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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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June 9, 2020

Jakarta Post - June 9, 2020

Jakarta – The National Police have reported that the number of road accidents during this year's Idul Fitri mudik (exodus) season was 31 percent lower than last year's, a decline from 2,851 accidents to 1,980.

The death toll decreased by 63 percent – from 1,116 in 2019 to 418 this year.

Jakarta Post - June 9, 2020

Jakarta – The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has urged people to prepare for the dry season, expected to peak in August, although it is expected to be less severe than last year.

Jakarta Post - June 9, 2020

Apriza Pinandita, Jakarta – A recent study that examined the COVID-19 safety and risk assessment of countries around the world has put Indonesia in 97th position, which is a relatively low score.

Jakarta Post - June 9, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP) will grow at zero percent this year as the global economy is expected to see its deepest downturn since the Second World War, the World Bank has forecast.

Jakarta Post - June 9, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – The University of Indonesia (UI) has issued a statement disavowing a public discussion held by the university's Student Executive Body (BEM UI) about racism against Papuans in the legal system, saying that the discussion did not "reflect the views and attitudes of UI as an institution".

Indonesia at Melbourne - June 9, 2020

Abdurrachman Satrio – A few years ago, when I first decided to pursue constitutional law, my late grandfather, Padjadjaran University constitutional law scholar Sri Soemantri (1926-2016), told me his life story. He recounted the challenges he faced as a scholar who spent most of his productive life under Soeharto's authoritarian New Order.

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Press Release - June 9, 2020

The trial of Diananta Putra Sumedi, former chief editor of local online media, banjarhits.id, began in Kotabaru District Court, South Kalimantan on June 8. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia calls on authorities to drop the case immediately as it has been resolved by the Press Council.

Tempo - June 9, 2020

Tempo.Co, Jakarta – Two farmers in the Kawende mountains in Poso, Central Sulawesi, were allegedly mistaken to be members of the East Indonesia Mujahidin terrorist group by the Tinombala task force (satgas Tinombala), which comprise National Armed Forces (TNI) and the National Police force.

Jakarta Post - June 9, 2020

Dyaning Pangestika and Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – As part of a campaign against sexual harassment, a cactus shaped like a penis and testicles has been sold in a Twitter-based charity auction for Rp 2 million (US$143). The auction was held to highlight the rise in sexual abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jakarta Post - June 9, 2020

Jakarta – Yogyakarta Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, who is also the Yogyakarta governor, has threatened to close Jl. Malioboro after seeing people gathered in the popular tourist destination without complying with COVID-19 health protocols.

Jakarta Post - June 9, 2020

Jakarta – The Bandung administration in West Java will temporarily close three traditional markets in the city after several sellers were found to have contracted COVID-19.

The three markets are Leuwipanjang, Sadang Serang and Haur Pancuh, said Bandung Mayor Oded M. Danial.

Jakarta Post - June 9, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – State-owned airport operators Angkasa Pura I and II are turning to cargo and warehousing services to shift their revenue source as the government's social restrictions continue to affect air passenger numbers.

Jakarta Post - June 9, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo and West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil are trending upward as potential candidates for the 2024 presidential race, according to the latest published poll, which shows their electability ratings as having risen in recent months.

Jakarta Post - June 9, 2020

Jakarta – The Indonesian National Police have apprehended two alleged masterminds, identified as TA and AS, behind a terror attack on a police station in South Daha district, South Kalimantan.

The two were captured on Friday by the National Police's Densus 88 counterterrorism squad.

Bloomberg News - June 9, 2020

Harry Suhartono – Indonesia will allow airlines to carry more passengers in a rule that further eases curbs in the aviation industry, as Southeast Asia's largest economy allows more cities to reopen after months of mobility restrictions.

Tempo Timor - June 9, 2020

Jose Antonio Belo – Timor-Leste just celebrated its 18th year of independence. The celebration was muted partly due to Covid19 but even more so due to the political crisis.

