Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Poor 'sold short' on day of sacrifice

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
January 2, 2007

Thousands of the city's poorest people left dissatisfied Monday after queuing since early morning for free meat at Istiqal Grand Mosque.

They were promised two kilograms of meat each, but received less than half a kg.

The majority of Muslims here celebrated Idul Adha on Sunday.

The distribution of meat to the poor traditionally follows Idul Adha prayers, but was delayed to allow for extra preparation time.

"We give coupon holders first priority. So far the distribution process is running smoothly," said mosque spokesman Didi Hadian as quoted by Detikcom.

Didi did not say why the packages of meat were smaller than expected.

The meat was distributed at counters, which served five people at a time.

"Forget the two kilograms. We didn't get any meat at all -- it's all bone," said Nur Effendi who had traveled from Cililitan in East Jakarta to the mosque in Central Jakarta.

Sutijah, a street vendor, was similarly displeased.

"Last year, I got two or three kilograms," she said.

In previous years, the mosque gave the task of slaughtering the cows and goats to traders and butchers, who also distributed the meat. This year, a team from the mosque handled the process.

Dozens of animals were sacrificed and the meat distributed among 5,000 people. (02)

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