Michael Leach – In an extraordinary development, the government's revised budget for 2020 failed to pass Timor-Leste's parliament last Friday, despite the governing alliance having an outright majority.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
January 20, 2020
Jakarta – A footbridge on Indonesia's Sumatra island broke while it was packed with people and several fell into the overflowing river below and drowned, officials said on Monday.
Seven bodies have been pulled from the water as far as 12 kilometres from the bridge that broke Sunday afternoon in Kaur district of Bengkulu province.
Sania Mashabi, Jakarta – Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta) Director Arif Maulana believes that the Omnibus Law will only benefit the oligarchy or the interests of the government which is being run by a handful of people from the elite. Because, he says, the regulation will largely sides with investors.
January 19, 2020
Antara, Jakarta – The Indonesian Health Ministry had declared an anthrax outbreak status in Gunung Kidul District, Yogyakarta Province, made effective from Dec. 28, 2019 to Jan. 6, 2020, the ministry's top official stated on Friday.
Nivell Rayda, Jakarta – Like other Chinese Indonesians, Mr Naga Kurniadi looks forward to spending time with his family this Chinese New Year, as well as participating in some of the customs and traditions associated with the celebrations.
Antara, Jakarta – Indonesia officially launches its first Esports Association on Saturday to nurture professional gamers and introduce regulations for a potential domestic league.
The newly-established board of executives is chaired by National Intelligence Agency head Budi Gunawan, who immediately expressed his goal to set up a world-class training center.
Karlis Salna and Arys Aditya – Indonesian President Joko Widodo is facing a fresh wave of protests over a plan to overhaul the nation's labor law, testing his ability to push through tough economic reforms.
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano and Kharishar Kahfi, Jakarta – In an apparent move to consolidate power around him, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has teased the public with the idea that his former rival Sandiaga Uno would "very likely" succeed him in 2024.
January 18, 2020
John McCarthy – Every country has its legends. They may be important to national self-esteem, but they're not necessarily good history.
Twenty years after the ballot in which the East Timorese decided their future, it's time to reflect on Australia's East Timor legend.
Jakarta – Flood controls in the capital city falls under long-term policies. Governor Anies Baswedan has become fixated on rhetoric.
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – With his eldest son and son-in-law running in mayoral races this year, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has ensured the public that he will not be campaigning for them, citing his workload.
Jakarta – The online petition website change.org recorded that petitions related to the democracy and anti-corruption movement were the most popular in 2019. Eight petitions on these two issues received some 2.3 million votes or signatures.
Muhammad Ridwa – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) regrets a statement by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo who said that Law Number 19/2019 on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has not weakened the fight against corruption.
January 17, 2020
Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – A number of legislators in the House of Representatives (DPR) argue against the rule overseeing a legislator's maximum term in office following a request for judicial review in the Constitutional Court (MK) regarding the matter.
Jakarta – Indonesia will need to boost investment to ensure sustainable growth as household spending, currently the main driver of economic growth, is not expected to see any significant growth in the future, a senior economist has said.
Jakarta – The Indonesian Military (TNI) said on Thursday that it discovered one of the bases of an armed criminal group (KKB) that has been active in Intan Jaya regency of Papua.
Cendrawasih Military Command spokesperson Lt. Col. Dax Sianturi said the soldiers found the group's base in a village in Tigi district on Tuesday.
A 69-year-old laborer named Samirin might not have expected a prison sentence for taking a tiny bit of leftover rubber sap at a plantation he used to work at in North Sumatra.
The Simalungun District Court yesterday sentenced Samirin to two months and four days in prison for his crime.
Diana Mariska, Jakarta – Indonesia plans to buy bigger boats to allow its coast guards to travel across the ocean, most notably the Natuna Sea, and expand their patrol reach, the government said on Friday.
The plan to buy ocean-going vessels was made after Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto had reportedly bought frigates for the Indonesian Navy from Denmark.
Jakarta – Mount Semeru in Lumajang, East Java, erupted early Friday morning, spewing a column of ash and smoke at least 400 meters high.
Dili – The parliament of Timor-Leste rejected the new proposal of the government for the state budget.
Lea Citra, Adi Ahdiat, Jakarta – A gender activists from the group Indonesian Queer Feminist Activist, Lini Zurlia, says that the public should be critical of the Draft Law Against Sexually Deviant Propaganda (RUU Anti-Propaganda Penyimpangan Seksual).
Inge Klara Safitri, Safira Andini, Jakarta – The flooding that hit Jakarta early this year has damaged several roads in the city.
Kurnia Togar P. Tanjung – Disruptive innovations developed by ride-hailing companies have transformed the transportation market in Indonesia. Since GoJek was launched in 2010, ride-hailing services have won the hearts of customers, driving them away from conventional taxis.
Suherdjoko, Semarang, Central Java – In an effort to eradicate radicalism and intolerance at school, the Central Java Education and Culture Agency is to commence tolerance education pilot projects in 20 schools in Solo Raya, which includes Surakarta city and its surrounding regencies, starting next month.
Bangkok – An intelligence-sharing agreement signed by the army chiefs of Thailand and Indonesia is unlikely to significantly help Thailand end a separatist insurgency in its deep south, analysts said. More than 7,000 people have died since the insurgency flared up in 2004.
Jakarta – A district military commander in South Kalimantan has banned his soldiers and their wives from using TikTok, a popular Beijing-based short-form video platform, and sharing footage with others on social media.
