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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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March 23, 2023

Jakarta Globe - March 23, 2023

Arnoldus Kristianus, Jakarta – The Finance Ministry is mulling adding around Rp 8 trillion, or about $531 million, to this year's budget plan for Indonesia's new capital megaproject Nusantara.

Jakarta Globe - March 23, 2023

BTV, Malang – A three-story house in the East Java town of Malang reportedly belonging to controversial businessman Wahyu Kenzo was barricaded with a police line tape on Thursday to support the ongoing money laundering investigation against him.

Tabloid Jubi - March 23, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – Solidarity of Tambrauw Regency Students in Jayapura rejects illegal mining in Kwor Village, Barar Village, and Orwen Village in Kwor District, Tambrauw Regency, Southwest Papua Province. The students held a press conference in Tambrauw Dormitory on Monday, March 20, 2023.

Jakarta Post - March 23, 2023

Yerica Lai, Jakarta – Megawati Soekarnoputri is reportedly weighing a possibility of pairing together Central Jakarta Governor Ganjar Pranowo and Gerindra Party leader Prabowo Subianto for the 2024 presidential election, following her three-hour private meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo last week.

Red Ant - March 23, 2023

Members of Federasi Serikat Buruh Demokratik Kerakyatan (F-SEDAR) in Indonesia have been struggling against the company Alpen Food Industry (AICE) for over 5 years. This has been sparked by Alpen Food's continued disregard for even the most basic workers' rights.

Tabloid Jubi - March 23, 2023

Merauke, Jubi – South Papua Youth Movement for Indigenous Land Care (GPPSPTA), a group of young people in South Papua Province's Merauke Regency, voiced the dangers and threats of deforestation to the community and local government.

March 22, 2023

Jakarta Post - March 22, 2023

Jakarta – Leaders of the nation's official religious groups desire a peaceful 2024 general elections and reject the politicization of religion, according to a declaration read out at an event held by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the leading party in the government coalition.

Jakarta Post - March 22, 2023

A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – Indonesia has issued a strong condemnation of a recent comment by Israel's right-wing finance minister Betzalel Smotrich "who denies the existence of Palestine and denounces the existence and territorial sovereignty of Jordan", the Foreign Ministry tweeted on Wednesday in the first of two posts.

Reuters - March 22, 2023

Stefanno Sulaiman, Samboja, East Kalimantan – Just outside Indonesia's planned new capital on Kalimantan island, an orangutan catches a banana with one hand, thrown by a conservationist on a boat, while her other hand clings to a tree branch.

Jakarta Post - March 22, 2023

Nur Janti, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has charged non-active Supreme Court Justice Gazalba Saleh with gratification and money laundering after being named a suspect in the bribery case on Nov. 28 last year.

Jakarta Globe - March 22, 2023

Muhammad Aulia, Jakarta – The government and major Muslim organizations reached a general agreement that the fasting month of Ramadan will begin on Thursday, but the Indonesian Ulema Council, or MUI, said there could be different opinions about when it ends.

Reuters - March 22, 2023

Denpasar, Bali – A small boat designed to collect ocean waste took to the water for the first time off Bali island on Tuesday, launching a mission to tackle pollution in a region notorious for its marine plastics problem.

Jakarta Globe - March 22, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia has plans to expand its downstream industry policy, in which it focuses on processing its raw materials for higher added value, into the marine sector.

Tempo - March 22, 2023

Antara, Jakarta – The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology has said that more than 140,000 schools implemented the Kurikulum Merdeka (Independent Curriculum) in the 2022-2023 academic year.

Jakarta Globe - March 22, 2023

Aditya Laksmana Yudha, Jakarta – A recent electability survey by pollster Indo Barometer named State-Owned Enterprise Minister Erick Thohir as the strongest vice president candidate for the upcoming 2024 election.

The Guardian - March 22, 2023

Tamara Davison – Bali's typical soundtrack of construction sites and car horns has been replaced for 24 hours with birdsong and the lapping of waves as the island celebrates its annual day of silence.

Inside Indonesia - March 22, 2023

Jenny Munro – Navigating false information is now an everyday experience in Indonesia and globally, but recent incidents in West Papua show how the rhetoric of the 'hoax' or 'fake news' may be used by those in power to justify violence, perpetuate discrimination, and deny people's capacity to analyse their own social contexts.

