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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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June 29, 2020

Jakarta Post - June 29, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – The government's housing subsidy program designed to resolve the country's mounting backlog might backfire by hampering property industry growth and leading to the construction of lower quality homes, the World Bank has warned.

June 28, 2020

Tempo - June 28, 2020

Antara, Jakarta – The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations has praised the local people and Government of North Aceh for their initiative and lead in rescuing Rohingya refugees in distress at sea on Thursday (June 25).

Jakarta Post - June 28, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – A recent survey about homosexuality acceptance in Indonesia has given gay and human rights activists some hope for a future where the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community could live without fear of persecution.

Jakarta Globe - June 28, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia reported a record 1,027 Covid-19 patients who recovered in the 24-hour period, bringing the total number of recoveries to 22,936 on Sunday. The previous high was 884 on Friday.

Jakarta Globe - June 28, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia saw a new high in confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday with 1,385 new cases to take the country's total to 52,812, as two worst-hit provinces East Java and Jakarta continued to report the highest infection rate.

The previous high of 1,331 cases was reported on June 18.

Jakarta Post - June 28, 2020

Galih Gumelar, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) have warned about potential vote buying in the upcoming simultaneous regional elections, which the government insists on holding on Dec. 9 despite the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.

South China Morning Post - June 28, 2020

Kit Gillet – In 1965, the Indonesian military killed as many as one million of their own countrymen, destroying the third-largest communist party in the world and taking with it pretty much anyone seen as having left-wing tendencies (as well as hundreds of thousands who had nothing to do with anything).

Jakarta Globe - June 28, 2020

Thereis Kalla, Nabil Alfaruq, Jakarta – Some of Indonesia's listed companies will enjoy a lower income tax rate of 19 percent this year and next year, with a further 3 percent cut starting in 2022 that would make the rate lower than Singapore's corporate income tax rate, the Finance Ministry said last week.

Jakarta Post - June 28, 2020

Jakarta – A passenger was allowed on a Garuda Indonesia flight from Jakarta to Sorong, Papua, despite having recently tested positive for COVID-19, Sorong health authorities have said.

Jakarta Post - June 28, 2020

Sausan Atika, Jakarta – Central Java, home to more than 30 million people, has chosen a different approach to handle the COVID-19 outbreak rather than imposing large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) like many other regions across Indonesia.

June 27, 2020

Straits Times - June 27, 2020

Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – Indonesia is facing an uphill challenge during a transition period towards a new normal in many cities as people joined crowds, disobeyed health protocols, and resisted mass testing for the coronavirus.

Straits Times - June 27, 2020

Jeffrey Hutton, Jakarta – The Covid-19 outbreak is under control in Indonesia's biggest province thanks to widespread testing and lockdown measures, said West Java governor Ridwan Kamil.

Tempo - June 27, 2020

Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – An epidemiologist at the University of Indonesia, Tri Yunis Miko Wahyono, reminded the government to slow down in opening the schools at the new normal period. He reasoned that the Covid-19 case in Jakarta is still high.

"So stop talking about reopening schools, even though the capacity will be limited to 50 percent," Tri told Tempo Friday, June 26.

Jakarta Post - June 27, 2020

Moch Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The central government has defended the employment of some 500 Chinese workers to work on nickel smelter projects in South Konawe regency, Southeast Sulawesi, following protests staged by residents arguing that many domestic workers had been laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic.Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah said the employment of foreign workers

Jakarta Post - June 27, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – Members of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) from across the country have reported to the police in their respective regions an incident in which the party's flag was burned during a rally on Wednesday.

Jakarta Post - June 27, 2020

Sausan Atika, Jakarta – Jakarta, the first epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic in Indonesia, has reportedly brought the outbreak "under control", officials have said, in a statement that has raised eyebrows as new cases still appear in the city.

ABC News - June 27, 2020

Max Walden – Almost 100 Rohingya people were helped ashore by locals from fishing villages on the northern tip of the Indonesian province of Aceh before officials had decided to allow the people to disembark.

