KONTAN.CO.ID - JAKARTA. Catholic priest and social observer Benny Susetyo has said that Governor Anies Baswedan's plan to celebrate Christmas at the National Monument (Monas) square in Central Jakarta is unnecessary.
“The Christian tradition calls for the celebration to be held on church premises," Benny said as quoted by Warta Kota on Monday.
Benny emphasized that it was important for Christian believers to remain modest for the celebration, adding that the city's budget could be better allocated for more productive matters.
“We do not need funds from the regional budget for the Christmas celebration. [The celebration] is not that important. It would be better to allocate the budget to help support poor children," he said.
Benny also warned that the celebrations might disturb public order as a huge crowd of Christmas revellers would worsen traffic around the venue.
“Many residents will be affected [if the celebration is held],” he said, saying that the historic square should be restored to its original function as a cultural preservation site.
Despite rejecting Anies' plan, Benny said he was convinced that Anies’ invitation to Christians to celebrate Christmas at Monas square was not made with any vested interests.
Earlier this month, Governor Anies Baswedan announced plans to organize a joint Christmas celebration at Monas square. Deputy Governor Sandiaga Uno stated that the administration was even willing to pay for the event.
Last week, the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) in Jakarta turned down the offer in favor of holding an indoor event instead.
Editor: Barratut Taqiyyah Rafie