Sydney Morning Herald - March 22, 2023

Chris Barrett and Karuni Rompies, Singapore/Jakarta – Football-mad Indonesia is preparing to stage its first major tournament, the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in May, but a row has erupted over the participation of Israel with Bali refusing to host the team.

Jakarta Globe - March 22, 2023

Jakarta – The Indonesian Ulema Council confirmed on Wednesday that it cannot grant the halal certificate for pork-flavored instant noodles even if they are entirely made from plants.

The statement came following a discussion on the internet about a Japanese instant noodle product labeled as vegan food with pork bone broth flavor.

Jakarta Post - March 22, 2023

Bali – No Internet. No shopping. And no flights. On Wednesday, the Indonesian resort island of Bali will plunge itself into silent introspection as residents – locals and visitors alike – observe Nyepi, the Balinese New Year.

Jakarta Globe - March 22, 2023

Pudja Lestari, Jakarta – Cambodian Trade Minister Pan Sorasak said his government is seeking to boost the bilateral trade with Indonesia to more than $1 billion this year as he praised the stable and resilient investment and business climate in the fellow ASEAN country.

Jakarta Post - March 22, 2023

Apriadi Gunawan and Nurni Sulaiman, Medan – A Sumatran tiger died on Sunday after being cared for at the Barumun Tiger Sanctuary in North Padang Lawas regency, North Sumatra, for several wounds and malnutrition.

Associated Press - March 22, 2023

Niniek Karmini, Jakarta – Millions of Muslims in Indonesia are gearing up to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, which is expected to start on Thursday, with traditions and ceremonies across the world's most populous Muslim-majority country amid soaring food prices.

March 21, 2023

Jakarta Globe - March 21, 2023

BeritaSatu, Jakarta – Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo leads by more than 8 percentage points in a hypothetical race against two main contenders Prabowo Subianto and Anies Baswedan, according to the latest survey on the 2024 presidential election by Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC).

Tabloid Jubi - March 21, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – Chairman of Yahukimo Students All Around Indonesia Yanis Soll said his party asked President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to guarantee the peace and safety of the people in Yahukimo, who since December 4, 2021 have experienced trauma due to military operations that limited their mobility to hunt, garden and do other activities.

The Interpreter - March 21, 2023

Dita Liliansa – Indonesia, a nation that controls vital maritime chokepoints, finds itself at the epicentre of an unfolding geopolitical drama.

Tabloid Jubi - March 21, 2023

Wamena, Jubi – Kiosk traders in Sinakma, Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency, Mountainous Papua Province, admitted that their income has dropped since the riot on February 23, 2023, following a rumor of child abduction. At that time, they chose to temporarily close their kiosks.

UCA News - March 21, 2023

An Indonesian government official has withdrawn a defamation case against an activist Catholic priest but the priest refused to withdraw the human trafficking allegations against the official.

Jakarta Globe - March 21, 2023

Stevani Wijaya, Jakarta – A joint team of the National Police and the Customs Directorate raided a number of shops and warehouses in Jakarta and neighboring Bekasi on Monday to seize imported used clothes in the first concrete action since President Joko Widodo ordered a crackdown on secondhand clothing imports last week.

New Mandala - March 21, 2023

Jefferson Ng – Why is it that in the past few years Indonesia's democratic scores have fallen while public satisfaction with government performance remains high?

Jakarta Post - March 21, 2023

Suherdjoko, Semarang – The Central Java Police dishonorably discharged five officers in alleged corruption related to non-commissioned officers' recruitment in 2022. Two civil servants are also implicated in the case.

Jakarta Globe - March 21, 2023

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Around 6,000 newborn babies with congenital heart defects die every year in Indonesia that could have been avoided if the country has enough medical specialists and advanced treatment, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Monday.

Straits Times - March 21, 2023

Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – Indonesia is gearing up to allow foreign medical specialists to practise and be based in the country. Observers say the move would boost healthcare quality and accessibility in the world's fourth-most populous country of 280 million people.

Tempo - March 21, 2023

Koran Tempo, Hendrik Yaputra, Penajam – Sepaku district, ring one area or the central government hub in the new capital city of Nusantara, was hit by flooding on Friday, March 17.

Jakarta Post - March 21, 2023

Yohana Belinda, Jakarta – Some Indonesian political parties are including K-Pop-inspired social media and events in their campaigns, yet the reception is divided.