Caesar Akbar, Jakarta – The Law and Human Rights Minister, Yassona Laoly, together with the House of Representatives (DPR) legislation board collectively agreed on 50 bills to be included in the prioritized 2020 national legislation program (Prolegnas). One of which is the much anticipated anti-sexual violence bill simply known as the RUU PKS.
Devina Heriyanto, Jakarta – Almost nobody gets it right on the first try. Since Ailen was in elementary school until university, people often misread her name as Alien. It does not help that she only has one name.
An online journalist was physically assaulted and threatened by gunpoint for his coverage of a transport company in Aceh on January 4. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia denounce the threat on his life and urge the police to investigate the matter.
Jakarta – Indonesia's largest Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) has highlighted the importance of social activism in addressing interreligious conflicts during a discussion with religious leaders held as part of the Abrahamic Faiths Initiative forum in Rome from Tuesday to Friday.
The Jakarta Metro Police are questioning the leader of a hardline organization over a banner put up in East Jakarta that was disturbingly both racist and bigoted.
Antara, Winda Ayu Larasati, Jakarta – The National Police have opened an inquiry into allegations of corruption in the Indonesian Armed Forces Social Insurance, or Asabri, taking the lid off another potential scandal in a financial industry already ridden with billion-dollar graft cases.
Riza Roidila Mufti, Brunei Darussalam – The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry formally introduced Indonesia's five super-priority tourism destinations to 43 international journalists attending the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2020 in Brunei Darussalam on Thursday.
Dili – The Vatican Embassy in Dili is 'still optimistic' that Pope Francis will visit Timor-Leste this year. Recently president Francisco Guterres – Lu-Olo – sent an official invitation to the Holy Father. The bishops conference of Timor-Leste united itself behind the initiative.
January 16, 2020
Arya Dipac, Bandung, West Java – Environmentalists have urged against using incinerators as waste-to-energy power plants (PLTSa) to tackle garbage problem in cities across the country, saying that they would cause more environmental problems.
Jakarta – Speculation is rife in Indonesia after President Joko Widodo appeared to have suggested that Mr Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, a vice-presidential hopeful in the 2019 election, would "very likely" become his successor.
The 79 member states of the Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP) group are seeking international action over human rights abuses in West Papua.
A resolution was passed by the group at its 9th ACP Summit of Heads of State and Government, calling for urgent attention to be paid to the rights situation in Indonesia-ruled Papua region.
Telly Nathalia, Jakarta – At least five hectares of forest land inside the Giak Siam Kecil conservation in Bengkalis, Riau, were destroyed by fire on Thursday.
By the afternoon, firefighters were still trying to extinguish the fire that has engulfed peatland and palm groves in the area, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said.
Jakarta – After years of holding Kamisan (Thursday) actions every week, a mother of one the students killed in the Semanggi affair in 1998, Maria Sumarsih, admits that things are becoming more difficult.
When she was attending the commemoration of 13 years of Kamisan Actions on Thursday January 16, she claimed that they were blocked by police.
Marvela, Safira Andini, Jakarta – Sinta Nuriyah, the wife of the 4th Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur), said that Muslim women are not obliged to wear the jilbab (Islamic headscarf). She also said that many people are still mistaken about the definition of two terms; jilbab and hijab.
Suherdjoko, Semarang, Central Java – The Central Java Police have named Totok Santoso Hadiningrat and Fanni Amanadia, who proclaimed themselves to be the "king and queen" of Keraton Agung Sejagat, suspects of fraud over the so-called kingdom that they claimed to be the successor to the ancient Majapahit Empire.
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has called on law enforcers and intelligence agencies to approach "organizations" and communicate with them about an omnibus bill being drafted by the government.
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – At least five foreign investors have expressed their interest in developing Indonesia's new capital city in East Kalimantan, a minister has said, as the government seeks greater private sector involvement in financing the relocation plan.
Linda Yulisman, Jakarta – Indonesia has stepped up the health screening of inbound travellers at airports and seaports after the Wuhan pneumonia-like virus was detected in a Chinese visitor flying into Thailand, with those from Singapore being more closely examined at the nearby holiday islands of Batam and Bintan.
Hellena Souisa and Michael Walsh, wires – An Indonesian mayor's planned crackdown on his city's LGBT community, including through the use of police raids and a so-called "crisis centre", has spread fear and outrage among local sexuality- and gender-diverse people and their supporters.
Antara, Banda Aceh – The deforestation rate in Aceh Province may have reached 35 thousand hectares (ha) in the last three years and will decrease further in the next two years, the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has predicted.
Jakarta – The Jiwasraya scandal is a reflection of how atrocious monitoring of financial services in this country. Investor trust in financial markets could rapidly dissipate.
Riska Rahman, Jakarta – The government is making assurances that the big investment losses suffered by the state insurer and pension fund for the military, police and defense ministry, Asuransi Sosial Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia (Asabri), would not affect its ability to pay out insurance claims.
Jakarta – Bus operators have complained that 20 percent blended biodiesel (B20) has caused their engines to run poorly, providing a cautionary message for future developments as Indonesia envisions a future with unblended pure biodiesel to fuel vehicles across the country.
Jakarta – Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Coordinator Yati Andriyani has slammed a statement by Attorney General ST Burhanuddin who declared that the Semanggi I and II student shootings in 1998 were not gross human rights (HAM) violations.