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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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June 15, 2022

Jakarta Globe - June 15, 2022

Jakarta – Indonesia's trade surplus widened to $2.90 billion last month from $2.70 billion in the same month a year ago, despite the country's palm oil export embargo, keeping the balance in the black for the 25th consecutive month.

Eureka Street - June 15, 2022

Pat Walsh – Pope Francis recently announced that on 27 August 2022 he would make the archbishop of Dili, Dom Virgilio do Carmo da Costa, a cardinal. The church in tiny East Timor, population 1.3 million, most of whom are Catholics, has come a long way in a short time.

Indonesia at Melbourne - June 15, 2022

Jemma Purdey – When President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo invited new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to join him on a leisurely bicycle ride through the grounds of the Bogor Presidential Palace on 6 June, the Australian media contingent couldn't reach for their social media accounts fast enough.

Tabloid JUBI - June 15, 2022

Jayapura, Jubi – Four protesters who took part in the commemoration of Mako Tabuni's death, which took place at Waena 3 Housing in Jayapura City on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, were injured when the police dispersed the protest. The four people were allegedly hit by rubber bullets.

Jakarta Globe - June 15, 2022

Lenny Tristia Tambun, Jakarta – National Mandate Party (PAN) Chairman Zulkifli Hasan was appointed as the new trade minister in a surprise cabinet shakeup on Wednesday that also saw the return of former military chief Hadi Tjahjanto to public office.

Zulkifli, once considered an opposing figure to the current government, takes over the job from Muhammad Lutfi.

Tempo - June 15, 2022

Nadiyah Dzakirah, Td, Jakarta – Environmental activists on Wednesday, June 15, rallied in front of the Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE), calling for a halt to the production of plastic sachet packaging.

Coconuts Jakarta - June 15, 2022

Indonesia's House of Parliament (DPR) is pushing for the passage of a bill that would raise mandatory maternity leave from three months to six, speaker Puan Maharani said, who stressed the importance of expanding the rights of female workers.

Tabloid JUBI - June 15, 2022

Jayapura, Jubi – Four activists of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), who were arrested during the protest commemorating the death of Mako Tabuni in Jayapura City on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, were released by the police at 9 p.m. local time. They were released after being questioned at the Jayapura Police Headquarters for several hours.

June 14, 2022

The Diplomat - June 14, 2022

Joao da Cruz Cardoso – On May 20, Timor-Leste commemorated the 20th anniversary of its independence and celebrated the inauguration of its newly elected president Jose Ramos-Horta, who was beginning his second term in the office.

Tabloid JUBI - June 14, 2022

Jayapura, Jubi – Anthropology lecturer of the University of Papua I Ngurah Suryawan said a number of major universities in Indonesia have profited from the Papua expansion, as the process required studies prepared by universities. The government would then use the academic paper to endorse the expansion of Papua.

Reuters - June 14, 2022

Jakarta – Indonesia's trade surplus likely shrank significantly in May because of a drop in exports after the government banned shipments of palm oil products, while imports were seen rising more quickly, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.

Tempo - June 14, 2022

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Presidential Chief of Staff Heru Budi Hartono confirmed that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo would not attend the opening ceremony of the 2024 general elections or Pemilu stage held by the General Elections Commission (KPU) today, June 14.

"The President will not be present," said Heru to Tempo on Tuesday.

Jakarta Globe - June 14, 2022

Lenny Tristia Tambun, Jakarta – Indonesian Sea Games medalists received up to Rp 500 million ($34,000) each in state bonuses although the country was ranked third overall behind host Vietnam and Thailand in the biennial event held last month.

The Indonesian contingent comprised 499 athletes, in comparison to 840 athletes the country sent to the previous Philippine Games.

Tabloid JUBI - June 14, 2022

Jayapura, Jubi – Head of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of the Synod of the Evangelical Christian Church in Papua Rev. Dora Balubun said the expansion of Papua would only divide Papuans and put them into boxes of tribes.

Straits Times - June 14, 2022

Luke Pachymuthu, Singapore – Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto called for a just and affordable transition to clean energy even as countries around the world scramble to secure energy resources in the short term amid a global oil and gas crunch.

Mongabay - June 14, 2022

Basten Gokkon, Jakarta – Indonesia has issued a much-anticipated decree to boost the protection of Indonesian deckhands working aboard foreign commercial and fishing vessels.

