TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Chairman of the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) Rahmat Bagja said that Bawaslu's regional offices in Sumenep and Madura are investigating the case of alleged money politics that recently makes rounds on social media.
The viral video showed a number of people distributing a red envelope bearing the symbol of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) and photos of the party’s East Java regional board chairman Said Abdullah and the party’s Sumenep regional branch chairman Ahmad Fauzi. The envelope contains cash money.
Rahmat explained that Bawaslu remains committed that there should be no act of practical politics in places of worship. This is aimed at maintaining safety and order ahead of the campaign period for the 2024 elections.
“The Bawaslu Sumenep is now investigating the case. What is clear is that Bawaslu remains committed to no activity of practical politics in places of worship,” Rahmat said at the Parliament Building on Monday, March 27, 2023.
If it is proven to be a violation, Rahmat added, the sanctions imposed will be regarding administrative violations. Rahmat stated that the alleged violation due to money politics could not be implemented because the 2024 elections had not yet entered the campaign period.
Meanwhile, if the distribution of the envelopes is proven to be for alms or zakat, Bawaslu could not ban such activity. To avoid similar polemics, however, Rahmat suggested that people willing to distribute amal do not use a party's logo. Rahmat argued that using a party’s symbol in places of worship was not allowed.
PDIP East Java regional board chairman Said Abdullah rebutted the allegation of money politics. Said claimed to have routinely rolled out social and cash assistance to poor people along with his party’s colleagues across Madura. "I intended that as paying amal mal (income-based alms). And I have been doing this regularly every year since 2006," Said emphasized in his statement on Monday, March 27, 2023.
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