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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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June 22, 2020

Jakarta Post - June 22, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – With more and more consumers moving from offline to online shopping, courier companies have seen increased business delivering goods amid the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, especially during the Ramadan and Idul Fitri celebrations.

Jakarta Post - June 22, 2020

Jakarta – Two residents of Malamber Island, West Sulawesi, have allegedly sold the island to an East Kalimantan regent for Rp 2 billion (US$140,800).

Malamber Island is a sparsely populated turtle conservation center and is part of the Balabalakang island cluster in Mamuju regency, West Sulawesi.

Channel News Asia - June 22, 2020

Nivell Rayda, Jakarta – Marcel Antonius has been working from home for more than three months and there is nothing much he could do to relieve his boredom.

So when he learned that his favourite exercise area, the seaside recreational complex Taman Impian Jaya Ancol in North Jakarta, was reopened over the weekend, he decided to go there with four of his cycling buddies.

Jakarta Post - June 22, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – House of Representatives lawmakers have urged the government to resume deliberation of the controversial revisions to the Criminal Code and the 1995 Corrections Law despite the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

Tempo - June 22, 2020

Fikri Arigi, Jakarta – Indonesian pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia executive director, Burhanuddin Muhtadi, the survey on May 2020 found that the electability of Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan had descended after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The pollster argues that it is mainly caused by the partisan voters of the 2019 presidential election.

Jakarta Post - June 22, 2020

Sausan Atika, Jakarta – City-owned transportation company PT MRT Jakarta commenced construction of phase 2 of the Jakarta MRT project last week, after a three-month delay due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the capital.

Jakarta Post - June 22, 2020

Made Anthony Iswara, Jakarta – World Refugee Day, which occurred on June 20, has provided an opportunity for activists to urge the government to do more to uphold the human rights of refugees, most of whom arrive in Indonesia seeking resettlement in third countries.

June 21, 2020

Jakarta Globe - June 21, 2020

Jakarta – The government has granted tax cuts and incentives to individuals or companies involving in the national efforts of Covid-19 pandemic mitigation from March to September, in an attempt to mobilize the country's resources to curb the pandemic, the tax office said in a statement.

Jakarta Post - June 21, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The Indonesian economy faces gloomier skies this year as the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to show any signs of subsiding, forcing government officials, the central bank, economists and international institutions to project weaker and weaker growth as the outbreak unfolds.

Straits Times - June 21, 2020

Linda Yulisman, Jakarta – The Indonesian authorities are worried about another health crisis on their hands, dengue haemorrhagic fever, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

From January to June 17, 64,251 dengue haemorrhagic fever cases were reported, with the death toll hitting 385, according to the Health Ministry.

Reuters - June 21, 2020

Freeport Indonesia, operator of Grasberg, the world's second-biggest copper mine, is on track shift to all-underground mining by 2022, its chief executive said on Sunday.

"By 2021, approximately 75% of our operations will be underground mining, with it reaching 100% by 2022," said Tony Wenas, chief executive of PT Freeport Indonesia, a unit of Freeport-McMoran Inc.

Forbes - June 21, 2020

Andrew Wight – Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, has seen more than 50 days without new COVID-19 cases and has yet to report a single death, thanks in part to water initiatives designed to increase resilience to outside shocks.

Jakarta Post - June 21, 2020

Sausan Atika and Vela Andapita, Jakarta – Millions have a love-hate relationship with Jakarta, a city that many believe offers a chance at greater fortunes, but that means living with intractable urban issues, from severe traffic congestion to dreadful air pollution and awful flooding.

Jakarta Post - June 21, 2020

Galih Gumelar, Jakarta – The General Elections Commission (KPU) is under pressure to procure all necessary health equipment and apply strict health protocols for the 2020 simultaneous regional elections, which the government has insisted on holding despite the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.

Channel News Asia - June 21, 2020

Nivell Rayda, Jakarta – As soon as Susana Somali arrived at the shelter and opened the gate, dozens of dogs rushed over, barking and wagging their tails.

Jakarta Post - June 21, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – Netizens have raised concerns over public health as images and videos of large crowds inundating the streets of Central Jakarta on the first Car Free Day (CFD) following months of large-scale restrictions (PSBB) spread on social media.

