Jakarta – The state should not interfere with its citizens' personal matters, Golkar Party lawmaker Ace Hasan Syadzily said in response to a controversial statement from Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy.
In a speech at the National Health Work Meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday, Muhadjir suggested that rich people should marry those who came from low-income families, arguing that such marriages would help reduce the national poverty rate.
"Choosing one's partner is a personal matter. The nation should not interfere in this matter. Islamic teachings on marrying people from the same class should not be interpreted as a mistranslation," Ace said on Friday as quoted by kompas.com.
He said the government should be looking for the right strategy to combat economic inequality, such as giving low-income families access to education, health care, providing job opportunities, and conducting training programs.
"Those are the right ways to eradicate poverty," he said. (dpk)