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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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August 8, 2020

Jakarta Post - August 8, 2020

Jakarta – The police in Surabaya, East Java, have detained a former student of Airlangga University (Unair) alleged to have sexually assaulted multiple victims after tricking them into helping him to do academic "research".

Jakarta Post - August 8, 2020

Margareth S. Aritonang, Jakarta – One of Indonesia's newest political parties has emerged from an internal leadership struggle with a clear victor: a supporter of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. The realignment is the latest in a series political switches in support of the government.

The Diplomat - August 8, 2020

Marcus Tantau – Indonesia is no stranger to political dynasties. Since independence in 1945, Indonesia has repeatedly seen the children of past presidents seek positions in public office.

Jakarta Globe - August 8, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The Indonesian capital saw another record in the daily number of coronavirus infection on Saturday, with 686 new cases to bring the total number of confirmed cases to 25,287, according to the National Covid-19 Task Force.

Jakarta Globe - August 8, 2020

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – After months of the shutdown, schools in Covid-19 low-risk areas or "yellow zones" will reopen for face-to-face learning under strict health protocols.

According to Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim, the government had been mulling over the reopening plan following complaints of lengthy online learning.

Jakarta Post - August 8, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – The government will resume the preemployment card program on Saturday and prioritize people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic after the program had been briefly halted following irregularities.

Jakarta Post - August 8, 2020

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has appointed Army chief of staff Gen. Andika Perkasa as the deputy head of the government's COVID-19 handling and national economic recovery committee.

The army general will work alongside State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir, who was appointed to helm the committee.

Radio New Zealand - August 8, 2020

Indonesia's military is investigating its personnel linked to the death of a young West Papuan man while in custody.

Eighteen-year-old Oktovianus Betere died after being taken in by military (TNI) personnel two weeks ago.

The death occured in Asiki district of remote Boven Digoel regency, about fifty kilometres west of Indonesia's border with Papua New Guinea.

Jakarta Post - August 8, 2020

Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – Local religious figures should play a larger role in educating people about COVID-19 health protocols, an official from Muhammadiyah, the country's second-largest Islamic organization, has said.

Jakarta Post - August 8, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – Indonesian agriculture has emerged as a buttress against the pandemic's impact on the economy this year, supported by the resilience of farmers and the accounting effects of an incidental shift in the harvest season.

August 7, 2020

Jakarta Post - August 7, 2020

Riska Rahman and Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government is planning to expand its social aid program and incentives for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in an effort to boost consumer spending and revive the sluggish economy in the second half of this year, as fears of a recession loom.

Jakarta Post - August 7, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia's foreign exchange (forex) reserves increased to US$135.1 billion in July, the highest level ever, following the government's move to issue global bonds, Bank Indonesia (BI) announced Friday.

Jakarta Post - August 7, 2020

Ivany Atina Arbi, Jakarta – Jakarta reported 658 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the highest one-day spike since the first infections were recorded in March, bringing the total number of cases in the capital to 24,521.

Jakarta Post - August 7, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The Home Ministry will provide information about the nation's most-wanted criminals – a list maintained by the Attorney's General's Office (AGO) – on the government's civil registry to prevent further failures of enforcement and stop exploitation of the system by fugitives.

Jakarta Post - August 7, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – Democratic Party chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono and House of Representatives Speaker Puan Maharani, an executive of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), sat together on Thursday to discuss the two parties' cooperation in the upcoming regional elections.

Jakarta Globe - August 7, 2020

Robertus Wardi, Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia reported the second highest daily rise or coronavirus cases on Friday, with Jakarta hitting its new high since the outbreak to surpass East Java as the province with the most cases.

New confirmed cases of the virus rose by 2,473, taking the country's total to 121,226. The highest rise in a day was 2,667 cases on July 9.

Jakarta Post - August 7, 2020

Made Anthony Iswara, Jakarta – Indonesia should ratify a landmark United Nations treaty to consolidate its commitment to put an end to the use of nuclear weapons, a campaigner for a Nobel Prize-winning global cause demanded, as the world commemorated 75 years since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Jakarta Post - August 7, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government is allocating Rp 10 trillion (US$684.72 million) this year to provide loans for regional administrations, while taking measures to step up government spending, as it seeks to speed up the recovery of the pandemic-hit economy.

Coconuts Jakarta - August 7, 2020

A shaman in East Java has been named a suspect for sexually assaulting his female customer under the guise of alternative treatment.

Jakarta Post - August 7, 2020

Jakarta – The Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) and the Gerindra Party have officially declared their support for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, to run in the upcoming Surakarta mayoral election in Central Java.

Jakarta Post - August 7, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia must focus on controlling the spread of the coronavirus to speed up the economic recovery, economists have said, arguing that the current healthcare response could instead push the economy into a deep recession this year.

Jakarta Post - August 7, 2020

Jakarta – In light of the upcoming 75th Independence Day celebration, the Greater Jakarta administration has restricted any events that attract crowds amid the surge of COVID-19 cases in the capital.

Jakarta Globe - August 7, 2020

Dion Bisara, Jakarta – Global technology giants like Apple, Facebook, and TikTok have followed Netflix's footsteps to collect value-added tax on digital services or products they sold to Indonesians starting next month, the county tax office announced on Friday.

Jakarta Post - August 7, 2020

Arya Dipa, Bandung – Indonesian scientists are set to start the phase III clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by China-based biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech on Tuesday in six different locations in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung.

August 6, 2020

Jakarta Post - August 6, 2020

Yunindita Prasidya, Jakarta – The government's slow budget realization has hindered the country's economic recovery, as the COVID-19 pandemic puts continuous pressure on people's purchasing power, experts have warned.