Various parties have blamed each other as being the root of the political crisis. The question to consider is whether there is a deeper root to the crisis that has gone unnoticed?

June 8, 2020

Jakarta Globe - June 8, 2020

Tara Marchelin, Jakarta – The police have arrested three people and charged them with fraud for pretending to sell face masks to buyers in Indonesia and Hong Kong.

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Norman Harsono, Jakarta – The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has expressed its opposition to granting Indonesian coal miners' request to relax coal royalty payments amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – A recent survey conducted by Jakarta-based pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia has found that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's approval rating remains high even as the COVID-19 outbreak leads to growing dissatisfaction with his administration and democracy in general.

Jakarta Globe - June 8, 2020

Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia has called out the Indonesian government for failing to address human rights abuses in Papua, including dozens of extra-judicial killings in the country's easternmost region, in a report titled "Civil and Political Rights' Violations in Papua and West Papua" released on Monday.

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has announced that ride-hailing ojek (motorcycle taxi) drivers are allowed to transport passengers again starting on Monday.

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – The usual bustle Jakarta is known for returned on Monday morning as commuters packed train stations across the city and its peripheral areas to get to their workplaces for the first time as the capital city has eased large-scale restrictions (PSBB) as it enters the "transition" phase.

Jakarta Globe - June 8, 2020

Heru AndriyantoJakarta – Indonesia reported 50 more deaths from coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the total death toll to 1,851.

That represents 5.9 percent of 31,186 confirmed Covid-19 cases overall. Only in five occasions have daily coronavirus deaths reached 50 or more since the outbreak began in Indonesia in early March.

Bloomberg News - June 8, 2020

Grace Sihombing and Eko Listiyorini – Retail stores, restaurants and offices reopened in Indonesia's capital after more than two-months as authorities eased social restriction rules to jump-start an economy hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jakarta Globe - June 8, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – East Java was the biggest contributor to Indonesia's new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Monday, accounting for 43 percent of 847 cases nationwide in the past 24 hours.

Indonesia now has a total of 32,033 coronavirus cases, including 1,883 deaths and 10,904 recoveries.

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – Indonesian business players are demanding the government provide an additional stimulus package of Rp 625.1 trillion (US$44.6 billion) in working capital to help them cope with pandemic-induced economic strains, the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) has said.

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Sausan Atika and Apriza Pinandita, Jakarta – The sight of busy roads, crowded bus shelters and train stations that have long defined capital Jakarta as a business hub returned with a vengeance on Monday, which marked the reopening of several sectors, including offices, as the city transitions to a "new normal".

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Jakarta – The Bali provincial administration has reported an increasing number of local COVID-19 transmissions in the resort island recently, particularly in the four regencies of Badung, Denpasar, Klungkung and Tabanan.

Tempo - June 8, 2020

Bisnis, Jakarta – The Indonesian government noted that the number of layoffs caused by the coronavirus disease or COVID-19 pandemic had reached 3,05 million as of June 2, 2020.

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – Indonesia's antigraft agency must use the recent arrest of former Supreme Court secretary Nurhadi to open the floodgates to uncovering more corruption in judicial intuitions, former commissioner Bambang Widjojanto said.

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia's 2020 budget deficit will widen further to accommodate a larger stimulus package, but economists and business representatives say it will still not be enough to prevent the economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Yunindita Prasidya, Jakarta – Restaurant owners are finding new ways to serve customers as they prepare new protocols to ensure safety for when they reopen for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to shutter, upending income.

Jakarta Globe - June 8, 2020

Triyan Pangastuti, Jakarta – Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves swelled to $130.5 billion in May, up from $127.9 billion in April, as the government took out more loans from foreign creditors, the country's central bank said in a statement on Monday.

