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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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March 21, 2024

Tabloid Jubi - March 21, 2024

Jayapura, Jubi- The West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) shot down a helicopter in Baya Biru District, Paniai Regency on Wednesday (20/3/2024), claiming that the helicopter was carrying mining logistics operating in Baya Biru. The mine is suspected to be illegal.

Jakarta Post - March 21, 2024

Jakarta – Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (TMMI) vice president director Bob Azam has asked the government to formulate an impact mitigation scheme ahead of the planned value-added tax (VAT) hike to 12 percent in 2025.

Jakarta Post - March 21, 2024

Dio Suhenda and Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has won the popular vote in the 2024 legislative election, according to the final General Elections Commission (KPU) vote tally, with the Golkar Party following in a close second.

March 20, 2024

Jakarta Globe - March 20, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia is now closer to booking another deal with China related to a photovoltaic (PV) glass project in North Kalimantan.

Chief Investment Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan wrote in a recent Instagram update that China will invest "between $3.5 billion and $4 billion" in the project.

Jakarta Globe - March 20, 2024

Stefani Wijaya, Jakarta – The National Police will deploy 76,192 personnel to monitor the movement of millions of people who will be traveling for Eid al-Fitr homecoming in 2024.

Trunoyudo Wisnu Andiko, Head of the Public Relations Division of the National Police, said 68,969 personnel from other agencies will also join in this effort.

Jakarta Globe - March 20, 2024

Arnoldus Kristianus, Jakarta – The Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef) is worried that the proposed increase in the value-added tax (VAT) rate to 12 percent in 2025 from the current 11 percent could hamper economic growth, affecting both consumer consumption and investment.

Tempo - March 20, 2024

Riri Rahayu (Antara), Jakarta – The government will bring in 145,000 tons of beef and extend the increase in the highest retail price (HET) for premium rice from Rp13,900 per kg to Rp14,900 per kg until April 2024, to overcome price jolts in Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr 2024.

Jakarta Post - March 20, 2024

Tenggara Strategics, Jakarta – Defense minister and presumptive president-elect Prabowo Subianto attended the Mandiri Investment Forum 2024 as keynote speaker last week, a role that would normally be performed by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

Tempo - March 20, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – State apparatus serving at central government institutions, including ministries and agencies, should not refuse to be relocated to the new capital city of Nusantara (IKN), the National Civil Service Agency (BKN) affirmed.

Jakarta Post - March 20, 2024

Jakarta – A private secretary to First Lady Iriana has announced his candidacy for mayor of Bogor, West Java, to fill the seat vacated by incumbent Bima Arya Sugiarto, who is not eligible to run for a third term.

Thirty-five-year-old Sendi Ferdiansyah made the announcement on Monday after meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the Presidential Palace.

Tempo - March 20, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – The National Civil Service Agency (BKN) revealed that 25 ministries and institutions have currently expressed readiness to move to the Nusantara Capital City (IKN).

Acting Head of BKN Haryomo Dwi Putranto stated that in principle, all civil servants (ASN) working in central agencies will be transferred to IKN.

Jakarta Globe - March 20, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – A Japanese diplomat recently commented on the soaring inflow of Indonesian workers to his country, saying that employers usually find Indonesians hard-working.

Nikkei Asia recently reported that the number of Indonesian workers in Japan had jumped by 192.2 percent in five years to 121,507 people compared to 2018 figures.

Tabloid Jubi - March 20, 2024

Jayapura, Jubi – The Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) expressed its assessment that the Cartenz Peace Operation in Papua does not demonstrate a prioritization of law enforcement. LBH Papua urged the government to evaluate the implementation of the Cartenz Peace Operation in Papua.

Jakarta Globe - March 20, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Wednesday that he wanted to see increased collaboration between the government and the private sector in financing infrastructure projects, citing the potential for faster completion of airports and ports under such partnerships.

Jakarta Globe - March 20, 2024

Jakarta – The Muslim-based United Development Party (PPP) failed to meet the parliamentary threshold of 4 percent, according to the national vote count on Wednesday, meaning that it won't make it to the House of Representatives for the first time in history.

Jakarta Globe - March 20, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – The Attorney General's Office has pressed charges against seven suspended members of the Overseas Election Committee (PPLN) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for allegedly falsifying data and voter lists for the 2024 elections.

The seven defendants are facing a six-month prison sentence and a fine of Rp 10 million ($635.5).

Jakarta Globe - March 20, 2024

Jakarta – Prabowo Subianto was declared as the elected president on Wednesday after the General Election Commission (KPU) certified the national results from the Feb. 14 election.

