Jakarta. Vice president Jusuf Kalla, in his capacity as chairman of the Indonesian Mosque Council (DMI), hoped that mosque be functioned as the center of improving public welfare with some activities related to education, health, and economy, aside from its main function as the place of worship and Islamic teaching.

“A mosque should be responsive to its surrounding,” said the Vice President after swearing-in the new executive board members of the Jakarta branch of the Indonesian Mosque Council (DMI) in a swearing-in ceremony held at the Jakarta City Hall on Jalan Merdeka Selatan, Jakarta, on Feb. 18.

Besides, Mr Kalla Wapres reminded, as he did for the umpteenth time, mosques to turn down volume of their loudspeakers to give respect to others.

He also underscored that children and teens are urged to be taught of Koran at mosques before adzan is announced, and mosques should not only play recordings of Koran recitations an hour prior to the adzan (call to prayer), saying that it was unnecessary.


The closing of Kalijodo

When asked by some media on the Jakarta administration’s plan to close down the Kalijodo red-light district, the Vice President said that every citizen must abide by the law.

Public areas intended for green open spaces (RTH) like Kalijodo district which is currently illegally inhabited, Mr Kalla said, must be returned its initial function.

“Jakarta will be a good city when it is in order, where everyone knows their own right and responsibility. If Kalijodo is truly intended for a public space, it must be returned to its function,” he affirmed, adding that Central government, he continued, is fully supporting the Jakarta administration’s policy to normalize the area.

He further pointed out that the Jakarta administration have to first of all apply persuasive approach to Kalijodo residents to settle the issue.

“I believe Jakarta administration has held a dialogue with the people of Kalijodo, although it was a long hard dialogue,” he said.

It is reported that Kalijodo district will be normalized after the local government issued three consecutive demolition warrants (SPB). Kalijodo district will later on be returned to its initial function as a green open space, while its citizen will be relocated to low-cost apartments (Rusunawa) in Marunda of North Jakarta Pulogebang of East Jakarta.