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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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April 29, 2020

Jakarta Globe - April 29, 2020

Tara Marchelin, Jakarta – The Indonesian Ombudsman has launched an online complaint center for people to file reports about unsatisfactory public services during the coronavirus crisis.

The online center will process complaints about the social safety net program, health services, financial services, transportation system and security.

Jakarta Globe - April 29, 2020

Beladenta Amalia – "Covid-19 hits old people the hardest." The oft-heard statement might have given many young Indonesians a false sense of security as they puff away on their cigarettes, often right next to children, during their self-isolation at home.

In fact smoking puts them at higher risks of contracting Covid-19 and becoming severely ill from the disease.

Coconuts Jakarta - April 29, 2020

Here at Coconuts, we are always in awe of Indonesian netizens' ingenuity when it comes to meme-making.

The meme floodgates opened up recently after a controversy involving an official in Central Java surfaced, in which she allegedly had photos of herself stuck on bottles of hand sanitizers distributed for donation.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - April 29, 2020

Sana Jaffrey – The sequence of denial, reluctance, and alarm in Indonesia's response to the coronavirus crisis follows the trajectory of many other countries, including highly developed nations.

Jakarta Post - April 29, 2020

Galih Gumelar, Jakarta – A perceived inconsistency in the sentencing of graft convicts has put pressure on the Supreme Court to draft a set of guidelines for judges to follow, as antigraft experts call for a clearer sentencing policy for the nation's corruption courts.

Jakarta Post - April 29, 2020

Suherdjoko, Semarang – Many residents of regions across Java have been ignoring the government's mudik (exodus) ban and are insisting on traveling home undetected, even though some are testing positive for COVID-19 upon arriving in their respective hometowns.

Jakarta Post - April 29, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Bank Indonesia (BI) has injected Rp 503.8 trillion (US$32.7 billion) into banks and the debt market to stabilize the rupiah and help support the government's financing needs to combat the economic shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jakarta Post - April 29, 2020

Eisya A. Eloksari, Jakarta – Many people still plan to buy Islamic goods and fashion items for the Ramadan fasting season despite an overall decline in consumer spending caused by growing financial insecurity amid the COVID1-19 pandemic, a survey has indicated.

Jakarta Post - April 29, 2020

Riza Roidila Mufti, Jakarta – The Transportation Ministry has temporarily restricted passenger travel during the period of April 24 until May 31 in an effort to prevent an Idul Fitri mudik (exodus) as the country struggles to contain the spread of COVID-19 across the archipelago.

April 28, 2020

Straits Times - April 28, 2020

Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – The head of Indonesia's expert team on Covid-19 task force has disputed the convention used by the World Health Organisation to measure the fatality rate from the disease in the country, as it faces constraints on testing.

The Interpreter - April 28, 2020

Joao da Cruz Cardoso – The economic impact of coronavirus has been made even more severe in oil-producing countries due to the consequences of Covid-19 itself and a collapse in oil prices. Crude has fallen below US$20 per barrel as demand for oil has plummeted. This dual shock has made it harder for oil producing countries to fight the virus.

Tempo - April 28, 2020

Francisca Christy Rosana, Bisnis, Jakarta – The Confederation of Indonesian Workers Unions (KSPI) lamented the government's decision, especially the Manpower Ministry's, to allow companies to delay payment of Eid allowance or THR to their employees.

Coconuts Jakarta - April 28, 2020

Many Indonesians dream of studying abroad. Some, apparently, also dream of a romantic adventure in foreign lands on top of getting good grades, to the point that an education consultancy firm planned to hold an online seminar sharing "tips" on how to tie down a foreign partner.

