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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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December 16, 2020

Tempo - December 16, 2020

Joniansyah (Contributor), Tangerang – Tangerang Regency Government has allowed several entertainment venues and tourist attractions to reopen after months-long closure during the Large-Scale Social Restriction (PSBB) in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

Channel News Asia - December 16, 2020

Kiki Siregar, Jakarta – Indonesia has received 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from China's Sinovac Biotech on Dec 6 and is set to receive raw materials to produce 15 million doses from the same company later this month.

Indonesia at Melbourne - December 16, 2020

Devika – "My family is religious. They do not have much knowledge of mental health problems. They asked me to pray more often, and even try fasting. When I first told them about my problem, they had difficulty accepting it. They asked me not to go to a psychologist."

– Person living with anxiety disorder, Jakarta

Jakarta Post - December 16, 2020

Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has once again listed among the world's top 20 most influential Muslim figures according to the 2021 edition of annual publication, The Muslim 500.

Jakarta Post - December 16, 2020

Jakarta – The Central Java administration is searching for at least another 914 nurses and 26 doctors to work at COVID-19 hospitals in the province, in addition to providing extra beds for isolation facilities and intensive care units, as it continues its fight against the pandemic.

Digital Journal - December 16, 2020

Alfath Asmunda (AFP) – Sumini gets up at dawn to do her household chores – then leads a team of women into the jungles of Indonesia's Sumatra island, on a mission to battle rampant deforestation and wildlife poaching.

Tempo - December 16, 2020

Jakarta – President Joko Widodo must establish an independent fact-finding team to investigate the killings of six members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) in the early hours of Monday, December 7.

Jakarta Globe - December 16, 2020

Lenny Tristia Tambun, Novy Lumanauw, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has decided that the Covid-19 vaccine would be free of charge for all Indonesians, amending the government's earlier decision to limit the free vaccination program only for healthcare frontline workers and the poor.

Reuters - December 16, 2020

Fathin Ungku, Bernadette Christina, Singapore/Jakarta – Violent protests by hundreds of workers at one of Indonesia's biggest nickel smelters on Sulawesi island operated by PT Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry (PT VDNI) had "paralysed" its activities, the China-backed company said in a statement.

Coconuts Jakarta - December 16, 2020

Indonesia's COVID-19 Task Force has told hospitals in the country to refrain from taking pre-orders for vaccines amid reports that the practice has become quite widespread.

The task force said advertising a potential vaccine is irresponsible at this point since no vaccine has received regulatory approval in the country.

Jakarta Post - December 16, 2020

Jakarta – The Jakarta Employment Agency (BKD Jakarta) is reportedly set to issue a circular stipulating that local government agencies operate at 25 percent capacity with the remaining employees working from home, as previously ordered by Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

Tempo - December 16, 2020

Adam Prireza, Jakarta – Jakarta Environment Agency has managed 1,213 kilograms of disposable face mask waste from households from April to December 2020, reported the agency acting head Syaripudin in a written statement on Tuesday, Dec. 15.

CNN Indonesia - December 16, 2020

Jakarta – Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto has handed over awards in the form of medals and National Defense Patriot certificates to 11,485 former East Timor fighters.

Prabowo handed over the symbolic awards to 23 representatives – one of which was East Timor pro-integration figure and former East Timor pro-Indonesian militia deputy commander Eurico Guterres.

Straits Times - December 16, 2020

Linda Yulisman, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo announced on Wednesday (Dec 16) that he will be the first recipient of a Covid-19 vaccine in Indonesia and the vaccination will be available free to all Indonesians.

Jakarta Globe - December 16, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia recorded 6,725 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, the second-highest daily total since the outbreak began, to take its total to 636,154.

The highest single-day rise was 8,369 cases reported on Dec. 3.

Jakarta Post - December 16, 2020

Jakarta – The national COVID-19 task force has conducted a study into the COVID-19 mortality risks based on age and comorbidity factors.

According to an analysis by a team of experts in the past five months, COVID-19 patients aged 31 to 45 had 2.4 times the mortality risk of those aged between 19 and 30, while people aged 46 to 59 were 8.5 times more at risk.

December 15, 2020

Jakarta Post - December 15, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to shrink by 2 percent at worst or grow by 0.6 percent at best in the fourth quarter of this year, Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said on Monday.

