Joe Cochrane – Indonesia's arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of an American environmental journalist earlier this month, for the "crime" of attending a public legislative hearing on indigenous land rights in Borneo, would be considered uncalled for, in democratic countries, at least.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
February 3, 2020
Tim Lindsey, Tim Mann – Indonesia's booming economy has been growing between 5% and 6% for years and its GDP (PPP) is well ahead of Australia's. A G20 member, it is proud of its new status as an emerging middle-class country, with PricewaterhouseCoopers predicting it will be among the world's top five economies by 2050.
Antara, Jakarta – The National Anti-Narcotics Agency (BNN) has firmly rejected a suggestion raised by a lawmaker of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) to export cannabis, currently categorized as type 1 narcotics.
Jakarta – Salahuddin "Gus Sholah" Wahid, a renowned Muslim figure and luminary of the country's largest Islamic group, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), passed away on Sunday evening. He was 77 years old, and is survived by his wife and three children.
Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has issued a presidential regulation (Perpres) turning the Hindu Dharma State Institute (IHDN) in Denpasar, Bali into the country's first Hindu state university.
Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – A total of 16.1 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia throughout 2019, falling short of the government's target of attracting 20 million tourists, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on Monday, warning that the coronavirus outbreak could cloud the outlook this year.
Jakarta – The Indonesian government has decided to wage a war against misinformation about China's deadly coronavirus on social media, as dozens of hoaxes about the new virus have been circulating online over the past two weeks.
Jakarta – The number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia rose by 1.8 percent to 16.1 million last year from 15.8 million in 2018, according to a monthly report by the Central Statistics Agency, or BPS, published on Monday.
Jakarta – A contest to save a wild crocodile that has been living with a used motorcycle tire around its neck for years has been cancelled after the Central Sulawesi Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA Central Sulawesi) failed to gain any interest from the community.
Cat MacLennan – In 1994, New Zealand sent a cross-party delegation of five MPs to Timor-Leste on a fact-finding mission. It made a real difference, and could do again for West Papuans, writes Cat McLennan.
Jakarta – The world's top palm oil producer Indonesia exported a record 36.18 million tonnes of palm oil and its products, including biodiesel and oleochemical last year, data from the Indonesia Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) showed on Monday.
Jakarta – Salahuddin Wahid, a key figure in Indonesia's largest Muslim group Nahdlatul Ulama, passed away during treatment at a Jakarta hospital on Sunday evening. He was 77.
Jakarta – Deputy Trade Minister Jerry Sambuaga joined delegates from the European Union and other countries at a World Trade Organization (WTO) consultation on Thursday in Geneva, Switzerland, to comply with the dispute settlement regarding the EU's objection to a number of Indonesia's coal and mineral policies.
Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia recorded annual inflation of 2.68 percent in January in applying a new formula for calculating its consumer price index (CPI), Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on Monday.
The new formula uses 2018 as the base year of the CPI instead of 2012, as well as a new consumption pattern.
Gayatri Suroyo and Fransiska Nangoy, Jakarta – Bank Indonesia intervened in spot foreign currency trading as well as domestic non-deliverable forward and bond markets on Monday to stabilize the rupiah, an official said, as the currency fell 0.5 percent to the weakest since mid-January.
Robert Wardi, Lona Olavia, Jakarta – The Indonesian economy managed to steer clear of global economic turbulence last year and is in a much stronger position to repeat the feat this year, Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto said on Monday.
Ronny Kareni, Canberra – The year 2020 dawns with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's continued blatant avoidance of human rights violations and willful ignorance of West Papuans' right to self-determination.
February 1, 2020
Jakarta – A number of protesters opposing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in the Jakarta satellite city of Depok held an audience at the Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) offices at the Depok town hall on Friday January 31. During the audience, the protesters called for Depok City to immediately ratify a draft regional regulation (Raperda) against LGBT.
Jakarta – The Bali Tourism Agency organized a mass prayer on Friday amid a fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak originating from China, which has taken a toll on the famous resort island's tourism industry.
Officials from the agency alongside those working in the tourism sector held the prayer on Friday morning at Pura Candi Narmada, a Hindu temple in Kuta, Badung regency.
Febriana Firdaus, Bali, Indonesia – Musician I Gede 'Jerinx' Ari Astina was still a student at the University of National Education in Denpasar, the provincial capital of Bali, when he first got involved in activism.
Jakarta – The arrest of American journalist Philip Myrer Jacobson is further evidence of the Indonesian government's paranoia and dislike of criticism. Although the official reason for the detention was a visa matter, it is difficult not to link it to Jacobson's activities in Indonesia.
Andreas Harsono, Jakarta – Mongabay environmental editor Phil Jacobson was deported from Indonesia last evening, flying from Jakarta to New York after he was ordered not to leave Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, for 45 days.
January 31, 2020
Muhammad Hendartyo, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said the omnibus law on job creation would increase labor absorption. He said that more than 3 million new workers will be absorbed.
Riska Rahman, Jakarta – Publicly listed consumer goods giant PT Unilever Indonesia recorded flat growth in sales last year amid sluggish household consumption.
