INDONESIA - Batam Grand Mosque received a special donation for this year's Idul Adha, the Islamic Day of Sacrifice, when a group of Singaporean Muslims, who had difficulty finding sufficiently poor recipients in their hometown for their sacrificial animal, went to the island to fulfil their religious obligations.
The Singaporeans decided to travel 20 kilometers south to Batam to perform their Idul Adha duty. Batam Tourism Bureau head Yusfa Hendri said on Tuesday that more than 50 Singaporean tourists had donated three bulls and 50 goats to be slaughtered at the Grand Mosque.
Yusfa said that Singaporeans often preferred to send their sacrificial animals to Batam, as that there were too few mustahiq, or rightful recipients, in Singapore.
Over the past few years, the tourism bureau, in cooperation with travel agencies, has been luring more Singaporeans to donate their animals to people in Batam by offering Idul Adha-themed tours.
"Last year, we ran a Semarak Kurban religious tour package, combined with a concert by [dangdut singer] Rhoma Irama. We've not offered the package this year due to budget constraints," he said.
Meanwhile in Jakarta, Idul Adha was marked by what appeared to be a competition among government officials to give away the biggest animals.
Shortly before performing his Idul Adha prayers, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono donated a 1.07-ton Ongole bull to the caretaker of Istiqlal Mosque.
Yudhoyono and some of his ministers took off soon after the prayers to fly to his hometown of Pacitan, East Java. Yudhoyono is scheduled to inaugurate some infrastructure projects and to attend a national sporting event during his five-day visit to East Java.