Tim Lindsey – It's deeply ironic that Indonesia's third president, BJ Habibie, died on September 11 – less than a week before the national legislature passed a law that gutted the highly-regarded Anti-Corruption Commission (KPK), effectively killing it.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
October 17, 2019
Arnoldus Kristianus & Abdul Muslim & Herman, Jakarta – The government is optimistic that an international trade exhibition will help the country overcome a persistent trade deficit.
Arya Dipa and Bambang Muryanto, Bandung – Hundreds of protesters – students and activists – rallied in big cities on Thursday to demand that the President issue a regulation to revoke a new law on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), three days before President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo starts his second term.
Taufiq Siddiq, Jakarta – The Police have started to close off access to Merdeka Palace with barbed wire today, Oct. 17, before the planned student rally staged by university students this afternoon.
At around 11:05 a.m., barbed wire fences have blocked the capital's main roads, including Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat, before the building of the Tourism Ministry.
Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – The Jakarta Administration's water resources agency has lodged a budget up to Rp110 billion to continue the construction of the city's giant sea wall known as the National Capital Integrated Coastal Development (NCICD) in North Jakarta.
Tabita Diela and John Geddie, Jakarta – An Indonesian unit of management consultants McKinsey & Company has been appointed to conduct a feasibility study on moving the capital from the crowded, flood-prone city of Jakarta on Java island to the forested island of Borneo, an official said.
Syofiardi Bachyul J.B, West Sumatra – Air quality in West Sumatra has decreased significantly as it touches a level considered unhealthy this week.
The head of Global Atmosphere Watch in Bukit Kototabang, Wan Dayantolis, said air quality had decreased from normal to unhealthy on Tuesday and Wednesday morning at around 10 a.m. and 6 a.m., respectively.
Riza Roidila Mufti, Jakarta – National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia is working hand-in-hand with nine other state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to bring PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines back to life after the latter ceased operations in 2014 due to financial problems.
A Canberra court has shut down a private citizen's bid to provide advice to the court in a trial involving an East Timor bugging scandal.
Ernst Willheim asked the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday to allow him to make an open justice case during the trial of Bernard Collaery, the former lawyer to spy-turned-whistleblower Witness K.
Today, the controversial revision to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law officially comes into effect, as President Joko Widodo has thus far failed to use his executive power to block its implementation.
Telly Nathalia & Beritasatu TV, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo confirmed in a Twitter posting on Thursday that he had completed the selection of a new Cabinet for the second term of his presidency, which will commence on Sunday.
The ministers' names will be announced either immediately after his inauguration, or in the following few days.
Jakarta – Students have taken to the streets on the first day that the revised Corruption Eradication Commission Law (UU KPK) came into effect. The students are urging President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to issue a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to annul the law.
Heru Andriyanto, Carlos K.Y. Paath, Jakarta – The heavily amended Corruption Eradication Commission Law will come into effect by default on Wednesday, 30 days after it was passed by the House of Representatives, a minister has said.
Jakarta – People's Consultative Assembly Speaker Bambang Soesatyo has made assurances to the public that the constitutional articles on the presidential election will remain untouched as plans to amend the 1945 Constitution remain firmly in place.
Jakarta – Human rights lawyer Veronica Koman met with the Australian parliament's human rights subcommittee on Wednesday to speak with its members about the current situation in West Papua.
Asip A. Hasani, Blitar, East Java – Lawmaker Arteria Dahlan from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has been in the news lately for his controversial defense of the revised Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law, which many observers fear will neuter the KPK.
Jakarta – Activist and human rights lawyer for Papuan affairs, Veronica Koman, has met with Australian parliamentarians in Canberra. She said that during the meeting she asked the government of the Kangaroo Country to play a more active role in ending the bloodshed in Papua.
Noir Primadona Purba – Indonesia's oceans, some of the richest in marine biodiversity, are becoming rubbish bins – altering underwater ecosystems.
Based on a research led by Jenna Jambeck of University of Georgia, Indonesia is the world's second-largest ocean plastic polluter. Yet, we know little about how plastic waste impact marine life in Indonesia's waters.
Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo must shift his government's focus to increasing productivity in the domestic manufacturing industry and improving the investment climate during his second term to stem a slowdown in the country's economic growth, economists said.
Jakarta (Antara) – Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party Secretary General Ahmad Muzani said he was keen to see the party leader, Prabowo Subianto, join the coalition of the Joko Widodo (Jokowi)-Ma'ruf Amin administration.
Kuala Lumpur – A new green fund being set up by the government should prioritize protecting its rain forests and creating a carbon trading program to help Indonesia meet its goals to curb climate change, environmentalists and officials said.
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – A group of economists have penned an open letter addressed to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, urging him to issue a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to annul the latest revision to the 2003 Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law, arguing that weakening the antigraft agency will harm the economy.
Jakarta – The National Association of University Student Executive Bodies (BEM-SI) plans to stage a rally in front of the State Palace on Thursday following a decision by the Jakarta Police to restrict protests ahead of the presidential inauguration on Sunday.
Eisya A. Eloksari, Jakarta – Indonesia has risen six places over the last decade to be ranked 68th out of 170 countries in the Global Index of Economic Openness as shown in a recent study by a London-based think-tank the Legatum Institute.
October 16, 2019
Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – Facebook said on Wednesday during its first-ever Facebook Summit in Jakarta that its myriad of applications – including the Facebook app, Instagram and WhatsApp Messenger – have made positive economic and social impacts on local businesses, the government and the Indonesian society as a whole.
