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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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June 24, 2020

CNN Indonesia - June 24, 2020

Jakarta – Islamic organisations from the National Anti-Communist Alliance (Anak NKRI) protesting the Draft Law on Pancasila Ideology Guidance (RUU HIP) set fire to a hammer-and-sickle flag – with is identified with communism – during protest in front of the House of Representatives (DPR) complex in Jakarta on Wednesday June 24.

Jakarta Globe - June 24, 2020

Tara Marchelin, Jakarta – The National Police said on Wednesday a total of 64 forest and wildland fires have been reported since January. The wildfires have destroyed more than 260 hectares of forest and wildland in several provinces.

Tempo - June 24, 2020

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Wednesday claims that the government's decision to progress into the COVID-19 'new normal' is heavily based on valid experts' advice and scientific data.

Jakarta Post - June 24, 2020

Jakarta – The Indonesian Anti-Corruption Community (MAKI) has reported Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Firli Bahuri to the antigraft body's supervisory board for an alleged ethics violation.

Agence France-Presse - June 24, 2020

Jakarta – A Sumatran tiger has been found dead in a suspected poisoning, an Indonesian official said Tuesday, a day after alleged poachers were charged with killing another of the critically endangered big cats in a separate case.

Jakarta Post - June 24, 2020

Ivany Atina Arbi, Jakarta – Volunteers for crowdsourced database KawalCOVID-19 (Guard against COVID-19) have introduced an "alertness index" that shows specific data on COVID-19 cases in every city and regency in the country, amid the absence of comprehensive data from the government.

Jakarta Post - June 24, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has detained three members of the Jambi Legislative Council for alleged graft in a case that also implicates former governor Zumi Zola Zulkifli.

Jakarta Post - June 24, 2020

Jakarta – Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto visited Russian Deputy Minister of Defense Alexander Fomin in Russia on Tuesday, the official Twitter account of the Defense Ministry @Kemhan_RI announced.

Jakarta Post - June 24, 2020

Sausan Atika, Jakarta – West Java – Indonesia's most populous province – has seen a declining trend of daily new cases of COVID-19 in the past few weeks, thanks to collaborative efforts of many stakeholders in introducing innovation to fight the pandemic, a top official has said.

Reuters - June 24, 2020

Agustinus Beo Da Costa, Jakarta – Indonesian authorities complained on Wednesday that hundreds of people had refused testing for the new coronavirus as social taboos emerge as another obstacle to stopping its spread in the world's fourth-most populous nation.

Jakarta Globe - June 24, 2020

Yudha Baskoro – Islamist groups, including the National Anti-Communist Alliance (Anak NKRI), the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and the 212 Alumni Brotherhood (PA 212), brought hundreds of protesters to the streets in front of the House of Representatives (MPR) in Senayan, South Jakarta, on Wednesday, to try to get lawmakers to drop the so-called "Pancasila Ideology Guidelines" bill

Coconuts Jakarta - June 24, 2020

Indonesia's COVID-19 Task Force today announced their findings on the country's caseload by cities and regencies – the first of such ranking – with Central Jakarta topping the unenvied list.

Dr. Dewi Nur Aisyah, an epidemiologist and a member of the task force, said that the ranking was averaged based on the regions' population ratio.

Jakarta Post - June 24, 2020

Jakarta – Despite the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is slated to begin construction of the new capital city in North Penajam Paser regency, East Kalimantan, as scheduled in 2021.

Jakarta Globe - June 24, 2020

Tara Marchelin, Jakarta – The Election Supervisory Agency, or Bawaslu, has released its 2020 regional election vulnerability index, which measures risks of disruption during the election's preliminary stages.

Jakarta Post - June 24, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government announced on Wednesday that it would place Rp 30 trillion (US$2.12 billion) in state-owned banks, associated under the auspices of Himbara, to be channeled as loans to businesses to help support economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jakarta Post - June 24, 2020

Jakarta – A private hospital in Tabanan, Bali, has been identified as a new cluster for COVID-19 transmission after 10 new cases emerged.

The new transmissions occurred after the hospital treated a patient, who was later confirmed to have contracted the fast-spreading coronavirus. Tabanan COVID-19 task force spokesperson I Putu Dian Setiawan confirmed the case on Tuesday.

Jakarta Post - June 24, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – Tourist industry experts have lauded the government's decision to issue health protocols for public places such as hotels and restaurants, saying the measures will provide customers peace of mind as tourist destinations start to reopen.

Jakarta Post - June 24, 2020

Alya Nurbaiti, Jakarta – Human rights activists have slammed the government for what they deem the misuse of treason charges to prosecute Papuans, thereby threatening their freedom of speech and right to assembly.

The activists highlighted the recent imprisonment of seven Papuans following their arrest during antiracism protests in Jayapura, Papua, in August last year.

Jakarta Post - June 24, 2020

A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – The respite of bluer skies and slightly fresher air that Jakartans enjoyed during the city's large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) has given way to smog as activities resume in the capital. But air quality during PSBB, while it was generally better than other periods, was still not ideal.

Jakarta Post - June 24, 2020

Jakarta – The Jakarta administration has once again suspended Car Free Day (CFD) amid concerns over public health and safety following reports of large crowds turning up to the weekly event's reopening on Sunday, despite the physical distancing still in force.

