David Fettling – Haris Azhar thinks both Indonesia's presidential candidates are incompetent, that the issues they debate are nonsense, that both seek to protect the status quo.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
April 16, 2019
Bill Laurance and Penny van Oosterzee – This week, Indonesia will hold a presidential election that will make or break incumbent Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's chances of getting a second term in a rematch with his nemesis, Prabowo Subianto.
Eve Warburton – There are plenty of reasons to view this year's presidential elections in Indonesia as less polarising than the last.
Tomorrow is finally the big day – nearly 193 million Indonesian voters will have their chance to go to the polls and choose the country's next president.
Nur Yasmin and Telly Nathalia, Jakarta – Indonesia's Election Supervisory Agency announced on Tuesday (16/04) they had discovered 25 cases of "money politics" – bribing people to influence their votes with cash or goods – in 13 provinces during the "quiet period" before the election, between April 14 and 16.
Sri Wahyuni, Yogyakarta – Gadjah Mada University (UGM) has been listed among the world's top 50 in gender equality according to the recently announced Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings 2019.
Jakarta – Statistics Indonesia (BPS) has recorded that crude palm oil (CPO) exports to Europe saw a significant decrease in March as a result of the negative campaign against the commodity that is linked to deforestation.
Gisela Swaragita, Jakarta – Local authorities halted the April 11 screening of "Sexy Killers" in Mekarsari, Indramayu, saying the coal industry documentary was a form of hate speech that targeted the two presidential candidates, Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Prabowo Subianto.
A man and a woman have been publicly whipped in Indonesia in an archaic punishment for reportedly having sex outside of marriage.
Photographs show a crowd of people, including some laughing, as the couple receive lashes from a cane.
Jayapura, Indonesia – From sending ballot boxes by elephant in Sumatra to keeping voters safe in Papua's rebel territory, Indonesia is pulling out all the stops for one of the world's biggest one-day polls across a vast archipelago of 260 million.
Peter Milne – East Timor is now the majority owner of the Woodside-operated Sunrise gas field after it completed the purchase of equity from Shell and ConocoPhillips.
The East-Timorese national oil company Timor Gap paid Shell $US300 million ($420 million) for a 26.6 per cent interest in the Greater Sunrise fields.
James Massola, Jakarta – More than 190 million Indonesians will be able to vote in the largest single-day election exercise in the world on Wednesday, with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo the raging favourite to beat his opponent, Prabowo Subianto, and claim a second five-year term.
Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto is famous for many things besides politics, such as his marriage to Suharto's second daughter, his service to Indonesia as a former general, his propensity for taking his shirt off in public and his love of riding horses.
Jakarta – The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has formed a team to monitor Wednesday's general election.
Jakarta – National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro attended an Indonesia-International Monetary Fund (IMF) bilateral meeting to discuss public investment management assessment (PIMAs) at the IMF headquarters in Washington on Saturday.
Bambang said he had received an initial PIMA finding, but was still waiting for a final PIMA report from the IMF.
Jakarta – The Indonesian Shopping Center Tenants Association (Hippindo) has projected that the retail sector will grow 5 to 10 percent this year, after having experiencing a slowdown in the last three years.
Leonard C Sebastian, Singapore – The current political mood in Indonesia is deeply polarised.
I have been travelling to Indonesia to observe its elections since 1999. On the surface, the 2019 election seems like a tame and rather low-key event.
Fanny Potkin, Jakarta – More than 10,000 people have volunteered to crowd-source election results posted at polling stations across Indonesia on Wednesday in a real-time bid to thwart attempts at fraud during the biggest single-day election in the world.
David Robie – A human rights defender and researcher has warned in a new book published on the eve of the Indonesian national elections tomorrow that the centralised political system has failed many of the country's 264 million people – especially minorities and those at the margins, such as in West Papua.
Those hoping to follow real-time election results tomorrow can do so starting 3pm Western Indonesia Time (WIB) and no earlier, as the Constitutional Court (MK) has rejected a petition by local media that would have allowed them to publish results earlier than that.
Asip Hasani, Blitar, East Java – At least 240 Shia adherents in Sidoarjo, East Java, will be able to vote in a shelter, an East Java General Elections Commission (KPU East Java) official confirmed on Tuesday.
KPU East Java head Choirul Anam said his team had set up a polling station specifically for the Shia community in their shelter to accommodate their right to vote.
Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – The country's 2019 presidential election is still strongly marred by religious polarization according to Gadjah Mada University political expert Dodi Ambardi in a public discussion on elections issues at Tempo headquarters on Monday.
Jakarta – The Jakarta Transportation Agency is preparing 16,578 free trips using 307 buses for people traveling home on Idul Fitri this year. The Islamic holiday is expected to fall on June 5-6.
Jakarta – The Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) has projected 20-30 percent growth in the number of start-ups in Indonesia as they are supported by high demand for digital solutions in business, industry, bureaucracy and in other sectors.
Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – On the eve of Wednesday's presidential election, undecided voters may want to participate in a quiz designed to assess how one's personal political views align with the ideas and/or programs proposed by the presidential and vice presidential candidates.
Hadrian Geri Djajadikerta and Ella S. Prihatini – The Indonesian presidential election on Wednesday will be a re-run of the 2014 poll, pitting the incumbent, Joko Widodo (also known as Jokowi), against the same candidate, former major-general Prabowo Subianto.