Muh. Syaifullah, Yogyakarta – A total of 400 Indonesianists from 43 countries attend the World Indonesianist Congress held in Yogyakarta State University (UNY), on October 14-15.
Friski Riana, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo decided not to comment on questions about the Law on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK Law) that will be effective on Thursday, October 17, 2019. The revised KPK Law was passed one month ago on September 17.
Jakarta (Antara) – MRT Jakarta, the operator of the city's mass rapid transit train network, has collaborated with Gojek Indonesia, one of the largest ride-hailing companies in the country, to provide a feeder transportation service for MRT passengers.
Norman Harsono, Jakarta – The government has given Japanese oil company Inpex Corp and Dutch energy giant Shell a 27-year extension to develop the Abadi gas field in the southeastern part of the Arafura Sea.
Jakarta – The National Police claim to have foiled terror plots, including suicide bombings, in several cities across Java, which were allegedly planned by Islamic State-linked homegrown militant group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).
Jakarta – The Institute for Public Research and Advocacy (Elsam) says that freedom of expression and opinion in Indonesia has declined since 2014. Citing data from the Freedom House website, Elsam said that for the last five years freedom of expression in Indonesia has been rated as no longer free.
Shotaro Tani, Jakarta – On the face of it, Indonesia's capital Jakarta, a sprawling megacity of 10 million people, and Sweden's Kiruna, a town of only 20,000, couldn't be more different. But they have one thing in common: Both are sinking.
On Friday, TransJakarta recommissioned buses made by Chinese manufacturers ZhongTong, officials have confirmed, which had previously been mired in scandals related to passenger safety and corruption.
Muhammad Aminudin, Malang – Seven young people in the East Java city of Malang took turns in reading out quotes from the Fact Finding Team (TPF) report on the assassination of Munir.
The event calls into question a government statement last year that the TPF Munir report has disappeared. The document titled "Quotes from the final TPF Munir Report" was 12 pages long.
Friski Riana, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo or Jokowi claimed that he did not order police apparatus to prohibit public demonstration on the day of the presidential inauguration on October 20, 2019.
"No [such an order]," said the President shortly after the meeting with the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) speakers at State Palace, Jakarta, Wednesday, October 16.
Fana Suparman, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, has arrested eight people in the East Kalimantan cities of Bontang and Samarinda and also in the capital Jakarta on Tuesday over allegations of bribery related to a major road project on the island.
Jakarta – The International Monetary Fund has kept its economic growth projection for Indonesia at 5 percent this year and 5.1 percent next year, while issuing a warning that the global economy may see its slowest expansion since the global financial crisis in 2008-2009.
Jakarta – The Indonesian Military (TNI) has handed down disciplinary sanctions against five more serving Army personnel in relation to negative social media posts about the recent attack on the country's chief security minister, following the removal of two soldiers from their positions last week for similar reasons.
Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo, who was re-elected in April with a majority vote, has received the backing of defeated rival Prabowo Subianto, who on Monday (Oct 14) and Tuesday stressed that Indonesia needs to be united to face difficult times in years ahead amid rising global economic challenges.
Agus Pabika, Jayapura – The way government handling the humanitarian conflict in Papua has become a spotlight. Many people think the government are being discriminative in handling Nduga refugees compared to refugees from Wamena.
Jakarta (Antara) – Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) urged the Indonesian Police (Polri) to initiate legal process against police officers, who shot dead two Halu Oleo University students in Kendari and not merely accentuate ethics and procedures.
Didit Hariyadi, Makassar – The University of Hasanuddin's Student Executive Body (BEM Unhas) president, Fatir Kasim, deemed South Sulawesi Police Chief Insp. Gen. Mas Guntur Laupe had provoked students to stage a protest ahead of the presidential inauguration.
Fana Suparman, Jakarta – Indramayu district head Supendi was named a corruption suspect on Tuesday, only eight months since he assumed his post.
Supendi was arrested earlier on Monday along with the West Java district's public works head Omarsyah, state road projects head Wempy Triyono and a businessman named Carsa A.S. over bribery allegations in various projects.
Jon Afrizal, Jambi – Haze from ongoing forest and land fires continued to plague Jambi on Wednesday, despite the government's attempts to create artificial rain since Friday.
N. Adri, Jakarta and Balikpapan – Medan Mayor Dzulmi Edin and 14 other people, including officials and private individuals, have been arrested on graft charges during separate raids conducted by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) since Tuesday.
Aaron Fernandes – Golfrid Siregar dedicated his life to defending Indonesia's environment and exposing corruption. It's a role that his family fear may have cost him his life.
Since 2016, Golfrid Siregar worked as a lawyer in the North Sumatra chapter of WALHI – Indonesia's largest and oldest environmental advocacy NGO.
Vice President-elect Ma'ruf Amin will not permanently step down from his role as the chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council – the country's highest clerical body – even after he's sworn in to become the country's second-in-command on Sunday.
October 15, 2019
Ahmad Faiz, Jakarta – Several leaders of immigrant communities in Papua visited President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at State Palace, Tuesday, Oct. 15. The head of South Sulawesi Community in Papua, Mansur, said their visit aimed to discuss the security situation post the riot last month.
Telly Nathalia, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has been meeting with chairmen of opposition parties in the past few days to – as he said – "discuss future challenges for the country." Nevertheless, he did not rule out the chance that the parties might join his coalition government after his inauguration on Oct. 20.