Indonesia at Melbourne - June 8, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit Indonesian workers hard. Recent government estimates suggest nearly 2 million workers have lost their jobs or been stood down since the beginning of the crisis. Freelancers are particularly vulnerable and usually miss out on government protections.

Jakarta Globe - June 8, 2020

Diana Mariska, Jakarta – The Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment said the Covid-19 pandemic has forced Indonesians to change their behavior and adopt a cleaner and healthier lifestyle, something the government has been trying to get them to do with years of public campaign.

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – Parties that failed to meet the legislative threshold in 2019 have voiced their objections to the House of Representatives' proposal to amend Law No. 7/2017 on general elections.

Marxist.com - June 8, 2020

Zowi Milanovi – The Dutch King has apologised for violence committed by the Netherlands during Indonesia's independence struggle. The crocodile tears of hypocritical elites do not make up for 300 years of brutal subjugation. The only real justice and road forward can come from the expropriation of Dutch capital: the common enemy of the Dutch and Indonesian workers.

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Ivany Atina Arbi, Jakarta – The Indonesian government has issued a circular stipulating requirements for people seeking to travel within or into the country during the transition to the so-called "new normal" period so as to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

Tabloid JUBI - June 8, 2020

Jayapura – The Coalition for Law and Human Rights Enforcement of Papua complains about some issues that their clients encountered during the trial of seven Papuan political prisoners in Balikpapan.

Tempo - June 8, 2020

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Jakarta Metro Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus said the annual security operation during Eid holidays dubbed Operasi Ketupat (Ketupat Operation) that kicked off a week before the fasting month of Ramadan had ended on late Sunday, June 7.

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia's foreign exchange (forex) reserves rose to US$130.5 billion in May thanks to the government's new debt issuance and increased forex levels stored by banks at the central bank, Bank Indonesia (BI) announced Monday.

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The government should allocate a larger stimulus package for health care as many regions prepare to enter the "new normal" and ease COVID-19 social restrictions, the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef) has suggested.

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Apriza Pinandita, Jakarta – The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) has sent the Timor Leste Red Cross (CVTL) medical supplies for COVID-19 mitigation measures as part of ongoing efforts to strengthen the spirit of collaboration between the two cross-border institutions.

Jakarta Post - June 8, 2020

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – Long queues and a throng of visitors are no longer common sights in hospitals across Indonesia as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is likely to stay that way even as the country enters the so-called "new normal", according to experts.

Straits Times - June 8, 2020

Jakarta – The rupiah's recent rally and capital inflows have been a breath of fresh air against the backdrop of a lacklustre domestic economy and increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases.

Foreign investors invigorated the domestic capital market, posting net buys in the stock and bond markets in the past month, boosting the rupiah and assets value in the capital market.

June 7, 2020

Jakarta Post - June 7, 2020

Made Anthony Iswara, Jakarta – Nine fishermen's associations made up of 123 fishers at a fishery on Buru Island, Maluku, have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) with the ecolabel, which indicates that the associations' catch meet the international best practices for sustainable fishing.

Jakarta Post - June 7, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – Following widespread protests and rioting in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia's largest Islamic mass organization, has condemned the administration of United States President Donald Trump for its failure to display democratic values.

Jakarta Post - June 7, 2020

Jakarta – An online petition calling for the release of South Kalimantan journalist Diananta "Nanta" Putera Samedi, who was recently arrested for his reporting of a land dispute, continues to gather support, reaching over 10,000 signatures as of Sunday.

Jakarta Post - June 7, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – Prosecutors at the Balikpapan district court in East Kalimantan are seeking between five and 17 years of prison for seven Papuans charged with treason for their involvement in antiracism protests Jayapura, Papua, in August 2019.

Jakarta Post - June 7, 2020

Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – The West Java administration has extended large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in Bogor, Depok and Bekasi (Bodebek) until July 2.

West Java COVID-19 task force secretary Daud Achmad said the 28-day extension of the policy in Jakarta's satellite cities had become effective on Saturday.