Indonesian minister slammed over support for 'racist' policy

Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The Yogyakarta-based National Antidiscrimination Movement (Granad) has asked President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to dismiss Agrarian and Spatial Planning Minister Ferry Mursyidan Baldan for supporting a regional land policy the organisation regards as racist.

"Ferry has to be replaced with a nationalist-minded minister. He has tarnished Joko Widodo's Cabinet by consciously supporting racism," Granad chairman Willie Sebastian told reporters on Saturday.

Ferry recently expressed support for a Yogyakarta gubernatorial policy that bans non-indigenous Indonesian citizens from owning land in the province, saying that it was a form of local wisdom and that it did not contravene the Constitution.

Willie said the policy, which is based on governor's letter No. K.898/1/A/1975, was discriminative and violated Article 104 (1) of Law No. 39/1999 on human rights. He added that the Constitution did not recognise indigenous and non-indigenous citizenship status.