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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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September 15, 2020

Jakarta Post - September 15, 2020

Jakarta – Wara village in North Luwu regency, South Sulawesi has reportedly been inundated for two months as a reservoir in the neighborhood was damaged by a flash flood on July 13.

"An embankment located in neighboring Lembang-Lembang village was broken, causing an inundation up to 1 meter high in our village," Wara village head Basruddin said on Monday.

Jakarta Post - September 15, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government has only spent around Rp 237 trillion (US$15.92 billion) of the funds earmarked for economic stimulus during the COVID-19 outbreak, representing just 34.1 percent of the allocated budget, six months into the crisis.

Jakarta Post - September 15, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita has urged Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati to temporarily exempt vehicle tax (PKB) for new cars until December in a bid to boost car sales amid COVID-19 pressures.

Jakarta Post - September 15, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto has appointed his niece Rahayu "Sara" Saraswati as one of the party's deputy chairs for the 2020-2025 term.

Daily Mail - September 15, 2020

Charlie Coe – Bali may have to shut its borders again and go back into lockdown to stop a surge in coronavirus cases, a health expert has warned.

The popular Indonesian tourist island was due to reopen to foreign travellers from September – but those plans have been shelved until at least the end of the year as daily case totals in Bali tripled over the past six weeks.

Asia Times - September 15, 2020

John McBeth, Jakarta – Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) cutter 5204 has become such a familiar sight inside and on the fringes of Indonesia's 200-nautical-mile Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) that it is now suspected of trying to stake out the limits of Beijing's nine-dotted line of historically claimed sovereignty over the South China Sea.

Bloomberg News - September 15, 2020

On a scorching August day in Bandung, the capital of West Java province, two dozen volunteers arrive at a small community clinic inside a narrow alley to take part in the last stage of one of the world's fastest-moving trials for a coronavirus vaccine.

Jakarta Post - September 15, 2020

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – Staying home is considered key in suppressing COVID-19 transmission, but many Indonesians confirmed or suspected of having the disease cannot afford to self-isolate because of lack of space.

Tempo - September 15, 2020

Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – The West Manggarai Tourism Rescue Society Forum (Formapp) announced that it strongly rejects the project that plans to build a "Jurassic Park" theme park located at the Rinca Island, Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, which they fear will threaten the natural habitat of wildlife in the Komodo National Park, which the island is located in.

Jakarta Post - September 15, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – The Indonesian government is set to provide more facilities to house asymptomatic coronavirus patients or those with mild symptoms to self-isolate, as the number of daily COVID-19 transmissions continues to hit new highs in the country.

Jakarta Post - September 15, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – Indonesian agricultural exports could be "potential winners" in the pandemic as they recorded annual growth despite the downturn in global trade, according to the Trade Ministry.

Jakarta Post - September 15, 2020

Jakarta – The Jakarta Police are set to crack down on unauthorized, late-night sprinting matches across the capital and its satellite regions during the latest reinstatement of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) amid COVID-19 concerns.

Jakarta Post - September 15, 2020

Budi Sutrisno, Jakarta – West Java is set to implement micro-scale social restrictions (PSBM) in Jakarta's satellite cities, namely Bogor, Depok and Bekasi, with restrictions applied only in areas categorized as "red zones".

Reuters - September 15, 2020

Yuddy Budiman Cahya and Tommy Andriansyah, Jakarta – When the coronavirus pandemic forced Indonesian schools to shut, it exposed how millions of households in the south-east Asian country still had no access to the internet or even a device like a mobile phone to do remote learning.

So students and volunteers have come up with creative ways to get around the problem.

Jakarta Globe - September 15, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The surge in coronavirus cases in Indonesia has reached a new level since the beginning of the month with daily total averaging 3,349 cases, in comparison to the average of 2,143 cases last month.

Jakarta Post - September 15, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The National Police now require civilian security guards (Satpam) to wear brown uniforms with a rank badge in order to "honor the profession", in a move an activist says creates the potential for abuse of power.

Tempo - September 15, 2020

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – The Indonesian state intelligence agency (BIN) denies the existence of a Rajawali special squad, which has been rumored to be within the intelligence agency.

Jakarta Post - September 15, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has made a request to the House of Representatives for an additional Rp 825 billion (US$55.48 million) for its 2021 budget to hire more graft-prevention agents, the agency's chief, Firli Bahuri, said on Monday.