The defense minister, who teams up with President Joko Widodo's eldest son Gibran Rakabuming Raka as his running mate, won by 58.59 percent of the vote, meaning that a runoff is not necessary.

Jakarta Globe - March 20, 2024

Arnoldus Kristianus, Jakarta – Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati revealed on Tuesday that state spending on social assistance has surged by 135.1 percent during the first two months of the year compared to the same period last year.

Jakarta Globe - March 20, 2024

Maria Gabrielle & Mohammad Said, Jakarta – The General Elections Commission (KPU) is set to wrap up the vote tallying process and unveil the nationwide results of the 2024 elections on Wednesday.

Rest Of World - March 20, 2024

Michelle Anindya, Denpasar, Indonesia – Dharmawan Kusna Handoyo spends his workday in a 2-by-3-meter cubicle, soldering batteries. He has been building DIY battery packs since 2009, when he installed one in his own electric bike – but in the past few years, it has become his main source of income.

Reuters - March 20, 2024

Jakarta – Fishermen in Aceh were scrambling on Wednesday to rescue dozens of Rohingya after high tides capsized their boat in waters off the province, a regional fishing chief said.

Tempo - March 20, 2024

Advist Khoirunikmah, Jakarta – Residents of Sepaku have recently received a warning letter from the Land Bank Agency to stop cultivating the land at the designated areas of the Nusantara National Capital (IKN) in Penajam Paser Utara, East Kalimantan.

Tabloid JUBI - March 20, 2024

Merauke, Papua – The AIDS commission (KPA) noted that from January to March 2024, there were 16 cases of HIV-AIDS in Merauke Regency, South Papua. Three of them resulted in fatalities. Damario Sriyono, the Secretary of KPA in Merauke Regency, stated to Jubi on Tuesday (3/19/2024) that among the cases recorded earlier this year, the patients were from the general public.

Jakarta Globe - March 20, 2024

Arnoldus Kristianus, Jakarta – Bank Indonesia (BI) has opted to keep its benchmark interest rate, known as the BI Rate, unchanged at 6 percent, in line with analysts' projections.

Fulcrum - March 20, 2024

Yanuar Nugroho – There is serious disquiet among Indonesia's civil society actors and academics, who support the two candidate pairs that lost last month's election. Much work lies ahead if there is to be an effective national reckoning of alleged electoral misconduct – yet it may be a case of too little, too late.

Jakarta Globe - March 20, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – Chief Security Minister Hadi Tjahjanto has assured the security of voter data stored in the election vote recap system (Sirekap), despite the server being located overseas.

The General Elections Commission (KPU) collaborates with Alibaba Cloud from China to store voters' data.

Reuters - March 20, 2024

Jakarta – Outgoing President Joko Widodo is trying to take control of one of Indonesia's biggest political parties to retain the influence he racked up during a decade in power and protect it from his successor Prabowo Subianto, four members of the ruling coalition told Reuters.

Tabloid Jubi - March 20, 2024

Merauke, Jubi – Hundreds of Indigenous Papuan mama (women/mothers) who are members of the Association of Indigenous Papuan Mama Traders (IPM2AP) in Merauke Regency, South Papua, staged a protest demanding the local government to construct a representative market within the city of Merauke.

Jakarta Post Editorial - March 20, 2024

Jakarta – Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) play a bigger role in the overall economy in Indonesia than they do in any other ASEAN country, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as they account for around 60 percent of GDP and 97 percent of nationwide employment.

Yet they received only 19 percent of bank loans issued in the country last year.

Jakarta Post - March 20, 2024

Yvette Tanamal, Jakarta – Transformative technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) must be used to enhance global democracy rather than be weaponized for manipulation and disinformation, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi has said, amid criticism of the country's scant national regulations on the issue.

Associated Press - March 20, 2024

Byniniek Karmini, Jakarta, Indonesia – Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto was announced the winner of the presidential election in the world's third-largest democracy Wednesday over two former governors who vow to contest the result in court over alleged irregularities.

Tempo - March 20, 2024

Irsyan Hasyim, Jakarta – The Indigenous Territory Registration Body or BRWA noted that there are around 105,000 hectares of indigenous territory in the area of Nusantara Capital City or IKN.

March 19, 2024

Jakarta Globe - March 19, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia wants to keep foreign investors to be its top source of investments again this year.

In 2023, Indonesia secured Rp 1,418 trillion (approximately $90.3 billion) in combined foreign and domestic investments. About 52.4 percent – or around Rp 744 trillion – came from foreign direct investment (FDI).

Tempo - March 19, 2024
Bagus Pribadi, Jakarta – Fifteen employees of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) have been detained on suspicion of receiving bribes from within the KPK custody.