Jakarta Post - June 21, 2020

Jakarta – An unknown hacker has allegedly breached a government database of 230,000 people who have undergone COVID-19 testing.

South China Morning Post - June 21, 2020

Antonia Timmerman – "Smile", an instructor tells the women in identical aprons as they take turns to stand in front of a blue background for an employment photo. Carefully crossing their hands in front of themselves, the women obey.

Jakarta Post - June 21, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The government has decided to drop its appeal against a court ruling that found it had violated the law for blocking internet access in Papua and West Papua amid tensions caused by a string of antiracism protests in the two provinces last year.

June 20, 2020

Kompas.com - June 20, 2020

Ihsanuddin, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has cancelled an appeal against a Jakarta Administrative Court (PTUN) ruling which found the government at fault for blocking internet access in Papua in 2019.

"The president has decided not to submit an appeal", Special Presidential Staff for legal affairs Dini Purwono told Kompas.com on Saturday June 20.

Jakarta Post - June 20, 2020

Apriza Pinandita, Jakarta – Indonesia urged the international community to speak up and take decisive action against racial violence at a United Nations forum in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.

However, Indonesia's call comes amid concerns of racial discrimination at home.

Jakarta Post - June 20, 2020

Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – Health Minister Terawan Agus Purwanto issued a new set of health protocols on Friday governing activities in public places.

Jakarta Post - June 20, 2020

Jakarta – Human rights activists have lambasted the government for its lack of attention given to refugees as a vulnerable group during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Roswita Kristy of the Jesuit Refugee Service Indonesia said refugees taking shelter in Indonesia were not included in the government's COVID-19 response program.

Jakarta Post - June 20, 2020

Jakarta – Local authorities have found that a beached dwarf sperm whale on Lembeng Beach in Ketewel village, Gianyar, Bali, was cut in parts and had its oil extracted by local residents.

A team from the Denpasar Coastal and Marine Resources Management Center (BPSPL) found that parts of the carcass of the protected species had been removed.

Eurasia Review - June 20, 2020

Alexander R Arifianto and Jonathan Chen – As an emerging economy, Indonesia has made significant progress alleviating poverty within the past four decades.

Global Voices - June 20, 2020

Media and civil society leaders in Timor-Leste have expressed concern about the possible reintroduction of a criminal defamation law in the country.

Jakarta Post - June 20, 2020

Jakarta – Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Tjahjo Kumolo has said he is formulating a strategy to reduce the number of unproductive civil servants amid the current work-from-home policy implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jakarta Post - June 20, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – Former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) commissioners have urged the antigraft body to take on the prosecution of the alleged attackers of senior investigator Novel Baswedan after the current prosecution demanded notably light sentences for the defendants.

Jakarta Post - June 20, 2020

Jakarta – Gerindra party politician Rahayu "Sara" Saraswati has secured support from the party's executive board to run in the upcoming South Tangerang regional elections, pending official endorsement from her uncle, party chairman Prabowo Subianto.

Jakarta Globe - June 20, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – It's been the toughest week in the Indonesian coronavirus outbreak with the most confirmed cases and deaths by seven-day average since first cases were detected early in March.

As of Saturday, the country has 45,029 confirmed cases, including 2,429 deaths and 17,883 recovered patients.

Tempo - June 20, 2020

Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – Chairman of the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) East Java chapter, Sutrisno, said the pressure of hospital and healthcare workers in the region was increasing due to Covid-19 cases that went out of control.

The number of patients exceeds hospital capacity, which makes it risky for medical workers to be in such a condition.

Jakarta Post - June 20, 2020

Nina A. Loasana and Ni Nyoman Wira, Jakarta – A decision made by the Education and Culture Ministry to collaborate with streaming platform Netflix has been met with criticism.

A member of the House of Representatives, Willy Aditya of the NasDem Party, said the collaboration was unethical even though it did not violate any regulations.

Jakarta Post - June 20, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – Former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Busyro Muqoddas expressed support for the judges at the North Jakarta District Court to free the alleged attackers of graft buster Novel Baswedan in order to give room for a new investigation.