Suara Papua - June 14, 2022

Agus Pabika, Jayapura – – The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) commemorated the killing of Papua activist Musa Mako Tabuni today. Tabuni was shot dead by the Densus 88 anti-terror unit at 9.30 am on June 14, 2012, at the Perumnas III taxi roundabout in Waena, Jayapura city.

Tempo - June 14, 2022

Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo, or Jokowi, on Tuesday, withdrew the government's plan to substantially increase the entry fee to Central Java's Buddhist temple, Borobudur, from the current Rp50,000 (around US$3) to Rp750,000 (roughly US$50).

Jakarta Post Editorial - June 14, 2022

Jakarta – After years of protracted deliberation, lawmakers say they are ready to pass a revision to the 1946 Criminal Code (KUHP) by the end of next month. The passage of the bill, if all goes according to plan, would be a breakthrough for the country, which still relies on a "colonial" piece of legislation for its criminal justice system.

UCA News - June 14, 2022

Katharina Reny Lestari – A so-called education minister of an Islamic extremist group in Indonesia has been arrested and named a suspect in the promotion of Islamic caliphate ideology in schools.

Straits Times - June 14, 2022

Eileen Ng, Singapore – Indonesia believes it can overcome the next Covid-19 wave, likely driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants, as most of its population have high levels of antibodies due to past infections and vaccination against the virus.

Jakarta Globe - June 14, 2022

Jakarta (Antara) – The National Police have pressed charges against 23 members of Muslim organization Khilafatul Muslimin, which allegedly seeks to establish a caliphate.

Most of the suspects took part in coordinated motorcycle rallies across several provinces promoting a caliphate last month.

June 13, 2022

Jakarta Globe - June 13, 2022

Hendro D Situmorang, Maria Fatima Bona, Jakarta – The government has pledged to accelerate the delivery of booster vaccine doses to Indonesia's most vulnerable population as it expected a new Covid-19 wave, driven by new Omicron subvariants, would spike in the next six weeks.

Suara.com - June 13, 2022

Chandra Iswinarno – Marking 21 years since the still unresolved Wasior Tragedy in Wasior district, Papua, in 2001, the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) notes that incidents of violence in Papua continue to increase.

Jakarta Post Editorial - June 13, 2022

Jakarta – The overall audit that Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan ordered last week for the whole upstream and downstream palm oil industry should pay special attention to the position of the estimated 2.7 million palm oil smallholders vis-a-vis big palm oil businesses.

AsiaOne - June 13, 2022

Amy Chew – In the first quarter of 2022, Indonesia's unemployment rate dropped to 5.83 per cent from 6.26 per cent in the same quarter a year earlier, amid an improvement in the country's economy after the effects of the pandemic.

UCA News - June 13, 2022

Timor-Leste's president has expressed concern over the Catholic-majority country's budget allocation and stressed the importance of prioritizing people most affected by natural disasters and the global economic slowdown.

Agence France-Presse - June 13, 2022

Bandung, West Java – Tens of thousands of people filled streets in the city of Bandung Monday to mourn a governor's son, who was found dead in a Swiss river last week after a search that captivated Indonesia.

Tempo - June 13, 2022

Antara, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has affirmed Indonesia's commitment to strengthening bilateral relations with Russia.

Tabloid JUBI - June 13, 2022

Muliaman, Jubi – Now entering the fourth year since thousands of Nduga residents fled their villages in December 2018. More than 80 families have been living in poverty in evacuation in Sekom, Muliama District, Jayawijaya Regency. The shelter is surrounded by gardens and trees, located outside the city of Wamena, about an hour's drive to the west.

Channel News Asia - June 13, 2022

Jakarta – Indonesia's state power utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) will raise its electricity tariffs, including for households with 3,500 volt-ampere capacity and above, starting Jul 1, said energy ministry senior official Rida Mulyana.

UCA News - June 13, 2022

The national major seminary in Timor-Leste has signed a memorandum of understanding with a Catholic university in Indonesia, aiming to improve the educational quality of seminarians.

June 12, 2022

Tempo - June 12, 2022

Antara, Jakarta – Increasing vaccination coverage is key for curbing the recent spike in the COVID-19 caseload in Indonesia, an epidemiologist has said.

Tempo - June 12, 2022

Antara, Jakarta – State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir has called on SOEs to improve the quality of education in Islamic boarding schools to realize progress in civilization and the Indonesian economy.

"We want Muslims to be able to maintain the foundation of our country," Thohir noted in a statement received on Saturday.