Jakarta Post - December 15, 2020

Jakarta – Authorities in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra, are still considering the school reopening plan.

Jakarta deputy governor Ahmad Riza Patria said on Monday that the Jakarta administration was still studying the plan to avoid making any mistakes, antaranews.com reported.

Jakarta Globe - December 15, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia has recorded more than 90,000 new cases of coronavirus in the first half of the month in another confirmation that the country is currently in its worst period of the outbreak.

Newly cases have been spiking at unprecedented rate in major hotspots as daily death toll continues to hit three-digit figures for three consecutive weeks.

Nikkei Asia - December 15, 2020

Erwida Maulia and Ismi Damayanti, Jakarta – Things were looking good back in January for Suryanti, an employee at a small travel agent in Bogor, a city south of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. She had just paid off her motorcycle loan and was planning a vacation with her parents with a bonus she expected to receive from her employer.

Jakarta Post - December 15, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – Indonesia's abundant nickel reserves and the Job Creation Law may help the country attract investment from American electric automaker Tesla, an expert has stated.

Coconuts Jakarta - December 15, 2020

Members of the Jakarta Regional Legislative Council (DPRD) walked out of a plenary session yesterday in an apparent show of displeasure against the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) faction, who kicked up a fuss when other factions proposed a raise for councilors while many are struggling during the pandemic.

Jakarta Post - December 15, 2020

Jakarta – The government has required residents to register at a health facility before paying for the COVID-19 vaccine or receiving it for free.

Tempo - December 15, 2020

Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – The Indonesian Workers Union Confederation (KSPI) said international labor organizations supported its struggle against Law No. 11/2020 or Job Creation Law.

The KSPI president Said Iqbal warned President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, the House of Representatives, business players, and the Constitutional Court of the matter.

CNN Indonesia - December 15, 2020

Jakarta – Residents of Tambrauw regency in West Papua province are opposing the establishment of the Tambrauw 1810 District Military Command (Kodim) which was officially inaugurated on Monday December 14.

Jakarta Post - December 15, 2020

Jakarta – National COVID-19 task force head Doni Monardo has asked regional health agencies to ration their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and stay consistent with the World Health Organization's minimum benchmark of 1,000 per 1 million people per week.

Jakarta Post - December 15, 2020

Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – The government has decided to ban crowd-pulling events and New Year's Eve celebrations from Dec. 18 to Jan. 8 in a bid to prevent a spike in COVID-19 transmissions during the Christmas and New Year's holiday season.

New Mandala - December 15, 2020

Julian Millie – Over the last 2 years, the ABC's news website has featured at least six stories focussing on cruelty to animals in Indonesia. The stories are accompanied by graphic images and a warning: 'This story contains graphic images that some readers may find distressing'.

Jakarta Post - December 15, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia's foreign debt rose to US$413.4 billion in October driven by higher borrowings by the private sector and the government, Bank Indonesia (BI) announced Tuesday.

Jakarta Post - December 15, 2020

Jakarta – The Indonesian Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) has announced that it will extend the monitoring stage of a phase three clinical trial for the Chinese-developed vaccine Sinovac for another three months to determine the vaccine's efficacy and side effects.

Media Indonesia - December 15, 2020

The Attorney General's Office (AGO) has responded to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo request for the institution to resolve cases of past human rights violations.

Jakarta Post - December 15, 2020

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – An online survey carried out by the Health Ministry has found that only one third of Indonesians wanting to get COVID-19 shots are willing to pay for a vaccine.

Jakarta Post - December 15, 2020

Jakarta – The National Police's Densus 88 antiterror squad has apprehended a fugitive wanted in connection to the first Bali bombing who was on the run for 18 years.

A special task force detained Zulkarnaen, 57, in Purbolinggo, East Lampung, on Dec. 10, the police announced over the weekend.

Jakarta Globe - December 15, 2020

Faisal Maliki Baskoro, Jakarta – Indonesia has kept its trade balance in the black for the seventh month in November, posting a $2.62 billion surplus thanks to improving coal and palm oil exports while raw material imports remained depressed. The country's statistic agency announced on Tuesday.

Jakarta Post - December 15, 2020

Jakarta – Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) chief Jusuf Kalla has asked regional branches of the organization to collect convalescent plasma for COVID-19 treatment.

The former vice president said convalescent plasma came from people who had recovered from the disease.

