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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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September 16, 2021

Al Jazeera - September 16, 2021

Official data in Indonesia shows a Delta-driven second wave of COVID-19 that saw the Southeast Asian nation become the global epicentre of the pandemic in July and August has run its course.

Channel News Asia - September 16, 2021

Nivell Rayda, Jakarta – The Central Jakarta district court on Thursday (Sep 16) ordered President Joko Widodo and his administration to tighten regulations and impose greater supervision and enforcement regarding poor air quality in the capital city.

Jakarta Post - September 16, 2021

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – British investors in Indonesia say running businesses in the country has become easier in some ways following the enactment of the Job Creation Law, but bureaucratic inefficiencies can still pose a challenge.

Tempo - September 16, 2021

Aqshal Raihan, Jakarta – The Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) Head of online security division Abdul Hasan Banimal laments the use of personal data in the Covid-19 tracing app PeduliLindungi, which he argues asks for personal data for uses that are still questionable.

Jakarta Globe - September 16, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia welcomed another shipment of Covid-19 vaccines on Wednesday while also seeking to boost the lagging vaccination rate for elderly and teens aged between 12-17.

The new shipment includes 274,950 finished doses of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine.

Jakarta Globe - September 16, 2021

Jakarta – A group of gunmen has attacked a remote district in Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua targeting a clinic and other public facilities, leaving at least a medical worker dead, authorities said on Thursday.

The Diplomat - September 16, 2021

Adam Leong Kok Wey – On August 31, Malaysia celebrated its 64th Hari Merdeka (Independence Day), albeit in muted form due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

Sydney Morning Herald - September 16, 2021

Chris Barrett and Karuni Rompies, Singapore – An Indonesian court has ruled President Joko Widodo and six other government leaders failed to tackle Jakarta's chronic air pollution, in a victory for a group of citizens who brought a landmark lawsuit.

Jakarta Globe - September 16, 2021

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesian citizens returning from overseas trips are required to show their vaccination status using government application called Peduli Lindungi (to care and protect), the National Covid-19 Task Force said on Thursday.

Tempo - September 16, 2021

Friski Riana, Jakarta – Setara Institute director of research Halili Hasan in a statement on Wednesday strongly condemned the actions of Sintang acting-Regent Sudiyanto who ordered the dismantling of the house of worship belonging to the Ahmadiyah minority congregations.

"This is outrages from the acting regent and unconstitutional," Halili wrote on September 15.

Jakarta Globe - September 16, 2021

Fana Suparman, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, is set to honorably dismiss 56 employees, some of whom are senior and renowned investigators such as Novel Baswedan.

Those employees will be dismissed en masse in the end of this month for failing to pass the nationalism test, KPK Commissioner Alexander Marwata said on Wednesday.

Jakarta Post - September 16, 2021

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced on Wednesday that he had ordered the infrastructure projects for the new capital city in East Kalimatan to proceed, and that he expected some basic facilities could be operational in 2024.

Coconuts Bali - September 16, 2021
Bali Governor Wayan Koster is cautioning his citizens to remain cautious against COVID-19, saying that the coronavirus still poses a threat even as the province has managed to keep transmissions low in recent weeks.

"We cannot be too euphoric, and we must remain cautious as we consider COVID-19 developments, [the outbreak is] still very dangerous especially with the new Mu variant th

Jakarta Globe - September 16, 2021

Bayu Marhaenjati, Jakarta – Former South Sumatra governor Alex Noerdin was named a suspect on Thursday in a corruption case related to a gas purchase deal that according to prosecutors has cost the state more than $30 million.

Coconuts Jakarta - September 16, 2021

The Ministry of Law and Human Rights has relaxed restrictions on foreign arrivals in Indonesia, allowing for the resumption of offshore visa applications and access into the country for existing permit holders.

Jakarta Globe - September 16, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesian organizations faced cyberattacks 746 percent more often than the global average in the past six months, cyber security solution provider Check Point Software Technologies revealed in its recent threat intelligence report.

Check Point named the government/military, manufacturing and banking as the three most impacted industries.

