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Minister calls for modest New Year's Eve celebrations

Jakarta Post - December 31, 2015

Jakarta – Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin is calling on Indonesians to celebrate New Year's Eve in a modest way by avoiding lavish parties or any activities that violate religious values.

"In celebrating New Year's Eve, each person should have his or her acceptable standard," he said as quoted by kompas.com at the Religious Affairs Ministry in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Lukman said many Indonesians were still facing difficulties in fulfilling their basic needs, let alone having enough money to celebrate New Year's Eve. Therefore, he argued, it would be a better thing for people to show sensitivity by not celebrating New Year's Eve in luxury.

"It would be better if they could celebrate the changing calendar as modestly and properly as possible," said Lukman.

The United Development Party politician further explained that New Year's Eve should not only be celebrated with ceremonies. "Let's enter 2016 with modesty, with commitments that are more positive," said Lukman.

To ensure a safe and smooth New Year's Eve celebration, Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Yuddy Chrisnandi held a sudden and unannounced inspection of the Jakarta Police on Wednesday. He praised the Jakarta Police's work in preparing measures to secure New Year's Eve celebrations across the city.

"Ahead of the New Year's Eve that we will celebrate together, what has been conducted by the Jakarta Police should be followed by other regional policing outfits to ensure security for all members of society," said the minister as quoted by kompas.com at the headquarters of the Jakarta Police on Wednesday.

"The security precautions are aimed at minimizing both crimes and terrorism," he went on to say.

Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian said that he had not been informed of the minister's inspection. "It's a sudden inspection," he said.

During the inspection, Tito explained to Yuddy the measures that the police would take to secure New Year's Eve celebrations in Jakarta. Tito said the Jakarta Police had anticipated three types of security threats, namely terrorism, traffic problems and conventional crimes.

"Hopefully, terror threats will not affect us. To prevent traffic incidents, we have cooperated with many parties to ensure smooth traffic flow during New Year's Eve celebrations and to secure the arrival of Jakartans returning back to work from spending New Year's Eve in their hometowns," said Tito.

"To anticipate conventional crimes, we have carried out sweeping operations against preman [thugs]," he said. (ebf)

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/12/31/minister-calls-modest-new-year-s-eve-celebrations.html