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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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January 23, 2021

Jakarta Globe - January 23, 2021

Asni Ovier, Jakarta – National Covid-19 Task Force Head Doni Monardo confirmed on Saturday he has tested positive for coronavirus following week-long trips to Sulawesi and Kalimantan.

Gal-Dem - January 23, 2021

Sabrina Citra – This week, a Twitter thread penned by an American graphic designer named Kristen Gray went viral. No wonder; successive tweets detailed the seemingly charmed life she and her girlfriend, Saundra Alexander, were now enjoying after moving to the Indonesian island of Bali in 2020. The move, wrote Gray, had been a "game changer".

Straits Times - January 23, 2021

Jakarta (AFP) – Relatives of 62 people killed when an Indonesian passenger jet slammed into the sea scattered flowers at the crash site on Friday (Jan 22), as investigators look for clues to why the plane dropped from the sky minutes after take-off.

January 22, 2021

Jakarta Globe - January 22, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia would reach the peak of its demographic dividend this year as the working-age population now account for close to 71 percent of the country's total population, and its birth rate continues to decline, according to the latest census data published on Thursday.

Reuters - January 22, 2021

National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) investigator Nurcayho Utomo said a problem with the Boeing 737-500's autothrottle system – which controls engine power automatically – was reported after a flight a few days earlier.

Kompas.com - January 22, 2021

Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) says that the planned reactivation of the Swakarsa Civilian Security Force (Pam Swakarsa), which was proposed by candidate national police chief Commissioner General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, is a betrayal of the values of reformasi.

Mongabay - January 22, 2021

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – The Indonesian government has denied that deforestation for oil palm plantations and coal mines contributed to a recent deadly flood in southern Borneo.

Tempo - January 22, 2021

Muhammad Hendartyo, Jakarta – Trade Ministry's secretary-general Suhanto on Friday, Jan, 22, said beef supplies available in the market suffice Indonesia's national need. The government guarantees that it will remain that way.

Nikkei Asia - January 22, 2021

Antonia Timmerman, Jakarta – Bayu Edmiralda left the congestion of Jakarta seven months ago for the tropical delights of Bali, where he spends his day in a coworking space near his rented room.

Associated Press - January 22, 2021

Ben Fox, Washington – After an unexplained delay, the US Defence Department has announced plans to try in a military court three men held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who are suspected of involvement in deadly bombings in Indonesia in 2002 and 2003.

Kompas.com - January 22, 2021

Devina Halim, Jakarta – The Security sector Reform Coalition says that there are three problems which need to be addressed when the sole candidate for the next police chief, Commissioner General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, takes over the leadership of the national police.

Al Jazeera - January 22, 2021

Jakarta, Indonesia – Investigators are yet to determine the cause of this month's Sriwijaya Air plane crash in Indonesia that killed all 63 people on board, but the disaster has once again put the spotlight on maintenance, training and safety across the country's transport system.

Mongabay - January 22, 2021

Dian Wahyu Kusuma, Bandar Lampung, Indonesia – In a two-week survey of the thick forest of Sumatra's Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in the 1990s, Indonesian conservationist Agus Setiawan says he found signs of the rare and threatened Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis).

ABC News - January 22, 2021

Erwin Renaldi – The year has only just begun, but already Indonesia has been hit with fatal earthquakes, deadly landslides and volcanic eruptions.

The Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) said there had been a staggering 185 natural disasters in Indonesia in the first three weeks of 2021 alone.

Jakarta Globe - January 22, 2021

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia has recorded more coronavirus cases and deaths in the first 22 days of the year than the previous monthly record reported in December, as newly cases are spiraling beyond control and nearing the 1 million mark.

Tempo - January 22, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Pro-democracy NGO Setara Institute on Thursday disapproved of the step taken by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo who they deemed had rushed the passing of derivative government regulation (PP) No. 3/2021 on managing national resources for defense use.

