Jakarta – The Agency for Pancasila Ideology Education (BPIP) has announced that it will form a public relations team following the controversy surrounding agency head Yudian Wahyudi's offhand remark on the supposed friction between religion and state ideology Pancasila.
"I will form a public relations team. I will restrain myself; the team will be in charge of editing press releases," Yudian said during a meeting with the House of Representatives' Commission II overseeing state agencies on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.
"Heeding the suggestions that I've received today, I will no longer speak publicly [on the agency's behalf]," Yudian went on to say.
He added that he was thankful for the stream of suggestions and criticism he had received personally, particularly from House Commission II member and Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) lawmaker Johan Budi.
During Tuesday's meeting, Johan asked the BPIP head to refrain from speaking directly to the media to avoid any further backlash directed at the agency in the future.
"I suggest that Pak Yudian focus on his duties as the head of BPIP and refrain from speaking to the media," Johan said during the meeting, adding that the agency head should instead delegate such tasks.
Yudian previously drew criticism for his remark that religion posed a threat to Pancasila. The statement was made during an interview with online news outlet detik.com last week.
Throughout the interview, he deplored people who used religion as a political tool for personal interests, which was deemed contrary to the core values of Pancasila. Religion, therefore, posed the biggest threat to Pancasila, he claimed.
"Minority groups want to oppose Pancasila and appear as the majority. This is dangerous. If we're being honest, Pancasila's biggest enemy is religion, not tribalism," Yudian said during the interview.
A number of political and religious figures took offense at Yudian's remarks about religion threatening Pancasila, with some calling for his immediate dismissal from office. (rfa)