April 15, 2019
Helen Davidson – Australia has been accused of "siphoning" millions of dollars a month in oil revenue that should belong to Timor-Leste, because the government is yet to ratify last year's maritime border treaty.
Jakarta (Antara) – West Sumatra's Solok City Police Chief Grand Adj. Commissioner Dony Setiawan promised to reward people with an Rp1 million prize money for those who report on the presence of money politics in the 2019 general elections.
Arya Dipa, Bandung, West Java – The Defense Ministry signed contract agreements worth Rp 2.1 trillion (US$149.01 million) and $1.4 billion with several local companies in Bandung on Friday.
One of the agreements comprises 18 weaponry equipment contracts and the other comprises supporting military equipment contracts
Christian Lee, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud have agreed during a bilateral meeting in Riyadh on Sunday to further strengthen economic ties between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – Indonesia recorded a trade balance surplus of US$540 million in March, marking the second straight month that the country recorded a trade balance surplus this year, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on Monday.
Rena Sarumpaet – From her home in Jakarta, Permaswari Wardani proudly holds up an intricate hand-drawn comic. It's her humorous take on what she sees as the wrongs in Indonesian politics today.
The 38-year-old architect hopes the run of 5,000 copies – leading to donations – will help propel her to an upper house seat in her country's parliament, within the week.
Hannah Beech and Muktita Suhartono, Jakarta, Indonesia – Joko Widodo, the Muslim president of Indonesia, is into heavy metal and saving Christians.
Kanal Bali, Denpasar – Scores of Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) protesters from the AMP Bali City Committee (AMP KK Bali) were arrested by the Denpasar municipal police (Polresta) on Monday April 15 for holding an action during the cooling off period before the April 17 presidential and legislative elections.
Just like President Joko Widodo, vice presidential candidate Sandiaga Uno – running mate to Prabowo Subianto – flew to Saudi Arabia yesterday to carry out the Umrah pilgrimage.
Dias Prasongko, Jakarta – The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded that the country's Human Development Index (IPM) in 2018 reached 71.39 – up by 0.58 points or 0.82 percent compared to the previous year's 70.81.
Jakarta – The deputy chairperson of Prabowo Subianto's Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), Arief Poyuono, will report US independent journalist Allan Nairn to the police who he accuses of spreading lies or fake news.
Karina M. Tehusijarana, Ghina Ghaliya, Agnes Anya and Tertiani ZB, Simanjuntak, Jakarta – A bigger than expected turnout by unregistered voters led to long lines at polling stations in various cities around the world over the weekend.
Dion Bisara, Jakarta – Indonesia's human development index – a composite measurement for a long and healthy life, good education and decent standard of living – rose to 71.39 in 2018, up from 70.81 a year earlier, data from the Central Statistics Agency, or BPS, showed on Monday (15/04).
Liam Gammon, Sydney – When Joko Widodo was first a candidate for Indonesia's presidency five years ago, one might have looked to his successful career in local government for clues as to how he would lead Southeast Asia's biggest economy.
RNZ Pacific – A leading West Papuan peace campaigner, Neles Tebay, has died in Jakarta after being hospitalised with leukemia.
A Catholic priest and academic as well as the coordinator of the Papua Peace Network, Dr Tebay was a tireless advocate for dialogue between West Papuans and Indonesia's government over the political conflict in their homeland.
Aditya Mardiastuti, Denpasar – The Papua Student Alliance (AMP) is protesting the arrest of student demonstrators at Renon Park in the Balinese provincial capital of Bali. The AMP said that it was a peaceful action rejecting the April 17 elections and they already had a police permit.
While the running mate of his rival plans to visit a self-exiled former pornography suspect for guidance and prayers in Saudi, President Joko Widodo, who is also in Saudi for the Umrah pilgrimage, met with King Salman and went inside the holiest site in Islam in what could be a huge boost to his Islamic credentials two days ahead of the presidential election.
Indonesia's general elections are this Wednesday but millions of Indonesians living overseas had their chance to vote over the weekend at polling booths set up across the planet.
Apriadi Gunawan and Suherdjoko, Medan – Over the weekend, only days before the elections, some of the country's youth staged rallies to encourage people to vote while protest voters, who are calling themselves "golput", stepped up their criticism against the current political system and reiterated their intention to not vote for any politician.
Jonathan Chen – Various minority groups in Indonesia face an inconvenient truth: whoever wins the election, they will end up losing, as candidates ignore minority interests in favour of securing the majority votes.
Endy M. Bayuni – From the start, the April 17 Indonesian presidential election was going to be an unequal race. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, who is seeking a second term in office, is viewed as a strong incumbent against a lone challenger, Prabowo Subianto, a retired army general who is untested in government.
Before he was released from prison in January, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the former Jakarta governor formerly known as Ahok, requested that people call him BTP instead as prison had changed him. And, indeed, we haven't seen any signs of his once-famously explosive outspokenness since he got his freedom back.
April 14, 2019
Nur Yasmin Jakarta – BTP, the acronym for Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the ex-Jakarta governor formerly known as Ahok, uploaded another vlog on YouTube on Saturday (13/04) to explain why he decided to rejoin the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) straight after his release from the Mako Brimob prison, where he spent two years on blasphemy charges.
Gayatri Suroyo, Maikel Jefriando, Grinting – In several ways, Tama had President Joko Widodo to thank for his crop.
The Village Fund program, launched by Widodo, paid to turn a dirt track between his house and the farm into a paved road. It also brought more electricity, powering lights that trap moths at night, cutting his spending on pesticides.