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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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May 14, 2020

Jakarta Post - May 14, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – The Jakarta administration has fined the management of the McDonald's restaurant in the Sarinah shopping center in Central Jakarta Rp 10 million (US$670) for violating the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) by allowing a gathering of hundreds of people on the last day of its operation.

Jakarta Post - May 14, 2020

Norman Harsono, Jakarta – The House of Representatives passed a revision of the 2009 Coal and Mineral Mining Law on Tuesday in a move criticized by some experts and NGOs over a lack of transparency and alignment with business interests.

Straits Times - May 14, 2020

Jakarta (Reuters) – Indonesia will raise premiums for health insurance provided by a state company but also increased subsidies for the lowest rate, impacting tens of thousands of policyholders, as the country battles the coronavirus, a minister said on Wednesday (May 13).

Jakarta Post - May 14, 2020

Made Anthony Iswara, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo called on all people of faith to pray for humanity as part of efforts to ease the struggle against COVID-19 and join a global spiritual movement.

Jakarta Globe - May 14, 2020

Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – The Jakarta provincial government said a total of 3,998 companies in the capital city had adhered to the rules of the large-scale social restriction, or PSBB, to limit the spread of Covid-19. The companies employ a total of 1,063,883 workers.

The Conversation - May 14, 2020

Camellia Webb-Gannon, Jaime Swift, Michael Westaway and Nathan Wright – Indonesia has recently indicated it is considering investigating the killings of hundreds of thousands of people in the 1965 "anti-communist" purge under authoritarian leader Suharto.

Jakarta Globe - May 14, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia has reported more than 1,250 new confirmed coronavirus cases over the past two days, the first time there were more than 1,000 cases in a 48-hour period since the outbreak began in early March.

May 13, 2020

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Eisya A. Eloksari, Jakarta – E-commerce and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) players in several Asian countries, including Indonesia, believe their business will resume quicker than other sectors after the pandemic, a recent survey shows.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government is set to provide a Rp 25 trillion (US$1.68 billion) stimulus package that includes airfare and hotel discounts to speed up the recovery of the travel industry after the pandemic subsides.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Budi Sutrisno, Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has issued a decree that serves as the legal basis for sanctioning violators of the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) and the social distancing policy imposed in the capital.

Amnesty International Press Release - May 13, 2020

Responding to the postponed release of five Papuan prisoners of conscience (PoC) in Jakarta, Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director, Usman Hamid, said:

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Riska Rahman, Jakarta – State-owned pharmaceutical company PT Kimia Farma has temporarily halted the distribution of Biozek rapid test kits following controversy surrounding the kits' accuracy and country of origin.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – The government plans to allocate an additional Rp 56.5 trillion (US$3.8 billion) to a number ministries and agencies in 2021 to revive the economy, according to the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas).

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – State-owned energy and utility companies are taking measures to cut expenditure and diversify their businesses to survive while the COVID-19 pandemic is battering demand.

With large scale social restrictions (PSBB) in place in major cities, businesses and industries have shut operations and subsequently reduced energy consumption.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – More than 100 convicts who were released early in an effort to prevent the further transmission of COVID-19 in prisons are back to committing crimes, according to the National Police.

Jakarta Globe - May 13, 2020

Nur Yasmin, Jakarta – The Indonesian Palm Oil Association, or Gapki, has reported higher export of palm oil but lower domestic consumption of the commodity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Domestic consumption in March decreased by 3.2 percent – from 786,000 tons in February to 721,000 tons in March.

Radio New Zealand - May 13, 2020

The mining company PT Freeport Indonesia has increased efforts to test for, and treat people with Covid-19, in Papua.

The number of confirmed covid-19 cases in Mimika regency, where Freeport operates one of the world's largest gold and copper mines, has reached 110.

Tempo - May 13, 2020

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – Pandu Riono, an epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia (UI), assessed that Indonesia could not apply herd immunity to suppress the spread of the new coronavirus that caused Covid-19.

Asia Pacific Report - May 13, 2020

Pacific Media Centre – TAPOL has condemned the political decision to cancel the early release of five political prisoners that were arrested in Jakarta for demonstrating in favour of self-determination of West Papua.

Mongabay - May 13, 2020

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Indonesia's parliament has passed a controversial bill that effectively gives miners bigger concessions and longer contracts, with fewer environmental obligations.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Norman Harsono, Jakarta – As the country grapples with the COVID-19 crisis, lawmakers have approved a controversial revision of the 2009 Coal and Mineral Mining Law, despite outcry from civil society organizations.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – The mourning family of EP, an Indonesian crew member of a Chinese fishing vessel who died after receiving treatment in South Korea, has called on the government to probe his death after findings some bruises on his body.

Bloomberg - May 13, 2020

Tassia Sipahutar, Jakarta – Indonesian borrowers are selling a record amount of dollar bonds, as the country's strong fiscal track record in recent years fuels optimism on its ability to weather the COVID-19 crisis.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Ivany Atina Arbi, Jakarta – Indonesians are "fairly satisfied" with their country's response to the coronavirus pandemic, yet they are the most "surprised" at how other countries are better prepared to face the global health crisis, a global survey has found.

The Straits Times/Asia News Network - May 13, 2020

Linda Yulisman, Jakarta – Stay home and make babies? As condoms and other forms of birth control are unavailable to a growing number of Indonesians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the world's fourth-most populous nation may see a baby boom.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Jakarta – After admitting his role in a bribery case implicating former Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi, retired Indonesian shuttler Taufik Hidayat later claimed that such corrupt practices were very common in the ministry.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – Indonesia's advertisement spending dropped sharply in April as most big ad spenders reduced their marketing activities amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Channel News Asia - May 13, 2020

Kiki Siregar, Jakarta – Once an English teacher, Afghan refugee Zakir Hussain has given up hope of having a bright future.

