The Jakarta Post
The government has disbursed this year’s grants to family members of 587 historical figures who have contributed to Indonesian Independence.
The payout, announced by Social Affairs Minister Juliari P. Batubara on Monday, come amid a series of events to commemorate National Heroes Day, which falls on Nov. 10.
"The allowance is the country's way of appreciating their merits and sacrifices for the country," Juliari said as quoted by Kompas.com.
He explained that the ministry gave Rp 50 million (US$3,519) annually to family members of 90 national heroes, while 56 independence pioneers received Rp 8,692,000 per year.
"Lastly, we have granted Rp 2 million per year to 441 widows of the independence pioneers," he further said.
The Ministry initiated the grants in order to help families of national heroes and independence pioneers who live in poverty.
The grants are based on Presidential Decree No. 78/2018 on requirements, amounts and procedures of sustainable grants for families of national heroes, independence fighters and pioneers.
"With these allowances, we hope to ease the economic burden of the families of the independence fighters, especially in facing the [COVID-19] pandemic," he said.
Furthermore, the ministry would also organize charity events at the houses of several pioneers of the country’s independence, namely former Indonesian deputy prime minister Idham Chalid and ex-military generals Soerjo Wirjohadipoetro, Wimo Sumanto and Nodjin Pardjer.
The Social Affairs Ministry's social empowerment director general, Edi Suharto, said the ministry would hand staple food to low-income families through the events.
Edi said the ministry would also hold a ceremony at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta on Tuesday at 8 a.m. to pay respects to the fallen heroes.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is expected to attend the ceremony.
Edi further stated that, at the same time, House Speaker Puan Maharani would hold a flower tossing ceremony at the Jakarta Bay.
Jokowi would then continue the celebration of National Heroes Day 2020 at the Presidential Palace with the national heroes title-granting ceremony at 10 a.m.
Jokowi would bestow the national hero title on six individuals, Edi explained, adding that 20 names had been suggested to Jokowi for receiving the title.
"Three names had been suggested before [to the President] though the Honorary Title Committee, while the remaining 17 were newly suggested," he said.
Two of the six awardees are from the country’s easternmost provinces, namely Sultan Baabullah from North Maluku and Machmud Singgirei Rumagesan from West Papua. The two figures would be the first national heroes from those provinces.
The other four are first National Police chief Gen. (ret) Raden Said Soekanto Tjokrodiatmodjo from Jakarta, former information minister Arnold Mononutu from North Sulawesi, Youth Congress figure Sutan Mohammad Amin Nasution from North Sumatra and warlord Raden Mattaher from Jambi. (nal)