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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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October 17, 2020

Jakarta Post - October 17, 2020

Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – As labor unions, activists and their lawyers prepare to petition the Constitutional Court for a judicial review of the recently passed Job Creation Law, critics have accused President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo of sidestepping public concerns over the rushed process to pass the legislation.

Bloomberg News - October 17, 2020

Anisah Shukry – AirAsia X Bhd. is liquidating its Indonesian arm in a bid to survive the virus pandemic that has left the low-cost airline's planes grounded since late March.

The long-haul arm of AirAsia Group Bhd. has also written down its 49% stake in Thai AirAsia X, the airline's deputy chairman Lim Kian Onn said in an interview with the Star newspaper.

Nikkei Asia - October 17, 2020

Ian Lloyd Neubauer – "Like Bali before the tourism boom." That is how I described East Timor – a young country brimming with hope – when I first arrived there to work as a correspondent in 2009. The factional violence of 2006-2008 had finally ended and the last of the 100,000 refugees internally displaced during the conflict had been repatriated to their homes.

Jakarta Post - October 17, 2020

Dian Septiari, Jakarta – Despite concerns over his role in past alleged human rights violations, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto began his official visit to the United States this week to discuss various forms of cooperation.

Jakarta Post - October 17, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – A recent survey has found that Indonesians are the most optimistic of their regional peers about the speed of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jakarta Post - October 17, 2020

Jakarta – A Quran teacher who allegedly molested a teenage student in Palembang, South Sumatra, has been released from police detention after the victim's family decided not to press charges.

Jakarta Post - October 17, 2020

Jakarta – Thirteen lawyers forming an advocacy team are filing a lawsuit against the National Police chief and the Sikka Police chief in East Nusa Tenggara for allegedly neglecting a sexual abuse case against a minor in 2016.

The lawyers represent the parents of the victim, who was an elementary school student when she was allegedly raped by a man identified only as JLW.

Jakarta Post - October 17, 2020

Novan Iman Santosa, Jakarta – The Indonesian Military (TNI) is currently implementing the third strategic plan (Renstra) of the so-called Minimum Essential Force program to modernize its primary weapons systems (alutsista).

Jakarta Globe - October 17, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia has registered 70,754 coronavirus cases since October 1, up from around 58,000 cases at this point last month, suggesting that the peak in new infections remains nowhere to be seen.

October 16, 2020

Jakarta Post - October 16, 2020

Riska Rahman, Jakarta – Slowing loan growth and rising savings point to a continued plunge in economic activity in the third quarter of this year as consumer spending weakens, economists say.

Jakarta Post - October 16, 2020

Apriadi Gunawan and Nurni Sulaiman, Medan – The North Sumatra Forestry Agency has closed a hiking trail in a forested public park on Mount Sibayak, Karo regency, following Sumatran tiger sightings in the area.

Jakarta Post - October 16, 2020

Jakarta – With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the world and Indonesia, Siau Tagulandang Biaro (Sitaro) Islands regency in North Sulawesi has become a rare case of a region with a very low rate of infection.

Jakarta Post - October 16, 2020

Jakarta – The national COVID-19 task force says in general COVID-19 handling in 10 prioritized provinces is showing good results, but it highlighted that three provinces needed special attention.

The 10 provinces prioritized for COVID-19 handling are DKI Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, Bali, South Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, North Sumatra, Banten and Papua.

Jakarta Post - October 16, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie and Belseran Christ, Jakarta and Ambon – The National Police have revealed an alleged plot to incite riots by four people affiliated with the Save Indonesia Coalition (KAMI) in Medan, North Sumatra, who were recently arrested amid the wave of nationwide protests against the controversial Job Creation Law.

Jakarta Post - October 16, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – Demand for retail space in Jakarta contracted in the third quarter this year, the first time since the first quarter of 2019, as small retailers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis were forced to close their stores, according to property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Indonesia.

Jakarta Post - October 16, 2020

Jakarta – East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Governor Viktor B. Laiskodat has announced that starting Friday the provincial administration will no longer charge residents and visitors for rapid tests and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab tests in COVID-19 testing.