The Anglo-Dutch company booked a 2.7 percent year-on-year (yoy) growth in sales to Rp 42.9 trillion (US$3.15 billion) in 2019, the company said in a statement obtained by The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
Jakarta – In a bid to boost economic growth, Bank Indonesia (BI), the country's central bank, cut in October 2019 its benchmark interest rate for the fourth time in four months.
Jakarta – Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly says he is prepared to resign from his ministerial seat if Ronny F. Sompie, who was recently removed from his position as the ministry's director general of immigration, is found not guilty of covering up about the whereabouts of graft fugitive Harun Masiku.
Surabaya – One of the Papuan students in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya who was the target of racist abuse last year believes that the five month jail sentence handed down against the defendant Syamsul Arifin was too light.
Hundreds of pigs across Bali have reportedly died from similar symptoms since December, prompting authorities to launch an investigation and raise better awareness among farmers and local residents as a precaution.
Jakarta – A foreign journalist and editor of a non-profit environmental science news outlet Mongabay, Philip Jacobson, has finally been released on January 30. His suspect status on charges of violating a business visa has also been lifted by the Central Kalimantan Immigration Office.
Might we be looking at the dawn of weed legalization in Indonesia?
Jakarta – More than 40,000 workers at a vast Chinese-controlled industrial complex in Indonesia have been quarantined over fears about the spread of a deadly coronavirus strain which has killed more than 200 people in China, it said Friday.
Fadhilah F Primandari and Anisha Maulida – The administration of Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo accomplished little in the human rights realm last year in Indonesia. Jokowi's 2019 election campaign promised to protect democracy and deliver justice to the victims of human rights violations.
Jakarta – The chaos at Republic of Indonesia Television (TVRI) seems to be never-ending. Like a household without a head, everybody at the TV station can do whatever they wish to, including elbowing and tripping others, without repercussion. Reports of internal conflict at the publicly-owned station have never come to an end.
Jakarta – Starting July this year, all traditional markets in Jakarta operated by city-owned PD Pasar Jaya are to be free of single-use plastic bags.
Jakarta – An Islam-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician and House of Representatives lawmaker has suggested that the Trade Ministry export marijuana.
Rafli, a lawmaker from House Commission VI overseeing trade and industry, floated the idea during a hearing with Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto on Thursday.
Riska Rahman, Jakarta – The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) slipped 1.5 percent during morning trade on Friday as fears over the spread of the new coronavirus were suspected of having affected market sentiment.
Jakarta – As many as 40 people's organisations and civil society groups from the Indonesian People's Faction (Fraksi Rakyat Indonesia, FRI) have expressed their opposition to the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation or RUU Cilaka.
The groups said that RUU Cilaka is just a tool for the government to attract foreign investment through colonial methods.
Indonesian security forces say a West Papuan was shot dead in a clash with police and military forces in Intan Jaya regency of Papua province.
It's the latest in a series of deadly violence in Papua's highlands region where a proliferation of guns is fuelling ongoing conflict.
Diana Mariska, Jakarta – The United Kingdom will be a more open and welcoming country for Indonesia post-Brexit, the UK ambassador to Indonesia and Timor Leste Owen Jenkins said on Friday, with plans in place to attract more Indonesian students to study there and the possibility of a future cooperation in palm oil, Indonesia's main export commodity currently taking a lot of flak fr
Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has signed a new regulation to allow Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head Bahlil Lahadalia to have five new expert staff members and five new specialized staff members on top of six deputies.
Dwi Putra Kesuma, Sawangan – Opposing the presence of the Ahmadiyah religious sect, a number of people demonstrated and called for the Ahmadiyah headquarters on Jl Raya Sawangan in the Jakarta satellite city of Depok to be torn down.
Truly Santika, Matthew Struebig and Sugeng Budiharta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration will continue giving permits for local communities and indigenous peoples to manage forests under the Social Forestry Scheme during his second term.
Riza Roidila Mufti, Jakarta – Chinese tourists are starting to cancel their trips to Indonesia over fears of an acceleration of the spread of a deadly coronavirus in the Asian nation and around the world, as the World Health Organization declared it an international emergency on Friday.
Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The World Bank has called on the government to strengthen tax collection to stimulate growth amid tax reforms plans that will lower tax revenue.
Philip Jacobson, an award-winning American editor for the non-profit environmental news site Mongabay, was deported from Indonesia today, January 31, 45 days after authorities in the city of Palangkaraya detained him over an alleged visa violation.
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – Former president Megawati Soekarnoputri called on Thursday for the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) to prioritize Indonesian researchers in science and technology, a move which she deemed necessary to defend the country's national interests.
Asmiati Malik – Indonesia, which sits below Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand in global competitiveness rankings, is a classic example of how legal uncertainty, legislative sprawl and labor issues can put off global investors.
James Massola, Jakarta – Medical experts have raised concerns about Indonesia's ability to detect novel coronavirus, potentially leaving a number of undiagnosed cases on Australia's doorstep.
Adi Ahdiat, Jakarta – The Pantau Foundation – a Jakarta-based journalism research and training organisation – has given this year's Oktovianus Pogau Award to Yael Sinaga and Widiya Hastuti, two student journalists from the North Sumatra University (USU) in Medan. The award was given to them for their courage in opposing press censorship on the USU campus.
Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – Jakartans have been struggling to get hold of surgical and N95 masks as sellers run out and prices skyrocket.