David Hutt – Yet another government has fallen in Timor-Leste, as Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak last week offered up his resignation, following the breakup of a ruling coalition. And the latest collapse happened for the exact same reason as the downfall of a previous government in 2017: failing to pass a budget in parliament.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
February 27, 2020
Muslim-majority Indonesia is dismayed by news that Saudi Arabia has temporarily closed its borders to Umrah pilgrims amid fears of the novel coronavirus outbreak, but the government says it's trying to convince its Saudi counterparts to exempt Indonesians from the travel suspension since Indonesia has yet to officially record a single COVID-19 case in the country.
February 26, 2020
Evi Mariani, Jakarta – A farmer pushing back against cement factories carrying out activities on the Kendeng Karst Mountains in Central Java has shown off his succulent chili to defy the perception that Kendeng is an arid place and needs factories to provide welfare to locals.
Gemma Holliani Cahya, Jakarta – Climate change-driven global warming is a factor behind repeated instances of severe flooding across Greater Jakarta since early January, including a flood that inundated parts of the capital on Tuesday, according to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Made Anthony Iswara and Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – The government is set to recruit international influencers to attract foreign tourists to Indonesia in the hopes of reinvigorating the tourism industry, which has been deflated by the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Arya Dipa, Bandung – The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) seized a huge haul of carisoprodol (Soma), known locally as "PCC", during a raid on four houses running an illicit drug manufacturing operation at a housing complex in Arcamanik district of Bandung, West Java.
Diana Mariska, Jakarta – Indonesia's chief security minister has confirmed the renewal of a presidential instruction, or Inpres, to authorize further development in Papua – the country's easternmost region – under a single government command.
The hugely controversial Family Resilience Bill, which has been widely criticized for its propositions to give authorities legal justification to invade the privacy of citizens (some in matters related to the sheets), is unlikely to pass into law, according to a lawmaker overseeing matters related to social welfare, religion, and the empowerment of women.
James Massola, Jakarta – US diplomats have expressed concerns to top Indonesian government officials about their country's handling of the coronavirus outbreak, warning of the "critical" need to be seeking out and more frequently testing for the virus.
Tassia Sipahutar, Canberra, Australia – Indonesia is ready to seek parliamentary approval for a bill to accelerate the construction of a new capital that's drawn interest from investors across the world, according to President Joko Widodo.
Arya Dipa, Bandung – Thousands of houses and public facilities across Bekasi, Karawang, and Subang regencies in West Java were left flooded following a period of intense rain over the last two days.
Riza Roidila Mufti, Jakarta – More than 30 local and foreign investors have expressed an interest in developing Indonesia's new capital city in North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kertanegara in East Kalimantan, according to a top government official.
Jakarta – State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Minister Erick Thohir said the government was happy for private firms to work with state-owned companies in tapping the country's growing economic potential.
He warned, however, that the private companies should have good intentions in such partnerships rather than become a "thorn in the flesh" of state-owned companies.
Putu Ayu Palupi, Galih Priatmojo – Hundreds of workers from the Yogyakarta and Central Java United Workers Communication Forum (FKBB) held a demonstration at the Yogyakarta Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) on February 26. The action was held to oppose the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation.
Nelson de la Cruz, Dili – The Prime Minister of East Timor says he is prepared to stay in office until a solution can be found "to guarantee government activities in our country".
Antara, Jakarta – Minister of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Basuki Hadimuljono, said that the Jakarta flood that occurred on February 25, 2020, is everyone's responsibility.
Investor Daily, Jakarta – Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan has revealed that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and United States President Donald Trump are scheduled to meet sometime in the near future, among other things to discuss investment in the new capital city in East Kalimantan.
Air pollution has been one of the main concerns in Jakarta in recent years, but the capital was not Indonesia's most polluted city in 2019. That title, unfortunately, falls to Jakarta's satellite city South Tangerang, followed by Bekasi.
Jakarta – Indonesia's chief economic minister, Airlangga Hartarto, said on Wednesday the government plans to increase palm oil export levies to support expansion of its palm biodiesel programme.
Riza Roidila Mufti and Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – A "soft groundbreaking" and early construction on Indonesia's new capital city in East Kalimantan may take place in July, the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) announced on Wednesday.
Arya Dipa, Bandung – At least four people have died and thousands of others have been affected by severe floods that inundated 24 districts in Bekasi on Tuesday, the West Java Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) has confirmed.
Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – Thousands of Jakarta residents are seeking refuge following widespread following, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has said.
As of Wednesday, the BNPB's command center recorded 19,901 displaced residents throughout 214 subdistricts in Greater Jakarta, with East Jakarta as the most affected area.
Nick Miller – "When you start singing those songs, the whole memory comes back to us," says former East Timor freedom fighter Domingos Gabriel.
The 63-year-old is better known by his nom de guerre "Berliku", given to him decades ago by then-future president Xanana Gusmao.
Through a translator, Berliku explains.
Robin Perry – We were 45 metres up, precariously perched on a platform in the rainforest canopy, looking north towards West Papua as the early morning mist cleared to reveal the shimmering coastline.
February 25, 2020
Jakarta – A joint team from the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (Bapeten) and the National Police has discovered illegally owned radioactive substances in a house in the Batan Indah housing complex in South Tangerang, Banten.
"The radioactive sources contain caesium-137 and other radioactive isotopes," Bapeten spokesperson Indra Gunawan said in a press release on Monday.
