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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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May 23, 2020

Sydney Morning Herald - May 23, 2020

Niniek Karmini, Jakarta – Indonesia has seen a surge in coronavirus infections ahead of this weekend's celebrations marking the end of Ramadan, raising questions about the commitment to the virus fight from both the government and the public.

Jakarta Globe - May 23, 2020

Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – Jakartans disobey Covid-19 warnings and flock shopping centers around the city to get the Idul Fitri essentials – new clothes, new shoes, cookies, and sweets to celebrate the holiday on Sunday on Monday.

Jakarta Post - May 23, 2020

Sausan Atika, Jakarta – Indonesia faces the risk of even more COVID-19 infections after the Idul Fitri holiday this year, as family gatherings and homecoming journeys make up a large part of the yearly tradition for millions of the country's Muslims.

Jakarta Post - May 23, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested a state university official on Wednesday for allegedly giving illegal holiday bonuses to officials from the Education and Culture Ministry.

Jakarta Post - May 23, 2020

News Desk, Jakarta – Ogan Ilir Regent Ilyas Panji Alam has dismissed 109 medical workers at the Ogan Ilir Regional General Hospital (RSUD) in South Sumatra for striking over safety and welfare.

Jakarta Post - May 23, 2020

Suherdjoko, Semarang – The Semarang city administration in Central Java has temporarily shut down the Kobong traditional market as 26 people tested positive for COVID-19 after rapid tests were carried out in the market.

Semarang COVID-19 Task Force spokesperson Fravarta Sadman said the market would be closed for six days starting Saturday.

Jakarta Post - May 23, 2020

Apriza Pinandita, Jakarta – Experts have called on the government to conduct a forensic audit into a breach of millions of Indonesian citizens' data that was allegedly stolen and shared illegally on a hacker forum, the latest in a series of personal data breaches.

Jakarta Post - May 23, 2020

Arya Dipa and Ardila Syakriah, Bandung – West Java, being a close neighbor of Jakarta, has been among the provinces hardest hit by COVID-19, but it is looking into easing curbs in "low-risk" areas after claiming that large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) have yielded desirable results.

Jakarta Post - May 23, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The support walls of the Cipeucang landfill in Serpong, South Tangerang, Banten, collapsed on Friday morning, spilling around 100 metric tons of waste into the Cisadane River.

Yepi Suherman, the South Tangerang environmental agency secretary, confirmed that the walls had collapsed at around 4.30 a.m.

Digital Journal - May 23, 2020

Haeril Halim (AFP) – Indonesians are turning to smugglers and bogus travel documents to get around bans on an annual end-of-Ramadan exodus that could send coronavirus cases skyrocketing in the world's biggest Muslim majority nation.

Jakarta Post - May 23, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – Medical workers treating COVID-19 patients in Jakarta have reported that they have yet to receive the financial incentives announced by the central government and provincial administration in March.

Jakarta Post - May 23, 2020

Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – Employees of Indomaret, one of the country's top convenience store chains, have started an online petition demanding the company pay their Idul Fitri holiday bonuses (THR) in full.

The workers initiated the petition after the company slashed their annual bonuses after the business was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jakarta Post - May 23, 2020

Fadli, Batam – The National Police's Densus 88 counterterrorism squad arrested a 16-year-old boy in his house in Merapi Subur housing complex in Batam, Riau Islands on Wednesday evening. Recent arrests also occurred in Tasikmalaya, West Java and Kendal in Central Java.

May 22, 2020

Tempo - May 22, 2020

Antara, Jakarta – A professor of virology at Udayana University, G. N. Mahardika said that Thursday's record-high of 973 COVID-19 cases reported in Jakarta is not yet alarming from a virology standpoint.

Mahardika explained that the rise in daily cases corresponds to the increased testing capacity of 30 COVID-19 sample-testing laboratories.

Jakarta Post - May 22, 2020

Apriza Pinandita, Jakarta – Indonesia is set to receive a US$56 million grant from Norway as the first payment for the former's success in reducing deforestation and carbon emissions under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) cooperation scheme.

The Daily Blog - May 22, 2020

For millions around the world COVID 19 is one more terrible threat to an existence already precarious because of poverty and conflict. Others are at high risk because they are in detention at the behest of repressive governments.

