" A Moslem who does not vote during the election day, is committing a Sinful act(Haram) ", according to the decision (Fatwa) of the Indonesian Moslem Cleric Council (MUI) last Monday, 26 January 2009.
The Jakarta Globe reported that the Speaker of the National Parliament (DPR) Agung Laksono described that MUI has went too far in this case because voting is a political matter, not a religious matter. And our constitution has stipulated that voting is a political right that cannot be forced. However, the said Fatwa was welcomed by the Speaker of the People’s Consultative Council (MPR) Hidayat Nurwahid, who hoped that it will improve the performances of the government, the General Election Committee (KPU), the legislative candidates and the political parties participating in the election.
Meanwhile, Kompas reported that said Fatwa has been supported by the General Election Committee and the People‘s Development Party (PPP) but criticized by two non profit organizations i.e. Lingkar Madani and Setara Institute who both described that the Fatwa would not be useful, because it cannot be enforced legally.
In conclusion, I say that although according to our legal system a Fatwa of MUI is not part of our positive law, therefore could not be enforced legally, however considering MUI is the highest Moslem religious authority said Fatwa will surely have moral impact especially among people living in rural area.