China will send warships to a multilateral naval exercise hosted this month by Indonesia, which has also invited countries such as North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States, amid rising tension in the Asia-Pacific region
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
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May 31, 2023
Tenggara Strategics, Jakarta – PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia Cina (KCIC) is hitting the gas on the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway (HSR) project to meet their promise of being fully operational by Aug. 18 this year by starting their first tests with a comprehensive inspection train (CIT) last week. Some quarters, however, warned a short testing period could compromise safety.
BTV, Jakarta – Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno goes into standby mode until a presidential candidate asks him to become a running mate.
Maria Arimbi Haryas P., Magelang – The 32 monks from Thailand who walked thousands of kilometers to Indonesia in part of the Thudong ritual has arrived at the Liong Hok Bio temple, according to Tempo's observation in the field. The monks arrived in Magelang at 18:00 local time which was welcomed by a festive crowd.
Arie Firdaus, Jakarta – A proposal to establish a regional command for the army in each of Indonesia's 38 provinces has sparked an outcry from human rights and security experts, who fear it could herald the return of the military's dominance over civilian affairs that ended with the fall of autocratic President Suharto in 1998.
Deni Ghifari, Jakarta – The government plans to prohibit the export of liquified natural gas (LNG) to help supply domestic industries, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan announced on Tuesday.
Luhut said the ban would not affect ongoing export contracts but that the policy would apply for contract renewals.
Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Subsidiaries of some of the world's biggest palm oil companies have been found guilty by Indonesia's anticompetition watchdog of restricting sales of cooking oil amid acute shortages last year.
Yogi Eka Sahputra, Batam – Fishermen in the Riau Islands, especially in Batam and Karimun, strongly rejected sea sand export due to fear of rampant sand mining in the regions that damage the fishing zone.
Jayapura, Jubi – Gustaf R Kawer, a member of the Civil Society Coalition for the Upholding of Law and Human Rights, expressed his concern over the ruling made by the Surabaya High Military Court III regarding the Mimika murder and mutilation case.
May 30, 2023
Antara, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said that investors from China play a crucial role in Indonesia because they do not hesitate to transfer technology.
Antara, Jakarta – The government imposes a motor vehicle tax of zero percent on electric vehicles (EVs), according to Article 10 Number 1 of the Home Affairs Minister's Regulation (Permendagri) Number 6 of 2023.
The regulation stipulates that the zero percent tax will also be applied to the cost of transferring the ownership of such vehicles.
Alexander R Arifianto – The Defending Islam rallies in 2016 and 2017 and the very polarising Indonesian presidential election of 2019 suggest the role of Islam in the 2024 election will be more significant than ever.
Ni Komang Erviani, Jakarta – The Bali administration has warned foreign tourists visiting the popular resort island against making cryptocurrency payments, with the governor, I Wayan Koster, saying the practice is illegal in Indonesia and violators can face one year in prison or fines.
Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is a card-carrying member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and he has been consistently described by the party's establishment as "a party official" assigned to lead the nation.
Deni Ghifari and Fadli, Jakarta – The government lifted a ban this month on the export of dredged sand that was in place for more than 20 years, in a move it claims will bring in badly needed revenue but that activists say will further degrade the country's vital marine ecosystems.
BeritaSatu, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has told leaders of leading media organizations that he wants to make sure that the 2024 elections result in a successor who will consistently maintain the pace of the development programs inherited from his administration.
Deni Ghifari, Jakarta – Nusantara Capital City (IKN) is a megaproject of unrestrained ambition, as the planners of Indonesia's future capital envision facilities straight out of science fiction, from smart buildings powered by renewables to flying cars.
Jayapura, Jubi – The Amungsa land is mourning the loss of Thom Beanal, a prominent Amungme pioneer and politician. Suffering from a prolonged illness, Thom Beanal sought medical treatment in Singapore. However, he passed away on May 29, 2023, after undergoing extensive treatment in Singapore.