Jakarta Globe - April 28, 2020

Iwan M Putuhena, Novy Lumanauw, Lenny Tristia Tambun, Jakarta – The government plans to provide incentives for 2.44 million farmers after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo ordered his ministers to direct the economic stimulus program to farmers to maintain domestic food production.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – Key business groups have expressed opposition to the decision to delay deliberation of the labor provisions in the omnibus bill on job creation, saying it will create an unfavorable environment for investment amid the increasing risk of a recession.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Jakarta – A crowdfunding effort for locally produced real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test kits, for more reliable COVID-19 detection, reached its donation target of Rp 10 billion (US$649,329) on Sunday.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government has disbursed around Rp 70 billion (US$4.5 million) in cash assistance for some 116,000 families using village funds to help them cope with the severe economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Belseran Christ, Maluku – Four years ago, Ruth Lawalata did not expect to bid farewell to her activist husband Yohanes Yonatan Balubun for a final time.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – Large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in Jakarta's satellite cities and regencies of Bogor, Depok and Bekasi in West Java will be extended for two weeks to further flatten the region's COVID-19 infection curve.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Eisya A. Eloksari, Jakarta – Logistics companies have experienced more than a 50 percent decline in overall business performance since the COVID-19 outbreak hit Indonesia in early March, the Indonesian Logistics Association (ALI) reported.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – The Interfaith Network for COVID-19 Response (JIC) has collaborated with entrepreneurs to aid informal workers with food packages throughout Ramadan.

Asia Pacific Report - April 28, 2020

By Natasia Christy Wahyuni, Jakarta – Indonesia currently has the highest covid-19 coronavirus mortality rate in Asia – between 8-9 percent – owing to its poor public health management and regional disparities within its health system, reports the Jakarta Globe.

Indonesia at Melbourne - April 28, 2020

With most Indonesians transfixed by the government's messy management of Covid-19, one issue has unexpectedly cut through the noise – growing questions over the relevance of "millennials" in President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's inner circle.

Jakarta Globe - April 28, 2020

Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – A big data study by the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance, or Indef, found that 67.7 percent of conversations on Indonesian social media reflect negatively on the government's Covid-19 mitigation policies, including its mudik exodus ban, large-scale social restriction and pre-employment card unemployment benefits program.

Jakarta Globe - April 28, 2020

Yustinus Paat, Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia reported 415 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours on Tuesday, the highest single-day rise since the first cases in the country were announced in early March.

Southeast Asia's largest country now has 9,511 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including 773 deaths and 1,254 patients who have recovered.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Asip Hasani, Surabaya – The COVID-19 task forces in Surabaya, East Java and its satellite regencies Sidoarjo and Gresik are set to impose a curfew during the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) as part of efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the three regions, which will be effective for 14 days from Tuesday until May 11.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Alya Nurbaiti, Jakarta – Adults aged 30 to 59 make up the largest proportion of COVID-19 deaths in Indonesia, the Health Ministry announced on Tuesday.

The ministry's disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto, said in a press conference that eight more people had died of the disease on Tuesday, bringing the total official death toll to 773.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – Lawmakers have expressed their disagreement over President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's recent social media posts that claim the government and the House of Representatives agreed on delaying deliberations on a disputed omnibus bill on job creation.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – The Medan Zoo in North Sumatra launched a donation campaign on Monday in the hopes of covering its operational budget and supplying food for animals in the park, which has seen a large drop in income due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – Projects in the warehouse, transportation and telecommunications sector have contributed the most to total realized investment this year at around 23.4 percent as of the first quarter, indicating that the government's infrastructure development plan has shown progress, according to the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Jakarta – Two organizations representing Indonesian jamu (herbal medicine) producers have objected to the reported importation of ingredients for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) by the House of Representatives COVID-19 task force, saying that the same ingredients can be produced domestically.

Sydney Morning Herald - April 28, 2020

James Massola – Indonesians could resume some form of normal life by July, according to two key members of the government's COVID-19 taskforce, who claim coronavirus infections are declining.

But an expert virologist has questioned this assessment, arguing Indonesia needs to significantly ramp up its daily testing regime before making such a call.

Jakarta Globe - April 28, 2020

Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – Indonesia receives $765,000 worth of medical supplies from the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday to increase the country's capacity in containing the coronavirus outbreak and provide supports to medical workers in the frontline of the battle against the pandemic.