The 25-year-old has been living with his family and about 250 other refugees cramped in a building in Kalideres, West Jakarta for the past 10 months.

Sydney Morning Herald - May 13, 2020

James Massola and Karuni Rompies – Indonesia has recorded 689 new coronavirus cases, another single day record, as the country looks to be backing away from plans to reopen the economy from early June.

Tempo - May 13, 2020

Hendartyo Hanggi, Dio Suhenda (Intern Translator), Jakarta – West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil has expressed his concerns over the inflating number of social aid recipients, as it has increased from 25 to 63 percent.

"From 9 million to 38 million people. This indicator is a bit of a concern," Ridwan said in a virtual discussion, on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.

CNN Indonesia - May 13, 2020

Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) researcher Egi Primayogha suspects that the practice of state highjacking or state capture has occurred through the revisions to Law Number 4/2009 on Mineral and Coal Mining (UU Minerba). The draft law was enacted into law by the House of Representatives (DPR) on Tuesday.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Made Anthony Iswara, Jakarta – COVID-19 is not the only threat Indonesia is currently facing – cyberattacks are also on the rise, as hackers to exploit Indonesia's digital security vulnerabilities during the outbreak.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Arya Dipa, Bandung – The Syamsi Dhuha Foundation (SDF), a nonprofit organization representing autoimmune disease sufferers, has urged the government to pay more attention to people with immune-related conditions, who are much more vulnerable during the current COVID-19 pandemic, as medication costs have increased dramatically.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Riska Rahman and Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Experts are calling on the government to ensure transparency and tight supervision as it prepares a national economic recovery program that will see large funding disbursed to rescue state-owned enterprises.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has proposed involving military forces to strengthen Indonesia's fight against terrorism through a presidential regulation (Perpres) that was submitted to the House of Representatives on Monday.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – Family members of victims of the Semanggi tragedies in the late 1990s filed on Tuesday a lawsuit against Attorney General ST Burhanuddin over his statement that the tragedies were not gross human rights violations.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – While the House of Representatives has claimed it focused on regulations related to the COVID-19 outbreak in the recently concluded legislative session, activists have criticized lawmakers for passing contentious bills instead of prioritizing disaster management.

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Budi Sutrisno, Jakarta – The government plans to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) "pool tests" in eight provinces that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, namely Jakarta, Banten, West Java, Central Java, East Java, Bali, North Sumatra and South Sulawesi.

Jakarta Globe - May 13, 2020

Tara Marchelin, Jakarta – The Indonesian Ombudsman said complaints about the government's social aid programs dominated hundreds of inquiries to its new Covid-19 online complaint center.

Eurasia Review - May 13, 2020

Chaula Rininta Anindya and Sigit S. Nugroho – Following the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic as a national disaster, President Joko Widodo ("Jokowi") has granted the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) a broader authority to handle the outbreak.

Tempo - May 13, 2020

Antara, Jakarta – A researcher from the Research Center for Population of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Rusli Cahyadi, assessed that the government's idea that allows people under 45 years to go back to work has the potential to increase the spread of the coronavirus or Covid-19.

Coconuts Jakarta - May 13, 2020

A young woman in Bone regency, South Sulawesi was recently arrested after faking seizures and claiming that she was infected with the coronavirus at a local hospital.

On Friday evening, 20-year-old Anisa Rahma and her friends, identified as ES, Di and Da, reportedly consumed an excessive amount of alcohol to the point that Anisa had seizures and collapsed.

Antara - May 13, 2020

Imam Budilaksono, Jakarta – The chairperson of the Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS) faction in the House of Representatives (DPR), Jazuli Juwaini, says that his fraction opposes the failure to include People's Consultative Assembly Decree (TAP/MPRS) Number XXV/MPRS/1966 on the Dissolution of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and Prohibitions of Marxist, Leninist and Communist

Jakarta Post - May 13, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – Nearly every region that has imposed large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) has recorded a significant decrease in coronavirus cases, the national COVID-19 task force says, signaling an optimistic outcome from the implementation of the health protocols to fight the pandemic.

May 12, 2020

Jakarta Post - May 12, 2020

Riska Rahman and Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government has issued a regulation on economic recovery to support, maintain and strengthen businesses, stipulating state capital injections for ailing state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and loan subsidies for small businesses, among other things.

Jakarta Post - May 12, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The liquidity of Indonesian banks will remain in check despite economic risks brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and loan restructuring program that defers credit repayments, economists have said.

Jakarta Post - May 12, 2020

Made Anthony Iswara, Jakarta – This week comes as a stark reminder for people to protect and uphold the rights of the country's many unsung heroes amid the COVID-19 outbreak: nurses who are on the frontline treating patients, mothers who keep their households afloat and victims seeking justice after the 1998 May riots.

Jakarta Post - May 12, 2020

Eisya A. Eloksari, Jakarta – Homegrown gaming companies are mostly thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic as people spend more time playing games during quarantine.

Mobile game developer Touchten Games reported a 10 to 15 percent rise in daily active users for their games in the Asian and American markets.

Morning Star - May 12, 2020

West Papuan independence movement leader Benny Wenda has demanded "urgent attention from the international community" to claims that Indonesia is using the Covid-19 crisis to further militarise the region.

Asia Pacific Report - May 12, 2020

Pacific Media Watch – The regent of Mimika in Papua has urged President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to temporarily close a mine in the regency owned by gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia as the number of covid-19 coronavirus cases in the area continues to rise.