June 11, 2022

Tempo - June 11, 2022

Antara, Jakarta – Indonesia reported four patients infected with the new subvariant of Covid-19 omicron, BA.4 and BA.5. One patient infected with BA.4 is an Indonesian, and the other three infected with BA.5 are foreign citizens, who are the delegations of the Global Platform Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) event in Bali.

Jakarta Post - June 11, 2022

Nur Janti, Jakarta – Concern over potential conflicts of interest have resurfaced after the selection committee for the next commissioners of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has approved an active police officer as a candidate.

Jakarta Globe - June 11, 2022

Hendro Situmorang, Jakarta – The Health Ministry is reviewing the decision to lift mask requirements in outdoor settings after the daily Covid-19 number topped 500 in the past few days.

A ministry spokesman said Friday that the government is investigating possible links between the recent surge in new cases and new Covid-19 variants named BA.4 and BA.5.

Straits Times - June 11, 2022

Magdalene Fung, Singapore – Indonesia's Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto on Saturday (June 11) stressed Asian nations' prerogative to use their own brand of diplomacy to resolve the geopolitical challenges that come their way, as he expounded on the rationale behind his country's choice not to take sides in international conflicts.

East Asia Forum - June 11, 2022

Deka Anwar, IPAC – Policymakers in Jakarta are forging ahead with a plan to divide Papua into four provinces despite strong local opposition. Jakarta claims this will accelerate development and bring the government closer to the people because the new provinces will be based on indigenous cultural zones.

Jakarta Post Editorial - June 11, 2022

Jakarta – The government has lifted most COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic seems to be under control, even after the spike in national travel during the Idul Fitri holidays.

Naturally, this has led to a buildup of traffic, especially in Jakarta. In response, the city administration has reinstated the odd-even traffic policy and will start enforcing it on Monday.

Modern Tokyo Times - June 11, 2022

Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker – The indigenous of West Papua suffer from international capitalist exploitation, Indonesian exploitation, and the demographic and religious timebomb of Javanization, Islamization, and other non-indigenous ethnic groups exploiting this land.

June 10, 2022

Tempo - June 10, 2022

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo revealed on Friday, June 10, 2022, that there are criteria of figures who are worthy of being his successor. One of them is having the willingness to resume his programs.

Tempo - June 10, 2022

Antara, Jakarta – The Gadjah Mada University anticorruption studies center, or Pukat UGM, on Thursday, has urged the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to hold corporations liable for the bribery case of Yogyakarta Mayor Haryadi Suyuti.

CNN Indonesia - June 10, 2022

Jakarta – Respondents in an Indonesia Poltracking survey say that they are not interested in presidential or vice presidential candidates from the TNI (Indonesian military), Polri (Indonesian police) or ulama (Islamic leaders).

Straits Times - June 10, 2022

Hariz Baharudin, Singapore – Singapore and Indonesia are not just close neighbours, but have also contributed to decades of peace and stability in the region by working together and maintaining good ties, said Indonesia's Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto.

Tabloid JUBI - June 10, 2022

Jayapura, Jubi TV – An Indonesian Military (TNI) member of the Intan Jaya Preparatory Military District Command, Chief Pvt. Asben Kurniawan Gagola, was arrested in Wandoga Village, Sugapa District for allegedly selling ammunition to the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) at Rp 2 million.

Jakarta Post Editorial - June 10, 2022

Jakarta – The next presidential election is less than two years away, but the trauma of the divisive political contests of 2014 and 2019 has lingered for many. The animosity between supporters of the winning and losing candidates has hardly been settled, especially on social media, which seems uniquely adept at fueling discord.

Reuters - June 10, 2022

Jakarta – Indonesia said on Thursday development of its proposed new capital is going ahead as planned, despite several experts casting doubt over the viability of the US$32 billion (RM141 billion) megaproject.

East Asia Forum - June 10, 2022

Deasy Simandjuntak – After months of speculation, President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo announced in April that Indonesia's 2024 elections would not be postponed. Speculations of postponement had circulated after the Indonesian parliament's controversial plans to extend the presidential tenure, which have since been doused.

Tabloid JUBI - June 10, 2022

Jayapura, Jubi – As of Thursday, June 9, 2022, at 8 p.m. local time, 21 students of Sentani 1 Vocational School were still being questioned at the Jayapura Police, after previously celebrating graduation by doodling the Morning Star pattern on their uniforms then convoying in Sentani, the capital of Jayapura Regency.