TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Vice President Ma'ruf Amin has asked the Indonesian people not to practice their annual homecoming trip or 'mudik' in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the get-together sought from homecoming could be done through other media or even done on other occasions.
"For me personally, it is better if the people do not go homecoming," Ma'ruf said in a video conference at his official home on Jalan Diponegoro, Central Jakarta, on Thursday, March 26, 2020.
Ma'ruf added that, if the people were to force themselves to go homecoming, there will be a real chance for COVID-19 transmission during the travel period or gatherings in their hometown. As a result, Ma'ruf suggests for the Indonesian people to get-together through online social media instead.
"Because according to religion it is also like that. If we can get benefits but at the risk of danger, then the principle is to avert the danger; it must take priority. Especially if the benefits of getting together can be done at other times, on other holidays," said Ma'ruf.
In spite of Ma'ruf's statements, there has been no official decision made by the central government, as it should be discussed in a limited cabinet meeting held today.
However, the death of President Joko Widodo's mother yesterday has caused the meeting to be postponed. "The decision on whether the government will ban the appeal will be determined later in the next limited cabinet meeting," Ma'ruf said.