Jakarta Globe - April 28, 2020

Tara Marchelin, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's flagship unemployment benefits program, the pre-employment card, has come under criticism for the inability of its online training providers to upskill the participants.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Suherdjoko, Surakarta, Central Java – Three nurses who work in Bung Karno Hospital in Surakarta, Central Java, have been evicted from their rooming house over the landlord's concerns that the healthcare workers will infect her family with the coronavirus.

One of the affected nurses, Siska, said she received the eviction notice via text.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia has raised another Rp 62.62 trillion (US$4.05 billion) from government debt papers (SUN) and is in talks with several development banks to raise another $750 million to finance its widening state budget amid the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Jakarta – The Jakarta administration has set up a number of homeless shelters across the city as the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 outbreak forces some hard-hit residents to live on the sidewalk as they are no longer able to afford to pay their rent.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Made Anthony Iswara, Jakarta – Private employee Juliana Ekaputri, 26, said she was surprised after seeing a video last Friday from her colleague showing how videoconferencing application Zoom had caused her colleague's computer to be hacked.

Reuters - April 28, 2020

Tom Allard and Kate Lamb, Jakarta – More than 2,200 Indonesians have died with acute symptoms of COVID-19 but were not recorded as victims of the disease, a Reuters review of data from 16 of the country's 34 provinces showed.

Three medical experts said the figures indicated the national death toll was likely to be much higher than the official figure of 765.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested South Sumatra's Muara Enim Legislative Council speaker, Aries HB, naming him a suspect in a bribery case pertaining to public works and housing agency projects in the 2019 fiscal year.

Jakarta Post - April 28, 2020

Riska Rahman, Jakarta – Indonesia's restaurant chains and retailers are struggling to fulfill their obligations to their employees while trying to keep their business afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mongabay - April 28, 2020

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Indigenous rights activists in Indonesia have condemned local authorities over the death in custody of a farmer accused of stealing palm fruit from a plantation company in Borneo.

April 27, 2020

Jakarta Post - April 27, 2020

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has signed a decree on the immediate dismissal of Indonesian Child Protection Commission member Sitti Hikmawaty following her scientifically inaccurate claim that "strong sperm" could impregnate women in swimming pools.

"[The decree] has been [signed]," State Secretariat secretary Setya Utama said on Sunday as quoted by tempo.co.

Tempo - April 27, 2020

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – A researcher from Singapore University of Technology and Design, Jianxi Luo, predicted in a research report received by Tempo on Monday, April 27, 2020, that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Indonesia will subside in early September 2020.

Jakarta Post - April 27, 2020

Jakarta – Five regional heads of Jakarta's peripheral areas, namely Bogor, Depok and Bekasi in West Java, have insisted on the suspension of commuter line services to curb the spread of COVID-19 after the proposal was rejected by the central government.

Jakarta Globe - April 27, 2020

Ester Nuky, Primus Dorimulu, Jakarta – The government has always planned to provide offline training courses for job seekers in the government's pre-employment card from the very beginning, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said on Monday as he rejected criticism the program only benefits certain online platforms.

Jakarta Post - April 27, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – The management of the preemployment card, a government-funded unemployment benefit and skills training program, has defended the program following public criticism over conflicts of interest and a lack of transparency, with a spokesman pointing out that the program was "direct assistance" that did not involve procurement of goods and services.

Jakarta Post - April 27, 2020

Gemma Holliani Cahya, Jakarta – "I know this might sound harsh for some people but this is the fact; if you do not want to die, do not come to Papua," Silwanus Sumule, a doctor who works in Jayapura, said in a recent phone interview with The Jakarta Post.

Silwanus is also the spokesperson for the Papua COVID-19 response team.

Jakarta Post - April 27, 2020

Apriadi Gunawan, Medan, North Sumatra – The Indonesian Navy intercepted 20 undocumented Indonesian migrant workers returning from Malaysia trying to sneak past border authorities through illegal routes in the early hours of the morning on Sunday.

Jakarta Post - April 27, 2020

Riska Rahman, Jakarta – The Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) has set lower targets on daily transaction values and newly listed companies this year while relying more on domestic investors to cushion the volatility of stocks as it faces tougher challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.