June 19, 2020

Tempo - June 19, 2020

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – The Indonesian government submitted an appeal against the Jakarta Administrative District Court's (PTUN) decision that found President Jokowi and Communication and Informatics Minister guilty of blocking the internet access in Papua and West Papua provinces in August 2019.

Jakarta Post - June 19, 2020

Ati Nurbaiti, Jakarta – A strange and solid voice emanated recently from the University of Indonesia (UI).

Channel News Asia - June 19, 2020

Kiki Siregar, Jakarta – Amid recent activities in the South China Sea, the Indonesian government has reiterated its position on the rule of international law through diplomatic notes addressed to the United Nations, while declining China's offer to hold bilateral talks on overlapping claims.

Straits Times - June 19, 2020

Arlina Arshad – As Indonesia eases restrictive measures and shifts to a "new normal", soldiers and police officers will become a familiar sight at public places such as malls, traditional markets and tourist sites.

The Diplomat - June 19, 2020

Tangguh Chairil – Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all Indonesian national security agencies have been heavily involved in the response. The government is filled with retired military and police general officers, most of whom have leading roles in the government's COVID-19 Task Force. The Task Force itself is filled with active duty military and police officers.

Tempo - June 19, 2020

Hmad Faiz Ibnu Sani, Jakarta – The daughter of late Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid or Gus Dur, Zanubah Arrifah Chafsoh who is known as Yenny Wahid, encouraged state institutions to not be overly sensitive in responding to criticism and sarcastic humor. Yenny said humor is one of the nation's strengths.

Jakarta Globe - June 19, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia reported 1,041 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking its total confirmed cases to 43,803. The figure includes 2,373 deaths and 17.349 recovered patients, according to the National Covid-19 Task Force.

It is the fifth day in a row in which cases have jumped by above 1,000, including a record 1,331 yesterday.

Jakarta Post - June 19, 2020

Jakarta – The Jakarta Police's cyber unit questioned government critic Ravio Patra on Thursday about the alleged hacking of his WhatsApp account after he was charged for incitement after a message was sent from his number on April 22 calling for nationwide riots.

Jakarta Post - June 19, 2020

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – Indonesian medical experts are mulling over the possibility of using dexamethasone, an inexpensive and widely used steroid recently hailed as a "major breakthrough" in treating COVID-19 severe cases, as they seek to update their protocol following recent global studies on various potential treatments.

Jakarta Post - June 19, 2020

Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – Police have arrested a 42-year-old church caretaker from Pancoran Mas district in Depok, West Java, over alleged sexual abuse.

Parents had reported "suspicious behavior" of the caretaker, identified only as SPM, said Azas Tigor Nainggolan, the alleged victims' attorney.

Jakarta Post - June 19, 2020

Jakarta – Serving time in Central Jakarta's Salemba Penitentiary has reportedly not prevented a convict from controlling a drug-smuggling operation for the sale of methamphetamine and ecstasy in Bekasi regency of West Java.

Jakarta Post - June 19, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has found in a recent study several irregularities with the management and digital courses offered by the government's preemployment card program.

Kompas.com - June 19, 2020

Ihsanuddin, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will not send a presidential letter (surpres) to the House of Representatives (DPR) signifying its agreement with deliberations on the Draft Law on Pancasila Ideology Guidelines (RUU HIP).

The government will also not interfere with draft laws which are purely the initiate of the DPR.

Mongabay - June 19, 2020

Basten Gokkon, Jakarta – A newly secured loan of $300 million for Indonesia to boost its geothermal energy generation will be wasted amid a glut of cheap coal power, and also could contribute to environmental degradation, observers say.

Mongabay - June 19, 2020

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Palm oil from a company that burned a pristine orangutan habitat in Sumatra has entered the global market due to an oversight, possibly ending up in products made by multinationals such as Nestle and Mars, according to a new report.

Morning Star - June 19, 2020

Leader of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua Benny Wenda called for ordinary Indonesians to be "the voice of the voiceless" as he urged vigilance in the continued struggle for independence.

Jakarta Globe - June 19, 2020

Tara Marchelin, Jakarta – Catholic and protestant churches are preparing strict service protocols and infrastructure for the "new normal" to prevent Covid-19 transmission.