At least 79 of the rescued Rohingya are women and children, who have temporarily been sheltered in an abandoned Indonesian Immigration facility.

Jakarta Post - June 27, 2020

Dian Septiari, Jakarta – With concerns over economic catastrophe taking center stage at the 36th ASEAN Summit, which kicked off virtually on Friday, some country members of the regional grouping are calling for the opening of an ASEAN travel corridor.

Jakarta Post - June 27, 2020

Riska Rahman, Jakarta – Easing mobility restrictions in various regions across Indonesia will not provide an instant boost to the country's retail sector as wary consumers are expected to still limit their store visits amid a steady rise in COVID-19 cases, analysts have said.

Jakarta Post - June 27, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – While the government has claimed an increase in the number of regions that are COVID-19 free and categorized as low-risk zones, epidemic risk mapping shows that 57 cities and regencies are still classified as red zones, or areas with high rates of transmission.

Tempo - June 27, 2020

Jakarta – Chairman of the Synod of Indonesia Gospel Tabernacle Church (Kingmi) in Papua, Rev. Benny Giay regretted the conviction of seven Papuan political prisoners who were tried for treason.

Jakarta Post - June 27, 2020

Jakarta – Second Lt. Dewa Ayu Ardikna Suari has been named by the Indonesian Air Force as its first female loadmaster, in an unprecedented move in the male-dominated military force.

Eurasia Review - June 27, 2020

Binoy Kampmark – This week has not been a good one for the Australian legal system. For those who feel that an open justice process requires abuses of power to be exposed and held to account, it was particularly awful.

Jakarta Post - June 27, 2020

Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) supervisory council has questioned the commission's chairman, Firli Bahuri, about a helicopter ride following a complaint filed by antigraft activists.

Jakarta Post - June 27, 2020

Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – Dozens of environmentalists and residents of Banten staged a rally in front of the South Korean Embassy in Jakarta on Thursday to protest Korean state-owned utility company Korea Electric Power Corporation's (KEPCO) plan to invest in two new coal-fired power plants in Cilegon, Banten.

Jakarta Post - June 27, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has detained Taufik Agustono, president director of private transportation company PT Humpuss Transportasi Kimia (HTK), in a bribery case.

The case, which concerns the shipping industry, has also implicated former Golkar Party lawmaker Bowo Sidik Pangarso.

Jakarta Post - June 27, 2020

Jakarta – The divorce rate has increased significantly in Bandung, West Java, as the government eased COVID-19 restrictions in the so-called new normal period, after the rate had dropped significantly during the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) period.

June 26, 2020

Tempo - June 26, 2020

Ihsan Reliubun, Jakarta – The Jakarta regional representative council (DPD) deputy chairman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), Wiliam Yani, expressed his rejection of the recent burning of his party's flag. He also objected that PDIP was accused of being a communist party.

Coconuts Jakarta - June 26, 2020

Police in West Jakarta's Kembangan sub-district are questioning a street seller who allegedly spat into a bowl containing bakso cuanki before serving it to his customer, following CCTV recording of the deplorable incident that is circulating widely online.

Tempo - June 26, 2020

Ricky Mohammad Nugraha, Jakarta – COVID-19 task force member, Dewi Nur Aisyah on Thursday announced that Indonesia's COVID-19 risk zone mapping by the end of May showed positive progress.

"There is a positive trend from conditions in regencies and cities," said Dewi in a Youtube press conference on June 25.

Jakarta Globe - June 26, 2020

Tara Marchelin, Jakarta – Convalescent plasma can help in the recovery of Covid-19 patients with a severe condition but may become harmful if used carelessly as a means to prevent the virus infection, Eijkman Institute of Molecular Biology's director Amin Soebandrio said.

Jakarta Post - June 26, 2020

Apriza Pinandita, Jakarta – Public acceptance of homosexuality in Indonesia has improved slightly in the past few years, a recently published study by Pew Research Center suggests, though the level remains low compared with those of other countries.

Jakarta Post - June 26, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – Two of the country's top corruption watchdogs have given the new leadership of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) a red mark for performance in the first half of 2020, citing poor enforcement against special crimes and the many controversies embroiling the commission.

Jakarta Post - June 26, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo signed Wednesday Perpres No. 72/2020, a presidential regulation that regulates an increase in state spending and a widening state budget deficit amid Indonesia's fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Jakarta Post - June 26, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – Six Indonesian manufacturers of personal protective equipment (PPE) are preparing to export coveralls as they meet international standards for the product, amid an excess in national supplies during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Conversation - June 26, 2020

Diego Garcia Rodriguez and Khanis Suvianita – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, a group facing worsening discrimination in Indonesia, have been supporting people impacted by COVID-19 measures across the archipelago.

The Diplomat - June 26, 2020

Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat and Dikanaya Tarahita – This week, a total of 156 foreign workers from China arrived at Kendari Haluoleo Airport in Indonesia.

Kompas.com - June 26, 2020

Fitria Chusna Farisa, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) says that cyber torture has become a new form of torture which is predicted to become widespread in the future. This type of torture is not carried out from up close like physical torture.

Tempo - June 26, 2020

Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan on Thursday announced that the COVID-19 rate in the capital city has started to drop within the last two days. This dropping trend has reached 3.8 percent from the previous 5 percent for a period of one month.

Jakarta Globe - June 26, 2020

Diana Mariska, Jakarta – The government has been making adjustments in various sectors of the bureaucracy – including by relying more on the use of advanced technology – to prepare for life after the coronavirus pandemic.Administrative and Bureaucracy Reforms Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said the pandemic has already forced civil servants to modify their work habits and most are now expe

Jakarta Post - June 26, 2020

Norman Harsono, Jakarta – State-owned electricity company PLN has slashed its capital expenditure (capex) for this year by almost half to Rp 53.6 trillion (US$3.7 billion) from an initially earmarked Rp 100 trillion.

Jakarta Post - June 26, 2020

Alya Nurbaiti, Jakarta – The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in East Java has exceeded that of Jakarta, making the province Indonesia's COVID-19 epicenter.

On Friday, East Java reported 356 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing its total to 10,901 cases, surpassing Jakarta's tally of 10,796.

Jakarta Post - June 26, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Nearly 400,000 individual and corporate taxpayers have applied for tax incentives as the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted economic activity, according to the tax office.

Jakarta Post - June 26, 2020

Jakarta – Amnesty International has urged the government to show support for Aceh residents after they rescued dozens of Rohingya refugees in Northern Aceh waters. Amnesty called this event "a victory for humanitarian solidarity" and demanded that the Indonesian authorities ensure immediate protection for the refugees.

Jakarta Post - June 26, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – As the government reallocates most of its resources to the mitigation of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, children from across the archipelago have spoken up to raise concerns regarding their right to education and protection during these unprecedented times.

Al Jazeera - June 26, 2020

Nearly 100 Rohingya people who were stranded off the coast of Indonesia were pulled to shore on Thursday by local people furious at local authorities' refusal to give them shelter because of fears about the coronavirus.

Tempo - June 26, 2020

Caesar Akbar, Jakarta – Confederation of Indonesian Labor Unions (KSPI) president Said Iqbal said ride-hailing firm Gojek had violated the law on manpower for laying off 430 of its employees.

The Guardian - June 26, 2020

Rebecca Ratcliffe and Febriana Firdaus – On Thursday afternoon, residents of Aceh, Indonesia, waded back and forth in water helping Rohingya refugees clamber to safety. Exhausted children were passed between rescuers.

Kompas.com - June 26, 2020

Devina Halim, Jakarta – Wahid Foundation Director Yenny Wahid believes that flying the Morning Star flag is not an act of makar (treason, subversion, rebellion) and that the Papuan people have a special right to use regional symbols as enshrined under law.

Tempo - June 26, 2020

Adam Prireza, Jakarta – The Jakarta provincial administration disseminated information on the ban on plastic bags at 116 supermarkets across seven sub-districts of Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta ahead of the policy enactment on July 1, 2020.