The inequality found in every society, coupled with the widening gap between the rich and the poor has prompted Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister of Indonesia, Muhadjir Effendy to suggest that the rich should marry the poor to remedy the situation.
Although he made this call within the context of his own country Indonesia where out of the 57.1 million population, 9.4 percent or 5 million of are categorized as poor, it’s an applicable or relatable theory in every country especially Africa.
“What happened if poor people are looking for other poor people [for marriage]? There will be more poor households. This is a problem in Indonesia,” Muhadjir said in his opening speech at the National Health Work Meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Citing government data, the former education and culture minister said the number of poor households in the archipelago was roughly 5 million.
“The number of Indonesian households is 57.1 million, 9.4 percent or 5 million of which are categorized as poor. If added to the near-poor households, it is about 16.8 percent or about 15 million households,” Muhadjir said as quoted by tempo.co.
He said the increase in poverty was also in line with an increase of illnesses such as stunting. Therefore, he continued, issuing a “fatwa” to require such cross-class marriages could be a solution.
Muhadjir suggested Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi issue a fatwa ordering that “the poor are required to look for the rich [for marriage] and the rich should look for the poor”.