The governor said that he had already signed a gubernatorial decree on the free service.

Jakarta Post - October 16, 2020

Jakarta – Security authorities have deployed 18,000 personnel to beef up security amid the continuing protests against the controversial Job Creation Law by university students in Central Jakarta on Friday.

Red Ant - October 16, 2020

James Balowski – Tens of thousands of people took to the streets across Indonesia last week in a series of angry and sometimes violence protests against the passage of the government's widely unpopular Omnibus Law on Job Creation, which will further deepen attacks on working conditions and the environment.

Tempo - October 16, 2020

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – The Indonesian National Army (TNI) has stated that it will not tolerate the presence of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual/Transgender (LGBT) groups in their corps.

The Guardian - October 16, 2020

Christopher Knaus – The nation's peak legal group has thrown its support behind Bernard Collaery as he defends the Timor-Leste spying case, warning that laws used to shroud proceedings are protecting "broadly defined national security at the expense of the rights of the accused".

Asia Pacific Report - October 16, 2020

Pacific Media Watch – Today, October 16, marks the 45th anniversary of the Balibo Five – the five Australian-based Australian, British and New Zealand – journalists murdered in East Timor in 1975. Their case remains unsolved.

Roger East, a former ABC journalist, was later murdered when in Timor-Leste investigating the earlier killings and running a Timorese news agency.

Sydney Morning Herald - October 16, 2020

James Massola – The Indonesian government is "betting the farm" on a successful COVID-19 vaccination campaign, says a former cabinet minister in Joko Widodo's government and key ally of Australia, warning that a vaccine roll-out may fail to match the speed of the disease's spread.

Coconuts Jakarta - October 16, 2020

The Indonesian Military (TNI) is toughening its stance against LGBT communities and individuals within its ranks following the imprisonment of a chief private for having same-sex relations.

Coconuts Jakarta - October 16, 2020

Thou shalt not take with a pinch of salt anything your government says was essentially the message given by Indonesia's Communications and Information Technology (Kominfo) Minister Johnny G. Plate during what has become a hotly discussed interview about Indonesia's controversial new jobs creation law.

The Interpreter - October 16, 2020

Dan McGarry – During Covid, the independence campaign could have been forgotten. But a new generation of activists is forging ahead.

Jakarta Post - October 16, 2020

Jakarta – The Legal Aid Institute for the Press (LBH Pers) has expressed dismay over Communication and Technology Minister Johnny G. Plate's insistence that the stream of criticism and protests against the Job Creation Law was driven by nothing but misinformation and hoaxes.

Jakarta Globe - October 16, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia's recent surge in coronavirus cases is partly attributable to soaring newly cases in West Sumatra and Riau, both have reached five digits in overall number with their daily average being outnumbered only by four worst-hit provinces in Java.

Jakarta Globe - October 16, 2020

Yudha Baskoro – Hundreds of students defied the rain on Friday as they conducted a peace protest against the recently-adopted job creation law, demanding that the law be abolished.

Jakarta Globe - October 16, 2020

Natasia Christy Wahyuni & Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia will continue to increase the number of personnel in UN peacekeeping missions and maintain position as one of the ten biggest contributors to the worldwide mission, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Friday.

Reuters - October 16, 2020

Tom Allard and Fransiska Nangoy, Jakarta – Indonesia expects to see investment in nickel processing, as well as petrochemicals, double to US$35 billion by 2033, led by investors from China seeking to expand their businesses in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.

Detik News - October 16, 2020

Kanavino Ahmad Rizqo, Jakarta – Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) Secretary General Anwar Abbas has asked the Indonesian military (TNI) to take a firm position on soldiers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Abbas said this is simply to safeguard the TNI reputation so it is not destroyed in the eyes of the people.

Jakarta Post - October 16, 2020

Jakarta – As part of the nation's efforts to tackle COVID-19, the public's change of behavior in implementing health protocols is essential, and family plays a significant part in endorsing such a change.