Jakarta Post - September 15, 2020

Sausan Atika, Jakarta – Indonesia's capital Jakarta entered another period of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) on Monday with most office workers forced to once again shelter in place, but some remain unconvinced that the curbs will be able to contribute much to their protection – unless there is strict enforcement.

Jakarta Post - September 15, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – The National Police have launched an operation in Jakarta to monitor and discipline the public on strict health protocols as the capital reimposed large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) on Monday.

Jakarta Post - September 15, 2020

Jakarta – The Jakarta administration forced eight companies to close temporarily during inspections on Monday to curb the transmission of COVID-19.

New Zealand Herald - September 15, 2020

Indonesian authorities have ordered a group of anti-maskers who broke the country's mask laws to dig graves for Covid-19 victims.

East Java province officials punished eight mask violaters with manual labour at the local cemetery in the hope of deterring others from ignoring the nationwide face-covering mandate, The Jakata Post reported.

Agence France Presse - September 15, 2020

Four men were publicly flogged in a conservative Indonesian province on Tuesday under sharia law, after being convicted for engaging in sexual activity with minors.

The sentence was executed in front of the prosecutors' office in North Aceh with armed policemen guarding the event.

Jakarta Globe - September 15, 2020

Dion Bisara, Jakarta – Tangerang, a city in Banten province with two million inhabitants on the outskirts of Jakarta, has found that the real number of Covid-19 cases among its population might be about 50 times higher than the official figures after completing an epidemiological study last month.

Jakarta Post - September 15, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – There is growing concern that food products sold online that do not comply with health and safety regulations may pose a risk to the online shopping boom during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a researcher with the Center of Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS).

September 14, 2020

Straits Times - September 14, 2020

Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – Indonesia's next presidential election is four years away, but several prominent figures have been gearing up to put out their names as possible candidates, including those serving in the Cabinet of President Joko Widodo.

Sydney Morning Herald - September 14, 2020

Melissa Crouch – The attention of much of the world is fixated on COVID-19: the daily infection rates, the number of fatalities and the ebb and flow of restrictions on freedoms in the name of public health.In the midst of all this, however, some governments around the world are using COVID-19 to protect their own interests and expand their power at the expense of constitutional demo

Jakarta Globe - September 14, 2020

Jakarta – Indonesia is losing its doctors and nurses to the Covid-19 pandemic at a significantly faster rate than other countries in the world, further undermining the country's overstretched healthcare system.

Jakarta Post - September 14, 2020

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – The Jakarta administration has decided to reimpose large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) starting on Monday, but the curbs are more relaxed than when they were first implemented in April, leading experts to doubt the policy will bring down cases and deaths in the capital.

Jakarta Post - September 14, 2020

Eisya A. Eloksari, Jakarta – Experts have called on financial technology (fintech) companies to expand their operations outside of Java and partner with the government to better serve the unbanked population in the country.

Jakarta Post - September 14, 2020

Jakarta – The Bekasi administration in West Java is preparing new strategies to mitigate the COVID-19 epidemic, focusing on strengthening the quality of patient care and small-scale virus control in subdistricts, as the administration is unlikely to follow Jakarta in imposing full-scale restrictions.

Jakarta Post - September 14, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – The National Police's plan to involve community leaders and local gang leaders to help authorities raise awareness about the COVID-19 health protocols has been met with strong objections.

The deputy National Police chief Comr. Gen. Gatot Eddy Pramono said the move was a result of the limited number of police and Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel.

Jakarta Post - September 14, 2020

Ivany Atina Arbi, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has encouraged regional administrations to implement local-scale social restrictions to contain COVID-19 transmission, instead of the large-scale ones, for "a more detailed handling" of the pandemic.

Reuters - September 14, 2020

Yuddy Cahya Budiman, Jakarta – The markings of a rollercoaster year are plastered over Sutiwet's small Jakarta restaurant – plastic barriers on the counters, stickers on the glass urging customers to wear masks, and a gallon of water out front for people to wash their hands.

Tempo - September 14, 2020

Wintang Warastri, Jakarta – The Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) Chairperson Tulus Abadi on Sunday deems the social restriction (PSBB) that the Jakarta administration had reinstated as the city's final stand in battling against the COVID-19 pandemic and break the chain of infections.

