President Yudhoyono to pick up new religious minister

President Yudhoyono to pick up new religious minister

BOGOR, Indonesia, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono would appoint a new minister to replace ex-religious minister Suryadharma Ali who stepped down on Monday on graft case, official said here.

State Secretary Sudi Silalahi said that President Yudhoyono would commence selection of the new minister after receiving the letter for resignation from the former minister which is expected to be delivered within one or two days.

"The president will start the selection (of the new minister) certainly after receiving a resignation letter from Suryadharma Ali," he said at the palace located in the Botanical Garden.

On Monday morning, Suryadharma resigned from his post after the country's anti-corruption watchdog or KPK declared him as suspect in a graft case.

The KPK last week disclosed that Suryadharma, who is also chairman of the Islamic party the United Development Party (PPP), allegedly misused pilgrimage funds in 2012 to 2013, causing the state suffering financial lost.

But, so far, there has been no any decision made yet whether Suryadharma plans to step down from his chairmanship at the party.

Indonesia has been scrambling to fight seismic corruption in the country which has been one of the bottlenecks in effort to attract investors.