Tempo - October 16, 2020

Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – The swarm of rejections against the passing of the omnibus law on job creation now no longer comes exclusively from Indonesians as the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) also voiced their concerns against the law, calling for the President of the Republic of Indonesia to revoke it.

Tempo - October 16, 2020

Ahmad Faiz Ibnu Sani, Jakarta – Member of the Defense Commission of the House of Representatives (DPR) TB. Hasanuddin said news about the presence of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual/Transgender (LGBT) groups in the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the police was not new.

Jakarta Globe - October 16, 2020

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesian ambassador to Singapore Suryopratomo said Thursday his office had received questions from Singaporeans why the newly-adopted job creation law aiming to create a lot more jobs ended up with nationwide protests.

Jakarta Post - October 16, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia booked its highest exports in six months, driven by rising shipments of agricultural and manufactured goods in September, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced Thursday.

In a sign of improving global demand, Indonesia has booked a trade surplus for five consecutive months.

Jakarta Post - October 16, 2020

Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – The Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) has asserted that it will not participate in the deliberation of regulations to implement the Job Creation Law.

Jakarta Post - October 16, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia's foreign debt rose by the end of August as the government borrowed funds from multilateral organizations to cover the country's fiscal deficit, while businesses borrowed funds for investment, Bank Indonesia (BI) announced Thursday.

Jakarta Post - October 16, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The Semarang Military Court has sentenced a chief private, identified only as P, to one year's imprisonment, in addition to dismissing him from the Indonesian Military (TNI) for having same-sex intercourse with another member of the military.

October 15, 2020

Jakarta Post - October 15, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Factory activity in Indonesia showed signs of improvement in the third quarter after recording the deepest slump ever in the previous quarter, as the reopening of the economy jacked up output and new orders, according to a Bank Indonesia (BI) survey.

Reuters - October 15, 2020

Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali, Washington – President Donald Trump's administration will welcome Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto to the Pentagon on Friday after dropping a de facto ban on his entry into the country imposed over accusations of human rights abuses.

Jakarta Post - October 15, 2020

Galih Gumelar, Jakarta – A high possibility of a low voter turnout, coupled with increased probability of money politics in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, will compromise the integrity of the December 2020 simultaneous regional elections and will likely result in local leaders having low electoral support from the public, experts have said.

Jakarta Post - October 15, 2020

Victor Mambor, Jayapura – Family members of pastor Yeremia Zanambani, who was recently shot dead in Intan Jaya regency, Papua, claimed they were reluctant to sign an investigation report (BAP) on the priest's death and had only agreed to do so after they were promised that the report would be sent to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

Jakarta Post - October 15, 2020

Jakarta – The Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) has urged regional administrations across the country to refrain from infringing on young people's rights as an alleged form of punishment against students found to have participated in protests against the Job Creation Law.

Jakarta Post - October 15, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government aims to lure Japanese companies into relocating to Indonesia, as it launched on Wednesday an integrated data platform to spur investment and economic relations between the two countries as the health crisis impacts the economy.

Jakarta Post - October 15, 2020

Jakarta – The Executive Office of the President has said that the government will "immediately" begin drafting regulations for the implementation of the Job Creation Law following the submission of the final draft of the law to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Wednesday.

Jakarta Post - October 15, 2020

Jakarta – The city of Bogor, which is currently designated an "orange zone"for moderate risk of COVID-19 transmission, has decided to restore dine-in services at restaurants until 9 p.m.

Jakarta Post - October 15, 2020

Jakarta – A total of 136 doctors in the country have died of COVID-19 after four doctors succumbed to the respiratory disease this week, the Indonesian Doctor Association (IDI) has said.

"There are nine doctors who died of the disease during the first two weeks of October," IDI mitigation team deputy head Ari Kusuma Januarto said in a statement on Thursday.

Coconuts Jakarta - October 15, 2020

A woman who flushed away her good sense by hurling feces at a healthcare worker has received criminal charges for her action, weeks after the incident.

Jakarta Post - October 15, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – Local authorities allegedly clashed with members of an indigenous community in Pubabu-Basipae village in South Central Timor regency, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), on Wednesday following the community's continued rejection of a provincial agricultural program on disputed land.