June 23, 2020

Tempo - June 23, 2020

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) executive director, Nur Hidayati, openly opposed the statement made by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD who claimed that the government had managed to minimize land and forest fires in the past four to five years.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Ivany Atina Arbi, Jakarta – The Kupang District Court in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) sentenced Reyndhart Rossy Siahaan, who used marijuana as an alternative medication, to 10 months' imprisonment on Monday, despite an urge to decriminalize marijuana for medical treatment.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya and Nina Loasana, Jakarta – Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly has asserted that former Democratic Party treasurer and graft convict M. Nazaruddin is eligible for parole and four years of remission on account of his status as a justice collaborator in several corruption cases.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Jakarta – The Jakarta administration has kept its unqualified opinion (WTP) from the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) for the third year in a row. Governor Anies Baswedan said it was one of the best presents that the city could have received for its anniversary.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a China-backed multilateral development bank, announced on Tuesday that it had approved a US$1 billion loan to help strengthen Indonesia's health and economic responses to the COVID-19 crisis.

Jakarta Globe - June 23, 2020

Lenny Tristia Tambun, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud M.D. claimed on Tuesday the government had made important inroads to minimize forest fires and is now intensely preparing for the coming dry season despite having to dedicate most of its resources to fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – Surabaya, the capital of East Java, continues to defy calls to reinstate large-scale restrictions (PSBB), which were officially lifted earlier this month, despite the continued increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city.

The Diplomat - June 23, 2020

Zachary Abuza and Alif Satria – Indonesia has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of June 23, Indonesia had over 47,800 confirmed cases, but has among the lowest levels of testing in the region, with only 1.4 tests per 1,000 people. With 2,400 dead, Indonesia still accounts for two-thirds of the total fatalities in Southeast Asia.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Dian Septiari, Jakarta – Most Indonesians were taught at school to be proud of their seafaring ancestors, but such pride has not translated into sufficient state protection. The livelihood remains among the most vulnerable to exploitation.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – The House of Representatives has approved a set of health measures devised by the General Elections Commission (KPU) for holding the Dec. 9 regional elections to protect election organizers and voters from the spread of COVID-19.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – The government is gearing up to overhaul its preemployment card program to address findings by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) earlier this month on suspected irregularities in the operation of the program.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – The government has established a special task force to attract businesses leaving China and facilitate their relocation to Indonesia.

Indonesia at Melbourne - June 23, 2020

Michael Ewing – Indonesian media often frames 'LGBT' as antithetical to Indonesian society, contrary to the state ideology, Pancasila, and a foreign imposition.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Apriza Pinandita, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has called on authorities to prepare better disaster mitigation measures ahead of the dry season in August when forest fires are more likely to occur throughout most of the archipelago.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – The House of Representatives and the government have agreed to a set of health measures devised by the General Elections Commission (KPU) for the Dec. 9 simultaneous regional elections, but worries remain about virus fears depressing voter turnout.

Jakarta Globe - June 23, 2020

Lenny Tristia Tambun, Jakarta – Indonesia should soon be able to produce up to two million polymerase chain reaction test kits per month and reduce the country's dependency on imported kits as the government continues to try to ramp up capacity to trace and test people who have contracted Covid-19.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – Prosecutors rejected on Monday the defense arguments submitted by a legal team defending two police officers charged with involvement in the acid attack on Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan in 2017, during a hearing at the North Jakarta District Court.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – Bali's travel agencies association is calling for the island to be reopened to tourists as most of its members only have financial capability to weather the crisis until July. The plea comes following the government's decision to maintain travel restrictions on the tourist-packed island.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Jakarta – Puncak Jaya regency in the remote Pegunungan Tengah area of Papua reported its first case of COVID-19 on Monday.

Papua COVID-19 task force spokesperson Silwanus Sumule said the patient exhibited light to moderate symptoms and was being treated at the Mulia General Regional Hospital.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Jakarta – Australia is set to disburse aid totaling AU$4.9 million (US$3.3 million) to the United Nations Children's Fund to support Indonesia's COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – The Constitutional Court has rejected a petition for a judicial review of regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) No. 1/2020 on the COVID-19 pandemic response, stating that the Perppu has already been passed into law.

The decision to reject the petition was made at the justices' consultation meeting attended by the nine court justices on June 6.

Reporters Without Boarders (RSF) News Release - June 23, 2020

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate withdrawal of a bill that would criminalize defamation in Timor-Leste again, six years after a similar law inherited from the Portuguese colonial era was removed from the criminal code as a result of the adoption of a new press code.

Jakarta Post - June 23, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – A video contest run by the Home Ministry to promote the so-called new normal has sparked criticism from the public and activists, who have called the initiative costing Rp 168 billion (US$11.8 million) unnecessary.

June 22, 2020

Coconuts Jakarta - June 22, 2020

A group of local gangsters allegedly connected to notorious Jakarta-based mob boss John Kei reportedly stormed a house of gangster Nus Kei in Tangerang City yesterday afternoon, police said, with the former now arrested for allegedly orchestrating the attack.

Jakarta Post - June 22, 2020

Jakarta – The Jakarta Police have arrested infamous thug John Kei for allegedly masterminding attacks in two places that claimed a life and injured two others, months after he was released on parole for murder.

Jakarta Post - June 22, 2020

Jakarta – A couple in Semarang, Central Java, have lost family members to COVID-19 days after their wedding ceremony.

Semarang mayor Hendrar Prihadi said the wedding had not adhered to the health protocols issued by the Religious Affairs Ministry.

Amnesty International Urgent Action - June 22, 2020

On 17 June 2020, seven Papuan activists were convicted of treason (makar) and sentenced to between ten and 11 months in prison for their role in an anti-racism demonstration in August 2019.

Jakarta Post - June 22, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – The government is calling on companies to boost their research and development to produce import substitutes to help reduce Indonesia's reliance on foreign goods.

Reuters - June 22, 2020

Jakarta – Indonesia's unemployment rate could hit the highest in more than a decade this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Southeast Asia's largest economy set to contract more than previously expected in the second quarter, ministers said.

Jakarta Post - June 22, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The nation's high unemployment rate is expected to worsen and continue into next year as the country braces for further economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, senior government officials said on Monday.