Jakarta Post - May 22, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – This article is part of The Jakarta Post's "Forging the New Norm" special coverage series, on how people are forging their lives anew to adjust to the new realities of COVID-19 in Indonesia.

Jakarta Globe - May 22, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia's National Covid-19 Task Force on Friday reported 48 more patients had died from coronavirus-related diseases in the past 24 hours, bringing the country's total death toll from Covid-19 to 1,326 as the rise in cases continues to pick up pace since May 12.

Jakarta Post - May 22, 2020

Suherdjoko, Semarang – The Semarang administration in Central Java has decided to extend its social-restriction policy for two weeks following the discovery of 17 COVID-19 cases in three newly emerged clusters in the city.

Jakarta Post - May 22, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – Repatriated Indonesians who have been quarantined for suspected COVID-19 infections in Tower 9 of Block C2 of the Kemayoran Athletes Village in North Jakarta have reported inadequate facilities in the tower, which is housing more than 2,000 citizens.

Tempo - May 22, 2020

Jakarta – There have been a number of irregularities in the trial over the attack on Novel Baswedan. The judge needs to summon the former Greater Jakarta Police chief.

Jakarta Globe - May 22, 2020

Yustinus Paat, Tara Marchelin, Jakarta – The surge in confirmed cases of coronavirus during the last couple of weeks has overloaded the makeshift hospital at the athletes' village compound in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.

The hospital said on Thursday the number of patients kept increasing in recent days to more than 1,000 currently.

Jakarta Post - May 22, 2020

Norman Harsono, Jakarta – Indonesian coal miners are struggling with slow demand this year as businesses in India, one of the country's major coal markets, hit the brakes due to a prolonged lockdown to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, a data firm has said.

Vanuatu Daily Post - May 22, 2020

Len Garae – Chairman of Vanuatu West Papua Association and Unification Committee (VWPAUC), Pastor Alan Nafuki has confirmed that all relevant West Papua related documents to brief the Government how far his Committee has progressed regarding its drive to help the United Liberation Movement of West Papua, have been handed over to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mark Ati and Prime M

Jakarta Post - May 22, 2020

Ivany Atina Arbi, Jakarta – Jakarta can ease its large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) and resume normal activities only if it maintains its current low basic reproductive number for the SARS-CoV-2 virus over a two-week period, according to the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas).

Jakarta Globe - May 22, 2020

Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – Jakarta's Municipal Police or Satpol PP conducted massive raids on Friday to prevent the opening of many night markets ahead of Idul Fitri.

Jakarta's Municipal Police head Arifin said he would mobilize all resources to enforce the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).

Jakarta Post - May 22, 2020

Jakarta – A man, who was named the winning bidder in a charity auction of a Rp 2.55 billion (US$172,715) electric motorcycle owned and signed by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, was questioned by the Jambi Police on Thursday after failing to pay.

Jakarta Post - May 22, 2020

Eisya A. Eloksari, Jakarta – The government has tried out a facial recognition verification system to make it easier for recipients to claim social assistance.

Radio New Zealand - May 22, 2020

A West Papuan man has died shortly after allegedly being hit by a police officer while making a complaint against a palm oil company.

Indonesian media say the man claimed the company knocked down his banana plantation in the southeast of Papua province.

Tempo - May 22, 2020

Antara, Jakarta – Shocking developments on personal data security breach came on late Thursday, May 21, after Twitter account @underthebreach claims that hackers have managed to breach personal data of 2.3 million Indonesians from the General Elections Commission (KPU) database.

Jakarta Post - May 22, 2020

Jakarta – Some regional leaders are set to allow residents to perform mass Idul Fitri prayers despite the central government's announcement that such gatherings were against prevailing public health laws during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Jakarta Post - May 22, 2020

Ni Komang Erviani, Denpasar – Anyone with plans to visit Bali must first undergo a swab test and a obtain letter stating they are free from COVID-19 under a new policy issued by the Bali administration that will take effect later this month in order to curb transmission of the disease on the world-renowned resort island.

Jakarta Globe - May 22, 2020

Diana Mariska, Markus Junianto Sihaloho, Jakarta – Senior government officials have gone on social media to plead to Indonesians to refrain from visiting their families and relatives during Idul Fitri holiday this weekend and use video calls instead to celebrate the occasion together with them.