Jakarta Globe - September 14, 2020

Carlos K.Y. Paath, Antara, Jakarta – Renowned Muslim preacher Ali Jaber, who was stabbed while delivering a sermon in Lampung on Sunday, recalled how the attacker swung the knife in a skillful way with clear intention to kill him, as he dismissed insanity as a motive for the attack.

Jakarta Post - September 14, 2020

Dian Septiari, Jakarta – Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has expressed the government's concern about the increasing number of Rohingya refugees arriving on Indonesia's shores, calling on other countries in the region to share responsibility for addressing the core issues that led to the crisis.

Jakarta Post - September 14, 2020

Jakarta – The Pondok Ranggon cemetery in East Jakarta has recorded the highest number of funerals in a week since its establishment as a COVID-19 burial location in March.

Nadi, the cemetery's management officer, said 213 bodies had been buried under COVID-19 protocol at Pondok Ranggon last week.

Jakarta Post - September 14, 2020

Jakarta – People living in Sikka regency, East Nusa Tenggara are experiencing a clean water shortage as groundwater rapidly depletes due to a long dry season in the region and some parts of the country.

A 5,000 liter water tank in Hewuli subdistrict, West Alok district, Sikka regency is now priced at Rp 150,000 (US$10).

Indonesia at Melbourne - September 14, 2020

Akhmad Misbakhul Hasan – As Covid-19 continues to advance into all provinces of Indonesia at a national rate of more than 3,000 new cases a day, the central government appears powerless to prevent its spread.

Coconuts Bali - September 14, 2020

More than 73,000 people have been furloughed during the COVID-19 crisis in Bali, with another 2,500 having lost their jobs, as the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak continues to take its toll on people's livelihoods this year.

Bali Governor Wayan Koster reported the latest estimates over the weekend, warning that the numbers will likely increase as the pandemic goes on.

Jakarta Post - September 14, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia expects the domestic market to drive its business this year, which is showing signs of recovery despite the heavy blow to the aviation sector by COVID-19, the company's top executive has said.

Jakarta Post - September 14, 2020

Apriadi Gunawan, Humbang Hasundutan, North Sumatra – The government is set to develop 30,000 hectares into farmland in Humbang Hasundutan regency, North Sumatra by next month as the Agriculture Ministry commences its food estate program to spur the local economy.

Jakarta Globe - September 14, 2020

Bernadus Wijayaka, Bayu Marhaenjati, Yustinus Paat, Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Jakarta has started its large-scale social restrictions, or commonly known as PSBB, with crowded yet smooth traffic and several non-compliant offices.

Jakarta Post - September 14, 2020

Jakarta – A group of cyclists reportedly rode down the Jagorawi toll road on Sunday afternoon, raising concerns for their safety among motorists.

September 13, 2020

Jakarta Globe - September 13, 2020

Dwi Argo Santosa, Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – Jakarta will return to full large scale social restrictions from Monday until Sep 27, with a new ban on the gathering of more than five people in and other public places, harsher sanction on the restrictions violations in offices setting, and an obligation to people infected with the Covid-19 disease to isolate themselves at government's fa

Jakarta Post - September 13, 2020

Jakarta – Jakarta administration secretary Saefullah and West Jakarta Mayor Uus Kuswanto have tested positive for COVID-19, officials reported on Saturday.

Tabloid JUBI - September 13, 2020

Jayapura, Jubi – A number of youths, students, and Papuan and non-Papuan communities held a peace rally on Thursday (10/9/2020) to decline the Special Autonomy phase II in Papua. The rally occurred at around 10 am Papua time in Jl. Jendral Ahmad Yani, Sorong City, Papua Barat Province.

Jakarta Post - September 13, 2020

Alya Nurbaiti, Jakarta – As the number of confirmed cases and fatalities from COVID-19 continues to rise, the government has prepared an apartment tower from the former Kemayoran athletes village – now an emergency hospital for infected patients in Central Jakarta – to house asymptomatic coronavirus patients for isolation, a top official said on Saturday.

Jakarta Post - September 13, 2020

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has confirmed that the capital will return to full large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) on Monday, albeit with several relaxations, after months of "transitional PSBB".