’s just focus on the legal case,” the governor insisted.
Gatot’s father has reportedly confirmed Evy’s status as his daughter-in-law.
Separately, KPK chairman Taufiequrachman Ruki told reporters that investigators were currently closely examining the role of the governor in the case in a move to confirm the “source” of the bribe money.
“The result of his questioning will determine whether he is involved in the case. We need to also collect statements from witnesses and examine the confiscated evidence before coming to a conclusion,” Ruki said.
Meanwhile, Kaligis, who is known for his frequent abrasive statements about the KPK, has announced he has given up his position on the board of executives of the NasDem Party executive board, a party in the government coalition, as a result of his graft suspect status, but he will remain as a party member.
Kaligis’ arrest came just days after KPK investigators apprehended three judges, namely Medan State Administrative Court (PTUN) head Tripeni Irianto Putro, and Amir Fauzi and Dermawan Ginting, during a sting operation on Thursday in Medan for allegedly accepting US$20,000 in bribes from Kaligis’ aide Yagari “Gerry” Bhastara Guntur.
Gerry had provided legal assistance to an official from the North Sumatra provincial administration who had successfully filed a legal challenge in the court.
Kaligis has maintained his innocence in the bribery case claiming that he knew nothing about the bribery scheme. He has also declined to say whether it was Gatot who provided the bribed money. He has accused PTUN Medan clerk Syamsir Yusfan, also named a suspect in the case, of being the individual who actively sought money from Gerry.
“The clerk always called to ask where the ‘holiday bonus’ was. I never allowed him [Gerry] to comply with the request. It was his [Gerry’s] initiative [to bribe the judges],” Kaligis said, adding that he never instructed his subordinates to remove evidence in the case.
Police seize huge drugs
haul in Jakarta
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Thu, July 16 2015, 11:51 AM
Speaking at a press conference Badrodin disclosed the police had arrested two drug traffickers, identified only as CT and MW, as they were about to hand over the drugs, known locally as shabu-shabu.
Badrodin said the traffickers were connected to a drug syndicate in China.
“The suspects were arrested in an apartment in Pluit, North Jakarta,” said the police chief.
Badrodin did not describe in detail how the syndicate smuggled the shabu-shabu into Indonesia. He hinted the drugs might have been transported via Malaysia as has been the case in previous smuggling attempts.
Citing the prevailing law, the police chief hinted that the suspects could face the death penalty as well as a maximum fine of Rp 10 billion.
“We will also charge them with money laundering,” said Badrodin.
Police will coordinate with Chinese police in the case as the drugs originated in China. He added that police wanted to apprehend the mastermind behind the operation.
“They are only pawns. The main players are overseas,” Badrodin said.
The general expressed his satisfaction with the haul in light of what the government has described as an emergency situation related to drugs in the country. The government has executed several drug traffickers in its war against drug smuggling this year.
“This syndicate is likely to have been the same group that we also foiled in March.”
“From what we have seized, the police have saved the lives of 1.8 million people,” said Badrodin.
Separately, the Jakarta Police’s narcotics directorate head Eko Daniyanto explained that CT, a resident of Hong Kong, was caught in Pluit on Friday with 10 kg and 350 kg of shabu-shabu, respectively, in a motorcycle and an MPV car.
According to Eko, the police arrested CT as he was about to leave the area to conduct the transaction with MW in a coffee shop in North Jakarta. The latter was also arrested.
“This syndicate is likely to have been the same group that we also foiled in March,” said Eko without further eloboration.
In January this year, the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) busted a syndicate consisting of nine people in a wholesale market in Kalideres, West Jakarta, for possessing 840 kg of shabu-shabu.
One of the suspects, known as Wong Ching Ping, had allegedly prepared a well-organized plan to smuggle shabu-shabu from Hong Kong to Indonesia. Ping packed the drugs into 1 kg coffee containers, and then mixed it with real coffee.(agn)
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