Jakarta – A video showing Betawi Association (Bamus Betawi) deputy chairman Rahmat HS asking Jakartans to be grateful for the prayer of Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan that major flooding usually took place on a day off went viral on social media shortly after massive flooding once again hit the capital on Tuesday morning.
Riza Roidila Mufti, Jakarta – The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has cautioned city residents over a widely shared link to Google Maps purporting to show flooded areas in Jakarta.
Hengky Ola Sura, Maumere – Some 77 students of class VII of Bunda Segala Bangsa (BSB) seminary junior high school in Maumere, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), were reportedly "punished" by two senior students and forced to eat human feces last week.
News Desk, Jakarta – Trouble broke out at Jakarta Garden City (JGC) township residential complex in Cakung, East Jakarta on Tuesday, as local residents blamed the complex developer for causing floods that inundated their homes following a heavy downpour across the city overnight.
Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – Indonesia is preparing to create a circular economy ecosystem where resources and waste are managed sustainably and targeting its full implementation by 2024.
Guardian staff and agencies – The prime minister of Timor-Leste has sent a letter of resignation to the president, after the collapse of a coalition supporting him in parliament, plunging the tiny southeast Asian nation into new political uncertainty.
Hengky Yeimo, Jayapura – The Jayapura District Court found guilty six defendants involved in a mass riot following the anti-racism protests in Papua on 29 August 2019.
Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – Urban planning observer from Trisakti University, Nirwono Joga, criticized Jakarta's flood mitigation policies issued by Governor Anies Baswedan. He said Anies did not focus and seriously handle the inundation so that the disaster kept occurring with greater impacts.
A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – A Health Ministry official said on Monday that the Japanese national who tested positive for the novel coronavirus upon his return from a trip to Indonesia was "not a case of COVID-19".
Friski Riana, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud Md said the government was preparing a legal instrument related to the handling of Papua.
"[We are] preparing a presidential instruction or Inpres on more comprehensive handling of Papua," said Mahfud in his office, Jakarta on Tuesday, February 25.
Jakarta – The Youth and Sports Ministry has vowed to support preparations for the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games, which will be held in Berlin, and the 2022 Asia Pacific Special Olympics Games in Jakarta.
Tara Marchelin, Jakarta – The Indonesian government has set up a joint team to handle aircraft grounded for airspace violations. Officials from related agencies and ministries signed the memorandum of understanding in Jakarta on Monday during a gathering led by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud M.D.
Hundreds of people stormed AEON Mall Jakarta Garden City (AEON JGC) in Cakung, East Jakarta earlier today as they demanded an explanation from the mall's developer, whom they accused of being responsible for the floods that occurred in the nearby housing area.
Nelly Martin-Anatias, Sharyn Graham Davies – If Indonesia wants to be a country truly supportive of quality, honest and dignified research, its media must stop giving space to writing containing opinions dressed up as scientific fact.
Aryo Wisanggeni G, Jayapura – Colonel Eko Daryanto, the military public relations chief of Cenderawasih Military Command, says a victim killed on Tuesday (18/2/2020) in the armed conflict in Yaparo Village of Sugapa Sub-district, Intan Jaya Regency was an insurgent group member. He also claims that a boy killed in the same shooting location shot by the armed group.
Retno LP Marsudi, Indonesia – With Indonesia on the Human Rights Council, there are some ways in which the country can use its role to provide leadership and achieve the goals it outlined in its campaign.
The 43th session of the Human Rights Council commenced this week with Indonesia at the table once again, along with 13 others elected in October 2019.
Nezar Patria, Esther Samboh and Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government is upbeat that the sweeping omnibus bill on job creation will bolster investment and open up more jobs for Indonesians, as it braces for tough public scrutiny during the bill's deliberation at the House of Representatives.
Jakarta – Heavy rains from Monday to Tuesday have caused flooding in several areas, including the Presidential Palace complex in Central Jakarta.
The front yard of Baiturrahim Mosque, next to Merdeka Palace on Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara, was inundated, Antara news agency reported on Tuesday.
Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – The Golkar Party has joined the NasDem Party in announcing its support for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's son-in-law, Bobby Afif Nasution, as a candidate for the 2020 Medan mayoral election in North Sumatra in September.
Riza Roidila Mufti, Jakarta – The ill-fated river trek that left 10 junior high school students dead in Sleman, Yogyakarta, last week has put the spotlight on the long skirts worn by the female students as part of their girl scout uniform.
Gisela Swaragita, Jakarta – The Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) has formed an ethical council following a controversial statement made by one of its commissioners claiming that women could get pregnant from swimming in the same pool as men.
Raimundos Oki – Timor-Leste's prime minister offered his resignation Tuesday after the budget failed to pass in Parliament.
Lenny Tristia Tambun, Jakarta – When China sneezes, Indonesia better prepares for the cold.
Revisions to the Coal and Mineral Mining Law that would protect corruptors, criminalise communities and endanger people and the environment are now under discussion by incoming legislators, despite President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's request last year for the process to be suspended.
Mike Hitch – The LGBTQI advocacy group, just.equal is urging the Australian Government to speak out against Indonesia's recent moves to criminalise homosexuality.
Indonesia has received international backlash after revealing plans to legally hinder gender equality and implement the rehabilitation of "deviant" sexual persuasions.