September 15, 2021

Tempo - September 15, 2021

Aqshal Raihan, Intern, Jakarta – Indonesia Jentera School of Law lecturer Bivitri Susanti in an online discussion on Tuesday said the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is a different entity compared to what it was known to be in the past, which she noted is reflected in the abundance issues related to the anti graft watchdog.

Tempo - September 15, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – Spokesman of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, Fadjroel Rachman, said all matters related to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), including the appointment and dismissal of employees, are under the authority of the anti-graft agency.

Al Jazeera - September 15, 2021

Aisyah Llewellyn, Medan, Indonesia – The plaintiffs in a landmark air pollution case brought against the authorities in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta hope they may finally hear a decision in their case, after months of delays, when the court sits again on Thursday.

Indonesia at Melbourne - September 15, 2021

Herlambang P Wiratraman – Saiful Mahdi, a lecturer from Syiah Kuala University (Unsyiah) in Banda Aceh, is the latest casualty of the Law on Electronic Information and Transactions (the so-called ITE Law).

Tempo - September 15, 2021

Friski Riana, Jakarta – The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has summoned the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) and the Central Jakarta police related to the bullying and sexual harassment case against a KPI employee.

"The KPI is currently being requested for statements," Komnas HAM commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara told Tempo.

Reuters - September 15, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia's exports hit a record high of US$21.42 billion in August, boosted by surging commodity shipments, helping Southeast Asia's biggest economy post its largest ever monthly trade surplus, official data showed.

Coconuts Jakarta - September 15, 2021

A crass and overtly sexual music video with an apparent intent to demean the LGBT community found its way as an ad for kids' content on YouTube, a viral video in Indonesia has shown, triggering huge outrage in the country.

Tempo - September 15, 2021

Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – The Bali Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (Kadin) deputy of accommodation and tourism development I Made Ramia Adnyana said the slackened public activity restriction (PPKM) from level 4 to level 3 saw an increase in tourist visits, said to be 10-times more than the previous PPKM period.

Tempo - September 15, 2021

Moh Khory Alfarizi, Jakarta – Tjandra Yoga Aditama, a professor from the University of Indonesia's School of Medicine (FKUI), opined that the declining trend in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia was due to strict social restrictions. He made the statement in response to the saying that the downward trend was attributable to public immunity against the virus.

Fulcrum - September 15, 2021

Quinton Temby – The Taliban's return to power in Afghanistan has been welcomed in Indonesia's militant Islamist circles and even among some mainstream figures.

The rapid return to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the collapsing scenery of the U.S. withdrawal have energised militant Islamists in Indonesia, like a deus ex machina breaking through the pandemic.

Jakarta Globe - September 15, 2021

Grace N. Chandra, Novy Lumanauw, Karawang – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has broken the construction ground of the first electric vehicle battery factory in Southeast Asia, marking an important milestone in the country's drive to establish itself as a key global battery supplier.

September 14, 2021

Tempo - September 14, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Tuesday officially ratified the Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 82/2021 which oversees the funding for Islamic boarding school (pesantren) management. The regulation was made effective on September 2.

Jakarta Globe - September 14, 2021

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The total number of active Covid-19 cases has dropped further to fewer than 100,000 for the first time in the last three months, according to government figures released on Monday, in another sign that Indonesia is past the peak of the Delta variant outbreak.

Sydney Morning Herald - September 14, 2021

Nick Toscano – Australian energy giant Santos has signed a deal with Timor-Leste authorities to advance a project designed to bury carbon dioxide beneath ageing gas fields in the Timor Sea.

Jakarta Globe - September 14, 2021

Jakarta – The Ministry of Health has announced on Monday that foreign vaccine cardholders can now register on the PeduliLindung application, the government's official app for tracking Covid-19 within the country.

Tempo - September 14, 2021

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) assessed that the government of Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is still restricting people's freedom of speech and expression. The state seems to no longer be loyal to democracy, but shows symptoms of authoritarianism.

Antara News - September 14, 2021

Ernes BK, Rahmad Nasution, Manokwari, W Papua – Home Minister Tito Karnavian highlighted "a specialty" pertaining to the public's aspirations in the Merauke, Boven Digoel, Mappi, and Asmat districts in Papua Province regarding a regional division to create South Papua Province.

