Indonesia still has many poor people: Jokowi

Pekanbaru (ANTARA News) – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) acknowledged that Indonesia still has many poor people who still have to be lifted up from poverty.

“The government continues to make efforts to improve the welfare of poor citizens. There are still a lot of people who are poor,” the president stated, during the commemoration of the 92nd anniversary of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) Islamic organization here, on Wednesday.

Jokowi noted that the government will continue to develop the peoples economy to improve their welfare.

The president, on the occasion, was accompanied by the chief of the Presidential Staff Office, Moeldoko, and the head of the Presidential Secretariat, Heru Budi Hartono.

The anniversary celebrations were attended by Muslim scholars from across West Sumatra and the Central Board Chairman of NU, Said Agil Siradj.

Jokowi reminded the NU members on the need to maintain unity and harmony among groups of people.

“I call on your attention that in 2018, there would be 171 regional head elections. Next year, there will be a presidential election. I should also remind you on the need to maintain unity and harmony among groups of people. It should not happen that we are disunited only because of the five-yearly democracy festivities (elections),” he remarked.

The regional head elections should not disunite people, should not make people insult each other, and should not spread slander. “We should not be disunited because of hoax. False news should be filtered first,” he explained.

Jokowi was in Riau to launch a oil palm replanting program in Rokan Hilir district, Riau, marking the start of the program in the Sumatran province, covering 25,423 hectares for this year.

Thousands of people welcomed the arrival of the president and entourage with warm greetings, and many of them sought an opportunity to shake hands with him.

His arrival at the village of Kepenghuluan Pelita, Bakan Sinembah, marked the start of the replanting program in eight districts in the province.

The same program was launched earlier in Musi Banyuasin, South Sumatra, on Oct 13, 2017, and Serdang Bedagai in North Sumatra on Nov 27, 2017, and so Riau becomes the third province undergoing the program.

A total of 25,423 hectares of peoples plantations will be refurbished spreading in eight districts namely Rokan Hulu, Rokan Hilir, Kampar, Siak, Pelalawan, Kuantan Sengingi, Indragiri Hulu, and Bengkalis.

The president noted that the program was urgent as most oil palm plantations, out of a total of 1,58 million hectares, in the province have been very old.

He pointed out that the government conducted the program so that the peoples plantations would be more productive to increase the productivity by two or three times per hectare.

Source: ANTARA News