January 21, 2021

Tempo - January 21, 2021

Vindry Florentin, Jakarta – The Ministry of Agriculture (Kementan) announced that it is relying on the national food estate program to increase agriculture productivity in 2021 despite having the Covid-19 pandemic hamper the program's progress.

Jakarta Globe - January 21, 2021

Novy Lumanauw, Lenny Tristia Tambun, Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo congratulates 46th US President Joe Biden and his vice president Kamala Harris for their new roles via social media.

Reuters - January 21, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia's central bank kept key interest rates unchanged at a record low on Thursday, as expected, holding fire after providing a bout of monetary stimulus last year to support the coronavirus-hit economy.

Jakarta Post - January 21, 2021

Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has asked the central government to take over the COVID-19 response in Greater Jakarta – which comprises Jakarta and its neighboring cities – as the capital is running out of hospital beds as a result of the overwhelming number of patients from the nearby cities over which Jakarta has no jurisdiction.

Tempo - January 21, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – The Joko "Jokowi" Widodo administration is attempting to broaden the role of civilians in the nation's military defense by issuing the president's regulation (PP) No. 3/2021 on implementing rules of Law No. 23/2019 on national resources management for national defense.

Jakarta Post - January 21, 2021

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government plans to issue sukuk (sharia-compliant bonds) worth Rp 27.58 trillion (US$1.96 billion) this year to finance the country's costly infrastructure projects and spur economic growth, a Finance Ministry official has announced.

World Economic Forum - January 21, 2021

Arip Tirta and Prasanti W. Sarli – Pak Iyus is a hijab producer in Bandung, Indonesia. At the height of his business between 2015 and 2017, he was able to produce 150,000 garments per day; however, his production has declined by 80%, resulting in a massive reduction in income for his employees.

Jakarta Globe - January 21, 2021

Carlos Roy Fajarta & Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesian authorities have officially ended the search and rescue operation for the downed Sriwijaya Air SJ-182 on Thursday after 13 days of combing the crash site in the waters of Thousand Islands.

Tempo - January 21, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko has asked members of the public to back the President's Regulation No. 7/2021 on 'the national prevention against violence-based extremism leading to terrorism' valid until 2024.

Coconuts Jakarta - January 21, 2021

Indonesia may open up COVID-19 vaccine procurement and distribution to the private sector, President Joko Widodo implied, while the country debates the faults and merits of such a policy.

The president touched on the subject this morning when he gave a virtual opening speech at a CEO forum.

Mongbay - January 21, 2021

Jakarta – Indigenous people in Indonesia's easternmost Papua province are protesting against a company that's preparing to raze their ancestral forest for a plantation megaproject plagued by allegations of irregularities and wrongdoing.

January 20, 2021

Tempo - January 20, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The advocacy team for the police shooting and deaths of six members of the recently defunct group Islam Defenders Front (FPI) on December 7, 2020, has taken the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) which was confirmed by the organization's former secretary Munarman on Tuesday, January 19.

Tempo - January 20, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – The actions committed by the Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto by not openly announcing that he had contracted the Covid-19 virus was met with various criticism.

Coconuts Bali - January 20, 2021

After numerous reported incidents of foreigners in Bali refusing to follow COVID-19 health protocols over the past few months, an official from immigration warned yesterday that visitors may be deported if they continue to violate the rules.

The Guardian - January 20, 2021

An American woman is being deported from Bali over suspected immigration violations after her tweets that celebrated the Indonesian resort island as a low-cost, queer-friendly place for foreigners to live went viral.

Tempo - January 20, 2021

Bisnis, Jakarta – Beef traders in the capital city of Jakarta and its satellite cities; Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi, announced a mass-strike following the recent rise in beef prices. The strike is said to start from today on January 20 up to January 22.

Tempo - January 20, 2021

Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – Epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia, Pandu Riono, argued that Covid-19 referral hospitals across Jakarta and its surrounding regions have already collapsed.

"Patients die before they get health care because hospitals are full. This means, our health facilities have collapsed," said Pandu on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Reuters - January 20, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia will rebuild homes and buildings ravaged by a powerful earthquake that struck Sulawesi island last week, President Joko Widodo said on Tuesday, as the death toll reached 90 and thousands more people were displaced.