Jakarta Post - August 6, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has ordered the nationwide enforcement of COVID-19 protocols, making violations subject to legal sanctions throughout the country.

Jakarta Post - August 6, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The government is set to step up its public campaign to encourage mask-wearing in the next few weeks as COVID-19 cases in the country continue to rise.

Jakarta Post - August 6, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – A coalition of disability rights groups has turned to the Supreme Court to challenge a number of articles they deemed problematic under a presidential regulation issued by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on the National Disabilities Commission (KND).

Thomson Reuters Foundation - August 6, 2020

Harry Jacques, Jakarta – Indonesia has cut back its planned transfer of state forests to local communities this year by half – an area twice the size of Los Angeles – because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

Tabloid JUBI - August 6, 2020

Jayapura – Indonesia's public Khairun University on Ternate Island should reinstate four students who were expelled after taking part in a peaceful protest, Human Rights Watch said today.

Tempo - August 6, 2020

Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) Commissioner Pandu Patria Sjahrir on Thursday said a large portion of Indonesians do not invest their funds in the stock market as there is only 3 million or one percent of people who do.

Jakarta Globe - August 6, 2020

Anselmus Bata, Jakarta – The government would transfer a fixed amount of money to the bank accounts of 13.8 million workers every month for the next four months in an attempt to boost consumer demands and reinvigorate the economy, top officials said.

Jakarta Post - August 6, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Economists have urged the government to ramp up state spending and control the coronavirus spread to speed up recovery as Indonesia's economy contracts for the first time since 1999.

Jakarta Post - August 6, 2020

Norman Harsono, Jakarta – The domestic oil and gas industry is reeling under the pressures of the global pandemic as investment falls short and block auctions are delayed.

Jakarta Post - August 6, 2020
Jakarta – Home Minister Tito Karnavian is set to ban on-street and large-scale campaign rallies for candidates running in the upcoming regional elections this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also urged all parties to prioritize the implementation of health protocols at every stage of the race, highlighting that campaign events should not invite crowds that could heighten the ri

Jakarta Post - August 6, 2020

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – The possible development of a vaccine has brought as much hope to Indonesia as it has to any other country battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vanuatu Daily Post - August 6, 2020

Len Garae – Chairman of Vanuatu West Papua Association and Unification Committee (VWPAUC), Pastor Alan Nafuki, has welcomed Prime Minister Bob Loughman's confirmation that his Government supports 100% his Committee's stand against alleged Human Rights abuse by the military of Indonesia against the people of West Papua, and the importance to recognise the future of the Melanesians.

Tempo - August 6, 2020

Bisnis, Jakarta – Finance Minister Sri Mulyani announced on Wednesday the issuance of three revised economic stimuli covering business tax incentives, which come as a refinement and follow up stimulus packages initially launched at the start of the pandemic.

Tempo - August 6, 2020

Taufiq Siddiq, Jakarta – Head of the Jakarta Health Agency Widyastuti said that the city could not work alone in containing the COVID-19 pandemic despite its recent increase in the capability to conduct testing. Supports from surrounding regions are needed, she argued.

Jakarta Globe - August 6, 2020

Antara, Jakarta – A civil servant in the Central Java district of Banyumas was sentenced to 3.5 months in prison on Thursday for provoking villagers to reject the burial of a deceased Covid-19 patient in their village.

Jakarta Post - August 6, 2020

Norman Harsono, Jakarta – The International Energy Agency (IEA) has urged the government to boost Indonesia's use of renewable energy and to increase its electrification capacity through pro-investment regulatory reform as the country pursues economic recovery.

Jakarta Post - August 6, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – To attract investment in the post-COVID-19 period, Indonesia needs to step up its handling of the pandemic to ensure the economy can be reopened safely and quickly and also strengthen its corruption eradication efforts, experts have said.

Jakarta Post - August 6, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – Indonesia is the second most confident nation in Southeast Asia about reopening its tourism sector with 71 percent of Indonesians saying their country is well prepared, a recent survey shows.

Tempo - August 6, 2020

Friski Riana, Jakarta – University of Indonesia epidemiologist, Pandu Riono, reacted to President Jokowi's instruction for stricter field-application of COVID-19 health protocols and argued that it would not effectively suppress the number of cases.

"It would not be effective as the people are being forgotten," said the epidemiologist to Tempo on Thursday, August 6.

Jakarta Post - August 6, 2020

Nina Loasana, Jakarta – Airlangga University (Unair) in Surabaya, East Java, has officially expelled a student who had reportedly tricked multiple victims into performing an act known as "bondage mummification" under the pretense of academic research.

August 5, 2020

Tempo - August 5, 2020

Taufiq Siddiq, Jakarta – Jakarta Health Agency reported that the COVID-19 positivity rate in the capital city has again increased. At present, the weekly average rate is 7.8 percent, up from last week's 7.1 percent.

Jakarta Post - August 5, 2020

Yunindita Prasidya, Jakarta – Despite improvement in July, Indonesia's manufacturing industry has yet to recover from the deep downturn earlier this year, as domestic consumption remains weak, economists and businesspeople have said.

Jakarta Post - August 5, 2020

Jakarta – Indonesia continues to record a high COVID-19 death rate, with the rate being higher than the global average, an official has reported.

Jakarta Post - August 5, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – A minister has urged travelers to comply with health protocols in Bali as the island has reopened for domestic tourists in the hope of reigniting the local economy hit by the pandemic.

Jakarta Post - August 5, 2020

Jakarta – The Jakarta administration has collected billions of rupiah in fines from violators of the capital's large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), amid the COVID-19 pandemic.