Duncan Graham – There are parallels between Indonesia's Aceh where an Ozzie surfer faced a flogging, and Papua where a Kiwi pilot is facing death. Both provinces have fought brutal guerrilla wars for independence. One has been settled through foreign peacekeepers. The other still rages as outsiders fear intervention.
May 29, 2023
Warief Djajanto Basorie, Indonesia – Myanmar. The South China Sea. AUKUS. These are but three of a battery of hot button foreign policy issues Indonesia's next president will have to contend with, even before inevitable surprises.
Yerica Lai, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's consistent popularity through to his final year in office may pose a challenge for his own party the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the largest party in the ruling coalition, as he appears to keep his options in regard to his succession open while his supporters shift over to three-time presidential hopeful Pra
Jakarta – Delegates from more than 100 countries are gathering in Paris this week to thrash out some sort of agreement on plastic pollution. Indonesia's representatives will reportedly try to block a proposal to cut virgin plastic output. That does not look good on us.
Dicky Kurniawan, Jakarta – Djoko Setijowarno, the Indonesian Transportation Society (MTI) deputy chair for Regional Strengthening and Development, said that the government's electric vehicle incentive program is not aimed at the right targets. He also questioned the success indicators of the program.
Yustinus Paat & Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Chief Legal Affairs Minister Mohammad Mahfud MD has urged the police to investigate alleged leaks involving the Constitutional Court verdict on the election system in a move that may distract public attention from the real problem.
Yohana Belinda, Jakarta –- Despite residential property prices having appreciated at a rate much lower than inflation over the past year, a home of their own remains out of reach for most millennials.
State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir said last month that 81 million young adults in Indonesia struggled to buy a home.
Sebastian Strangio – The crisis involving a pilot taken hostage in Papua has taken a turn for the worse, with the rebel group holding the New Zealand national Philip Mehrtens claiming that it will shoot him if its demands are not fulfilled within two months.
Tenggara Strategics, Jakarta – The arrest of a top Cabinet minister on charges of corruption will alter the political landscape ahead of the February 2024 general elections, with presumptive presidential candidate Anies Baswedan and his chief sponsor, the NasDem Party, taking big hits.
Nur Janti, Jakarta – The government has created a new team to formulate a plan to accelerate and renew judicial reform efforts that the Supreme Court launched in the early 2000s, after the country's top court was hit by a bribery case involving two of its justices.
Eric Stryson, Denpasar, Bali – At 6:15 am the first rays of the magical Bali light are breaking over the horizon. At the shoreline, hotel staff are finishing their daily routine of raking piles of plastic bags, cups, wrappers, and other trash that washed up overnight.
Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo congratulated Turkiye's Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his reelection victory on Monday.
"Warmest congratulations to my dear brother President Erdogan of Turkiye on his reelection," Jokowi wrote on his official Twitter account.
Yustinus Paat, Jakarta. The Supreme Court denied on Monday that it has reached a decision in the dispute over the leadership of the Democratic Party, after former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, or SBY, expressed concerns that the court would possibly allow Moeldoko – a close aide of President Joko Widodo – to take over the party.
Jakarta – Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo issued Government Regulation (PP) No. 26 of 2023 concerning the management of sedimentation products in the ocean.
The regulation contains a series of activities for transportation, placement, use, and sale, including the export of marine sediment in the form of sea sand.
Yerica Lai, Jakarta – The General Elections Commission (KPU) has refuted allegations that it had pursued a backroom deal with lawmakers on controversial election rules that would allow parties to nominate fewer female candidates and allow former corruption convicts to run in next year's legislative elections.
M Julnis Firmansyah, Eka Yudha Saputra, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud Md explained the reason why the government refused international assistance to release New Zealand pilot Captain Philips Max Mehrtens who is being held hostage by the West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Organization (TPNPB-OPM).
