Religious Affairs Minister says women should not to be so materialistic so their husbands won’t be corrupt

Why is there so much corruption in Indonesia? You could point to many causes – historical, cultural and systemic – that so often lead our  government officials and business leaders to break the rules for personal profit. 

But Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin has a much simpler explanation: men become corrupt to please their greedy, materialistic wives.

“My message [to wives] is do not demand excessively material things that are out of the ordinary, that would be an outstanding way for women to contribute,” Lukman said in Jakarta on Saturday as quoted by Kompas.

Lukman said that men who work often feel guilty about not being home with their families enough, so they will try to fulfill their families’ wishes to relieve their guilt. One of the ways to do that is to make more money by engaging in corruption.

“Often times corruption is motivated by many things. Among other things because there are extraordinary demands [from his family] so to atone for their guilty feeling, they act outside the norms,” said Lukman.

The Religion Minister went on to say that women should not make so many demands and push their husbands to buy luxurious items that they cannot afford. 

We don’t really have to make any sarcastic jokes to point out how incredibly sexist and just plain wrong the minister’s statements here are, do we? 

But hey, maybe Minister Lukman is sincere in his belief. That’s probably his explanation for why his predecessor, former Minister of Religious Affairs Suryadharma Ali, was recently sentenced to six years in jail for stealing billions of rupiah from the state’s haj fund – it was all  because of his greedy materialistic wife! That’s the only way such a fine and upstanding leader of the Religious Affairs Ministry would do something so horrible as steal money meant to help people go on their sacred holy pilgrimage – because his wife made him do it!

But does Lukman also think those corrupt politicians who buy themselves insanely expensive watches and sports cars do so because their wives asked them to?

And what about all those incredibly corrupt female Indonesian leaders out there – like former governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah, who was sentenced to four years in jail for bribing a constitutional court judge? Did she engage in corruption to satisfy the demands of her greedy, materialistic husband?

Corruptors are corrupt because they think they can get away with it. And if they get caught, they’ll use incredibly lame and asinine excuses like “I did it for my family!”. Minister Lukman should stop helping them make excuses and spend more time looking for corruption in his own ministry.

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