Reuters - December 15, 2020

Jakarta – Burials in the Indonesian capital were 61% higher in the first 10 months of 2020 than in the past five years, according to a new study that could suggest Indonesia's real coronavirus death toll is far higher than official data shows.

Suara Papua - December 15, 2020

Charles Maniani, Manokwari – Mobile Brigade (Brimob) paramilitary police, national police intelligence officers (intel) and the army's special forces (Kopassus) stormed the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) offices in the Almasuh area of Merauke regency, Papua, during a raid on Sunday December 13.

Jakarta Post - December 15, 2020

Jakarta – The Supreme Court has accepted a case review filed by the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) over its dealings with former party stalwart Fahri Hamzah, who sued over his dismissal.

With the ruling in the bag, the PKS is no longer obliged to pay compensation to the tune of Rp 30 billion (US$2.129 million), as demanded in an appeal filed by Fahri.

Tempo - December 15, 2020

Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – Bali provincial government has issued circular No. 46 of 2020 which requires domestic airline passengers wishing to visit the Island of the Gods to present PCR swab or swab test documents. The policy takes effect during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Jakarta Globe - December 15, 2020

Thresa Sandra Desfika, Jakarta – The government will limit restaurants', movie theaters,' and shopping malls' operation hours and ban crowds and New Year celebrations in public places as the number of Covid-19 new cases and daily deaths soar in the country, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said on Monday.

December 14, 2020

Jakarta Post - December 14, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – The government is preparing to reopen Bali to international tourism, but the plan hinges on the island's COVID-19 situation, a ministry spokesman has said.

Jakarta Post - December 14, 2020

Arya Dipa, Bandung – West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil has said that the province will ban crowd-pulling New Year's Eve celebrations in public spaces indoors and outdoors, saying they pose a risk of COVID-19 transmission.

He added, however, that he did not prohibit family or personal gatherings on the New Year's Eve, saying that such events were unavoidable.

Coconuts Jakarta - December 14, 2020

The police have offered an updated chronology of events related to the killing of six Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) members on Dec. 7, which came after authorities conducted a crime scene reconstruction based on available evidence.

Jakarta Globe - December 14, 2020

Jakarta – The government has raised its target of providing the Covid-19 vaccine for free to 53.5 million people from just 32 million people earlier, Widodo Muktiyo, the director-general of information and public communication Communication and Information technology Ministry said on Monday.

Jakarta Post - December 14, 2020

Jakarta – Sleman regency is one of five regencies/cities in Yogyakarta with red zone status in all of its subdistricts.

Therefore, the regental administration has prepared some measures to prevent COVID-19 case spikes following the year-end holidays, especially as most of its tourist destinations are open during the upcoming long weekend.

Jakarta Post - December 14, 2020

Jakarta – Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Fadil Imran says the force will be transparent and provide facts to support an investigation by the National Commission on Humans Rights (Komnas HAM) into the fatal shooting of six Islam Defenders Front (FPI) members by police officers.

Jakarta Post - December 14, 2020

Jakarta – The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has summoned Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Fadil Imran and state-owned toll road operator PT Jasa Marga president director Subakti Syukur over the fatal shooting of six members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) in an encounter between the group and Jakarta Police officers last week.

Jakarta Post - December 14, 2020

Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has called on the Attorney General's Office (AGO) to resolve past cases of human rights abuses in the country and show concrete progress in related settlement efforts.

Jokowi said the AGO held a critical role in resolving past human rights violations.

Coconuts Jakarta - December 14, 2020

The Bogor Police will close the route leading to Puncak, West Java, in the latest attempt to hinder year-end vacationers from crowding the popular mountainous tourist destination.

Dicky Pranata, who heads Bogor Police's Traffic Unit, said that the Gadog Highway in Ciawi, Bogor regency will be closed for 12 hours on New Year's Eve, from Dec. 31 at 6pm to Jan. 1 at 6am.

Jakarta Globe - December 14, 2020

Farouk Arnaz, Jakarta – Indonesia's anti-terror police squad Densus 88 has arrested Zulkarnaen, also known as Aris Sumarsono, a senior member of the Jamaah Islamiyah, or JI, a terrorist group responsible for the 2002 Bali Bombing, at his hideout in East Lampung, Lampung last week, a police spokesman said in a statement over the weekend.