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Mining concessions for religious organizations threaten independence

Fahrul Muzaqqi SIP MIP, Pengamat Politik UNAIR. (Foto: Istimewa)
Fahrul Muzaqqi SIP MIP, UNAIR Political observer (Photo: By Courtesy)

UNAIR NEWS – President Joko Widodo recently sparked controversy by granting mining licenses to religious mass organizations, an unprecedented move in Indonesian history.

This decision has drawn attention from various sectors, including political observer Fahrul Muzaqqi, S.IP, M.IP, from Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR). He believes that the President’s decision could lead to significant political repercussions.

Fahrul argued that instead of providing opportunities, this decision may create future problems. He suggested that the organizations involved will indirectly incur political debts, risking their independence.

However, Fahrul acknowledged that these religious groups likely considered moral factors before accepting the decision. He hopes that their leaders can maintain their integrity and avoid becoming ‘political hostages.’

“When there are mass organizations that welcome this decision, indirectly these mass organizations will become political partners. This is where the role of mass organizations is tested to remain objective and not just become a ‘stamp’ of the government. This is a challenge for mass organizations,” Fahrul said.

Illustration by Unsplash

Fahrul then outlined three major challenges for religious organizations managing mines:

First, prepare qualified human resources. Second, provide objective and critical thinking. Third, maintain its identity as a civil society that is oriented towards the benefit of people rather than business considerations.

Despite these challenges, Fahrul sees potential benefits. He assessed that the concession could be a positive acceleration step for mass organizations.

“These organizations, once outsiders in natural resource management, now play an active role. This involvement can lead to positive community development,” he said.

Fahrul also expressed concern that the interests of the mass organizations might be overshadowed by their elites. He suggested the government to continue reassess the decision and urged the organizations to remain objective.

“Organizations granted mining licenses must preserve a collective spirit for the common good. Otherwise, they risk serving only elite interests, which could lead to new problems,” he explained.

Author: Aidatul Fitriyah

Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia