While many analysts have predicted that "Islamic mobilization" (i.e.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
January 28, 2019
Jakarta – The Indonesian Ulema Council's (MUI) Bogor chapter in West Java has urged members of the public not to heed the call from a conservative Muslim group who wants to ban Cap Go Meh celebrations.
Paulina Quintao – After a secret voting at the National Parliament, Sergio de Jesus Hornai, was elected new Commissioner for the Anti-Corruption Commission (KAK) for the period of 2019 until 2023.
January 27, 2019
Febriana Firdaus – Jakob Skrzypski left a stable job in Switzerland to travel through Indonesia last year. He visited Java, Sumatra and the tourist island of Bali before heading to the restive provinces of West Papua and Papua.
Jakarta – Floods and landslides that hit 12 regencies and one city across South Sulawesi last week have killed at least 68 people and displaced about 6,700 others, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said on Sunday.
Isal Mawardi, Jakarta – Prabowo Subianto's younger brother and financial backer, Hashim Djojohadikusumo, says that they will accept any and all support for his older brother's presidential bid. He said that they will accept all forms of support even from the children and grandchildren of the outlawed Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).
Geneva – A separatist movement in Indonesia's West Papua province delivered a petition with 1.8 million signatures demanding an independence referendum to U.N. Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet on Friday, its leader told Reuters after the meeting.
Jakarta – At least 68 people have been killed and nearly 7,000 forced to take refuge in emergency shelters after floods, landslides and a tornado battered the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in the past week, authorities said on Sunday.
January 26, 2019
James Massola, Jakarta – Australia's very particular and peculiar love affair with the Indonesian island of Bali is well-established, to the point where some even joke the island could be our seventh state. (Sorry New Zealand, but this story ain't about you.)
Jakarta (Bloomberg) – Eka Tjipta Widjaja, who became a coconut and palm oil trader at the age of 15 before building a multi-billion dollar empire with businesses spanning paper and pulp to financial services, has died.
Erwida Maulia, Jakarta – Indonesian President Joko Widodo is backing away from a plan to release a radical cleric linked to the Bali bombings in 2002, after the thinly veiled attempt to woo conservative Muslim voters ahead of April's election sparked a backlash from Widodo's progressive supporters.
Dede Oetomo – In the 1960s, I grew up in Pasuruan, East Java in Indonesia. During this time, I learned that trans women in Jakarta started organizing action groups.
January 25, 2019
Ni Komang Erviani and Bambang Muryanto, Denpasar and Yogyakarta – Journalists and rights activists across Indonesia were outraged by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's move to grant remission to I Nyoman Susrama, the mastermind behind the murder of Anak Agung Gde Bagus Narendra Prabangsa, a Radar Bali daily journalist, calling on the incumbent to annul the decision.
Arya Dipa, Bandung, West Java – State-owned weapons manufacturer PT Pindad announced on Thursday that it booked net profits of Rp 98 billion (US$6.94 million) in 2018, higher than the Rp 92 billion it booked in 2017.
Rik Glauert – Government officials in Indonesia have stepped in to defend a HIV and AIDS support group after it was shut down last week amid the country's anti-LGBTI crackdown.
James Massola, Jakarta – On paper, the two men couldn't be much more different.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, widely known as Ahok, is an ethnically-Chinese Christian former governor of Jakarta who was released from jail on Thursday after serving nearly two years for blasphemy.
It's 2019, but paranoia about communism – caused by the 1965 coup attempt of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) as well as decades of government propaganda – still runs strong among many Indonesians.
Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – The Prabowo-Sandiaga Uno campaign team (BPN) spokesman Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak announced the team will pay attention to the issue of potential non-voters, known by the term Golput.
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – The government said it would ease procedures to boost exports, with the aim of bolstering the country's current account, as the trade deficit was recorded at US$8.57 billion in 2018, the largest deficit since 1975.
Statistics Indonesia (BPS) recorded that the country had a $11.4 billion trade surplus in 2017.
Heru, Dian, Astri, Hermawan, Rei, Jakarta – Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu supports the proposal by Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo to conduct nationwide raids on communist books. Ryacudu claims that the raids are to prevent retaliation by Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members who want revenge for the 1965 affair.
John McBeth, Jakarta – Watched 24 hours a day on closed circuit television and cut off from all but his immediate family, life has become a lonely existence for aging terrorist leader Abu Bakar Ba'asyir since he was moved to a new maximum-security jail south of Jakarta two years ago.
Sheany, Jakarta – A plan by the Attorney General's Office to launch a massive crackdown on books about communism and other banned ideologies has prompted concerns that this may erode freedom of expression and access to information in Indonesia.
By Max Lane
Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) says that the release of former Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama should become an impetus for the abolition of Article 156a of the Criminal Code (KUHP) on desecration or insulting religion in the deliberations on revising the draft Criminal Code (RKUHP).
Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The assessment by sociologist Ariel Heryanto on Indonesians that choose to be non-voters or 'Golput' is mainly caused by people's crisis of trust against the government.
"They don't trust both the incumbent and the opposition," Ariel explained in an email today, Jan. 25.
Arya Dipa, Bandung – Aerospace company PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI) delivered on Thursday five antisubmarine helicopters and one CN235-220 maritime patrol aircraft to the Indonesian Navy based on a contract that was signed in 2013 between PT DI and the Defense Ministry.
Angus Watson – Indonesians this week got a taste of how far their outwardly secular President Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi, would go to buttress his reelection campaign against attacks from Islamic hardliners who don't see him as Muslim enough to lead.
Gemma Holliani Cahya, Jakarta – Rights activists have criticized the police for allowing the identity of a soap opera star, officially identified only as VA and allegedly involved in a prostitution ring, to become known online.
Muhammad Hendartyo, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan responded to the deforestation issue that had been in the world's limelight during his speech in a workshop themed Accelerating Partnerships and Actions for Forest, which was a sideline event of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
January 24, 2019
Ben Bohane – Reports of the Indonesian military using white phosphorous munitions on West Papuan civilians last month are only the latest horror in a decades-old jungle war forgotten by the world. But new geopolitical maneuvering may soon change the balance of power here, prompting regional concern about an intensifying battle for this rich remote province of Indonesia.
Taufiq Siddiq, Jakarta – Book traders operating at Blok M Square in Jakarta say that raids on books containing banned ideas will be pointless because the works are a product of ideas. "So, people can just reprint and circulate them again, said Block M book trader Alil on Thursday January 24.
A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – Politicians of Chinese descent are attempting to woo voters in Chinese enclaves, communities and the broader public in Jakarta to secure seats as legislators even as racist sentiments have recently been rising.
Bambang Muryanto, Yogyakarta – Gadjah Mada University (UGM) plans to nominate Indonesia's two biggest Muslim organizations, Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), to share the Nobel Peace Prize, citing their contributions to democratic developments in the country with the world's largest Muslim population.
Jakarta – An analyst has said that the country needs to escape the stagnant growth in its manufacturing sector, which has made it heavily reliant on primary commodities, including in its exports, to improve the economy.
Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – "Congratulations to the Medan Mayor for receiving the Dirtiest City Award 2019. We wish you good health. Love Medan!" reads the flower board at City Hall in the North Sumatra capital.
At around 7.30am this morning local time, former governor of Jakarta Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama evaded the media and crowds of supporters as he walked free from an Indonesian prison after serving almost two years for blasphemy.
James Massola & Amilia Rosa – His release took place away from the glare of a huge media scrum – and a small band of loyal supporters who had gathered outside the Mako Brimob prison – with the man widely known by his Chinese Hakka name of Ahok walking free at 7.30am on Thursday morning.
Friski Riana, Taufiq Siddiq, Jakarta – Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu expressed his support for the Attorney General's Office (AGO) that suggested to hold a massive government crackdown against books containing banned ideologies and communist views that are sold publically.
Jakarta – With some of his former political rivals ready to welcome him, former Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama has hinted that he would steer clear of politics.
Kharishar Kahfi, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested eight individuals, including a regent, local public officials and businesspeople during a string of operations between Wednesday night to early Thursday in three different areas of Lampung province.
Jakarta – Haj Fund Management Agency (BPKH) head Anggito Abimanyu denied on Thursday speculation that haj funds had been used to invest in infrastructure projects, stressing that the majority of the funds had been invested in debt papers and bank deposits.
Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – A policeman assigned in Asahan, North Sumatra, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison and been ordered to pay a Rp 1 billion fine for inciting hate speech on Facebook.
Rik Glauert – Indonesia's most progressive island crowned its LGBTI kings and queens behind closed doors last month.
The island's Muslim council banned the event from taking place last year, citing 'rejection from the Balinese community'.
Activists warn that the LGBT panic in Indonesia is not only causing wide scale discrimination and persecution against the protected minority group, it is also helping to create a public health crisis by making it more difficult for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services to reach vulnerable populations.
Leopold Sudaryono, Jakarta – The government has the power to release convicts, including firebrand Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, who was found guilty of committing acts of terrorism.
Ba'asyir is currently serving a 15-year sentence that is to end in 2025. By law he can apply for parole after serving two-thirds of his sentence, which he reached on Dec. 13, 2018.
Jakarta – Former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama has hinted at the entirely different person he has grown into during his time in prison, even asking his supporters – the self-dubbed "Ahokers" – to refrain from using Ahok, and to instead call him "BTP" upon his scheduled release on Jan. 24.
Ganug Nugroho Adi, Surakarta and Jakarta – The sons of Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, the radical Muslim cleric who was convicted of masterminding the Bali bombings, said they were disappointed over the canceled release of their father and expressed hope that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo had not changed his mind.
Norman Harsono, News Desk – Amid its claims of success for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's One Million Houses program last year, the government is planning this year to build another 1.25 million new houses of better quality.
Jakarta – It's official. The Jakarta Police have a new chief after Insp. Gen. Gatot Eddy Pramono was sworn in on Thursday by National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian at police headquarters in South Jakarta.
He replaced Insp. Gen. Idham Aziz, who was appointed chief of detectives. Aziz had led the Jakarta Police since July 2017.
January 23, 2019
Fadiyah Alaidrus – Padang Mayor Mahyeldi Ansharullah views Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people as a sickness that is caused by the environment and economic factors.
In order to deal with this, the Padang government will carry out investigative operations, arrests and involve the Indonesian military (TNI) in retraining LGBT people.