Recently, political parties have been on social media about giving away tickets to Blackpink's BORN PINK tour.

Tempo - March 21, 2023

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said he had discussed efforts to rescue New Zealand pilot Philips Max Mehrtens who was being held hostage by the separatist group in Papua, Free Papua Movement (OPM), with the National Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo and Military Commander Admiral Yudo Margono.

BBC News - March 21, 2023

Valdya Baraputri and Lara Owen in Jakarta and London – Parents whose children died or were injured by tainted cough syrup have wept with relief after an Indonesian court allowed a class action lawsuit.

"My child's struggle was not in vain," said Nur Asiah, whose four-year-old daughter died last year.

Kompas.com - March 21, 2023

Vitorio Mantalean, Jakarta – The People's Justice and Prosperity Party (Prima) has raised the possibility of filing for the execution of a March 2 ruling by the Central Jakarta District Court (PN Jakpus) on postponing the 2024 elections if they are again declared to have failed to pass the administrative verification process.

Macao News - March 21, 2023

Timor-Leste's airline, Aero Dili, made its inaugural international flight Monday with its sole jet aircraft, an Airbus 320.

The service connected the Timorese capital of Dili with the Indonesian island of Bali, according to a report by the Portuguese news agency Lusa.

Tempo - March 21, 2023

Ima Dini Shafira, Jakarta – The House of Representatives (DPR) officially ratified the bill concerning the Government Regulation in lieu of Law No. 2 of 2022 or Perpu on job creation into law at the 19th plenary session held today, March 21. The meeting was chaired by House Speaker Puan Maharani.

Tempo - March 21, 2023

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced that the government had enrolled infrastructure construction funds for Papua that amount to Rp1,036 trillion from 2014 up to 2022, during his two Presidential terms. Jokowi noted that

it was not a small amount of money and that people must reap the benefits.

Jakarta Globe - March 21, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The senior diplomats of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea on Tuesday had talks of attracting Indonesian investors, particularly the state-owned enterprises or SOEs, into Port Moresby.

Jakarta Post - March 21, 2023

Vincent Fabian Thomas, Jakarta – Bank Indonesia (BI) says it will introduce a domestic credit card system allowing for greater independence and lower fees, as transactions are settled locally rather than by foreign providers.

The Korea Herald - March 21, 2023

Lee Si-jin, Seoul – Kakao Entertainment announced on Monday that it blocked over 15,000 illegally distributed webtoons and shut down major pirate webtoon platforms in Indonesia in 2022.

Webtoons are digital comics that are read by scrolling down one's screen, mainly on readers' smartphones.

Jakarta Globe - March 21, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The Nusantara new capital project in East Kalimantan has already secured 167 of letters of intent as of March 15, thus illustrating its popularity among investors both home and abroad, according to the chairman of the city's authority body Bambang Susantono.

CNN Indonesia - March 21, 2023

Jakarta – Workers and students demonstrated in front of the South Sulawesi (Sulsel) Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) in Makassar today opposing the ratification of Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) Number 2/2022 on the Jobs Law (Ciptaker) by the House of Representatives (DPR).

Tempo - March 21, 2023

Ima Dini Shafira and M. Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Chairwoman of the Central Executive Board of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) Puan Maharani, said that the meeting between PDIP Chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri and President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo last Saturday, March 18, 2023, was to discuss the upcoming 2024 General Election.

Channel News Asia - March 21, 2023

Nivell Rayda, Jakarta – Lawyers representing some of the victims of a deadly stadium stampede in Indonesia are calling for new charges against police officers on duty when 135 people died in one of the world's worst football disasters.

Jakarta Post - March 21, 2023

Kornelius Purba, Jakarta – The meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the city state last Thursday was the latest stride in President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's global campaign to raise enough funding for his Nusantara capital city megaproject.Honestly, I am doubtful about Jokowi's ambition, but knowing his proven track record in infrastructure development, he may ev

March 20, 2023

Kompas.com - March 20, 2023

Ade Miranti Karunia, Jakarta – All Indonesia Workers Organisation (OPSI) Secretary General Timboel Siregar says that the recently issued Labour Minister Regulation (Permenaker) Number 5/2023 will not have an impact on the sacking (PHK) of workers.