Coconuts Bali - January 20, 2021

Sheany – What happens when you carelessly label a place as queer-friendly without considering the bigger picture? In the case of an American digital nomad named Kristen Gray, highlighting Bali as such turned into one of the justifications for homophobic officials to deport her from Indonesia.

Coconuts Jakarta - January 20, 2021

The government is set to extend the Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (PPKM) policy, an official said today, as infection rates of COVID-19 in the country's worst affected regions have not slowed down significantly.

Jakarta Globe - January 20, 2021

Farouk Arnaz, Markus Junianto Sihaloho, Jakarta – The House of Representatives' commission on legal and political affairs approved Comr. Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo as the president's pick for the next national police chief in a hearing on Wednesday.

Tempo - January 20, 2021

Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – There are 12,638 burials under the Covid-19 health protocol conducted by the Jakarta Administration up to Tuesday, January 19, with 3,836 of those that are confirmed to be positive.

Bloomberg News - January 20, 2021

Grace Sihombing – Indonesia is set to remove energy, communications and tourism from a list of sectors restricted to foreigners in a bid to boost investments and create jobs.

January 19, 2021

Tempo - January 19, 2021

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) confirmed that at least 900 people were affected by flash floods in Cisarua, Bogor, West Java, which occurred at 10:00 today, Jan. 19. The agency said it was triggered by a heavy downpour.

Vice - January 19, 2021

Koh Ewe – Flashing a big thumbs-up in a video to his nearly 50 million Instagram followers, Indonesian actor and social media influencer Raffi Ahmad received a COVID-19 jab last week and encouraged others to do the same."Don't be afraid of vaccines," reads the caption on the post, which went live Wednesday and has been viewed over 3 million times.

Coconuts Jakarta - January 19, 2021

Such is Indonesians' love for malls that it was only a matter of time before somebody floated the idea of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 at the shopping center.

Such a proposal has come from the Indonesian Shopping Centers Management Association (APPBI), which they say may prove beneficial to both the public and business owners.

Straits Times - January 19, 2021

Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – The Indonesia government is pushing back against violent extremism by introducing a presidential regulation to allow civil societies and communities to get empowerment training to help their neighbourhoods.

CNN Indonesia - January 19, 2021

Jakarta – The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) is urging President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to summon companies which have business permits covering forest areas and land in South Kalimantan.

Coconuts Bali - January 19, 2021

Balinese musician I Gede Ari Astina, most popularly known as Jerinx, had his sentence reduced to 10 months following an appeal, an official from the Denpasar District Court confirmed today.

Jerinx was found guilty of hate speech last November after a controversial trial, after which he was sentenced to 14 months in prison.

Coconuts Jakarta - January 19, 2021

Should a top government official make it known to the public if they test positive for COVID-19? The topic is being widely discussed in Indonesia after one of the country's top ministers revealed that he was diagnosed with the viral disease... in 2020.

CNN Indonesia - January 19, 2021

Jakarta – Civil society organisations in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta which are part of the Yogyakarta People's Alliance for Democracy (ARDY) have sent a subpoena to Yogyakarta (DIY) Governor Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X over a ban on expressing opinions in public.

Tempo - January 19, 2021

Diananta P. Sumedi (Contributor), Banjar – The Indonesian Farmers Union (SPI) of South Kalimantan reported that 209,884 hectares of agricultural lands in 12 districts/cities were destroyed by the flood.

Jakarta Globe - January 19, 2021

Fana Suparman, Jakarta – Immigration officials in Bali on Tuesday summoned American citizen Kristen Gray who has been living in the resort island for more than a year for allegedly misusing her visa.

Al Jazeera - January 19, 2021

Aisyah Llewellyn, Medan, Indonesia – Villagers in Indonesia's West Sulawesi are running short of food and water after taking refuge in the hills following a deadly earthquake in the early hours of Friday morning, and fears of aftershocks that could trigger tsunamis.