Jayapura, Jubi –- The West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) recently released a video that threatened to kill the pilot they held hostage, Philip Mark Mehrtens. Chairperson of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) Atnike Nova Sigiro said such threat would worsen the human rights situation in Papua and perpetuate the cycle of violence in the region.
Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD has emphasised that the government rejects all assistance from outside parties related to efforts to free Susi Air pilot Captain Philip Mark Mehrtens from the Papuan Armed Criminal Group (KKB) – the government's term for the Free Papua Movement (OPM).
May 28, 2023
Maria Gabrielle, Jakarta – Jakarta Police Chief Insp. Gen. Karyoto publicly apologized on Sunday after videos emerged on social media platforms showing Mario Dandy, a suspect in a notorious violent attack on a teenager, putting on loose zip ties by himself to pretend that he was under restraint.
Catherine Delahunty – Nearly four months ago, Phillip Mehrtens, a New Zealander working for an Indonesian airline, was kidnapped by West Papuan fighters in the highlands of West Papua.
No attempts to free him have succeeded yet, although our government has been working hard for a peaceful resolution. The Indonesian government has listened but it's now losing patience.
Nivell Rayda, Lembang, Indonesia – Since it was opened in 1923, the Bosscha Observatory has been drawing astronomers from around the globe, looking to unravel the mysteries of the universe.
But Indonesia's oldest astronomical observatory may be on its last legs.
Antara, Jakarta – The Nusantara Capital Authority (OIKN) has prepared 300 investment packages that will be offered to domestic and overseas investors for the development of Indonesia's new capital (IKN) Nusantara in East Kalimantan province.
Antara, Jakarta – Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, expressed Indonesia's readiness to become a supplier of electric vehicle (EV) batteries to the United States (U.S.).
May 27, 2023
Yustinus Paat, Semarang – Presidential nominee Ganjar Pranowo on Saturday urged his supporters to always employ graceful and elegant manners when campaigning for him and stay away from racial and sectarian issues that could fuel divisiveness in the nation.
Hellena Souisa – In May 1998, massive student protests and riots in Indonesia's capital Jakarta and other major cities brought to an end the 32-year Suharto regime.
Anger directed at the strongman's authoritarian government over issues like corruption, food shortages and mass unemployment had reached boiling point.
Virdika Rizky Utama – The events of May 1998 form an indelible chapter in Indonesia's history, marked by profound struggle and heart-wrenching grief, which continues to resonate in Indonesians' hearts and collective memories. Although it saw the toppling of the Suharto regime after 32 years in power, this significant turning point came at a huge price.
Fana F Suparman, Jakarta – Indonesia ranks second for the world's most tuberculosis cases after India, according to PPTI, an Indonesian organization focusing on fighting the disease.
Indonesia records 969,000 new tuberculosis cases every year. This means that a person contracts tuberculosis every 33 seconds. The disease also claims 144,000 lives a year.
Free Papua Organisation (OPM) leader Jeffrey Bomanak has appealed for Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape to become a "neutral intermediary" to negotiate between the Indonesian government and the West Papuan rebels holding a New Zealand pilot hostage for his release.
Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Top officials from Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's biggest palm oil producers, will meet European Union policymakers in Brussels amid a diplomatic standoff over a new deforestation rule that threatens to shut the commodity out of the EU market.
An Australian author-poet and advocate for West Papuan independence has condemned a reported threat against the life of a New Zealand hostage pilot, Philip Mehrtens, held by Papuan liberation fighters and appealed to them to "keep Philip safe".
Antara, Jakarta – The Indonesian government targeted the procurement of 400,000 electric cars in 2025. To reach the goal, the country has at least to build 20,000 charging stations, as stated by Presidential Special Staffer Diaz Faisal Malik Hendropriyono.
He explained that the electric vehicle infrastructure could be built together with related parties.
May 26, 2023
BeritaSatu, Jakarta – Sarwono Kusumaatmadja, a senior minister during the Soeharto era, died on Friday after undergoing treatment in Penang, Malaysia. He was 79 years old.