Jakarta Post - May 22, 2020

Yunindita Prasidya, Jakarta – Steelmakers are facing severe blows to their business with demand during the COVID-19 pandemic having decreased by 90 percent from normal times.

Jakarta Globe - May 22, 2020

Farouk Arnaz, Markus Junianto Sihaloho, Jakarta – Business tycoon Hary Tanoesoedibjo has come to save the day when top politicians are facing embarrassment after the top bidder of an electric scooter belonging to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo failed to pay.

Jakarta Post - May 22, 2020

Asip Hasani, Surabaya, East Java – Following the province's highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases to date, an epidemiologist on Thursday warned of another probable spike after Idul Fitri.

Jakarta Post - May 22, 2020

Belseran Christ, Jakarta and Maluku – A 4-year-old child from Wara Kolam Sembilan hamlet in Ambon, Maluku, died on Thursday after being denied admission by four hospitals in Ambon that were full with patients as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

East Asia Forum - May 22, 2020

Lex Rieffel and Michael Castle-Miller – Indonesian President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's announcement last August that a new capital would be built in East Kalimantan has been widely met with scepticism. While this scepticism is warranted, some of the project's potential upsides are being overlooked by both outsiders and the government.

May 21, 2020

Jakarta Post - May 21, 2020

Made Anthony Iswara, Jakarta – The Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) has called on law enforcers to protect the rights of a teen murder suspect who is also pregnant, allegedly as a result of rape, in a shocking case that has elicited both sympathy and revulsion.

Jakarta Post - May 21, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – The majority of nurses at general hospitals and COVID-19 referral hospitals carry a heavy burden, as they are not only fighting on the frontline against the disease, but are also struggling with personal financial difficulties caused by the pandemic.

Jakarta Post - May 21, 2020

Arya Dipa, Bandung – State-owned pharmaceutical company PT Bio Farma is set to finish the production of 100,000 real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) coronavirus test kits by the end of May.

Jakarta Post - May 21, 2020

Asip Hasani and Ardila Syakriah, Blitar – East Java has become the province second hardest-hit by COVID-19 after Jakarta, with patients overwhelming healthcare facilities.

Straits Times - May 21, 2020

Arlina Arshad – Many countries around the world are expected to go into recession as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, but in Indonesia, the outbreak is also threatening the reform plans of President Joko Widodo.

Straits Times - May 21, 2020

Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – Indonesians packed out shops and malls across the country with just days to go before Hari Raya Aidilfitri, braving the crowds and the coronavirus threat to buy festive essentials.

Sydney Morning Herald - May 21, 2020

James Massola and Amilia Rosa – Indonesia has recorded a huge jump in its daily coronavirus infections, with 973 new patients confirmed on Thursday.

Jakarta Globe - May 21, 2020

Anselmus Bata, Abdul Muslim, Diana Mariska, Jakarta – Indonesia's powerful business lobby, which includes some of the country's largest employers, has criticized the government's $44 billion Covid-19 stimulus package for packing too much emphasis on state-controlled companies and small-medium enterprises and leaving big corporations virtually alone to ward off the economic impact o

Jakarta Post - May 21, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – The government should not rush into easing restrictions in the country's COVID-19 red zones, as the number of deaths suspected to have been caused by the coronavirus has risen to more than 3,800, a civil society group says.

Jakarta Post - May 21, 2020

Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has demanded five years' imprisonment and a Rp 500 million (US$34,003) fine for Risyanto Suanda, the former president director of the state-owned Indonesia Fisheries Company (Perum Perindo), for his alleged role in a bribery case related to a fish import permit.

Jakarta Post - May 21, 2020

Sausan Atika, Jakarta – Jakarta, Indonesia's capital and its COVID-19 epicenter, needs greater popular effort and targeted local containment to stop contagion, experts have said.

Jakarta Post - May 21, 2020

Margareth S. Aritonang, Jakarta – Twenty-two years ago, on May 21, history recorded the fall of an authoritarian leader in Indonesia.

Days of nationwide riots led to the ouster of the military-backed dictator Soeharto, the country's second president, who had held a tight grip on power for 31 years.