Coconuts Jakarta - September 14, 2021

Not all rejection of the mainstream lifestyle is a form of radicalization, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) said, as it defends a group of students who were filmed covering their ears to block out the sound of music.

Tempo - September 14, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – Days after reports emerged about a suspected breach by Chinese hackers into government internal networks, the Indonesian State Intelligence Agency (BIN) – which the report suspects is one of the compromised – denies that its server had been hacked.

SBS News - September 14, 2021

The suspected leader of an al-Qaeda-linked group blamed for a string of bombings has been arrested in Indonesia.

Indonesia's elite counter-terrorism squad has arrested a convicted militant and suspected leader of an al-Qaeda-linked group that has been blamed for a string of past bombings in the country, Indonesia police said.

September 13, 2021

Coconuts Bali - September 13, 2021

Indonesia appears to be gearing up (again) to reopen the country to foreign tourism, but it seems not everyone would be welcome after one senior minister hinted that backpackers should take their wanderlust elsewhere.

Tempo - September 13, 2021

Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – Three Golkar Party politicians are allegedly competing over the position of fellow Party member and House Deputy Speaker Azis Syamsuddin who is currently targeted by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in their latest suspected graft investigation.

Syamsuddin is not only the House Deputy but also the Deputy of the Golkar Party.

UCA News - September 13, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – An international advocacy group has condemned what they say is a blatant attempt by a government minister to silence and persecute two human rights activists for talking about military affairs in Papua.

The Conversation - September 13, 2021

Graeme MacRae and I Nyoman Darma Putra – The arrival of the Delta variant in Indonesia has plunged Bali, one of the country's richest provinces, into an economic crisis and a conflict between beliefs and public health measures.

CNN Indonesia - September 13, 2021

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's visit to the Eleven March University (UNS) in the Central Java city of Solo on Monday September 13 was marred by the arrest of several students. They were taken away by police after putting up critical posters on the side of a road that Widodo was to pass by.

Jakarta Globe - September 13, 2021

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The Indonesian government announced on Monday that not a single province is now under the highest risk level of the Covid-19 alert system amid a steady decline in new cases and deaths.

The confirmation came after the risk level in Bali, East Kalimantan and North Kalimantan was lowered from four to three.

Tempo - September 13, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – The Ministry of Industry in a statement on Sunday announced that its health protocol monitoring in the industry sector and mass Covid-19 vaccination enrolled for workers reduces transmission significantly up to 80 percent.

Jakarta Globe - September 13, 2021

Jakarta – The government has reminded the Indonesian public to support efforts to curb the Covid-19 pandemic by complying with the health protocols and getting vaccinated despite the falling number of Covid-19 cases in the country.

September 12, 2021

Jakarta Globe - September 12, 2021

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – About 20 percent of the target population have been fully vaccinated as of Sunday while the surge in newly coronavirus cases and deaths are slowing, Indonesian government figures show.

September 11, 2021

CNN Indonesia - September 11, 2021

Yogyakarta – A mural on the eastern side of the Wirobrajan intersection in Central Java city of Yogyakarta was covered over with black paint on the morning of Friday September 10.

It is known that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo would be passing through this stretch of road during a working visit to Yogyakarta today.

Reuters - September 11, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia has ended a deal with Norway on cooperation to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation, due to lack of payment, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Last year, Norway announced a $56 million contribution to Indonesia, based on its 2016-2017 results on curbing deforestation under a United Nations-backed forest-conservation scheme known as REDD+.

Jakarta Globe - September 11, 2021

Yudha Baskoro, Jakarta – Environmental activists from the Gerakan Pawai Bebas Plastik held a peaceful protest outside the Tokopedia Building at Karet Semanggi in South Jakarta on September 9, 2021. Dressed in all black and carrying posters, the protesters state nine messages for Indonesia's nine e-commerce and marketplace companies.

Jakarta Globe - September 11, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia has received a delivery of 500,000 doses of Janssen vaccine from the Netherlands on Saturday, following a batch of AstraZeneca vaccine from France a day earlier, as part of the European countries' vaccine sharing program to boost vaccination rate across the globe.

UCA News - September 11, 2021

Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta – Catholics were among thousands who signed an online petition calling on the Indonesian government to protect religious freedom after last week's attack on an Ahmadi mosque in West Kalimantan province.