Herdiansyah Hamzah, a researcher at Mulawarman University, suspects that this move could be an attempt by the KPK to improve its image after recent internal corruption cases, including the alleged extortion of Syahr

Jakarta Post - March 19, 2024

Jakarta – Indonesian hospital ship KRI Dr. Radjiman Wedyodiningrat has completed its mission of sending humanitarian aid for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, arriving in Jakarta on Friday.

Tempo - March 19, 2024

Irsyan Hasyim, Jakarta – The Kudus Regency Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) reported that seven people died during the floods that have swept the region since Thursday, March 14.

"Six drowned and one fell during the flood," said the Head of the Emergency Section of the BPBD of Kudus Regency, Munaji, in a written statement on Tuesday, March 19, 2024.

Kompas.com - March 19, 2024

Dani Prabowo, Jakarta – The neutrality of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in the 2024 presidential election has been highlighted by the UN Human Rights Committee. The reason being because Widodo's son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, was able to run as a vice presidential candidate.

Jakarta Globe - March 19, 2024

Djibril Muhammad, Jakarta – State-Owned Enterprise Minister Erick Thohir said Tuesday his office is in the process of merging seven state-run infrastructure companies into three enterprises to boost efficiency and reshape their business focus.

The seven companies include Hutama Karya, Waskita, PTPP, Wijaya Karya, Brantas Abipraya, Adhi Karya, and Nindya Karya.

Tempo - March 19, 2024

Pribadi Wicaksono (Contributor), Jakarta – The Faculty of Philosophy of Yogyakarta's Gadjah Mada University (UGM) is currently investigating a student's confession of committing sexual violence, both verbal and physical, against eight victims. The confession was recorded in a 20-second video posted on X on Sunday, March 17.

New Mandala - March 19, 2024

Abdullah Faqih – On 3 January 2024, the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI), the state agency authorised to oversee broadcast television content in Indonesia, issued a warning to Ivan Gunawan, a prominent male Indonesian fashion designer. The warning was prompted by his perceived feminine appearance (kewanitaan) on the Brownis variety show on a leading TV station, Trans TV.

Jakarta Globe - March 19, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Defense minister and presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto went to the new capital Nusantara on Monday – just a few days before the official election results come out.

The Nusantara megaproject, which calls for mammoth-sized investments, is known to be one of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's biggest legacies after 10 years in office.

Tempo Editorial - March 19, 2024

Jakarta – Jokowi has ambitions to take control of the Golkar Party. It is his new way to stay relevant to those in power.

Reuters - March 19, 2024

Jakarta – Solikah, a housewife living in the fishing village of Teluk, was in tears as she pointed to piles of trash strewn on a beach close to her home of 40 years.

Teluk, located in Banten on the western edge of Java island, has one of the country's dirtiest beaches as villagers said that heavy rain has led to stronger tides, bringing more trash to shore.

Jakarta Post - March 19, 2024

Jakarta – Thousands of people have fled their homes in Demak and Kudus as floods devastated the two regencies in Central Java over the weekend, killing at least five.

Jakarta Post Editorial - March 19, 2024

Jakarta – Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto raised alarm among the public, in particular civil society, when he described democracy as "very, very" tiring, messy and costly.

Fulcrum - March 19, 2024
Norshahril Saat and Nur Syafiqah Mohd Taufek – Within Indonesia's Islamic intellectual elite, this generation does not seem to have leaders who can rise to the ranks of their brave predecessors in acting as the nation's moral conscience, especially in the face of blatant political chicanery.

A week after Indonesia's elections on 14 February 2024, former Muhammadiyah and Indonesian Co

Jakarta Globe - March 19, 2024

Maria Gabrielle, Jakarta – Police admitted on Monday that they faced challenges in unraveling the circumstances surrounding the deaths of a couple and their two teenage children who jumped from the roof of a Jakarta apartment earlier this month.

Tempo - March 19, 2024

Yohanes Maharso Suharyoso and Daniel A. Fajri, Jakarta – During the Golkar Party's thanksgiving event in Badung Regency, Bali, on Friday, March 15, Golkar Party Chairman Airlangga Hartarto stated that his party played a significant role in helping Prabowo Subianto and Gibran Rakabuming Raka win the 2024 presidential election.

Jakarta Post - March 19, 2024

Yvette Tanamal, Jakarta – The government's attitude toward the country's human rights issues remains avoidant and contradictory to reality, activists said on Monday, after last week's International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) session in Geneva, Switzerland, put Indonesia on the defensive.

Tempo - March 19, 2024

Alif Ilham Fajriadi, Jakarta – Climate change and global warming are predicted to have a severe impact on Kalimantan.