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The Jakarta Post
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Jakarta offers low-cost apartments for former Gafatar members

  • Callistasia Anggun Wijaya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Fri, January 29 2016 | 06:48 pm
Jakarta offers low-cost apartments for former Gafatar members Members of the Fajar Nusantara Movement (Gafatar) occupy themselves in a youth center serving as temporary housing in Sleman, Yogyakarta, on Friday. Over 200 Gafatar members from Yogyakarta will take part in government programs for three days before returning home. (Antara/Andreas Fitri)(Gafatar) occupy themselves in a youth center serving as temporary housing in Sleman, Yogyakarta, on Friday. Over 200 Gafatar members from Yogyakarta will take part in government programs for three days before returning home. (Antara/Andreas Fitri)

Members of the Fajar Nusantara Movement (Gafatar) occupy themselves in a youth center serving as temporary housing in Sleman, Yogyakarta, on Friday. Over 200 Gafatar members from Yogyakarta will take part in government programs for three days before returning home. (Antara/Andreas Fitri)

The Jakarta administration plans to provide low-cost apartments for Jakarta citizens that are former members of the Fajar Nusantara Movement (Gafatar) following their repatriation from Kalimantan, Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama said on Friday.

However, the former members would not be accommodated together in one apartment, Ahok said.

"If that happened it could be like The Raid, they could face trouble if they stayed as one group," he told journalists citing the action movie that tells a story of a group of police officers raiding a building filled with criminals and drug dealers.

Moreover, the former members of Gafatar will not have to pay rent. The city administration only requires them to pay Rp 5,000 ($0.36) to Rp 15,000 per day to cover the service fees for apartments equipped with elevators.

The city administration would also give them city-based facilities such as the Jakarta Smart Card to help their children go to school and take public buses at no cost, Ahok said.

However, the city will first try to return former Gafatar members to their own families using information on their identity cards. If their identity cards have been lost, the city will track their data from the national database.

The government evacuated thousands of former members of Gafatar from West Kalimantan to their original areas. There are currently hundreds of people staying at Jakarta shelters as the majority of them are Jakartans.

Gafatar has faced claims of heresy and abduction following reports that hundreds of its members left their hometowns to go to Gafatar's headquarters in West Kalimantan.

Meanwhile, Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said that his ministry had cooperated with the Social Affairs Ministry and Law and Human Rights Ministry in handling the repatriation of the former members of the group.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has ordered his ministers to handle the issue well and ensure the safety of the former members of the controversial group.

The religious ministry also provided special shelters in several regions to accommodate the former members after they were evicted and forced to leave their farmland in Mempawah, West Kalimantan earlier this month.

Besides providing shelters, the government will also make efforts to return the assets given by the former members to Gafatar's leaders.

'€œWe will take care of this matter legally, including in regard to assets and organization funds that came from the congregation. Such matters will be investigated by law enforcement officers,'€ Lukman told the journalists at City Hall while accompanying Jokowi at an event on Friday. (rin)

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