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Indonesia: Rich to Marry Poor to Reduce Country’s Poverty Rate, Minister Says

Last Wednesday, an Indonesian minister called on the wealthy to marry the poor in order to reduce the country’s poverty rate.

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“What will happen if the poor marry the poor? There will be more poor households ,  said Muhadjir Effendy, the minister for human development and culture, quoted by Jakarta Post. “It is a problem in Indonesia,” he added. 

The minister revealed that the country’s population stands at 57.1 million with about five million poor households.

If you add near-poor households, there are about 15 million low-income households, he added.

Effendy suggested that Minister of Religious Affairs Fachrul Razi issue a fatwa (religious decisions by Islamic authorities to provide advice) ordering the poor to marry the rich and vice versa.

In addition, he also proposed a prenuptial certification program for couples who are not financially stable but who wish to marry. Thanks to this project, they will be able to enroll in the employment program launched by President Joko Widodo.

This program offers training aimed at improving participants’ skills so that they can find a job.

Such a prenuptial program, said Effendy, would help lower the rate of new poor families in Indonesia.

According to the World Bank, 45% of the Indonesian population (about 115 million Indonesians), has not yet achieved economic security and the lifestyle of the middle class.

Mr. Effendy’s proposal was welcomed by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).

“There are many poor families and sometimes widows left by their husbands. They must raise their children while earning a living. If there is a rich man who loves her, and she also loves him, then they get married. A poor family will be brought up to be rich, and the number of poor will be reduced, “ said Anwar Abbas, secretary general of MUI.

The minister’s proposal has two advantages. “First, poverty will be reduced. Second, if it is achieved, wealth will not only circulate among the wealthy,  ”he added.

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